January 24, 2014

Five on Friday: Southern Style

Hey Y'all! It's been a couple weeks since I linked up for Five on Friday, so I'm happy to be back and joining up with AprilDarciNatasha and Christina!

I'm down in North Carolina while TJ is away on a big work trip. We decided all would be happier if the dogs and I stayed in NC with family and friends while he's away. This is definitely true, and I'm thankful to spend time with the ones I love down here! I sure do miss him, still.
Bailey loving the car ride

Protein Pancakes: Oh my! I have eaten these twice since I've been here. They are SO good and super easy. The pictures are not the best, as they were taken with my phone, but you'll get the idea. I adapted a recipe from Ambitious Kitchen. I have made the switch to full fat dairy (and prefer organic anyhow) but you could of course substitute egg whites, lowfat or skim milk and lighter cottage cheese if you preferred.

Here's what you'll need:
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 medium banana
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg (or 2 egg whites)
1/4 cup cottage cheese
1-2 tablespoons milk

optional add-ins:
I chose blueberries this time but treat it as you would any other pancake!

What to Do:
1. Put it all in a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth.
2. Lightly coat a nonstick griddle or skillet with butter or cooking spray over medium low heat. Drop batter by 1/4 cup onto skillet. Cook until bubbles appear on top. Flip cakes and cook until golden brown. Repeat with the rest of your batter! Makes 3-4 pancakes.

*I doubled the recipe, even though I was making them for myself and enjoyed them as leftovers!*

Easy and Pretty Burlap Wreath: With some extra free time on my hands, I thought I'd channel my inner Martha Stewart and attempt to do something crafty, yet simple. I love the look of a burlap wreath and had been waiting to try making one for myself. I followed Laura's directions at Top This, Top That and her pictures are better than mine! Since we are living in a tiny apartment in NYC, decorating can sometimes be challenging. My thought with this wreath is that I will leave it up year round, and switch up the embellishments to fit the season, holiday or mood I might be in. This satisfies my need to switch things up and my husband's need for me to not collect seasonal decorations every chance I get.

 This part looks trickier than it is. Just looping through the top, middle and bottom bars and pushing the fabric together to give it a fluffy, layered look.

the mini chalkboard might be my favorite...
Also, I realize it is not spring yet. Just wishful thinking. :)

Aside from dodging the big snow storm in NY, one of the perks of being in NC is the ability to go to Target all the time . It's no secret that I love nail polish in a big way, so the fact that I've picked up two more since I've been here really should not be a surprise.
left: smokin' hot       right: on a silver platter

Words, Friends, Food
a reminder. 
 I just adore this scarf that happened to also be on sale this week.
 One highlight of my week was going to Charlotte for a quick visit. My sweet friend, Danielle and her family, put me up for the night. It was such a treat catching up with her and the other precious neighbors and friends that I saw. I visited school and spent time with my {former} first grade class, which truly was good for my soul. Again, I am wishing I'd been better about taking pictures of it all!
I have been dreaming about this Salmon Ni├žoise salad for days. I must try to

duplicate at home!

Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope your Friday is fabulous!

January 10, 2014

Five on Friday-100th POST!

Today is the 100th post on Find Your Spark! I don't ever forget why this blog came to be. I am proud of what's become of it and most of all, I look forward to keeping up with it and documenting our adventures in the future.

I'm linking up for a special Five on Friday with April, Darci, Christina and Natasha and a we have a lot of catching up to do!

Thoughts for a new year: This year I have two words that I'm going to focus on. Intentional and Gratitude. I'm really going to try to be intentional with my time, relationships, prayers, thoughts, finances, organizing, eating wholesome foods and just being present in the moment. As for gratitude, I am going to do my very best to focus on being thankful for something (or several somethings) every day. I want to keep a gratitude journal and write down these things as a reminder that there is always, always, always something to be thankful for.
 I also want to become a little bit braver and write more openly about our journey to become {earthly} parents. It is something that is always an ever present part of our lives, but I don't write about it too often. This blog is a journal about our lives and I want to look back and remember it all, the good parts and the hard parts.
We had a fantastic visit to North Carolina over Christmas! I loved seeing friends and family and the pups had a blast, too. We went to {the wettest} Panthers game and had so much fun. My only regret is that I didn't take more pictures with everyone we saw!
Here are a few:

We had dinner and stayed with our sweet friends Brent and Danielle, AND we are so excited that they are coming to visit us in NYC next month!


 Christmas Eve
In our Christmas Jammies :)

 Christmas Day Dinner

 The Kings! :)
 Queens {we left our crowns off for this one} :)

How have you all been doing with this cold? I know the temperatures have been ridiculous everywhere. It is 35 degrees today and I swear I was humming while walking and thinking to myself that it felt quite pleasant outside. Haha. Funny how that happens.

Have you heard of Fresh Direct?  I tried it for the first time this week and Oh My. It was so easy and I there was so much to choose from. I have had Trader Joe's delivered before but for that you've got to shop in the store and arrange for them to deliver your groceries later. Still pretty easy, but with it being so cold, ordering everything online and having it delivered to my door is pretty appealing. Will definitely be using them again!

I am attempting to take a picture everyday for the entire year. This is actually going to be pretty challenging but I'm up for it given my goal to appreciate the small things everyday. I'm doing this on Instagram and I'd love for you to follow along!
 Here's what 2014 looks like so far:
Day 1: Happy Birthday, Bailey!
 Day 2: BRRR
 Day 3: Snowday, part 1
Day 4: Snowday, part 2
Day 5: Lazy brunch at home
 Day 6: An awesome reminder
 Day 7: Whatever-we-had-in-the-kitchen pot pie
 Day 8: It was so cold that Sadie did what we all wished we could have done: Went back to bed before even going outside.
Day  9: Shopping in Soho and drinking water from a box. :)
Day 10: Go Panthers!
100 posts may not seem like many in the grand scheme of things, but to me, it's a reminder that I'm very glad I started this blog as a heartbroken mama who did not know what to do next. I can't put words or value to describe how thankful I am to everyone who has decided to visit our little corner of the internet and share their stories and encouragement with me. And, if this is your first time here, I hope you'll come back. Cheers to 100 posts, finding joy in the journey and, to a wonderful weekend!

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