That One Time I Went Skydiving

April 15th might be my new favorite day of the year. Well lets be real, nothing beats Christmas, but that is in a league of its own so it doesn’t even count.

For my new job we have to do all of our clients tax returns on top of all of the work that we already do on a weekly basis so it has been a little busier than normal around here lately. But that all took a turn for the fantastic on April 15th when we were finally able to take a breath and relax a little again.

As a reward for all of our hard work our office shut down on Thursday and Friday of this week giving us a blissful four day weekend.

One of my best friends from high school was on spring break from grad school this week so we decided to take advantage of our mutual vacation time and she booked a flight down here! She has been here several times and has done all the touristy stuff so we needed an different kind of activity to keep us busy.

Enter…skydiving. Most people think that I am CRAZY for having this on my bucket list but it is something that I have always wanted to try. Not crazy solo skydiving but tandem skydiving with someone who knows what they are doing.

We were both a little terrified (I think you wouldn’t be human if you weren’t nervous to jump out of a plane) but decided to make the jump anyway.

I did a lot of research to make sure that we were going to a place that had a great reputation for safety. There was a company about an hour and a half south of Nashville that had great reviews and they seemed to really know their stuff. The guys that jump with you are all ex-military and I took comfort in the fact that they are trained to stay calm under pressure.

After a quick training session (the guys that you jump with do most of the work) we were suited up and were ready to get onto the plane. I have a terrible fear of small planes so this was the hardest part for me.

The ride up was quick but felt like it took hours. There were a few solo “fun” jumpers as they called them on the plane with us. When we got to the correct height they opened the door and started flying out. They got to the edge of the plane and then all of the sudden there were just…gone. Before I knew it our turn had arrived and we edged toward the open door. I wrapped my legs down around the plane and then we flipped out into the open sky.

The sensation of free falling was unlike anything I can describe. It was terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. It was cold and the wind hurt my face and it was glorious. It was a rush unlike anything I had ever experienced. When the parachute went out I got a sense of relief and we coasted the rest of the way down to the ground – doing a few spins and tricks along the way.

Now this entire experience was of course captured on a video camera attached to my instructor and I think the final video/pictures are the best part of the entire thing. Think smooched cheeks and lots of screaming. Here are some of the best pictures from the day.

 

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Hilarious right? The first picture is still making me giggle. I promise it was a great time even though I look like I am about to lose it. I would definitely recommend for anyone who is thinking about going skydiving to go ahead and take the plunge- pun intended.

A big shout out to all of the guys at Tennessee Skydiving LLC for keeping us safe and giving us a day I will never forget.

We spend the rest of our day yesterday celebrating life on the ground and I have spent my day today baking and recovering.

I made banana chocolate chip muffins and took a stab at a new lemon bars recipe. If they turn out I will post them soon. Apparently the banana chocolate chip muffins are pretty good though because Waylon managed to steal three of them off of the table before I caught him.

I hope everyone has a fantastic Easter tomorrow. Oh and cross something off your bucket list sooner rather than later. Life’s too short and I promise you won’t regret it.

Rainy Sunday Baking

When I woke up today and went out to take Waylon for his morning walk I could smell it in the air. The looming storm. You know the when the air is heavy and the sky is just a shade darker than it should be?

By the time I got out of church it was officially raining. It did manage to hold off long enough for me to run my quick Sunday errands in only a light drizzle.

On days like this only one thing can be done, besides wearing oversized and mismatched pajamas. Baking. There is nothing more comforting than baking when it is horrible weather outside. Don’t get me wrong I love baking at all times but when it is nice weather I also want to get outside as much as possible.

Since I had a few bananas that were about to cross over the too ripe line, I knew banana bread was going to be on the menu. BUT…I hadn’t attempted a gluten free version yet.

I did a good amount of research (baking nerd alert) and found a few recipes that I decided to combine into my own creation. Most of my inspiration came from this recipe which was featured in Southern Living magazine. Don’t even get me started on my love for that magazine so I knew already it was going to be a winner.

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A few edits to the recipe and I came up with this.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

4 eggs

4 very ripe mashed bananas

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 tsp real vanilla extract

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

2 cups gluten free “all purpose” flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs lightly.
  3. Add mashed bananas, sugar, applesauce, butter and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add to wet mixture, flours and salt and baking soda. Mix until all ingredients are moist.
  5. Add in chocolate chips stirring until combined.
  6. Pour batter evenly into 2 greased 8×4-inch loaf pans or 1 greased 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  7. Bake for 45-55 minutes for the smaller pans or 60-75 minutes for the larger, or until bread is no longer wet in the middle. Use a toothpick or the touch test to gauge doneness.
  8. Remove from pan after about 10 minutes and cool on wire rack.

I am going to share with you a little secret to keep the chocolate chips suspended in the bread and not all sunken at the bottom of the loaf. Mix the chocolate chips with a tablespoon of flour (gluten free of course) before adding them into the batter. The flour will help suspend the chocolate chips during the baking process and you will end up with chocolate in every bite. Which is the only way to go through life really.

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“Man I really wish that had less chocolate chips in it”…said no one ever.  When in doubt, add more chocolate chips.

Now the only way to truly enjoy the banana bread, besides eating the entire loaf in one sitting, is to eat it with a large mug of Irish coffee. You’re welcome.

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Time to eat some chili and watch Steel Magnolias with this guy.

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Who said rainy Sunday’s can’t be fantastic?

More Perspective

In my last post I talked a little about resolutions. The beginning of a new year is filled with the promise that it will be better than the last. Well you know…it’s only that way if we make it happen.

I just finished up reading the book ‘Divergent’ by Veronica Roth. It is the first in a trilogy about a dystopian version of Chicago. I won’t go into a full on book review here but I will say that it was a very good book! Easy to read and the author does a great job pulling you into the world that she has created. I have always loved books that take place in a world of imagination. I get so lost in them and can read them for hours on end. That might make me a huge bookworm nerd but I have always been that way so I have learned to accept this part of me. Anyway, the entire point of me brining this whole book up is one of the lines in the last chapter.

“Half of bravery is perspective”

I LOVE that. Isn’t it so true? Perspective is such a huge part of our world; a part that many people forget. When remembered it calms our minds and keeps us sane.  So my second resolution this year…maintain perspective at all times. I feel like I do a pretty good job with this but it will be a priority of mine this year. Stay grounded to who I am and keep it in perspective.

This came in quite handy when my lovely, adorably, sweet, cuddly puppy decided to do this to my couch.

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Perspective. I was going to buy a new couch anyway. Perspective. At least it wasn’t the wall or a door that I couldn’t replace. Perspective. He is only a baby still and it will get better.

It helps that he looks like this. I found him like this on my bed this morning when I was getting ready for work. he is such a little camera ham.

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I love that little ball of fluff but that was most certainly not my favorite thing to come home to.  And now I am on the hunt for a new couch sooner rather than later! Suggestions? Lemme know.

In other news I get my new Fit Bit in the mail tomorrow! Have you ever heard of them? It is a little itty-bitty bracelet that monitors your activity and sleeping patterns. I will give a full review once I start using it but I am so excited to get started! My third resolution this year is to put my heath and fitness as a top priority. Last year with the whole gluten issue I spent a lot of time not feeling my best and this year now that I know how to help my body I am going to really get after it. Be ready for fitness updates and healthy recipes!

Speaking of recipes I know I have been kind of a slacker in this category. Don’t worry I will smack you repeatedly in the face with them in the coming year.

Bring it on 2014

Hey there! Did you miss me?!? I’ll bet you’ll never guess what my number one resolution for 2014 is….

If you said writing more on this blog then you are a mind reader.

I know it’s been a while but I guess in my head each post I put up had to be near perfection. I had to write and re-write and edit all the pictures until I was satisfied enough for it to hit the web.

Well let me tell you, that takes FOREVER. In 2014 I’ve decided to be easier on the self-criticism of my blog posts. This blog is an extension of me and I am nowhere near perfect. So if that means I post something short and sweet one week…so be it!

In doing my resolutions for 2014 I took some time to look back at 2013 and I came to the conclusion that it was not my best year.

2012 was so exciting for me. I moved to Nashville and all of the people and places were new and thrilling and I loved every moment of it. In 2013 the reality of moving across the country by myself became a little more apparent and there were some very lonely moments for me. I was never really unhappy and I never regretted my decision to move but I definitely had my share of heartbreak in 2013.

Since I am a glass half full kind of girl I am looking back on this past year and instead being thankful for the amazing support system I have in my life. My parents, brother, family, and friends made the good moments of 2013 outshine the bad by a long shot. I will never stop being amazed by their love.

Enough about the bad. Lets talk about the fantastic of 2013, first and most important…WAYLON. Most people think that I was crazy to get a puppy (ahem…mom and dad) but I knew in my heart that this is what I wanted. Maybe it was all of the lonely moments in 2013, but that fluffy little puppy melts my heart everyday when I get home. He is worth all of the work and occasional inconvenience that he came with.

Remember when he was this big…

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Well now he is this big….

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And still growing! He has brought so much joy to my life and 2013 would not have been the same without him.

In other 2013 news, I got a new job! I now work for a company that does business management for musicians as an account manager. It has been exciting and overwhelming in the best possible way. There is so much more to come on this in the coming year and I cannot wait to see how it all unfolds.

And finally…2013 was the year I found out I could no longer have gluten. It was an adjustment at first but I have spent these past six months relearning my body. What food makes me feel best, what time of day I should eat, etc. Some might see a gluten free diet requirement as a burden but not me. My diagnosis has made me feel so much better that I look at is as a blessing.

So there you have it. I am not the slightest bit sad to see 2013 go but you 2014…I’ve got big plans for you.

And now for a 2013 recap photo montage.

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I hope all of you have reflected on 2013 and taken the time to find those good moments that will always outshine the bad if you let them.

Farmer’s Market Feast

Hello from a rainy Nashville! This summer has been all about the random rain storms that come out of no where. But lately the storms have been keeping the temperature down (or at least I think so…I’m really bad at weather. Maybe it is all coincidence) so I can deal with a little rain here and there.

This past weekend I was CRAVING fresh peaches, as I pretty much always am this time of year. Nashville has a fantastic Farmer’s Market where tons of local farmers show up to sell their produce so I decided to make my way over there on Saturday.

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The Farmer’s Market did NOT disappoint.

While it was claustrophobically crowded walking around the small aisles I managed to walk away with tons of fresh zucchini, peaches, yellow tomatoes, homemade apple butter, local honey, and some free range chicken breasts.

Have y’all ever had yellow cherry tomatoes? I think some people call them Sun Sugar Tomatoes. What they should be called in nectar of the God’s tomatoes. They are lower in acidity than red tomatoes and are slightly sweet. They are also insanely juicy and when you take a bite the juice from inside oozes out all over. I’ve been told by countless people that the oozey inside it the worst part of tomatoes but I think it is by far the best. Although my opinion doesn’t really count because I am pretty much tomato obsessed.

When I was a toddler we lived in Texas and my parents decided to grow tomato plants behind our garage. Although I obviously can’t remember (I was 2, what do you want from me?) my parents tell me that when harvesting time came around for the tomatoes I would waddle behind my Daddy picking tomatoes straight off the vine and pop them into my mouth. My love for tomatoes has only grown and pretty much the only tomato related thing I don’t like is ketchup. Most likely because it doesn’t actually taste anything like tomatoes.

Onto other vegetables. I bought more zucchini than I think it is possible for one human to eat so I will definitely be experimenting with gluten free zucchini breads later this week.

Tonight I thought I would make up a delicious dinner using the fresh ingredients I picked up over the weekend. I wanted to do something with quinoa so I sautéed up some of the zucchini and yellow cherry tomatoes until they were soft and golden brown and added that to the cooked quinoa. A dash of parmesan cheese and I had myself a creamy veggie quinoa side dish that ended up exceeding my expectations. I think it was the tomatoes.

For my main course I grilled up some BBQ chicken. I recently had my Momma send me my George Foreman grill that I used to use back in college. It isn’t much but my apartment doesn’t let me have a real grill so it will have to do for now.

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And what does one do for dessert when they have a newly reaquired grill and a drawer overflowing with peaches? Grill them of course.  I usually love to put them over ice cream but since I didn’t have any around the house I decided to do a make shift version of frozen yogurt to take its place. I used Chobani plain greek yogurt and stirred it up with a few teaspoons of honey. I slipped the mix it into the freezer for a few hours and voilà! Fresh frozen yogurt. Not quite as good as ice cream but a girl has to make a few healthy sacrifices in her life. But then I drizzled honey on top of it all so really it wasn’t much of a sacrifice.

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I also might have added some apple butter halfway through eating this. I will  use just about any food as a vehicle to consume apple butter.

The George Foreman doesn’t quite get the grill marks the way a real grill does but it does bring out the sweetness in the peaches so I think I can deal with not as pretty. For now at least.

This entire meal completely hit the spot. Sorry this post was pretty much exclusively about food but I got so excited by my Farmer’s Market finds I couldn’t help it.

Tanget side note…the end of this week will be August. summerpleasedontleaveme

A Peachy Keen Birthday

Last Friday was my 26th birthday.

26.

I mean…when did that happen?

I feel like it was just last year that I was getting ready to graduate from college and now here I am…26. I know that this is really not old at all but for some reason being officially in the back end of my 20’s kind of threw me for a loop.

Overall my birthday weekend was very relaxing and spent with my favorite people in Nashville. It was your typical summer weekend filled with pool time, a bbq, movie nights, a fantastic dinner, and some birthday s’mores (sadly without the graham crackers of course).

This weekend was also filled with peaches. Summertime means I cannot get enough of them and I am pretty sure I ate them with almost every meal this weekend. Not kidding even a little. My favorite peach treat of the weekend? Brown sugar glazed peaches that I served over my oatmeal Saturday morning.

I can’t even think about it because all I want to do right now is make them again.

Basically all I do when I make these is melt a teaspoon of butter in a nonstick pan and add 1 peach diced into bite sized pieces. Simmer on low heat until the peaches begin to soften and add a tablespoon of brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon. Continue to simmer on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes stirring constantly until peaches are soft and the glaze has turned into a caramelly brown color. Yes I said caramelly. You’ll know it when you see it.

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No one said this was the healthiest way to eat peaches. But I put it over steel cut oatmeal. That makes it better right? Either way it warms me to my core so it is an indulgence worth having.

You can use frozen peaches if you want also but this time of year I HIGHLY recommend going for the fresh kind.

On Sunday I took Waylon to a friend’s house to play with their two puppies that live there and we set up the little kiddie pool they have for them. I have been wanting to introduce Waylon to the water for quite some time now and I figured the 6 inches of water in this little pool would be the perfect test. My little monster LOVED the water.  Don’t worry I caught it on video.

Next step is deeper water and some doggie paddle. I think he is going to be a strong swimmer just like his Momma. Fun fact- I was the #2 swimmer in Illinois at the state championships.

I was also 8.

I peaked early in life.

 

So there it is. My first weekend being 26 and I have no doubt 26 is going to be a great year for me. I am settling into my life here in Nashville and I know that there is still so much left to discover.

Bring. It. On. 26

Hey America, Your Birthday Rocked!

Happy belated 4th of July! I hope everyone’s holiday was as much fun as mine and involved much less rain. My parents and my brother came into town for a visit and of course it rained the ENTIRE time they were here. I’m talking day and night. Then yesterday when they left it was bright and sunny all day long. Luckily it did stop raining long enough for the fireworks show to take place still on the riverfront in downtown Nashville.

 

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It was a great show and I am so glad we were able to see them this year! My parents came down last year for the 4th of July also and it was triple digit heat the entire time so by the time the fireworks rolled around we were all too hot and tired to stick around. We just can’t win with the weather on this holiday.

 

Despite the rain we still had a great time and it is always good to see my family. It worked out that we have a once a month trip or outing for each month of the summer which makes me very happy.

 

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Love these crazy people. Overall it was a weekend for the memory books. We danced a lot. Drank a lot of whiskey and wine. Listened to great music and just enjoyed each other’s company.

 

Waylon was festive for the holiday weekend in his red bandana.

 

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That face kills me. I took him to the dog park today and OF COURSE he was the muddiest little thing there. I think it is because he is still so little and low to the ground still. Not for long though.

 

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Off to give him his one millionth bath. I wish I was exaggerating.

Memory Triggers and Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Two days ago was my baby brother’s birthday. He turned 24. 24! Where has the time gone that my little brother who used to follow me around holding onto my belt loop with his chubby little fingers is turning 24. Well I couldn’t be prouder of the man he turned out to be and I am thankful everyday that I was blessed with a sibling like him.

As I was flipping through the old pictures I have of us as children on my computer to post up for his birthday I realized what a memory trigger pictures can be. I never know for sure I have the memory because of the picture though. Do we just animate pictures in our heads to turn them into memories of our childhood?

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Look at that handsome boy in his…crown? We have never been able to figure this picture out and for that reason it is one of my favorites.

There are many different types of memory triggers but for me, the most powerful by far is songs. I have countless memories that are associated with specific songs and whenever they are played I am transported right back in time.

Put on “Bye, Bye” by Jo Dee Messina and I can see my mom dancing around the kitchen as I helped her prep for one of their dinner parties. Play “Better Together” by Jack Johnson and I am right back on my high school boyfriend’s roof where I think I spent everyday the summer before I left for college. Any Michael Buble song makes me thing of my Nana (we both love him) but play his version of “Home” and I can still feel the homesickness deep down in my chest that I felt the first night my parents dropped me off at college.

Besides songs, food is another big memory trigger for me. Pizza reminds me of Friday nights. I know that there is no way this can be true but in my head we got pizza exclusively on Friday nights when I was growing up. Served with apple slices and carrot sticks of course. No way my Momma was going to let us eat just pizza for dinner.

Thinking this much about pizza obviously left me with a craving for it and with the gluten free issue in mind I decided to make a quick cauliflower pizza crust. Whoever thought of this idea is a genius. You basically “rice” the cauliflower in the food processor, microwave it, mix in an egg and some cheese and form it into a pizza shape. Don’t let me fool you this isn’t going to taste EXACTLY like a pizza crust but it is a surprisingly fantastic alternative.

I read somewhere (I wish I remembered the exact blog so I could link back to it) that if you wring the cooked cauliflower out in a thin dish towel after it has been “riced” that the crust will hold together better. I tried it out this time and what a difference it made!

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

1 small head Cauliflower

2 egg whites

½ cup low-fat mozzarella cheese

½ teaspoon oregano

Black pepper (to taste)

Cut cauliflower into small pieces and put into food processor until “riced.” Basically this means it looks like sand. Place riced cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 6-8 minutes. Let cool slightly. Place cooked cauliflower into a thin dishrag or cheese cloth and wring until almost all water has been removed. Mix in the egg whites, cheese, oregano, and black pepper until fully incorporated. Pat into a ball and shape into a circle on a greased/parchment paper lined cookie sheet until it is about a ½ inch thick. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and slightly firm to the touch.

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Top the pizza with your sauce, topping, and cheese of choice and bake until hot and cheese is melted. I topped mine with zucchini, chicken sausage and mozzarella.

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I won’t even embarrass myself by telling you how much of this I ate. While it wasn’t exactly like my childhood pizza memories, the faux version still hit the spot.

Oh and quick tip. When you are wringing the water out of the cauliflower don’t be impatient like me and actually wait for it to cool. If you don’t you will have some very red hands from all of the steam and hot water…just saying.

Quick Waylon update. Look at how big my little boy is getting already! This was right after a bath that I had to give him post his recent puppy play date.

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He has the most soulful eyes. I can’t wait to see him grow even more over these next few months.

Little Waylon, 2 Ingredient Pancakes, and Father’s Day

What a crazy few weeks it has been! Last weekend I was in Houston for my cousin’s high school graduation with my momma’s side of the family. We don’t see them nearly enough and they are all growing up so fast! The baby cousin on that side is going to be in high school next year and all of these life events are making me feel very, very old. Never a dull moment with my crazy beautiful family!

The day after I flew back from Texas I drove up to Cincinnati to pick up my little Waylon! He has been such a little nugget every since I brought him home and I have loved having him here.

 

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Having a puppy is 100% just like having a baby.  He wakes me up in the middle of the night because he has to use the bathroom and you have to watch them ALWAYS. Although that part really isn’t so hard because he follows me everywhere.

 

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He has adjusted well but whenever I am out of his sight he has a minor (read: major) meltdown. Even when I am in the shower he has to stick his little face around the shower curtain to make sure he can see me. This of course means he gets water all over his face so I have been walking out of the shower to a very wet faced puppy these days. But it is such an adorable little face.

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I mean…right?

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He is slowly starting to gain some independence though and I know it will be much harder to keeps tabs on him once he does. He is already 17 pounds at just 10 weeks so no doubt he is going to be a big boy. A giant Goldendoodle teddy bear of course.

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This weekend I took it easy and hung out with little Waylon so he could have time to adjust to being here. We went to Centennial Park on Saturday to meet up with some of my friends. Nashville’s Centennial Park has a concert series every Saturday during the summer and it is a dog friendly good time. Waylon loved it and I think it helped him to get over some of his shyness.

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Our full day of activities tuckered this little guy right out.

This morning as part of my taking it easy routine, I made the “two ingredient protein pancakes” that have been circulating around on Pinterest for quite some time now. How did we find out about any cool new things before Pinterest? I know my pinning obsessed Momma will be able to tell you that there was a void in her life before I showed her the gloriousness that is Pinterest.

Anyway these pancakes are so ridiculously easy you would almost believe it was impossible to turn these two ingredients into pancakes. It is just one mashed banana and one egg. That’s it. You whip it all up and pour it onto a skillet like pancake batter and then give ‘em a flip when they are ready. There are hundreds of variations you can do with this which is why I knew I would like them when I saw them for the first time.

Today I did a mashed banana, two egg whites (instead of one egg), 1 tbs. flaxseed meal, a dash of cinnamon and a splash of vanilla. I poured the batter out onto the skillet and threw some blueberries on top while they were cooking.

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So tasty and so healthy.

Today is, of course, also Father’s Day!  I wish that I could be with my Daddy today but he will be visiting Nashville with the rest of my family soon enough and we will have a giant celebration then. But Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful Daddy! A man who has always believed in me and helped me through decisions that he sometimes doesn’t 100% agree with. A man who supports me no matter what and gives the best advice. The smartest, kindest, funniest man I know. A man who has set my standards for what a man should be so unbelievably high that I am starting to think I will never find someone who measures up. I love you Daddy and I can’t wait to see you in a few weeks!

Blueberry Banana Polenta Muffins

How is it June already? Seriously. Time is a-flyin’ and while I love that it is summertime once again I don’t know that I am on board with the speed that life seems to be on these days. At least it is summer!

I was out of town this past weekend visiting with my college roommates celebrating one of their birthdays. It was fantastic to see them as always. This year was the first year that the four of us have lived in different cities and it is making the reunions harder to coordinate. I miss these girls terribly and wish that we lived closer so I could see them more often.

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One thing I discovered this weekend when I was travelling back to Nashville…airports do not do gluten free well. I scoured the terminal that I was in for any options and short of some dried fruit and a Kind bar there was really nothing. I will most certainly start planning that out better because I was one hungry girl when we landed back in Nashville.

Another thing that I have been struggling with lately with my new gluten free diet is quick breakfasts. I always need to eat breakfast (I wake up crazy hungry everyday…lets be serious I’m pretty much always hungry) but more often than not I wake up too late to make myself anything. I barely fly out the door in time, let alone have any time to make an actual meal. Back in the good ‘ol days (pre gluten free) I would stop somewhere quick and get a breakfast sandwich and call it a morning. Not the healthiest of options but I tried to make it as light as possible (Starbucks has some FANTASTIC lower cal/low fat sandwiches) but obviously this is no longer an option. I have been finding myself scrambling to make something to eat before I walk out the door and I have been thinking about fast and easy and yet still healthy options to have around the house for mornings like this.

I’m not a huge cereal fan because eat WAY too much in one sitting and it never seems to fill me up enough. Unless I eat a minimum of four bowls and that is just not the way breakfast is supposed to go. Fruit is always a good option but this hungry girl needs more than just that in the morning. One thing that I have been doing for a long time (even pre gluten free) is crock pot oatmeal. Thankfully I can still eat oats (as long as they are certified gluten free to avoid the cross contamination that is in regular oats) and that is always a good option.

I put everything in the crockpot the night before and in the morning…oatmeal! I got a small crockpot for this purpose alone and I LOVE it. It always turns out deliciously creamy and I can just put it into a container on my way out the door and eat a delicious bowl of oats at my desk in the morning. I’ll post some of my recipe variations for this at some point because there are many.

I also have those fantastic overnight oats I posted here as a quick fix option. But lets be real…a girl can only eat so many oats in one week.

This has led me to try and find other options. I was searching around for some polenta recipes for dinner the other night and I came across something called polenta cake. The whole polenta concept is new to me. I mean I have always known what it was and have had it at restaurants from time to time but I have never really looked at it as a valid option in my house.

Anyway I clicked on the polenta cake recipe and let me tell you it looked DELICIOUS. It was a high sugar, high oil polenta cake recipe but the concept really got me thinking. Lightened up polenta cake muffins would most likely freeze very well, making them a fantastic grab and go option for my crazy mornings. And so the recipe writing half of my brain got to thinking about it and came up with this…

Banana Blueberry Polenta Muffins

1 cup of Gluten Free Flour “all purpose” flour

¾ cup of Polenta/Cornmeal

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Baking Soda

½ teaspoon xanthan gum

1/4 tsp Salt

3 medium Bananas, mashed

1/4 cup Honey

1/3 cup Applesauce

1/3 cup plain greek yogurt

2 tablespoons milk of choice (I used almond milk)

1 ½ cups blueberries

Preheat oven to 350°F

Prepare muffin tins or line muffin tins. In a bowl combine the flour, polenta, baking powder, baking soda,xanthan gum, and salt. In another bowl mash the banana and mix in the honey, applesauce, milk, and yogurt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until combined. Stir in blueberries. Divide into muffins tins (about 3/4 full). Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Test with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.

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They turned out to be delicious and I can’t wait to see how they hold up in the freezer. I’ll be sure to keep you updated.

Side note…I just went back and re-read this post and I sound like I eat my weight in food. I really eat a very healthy and balanced diet with normal healthy portions. But that being said…there is no denying that I love me some food.

Less than a week until I pick up little Waylon!!! I set up his crate yesterday and it is HUGE. Stay tuned for an overkill amount of photos. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Here are a few to start it all off that the breeder sent over to me.

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I mean that face…I can’t even.

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Next time I post I will have this little guy home with me. Hope everyone has a great week!