Recipe: Brown Sugar Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

I wanted to bake something for Jacob to brighten up his Monday
he enjoyed these cookies very much as an after-dinner dessert
I hope you enjoy this recipe as well!
you will need...

1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
cinnamon to taste (I don't mess around when it comes to cinnamon, as seen in the left picture above)

cream butter and sugar until fluffy 
add eggs and vanilla
slowly add dry ingredients and mix until dough forms

drop onto (I used a 1 ounce scoop) a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (please keep in mind that oven temperatures/times vary)
hope your week is off to a lovely start!


A Picture (or Two) an Hour

just sharing some of today's snapshots: 
morning garden light 
left: breakfast for me, vanilla chai tea (with almond milk) and grapes
right: breakfast for him, coffee, cheesy garlic scrambled eggs, and sausages
Fleetwood Mac + laundry folding  
cat nap
coffee break (espresso + soy milk)
I've had that giraffe mug since my junior year of highschool
afternoon hike
I twirled and twirled to get these photo effects
now how cute is this?! Jacob spotted this little hobbit hole along our hike 
foliage + light 
temptations while grocery shopping
post-dinner dishes

overall a very good day, if I do say so myself

I also found out this past week that I may have a lactose intolerance/sensitivity :( and in the process of completely eliminating all dairy for the next two weeks to monitor any significant changes
I've switched over to almond/soy milk and will be getting nutritional yeast as well
hopefully there will be an improvement with or without dairy, for I would like to be comfortable soon (bloating and nausea are not fun at all)


Balance & Flow

as this period of transition nears its homestretch, things are pilling up...and they are doing so a bit too quickly for my own comfort
while autumn is a favorite season, it is one of the busiest ones (my only break being Thanksgiving)
throw in some unexpected curveballs 
and that's pretty much life lately 
however, I am still very grateful
grateful for being flexible 
grateful for learning to let things go, to run their course
 and to just simple enjoy all parts of life (even the busy, looming, and overwhelming parts)
 I am grateful for the support of loved ones, both near and far
and the kind, surprise bursts of love from friends
I wish I could teleport and give everyone who took the time from their own lives to encouraged me a great big hug for I truly appreciate it with all of my heart
I took a break from processing my notes earlier this evening
I did not go very far, only "escaped" to our back patio/yard for a meditation break that yielded a zinnia mandala in the garden
the breeze felt refreshing and I soaked up as much sun as I could
it was exactly what I needed 

"When you go through a hard period,
When everything seems to oppose you,
When you feel you cannot even bear one more minute,
Because it is the time and place that the course will divert!” 



Bits & Pieces: A Weekend at Home

we spent the majority of this weekend at home, I had cleaning, gardening and general homemaking to keep me occupied while Jacob worked
dahlias, marigolds, herbs (basil, rosemary, sage, and thyme) and zinnias are in still in full bloom
not bad given it's my first time container gardening 
thyme up-close
our niece attends university nearby and visited us overnight as well
we walked to one of my favorite local coffee places, Pour Coffee Parlor
I had a latte and we shared organic waffles with New York maple syrup, yummy!
got a new mug before the weekend started, mmm tea
I fully took advantge of having a weekend at home by baking!
I made a breakfast flatbread filled with cheese and sausage, topped with (even more) cheese and homemade basil-garlic butter
and started Sunday morning with a french toast casserole before we drop off our niece at her campus
having a weekend at home was really what I need to "catch up" given September is a transition month for us
now back to ordinary life by tending to my research notes and exam preparations! 
I wish your weekend went by wonderfully (and safely) 


Twenty Three

this past Thursday, I turned twenty three years old
I also share a birthday with my Grandmother, who turned eighty 
Jacob surprised me with a bouquet featuring flowers in my favorite colors 
and a clean house (!) when we arrived home (he sneakily took off that day from work)
we ended the day with a dinner with friends and an amazing cake that had our cats' faces
I picked a vanilla bean cake + buttercream frosting with a lemon curd filling- all made by the talented ladies of Scratch Bakeshop
I decided to make a list consisting of twenty three things that I plan on doing on my twenty third year (pictures in this post are from this year's celebrations)
1. practice yoga regularly (ideally 3x/week)
2. eat more balanced, healthier, and regularly 
3. rely less on caffeine (sorry coffee and tea, but I hope to get more quality sleep)
4. create/make more, buy less
5. appreciate the times where there's no agenda and soak up the quietness
6. continue to maintain daily gratitude list/journal (more on that at another post)
7. say thank you everyday
8. start practicing meditation
9. express love more often
10. go on more walks outside 
11. be open with regards to overall improvement (whether personal or career)
12. encourage others, magnify their strengths 
13. appreciate the opportunities for growth from the "bad" events
14. practice self-care
15. live in the now (mindfulness) 
16. smile more
17. volunteer 
18. make an effort to call family often (this one's for you, Mom!)
19. write more letters- pen pals, anyone?
20. accept lessons learned from the past
21. become more understanding in my weekday work
22. surprise others (in a good way) often
23. to fully love myself as I am 


Going With the Flow

dahlia and basil harvest from our garden
this week was full of "firsts" and a whole lot of running around
I'm still in the process of achieving a level of fluidity that I hope to maintain as the fall semester progresses (and gets more hectic during the holiday rush, but let's not think about that yet- haha)
I ended the summer of 2014 with a renewed vow in self-care, I'm still continuing with yoga and been keeping up fairly well with documenting, journaling, and other personal projects
Jacob also introduced me to meditation, so I am giving that a go as well
hope your end of summer is going peacefully and happy Friday + September!