WIAW: The Big 1-9

Hey guys! Sorry my WIAW is a little late this week. I was pretty busy on Wednesday, so I didn’t have much time to post. But I still wanted to get in on the party, so here it is!

Well, it’s finally here–my 19th birthday!I feel like I’ve been waiting a whole year for my birthday…oh wait, I have 😉

The most exciting part of this year’s birthday (besides a special store opening event–more on that in a bit) is that it just so happens that it’s also Wednesday. As in, What I Ate Wednesday! I love this weekly party (hosted by the lovely Jenn) and this week, it feels like even more of a party, since it’s my b-day. Self-centered much? 😀

Peas and Crayons

I started my birthday out reaaaaaaaally early (well, early for me!) at the ripe hour of 6 o’ clock. Who in their right mind wakes up that early on their birthday if they don’t have to go to work (or they just happen to be an early bird, which I am most definitely not)? This girl right here, and for a good reason–my mom and I were going up to Denver for the grand opening of Colorado’s first-ever IKEA store! I’ve never been to an IKEA store so I was curious about what they’d have there, but mostly because they were giving away gift certificates worth $52.80 (the elevation of the store is 5280 feet, I guess that’s how they got that amount) only to people whose birthday was on July 27th (the grand opening day, obvs). I’ve never thought my birthday was on a special day (though, one of my lucky numbers is 7, so it’s kinda special) but I guess it was in this case! I had to prove my birthday was really July 27th, though (this is when having a driver’s license comes in handy…oh, I guess also if you want to drive 😉 )and I got a neato Happy Birthday stamp on my wrist. I think some people thought it was a tat lol JK.

Cake batter oats for breakfast. I just had to, I mean, it was my birthday after all!

...along with a spicy veggie sausage, mixed berries and PB Puffins.The sun was shining right behind it, so you can't really read the sign

Welcome to IKEA!

The coolest stamp ever!

 My mom scored a $10 gift certificate at the door, so we had over $60 to spend. My dad told us that we couldn’t go crazy and spend way over the amount we got (knowing us, we probs could have easily) and we didn’t! We even had $5 left over. We ended up getting a floor lamp with a pink and orange shade, a pink plastic shower caddy and a cool orange lamp thing (notice a trend here?) All the stuff gonna be for my dormie room and I can’t wait! I’ll show pics when everything’s actually assembled. As for the verdict on IKEA? Love. It. I’m a big fan of modern, sleek, cool furniture and I can totally see myself shopping here when I have a place of my own. The best part is that it’s all pretty cheap but well-made. Double score!

After the adventure that was IKEA (I totally got my exercise in for the day at that store. No joke. We were running to try to find the birthday certificate hand-out area, wrestled people to the ground manuevered around people to check out the lighting fixtures and almost got lost in that maze of a store.) we went to Panera for lunch. I got the strawberry poppyseed salad for the second time, and it was perfect for a hot summer day. It was huge though, so I wasn’t able to eat much of it.

Mi ensalada: greens, grilled chicken, pecans, strawbs, mandarin oranges, bloobs and pineapple

Then we drove to Gelazzi (the best gelato place, hands-down!) to pick up my b-day dessert. I was planning on getting a gelato cake or pie, but after being shellshocked by the prices (30 bucks for a cake? No thanks!) I settled on 2 pints of gelato, one mint chocolate chip and the other Hilo pineapple. Mmmmm (not together, though!)…

Back at home, I was starving so I munched on a handful of PB Puffins (those things are like crack, I swear) and some raisins. IDK why, but I’ve been loving on the raisins lately, even more so than my beloved dates. Don’t worry dates, you’ll always be my true love 😛

Birthday girl outfit: light green floral Hollister dress, coral VS Pink bandeau bra, AE pink crystal necklace

After some cardio interval time and yoga (as if I didn’t exercise enough already at IKEA…) I had a snackie that’s quickly becoming a favorite of mine: Late July mild green mojo multigrain chips alongside an almond butter-stuffed date and pineapple chunks. I convinced my sis to try the chips and she fell in love. My sister, the organic-hater, loved these organic healthy chips because they “taste like Doritos” (her words, not mine). I’m glad I can convert her to healthy eating 🙂

Amazing snack!Another birthday "present" I got was my first edible strawberry from my little plant. The first one got eaten by birds...yikes!

My daddy got home and then we were off to Pei Wei for my birthday din din. If you’ve never heard of/been to Pei Wei it’s basically a cheaper version of PF Changs. Okay, maybe that didn’t help either, but it’s a place that has a bunch of different Asian cuisines and dishes. I got my personal fave, the Vietnamese Chicken Salad rolls. I also had some iced chai black tea (s0 delish with a fresh orange slice!), edamame and a little bit of my dad’s brown rice mixed with peanuts from his Kung Pao. Such a delish dinner and I can’t wait to have the leftover roll for lunch! My only complaint is that I was freezing my butt off the entire time! What is it with restaurants and their extreme air conditioning?

Sorry about the horrible quality of these photos, they were taken in weird lighting and I had to be sneaky about it!

Edamame for the win!Vietnamese summer rolls are my favorite!


 Presents time back at home (aka my favorite part of my b-day)! I got really sweet cards from my parents and sis and some pretty rockin’ presents as well.

Coach Poppy backpack, cropped denim jacket, Gilly Hicks pink tee and blue floral pj shorts, hair waver, fashion book

I'm a little obsessed with wrapping paper...

After a little AGT (America’s Got Talent) watching, I was starving again (!) so we decided to have the birthday gelato then. Remember above when I said that I would never have pineapple and mint chocolate chip gelato at the same time? Well…I did. It honestly wasn’t bad, but that’s probs because I ate each flavor separately (and now I can look forward to many more nights of gelato leftovers!) I was surprised the house didn’t burn down, with 19 candles on a tiny gelato container!

That's a whole heck of a lot of candles!

Mint chocolate chip and pineapple--a match made in (weird) foodie heaven!

My new pjs in action!

Thanks for sticking with me through that monster of a post! I had an amazing day and couldn’t ask for anything more!

What is one of your birthday ‘traditions’? Ever been to an IKEA?

Calling All Overnight Oats Lovers…

I. Love. Overnight. Oats. In case you didn’t already know that by checking out my Ode to Overnight Oats page 😉 I love their creamy, thick texture and the millions of flavor combos, from basic to exotic. I’ve recently been on an OO kick, maybe because it’s been soooooo hot lately. It’s the perfect breakfast for warm summer days, but I’ve also been enjoying them as an afternoon snack and even as dessert!

I was getting a little bored with my usual combos, so I started brainstorming. I’m pretty sure none of these flavor combos are my creation, but I did make up my own recipes for them, so that has to count for something, right 😛 ? If you love overnight oats, you’ve gotta try some of my latest variations. I liked all of them, but some of them I will definitely be repeating on a daily basis as much as possible!

Chocolate Cherry Oats

 I give these a 3 out of 5. I’m not a huge fan of cherries, but they really made these oats. I think I didn’t like this combo as much because I ran out of dark cocoa powder and had to use the regular. The regular kind has a weird, acidic kind of taste that I hate. These would be so much better with the dark cocoa powder! These were super-simple to make: 1/3 cup thick rolled oats mixed with a little water and a packet of Truvia, then I added a spoonful cocoa powder and in the morning I chopped up some fresh cherries and added them in.

Cake Batter Oats

 I’ve been on a mini cake batter kick recently so I actually had these the other day alongside one of my homemade cake batter waffles! I give these a 4 out of 5. They were pretty amazing, but not the best I’ve ever had. I made these using my usual basic ingredients (thick rolled oats, water, Truvia) and then added a spoonful of vanilla protein powder. In the morning, I dropped a few sprinkles on top. The vanilla protein powder really adds a cake-y taste without the actual cake.

Cookies & Cream Oats

 Oh wow. There are no words for this combo, except FREAKIN’ DELICIOUS! I wasn’t sure how these would turn out, but I was blown away by the amazing-ness. These are definitely more suited to snacktime (unless you like to eat cookies at breakfast!). Usual basic ingredients, and then I added in a crushed Whole Foods duplex sandwich cookie (my favorite cookie ever). These tasted like a decadent dessert, so definitely a 5 out of 5!

Banana Split Oats

 This flavor combo randomly came to me yesterday afternoon, so I decided to have it this morning for breakfast! This was also dessert-like, but definitely a good breakfast (since it has tons of fruit). Another 5 out of 5. Basic ingredients, with half a banana mashed in. This morning, I melted a few mini dark chocolate chip in the micro (I actually “stole” the chips from a Kashi granola bar 😉 )and added some frozen cherry slices and fresh pineapple chunks. Of course, I topped it with a cherry!

What are your favorite overnight or regular oats combos?

{Cake} Batter Up!

Summer is my favorite season for sooooo many reasons! #1, it’s warm and sunny most days. I would love to live somewhere that the weather’s like this year round, but for now, one season of great weather is good enough. #2, I’m basically free. I know this will definitely change when I graduate from college and have to find an actual job, but I’m enjoying my mostly committment-free summers while they last. And #3, my birthday is in the summer. That’s one thing that will never change and I really love having my birthday in the summer. I can always go somewhere fun to celebrate, like the water park, while my sister (whose birthday is in December) always has indoor parties. Being able to go on a waterslide on my birthday makes up for people never decorating my locker for my birthday 😛

Even though my birthday is a month and 15 days away, I was still in a birthday-y (is that even a word?) mood, so I decided to whip up a batch of… CAKE BATTER WAFFLES for mi familia. I made them a week ago for the first time for myself and I absolutely loved them, so I thought they probably would too. And the best part is that they don’t even seem healthy, but they actually are! They have almost 9 grams of protein per waffle and are full of fiber (and sprinkles 😀 )

Here’s how to make them (this recipe makes enough for 6 people, or you can split them in half like I do and freeze them for later): 1 1/3 cup pancake mix (I used Nanacakes Oatmeal mix–6 grams of protein per 1/3 cup and 3 grams fiber…woohoo!), 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I used Soytein, but P.S. it turned the batter a little green), water (about 1-1/2 cups), 3 tsp sprinkles.

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until batter is swirled with color from the sprinkles and is thin enough to drip off a spoon. Heat a waffle iron (or you can make these as pancakes on the stove) and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Scoop batter onto iron and cook until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Serve with real maple syrup, light whipped cream (like Whole Foods brand) or even more sprinkles. And pretend like it’s your birthday–I won’t tell 😉

I wish I would have the patience to do a food photo shoot but sadly I don't...

Have you ever made anything cake batter-flavored (besides actual cake batter, duh!)?