Peanut Butter Protein Balls & An Announcement

Yikes! No blog posts in over a month! I am feigning shock because lets be honest, this happens every summer (insert emoji with the grimmacing face here). Life is always busy but it seems to get infinitely busier when the weather is warm and despite school being out, I always seem to find myself with less ‘free’ time than ever. One of my goals for the coming year is going to be getting serious about practicing the art of saying “no”. That and more organization. Always more organization 😉

So why don’t we begin with a life update. Here’s a little of what I’ve been up to over the past month, besides not writing blog posts of course: In June, school ended, I put on a yearly event for the non-profit I work with (our biggest yet!), we attended two out of town weddings, Robert and I celebrated our three year anniversary with a fancy dinner out and a weekend getaway to Sea Island, Ga. (I hope to recap that little trip here soon) AND our favorite aunt and uncle officially moved to Hilton Head (Welcome Vanessa and John)!

John and Vanessa

In July, my whole family visited for the 4th, Robert’s whole family visited for a party at his aunts, we moved a LOT of furniture around (our house, friends houses, families houses…and by we I mean Robert), we hosted 3 dinner parties, had two sets of friends come stay for the weekend and a surprise visit from my grandparents. And that’s just the fun stuff!

4th

So now it is officially August and I am trying to get back on track, with blogging and with life in general, for now.

I say for now because there is still one big change that has added to life’s ‘busy-ness’ that I’ve yet to mention; as of this week I am officially 4 months pregnant.

Since discovering we were expecting again I have experienced a whole range of emotions; excitement, terror, awe, immense worry, sweet relief, an odd sense of guilt, pure unadulterated joy. You name it, I’ve experienced it at one time or another over the last few months. Losing a baby, especially your first pregnancy, changes your experience, or at least it did for me. Despite my best efforts, I worried through the first 11 weeks. I hoped that passing the point which we got to with our last pregnancy would calm my fears, and in a way it did, but I’d be lying if I said the worry didn’t creep back in…daily. Over the last few weeks, thanks to the passage of time, a finally visible baby bump and some scriptural words of wisdom I feel like I am finally turning a corner. I’m not yet at the point of visualizing a nursery, but I have begun to say, “when the baby comes” instead of ‘if’ the baby comes. It is both a scary and exciting time, and more than anything I am very, very happy.

ingredients

I am also very hungry. I typically have a hearty appetite but being A. pregnant and B. home for summer exacerbates it immensely. I tend to eat more if the food is close at hand so when I have access to my fridge all day long instead of only before and after work, I find myself opening it frequently. I consider myself to be a generally healthy eater, but if I don’t have something quick and healthy to grab when a hunger pang strikes, I have been known to substitute with a few bites of ice cream. Also don’t ask me to define “a few” when it comes to ice cream. I mean really.

Enter peanut butter protein balls. These perfectly fit the bill for quick and easy. They are also equally as tasty and definitely a lot better for you than ice cream. I got this particular recipe from a friend but as with any “ball” recipe, it is endlessly customizable. Sometimes I add coconut, or cinnamon, or whatever else I have on hand that will mix in well. So feel free to swap ingredients in and out as you see fit.

So with that, I leave you with these final thoughts: I’m going to try to start blogging more regularly again (and re-claiming some ‘free’ time while I still can), I hope you enjoy these protein balls and if you are the praying sort (or even just the finger crossing sort), say one for our little one ❤

Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Ingredients:

1 Cup Old Fashioned Oatmeal

1/2 Cup Peanut Butter (I actually use almond butter so any nut butter works)

1/2 Cup Ground Flaxseed

1/3 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips

1/3 Cup Honey

1 tsp Vanilla

Optional: chopped nuts, shredded unsweetened coconut, cinnamon, almond extract, etc.

Directions:

  1. Stir all ingredients together thoroughly. I find it easiest to add the chocolate chips and any other chunky mix-ins last and fold them in.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
  3. Roll into 1-1.5 inch balls. Keep refrigerated in an air tight container and enjoy at will! They will keep for at least a month in the fridge but I doubt yours will last that long 😉

 

Simple Summer Lunch: Sweet Pepper Tuna Poppers

Happy Thursday! I am so excited for the weekend, who’s with me? I LOVE the 4th of July! I mean come on, who doesn’t love to celebrate our beautiful country and sweet freedom by dressing up in flag themed apparel, eating red white and blue themed everything and spending time with friends and family at your closest beach/lake/pool/backyard? AND you get a day off from work? Hallelujah, America you sure are beautiful.

4th 2014 4th Cookie

Robert and I have spent the last few “Fourths” with my family either at my grandparent’s beach house in North Carolina or my aunt and uncle’s in Florida. Both are two of my very favorite places, but it was high time we spent an Independence Day here in Hilton Head.  My sister had to work since she took off for our Chicago trip a few weeks ago, but my parents agreed to come here for the weekend and are getting in tonight, I can’t wait! Next year my goal will definitely be to have all of us together somewhere sandy!

 4th in FL

I can’t wait to spend time with my parents, and I am almost equally as excited about the gift my mother is bringing… my very own herb pots!  I love to cook with fresh herbs but have never had a lot of luck growing my own on our little back patio. Unfortunately I didn’t inherit a green thumb (or even a green pinkie) from my mother or grandfather who are both avid gardeners. My sweet mama must have finally gotten sick of listening to me complain about the price of fresh herbs because a few months ago she started two big pots full of a variety of herbs for me. Best Gift Ever! I can’t wait to smell them, use them and hopefully not kill them. Fingers crossed! It gets hot down here on the South Carolina coast and I am not always the best at remembering to water….

 Finished Poppers

Second to extra Renly cuddles and waking up an hour later, my favorite thing about having the summer off is no lunchbox. During the school year, to save money and remain mindful, I pack my own lunch for work every day and it gets really, really monotonous. I eat a lot of kale salads and a lot of apple slices and string cheese. And by a lot I mean I eat that every day, literally. I’ve gotten very good at cooking just enough dinner to feed two people so the rare occasion I get to bring leftovers for lunch is a special treat. Sometimes by Friday I’m out of salad and end up eating oatmeal at my desk. My lunch game during the school year is pretty sad so lets not dwell on that. Instead we’ll focus on the beauty of actually cooking lunch during the summer time…hooray!

 Tuna mix

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