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I am one of those people who look forward to breakfast the night before. I find it weird because I don’t make anthing spectacular or go out to breakfast often; I just always look forward to eating!

Your diet accounts for a large portion of your health; it is about a ratio of 80/20 with your exercise routine. How many times growing up did your mom tell yout that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Probably everyday. I was raised to always, always eat breakfast before leaving for school, whether I am hungry or not. And I did. I grew up eating cereal for breakfast, which is still one of my favorite foods today, unfortunately it is not the healthiest with all the added sugars. So, although I would love to eat sugary cereals everyday for breakfast, I’ve had to find an alternative.

That’s where my love of oats come in! I can make my own, healthy cereal each morning. I used to hate plain oatmeal, then I realized I can add my own healthy ingrediants to make oatmeal taste even better than the packaged oatmeal.

I am not a food blogger by any means, so excuse my food photography. I like how I begin with photographing oatmeal; one of the most boring, ugly foods in history!

Below are my three favorite ways to prepare oatmeal for a healthy, filling breakfast!

Granola

One of my favorite granola recipes can be found at the Pastry Affair blog. Tradionally, granola does tend to have a lot of sweetener and oil, so when I am making homemade granola, I do play with recipes and add less sweeteners and oil. That tends to mean less clumps of granola that stick together, but I think it is still plenty sweet. Remember, you can always add more, but you cannot take it out of the mix once you put it in. Granola recipes are really easy to play around with! If you aren’t very good in the kitchen, a store brand that I enjoy is Glutenfreeda.

One tip with granola, if you do make or buy a higher sugar content granola, I mix it with plain oats to make it go further. Granola serving sizes tend to be a bit small for me. A fourth of a cup will not fill me up at breakfast!

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Banana Plum Oatmeal

This is a super easy “recipe” to make your own. I mix 1/2 cup of oats with 1/2 cup water and a mashed banana. I stir in some cinnamon or pumpkin spice mix, splash in some maple extract and top it with a scoop of my Uncle’s homemade plum jam. Sometimes I add in peanut butter and make it more of a PB&J oatmeal. I eat this hot often, but love it as cold, overnight oats as well. Following the same recipe, just seal it up and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.

I do definitely recommend trying it with the scoop of jam on top. Or a scoop of both peanut butter and jam and have them melt a bit on the warm oats. Almost drooling just thinking of it now!

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Smoothies

Everyone is all about smoothies nowadays, so why not throw some oats in them! This is like the other recipes: super flexible. I basically throw whatever we have on hand in the Magic Bullet and let it blend. Sometimes I have to add more liquid, sometimes more fruit for more flavor. The base is 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup oats and 1/2 cup frozen fruit. Sometimes I throw in a bunch of almonds, a scoop of peanut butter, or some protein powder. You could blend up some oats and throw them in any smoothie recipe that you already use; it is a good way to add some good whole grains.

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Disclaimer: No, I do not eat the hull of the strawberries. That was purposefully an artistic decision. I am such a wannabe.

What is your favorite healthy breakfast?

If I am not eating oatmeal in the morning, I am eating boring eggs on toast! Or when I visit home, some very yummy, very sugary cereal!

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I scream, you scream, who doesn’t scream for ice cream?

You may be a bit confused if you saw my last post about the cleanse I am starting. I did say I am starting it Thursday, meaning tomorrow. Or today, if you are reading this on Thursday, perhaps yesterday. The point is that it might not have been the best idea, but I figured I could have one last treat before I began my cleanse.

We signed up for this website, How About We, a few weeks back. It is a monthly subscription based site that offers discounts for select dates each month, even offering a selection of one free date a month! They even offer a free congierge that will help you plan and book a date, with suggestions of restaurants, getaways, shows, or even fitness classes.

We are the kind of couple who never know what to do or cannot seem to agree. I am really excited for the monthly free dates, but they offer so many great options for discounted dates, and ideas I would never think of. They have things like photography classes, painting classes, city tours, fitness classes, and so on. The offers change monthly. Also, the price you see is always the price for two, so there is never any confusion with the price!

Our trip to Cool Haus was our first free date from the site.

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Ice cream sandwiches. I mean, what else can you want in life?
I had the Peanut Butter Captain Crunch cookie with half Molten Chocolate Cake ice cream and Honeycomb ice cream. It may have been one of the best things I’ve eaten. David had the Potato Chip and Butterscotch cookies with the Whiskey Lucky Charms ice cream.

Anyone who mixes ice cream and cookies with cereal flavors is good in my book.

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You better believe we both finished the whole thing!

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Now that I am begining my cleanse tomorrow, I am looking forward to using more of How About We’s fitness based dates, or experiences, rather than desserts and food dates. I am pretty happy that I was able to fit in the Cool Haus date before my cleanse began, though!

I do want to specify that I was not approached to write a review about How About We or Cool Haus. I just thought this would be a fun post and I really enjoyed Cool Haus and I love the idea of How About We; it’s like Groupon for dates! I think it is especially beneficial for those who can never think of anything to do (like us!); it provides fresh, new, unique date ideas. It does not have to just be a romantic date, either. A lot of the options would be great to share with a friend!

And while we are not judging me for my last hurrah, we also had burger and fries that night from Umami.

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Like I said, I am in need of this cleanse!

Where do you find inspiration for new date or friend outting ideas?

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I’ve been sick since around Thanksgiving. It waned a bit in between the holidays, but has since come back in full force since Christmas. I attribute it partly to not taking as good care of myself as I normally do. I tend to enjoy myself around the holidays which includes indulging and being lazy. Once I am back on my feet, I am back to clean eating and working out; it really makes a difference in how I feel! Is anyone up for a clean eating challenge with me?

I have been living in pajamas without any makeup the last week, mostly curled up on the couch trying to rest. This Crossroads Trading Co scarf from their new online ship has been keeping me super cozy and warm on these chilly nights in Nor Cal.

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// Scarf: c/o Crossroads Trading Co // Jacket + Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters //

Soeaking of chilly nights, Ugly Mug was the hero tonight and made homemade chili from the new cookbook he got me for Christmas, from the restaurant Lemonade.

I certainly hope he cooks more often, not because I want him to take over for me, but because I think he has a hidden talent!

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Isn’t this the most adorable cookbook stand ever? Thanks to my Momma for gifting it to me for Christmas!

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I hope all you babes are staying well and warm!

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I know it’s Friday. I know this is not a Friday Favorites post. Truthfully, I am getting a bit bored with the Friday Favoites series. I always end up scrambling to put them together last minute, often times trying to come up with something to share as I am typing it. I may change the format of it, or scrap it all together, but I need a bit of a break from how I have been doing it.

I don’t mean to break your hearts (do you get the pun in my title now?), but I made you some donuts to make up for it. That’s right, eat your feelings. That’s how I cope with sadness too. And happiness.

I love to bake and I have always wanted to attempt homemade donuts, because sometimes you just need a donut, but don’t want to be embarassed and buy them in public alone, wearing boyfriend jeans and an oversized sweatshirt and jacket without a bra. Instead, you want to whip them up at home super quick while wearing boyfriend jeans, and an oversize sweatshirt without a bra, but no jacket because the frying oil is make you very warm.

Not that that is what I was wearing. It’s just an example.

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I usually bake from scratch but since I had some help from The Frosting Queens with their chocolate and vanilla all natural, ready to use frosting, I decided to take another shortcut and use Pillsbury Grands Homestyle biscuits. Just heat up about a half inch of oil in a pan and flip the biscuits when they are golden brown. It only takes a minute or so on each side.

And then I filled the donuts with frosting.

I said, “And then I filled the donuts with frosting.” I then proceeded to die a little with my first bite.

Super easy. Super quick. Super delicious.

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To be honest, I am very weary of store bought frosting. I always, always make my own, even if everything else is a short cut. The Frosting Queens ready to use frostings passed my test. And they are a local Sacramento company, so they get bonus points for that.

Be sure to check out The Frosting Queens and check out a few other bloggers HERE who tested out the frosting as well! FeelFreeToRepinMineSoICanWinAWholeFoodsGiftCard, KThanks.

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Also, I learned a lesson. When you steal your fiance’s camera, be sure to bring an extra battery or the battery charger because when the battery dies in the middle of a shoot and said fiance will not be in town for 4 more days, you will have to go buy a battery charger. And it will frustrate you. The holidays are not a time to be frustrated. But do you know how to cope with that frustration? That’s right, by eating a donut.

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