Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dontcha wanna, wanna Matcha... pancakes!?

I present you with "Matcha Green Tea Protein Pancakes, now say that ten times fast.(; Oh, wait the best part is they're HEALTHY!(:

So every morning I have a BIG ole cup of green tea. I prefer to get the jumbo box of Matcha Green Tea bags from Costco, it's Kirkland (Costco) brand. Regardless of what I have for breakfast, I always have my green tea. In fact, I've usually gulped gracefully sipped it all while making our breakfasts. 

We recently got some Gotcha Matcha Green Tea Powder and obsessed is an extreme understatement. Thanks Mama for the recommendation. Side note: I used to frequently order Starbucks' Skinny Green Tea Lattes... Well, though "skinny" means they used a sugar-free vanilla syrup to pump in it and fat free milk, the matcha powder they used was pre-mixed with the dreaded ingredient: straight up white sugar. #wompwomp Obviously that was the end of those for me. My relationship with Skinny Caramel Macchiatos is still very loyal... and truly skinny.(; Anyway. This Gotcha Matcha is purely just the tea, no sugar or additives. Now that you're officially wondering if I'm ever getting to a point, or more importantly a recipe for these pancakes, I am. Be patient young grasshoppa! hahaha, that's funny, because the pancakes are green, and so are grasshoppers, and well you get how this comes full circle with green tea right? 

Back on track, so I've been using the matcha powder in my smoothies all day, every day. When, finally, the light bulb went off; HELLO, USE THIS STUFF IN PANCAKES. AND BAKING. AND EVERYTHING IN LIFE! So I did, and it went like this... (brand I use/you can choose your own, though I always recommend stuff with real ingredients, no sugar, or any other additive junk!) 

-1/2 cup oats (Quaker Old Fashioned) 

-1/2 ripe banana 

-1 egg 

-1/4 cup almond milk (Silk Original) 

-1/2 scoop protein (Muscle Milk Vanilla 100% Whey, you can omit.)

-1 heaping teaspoon matcha powder (more or less depending on your love for the flavor & I use Gotcha Matcha.)

Mix it all in whatever blending device you have: food processor, vitamix, blender, etc. It won't work by hand mixing, you need something violent strong enough to pulse the oats into a fine flour like consistency. 

Heat pan to medium/6.5 and melt coconut oil (my preference over butter, but whatever melts in your pan, man.) and cook like normal pancakes (stoves vary) but you know when it starts to bubble; flip. Now the batter will be vibrant green, but you do want them to be a bit golden once that side is done, to make sure they're cooked. They're a bit more moist than typical pancakes, so don't be alarmed, just make sure it's not liquid inside. 

I alternated drizzling, okay slathering almond butter (Maranatha All Natural) and Mango Greek yogurt (Chobani) between the layers and paired it with kiwi, pineapple, and strawberries... Because for some reason I was feeling extra tropical. I want to be a mermaid at the beach! Then I graced it's presence topped it with a bit of (Bark Thins) Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Bark. Because well, I try to put that stuff on everything! 

There you have it, a home run of a recipe. I am aware that the chocolate has sugar/cocoa butter/other fatty goodness, however, it's dark, so it's actually on the top ten healthiest foods for you list. Also, everything in moderation, except almond butter, I pour that stuff on! The pancakes themselves, other toppings and fruit are all healthy, so a bit of a treat on top won't kill you. You can obviously omit it, if you're suffering miserably on a completely sugar free diet. 

It makes about 6-7 smaller cakes. The pancakes themselves are 352 cals, 9.9g fat, 43.2g carbs, and 26.6g protein. They're a great fueling breakfast pre-workout, and see boom! chocolate part taken care of!(;

Bon appetit!(: 

ps. If you've never had/heard of Matcha Green Tea/Powder, it's still your favorite green tea leaves, but you get all of them, instead of just steeping the ground leaves in water through a bag, you get all of the leaf ground into a fine powder. Meaning, all of those fantastic benefits you get from green tea to the power of like a billion. The taste is much better too, it almost has a sweet creaminess to it. And if nothing else, the vibrant color is gorgeous! It's incredible and you should definitely invest in some!(: 

pdoubles. I was not endorsed to promote any of these brands, but wouldn't say no if they wanted to send me free stuff!(; I truly just love and use these products. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


First and foremost, we woke up forgiven, which is what it's truly about. Jesus beared the cross for us, so we could live and be forgiven. And that, is what matters most. So thank you Lord, for giving your life for us, for your forgiveness, and for this beautiful life you've blessed us with.

We started our day with some bunny pancakes, because well obviously. After which, we got dolled up in our Sunday's finest, and headed out the door to Starbucks church. Okay, I admit there was a coffee stop beforehand, but I firmly believe Jesus would have loved espresso. I mean, I think my caramel macchiatos are pretty heavenly. 

We (Brooklynn and I; Travis was out of town until that afternoon) met my father-in-law, step-mom-in-law, sister-in-law, and two little half-sisters-in-law, (but we just call them Jeff, Stacy, Kelby, Olivia, and Vivian) at church. It was a great service, and though we spent a majority of it quietly being entertained by Brooklynn making friends (passing her Peter Rabbit and offering envelope to the people behind us, and waving to all.) She was quiet though, and we still took away from the sermon nonetheless. Without The Lord and his sacrifice, we wouldn't be here. There would be no life. There would be no point. But because of Him and his love, we get to live. Beautiful lives at that, and even when there are trials and tribulations, nothing is hopeless. He was resurrected, he did the "impossible", and for that nothing is impossible and there is always hope. We are forgiven, by His grace. A specific part of church that filled me with overwhelming love and joy, was the worship. I held Brooklynn, as we stood and sang, and I felt so close to God. She buried her head in my neck, and we swayed together, and I was (and always am) so grateful for The Lord forgiving me, entrusting me, enough to bless me with our incredible daughter. Despite my sins, He had given me the most precious gift. It was an emotional, but such a joyous experience. 

After church we went to brunch at the country club. My two little sisters had a ball in the egg hunt, I can't wait for next year when B can participate. Oh to see her chunky little thighs waddle after some treats (that I won't let her eat, because I'm the meanest mom ever, and want her healthy.(; Don't worry, I'll have a back up stash with things I approve.) There was a petting zoo as well, which I would have loved to let Brooklynn play at, but she slept through the duration of their time there, and I wasn't going to wake a sleeping baby... Even for a precious photo op. I did manage to get a snap of this beauty though...

She did wake up in time to get a picture with the Easter Bunny. Okay, let's be honest no kids are reading this so... What. Even. With this bunny? Every other child was terrified by him, but not our brave girl. Personally, I think he looked like something from an eighties music video. It very well could have been this guy hopping around in place of the cat/tiger in Billie Jean, am I right? Anyway. She liked him, so yay for not having a kiddo afraid of characters.(: haha. 

Following brunch, we (Brooklynn, Kelby, and I) headed over to Grandma Louise's (step-grandma-in-law on hubby's mom's side) for Easter dinner. Travis had landed right before and was able to meet us there. The kids (little-half-brother-in-law and cousins) enjoyed an egg hunt in the backyard and even shared their empty  eggs with Brooklynn. B got a bunch of sweet goodies in her basket; books, a puzzle, baby wash & lotion, raisins, stuffed bunnies, and a Peter Rabbit-in-the-box. She loved it all and had a blast watching and playing with the big kids. 

At Louise's, all of the adults get their own basket too. She is so incredibly kind, and pays attention and remembers the details of what everyone likes. My first Easter as part of the family, she didn't know me as well and got me a basket full of typical Easter candy (which isn't something I enjoy, but of course I didn't say anything, and was very thankful nonetheless). Well, she noticed I was giving my candy to my little brother and asked "You don't like candy? Tell me what you want in your basket each year! Please, I want to get you what you like!" I didn't want to seem particular and said what she had done was great, but she insisted. So finally, we discussed that I like almonds, dark chocolate, and tea... This was my basket this year. 

She does this for everyone in the family; picks out the things they love and remembers down to every last detail, pretty spry for eighty-three. I just had to share, because I'm utterly impressed with the thoughtfulness she has for all of us. Thank you Grandma Louise!

The day was filled with family, food, love, and joy, all thank you to our amazing God!<333 We hope you all had a wonderful Easter too!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter Basket

Oh jumping jelly beans (though you won't find any in this basket) I'm so joyous and excited for Easter!

Brooklynn is fifteen months old and this will be her second Easter. I couldn't contain my excitement to build her Easter basket, so I got started at the end of  February a little early.(; So, being that she is fifteen months and not quite walking yet (we're hoping the starts hopping for the Easter egg hunts!), there weren't a lot of things marketed towards her; she's not quite ready for chalk or bubbles, but she's past the bunny rattles and duck teethers too. We also haven't allowed her to have sugar or really any junk, so filling it with candy was out of the question! So I had to think outside the basket, errr box, you know what I mean. Also, something I've learned about myself from motherhood, (believe me the list is a thousand pages long) is that I enjoy stuffed animals that are a little less typical, or if they're going to be your everyday teddy bears and bunnies, that they have some sort of unique flair to them. No offense to the more common ones, we still love them, I just look for original fellas when shopping for B. So here it is, a breakdown of the goodies for our sweet girl...

"Tickle, Tickle, Peter" book:
Brooklynn loves touch and feel books, and who doesn't love good ole Peter Rabbit?

Sparkling Baton:
Because I may or may not have played with it for a few fascinating minutes in the store, Brooklynn loves all things glittery and colorful. Bonus: it gives her something else to play the drums on things with.(;

Duckling Plate:
Because you've got to have festive dishes for all of the Easter yummies to come. 

Bunny Cup:
And the plate wouldn't be complete, without this adorable bunny to drink from. 

"Bunnies" book:
Because I couldn't pass up "a Golden Book" book, my childhood nostalgia made me do it, that and the adorable guy on the front. 

Light Up Ball:
She picked this one out herself while were shopping. She kept pointing at it saying "ba" "ba", and well it's perfectly pink/purple and cute, how could I not? Thank you Target dollar spot.

"Turtles Take Their Time" book & "Follow That Bee" book:
While shopping for her Valentine's presents, I discovered these sweet little books, yet again a win for the Target dollar spot. They seemed like a perfect spring time fit. 

Bunny Socks:
I mean, obviously! She also happened to get a pair last year, so I'm thinking tradition! 

"Peekawho" book:
Because she loves flip books just as much as touch and feel. The characters in it are just too stinking cute too!

Pastel Dinosaur & Speckled Unicorn:
These would be the previously mentioned "not so typical" stuffed toys. I mean everyone expects a stuffed bunny at Easter, just trying to keep her on her itty bitty toes. Plus, I think I managed to get enough bunny action in there with the other stuff. And, if that's not enough, check out how incredibly adorable and Easter colored they are! Don't worry, she'll still know it's the Easter Bunny that brings the treats, not like a zebra or anything.

Well there you have it. I certainly enjoyed creating it for her and can't wait to see her hoppy, I mean happy face light up at all her new treasure!(:

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fifteen Months!

15 months... WHAT?!
Her next appointment is this month, so I'll get back to you on measurements, but she's definitely getting heavier. My arms are getting tired, and that's saying something, because this Mama lifts. That molar I mentioned last time has come all the way in, and is helping her to chow down even more food. She's able to wear quite a bit more in the 12-18 months category, without being completely swallowed by them.
Favorite foods:
She's still our super eater, and continues to love everything we've previously written about here and here, and that's pretty much what her diet consists of. Meat, beans of any kind, sweet potatoes, strawberries, blueberries, oatmeal, Geek yogurt, hummus, and salsa seem to be inhaled the quickest. She certainly knows what she wants, and when she's hungry she is on a mission. That's when her 'tude really comes out. She will scream politely request food until you give her a bite. We end up forfeiting letting her just feed herself, regardless of the mess, because it's better than the fit. ha.
Least favorite foods:
She stopped eating the actual flesh of mango, but goes to town on the peel? Weirdo. I don't know if this counts as "least", because she doesn't have it, but we still avoid sugar, white wheat flour, processed junk, and most dairy.
Look who's talking:
She's repeated us saying a couple things recently, but then won't do it again when we try, go figure. So she's said "besuuu" (bless you), "esspees" (yes please), "li" (light and lion), and "uvlu" (love you). She's definitely saying "mama" more often, which melts my heart. Then there's "NO!" which is accompanied with the cutest little pout face and adamant head shake. Little stinker. I'm not sure where little miss gets her sass, Mama certainly isn't a diva. We try our best to say "not for baby" or "please don't" or "not nice" as opposed to just "no", yet she's got the word down pat. Here we go...
Favorite things:
She still loves all of the things mentioned in Thirteen Month Faves and Fourteen Month Faves. She's also a huge fan of making toys out of things that aren't actually toys... you know slamming cupboards, clanking pans, the dog's water bowl, basically anything she can get her hands on an throw and bang around. When they say the kid loves the box more than the toy inside, they're not lying. For the record, I don't know who "they" is.
Favorite activities:
Being an adventurer; she is constantly crawling, cruising, and climbing around at the speed of light. Opening all cupboards and drawers (latches and locks are where they need to be.), and pulling everything out of them. She follows us from room to room, and gets a big kick out of it when "she finds Mama or Daddy!" She still loves just going to town with her toys, both with us and by herself. Story time is definitely still a favorite too, again in our laps or reading to herself. Bath time is still a big hit too and she's learning to brush her teeth with us. Of course, going to basketball games is one of the best things ever. As you may have seen in our post here, she absolutely loved the swings! Most of all, she loves to spend time with us, she's definitely a love bug that would take being in our arms over anything, and we wouldn't have it any other way.(:
Least favorite activities:
Still NOT a fan of diaper changes, having her hands and face wiped clean, or getting in her car seat. We've also hit the toddler stage I think, because she doesn't like being told "no" or "not for baby", she tries to test the waters and when we tell her not to, at first she lets out a half-wimper-half-smile thing, which is so cute you want to let her get away with it that she's trying to see if you'll laugh or stay stern. Once she hears no again, she usually starts to cry and it's so sad, but does fortunately stop whatever it was she was doing. She also doesn't like to sleep much, and pretty much only falls asleep in my arms or sometimes a long car ride, that's okay though, because I love her snuggles and I can catch up on zzz's in later years.
Signature moves and skills:
She's a speedy little one; crawling, cruising, and climbing at the speed of light. She's definitely got the coordination and skill to walk, as she proves when slamming pushing her walker toys around the house, she just needs to learn she can let go and do it on her own. We're really hoping she decides to do it in time for Easter and the egg hunts to ensue. She has THE CUTEST laugh, and I'm not just bias, that naturally sends everyone else into giggle fits too. It's a crinkled nose, big grin, with laughs that range from sweet little giggles to gremlin cackles, with a full on snort here and there too. She's always amused and proud of her actions, we are too, so it happens a lot. Still clapping, waving, pointing, dancing, nodding yes and no, and high fiving all the time. A newer thing she does, is tilt her head to the side and lean on something and shake her shoulders back and forth when we say "do you love your [insert toy/person/etc] here?" It's absolutely precious. She also really likes to share her toys, and playing pass it back and forth, saying "taay-uu" (thank you) as she does. What a polite little kiddo. She tends to stand on one leg and extend the other to the front, side, or back... my little ballerina in the making. A couple baby genius moments happened when she mimicked us by dipping her veggies in the salsa with the scoop motion and everything then feeding herself. As well as now being able to identify things in a picture, like "where is the dog?" and she points to it in the book.
Mom's proudest moment:
Well, let's just say I've come to the realization I need to lose my sailor mouth choose my wording better, she hasn't repeated anything, but I need to nip it in the bud now. Oopsies.
Dad's proudest moment:
If you could hear the conversation we just had...
Me: "Honey, have you done anything dumb this past month, you know like "dad's proudest moment" type stuff?"
Him: "No way, I'm perfect! What're you talking about lady?"
...Thinking he's perfect, that'll work. haha. I kid, he truly is an incredible father.<3
Baby girl, you are our sunshine on a cloudy day. Each day that goes by, you add something new and adorable to your repertoire and we can't get enough. Your brilliance is proven over and over, through all your baby genius moves, your sweet heart shows in all of your kisses and cuddles, your amazing personality shines in all of your goofy bits. Words really can't express how much happiness you bring us. We love you to the moon and back Brooklynn Rose.<333