Good Friday, CPA Exam, Easter & Lactation Cookies

Three-layers-wall

After a few months of studying and way too many trips to Starbucks (embarrassed to admit how many grandes), I finally took the BEC section of the CPA exam on Good Friday.  It was by far, hands down, without a doubt, the hardest exam I have ever taken.  In.My.Life.Ever.  I felt the Audit section was a little easier, but everyone is different.  Now is the fun part… the waiting game.

Paleo-pancakes-berriesWhile I wait the 2-3 weeks for my results, I am taking a break from the CPA all together. (hallelujah!!) This way, I can catch up with life a little, hang out with friends and make some yummy meals!  This weekend was no exception!

Friday: Paleo Pancakes!  I added a berry mixture and this gave the pancakes a sweet kick that was so delicious!  I posted my recipe for paleo pancakes a few days ago, but it’s simple – eggs, bananas, cinnamon.  Done!

Saturday Work0ut: Tested out the new running swag!  I bought the Yurbuds Inspire Talk for Women and tested them out this week.  The problem with me and earphones is the same problem everyone has… they don’t fit right.  The ones that come with iPhones hurt my ears really bad and I’m sure the amount of sweat that gets in them and my ears when I workout isn’t good.  So I decided to give the Yurbuds a try and guess what, I LOVE LOVE them!!  They aren’t too big, fit perfectly and “lock” in place.  Also, I can hear my music but also hear outside sound too, which is helpful when I’m running outside.  The turquoise/light blue color is fun too!

Running-swag

After that early morning workout, I went to an Easter Egg Hunt with my friend and her awesome 20 month old… so much fun watching the little ones gather eggs!

Egg-hunt

Emmie had fun Saturday afternoon!  She got to play with her friend, Boomer, and run around (off-leash!!) until she couldn’t run anymore.  She slept the whole way home and was perfect the rest of the day (<— yeah, she’s not always perfect!)  I am so thankful for friends with dogs and backyards!

Puppy-play-date

Saturday night, I went to my church’s Easter Service.  The series we are in is called “The Way” and it’s a look back into the life, the land and the way Jesus took.  We got to see video footage from when my Pastor went to Israel and it was really awesome!

Three-layersSaturday later night, I went with some great friends to Three Layers, a coffee house, wine bar, hole-in-the-wall-middle-of-nowhere gem!  This place was really cool and had live music.  The best part was the venue for sure.  You could relax of a sofa and chairs, sit at high tops, play board games, watch tv, sit at the wine bar or even sit outside in the zen café!  We checked out all the areas (ok it’s small but they make great use of the space) and ended outside where we met a real Easter bunny!

Sunday morning came very early and I went to the 6am sunrise service at the beach.  There is nothing more amazing than watching the sunrise over the ocean while worshiping our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Resurrection Sunday!  Unfortunately, the weather was too yucky so they cancelled service.  Fortunately, Moosehaven had a 7am sunrise on the river, so over the bridge I went! (after stopping at Dunkin Donuts for more coffee!)  Here’s a picture I took from the service!

Sunday-service-on-river

The last part of my weekend I am very excited about was making Nutella Milkies!!  Milkies are my version of lactation cookies.  Before you get all weirded out, these cookies are just full of yummy goodness that helps lactating women produce more milk!  I’m visiting a friend tomorrow who is nursing her newborn and I’m so excited to introduce her to these.  A blog post to come soon about the cookies 🙂

Nutella-Milkies-cover

That about wrap it up for me.  What was the best part of your weekend?  What Easter traditions do you have?

 

 

3 Ingredients to Paleo Pancakes

Paleo-pancake-porch

Friday morning I woke up at 5am.  Typically, I would take the dog out and then go back to bed.  But yesterday I was feeling well rested and decided getting up 1.5 hours early was a good idea. <— it was!  I cleaned, took Emmie on a long walk and made breakfast! I love breakfast but I don’t take the time to sit down and enjoy it in the morning.  Usually I eat it on the way to work.  (it being cereal – from a plastic cup) But not this morning!   This morning I decided to enjoy breakfast on the porch.  In a “get-up-early-be-productive-and-do-something-good-for-myself” mood I was in, paleo pancakes were a must!

The Paleo Diet is also known as the caveman diet.  Essentially, what cavepeople ate, is Paleo approved.  The Ultimate Paleo Diet Food List is a great source for the dos and don’t of Paleo.  I made a very yummy Thai Red curry Spaghetti Squash with Chicken dish that was specifically Paleo friendly.

For breakfast I mixed 3 ingredients and made a very delicious “pancake.”  Paleo-pancake-ingredients

  • Eggs – packed with protein, omega-3 fats and vitamin!  <— ok, I didn’t go with cage-free organic eggs, but eggs > no eggs, right?
  • Bananas – hello potassium!
  • Cinnamon – The smell boosts brain functioning… CPA is 6 days away!

 

The ratio should be 1:1 but if you have a big banana (like I did), I just used 1 banana and 2 eggs.  The banana makes the batter thicker so play it by ear…

Paleo-pancake-cinnamon

I love cooking with coconut oil!  I lightly coated the pan with coconut oil to give the pancake a crispier outside.

Paleo-pancake-coconut-oil

Cook the pancakes in the frying pan and wah-la!  Breakfast served!

Paleo-pancake-cook

For dinner, I made grilled steak kabobs and used the Weber Grill Chicago Steak Seasoning.  Oh my goodness… so delicious!  I visited the Weber Grill in Chicago (which was A-MAZING) so when I saw this seasoning in Publix, I was sold!  I coated the petite tender medallions beef shoulder pieces with olive oil and the seasoning.  I must say, that was a great decision!

Weber-grill-spice

What’s better than grilled steak?  Grilled steak AND grilled veggies!

Veggies-kabobs

What did you eat healthy this weekend?

 

Catch up and bake – Carrot Cake Cupcakes!

carrot-cake-coverWell hello, friends!  Many of you have emailed me about my whereabouts and thank you!  I’m here and hope to blog more often very soon. 🙂 Remember that little thing horrible-stressful-welcome-to-my-new-life-thing called the CPA exam I told you about awhile ago?  Well it has consumed my life and it paid off because I PASSED the first one!

That’s right, I passed!  Good thing is I’m 25% done, bad thing is that the clock starts ticking for when I have to pass the other 3!  I’ve been so focused on studying I haven’t done much of anything else… my days consist of going to work, studying on my lunch break, coming home and cranking out a few hours each night if possible.  Right now I’m studying for the Business section, BEC.  My exam is April 18th and I’m not stressed (well right now, at this moment anyway… don’t ask me tomorrow) because for the first time in this exam of my life, I’m caught up!

So what does one do when finally caught up on the work and it is an absolutely beautiful day?!  Play outside of course!  After finishing studying this morning, doing laundry, cleaning the house, walking the dog and going grocery shopping (man, being a grown up is rough!), I took a trip down to St. Augustine to hang out with a good friend and got to bring Emmie along for the ride!  To recap how much fun we had, I give you a few pictures…

emmie-car-ride

The top picture was on the way down to St. Augustine.  Emmie was so excited and curious.  The car ride home was, well you can see what happened!

When I got home I was having a hankering for baking.  I didn’t really care too much for eating the cupcakes (note: there has been NO mention of working on yet – yikes!) I just wanted to bake something!  I realized I haven’t posted a recipe for carrot cake, so guess what, carrot cake was the winner!  (If you’re interested in a slimmed down version, check out my Weight Watchers Carrot Cake Recipe)

The “you can save that recipe” Carrot Cake Cupcakes

carrot-cake-wetIngredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil or canola (I used extra virgin olive oil because I had that)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground clove
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 cups finely chopped carrots

 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Chop up the carrots.  I bought the matchstick carrots and tossed them in my food processor.  The most efficient way to get this done!

carrot-cake-carrots

Mix the sugar, oil and eggs in a large mixer.

carrot-cake-mix

In a separate bowl, whisk remaining dry ingredients and then add to the wet mixture.  I think this is the key to the best carrot cake… it’s all about the spices.  the blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and make or break the taste!

carrot-cake-dry

Fold in the carrots and fill cupcake tins 3/4 full.  I used the jumbo sized tins and baked for about 30 minutes.  Adjust time as needed.

Frosting:  Cream Cheese frosting is probably my favorite frosting.  4 simple ingredients (butter, vanilla, cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar) combine perfectly!  Or can combine perfectly! I’ve had some not-so-perfect cream cheese frosting and appreciate the good ones even more!  You can find my frosting recipe on my blog post about red velvet cupcakes.

carrot-cake-frostingI chopped up pecans and added them as a garnish.  Enjoying my one (yeah, I only baked one of them tonight!) cupcake, while drinking hot tea (my new night time regime) and watching The Walking Dead season finale (my not-so-new Sunday night regime) was definitely the perfect end to a perfect day!

Being caught up, even if it is for only one day, is such an amazing feeling and I can’t wait until April 18!!  Well actually, I can.  I’m not completely prepared yet and have a lot more studying to do before then.  But when it does get here, expect more recipes and adventures! 🙂

If you were completely caught up with your stuff, how would you spend your day?

Bon Appetite!