Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Wheat Germ Pancakes

I've been making pancakes from scratch for years and the recipe actually comes from my mom.  They are hands down the best pancakes you've ever had and honestly that is the truth.  Admittedly I'm kind of a snob when it comes to pancakes and nothing compares to my mom's original recipe...until now!

I've had a love affair with Wheat Germ for a few years now and have learned how to incorporate it into some of my favorite baked goods over the past year.  If you've never had wheat germ before it adds a great crunch to your food and a slight nutty flavor, I just love it and want to put it in everything, I actually have a few recipes I want to share that incorporates this fabulous ingredient but I'll just stick with the pancakes for today.

I wasn't really sure if there was any way that I could improve upon my mom's recipe because it literally is perfection...but I did.

Here's what you're going to need:

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon oil
Milk to consistency (about 1 cup)
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

Here's what you're going to do:

Mix all the dry ingredients together then add in your egg, oil and a little milk at a time until it gets smooth but still has structure.  Set aside for 10 minutes.  The whole wheat flour and wheat germ really absorb the liquid so you'll need to add a little more milk to thin out the mixture (add in the chocolate chips if using).  

Meanwhile over medium low heat, heat up some oil and then spoon in your mixture into the pan.  Watch carefully as the wheat germ has a tendency to burn, and when you see little bubbles forming in the center of the cakes flip over (about 2 minutes).  Cook on the other side for about 1 minute and then serve.

They really couldn't be any easier and everyone in our household approves.  I love the crispy edges of the pancakes paired with crunch of the wheat germ and they're healthier for you too.  These are so good just by themselves but are also great with chocolate chips or some butter and syrup.

Let me know if you make them, I'd love to hear how much you love them too!!

♥ Ashley 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Hooray for Friday - those September vibes

I'm not quite sure how it happened but September is already more than half-way over and it's Officially Fall!!  I've been really trying to live life in the moment and have been putting my focus on some other things: like daily vacuuming (seriously how glamorous), creating photo books for the girls birthdays (way behind) and vacations, not to mention that Finnley is running around everywhere and Ellie is off to school so I've got to figure out how to entertain just one kid again ;)


It's finally getting chilly here in the PNW and it's time to cozy on up with some socks.  I first saw these socks back in March when we went to Vancouver, BC for my birthday and then when we tried to order them online the shipping to the states was outrageous!! Luckily we were planning a return trip to Canada for Finnley's birthday the following month...so I picked up these beauties then and I have been wearing them on repeat all this week.  But seriously how cute are these??


Having two girls is absolutely the bees knees.  I love that they are so close in size because I can get them into matching outfits.  Back when Ellie was a baby and I found something that I just loved I would get it in her current size and then a few sizes larger so that she would be able to wear it "again" in another year or so.  It has totally worked to my advantage because Finnley can fit into the original size and Ellie into the larger size!!  Also in case you haven't noticed...Finnley is much higher on the % scale than Ellie and they can actually both wear the same size!  Which is just crazy to me considering they're practically 3 years apart.  Ellie picked out their Halloween Jams and I just adore them (plus they glow in the dark)


I've been catching up on the latest season of Master Chef and it has really inspired me to get into the kitchen and cook!!  We were at Costco the other week and picked up a package of sausages and have been making our way through them.  Now that it's Fall we can reinstitute "Soup Sundays" and we had our first one this past weekend.  I made Gumbo and it was so good!  I looked up the recipe for the Blue Bayou Gumbo in Disneyland because honestly it is the best gumbo I've had and I found a knock off recipe that turned out pretty good!  I also had the chance to go to the store by myself...so we had steak and shrimp for dinner one night.  And then last night I made an Autumn Harvest Roast with all sorts of fall veggies (butternut squash, brussels sprouts, sweet potato) and tossed them with some olive oil and seasonings then roasted them at 450 for about 15 minutes then I added in some sausages and back into the oven for another 20 minutes and viola so delish!


Ellie has been having a pretty stuffy nose lately (as have I) and so we've been giving her some medicine to help that comes in liquid form.  Well the other night she requested for it to be in a syringe (like baby tylenol) and then proceeded to squirt purple medicine all over my white couch!! She immediately apologized for messing up my couch...even before I knew what happened...that I couldn't get mad at her, I just had to strip the couch, spot treat the cushions (4/6 were splattered), and put all 6 cushion covers into the wash.  Now my couch is clean and Ellie is required to take her medicine in the kitchen from here on out ;)


I went up into our attic to get down all my Fall/Halloween/Thanksgiving decorations and found a dead rat in the trap up there...who knows how long he's been there (lets just say...gross) so when Thomas got home he had some clean up to do.  Also I opened up all my decor boxes and just couldn't handle half of the stuff I had so I bagged up a bunch of it and am donating it to Ellie's school, the church, and then Goodwill as well.  I'm trying to really edit my holiday decor because I just can't handle all the stuff anymore.  I just want my house to be clutter free and that is so hard when you have two littles running around wanting to keep all the things.

So tell me, what's new with you lately?

♥ Ashley

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

{Travel Diaries} Disneyland May 2017 - Day 1

Yes, I am posting about another trip to Disneyland! I contemplate each time how I'm going to post about them and the reality is that I love the daily diary and sharing our photos.  Each time we go to Disneyland it just gets better, Ellie can go on more rides (#shortpeopleproblems) and Finnley just doesn't know what to do with the characters.

Not like anyone really needs a reason to visit the Happiest Place on Earth, but this visit was to celebrate Finnley and Ellie's birthdays, Finnley's Forever Day, to see the Electrical Light Parade, and we got to be there for May the 4th and Revenge of the 5th!

This time around was a bit chaotic and totally worth documenting.  We left in the late afternoon and as I was driving to pick up Thomas from work I realized I left the Ergo at home...it's a lifesaver in the Parks/Airport/Airplane when you have an "infant" with you.  So we had to make a quick pitstop at Walmart so I could pick up a cheap carrier...it did it's job but was definitely not my favorite.  Once we arrived at the airport Ellie made everyone laugh with her preferred mode of transportation and then we had to wait for forever to board our plane.  Finnley wouldn't nap, Ellie rode the tram multiple times and then fell asleep in the stroller...and then we got on the plane.  The girls got to watch Disney movies then we had a plane change where Finnley finally fell asleep for like 20 minutes and then we got to have the "front row" with lots of extra leg room where the girls had fun dancing (Ellie) and crawling (Finnley).  We took a taxi to our hotel and tried to settle in for the night...it was a rough one ;)

Day 1:

We were up bright and early in the morning and off to Downtown Disney for breakfast and chill time before the park opened.  

Ellie was adamant about taking a picture of the Disney Ducks...so here they are!

While we were waiting in line to get in, Ellie made friends with the cutest little girl.  We were there on May the 4th be with you and it was just fantastic!  Ellie and her new friend were running around chasing each other, laughing, and playing on the pole.  Then they started chasing each other again and Ellie ran smack into the pole with her forehead...she was fine and they kept on playing!

Our first stop of the day was to City Hall to get our buttons (Adoption Day, Birthdays, and First Visit for Finnley since we forgot one back in December) then to the Fire Station to check out the truck.

And then of course we had to go on the Carousel for our fist ride as tradition requires ;)

From there we went on some more rides in Fantasyland because it really is our favorite land!

Time for a churro break...and obvi I was really excited about it because I ate some before I took a picture ;)

Then off to Toontown for Ellie to ride the Rollercoaster.  And then she insisted on waiting in the hour plus long line to meet Mickey in his house...I love going through his house and seeing all the fun things but once you get back into his studio for pictures the lighting just isn't that great if you want to use your own camera....We've always had much better luck with Mickey on Main Street.

We were getting hungry so we made our way to the Red Rose Taverne and it was so perfect.  We ate the Beast's Burger, the Slow-cooked Beef Poutine, and the Grey Stuff - yes it was delicious.  We also had a glass of Gaston's Famous Brew and plan to get it with the Souvenir Mug next time.

On our way over to Pirates of the Caribbean I spotted Belle walking around the Royal Hall Courtyard.

We were then off to ride Winnie the Pooh (always a favorite)

Finnley finally fell asleep so we took advantage of it and stopped in at the Mint Julep Bar to have a Mint Julep, Jolly Rodgers Tea, and some Mickey Mouse Beignet's.  The beignet's were wonderful but the drinks were ridiculously sweet and we don't need to get them again.

We made our way over to DCA since Disneyland was starting to get pretty crowded and walked right into Minnie Mouse...so a dance was a must ;)  We also saw Sophia the First just before walking in to find Belle's Library.  We had heard about this before but weren't able to find it until this trip...you actually have to go inside the Animators Studio and past the Anna and Elsa line.  There are lots of things to interact with and you can take a quiz to learn which Disney Character you are most like.  It was such a fun experience and I am sure we will visit it next time!

I had heard that Sully was going to be out for pictures and so I asked a Cast Member when we was due to come out again, so we showed up a good 15 minutes early to make sure we were near the front of the line.  We just love "kitty" and it was a great experience getting to meet him!

Our tummies started calling for some soft serve from the Cozy Cones in Cars Land so we made our way to satisfy them and then take a couple of rides on Mater's Junkyard Jamboree thanks to the rider swap pass.

We stopped in for a quick ride on the Little Mermaid (always a favorite and usually has very short lines) before making our way to take a ride, or six, on the Golden Zephyr...we are usually able to just walk right on this ride multiple times.

By this time it was getting late and we needed to make a stop for dinner.  Ellie was hoping for some Spaghetti so we stopped in at the Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta and she made a mess of it all...thank goodness for these bibs from IKEA!!

Once last ride on the Little Mermaid and then we had to say goodbye to the parks because they were closing.  We fully enjoyed our first very FULL day in the parks!