Overnight Oats – A Lazy Girl’s Breakfast

overnightoats ABLA

Mornings aren’t easy for me. I find myself hitting the snooze button at least 4 times each morning. I set my alarm for 7:14 (I like even numbers) and don’t usually get out of bed until 7:50. I have to leave the house at 8:10, that is if I want to be on time.

As you can imagine, my mornings are a frazzled mess.

Once I finally push myself to get out of bed, I turn into a tornado, running up and down the steps, trying to make myself presentable, dress, make my lunch for the day and hopefully grab something for breakfast. That breakfast is usually a sad lonely banana or a quickly made PB and J on an English Muffin or if I’m lucky, a green smoothie I prepped the night before. Even then,  Maggie and I are running out the door, our hearts pounding, hoping to make it to work only 5 minutes late.

Some days it feels like a terrible game that I play with myself. Just how long can I lie in bed this morning and still make it out of the house in time? I usually never win, I don’t know why I continue to play. Sigh.

This routine is not healthy in the least. I often forget half of my belongings that I need for the day. I deprive my body of a nutritional breakfast. And I miss any chance on getting in an early morning workout.But, this morning routine has been unbreakable to me for some time. No matter how early I go to bed, or how many pep talks I give myself the night before, I can’t force myself to just get up at a decent time.

In order to save myself from an anxiety attack and to give my body a chance at a healthy breakfast  I decided to try out these Overnight Oats that I’ve been hearing so much about.

So, I tried out three variations, Peanut Butter and Banana Oats, Blueberry, Vanilla, and Cream Oats, and Cinnamon Honey Apple Oats. I am in love with them all.

Overnight Oats has saved the day! (recipes below)

Try them out for yourself!

What you’ll need to start:

Individual jars with lids that screw on tight (I went all hipster and used mason jars, but used peanut butter jars or Jelly jars will work as well)

overnightoats

Peanut Butter and Banana Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

1/3 Oats

1/3 Almond Milk (or whatever milk you prefer)

1/4 Water

1.5 Tablespoons Peanut Butter

1 teaspoon Stevia (optional)

1 teaspoon flax-seed (optional)

1 Ripe Banana

Directions:

Combine the first 6 ingredients in jar. After sealing the lid, give the jar a good shake. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning add sliced banana. Enjoy hot or cold.

Blueberry, Vanilla, and Cream Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

1/3 cup Oats

1/3 cup Almond Milk (or whatever milk you prefer)

2 tablespoons Greek Yogurt

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 teaspoon flax-seed (optional)

handful of Blueberries

a dash of Cinnamon

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in jar.After sealing the lid, give the jar a good shake. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning add additional blueberries. Enjoy hot or cold.

Cinnamon Honey Apple Overnight Oats

1/3 cup Oats

1/3 cup Almond Milk (or whatever milk you prefer)

1/4 cup Water

2 tablespoons Honey

2 teaspoons Cinnamon

1 teaspoon flax-seed (optional)

1 Apple

Combine first 6 ingredients in jar plus HALF of the apple.After sealing the lid, give the jar a good shake. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning add remaining half of apple. Enjoy hot or cold.

Enjoy! May your bellies be satisfied and your mornings less frazzled!

xoxo Katie

 

Stop Apologizing

icecream

How often this week have you found yourself apologizing for your behavior? How many times have you said the words “I’m sorry“? (and I”m not referring to when it was in response to bumping into someone, making a mistake at work or at home, or after a fight with a partner or friend).

I can count at least 16 times.

I apologized for not doing my hair. I apologized for not taking down my Christmas decorations yet. I apologized for wanting to get a fattening appetizer AND an entrée at dinner. I apologized for wanting to talk about something that I’m excited about for longer than 4 minutes. I apologized for wanting to go to bed super early. I apologized for wearing leggings. I apologized for needing to work on some writing on Sunday. I apologized for not being able to hang out with a friend because I had errands to run, laundry to do, and a house to clean. I apologized for having a green smoothie for dinner last night. And many more.

Why am I apologizing for actions that do not harm other people? Why am I apologizing for actions that I enjoy and that make me a happier and healthier woman?

By doing so I’m selling myself short. I’m downplaying my self-worth.

I’m telling the world to not take me seriously.

I’m telling the world that I’m not good enough.

We women live in a judgemental world. Believe me, I can be as judgemental as the rest. The reason for our female to female judgements is an entirely different blog post. But, I think we have a hard time validating our life choices and behaviours because we ourselves are so quick to judge others and in turn we believe others are judging us just as quickly and meanly.

I know I’m afraid of being un liked. But to what degree? To the point that I’m not being my true self? To the point that people will never have the chance to know me? To the point that I’m not giving my self and my life a fighting chance to succeed?

By saying, “I’m sorry, I know you’re tired of hearing about it, but I want to talk about how much I just want to start trying to have a baby again. Just a few minutes okay?” I’m telling my friend that yes, she shouldn’t care about my feelings. That I should be embarrassed to feel like this.

By saying, “Ugh, I know I look a mess today, I just didn’t feel like putting on anything other than leggings and Uggs” I’m telling other women that we should be expected to dress up and look fashionable every single day. That we cannot look beautiful otherwise.

By saying, “I’m sorry, but I have to leave a little early. I would like to write and read a little before going to bed” I’m telling my friends and family that my goals and needs aren’t that important.

When a coworker says, “You look nice today! I really like that dress on you!” and I reply, “Oh, this is what I wear when I’m bloated, it’s just really comfortable” I’m telling them that I don’t deserve a compliment.

I may not always be using the words, “I’m sorry” but I am apologizing for who I am.

It’s time to stop apologizing, to stop being afraid to express who we really are, to stand up for ourselves. 2014 is the year I vowed to respect myself. We deserve to respect ourselves enough, to know that we are enough.

I was inspired to write this blog post after reading this article,written by Brianna Wiest, that has been floating around social media last week. Wiest list 18 things women shouldn’t have to justify.

Below are my favorite 6 things from the article:

Putting themselves first. When Barbara Walters asked Michelle Obama if it were selfish that she openly makes herself her first priority she responded: “No, no, it’s practical…. a lot of times we just slip pretty low on our own priority list because we’re so busy caring for everyone else. And one of the things that I want to model for my girls is investing in themselves as much as they invest in others.”

How little or much they’re eating, especially if it’s “unhealthy.” You can eat a big lunch without having to say “I haven’t eaten anything all day” or have some delicious ass nachos without saying “I totally deserve this, I was so good this week, I’ll start the diet again tomorrow.” More importantly, you shouldn’t have to always be interrogated with “that’s all you’re having?” or “you’re going to eat all that?!”

 Not having baby fever. You aren’t more or less of a woman– or person– if having a child isn’t for you now or ever. You shouldn’t have to back it up with the reasons you’re not maternally inclined but will maybe consider it down the road because “who really knows– maybe someday!” when you do really know that you don’t want kids but don’t want to be glared at like a heartless monster.

Enjoying what would otherwise be called guilty pleasures because they’re “girly” things. They don’t have to be “guilty” pleasures, they can just be pleasures. You can enjoy getting your nails painted and wearing a skirt and re-watching 13 Going On 30 a thousand times without floundering in stereotypes.

Amount of makeup worn on any given day. If you want to rock it au naturale, you do that, you beautiful little thing, and if you want to work it like you’re in a drag show, you can do that too. Your face. Your rules.

Being upset about something that warrants an emotional response. You don’t have to apologize for feeling something or acting out on it if it’s real to you. The people who judge you for being a human being, and not being ultimately demure and emotionless and in your place, are the ones who need to apologize.

 It’s time to stop apologizing for who you are.

So what if I like wearing leggings as pants (Blair Waldorf isn’t going to come and chastise me and ban me from NYC). So what if I could watch teen dramas all day every day, they make me feel all the feelings and that makes me happy. So what if some days I eat super clean while the next I want to eat a giant plate of nachos and that’s it? It’s my body and I’ll face the consequences.

It’s time to own up to your actions and stand confidently in front of your choices and the things that make you happy. Don’t put off your happiness because you are afraid.

Respect your choices and they will respect you in return. Happiness and freedom will follow.

Will you join me?

xoxo Katie

 

 

 

 

My Make Up Favorites

I’m no make up expert. Hell, lately it’s a miracle if I make it to work with having applied moisturizer and a hint of eye liner. (Don’t worry, I usually have the office to myself).  I still don’t know how to properly apply concealer or foundation – I generally stick to eye make up and rocking a red lip.

So, stop reading if you’re looking for professional or scientific make up help!

But, if you’re an average girl who likes learning about new products or seeing what others do, stick around!

I love learning what other “normal” people’s make up routine is. I prefer an honest review from an average person instead of the over did girl at Sephora trying to sell me something that would break my bank if I purchased it annually.

Here are my g0 to pieces of make up. I have a few other shadows and fancier bronzers that I pull out when I’m feeling fancy, but on an average day this is what I use:

mary-kay-timewise-age-fighting-moisturizerMary Kay Time Wise Moisturizer

I lather this NON slimy moisturizer on my face twice a day (three times during this dry winter). Love that it has SPF and an anti-aging element.

MAYBELLINE Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser and Dark Circle Treatment

Next, I roll on this light concealer. The product comes out of a sponge like device and rubs easily into the puffy circles under my eyes. This helps get rid of any small bags caused by drinking too much wine or only getting 5 hours of sleep. Don’t expect miracles, but it doesn’t a pretty darn good job.

maybelline dream-fresh-bb

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB 8-In-1 Beauty Balm Skin Perfector

So BB creams are all the range. I wasn’t using ANY foundation before I picked up this gem a few months ago. I don’t use it every day, but when I do, I love how light and fresh it feels on my skin. It evens out my coloring and doesn’t make my skin look cakey at all.

toofaced eye shadow primer

Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer

I would never put on eye shadow without putting on this primer first. It makes my eye shadow last ALL DAY. No creases, no fading, no smudging.

mac eye shadow plummage Mac Eye Shadow in Plummage

I’ve been using Plummage for 9 years. I could praise Plummage all day-  I don’t know what I’d do if MAC discontinues this color.  I use an eye liner brush and use a small bit as eyeliner. It’s my favorite piece of make up.

sephora nano eye liner midnight black

Sephora Nano Eye Liner in Midnight Black

If I want to add additional eye liner I smudge this on. It definitely has a more “smudging” effect rather than a liquid liner. It’s great for smoky eyes.

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Too Faced Eye Shadow (generally smoky palette)

Next I add a little eye shadow. I generally put a small layer of a smoky dark blue right above my eye liner. I follow that by covering my entire eye lid with a medium hint of brown. I finish off with a dab of light beige or pink shadow in the middle of my eye lid.

diroshow mascara

Dior Show Mascara in Rich Black

I have short, pale, thin eyelashes. I have found no other mascara that can make my lashes look so full, long, and dark. When I first bought this mascara it was a game changer. Yes, it’s a little pricey, but worth it.

Make up forever aqua rouge Make Up Forever Aqua Rouge Lip Stain

This stuff is magic! I love lip sticks and swore of gloss a few years ago. (I can’t stand the stickiness or getting my hair stuck in it!). This lip stain applies like a gloss but feels like a stick.

I was introduced to it when picking out a lip color for my wedding. It lasted my entire wedding day. Even after many kisses, tears, cake eating, and drinking my color was still very present. I now wear it as my go to lip color. I love the pomegranate pink and iconic red.

There you have it! Please share some of your favorites, I’m always looking for new tips and new products.

xoxo Katie

14 Random Things About Me

Katie and Maggie and wine slushies

I thought it was time to spill the beans about a few random things about me. I like to look at this blog as a casual chat I’m having with you over a glass of wine (or cup of coffee if you prefer!) so why don’t we get to know each other a little better?

Also, in 2014, I’m trying to respect my individuality and celebrate everything about myself. So I thought I’d do 14 facts for 2014 and I love even numbers. Plus, I think these things are pure and simple fun and I love reading other bloggers random facts.

So let’s do this!

1. Sometimes, I listen to the same CD on repeat in my car for months at a time.

2. I played the trumpet until I was 18, and was pretty good!

3. I’m that crazy girl who talks to her dog a lot and makes her talk back. I have very serious conversations with my dog, ALL THE TIME.

4. It’s kind of weird how excited I am to watch the new Lifetime version of “Flowers in the Attic”

5. As soon as I open a bottle of wine, it seems to vanish into thin air. How does it go so fast?

7. I love ketchup and have been known to dip everything from pickles, chips, veggies, and bread into it.

8. Sleeping is one of my favorite hobbies. I could ALWAYS take a nap.

9. I’m terrified of rollers coasters, heights, and anything that goes super fast. No way Jose!

10. I haven’t eaten red meat since I was 19.

11. I can’t swallow pills with water. I have to chew up food and then swallow them with the food.

12. I taught myself how to kiss by rewwatching Angela Chase’s (Claire Danes) and Jordan Catalono’s (Jared Leto’s) first kiss on My So Called Life over and over and over on VHS.

13. Not much makes me happier than singing and watching people sing karaoke.

14. I find nothing wrong with dressing up my dog in ridiculous outfits. Even though she hates it.

maggieglasses

xoxo Katie

 

 

Darling Bridesmaid Dresses

Let’s talk Bridesmaid dresses.
Is there any joke older than the “Oh but the dresses are SO re wearable!” 
Let’s face it, the options out there aren’t that great. Especially if you want to stick to the under $250 rule. Most dresses are incredibly cheap looking and are not figure flattering. There’s always awkward sashes, ruffles, or belts added on, taking a dress from the “so so” category to “totally heinous” category.  Especially when your maids are 30 rather than 24.
For my own wedding, I chose dresses from J. Crew. They had the perfect dusty pale pink for my wedding. I let the girls pick any style they wanted, as long as it was the same color and fabric.
The soft chiffon was perfect as well for my Secret Garden themed wedding. I think they were simply lovely.
However, I knew that hardly any of my girls would wear that dress again. 
Now it’s my turn to be a bridesmaid. I’m so excited and honored to be the Maid of Honor in  my best friends (and MY maid of honor) wedding.  (Technically I’m a matron of honor but that just sounds SO old so I refuse that title).
Kay did a fabulous job as my right hand gal. We’ve been best friends since seventh grade. We haven’t lived in the same time zone since college, yet we are as close as ever.
maid of honor
Her wedding is  July 5 and the wedding preparations are in full force. I’m getting so excited about the shower, the bachelorette, and the wedding. So much celebrating. It was so fun to be engaged together and share in our childhood wedding fantasies.
She was having SUCH a hard time finding bridesmaid dresses in the perfect shade of blue for her summer vintage wedding. After awhile all the dresses start to look the same, and none of them are that appealing AT ALL.
That was until Alfred Sung came into our lives!
Kay and I went dress shopping this Saturday. It was fun and exhausting. I tried on over 30 dresses! But we found the keepers!
Just check out these DARLING bridesmaid dresses! And yes, I really think most of them are re wearable to a cocktail party, another wedding, or holiday event.
Alfred Sung
I simply had to share this find with you today. I know how hard it is to find dresses that don’t make you feel completely disgusting, like you’re wearing a bag made out of polyester. I tried on 31 of these dresses in every cut imaginable and they were all so pretty.
They will fit women (yes women not GIRLS) of all different body types. The material is thick and doesn’t cling to places you don’t want it to cling. They come in 28 different colors and quite a few different types of fabric. We had the best luck at the Macy’s bridal shop, they had every style of Alfred Sung to try on (compared to others that only had 2-4).
I had six that were my favorites and I was truly considering getting two or three and doing  costume changes throughout the wedding. I simply could not decide which one to choose because I loved them all so much! The prices range from $170 – $230. Alfred Sung is part of the Dessy group and can be found on many online retailers as well.
After hours of debate I chose! Now you’ll have to stay tuned til July to see the pictures because we are all going to look fabulous!
What has been your experience with bridesmaid dresses?

6 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

6 ways to beat the winter blues

Just in case you are living in another part of the world, we here in the States have been experiencing the phenomenon that has been named “Arctic Blast”. This blast delivered record low temperature causing schools to shut down and myself to obtain crippling cabin fever.

There’s no hiding it. I’ve got a serious case of the winter blues. Every day is a battle and the days are moving so slowly. I spend idle time looking at the calendar, longing for the days to move ahead or by browsing through photos of warm spring and summer day. I forget what the sun on your skin feels like.

everything sucks in winter

Tonight we have to take our Christmas tree down. We may just hold a funeral for it. Tears.

I can barely pull myself up out of bed every morning. I’ve been late to work every single day this week. Today, my usual 15 minute commute took me 40 minutes and my little coupe almost slid into a ditch twice. There is no need to dress or look nice because really it’s all about just staying warm. I’ve had enough!

But, winter is here to stay. We have AT LEAST another 2 months of cold weather. So I decided to share a few ideas on how to beat those winter blues.

1. Exercise

exercise to beat winter blues

a sweaty gym selfish. you’re welcome

I don’t think you need me to list all the known benefits of exercise, it’s healthy for your mind, body, and soul. So, even though you want to do nothing more than curl up under 5 blankets and eat macaroni and cheese, push yourself to work out. You will boost your energy and improve your circulation and body image. Plus, you’ll feel so good about keeping up with those healthy New Year’s resolutions you made. The average (non active) person gains up to 6 pounds each winter. Get up and move before even your yoga pants feel tight!

2. Host a Luau

host a luau to beat winter blues

Crank up the heat in your home, blend up some frozen concoctions, and blast the steel band music. Mind over matter right?

Truth, my college roommate and I did this our senior year. We turned up the heat to 80 degrees, wore our bikinis and covers up, and made awesome margaritas and rum punches. We were SO excited. But then everyone ignored our invite details and showed up in their winter clothes, turned down the heat and complained the drinks were too cold. I swear, some people just don’t know how to have FUN.

3. Explore New Food and Drink Recipes

hot rum punch

So you’re stuck at home. Take the opportunity to try out new food and drink recipes. You’ll have fun experimenting and will enjoy eating and drinking while your bundled up on your couch watching a movie. This weekend I’m going to test out a recipe for a hot rum punch.

4. Sleep More

sleep more to cure winter blues

Sleep has major benefits. This is your time to take advantage of them! The snow has canceled your plans (once again!) and you are stuck at home. You’ve watched enough of Netflix and are out of wine. May as well take a nap! Enjoy it.

5. Start a New Tradition

host a winter wonderland party

So the holidays are all over and you have nothing to look forward to. Why not create a new tradition? One that takes place annually in January or February? Something to be excited about! Above are ideas for a winter wonderland party. Or you could plan an annual weekend away, or ski weekend, or simply a girls slumber party.

6. Embrace the Season

embrace the beauty of winter

When all else fails, get outside and enjoy the beauty of winter. Bundle up in as many layers as you possibly can and embark on a winter adventure. Ice skate, snow shoe, ski, snowboard, take a snowy walk and admire all the snow-covered trees. Build a snow man, play with your dogs. Make the most of it because pretty soon you’ll probably be complaining of the heat and humidity.

  xoxo Katie

 

 

 

Fat-Fighting Whole Wheat Pasta, Veggies, and Ricotta

Fat Fighting, Filling and easy pasta, veggies, and ricotta cheese

So I bet you made some new years resolutions. You want to get healthier, eat better, lose weight, and take better care of yourself. Here’s a recipe to help!

Well if you’re anything like me, then you’re always searching for easy, cheap, and tasty healthy meals to make during the week.

This one is packed with nutrient rich veggies. Don’t shy away just because it contains pasta – we can’t live off of veggies alone. After a few days of eating only veggies and fruit you’ll find me at the grocery store in a starving carb deprived daze filling my cart up with carbs and then eating an entire bag of chex mix on the drive home. Oh, is that just me? Nevermind then.

Nevertheless, this is an easy meal that is full of energy rich veggies. It makes a ton, so I like to make it on a Sunday so that I can have half a week of lunches left over. It’s filling and delicious. Your stomach and brain will thank you.

Whole Wheat Pasta, Veggies, and Ricotta

Ingredients
8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta (I like to get the kind with extra fiber!)
3 cups broccoli florets
2 cups green beans cut into 1-inch pieces
1.5 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon dried basil (or 1/4 cup fresh if you have it)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Directions
1. Cook pasta according to package directions
2. Add broccoli florets and asparagus or green beans during the last 6 minutes of cooking; drain.
3. In a large serving bowl, combine ricotta cheese, basil, thyme, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
4. Add cooked pasta and vegetables to ricotta mixture. Add chopped tomatoes. Toss to combine. Sprinkle each serving with grated cheese

Enjoy!

xoxo Katie