Hi! It’s been a busy week around here. I had last Tuesday off from work which I initially hated but ended up LOVING. A long weekend is great but a mid-week day off increases my productivity exponentially! Errands are a lot more fun when they aren’t taking up your weekend. On my day off I slept in (marginally), took Renly for a run (exercise!), made myself pancakes (healthy pancakes but that still counts), went to vote (America!), shopped for a few early Christmas gifts (HoHoHo), prepped dinner early (so nice) AND baked and individually bagged 168 cookies (you read that right, 168). Like I said, busy!
Why would I bake and bag 168 cookies you may ask? Why for wedding welcome bags of course! Two of my sweet friends tied the knot yesterday! Having just been a bride this past June I KNOW how much it takes to pull off a wedding (unless you have an unlimited budget to hire someone to do it all for you…I DON’T know what that is like but I can imagine it’s pretty great and stress-free). I made the mistake of trying to do way too much myself before the big day. So my advice to future brides is the same as I gave my friends…delegate, delegate, delegate. When people ask if they can help, take them up on it! You shouldn’t be baking 168 cookies the week of your wedding, let your friends do it! I was more than happy to help with this task and I’m so glad they let me so that they could move on to more important things, like soaking in all those fun last moments of engagement before it get’s really real! Eeeek, just thinking about that excitement makes me nostalgic for my own wedding. And before you roll your eyes at me, I’m STILL a newlywed so I’m allowed to be sappy and romantic when I reminisce ( I hope I always am ). Their wedding was absolutely perfect, beautiful and FUN, congratulations Addison and Andy! And since it was in Hilton Head Robert and I got to host some of our college friends who were attending, always a blast!
Another thing I did during this busy week falls under the category of Laurin’s Top 5 Favorite Things Ever To Do In Life: Plan. Confession: I am not one of the rare breed known as a “spontaneous person”. I like a schedule, I like to know what the day/week/month holds and I REALLY love lists. For years I have tried to fight my Type A-ness and work on “flying by the seat of my pants” but I.just.can’t.do.it. I was born a planner and I will always be a planner. Time to admit it and embrace it, as my best friend Anna says, “Type A’s make the world go round!”. I may not be the friend you call at the last-minute for a trip to the beach, but I am that friend that if given notice will happily show up to the beach with a fully stocked beach bag, drinks and homemade snacks
So what was I planning? Well my favorite thing to plan…a trip! I have been itching to go somewhere and Robert has some time off between Christmas and New Years so we are going to California! Neither of us have ever been and California has long been on our list of places we would like to travel to in the US. Other front-runners on that list are Chicago and Texas. Chicago seemed way too cold to do in December and my parents love San Antonio so Texas might be a trip we save to do with them, so California it is!
Right now we are planning to fly into LA, spend two days there and then rent a car to drive up the coast to Carmel where we will spend the night, see Pebble Beach the next day and then drive on to San Francisco for 4 days. In true Type A fashion I bought a Fodor’s Travel Guide to California book (LOVE those things) and have been scouring trip advisor/yelp/etc. to create our itinerary….complete with color coded check in/out times/prices/hours/directions for each stop and attraction along the way. I know, try not to judge, it’s a sickness. I still have to book out hotel for San Francisco and decide if it’s necessary to keep the rental car or if we can navigate the city mostly by foot/bike or the occasional taxi. I am leaning towards turning the car in as soon as we get there and hoofing it. I think the best way to truly see a city is on foot, you notice so many more unique spots than you do trying to navigate in a car to a specific destination.
Needless to say I am REALLY excited. Not only do I love to travel and am dying to see California, but this will also be the first real trip Robert and I have planned and taken together other than our honeymoon. He likes to travel but doesn’t quite share my thirst for it, hopefully this trip will give him the bug! If anyone has recommendations or suggestions for must do’s from LA to San Francisco, please share!
Ok, so I don’t leave you with a post only about what a crazy planner I am, I am sharing my go-to protein pancakes recipe. This is a slow Saturday breakfast for one (me) when Robert is sleeping in or already out the door for one reason or another. He loves pancakes but these are some he always refers to as, “good but I can tell they are healthy”. Over the years as I have cleaned up my diet I have come to firmly believe that your tastes shift drastically as you eat better. Things that I used to love often taste like “too much” now and I find myself preferring my own lightened versions. I have also built up a spinach tolerance like you wouldn’t believe….where I once used to sprinkle a few leaves of it into a smoothie, I can now pretty much blend an entire bag in and think it’s totally normal (and delicious) to drink what looks like grass clippings. Normally, I stick a handful of spinach into this pancake recipe and enjoy them Dr. Seuss style…but since green pancakes are really not pretty to look at, I left the spinach out of this batch. But if you are weird like me and into that sort of thing, give it a try, you really can’t taste it amongst the other ingredients and it’s never a bad idea to start your morning with an extra serving of veggies. Especially veggies disguised as banana protein pancakes
Easy Protein Pancakes For One
1 Ripe Banana
1/4 Cup of Old Fashioned Oats
1/4 Cup of Plain non-fat Greek Yogurt
1/4 tsp. of Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp. of Cinnamon
Handful of Spinach (totally optional)
1. Blend all ingredients in blender until batter forms (especially if you add the spinach, do NOT mix these by hand..yuck)
2. Heat griddle or pan over medium heat and grease with a spritz of cooking spray or a swipe of butter
3. Once pan is hot, add 1/4 cup of batter to pan (about 3 inches wide)
4. Once pancakes begin to bubble, flip carefully and cook for another minute. These pancakes will be much thinner than normal so flip carefully!
5. Top with desired toppings and enjoy! My personal favorites are a touch of maple syrup, nut butter and slices almonds, blueberries or additional banana slices are also delicious.
How do you like your protein pancakes? Any California trip planning tips? Please share!