(Just Own the Night Like the) 4th of July Week in Review – (‘Cause Baby You’re a) Firework WIAW

As I mentioned on Friday, I had a big internship presentation to give so I wasn’t able to finish my blog post. So, I am going to post it today as my WIAW and Week in Review!

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Don’t forget about the giveaway that I posted on Monday. It ends this Thursday night so you don’t want to miss out.

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I left off last with my recap of the week leading up to my long 4th of July weekend.

Friday morning I literally rolled out of bed and crawled into the car. My mom drove me to the hospital for my gastric emptying study where I had to eat oatmeal and then lay under an x-ray machine for 1 1/2 hours while they measured the time it took for me to digest my food (more soon!). All that I will say now is that there is a reason that I haven’t eaten oatmeal in a year. My stomach took almost a week to recover from eating grains.

Thankfully with some rest during the day I was feeling good enough to socialize later. On Friday night I drove over to my best friend’s house to meet up with about ten others and head over to a nearby lake to watch some fireworks!

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Usually I’m not a fan of fireworks because they are so loud, but these were surprisingly mellow in volume. But not mellow in looks for sure. They were beautiful and lasted quite a long time. I’m really glad that I went because they were certainly worth the trip.

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The next day I had an eye doctor’s appointment in the morning. Thankfully my prescription has stayed the same so I just had to get some new contacts and that was it.

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Afterwards I met up with my friends again to just hang out and talk about our summers and what we’ve been up to.

Later on I went on a short 15 minute walk with my mom down the driveway to pick up the mail and newspaper. And we brought Lilly!

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I know that sounds a little crazy that it took us that long to walk to the mailbox because I’m sure a lot of you have your mailboxes right outside your front door. However, I can assure you that while slow, 15 minutes over the span of about 1/2 a mile while walking a curious dog (that stops every 30 seconds to sniff at the grass) is pretty normal.

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Sunday morning my mom and dad left the house early to drop my brother off at our church because he was leaving for a missions trip.

When they got back I made them some…

You guessed it! Pancakes 🙂

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Unlike my pan perfect pancakes and unbelievably grain-free berry pancakes, these suckers took a lot longer to cook and were much harder to flip. This did not deter my parents though because they still tasted wonderful!

Dairy and Grain-Free Cinnamon Apple Pancakes

Makes two servings, approximately 4 small-medium pancakes each

Grain/Gluten/Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free Option, GAPS/Paleo/SCD-Friendly, No Added Sugar

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Ingredients:

  • 2 apples
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon each of vinegar and vanilla
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (or sun-flour)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon each of baking soda and cinnamon
  • dash of sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat your griddle to 350 degrees or your pan to medium heat. Spray or oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Peel both of the apples. Take one of the apples and put it in your food processor and puree with a little water until it reaches applesauce consistency.
  3. Add the eggs, vinegar and vanilla and blend until smooth.
  4. Measure in the remaining ingredients and mix again until fully combined.
  5. Scoop out the batter into a medium sized bowl. Put the second apple in the food processor and blend for a few seconds and/or grate the apple until finely shredded. Add the apple pieces to the pancake mix.
  6. Using a 1/4 cup pour out the pancake batter and if necessary spread out with the back of a spoon.
  7. Cook on each side for 5-10 minutes (these need to be cooked a lot longer than usual pancakes because they are grain-free and much more delicate with the applesauce).

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Sunday afternoon before I left to head back to my apartment I went to our church to help my mom set up for the summer reading program that she directs every year. As I said previously, I’m really missing getting to actually help with the program itself in getting the snacks ready and running errands for the teachers. I still got to set up all of the books though, and while it is probably my least favorite part, it still made me feel good that I got to help a little.

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Look at some of the books that I found! These remind me of one of my WIAW posts of children’s books that feature food!

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After I was done setting up the books (which took me about an hour! They were so unorganized…) I went home, packed up my things, and hit the road again.

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I snacked on a few bananas on the way back. #Publicbanana at its finest. 😉

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This week the weather has been pretty crazy. There have been lots of thunderstorm warnings and a lot of water!

Thankfully I haven’t seen much damage around these parts, but back home our neighbors lost electricity due to the storms and a friend from high school had a huge tree fall on his car while him and his family were on vacation!

My actual week was pretty boring until the next weekend hit. And that was only made exciting by the fact that I got to buy things for my blogiversary giveaway (Mention #2 😉 ). Make sure that you leave a separate comment for each entry!

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Questions for you:

Did you enjoy any fireworks on the 4th?

Are you tired of pancake recipes yet? Too bad. Ha. 😉

Do you wear glasses or contacts?

What food have you been enjoying lately?

The One Where I Eat Radioactive Food and Turn Into a Superhero (WIR)

Happy Fourth of July to you all!

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(Source)

First, I want to start this post off by thanking everyone for the super sweet comments on my past few posts, especially on those from this week with my brother’s birthday cookie dough cake.

I actually forgot to include a picture on my WIAW to prove that it was actually I who made cake so here is that… 😉

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So proud!

Random factoid: Another thing that I forgot to mention was that my mom also helped out with making some pieces of the cake. In particular, this is her hand helping me put on the chocolate chips. One by one. As I freaked out because the frosting was melting. The original recipe poster mentioned that she had to throw the chocolate chips on the cake to get them to stick. I thought she was kidding at first but then when I reached that step I realized there is no easy way to attach mini chocolate chips to a vertical surface…

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Now with that out of the way I can get on to the bulk of today’s post: a short Week in Review via Meghan!

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My weekend officially started when I made some waffles for my parents.

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I found the recipe on Paleo Parents, and they were extremely simple to make. I made a total of three Belgian waffles in all.

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The recipe is much different than the usual grain-free recipe in that it doesn’t involve any almond flour, but a combination of an apple, banana, nut butter, eggs and coconut flour (I used coconut flour, but the original recipe called for arrowroot powder).

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I realize that these waffles look like they are chocolate-flavored; however, I guarantee that they are cocoa-free! It’s just the nut butter combined with fruit/eggs that caused the darker, golden color.

While waiting for the waffles to cook I hung out on the floor with Lilly. I miss her so much during the week so it’s nice when I get to come home and just relax with her on my lap. Or in this case convince her to look at the camera.

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Aren’t her expressions hilarious? I swear she only looks like that when she notices that I have my camera out and am taking pictures of her…

Later on that weekend after my brother’s party was over I experimented in making some “chocolate” chip cookies with homemade carob chips and grain-free flours. I also tried out a vegan version, which my mom said had a better taste, but unfortunately with the lack of egg didn’t stay together well enough.

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The dough on the left contains ghee and eggs, and the dough on the left is vegan with coconut oil and banana.

Here is a picture of the finished cookies with eggs:

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I still want to work on the recipe a little more before actually posting. Only the best for you guys!

And I visited my other dog Riley while I was outside taking cookie pictures. He started barking when he saw me and I couldn’t stay away. He is such a good boy!

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He even gave me a “handshake” when he starting pawing my arm as I was petting him… 😉

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Skip forward a bit to the middle of this week, I went shopping at Big Lots again. Last time I bought some birthday presents and scoped out the foreign foods aisle. This time I bought up 9 packages of Fourre biscuits in chocolate and strawberry (for some reason the product’s website only lists the lemon version…?) for my mom’s Reading Program snack on the first day.

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Random factoid #2: I just woke up after falling asleep around 10:00PM (It is now 12:41PM) and am working quickly to finish up this post so I can shut my eyes for real this time. It’s especially important because I have to get up at 5:30AM tomorrow to go the hospital for a gastric emptying study.

Yep. Another test. I’ll share more about the procedure once it’s done and I have the results, but basically I have to eat a bowl of instant oatmeal that they’ve injected with radioactive markers (not dangerous). During the study then they use an x-ray machine to trace the meal as I digest the food and measure how quickly my stomach is working on it. You can either have slow, normal or rapid emptying. I really am not looking forward to the test because my stomach does not like oatmeal. I haven’t had oatmeal in over a year because I always get bloated after eating it… Yay! 😛

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Today being a holiday my family gathered together to celebrate at Pizza Hut. We used to always go to my grandma and grandpa’s house and have big, fancy meals, but since they are getting older we try to make it easy on them.

Random factoid #3: I forgot to mention this, but a few weeks ago my grandma fell and broke her hip, so I slowed down a lot on commenting for a few days as I was just overwhelmed with that as she had to go in for a hip replacement surgery. She’s doing pretty well now though. I’d be really grateful if you kept her in your prayers for a speedy recovery!

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After getting back from lunch the four of us (my dad, mom, brother and I) all settle in and watched two movies: Warm Bodies from Redbox and Charlie Bartlett from Netflix.

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I really recommend watching both as they were quite good. Both were quirky, hilarious, and had really great casts.

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That’s basically all I have for today. Just know that while you are all still sleeping tomorrow morning, I will be eating radioactive food and possibly turn into a superhero. Or perhaps a zombie, which I realize is more likely, but I’m all about the positive today.

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What is your random factoid for the day?

How did you celebrate July 4th (or Canada on Monday for some of you)?

If you could be any superhero, which one would you pick? 

Holy Buckets of Rain Water Batman (WIR)

As you can tell from the title of my post, it rained quite a bit today! Thankfully I was in my car for most of the heavy downpour but when I had to make a quick stop into Whole Foods after work I got absolutely soaked.

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At Whole Foods I bought some large bags of non-GMO frozen peas, organic bananas, unscented dish soap (all for me) and some packs of Applegate’s organic sausages (for my family).

For 2.00 off any Applegate product you can go to Facebook and “Stage a Weinervention.” Ha. 😉

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Skipping back to the weekend before last, I took a trip to Big Lots and did a little hunting for my mom. She is the director of my church’s two week summer reading program and this year their theme is Book a Trip for a Reading Adventure. Usually I get to be in charge of snacks…

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But since I’m away from home this summer I’m having to help from afar! At Big Lots I hit the aisles looking for any snacks that the kids might like that fit the theme- I took pictures of the whole aisle of international foods and photobombed my mom’s phone 🙂

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Not to worry though because I totally made up for it by buying both my mom and brother some birthday presents there as well!

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As I mentioned on Wednesday we weren’t able to have my brother’s birthday party last weekend because he got strep throat, but this weekend hopefully we are able to have it. I have been put in charge of making the cake. Here is my overambitious goal:

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I didn’t do much cooking when home except for soup for myself and these pancakes for my dad:

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I still need to work on the recipe more before posting. I tried making a peanut butter and chocolate swirl but once flipped the drizzles became more crispy than delicious…. Not exactly what I had in mind 😦

Now for an update on some of the movies and books that I’ve been watching/reading!

This past weekend I watched two new-to-me movies: The Pelican Brief and 21 and Over.

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The Pelican Brief was really good and I loved Julia Roberts with Denzel Washington.

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21 and Over was… interesting? Overall it was pretty funny, like The Hangover for a younger age group. The images were a little too graphic and vulgar for my taste as well as the rest of my family. The main cast of characters did an excellent job though. It had some of my favorite up and coming actors- Skylar Austin who played Jesse in Pitch Perfect, and Miles Teller who played Willard in the newest rendition of Footloose.

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As far as books go, I finished The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen last week. Before that I also read a few others that are a little kiddish I admit, but still good- Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian and Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter.

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I finished the audiobook version of Bossypants by Tina Fey last week as well (I listen to that on my rides to/from home as well as on my commutes to work). This week I checked out Heat Wave by Richard Castle and have been loving it so far! It took a few minutes to get used to the author’s voice reading the thoughts of Nikki Heat, but it’s really addicting.

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Almost as addicting as the show itself of which I am now on episode six of the second season. In case anyone else loves Castle you should know that a lot of the episodes are on YouTube!

Speaking of Castle (how random is this post?) I want to squeeze another episode in before I go to bed so it’s time to go. I hope you all have a wonderful Friday!!

*This post will be shared next week with Meghan from Clean Eats Fast Feet’s Week in Review.

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Has it been raining where you live?

What good deals have you found at Big Lots?

Have you ever watched The Pelican Brief or 21 and Over?

What books have you been reading lately?

Do you ever listen to audiobooks on long car rides?

Friday Confessions – I May or May Not Have

It’s FRIDAY!

*Said in an extremely annoying voice*

If you can’t imagine that voice, just look at this picture and imagine it conveyed in voice form…

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I haven’t done a Friday Confessions for some time now, but I figured that this would be the best opportunity to share what I may (or may not have) been doing recently.

1. I may or may not have… acquired a tiny sliver of the road rage that I’ve been chiding my mom about for years. People in cities are rude. People driving in cars in cities are CRAZY!

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2. I may or may not have… laid back down one day this week after my alarm clock went off. 30 minutes later I woke up extremely worried that I slept in too long and would be late to work. Needless to say that won’t be happening again anytime soon (I hope).

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3. I may or may not have… spent all of my break time today internet health diagnosing on the web. I basically typed in every symptom I had and scoured every single webpage that came up trying to figure what could possibly be going on with me.

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4. I may or may not be… extremely excited for Pretty Little Liars to return next week. I both love it and hate it at the same time— is that even possible?

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5. I may or may not have… an extreme book-buying obsession. Why oh why do I feel the need to buy more books when I already have so many unread ones at home?

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6. I may or may not have… not focused quite enough at the Memorial Day Parade on Monday. It was cold. So very very cold. And raining. How could I possibly focus when all I could think about was my frozen toes?!

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We look actually kind of happy here… That’s before the rain started!

7. I may or may not have… taken a grocery shopping break during my drive home last week. It took almost five hours, a full two hours longer than it’s supposed to. So about three hours in I stopped at Meijer to pick up some ripe bananas for snacking, a water bottle for drinking, and the Pitch Perfect CD for listening (since my radio has decided to play only two channels, none of which I listen to!).

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8. I may or may not have… enjoyed grading tests for my mom over the weekend. I love tests.

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9. I may or may not have… too many blogs in my bloglovin’. So many that I can’t possibly read them all in a day and comment on every single one of them.

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10. I may or may not be… way behind on commenting/replying on my own blog as well. Thanks again for being patient!

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I’m also planning on linking up to Meghan at Clean Eats Fast Feets with her Week in Review on Monday since this is basically my weekly confessions!

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Questions for you: What is your Friday confession? Do you have road rage? I still wouldn’t classify myself as having it, but when people cut me off it’s hard not to get mad. If I didn’t hover my foot over the brake at all times I’m not sure I would make it out alive each day. Seriously. Did you have bad traffic last weekend because of Memorial Day? Are there any shows that you are looking forward to this summer? Does anybody else have a book-buying problem like me? Do you want to form a support group?