Cottage Cheese Pancakes

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Yep – you heard that right – cottage cheese pancakes. And although I normally consider myself much more a waffle girl than a pancake girl, this recipe might be giving my beloved waffles a run for their money. John is a very healthy eater, so I’m always on the lookout for new recipes that are healthy and flavorful. Imagine my delight when I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest (get the directions at The Fountain Avenue Kitchen) for low carb, high protein pancakes! The end result is moist, light, fluffy goodness that pairs great with some maple syrup. Looks like we’ll all be able to have our (pan)cakes and eat them, too!

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Ingredients (I halved the recipe, double this if you need to!)

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (I highly recommend this!)

Recipe instructions found here.
*Note: I used a blender to combine everything. Start by blending cream cheese until smooth, then add all the other ingredients and blend to combine. Add additional flour if needed to thicken the batter.

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John and I both agreed that we’ll be making these pancakes again very soon. With the added cinnamon they almost taste like french toast, which might be why I love them so much. Next time I’d love to top them with strawberries (ok, and some powdered sugar). Also, I tried out Courtney’s tip of using Crisco to grease the pan and it worked great. I definitely recommend giving it a try if you love the outside of your pancakes a little crisper.

What’s your favorite healthy breakfast dish?
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How to wear polka dot jeans (without looking like a 6 year old)

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Top: Target (available in store) | Jeans: Target | Flats: Forever 21 | Bag: Michael Michael Kors (last seen here) | Bracelets: Loft

I’m going to let you in on a little secret – I LOVE edgy fashion trends, but when it comes down to it I almost always shy away from giving them a try. Take leather for example: I couldn’t stop pinning outfits with leather to my pin boards, and I even wrote a post all about leather, but I never invested in any leather pieces for myself. Why? Because I was clueless as to how to wear it and make it fit into my wardrobe. I felt the exact same way about polka dot denim, until I spotted these at my local Target.

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They didn’t originally catch my eye because of their perfection; I was initially intrigued by them because I thought they belonged in the little girls section. The denim was a lighter wash, and the polka dots just reminded me of something I would have worn when I was six. But, I had been swooning over polka dot denim for months (and obsessively pinning polka dot things) so I decided to give them a try. I headed into the fitting room and quickly learned the first rule of polka dot denim: don’t knock it til you try it. Although I was less than impressed with these pants on the hanger, they looked AMAZING on. So, I urge you not to judge your polka dot denim by the hanger alone, try it on instead…you might be surprised!

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As soon as I slipped the jeans on, I learned the second rule of polka dot denim: avoid wearing printed denim with a printed top. But Stephanie, print mixing is HOT right now! I know – but honestly, I haven’t figured print mixing out yet so if you’re new to this I recommend sticking with solid tops. When trying these pants on, I was wearing a striped top, and it was way too much with the printed denim. As soon as I tried on this adorable green blouse, my outfit felt much more polished.

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Lastly, thanks to my new neon cap toe flats (first spotted on Yi-chia at Always Maylee), I discovered the third and final rule of polka dot denim: if you want to make a statement, do so with jewelry or fun shoes. Luckily, I was sporting my new neon cap toe flats when I tried these jeans on and they were the perfect pop of color to complete my outfit. Jewelry and fun shoes are the perfect way to pull your outfit together.

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So, let’s do a quick recap:

  1. Don’t judge polka dot denim based on its hanger appearance alone. Try it on! You’ll probably fall in love.
  2. Don’t pair polka dot denim with a printed top (unless, unlike me, you are super at print mixing).
  3. Use accessories to make a statement. Add a fun pop of color with your shoes or jewelry to give your outfit a little something extra.

What are your outfit-making rules when it comes to polka dot and printed denim?
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PS- John deserves a huge shout out for these pics, and all the outfit post photos on my blog for that matter. John, if you’re reading, I love you! Thanks for putting up with me and always taking photos for me, you’re the best. :)

Take it from a twenty-something: Your parents are more like you than you think

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About a week ago, a friend posted on my Facebook page with a blog post idea. She pointed out how interesting it is to see how our relationship with our parents changes as we get older. Truthfully, this is a post I’ve been thinking of writing for a while because it is one of the biggest changes that has taken place in my transition to adulthood. Although I have always been close with my family, the dynamics of our relationship has changed so much as I’ve started growing up.

When I was in middle school I wanted nothing to do with my parents. We all went through that phase…teenage rebellion, despising our parents, wanting to be out of the house 24/7…but what I have realized as I’ve gotten older is just how much my parents are like me. They have finances to manage, jobs to maintain, relationships to work at, and on top of that they have my sister and I, their kids, to take care of. In truth, my parents and I have a lot more in common than I thought. I think for a lot of us this realization is hard to admit, because there was a point in all of our lives where we thought our parents couldn’t possibly understand us.

The truth is, our parents were twenty-somethings once too. They graduated college, had to find jobs, had relationship troubles and financial struggles too. Everything we’re going through now, our parents have been there done that. As I’ve gotten older and started to understand this, I’ve found that I look at my parents as peers and friends much more than I look at them as mom and dad. And that’s what is so great to me about having a strong relationship with my parents – I get all the benefits of “mom” and “dad” but I have some amazing friends, too.

Mom isn’t just “mom” anymore, she’s also my best friend. I’ve confided in her hundreds of times, and she’s always been there to listen to me. Now, it’s my turn to return the favor. She’s listened to my triumphs and problems my whole life, so of course I owe it to her to give back what she has so graciously offered me. I’ve found it has only made our relationship with each other stronger and more wholesome. What’s even more important is that I’m glad to be that person she can really open up to. I am more open with both of my parents now than I ever have been in my life, and in return they treat me with the same level of openness.

So I leave you with this: not only is it important to make the transition and realize your parents can in fact be your friends, but it’s also vital to focus on forming and maintaining a positive relationship with them. Some of the best advice I’ve gotten has been from my own parents, and hey, they have been through all this twenty-something nonsense after all, so who better to confide in than someone who’s been there before?

What are your views on this? Forever “mom” and “dad,” or are you developing adult friendships with your parents too?
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5 Movie Inspired Valentine’s Date ideas (that won’t make you go broke)

Happy Valentine’s Day! From the time I was in elementary school setting out my decorated shoebox to collect valentines from classmates to last years romantic steakhouse date with my love, I’ve always been a fan of this holiday. I know there are people out there who will argue that it’s a hallmark holiday, or that you should celebrate the love you have with your significant other everyday, but to me there’s something fun about having an entire day dedicated to celebrating love. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can sometimes be easy to put romance on the backburner, so Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to remind all the special people in your life how much they mean to you.

One of my favorite bloggers, Alyssa, recently put together a super clever post about love lessons to be learned from 90s movies, and it inspired me to put together a budget friendly list of date night ideas inspired by dates in movies. While going out to a fancy restaurant is nice, why not mix things up a bit this year and opt for something a little different?

Sex-City-Carrie-Big_3201. Stay in and cook together. As a girl, getting dressed up to go on a date is one of my favorite things, but just because you aren’t going to a fancy restaurant this year doesn’t mean you can’t dress to the nines! Plan a full course meal to cook at home with your boyfriend/girlfriend, put on your favorite LBD and get to cooking! Set the mood with some music and candles – who needs that fancy restaurant anyway? Thanks Carrie and Big from SATC for the inspiration!

2003_elf_0042. Explore what your city has to offer. One of my favorite date scenes is when Will Ferrell “Buddy” and Zooey Deschanel “Jovie” go on their first date in the movie Elf. From tasting the “world’s best cup of coffee” to ice skating, window shopping and running through revolving doors their first date is all about exploring and having fun together. Challenge yourself to discover great things to do together in your city that won’t cost you a penny.

The-Notebook-the-notebook-11010713-700-4643. Be spontaneous (and dance like nobody’s watching). It isn’t fair to talk about Valentine’s Day and romantic movies without mentioning The Notebook – so grab your man, head to the nearest intersection and dance like nobody’s watching. Sometimes the most memorable moments of a date are the ones you weren’t expecting at all.

becauseisaidso4. Have a good old fashioned movie night. Grab some popcorn, cozy up on the couch and watch that movie you’ve both been dying to see but haven’t had the time to rent. Restaurants are always packed on Valentine’s Day so why not avoid the crowds and relax together? Hopefully you won’t come down with a cold and lose your voice like Diane Keaton in Because I Said So.

thevow_firstdate5. Relive your first date together. Ok- so The Vow totally depressed me – but the scene where Channing Tatum took Rachel McAdams on their first date all over again to help her remember their relationship was totally adorable. Depending on what your first date actually was, this may cost you a little money, but it will be totally worth it when those first date jitters and memories come flooding back to you!

Your turn! What fun ideas do you have for a low cost date night? John and I will be doing #1 – we picked up some steaks and are cooking dinner together (and dressing up of course). Can’t wait to hear your ideas!
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Take it from a twenty-something: You don’t have to have it all figured out

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I’m going to let you all in on a little secret – I’m in my mid twenties and I still don’t know 100% what direction I want my life to go in. Is that a nod I’m hearing? If there’s one thing I’ve learned so far in my twenties, it’s that it is perfectly ok to not have life all figured out as soon as you enter the real world.

The transition from college to adult life was hard, and from previous posts I’ve written on the topic I know that I’m not alone in that feeling. As if choosing a major (aka lifelong career commitment) wasn’t hard enough in high school – try making it all a reality post graduation. But careers are only one piece of the puzzle. What about relationships? Isn’t it easy to feel as though the clock is really ticking once you’ve moved past college flings and realized it’s time to start investing your time in people who are truly worth it? Add to that being surrounded by friends who are suddenly getting married and having babies and you have a serious recipe for some self reflection.

As a twenty something, these are all things that I’ve faced in the mere 3 years I’ve been in my twenties, and I know I still have so many important decisions to make during the next 7 years. And while I’ve tackled some things (like finding a seriously amazing man), I know I still have a lot ahead of me. As a direct result of all of these changes happening around me, and the pressure to make so many important decisions all at once, it’s no surprise that I’ve occasionally wondered if I’m where I should be at age 23. But the more self reflection I do, the more I realize how silly it is to put a time constraint on any of my life’s milestones that I haven’t reached yet.

I finally understand that it is totally OK to have a little mystery in life. Part of the fun of the future is not knowing where it’s going to take you, right? And there’s no sense comparing your life to other’s your age driving yourself crazy thinking you aren’t in the right place, because you are in the right place. No two people are alike, and that’s what makes us all so unique! So here’s to doing things your way, on your time, because in my opinion there’s no time limit on finding what makes you happiest in life.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you struggled with feeling like you have to complete certain life milestones by a certain age? Let’s chat about this – leave your thoughts in a comment below!
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