Sunday, January 29, 2012

{recipe} mixed berry & banana baked oatmeal

What I have learned about myself since being in college:

I am not a breakfast person.

The smell and taste of eggs makes me feel queasy.
I burn pancakes.
I don't know how to whip up a beautiful breakfast on a lazy Sunday morning.
I would rather sleep in a few extra minutes M-F and grab a granola bar than wake up and make something.
I'm not the biggest fan of plain oatmeal.
I do love cheese grits, but this girlish figure won't be sticking around for long if I make those every day!
I don't really know how to whip up french toast.
My bacon never turns out right.

What kind of food-obsessed blogger fails at breakfast?!

I have found a solution.


I found this recipe on Skinny Taste's blog and instantly knew I had to try it out.
I had all of the ingredients in my kitchen and I was getting ready for a "lazy" weekend filled with studying and organizing. By lazy I mean I didn't leave my apartment and wore sweatpants and slippers the entire time.

I am so glad that I decided to make this. I ended up making the entire batch for my roommates and me to eat on Sunday and then snack on for a few more days as a quick breakfast before running out the door for class. I adapted Gina's recipe slightly, by using frozen mixed berries I had on hand instead of just blueberries. It would have been delicious either way.

Mixed Berry & Banana Baked Oatmeal
Original recipe by Skinny Taste

  • 2 medium ripe bananas, (the riper the better) sliced into 1/2" pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup blueberries - I used defrosted frozen mixed berries
  • 1/4 cup honey (or agave)
  • 1 cup uncooked quick oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans - I used sliced almonds!
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup fat free milk (or any milk you desire)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Lightly spray a 8 x 8" or 9 x 9" ceramic baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Arrange the banana slices in a single layer on the bottom of the ceramic dish.Sprinkle half of the blueberries over the bananas, 1/4 tsp of the cinnamon, 1 tbsp of the honey and cover with foil. Bake 15 minutes, until the bananas get soft. 
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the oats, half of nuts, baking powder, remaining cinnamon, and salt; stir together.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining honey, milk, egg, and vanilla extract.
  4. Remove the bananas from the oven, then pour the oat mixture over the bananas and blueberries. 
  5. Pour the milk mixture over the oats, making sure to distribute the mixture as evenly as possible over the oats.  Sprinkle the remaining blueberries and walnuts over the the top.
  6. Bake the oatmeal for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the oatmeal has set. Serve warm from the oven.

I was obviously too impatient to let the oatmeal cool enough to cut a bigger slice. 
That little piece just looks so sad.

Drink lots of coffee and have a super productive day with this healthy, filling breakfast.

Oh, and I totally have to let you in on a little secret.... A warm slice of this baked oatmeal topped with vanilla greek yogurt tastes JUST like cobbler with ice cream. Do it.

xo, Jen

Saturday, January 21, 2012

{fashion} friday's OOTD!

I feel so cheesy taking mirror pictures for my OOTDs! Maybe someday I will have a cool little camera tripod. But, until then, these types of pictures will just have to happen. 

Button-down: Ralph Lauren - found at Marshalls
Cardigan: Mossimo by Target - gift from Momma :)
Jeans: Skinnies from Forever 21 - $9.80
Boots: Ciao Bella - DSW online
Belt: Random find at Walmart
Watch: Anne Klein - gift from my parents
Bracelet: gift from relatives

Worn to: class & work yesterday.

Have a great weekend loves!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

{diy} 20 minute photo canvas

This year for Christmas, I made each of my parents a little photo canvas to put up in our family room.

I found the tutorial for this project on Pinterest (of course).
Can you believe that the only materials you need are tissue paper, mod podge,a paintbrush, and a canvas?!

I didn't take any pictures of the process (I wasn't so sure it was going to turn out!) so I will leave you with the link of the original blog. Click here to redirect to Little Bit Funky's tutorial.

Here are a few tips I found helpful from the comment section of the tutorial:
One thing I would definitely recommend doing is taping the ironed tissue paper to computer paper on two of the edges at least. It helps the tissue paper go through the printer and also prevents the ink from leaking through too much. ALSO. Make sure you switch your printer setting to "Special Paper - Iron On." I have a free with purchase printer which isn't exactly the fanciest, so this helped to prevent rips and tears in the tissue paper! 

Please let me know if you decide to make one. Once you start you just can't stop!
I am itching to make one with a picture of my boyfriend and me to hang up in my room in my apartment. 
And one with my roomies to put in our living room.
This would also be a great big/little gift (calling all sorority women!) :)

Thanks to Little Bit Funky for the awesome tutorial!

Monday, January 16, 2012

{recipe} peanut butter & chocolate chip oatmeal cookie bars

Happy Monday friends! 
An especially happy Monday to everyone who has the day off (like me!)

I just watched The Help last night for the 28310031 time and it really had me thinking about how brave of a man Martin Luther King Jr. was. It is a shame that he was never able to see just how much his social justice work helped to form the society we live in today. Just a little side note to honor what he did for our country. :)

This weekend was super relaxing. The roomie and I are literally like an old married couple. We watched movies and cooked dinner and relaxed all weekend. We love to go out - every now and then - but mainly just enjoy hanging out, gossiping, and drinking wine at home. 

On Saturday, we went on a 7 mile hike with four of our sorority sisters. 
We packed lots of snacks, lunch, and a ton of water. 
I am so proud of us for completing this hike! There was a lot of uphill hiking going on.
I am still sore today.... 

After walking over a tree trunk that crossed a little stream.

Don't mind me and my awkward outfit. I kept taking off and putting back on my layers.

A little adventure off of the trail led us to the bank of the Apalachicola River.

This is part of the rock we took a little lunch break at.

There were definitely times during our hike where we were all getting pretty tired.  At points of the hike it seemed like going at a steep incline was never. going. to. end. But we powered through! Next up we are planning on conquering the Torreya Challenge Trail. We'll see how that goes... :)

One thing that kept us going was the little sweets break we took 3.5 miles into the hike. A little taste of our peanut butter & chocolate chip oatmeal cookie bars was just what we needed to keep on trucking along through our hike. 

I made the cookie bars the night before while watching Water For Elephants with my roommate and our sorority sister Rachel. They have no oil or egg in them - which totally make them 100% healthy right?!

I'll just keep pretending...

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Bars
Original Recipe found on Yes I Want Cake


  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 c peanut butter
  • 2 T flax + 1/4 c water - stir to combine and let sit for two minutes. (this is your flax egg)
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 c flour
  • 1/2 c oats
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 c chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugars, and peanut butter until fluffy. Beat in the flax egg and vanilla.
  3. Combine the oats, flour, and baking soda in a bowl. Then stir it into the creamed mixture. Spread into a greased 13×9 baking pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely before you cut into bars.

PS. Thank you to everyone who has been pinning my recipes. :)

xo, Jen

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

{life} happy 2012 - NYC recap

Hi friends! I hope that y'all had a wonderful new year's celebration! I celebrated in NYC with my wonderful boyfriend. My trip to NY was wonderful. I exchanged presents with Seth, went to lots of cute local restaurants in the Murray Hill area (see bottom of post for links to restaurants we went to!), went out with our friends, and caught up with a sorority sister who lives in NYC.

Picture heavy post once again. Thank you for all of your sweet comments on my last post!
I feel like I say this all the time but I'm trying to be a better blogger. 
Starting a new semester is always so hectic!

My second night in town was just in time for the Champs Bowl - aka the Notre Dame vs. FSU game.
Boyfriend went to ND, I go to FSU. It was quiiiite interesting. 
Needless to say... the best team won. ;)

First night out!

My sorority sisters were visiting NYC too! We met up with them a block from where Seth used to live.

Boys being boys....

We went to a bar called Kiss & Fly for NYE with a bunch of his college friends. First, we went to one of his friend's brother's ballller apartment in SOHO. Um. If I ever have to live in a big city I WILL have an apartment just like it. It is happening. It was huge! Something you would see on Sex & The City (Big/Carrie style.)

NYE! I don't really like this picture.... but you can see the dress!
Sidenote: Having only boys to take pics for NYE is so not ideal.
In the most baller apartment everrrr.
Right before midnight!
YAY 2012!

Restaurants visited while in NY - not as many this time. We were trying to save money! lol
*The Three Hens - We went for brunch. It was delicious! They serve water in a mason jar - 'nuff said.
*Brother Jimmy's - We ate a late lunch here after running errands all day. Service was a bit slow but food was pretty good! Not exactly comparable to true Southern food, obviously, but it was a good effort for the city!

I had a wonderful time. I can't wait to catch up with your blogs and see how your holiday seasons went!

PS. Watching the National Championship right now - who are you rooting for??

xo, Jen