The Best Pancake Recipe

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

If you dig through the archives of this blog, you won't find an everyday pancake recipe. The reason being that I've spent the last four years of my life finding and perfecting the perfect recipe, and now, I have it. Sunday night when we got home from Florida I sat Jay downstairs in front of the TV with a can of green beans that he downed in a total of 14 seconds, and I was exhausted and didn't know what to make for dinner, so I decided to go with a household favorite of pancakes.

We eat pancakes a lot over here. We're kind of connoisseurs if you will. Derek grew up eating them what I can only imagine was at least three times a week. My dad made them for us every weekend for breakfast, and now we eat them at least once a week in our own house. We've tried so many recipes over the last 4 years, and this weekend we finally got it right. When I asked Derek if they were good while I was making the second batch he said, "They're amazing, the best ones you've made yet!" Once I finally sat down to eat some I realized just how true those words were. These pancakes are SO GOOD.

1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 egg

In one bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and sugar. In another bowl whisk together the butter, milk, and egg. Then slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture while whisking at the same time. Continue to whisk until most of the lumps are gone. 

Heat your griddle to medium high heat. To make perfectly uniform pancakes, use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop the batter and pour onto the griddle. After pouring the batter, wait two minutes, or until the top surface is dotted with bubbles, flip, wait another minute, and remove your pancake from the heat. 

Repeat this process until all your pancakes are made. Batter yields about 7-9 1/4 cup scoop pancakes.

Fourth of July Recap

Monday, July 6, 2015

This last weekend since The Fourth of July fell on a Saturday, and Derek already had Friday off, we decided for him to take an extra day off on Thursday and make a long weekend trip down to Ocala Florida to visit our friends, Evan and Fernanda. Evan and Derek were roommates at BYU and since Fernanda and I were dating guys that lived in the same apartment, we all became super close friends. They're the friends that we always go out of our way to try and hang out with, and they have done more than their share to go out of their way to see us over the last few years.

We headed out on Thursday in the morning after Em's physical therapy appointment (more on that later), and the drive was only 5 1/2 hours. We were excited to go because Derek and I had both never been to Florida and it was the 15th state that we've been to together in our almost four years of marriage. I feel like we're checking states off the list at a pretty fast pace. The kids were champs in the car and didn't have any meltdowns which is pretty much all you can ever ask for. 

When we got there we had dinner at their place, and chatted the night away. Evan recently got a job with Betty Crocker and Cake Mate working on their research and development team which means yes, he does work in a lab making cakes, and sprinkles, and icings all day long. He spoiled me with a huge box of products that he developed which I can't wait to show you guys. Unfortunately, some of them haven't been released to the public sector yet so I have to wait on a few things, but you guys... I never thought I could have so much fun chatting the night away learning about how all these baking products we use on a daily basis are made. It was seriously so fascinating to me. 

Friday morning we took our time waking up and then headed to a local park where we met up with some of Evan and Fernanda's friends and we had an awesome BBQ. In case anyone was wondering... yes, chicken wrapped in bacon, on kabbos is amazing. But maybe throw a few pineapples on there too... that would be delicious. After our BBQ we headed to the pool for a swim. I mean, it is Florida, so swimming was a must! This was actually Derek's first time going swimming with Em, so it was super fun to see the two of them playing together in the water. Unfortunately, it was Jay's nap time and he cried the entire time at the pool until we left, so that outing was short lived. 

After the pool we put all the babies to bed and settled in for a long game of Settlers of Catan. If you've read any of our other posts involving Evan and Fernanda (seen here, here, here, and here), you'll know that this is pretty much all we ever do with them. It's our thing. The babies eventually all woke up, we had some pizza, and called it a night. 

Saturday morning Fernanda was going on a run with her friend Briana who is currently training for a marathon. It was a six mile run that she had to get done for the day, and for some reason I volunteered myself to go too. I was super nervous because up until that point the farthest I'd ran since having Em was two miles, but I did it! Surprisingly, I had no muscle or joint pain after either, it just all felt so normal and natural. I know I said I wasn't going to commit myself to any type of race for a while... But I'm totally itching to sign up for the Atlanta Half Marathon on Thanksgiving after that... we'll see.

After our run we washed up and headed downtown for Ocala's Fourth of July festivities. We walked around, ate some delicious sandwiches from the Food Truck round up, and then headed back over to Briana and Jared's house to play some games while the kids napped. 

That night Derek and Jay came down with the plague which left them pretty much out of commission for any sort of firework action. I had already planned on staying behind with Em because she's super sensitive to loud noises, and I was looking forward to turning in early for the night anyways, but with them getting sick we all decided to stay in and watch a movie instead. 

It was such a perfect weekend. When I go on trips or vacations I'm not all about trying to cram 50 tourist like things all into a short amount of time. I really enjoyed the slow pace of the entire weekend and just being with friends. Plus, Derek won a cruise that we're taking for our anniversary next year in 2016 that leaves from Florida, so we're planning on getting all our Florida touristy bugs out then. Thanks so much for having us Evan and Fernanda, we'll see you next time, and there definitely will be a next time!

From the News Room, Take 2

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

This past weekend we drove down to Charlotte because I had another opportunity to collaborate with WBTV News. It was fun, but a lot more hectic than the last time I was on. About eight seconds before we went live, the sound tech came running out to tell me my mic wasn't working and then had me rip the wire out from under my shirt, threw a new mic at me and ran off set. I just barely got the mic on in time for us to go live, unfortunately, you can see the wire in the front of my shirt since I didn't have a chance to run it underneath, but at least I wasn't flailing my arms and having a fit trying to get it right when we went live. I'll consider it another win over all. Although I did get tongue tied at one point and wound up loosing track of what I was trying to say. It could of all been a lot worse. The tell tale sign of it all will be if they call me back for round three right? You can check out my clip from the segment below!

WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Shirt: Marshall's
Skirt: Ross
Shoes: Old Navy (old)
Necklace: Nordstrom (old)
Watch: Forever 21 (sold out)

5 Ways to Stay Healthy this Summer

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer is here in full swing and for me, there is something theraputic about summer. People like to make goals to be healthy with the New Year in January, but for me, I like to reevaluate my life, and do all that jazz in the summer. So this year I'm doing some things to stay healthy. This is not a diet, weight loss regimen, etc... These are just simple things I'm doing in an effort for overall health. Because I like my life and want to keep on living it. 

1. Drink More Water: I mentioned a couple weeks ago how I try to drink 60oz of water per day. This summer though, with the heat and everything else, I'm feeling even more dehydrated, and want to shoot for a solid 100 ounces per day. I'm also hoping that this improves the terrible skin breakout I've been experiencing lately. 

2. Get Plenty of Exercise: I've realized that I have more energy, am in a better mood, and more pleasant to be around when I exercise regularly. I don't have a gym membership but there are three things I like to do that don't involve leaving your house and driving somewhere. 

Go on Walks: Lucky for us we have the worlds worst double stroller. It weighs 30 pounds by itself, and then my babies add another 50 pounds to that, so when we go on walks its me, plus the pushing of an extra 80 pounds. It's painful, but I'm burning extra calories... no pain no gain right? 

Go on a Run: I've recently fallen in love with running again and it feels great! If it's not too hot where you live (people tell me here that it's too hot and that I should stop, but I feel like I work out better in the heat... this is coming from a hot yoga addict though), go on a run through your neighborhood to get your heart rate up and help tone up those leg muscles!  I discovered fitness blender when I lived in NC and was too afraid to run outside in our slightly sketchy neighborhood. They have all different types of workout videos for free on there! You can do anything from yoga, to more intense p90x type stuff. The best part is that most of the videos don't require additional equipment. 

3. Get Enough Sleep: As I'm sure you all can tell, I've had a lot more posts going up over here lately which has typically meant a lot of late nights for me. I kept telling myself that it's okay to stay up late because tonight will be the night Em will finally sleep through the night. I've smartened up though and realized that it's probably not going to happen ever, so I made a new rule that the computer and phone get turned off at 9 and I'm in bed. I couldn't tell you how much better my quality of life has gotten since I started going to bed earlier. 

4. More Meaningful Family Time: While we have family time everyday, I've been really striving to make it more meaningful lately. We've been putting our phones away everyday from the time Derek gets home from work, until the kids go to bed, and I couldn't tell you how much more we all connect as a family when we disconnect from the world. It's the best. And this totally counts as mental health which is an aspect of health. 

5. Eat a Good Breakfast: I have to admit, I hate breakfast. Unless it's pancakes, waffles, or French Toast. Which I know is not good. I also know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that I should be eating it more than just on Saturday morning. I've also realized that as a Flammily (see what I did there?), we've kind of become accidental vegetarians. We don't really eat meat ever... not on purpose, just most of the things we like to eat for dinner don't have meat. 

I realized that  I don't eat nearly as much protein as I should. Out of the 40 grams I should be eating in a day, I probably only get about 25-30 so I've decided to start my mornings off with Yoplait's new Plenti Greek Yogurt. It's 150 calories with 12 grams of much needed protein. It's also blended with flax and pumpkin seeds, and whole grain oats. You're basically getting all the nutrients you could need for breakfast in one 5 1/2 ounce container of yogurt. If you need a flavor recommendation, I'm all about the peach one right now. I'm pretty sure I've had it every morning for the last week. 

Also, because I love you guys, and because I want you to have an awesome summer, I'm hosting a $20 Paypal cash giveaway. Giveaway will run from 6/30/15-8/21/15. Use the rafflecopter below to enter. Also, the winner of the $50 Visa giftcard was Colette M. You have 24 hours to respond to my email before a new winner is chosen!

Those are my tips for staying healthy this summer! What are you doing to stay healthy this summer? Let me know in the comments below!

The Perfect Baby Shower Gift Basket

Monday, June 29, 2015

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias Inc, and its advertiser. All thoughts and opinions are my own. #MagicBabyMoments #Ad

I see a lot of cute pictures on Pinterest for elaborate baby shower gifts. Most of them aren't very hard, but a lot of them can be pretty time consuming. While I love a good diaper cake just as much as the next person... sitting there and rolling up all those tiny diapers to make it isn't something I have a ton of patience for. 

I love giving gifts. If there is a love language for how you express love to other people, mine is gift giving. Although my personal love language usually isn't receiving gifts, I love giving them. A girl that I go to church with is having a baby this summer and so last week I ran to Walmart to pick up a few things to make the perfect bath time gift set for her and her little baby. 

Since she's having a boy I got her the Disney Baby Finding Nemo Baby Bathtub, and then I picked up a few of the bath time products she had registered for on her registry. The easy thing about this gift is that you can use the Disney Baby tub as the basket, and then fill it with tissue paper, and the other toiletry items you're getting for the baby. It's super simple to put together and it's something the mom and baby will get plenty of use out of. Ironically, I have two kids, and no baby bath tub, and it's pretty much the number one thing in my life I regret not having. 

You don't have to fill your tub with bath products, that's how I did mine, but you could also choose to add some toys, blankets, or even some cute outfits. The sky is pretty much the limit... and if you're shopping at Walmart their Disney Baby Items won't disappoint. My brother got Jay a Mickey Mouse doll when he was 5 months old, and I kind of considered it a dud gift... to this day this kid is still super obsessed with that Mickey Mouse doll. Clearly uncles know whats up. 

What are your favorite gift ideas for baby showers? I'd love to hear them in the comments below!

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