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A few months ago, I posted my recipe for Undetectable Spinach Oatmeal on Instagram, and people went crazy for it. That’s what I love most about the food blogger/instagrammer community. I can share something delicious that most people in my life would consider weird and receive nothing but positivity.
Of course, I love being able to share about feelings and struggles and real life on Instagram, but it’s also great to have people that get excited about cinnamon and peanut butter and (undetectable) spinach in oatmeal.
This stuff is so good, I absolutely HAD to rave about it. And now, nearly four months later, I have to rave about it again. These oats are sweet and creamy from the cinnamon and the peanut butter. Though I love the flavor of spinach, I’m happy to report that it is entirely absent from this dish. Plus, the texture of the spinach blends in perfectly with the oats. Hence the name: Undetectable Spinach Oatmeal. Classic cozy oats AND some extra veggies.
Originally, I’d thought this recipe was too simple to post on the blog, but recently I’ve realized that simple recipes are all really I want. Obviously, I can’t be sure that everyone else is in the same boat, but I think it’s safe to say that lots of other people want easy, delicious, nourishing food. And this oatmeal delivers just that.
These Lemon Raspberry Cookies taste like the essence of sunshine and spring. They are so fresh and light, with tangy lemon and tart raspberries. At the same time, they are buttery, crumbly, and completely satisfying.
These cookies were created when I promised to bake for some friends, but then realized I had no chocolate chips. And in my experience, if you promise cookies, you only have two options. 1. Chocolate chip cookies, because you can’t really go wrong with chocolate. 2. Another type of cookie that is absolutely AMAZING. Essentially, if your cookies aren’t chocolate chip, they better be really good.
So I got to work incorporating some of the flavors I’ve been craving recently- crisp, refreshing, delicate- into a cookie I would be proud to present to my friends, despite the lack of chocolate chips.
Unfortunately, when I asked my family to taste test they fell in love and devoured nearly the entire batch. But now that they have the seal of approval from everyone from my little siblings to my grandparents, I will be making plenty more.
These Lemon Raspberry Cookies are so quick and simple, they will definitely be one of my go-to recipes for bake sales and potlucks. Maybe I can even use them to bribe my math teacher for a good grade…
If you make these cookies, be sure to share with me on Instagram and/or let me know what you think in the comments!
Sometimes I struggle with giving the people I love space to grow and change. I fear that I will no longer be able to connect with someone I care about or that they may lose interest in me. So and I have a tendency to distance myself from people in an effort to protect myself from loss.
Recently I’ve felt this happening with one of my best friends. We’re at pretty different points in our lives and don’t have many overlapping interests, so it makes sense that we haven’t been as close. I know friendships fluctuate though, and there may absolutely be a point when she once again feels like the Christina to my Meredith (we’re both obsessed with Grey’s Anatomy).
But I spent the afternoon with this friend and I realized how much I’d missed her and her family. As a strong introvert, it’s rare for me to find people that allow me to completely relax, and she is definitely one of those people. I think it’s the unconditional love I feel from her that allows me to be completely free from self consciousness.
If there’s someone in your life who makes you feel like this, or who you wish you were closer with, take a moment to call/text/write them a letter, then come back and make them some applesauce. Because obviously applesauce is the most authentic and complete expression of love.
But truly, this is such a great gift to others, yourself, and your entire household (it will make your kitchen smell AMAZING as it cooks). Sharing warm bowls of applesauce with my family gave me all the cozy warm feelings (both in my stomach and my heart).
I’m so interested in what you have to say, so let me know your thoughts about friendships, Grey’s Anatomy, and/or applesauce here or on Instagram.
3 cups chopped apples, such as fuji, gala, or honeycrisp (about 2 large apples)
½ tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 cup water
Melt coconut oil in large, heavy bottomed pot.
Add chopped apple, cover, and cook on medium low for 30 minutes.
Add ginger and water to pot, bring to boil, then cover and simmer.
Continue to simmer for an hour, periodically mashing apples with a large fork or potato masher. (Alternatively, blend in food processor once cooking is done. I haven't tried this, but I imagine it would create a smoother sauce.)
Recently, my desk lunches have been pretty pathetic. I was going pretty strong with meal prep for most of September and October, but recently my organization hasn’t been so great. The result of my disorganization is cold, lackluster lunches that do nothing to warm my frigid hands, fill me up, or satisfy my cravings for all things warm and cozy.
My desk lunch dilemma has inspired me to collect this list of ten recipes for you (and me) that are delicious, comforting, healthy, and meal-prep friendly.
Does any one else have a habit of spending wayyyy too much money on fancy groceries? I often walk into Whole Foods intending to grab some veggies and almond milk and come out with veggies, almond milk, a handful of granola bars, a bottle of kombucha, and something totally random I saw on Instagram and just had to have.
I’m still in high school and living with my family, so I’m very lucky that I don’t have to buy all my own groceries yet. (If I did, I’d be broke in a month.) However, I am the only one that follows a primarily plant (haha) based lifestyle, so there are lots of foods, such as almond milk and tofu, that I have to buy for myself, and therefore I find budgeting very important.
Assuming I’m not the only one who struggles with overspending (if I am don’t tell me), today I’m sharing some of my tips for keeping the nutrition high and the prices low when grocery shopping.
Top 5 tips for grocery shopping on a budget:
Focus on ingredients over brand name. I’m constantly tempted to buy the expensive products I see my favorite bloggers posting about on Instagram, from granola to face wash, but I try to keep in mind that there are alternatives of equal quality for a fraction of the price. Sometimes I will splurge and treat myself to something from a fancy brand, but most of the time I try to find something less expensive with a comparable ingredient list (i.e. few ingredients, real foods, words I’m familiar with).
Compare price per ounce. This is a shopping trick my mom taught me when I was still sitting in the baby seat of the shopping cart. Sure, a $2 carton of almond milk might look like good deal, but if the $3 carton is significantly larger, the $3 milk may actually be the better purchase.
Go in with a specific list. This one is pretty simple. If you know what you need and have a clear plan for what you’re going to buy, you will be less likely to find yourself wandering through the store making unnecessary purchases.
Never grocery shop in a rush. While making a specific grocery list should speed up the shopping process, it’s also important to give yourself plenty of time to peruse, explore, and find the best deals.
Keep a tally of prices as you shop. I find this strategy especially useful when paying for my groceries in cash, as I’m terrified of getting up to the cash register and not having enough money on me to pay for my mountain of food. Even if you’re paying with credit, keeping a list of prices as you shop and adding it all up before you check out saves you from having to nod and smile and pretend you’re not dying inside when the cashier tells you how much money you owe.
Sales and coupons are your friends. I bought a pack of Justin’s peanut butter cups the other day that had a coupon inside, so I saved it and redeemed it for a squeeze pack of nut butter.
Using these strategies, I managed to snag all the goods pictured above for just over $30! I’m pretty proud of myself to tell the truth. I had so much fun practicing mindful shopping, and I discovered some really great brands I’d never tried before. All these great brands, along with what I make with them, will be showing up on my Instagram throughout the week.
If you have any shopping hacks, I’d love to hear about them!
I think one of my greatest weaknesses in life may be my intolerance for coffee. I love the way it tastes, and there are definitely times when I would appreciate the caffeine buzz, but unfortunately coffee just makes me feel jittery and slightly nauseous.
Even though I know I don’t like how coffee makes me feel, I continue to order lattes or cold brew once in a while, always promising myself “this time will be different.”
The other day I went out for coffee with a friend before school and ordered a chai flavored cold brew. It was delicious and I felt very trendy, but before I even finished my drink I could feel the effects. For the entire class I had to fight the urge to laugh hysterically as I frantically googled whether coffee could kill me (yeaahhh I may be a bit of a hypochondriac). The jumpy feeling passed quickly, but the experience was uncomfortable enough to keep me away from coffee for a while.
This recipe is the perfect middle ground in my love-hate relationship with coffee. The small quantity of coffee imparts all the flavor I love without the discomfort I experience from caffeine, and the heartiness of the oats cures my usual coffee-induced queasiness and packs a nutritional punch. Anyone else have a star-crossed coffee love story? What are your solutions?
3/4 cup quick cook oats
1 1/4 cup water
1/3 cup milk
2 tbs freshly brewed coffee
1/2 tbs maple syrup
Cook oatmeal on the stovetop according to package instructions.
While oatmeal cooks, pour milk into a glass jar and microwave for 45 seconds.
Remove jar from microwave, screw on lid, and shake vigorously for about 60 seconds. (If jar is too hot to hold, wrap in dish towel before shaking)
Once milk becomes frothy, pour into oats (which should remain on the stove) , and stir gently.
Stir freshly brewed coffee into oats and allow to cook for another minute before serving.
I recently reformatted my blog and added the tagline “Self care & good fare” to describe my values for this space. Over the past few weeks I’ve been struggling to balance recipe posts with lifestyle posts, so I’ve decided to let my blog follow it’s heart and evolve into more of a food blog. Making up recipes is so much fun and it fits really well with my lifestyle right now.
As far as food values, I don’t follow any particular diet, and I believe a healthy lifestyle means enjoying all foods in moderation. I do believe in eating plant based foods as much as possible, as I do not support the practices of factory farming, but I also realize diets such as veganism and vegetarianism are not possible for everyone. I plan to post recipes that will suit a range of diets, and I firmly believe in experimenting to figure out what works best for you. I have so much fun trying new products (can I please live at Whole Foods?) and playing around in the kitchen, so I’m beyond thrilled I get to continue sharing my passion with you all.
At the same time, I think many people, myself included, can easily become overly fixated on food. We get too bogged down worrying we’re eating “too much of this” of “not enough of that” and we stop enjoying the process of cooking, eating, and sharing food. Food is awesome. It’s delicious and fun and fuel for our busy lives. I am so excited to create good fare for myself, my family, and all of you. However, balance is still essential.
So in an effort to remind myself (and any of you if you need it) that food is not everything, this blog is also about self care. I’ll be sharing how I take care of myself, from organization to relaxation, especially when life gets busy and stressful, and I’d be happy to receive input from you all about the kinds of self care advice you need. If there’s anything you’d like me to post about, please fill out the form on my contact page or message me on Instagram.
For me, loving summer is so easy. Being happy and having fun comes naturally when I’m surrounded by sun and friends, without a single essay to write or math problem to complete. In the summer, I’m a more fun, more relaxed version of myself.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed how stressed and uptight I’ve become since going back to school. I having a feeling being so preoccupied and tense makes me less pleasant to be around, and it certainly diminishes the amount of fun I have in my day to day life.
To remedy my autumn blues, I’ve created a list of all the fun things I can do in fall. I can’t wait to reconnect with my relaxed, spontaneous side as I work my way through this list, and I hope it inspires you too!
1st up, fall food!! Personally, I think the warm, cozy vibes of fall make it the best season for food. Hell yes to pumpkin spice everything!
Visit your favorite coffee shop whenever possible. Honestly, I don’t even like coffee (tea lattes all the way), but as the weather gets colder there’s nothing like a hot drink and the comfy atmosphere of your favorite café.
Buy yourself some fancy tea. For those days when you’re craving something hot and comforting, but don’t have the time/motivation/money to go get one, having a box of luxurious, fall flavored tea on hand is essential. I have a weakness for chai teas, so those are a fall staple, but I’ve also been wanting to try out an apple cinnamon tea to mix it up a little. And if you’re more of a classic tea person, you can never go wrong with a good Earl Grey.
I adore pumpkin bread, and love testing out new recipes. This year I’m planning to try Cookie and Kate’s Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread, which sneaks in a little nutrition to help keep us warm through those frigid fall days.
For those moments when one is a bit overwhelmed by the pumpkin-ness of fall, but still craving a seasonal treat, Pinch of Yum’s Gingerbread Mini Donuts are there to save the day. I have a donut pan that I haven’t used in ages, and I can’t wait to make these for a Sunday brunch with family or friends.
I’m not sure I’m a skilled enough baker to try this recipe, but I’ve been intrigued by the idea of homemade bagels for ages, and Inquiring Chef’s Pumpkin Spice Bagels look divine. If you’re able to pull this off, please send me some! (Until then I’ll be counting the days until pumpkin bagels become available at my local bakery.)
Fall style is awesome style. Easy and comfy are the way to go, and everyone looks adorable in a big sweater (yes, you definitely do. this is a fact).
Fuzzy socks are so important. When I’m feeling down, pulling on a soft, oversized, colorful pair of socks always makes me feel better.
When I want to feel cute but don’t have the time or energy to put together a complicated outfit, oversized sweaters are my go-tos.
Boots!! I have way too many pairs, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting more. I buy most of my boots at thrift stores, but I also love the styles from Steve Madden and Cole Haan.
Trying to incorporate new experiences and adventures into my routine helps keep life fun and exciting. Involving other people in these activities is also a great way to reconnect with old friends or create new relationships. This is my “bucket list” for fall!
Complete a school/work project you’re really proud of
Go for a walk and try to capture something quintessentially fall in a photo, a drawing, or in writing.
In the spirit of back to school, try a new workout/art/language/cooking class.
Watch your favorite childhood movie
Carve a pumpkin
Create an awesome DIY Halloween costume
Prioritize self care. When life starts moving quickly, it can be hard to remember to take time for yourself. Practice mindfulness and relaxation with the strategies from De-stress in 15 Minutes or Less (my first blog post!)
If any of these ideas inspire you, share your adventures with me on Instagram @16goingon60. Have a great beginning of fall!
Sort. Remove all your clothes from your closet/dresser and sort them into the piles: clothes you love, clothes you hate, and practical-but-uninspiring.
Test drive. Try on the clothes you love and make sure they fit well and are relatively versatile. Also try on the practical-but-uninspiring clothes and see if you can find a fun new way to style something you thought was boring. After you try on the clothes, reassess your piles and make changes if needed.
Be discerning. Go through the “love” clothes one last time and make sure you would truly feel good in any of those items.
Cleanse. Donate the clothes you hate, pack away the practical-but-uninspiring clothes, and return the items you love to your dresser in organized piles.
Organize. Sort your remaining tops into piles of sweaters, long-sleeve shirts, short sleeve shirts, and tank tops. Sort your bottoms into piles of skirts, shorts, leggings, and jeans. Ideally, each pile should have about the same number of clothes (anywhere from 3-5 items per pile is ideal)
Swap. Ask a parent, sibling, or friend if they have any clothes they’re planning on giving away and suggest you shop through each other’s “donate” piles.
Budget. If you still find yourself in need of a mall trip (or online shopping splurge), create a shopping list based on what you feel your wardrobe is missing and specify how much you intend to spend on each item.
List. Once you have all the clothes you need, make a list of every item of clothing in your wardrobe, including dresses, jackets and shoes.
Plan. Every weekend, look through the list and create an outfit for each day of the week. Make sure that everything you’ll need (including socks + underwear) is clean and in your closet before Monday morning.
Prep. Before bed, lay out every item of clothing you intend to wear the next day.
I used this system to get my wardrobe into shape recently, and I’ve been loving the results. I feel more confident in my clothes, I get more compliments on my outfits, and there is waaaayy less hassle involved in getting out the door. I really hope you try this, it’s life changing! And if you have any style tips of your own to share, by all means PLEASE send them my way. (I really need them)