Chocolate Protein Pancakes!!

image

I’ve been craving sweets lately (which sucks when you’re avoiding carbs, since everything sweet is carb-laden). Liquid stevia has become my best friend; we get it at Trader Joe’s, and one bottle will last both of us a couple of months.

I’m also prone to “food tantrums” (where nothing sounds good or what does sound good is an irresponsible choice). They used to be terrible and resulted in plenty of fights between Joey and me. I’m much better now (probably from a combination of being older and wiser and having some great medication), but I’m still prone to getting frustrated when I don’t know what I want or want something I can’t have.

Anyway, this morning, I was in desperate need of some pancakes. We’d already tried protein pancakes a few days ago, but Joey wanted to try making a chocolate version.  I looked over a few recipes out in the blogosphere, but I didn’t follow anything close enough to reference, so this is mostly a result of trial-and-error.

Makes 6 pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2.5 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 scoop of Protein powder (We used MHP Paleo Protein in Vanilla Almond flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5-7 drops liquid stevia
  • 1/4-1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (start with a quarter cup and increase as needed)
  • butter (to grease the pan)

Directions:

  1. Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat
  2. Add all ingredients in a large mixing bowl
  3. Whisk until thoroughly blended and lump-free
  4. Use butter to grease non-stick skillet or griddle
  5. Pour batter onto skillet (we cooked them three at a time based on our skillet size)
  6. Cook on first side until you begin to see the bubbles on the surface of the pancake pop without re-forming.
  7. Flip and cook until done throughout

This recipe makes six pancakes that are about 3″ in diameter.

We had ours topped with peanut butter. They’re also good with freshly whipped heavy cream and/or sugar free syrup! To make them without the chocolate flavor, just omit the cocoa powder and increase the coconut flour by 1/2 tbsp.

Enjoy. Today, we’ve conquered the bedroom closet.  Another two garbage bags full of clothes off to Goodwill, and we were able to whittle the contents of a very large closet down to this:

clothesTonight, we’ve got a huge bag of our socks to match up and put away (or toss).  We’re getting there, little by little.

Trying Not to Waste a Saturday

I’m really bad about making great plans to do things on Saturday (like cleaning) and then ending up in the recliner for eight hours, unbathed and slovenly.  At least we started with a healthy breakfast this morning; Joey talked me down off the food-tantrum ledge (I’m bad about getting super frustrated when food isn’t “easy” and we don’t have exactly what I want) and made some protein pancakes that were pretty delicious.  I’ll post the recipe soon after we do a little tweaking.

Protein pancakes

I’ve promised myself that I’ll hop in the shower at 11 and then start knitting a hat for a very special little girl while Joey finishes up the laundry room.  The next organizing task for me is the closet.  I’ve got stuff hanging in there that I haven’t worn since we moved into the house seven years ago (or even before that; for some reason, I couldn’t let go of a few items that I haven’t worn since college and let’s be honest…even if I keep on the weight loss trajectory I’m on, I’m never going to be 115 pounds again).  I doubt I’ll get to it today, though.  I’d like to get this hat done by tomorrow.

Indy has been so stubborn lately; it’s frustrating.  I love her, but I wouldn’t have chosen her disposition if it was up to me.  She’s sweet and loving, but I’ve never met such an obstinate dog in my life.  I’m hoping that’ll be out of her system by the time we have kids.  She’s beautiful, though, eh?

Indy up close

Functional Adulthood Takes Work. Lots of Work.

I conquered the top two dresser drawers over the weekend…almost.  I’ve got about half a drawer’s worth of things that I know I need to keep but am not yet sure where to house them permanently.  I’m still counting it a success, though.  Tonight, we conquer the laundry pile.  Our laundry room has been mostly unusable for the past five years or so because we’ve got so much stuff (and clean laundry), so I’m anticipating a great purge is to come tonight.  I swear, our tax return next year is going to rock.

The de-cluttering euphoria is helping, but I’m still overwhelmed by how much work it is to be a functional adult.  We’ve been in “survival mode” for so many years that we’ve forgotten how to take care of ourselves.  I mean, I cleaned the entertainment center before Christmas, and there’s dust on it again.  Ugh.  But, functional adults dust things.  And fold clean laundry.

Bear with me for a bit while I find my blog voice.  There’s so much that I want to do and talk about, but I mostly find myself staring at the screen getting overwhelmed and feeling that I’m profoundly boring.  I don’t cook enough to be a food blogger, I don’t knit enough to be a knit blogger…I don’t have a kid, so I can’t be a mommy blogger.  I’m not a runner (yet), but even if I was, I think running blogs can be a little boring.  As is often the case in life, I’m not quite sure where I fit.

I’ll leave you with a picture of the moon I took the other night; it’s COLD in Charlotte, right now, and they’re even talking about a wintry mix tomorrow night.  I’d be thrilled if we got a little snow.

cold moon

Conquering the “Stuff”

junk pile

I know.  I’m ashamed of it.  But it’s mostly gone now.  This was on my dresser.  Then it became “on my bed,” which was fortuitous because it forced me to go through it, lest I relegate myself (and the husband.  and the cat) onto the couch for the night.  This huge pile birthed two trash bags full of Goodwill donations, one of actual trash, and one of clothes to keep.  I may have also located three grocery bags worth of yarn (with many half-completed projects).  I wish I could show you a clean dresser, but we’re not quite there yet.  Maybe tomorrow.  We’ll see.

I had two things that I wanted to accomplish yesterday, and I managed both of them.  The first, pictured above, and the second was to make soup.  Joey ended up taking my instruction and making the soup himself while I sat on my bed and alternated between crying and tearing my hair out by the roots.  The soup, alas, was a fail; it’s a passable broccoli cheese soup, but desperately needs some meat and something else that I haven’t figured out yet.  It also looks a little like baby vomit, so I’ll spare you a photo.

Tonight, however, was an incredible dinner win!  I found this recipe for Carne Asada on Pinterest a few days ago, and skirt steak was on sale at Aldi Sunday, so we went ahead and grabbed the rest of the ingredients and set up the crock pot this morning.

flank steak

It’s beautiful, right?  The paste on top is a mix of garlic, jalapeno, and cilantro.  In retrospect, I would’ve added the juice and zest of one lime; it needed a little tang.  Either way, it will definitely be joining the Weaver dinner rotation.  The finished product:

cooked asada

We added some steamed broccoli and ate it off my super-fancy Corelle dishes which made me feel a tiny bit like I may be succeeding at being a functional adult.

I get overwhelmed easily these days, so I’m trying to break this de-cluttering process into very small, manageable chunks. And to be entirely honest, I thought the dresser would only take one night, so I was disappointed in myself when I came to the realization after three hours that, even though the big items were handled, I’ve got tons of “little things” to still go through: cds, ear buds, lip gloss, jewelry, a thousand hair clips, pens, buttons; you know, the usual little things that most people eventually throw away.  Except I didn’t.  For, like, three years.  I used to see a therapist, and I told her many times that I just wanted to conquer the dresser.

I’m not done yet, but yesterday, I conquered the dresser.

Good Morning, 2015

We brought 2015 in among great company last night; our “Shenanigans” crew gathered for snacks and games and I got to watch the ball drop with some of the people I love best (now, if we could have figured out how to get Shannon/James/Levi and John into the mix, it would have been perfect!).

shenanigans

We came home around 2 and hung out with Indy for a while before hitting the sack.

This morning, we’re enjoying copious amounts of coffee (and someone’s enjoying a giant beef knuckle courtesy of Grandma and Grandpa) before venturing out into the world to have an adventure (which, honestly, will probably just consist of Petsmart and maybe Target).

I’ve been thinking about my 2015 goals for the past couple of weeks.  I’ve got three larger goals, and then a few smaller ones:

  • Get rid of about 50% of the “stuff” we’ve amassed over the last seven years.  Our house is a wreck and we’ve got one room that we can’t even use right now.  It’s got to go.  We’ll sell whatever we can, then donate what’s left that’s not trash.
  • Cut our debt in half.  While we’re not fiscally irresponsible by any means, we’ve fallen into wasteful spending in several areas.  If we cut those out, we should be able to wipe out a lot of our debt.
  • Reach a healthy weight and fitness level.  I made strides with this last year, losing 32 pounds and walking a 5K in September.  As long as I’m diligent, I should be able to get where I want to go.

Small goals:

  • Stop biting my nails
  • RUN the NC Troopers Foot Chase at the end of March
  • Get paid for writing at least once
  • Read 2 new books each month
  • Learn how to knit colorwork
  • BLOG regularly (more than once a week)

I’m planning for the blog to take the direction of sharing my decluttering/frugality/weight loss journey.  I’m sure it’ll be a little embarrassing here and there, but I’m hoping that seeing someone else’s struggles might help you feel like you can make changes too.  I’m the laziest person I know, and if I can do this, I know you can.

I hope today brings you relaxation and a bit of fun.  Time for more coffee here!

coffee

Peace Out, 2014

The Timehop app tells me that 2009 is the last year I considered to be a “good year.”  I don’t really know what to think about 2014…there are parts of it that were just fantastic, but lots of it that I’d rather never happened (or at least that I could forget).

In January, one of my very best friends had a baby boy.  He is precious and perfect in every way, and I’ve never been so proud of Shannon as I was when I saw her in the hospital.

wpid-screenshot_2014-12-31-17-07-24-1.png

February brought a few snow days, and I made sure that Shelli shared in the experience!

wpid-screenshot_2014-12-31-17-15-43-1.png

In March, Joey and I went on a road trip and visited Norfolk, VA, Williamsbirg, VA, Baltimore, MD, and Luray, VA.

Mel on USS Wisconsin

At the end of March, I went to the beach with my best friends for a girls’ weekend and we had a ball (even though the weather was crappy).

In April, Joey and I went to the mountains with our friend John.  I played a board game that I didn’t understand, saw both Captain America movies, and bought a harmonica, but most importantly, I spent four days stress-free and in excellent company.

Joey and Jon

In May, I got serious about my health and lost 20 pounds!  Also, we added a (four-legged) family member, Indy!

Indy

In June, I got to see 25 inmates at the Union County Jail get baptized; it was so moving that I began to feel called to prison ministry.  We’ll see how that goes next year.

Jail Baptism

July, as always, was the month of many birthdays, and we spent August trying to stay out of the heat.

September was mostly bitter.  The Purple Stride 5K for Pancreatic Cancer was a bright spot; some of my best friends came out to run and walk it with me.  I finished with a PR (albeit a super slow one).

5K everyone

5Kgirls

However, about mid-way through the month, we lost someone very special.  Dave Berry, who was like a second father to Joey, was diagnosed with liver cancer and passed away two weeks later.

usanddave

October brought pumpkin carving with Shannon and Levi!

Levi Pumpkin

November is, hands down, my favorite month of the year.  This year, Joey and I celebrated 13 years together and 12 years married.  We did our annual “riffing” of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and had Thanksgiving with all of our family (both “blood” family and “adopted” family).

And now, December has drawn to a close. I don’t like December, to be honest.  It’s too stressful; this year, we did three weeks of Christmas performances at church.  I got sick and then Joey followed suit.  Work was crazy and demanding, and I felt like I was failing on all life fronts.

I was reminded, however, of the reason we celebrate Christmas last Thursday when we spent Christmas morning with some inmates at the jail.  I sang for them and Joey did a little devotional, and one of the inmates gave me this rose.  It’s made of TP, and it’ll always serve as a reminder to me that NO one should feel “thrown away.”  Everyone matters.

TP rose

I’ll be back to post about my goals for 2015.  Blogging consistently is one of them:).  Until then, Happy New Year’s.

Tattered Blankets…

image

We cannot let go of the dying.  It’s in our nature, I suppose.  We’re constantly craving stability, same-ness.  As such, we cling to the dying as if they were pieces of a tattered blanket, somehow trying to put it back together with needle and thread, knowing that the effort is futile and there will come a point where nothing can be done.  You can’t forever repair a broken body.

Instead, we should dissect those tatters, thread-by-thread, keeping the meaningful ones…the laughs, the joys, sometimes the tears, and weave them into a tapestry of our own.  Those threads are part of our story now; they have changed us, and we forever bear their marks.

All that remains should be burned…fights, sadness, betrayals, disappointments.  Yes, we are indelibly marked by those as well, but we should let them be mere flecks, tiny imperfections, remembered, acknowledged, and then let go to scatter on the wind like ashes from a dying fire.

We can try to hold the tatters, but such attempts would be in vain.  The soul slips away, the body withers, and like the husk of a cicada, remains as an empty shell, tattered remnants.

What we do with those tatters is up to us.