Super easy + healthy breakfast recipes

I will firmly admit that I don’t eat breakfast every single day, but when I do, I really enjoy it. I find that breakfast is the perfect opportunity to eat both dairy-free and vegan, which I do not follow throughout the rest of the day (I’ve tried, it’s not for me, I’M SORRY VEGANS… I RESPECT YOU).

I had my fair share of yogurt parfaits and avocado toast with egg over the past few years, and while those foods are delicious and filling, I find that I tend to enjoy lighter, easier meals in the morning.

These two (super easy, I’m not claiming to be an innovator here) recipes are what I’ve been mainly eating over the past few months.

  1. Berry Banana Smoothie

This could not be simpler. All you need:

  • Frozen berry medley (I get mine from Whole Foods frozen fruit section)
  • 1 or 1 1/2 bananas (depending on your preference)
  • Coconut water
  • Optional additions: baby spinach, chia seeds

Blend all of these wonderful ingredients together and you have an easy, amazing smoothie. I’m seriously obsessed with this and I drink it in the dead of winter in Chicago, I don’t care! I sometimes sprinkle it with some granola, but that’s just if I’m feeling like I need a little more to fill me up.

2. Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dream

What you’ll need:

  • Whole grain oats, make sure the only ingredient listed is OATS. (I use instant, but I hear those aren’t the best for you. If you want to take the longer, healthier route, go ahead.)
  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk (obsessed with Califia Farms brand)
  • Real maple syrup
  • Real peanut butter

Follow the instructions for making the oatmeal, but use the almond milk instead of dairy milk or water. Then stir in about a tablespoon and a half of peanut butter (two if you’re feeling it) and pour in about a tablespoon of maple syrup. This has been the most filling and amazingly delicious breakfast. It would also be great if you add sliced banana and cinnamon to the top.

These have been my go-to’s and I think for good reason.

Let me know if you guys give either of these a try and let me know if you have any good breakfast recipes for me to try in the comments. I’m always looking for new food.

Thanks for reading,

Emily

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Easy Mini Pumpkin Pies

Hello everyone! I’m sorry for abandoning you for quite some time, but I am back with an honestly really delicious dessert recipe to make up for it. Thanksgiving is coming up next week, so I wanted to make sure I had this available for you guys.

Let’s be real… it’s not Thanksgiving unless you gain a few pounds. So, don’t be afraid of these potentially fattening little heaven machines. I promise your family (and yourself) will love them. But, be careful.. they’re really addicting.

*My one suggestion is to make these the NIGHT BEFORE. They need to set up before removing them.. which takes a little bit*

Here’s how to make your own ADORABLE mini pumpkin pies:

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Ingredients: (Makes about 20 Mini Pies)

  • 2 Packages of Pie Crust (the kind you lay out and bake)
  • Two 8-oz Cream Cheese Packages, softened
  • 1 cup of Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • One 16-oz Can Solid Packed Pumpkin
  • 1/2 Cup Light Corn Syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice (if you don’t have this.. just double up on cinnamon)
  • Cool Whip or Canned Whip Cream (or fresh if you’re fancy)

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What You’ll Need:

  • Cupcake/Muffin Baking Tray
  • Hand Mixer
  • Big Bowl for mixing

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Roll out your pie dough and cut out small circles. You want these circles to cover the bottom up until half way to the top of each one. Do this for each and every hole until they’re all filled. Set aside.IMG_2941IMG_2942
  3. Beat cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time with mixing in between.
  4. Add in all the other ingredients. Mix until well combined. Beware: the smell will make you want to drink the batter.IMG_2943IMG_2944
  5. Fill in each of the dough cups. Fill it until the batter is almost to the top of the tin. It will cover the dough and that is FINE. They don’t grow very much in the over so don’t worry. IMG_2945
  6. Bake them at 350 degrees for 40-42 minutes. They will begin to puff and crack in the middle. Take out and test with a toothpick. It should come out MOSTLY clean.
  7. Let them sit to cool for about an hour and a half. Then refrigerate until needed (this also helps them set). You can serve them either cold or heated up.. both are delicious.
  8. Top with whipped topping of your choice and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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And that’s the finished product.

Perfect for each person to have their own pie and it’s JUST ENOUGH to satisfy your craving.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you plan to or do try it out please let me know in the comments!

Have a great Thanksgiving!!

-Emily

Fun Fall Things To Do On Sunday (Instead Of Watching Football)

I’m on a fantasy football league. I have no idea how this happened, but I am fully in and for some reason I’m getting competitive. I’m currently 4 points ahead. I am not a big sports fan.. especially with football. I’ve tried to watch, and I still just don’t get it; which makes for a very interesting fantasy football team.

But, don’t for a second think that I actually watch these football games.

NOT INTERESTED.

If you are into football, good for you! You probably have a jam-packed Sunday schedule for the next few months and have an excuse to drink beer at 1 pm.

For those of you looking for some fun, fall things to do this month (and into October) that don’t relate to Football, keep reading:

  • Visit an Apple Orchard

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There is nothing more ‘fall welcoming’ than a visit to the apple orchard. Grab some friends or rip your boyfriend/girlfriend away from the football game for a fun-filled day of flannel-wearin’ apple pickin’. You get to pick as many apples as you want straight from the trees. You will never had a crisper, fresh apple in your life. Go for the Honeycrisp variety and thank me later.

If your orchard has a little shop or bakery.. make sure you get the apple cinnamon donuts. They are crazy good and every orchard I’ve ever been to or seen has them. Also, don’t miss out on fresh apple cider.

  • Visit a Nature Preserve or Park

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Find a pretty nature spot near you to explore for the day. With the changing colors of the trees, each and every park is bound to look beautiful towards the end of this month into October. Pack a picnic to stop and lay out underneath the trees and have some lunch. This is the best time of year to take in the true beauty that the earth has to offer.

If you live in the Chicagoland area: Cantigny Park, Morton Arboretum, Silver Springs and Starved Rock are some places to check out.

  • Go DIY Crazy 

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There is no such thing as too much DIY. Get crafty and annoy your roommates or significant other by making whatever Pinterest has to offer. Create your own fall decorations to make you feel at home.

Glittery pumpkins, fall wreaths, banners and fall floral bouquets. Head over to Michael’s or your local craft store, check out deals and start creating.

  • Pumpkin Picking

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Don’t let them tell you it’s too early! We are only given a short period of time where pumpkins are acceptable.. so don’t waste any. Pick a cool, crisp day to head over and pick out some pumpkins perfect for carving.

Much like the apple orchard, most pumpkin patches have some delicious food and drink to make your experience even better.

Spend the rest of the day after deciding what to carve.. and then carving. Decorate the front of your home with your beautiful creation.

  • Candle Making

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DIY candles are much easier than you think and a lot cheaper than $22.50 for one at Bath & Body Works. I made a bath of homemade candles last year that smelled like vanilla and peppermint for the holidays and people were begging me for more!

I will post a tutorial soon on how to make cute, easy candles.

Or, if you know how to already.. spend your Sunday afternoon making a batch.

  • Bake Some Things You Have Pinned

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If you don’t have a ‘Food I Want To Make’ board on Pinterest, I’m judging you. The website is loaded with amazing recipes. Take a few hours to pull together ingredients and make something you’ve been wanting to try.

I made an amazing pumpkin bread recipe which i’ll link below. Seriously so good:

http://www.tastesoflizzyt.com/2013/10/29/simply-pumpkin-bread/


No matter what you do, make sure you experience fall as it comes, because it definitely doesn’t last long.

Hope you guys enjoyed and try out some of these activities.

-Emily

5 Places You Must Eat Your First Time In Chicago

Chicago is an absolutely amazing city. I’m going to be bias and go as far as saying it’s the best city ever. But, really, if you’ve never been.. put it on your priority travel list. Try to go sometime between May and October or you will be wishing you were anywhere else (unless you love wind and snow).

Here are some things you put on you MUST-EAT list for the next time, or first time, you’re in the 312. These are mostly some cheaper options. They are in the Loop and accessible from any hotel:


  1. Pizza (TOO BROAD TO PICK ONE)

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Even though I’m not a big pizza person (go ahead and boo me, I don’t care) I still have my favorite pizza place in Chicago. It’s pretty much a part of the culture at this point. If you come and don’t try any, I feel bad for you.

There are some major debates as to which place is best, and I don’t think the whole city will ever agree on which one actually is..

Some places often called “the best” in Chicago: Lou Malnati’s, Giordano’s and Pizano’s.

Personally. Pizano’s is my favorite.

If you’re not into deep dish, don’t fear… most of these places have amazing thin crust too.

2. Portillo’s

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As if you weren’t already full of pizza, right?

Portillo’s is a Chicago favorite that will make you question any burgers, hot dogs, italian beefs or chicken sandwiches you’ve ever had. Be sure to grab some cheese fries (ahhhmazing) or onion rings with your food too. Absolutely do not forget to grab dessert: their famous chocolate cake.. or the chocolate cake shake.

Basically, you can expect to walk out with around 2,000 calories in your stomach.. but, It is so worth it.

Here’s the best part.. if you fall in love with their Italian beef, they ship it everywhere.

3. Yolk 

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A hidden little gem of breakfast perfection, Yolk has a few locations throughout the city. If you are in need of some quick, delicious breakfast food (with gigantic portions) then this is your place. I’ve never been disappointed.

4. Hannah’s Bretzel

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I randomly fell into this place a few years ago and had no idea what it was. It has an almost futuristic appeal outside that can confuse the average passerby. But, this place is a Chicago gem. They offer a highly-organic menu selection of sandwiches, salads and more. Although it’s a tad pricey for a lunch, $10-12 dollars per sandwich, it’s a huge step up from your average Subway.

Menu suggestion: Free range chicken + avocado. LIFE CHANGING.

Also, don’t expect to find Coke products here. It’s only organic pop’s. They’re good, though!

5. Cafecito

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Cuban. Sandwiches. That’s all I need to say. This place is so delicious. It’s not badly priced at all, most sandwiches are between $5-7 dollars.. and they will fill you up. This is a great spot to stop for lunch, and they even offer a full range of Cuban coffees to fill your caffeine craving.

Menu Suggestion: Pavo sandwich. Soooooo good.

FALL TRADER JOE’S HAUL

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We are in september now which means it is fully fall and what better place to celebrate the changing of seasons other than Trader Joe’s. This store is awesome in general, even more so if you’re vegan or have allergies.. they have a wide selection (neither apply to me), and they have so many yummy fall goodies. If you haven’t ever been here.. you need to go.

The cool thing about Trader Joe’s is that most of the store is “Trader Joe’s” brand. It’s like shopping at a ma-and-pa place with super cool employees who pretend to be your best friend.

So, Tom and Me decided to do yet another fall-related review. This time we chose some new food items the store put out for AUTUMN. Let’s begin:

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#1: THIS PUMPKIN WALKS INTO A BAR

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First of all, that packaging is adorable. These cereal bars are super delicious and Trader Joe’s has them in different flavors all year long (apple, blueberry, fig), but now they are here IN PUMPKIN.

REVIEW: Tastes like actual pumpkin pie without the cool-whip. It might say low-fat, but that does not in any way effect the flavor. The spices are perfect and we wanted to eat the whole box, but we settled on splitting one. They are soft, chewy and absolutely perfect for fall. You. Need. Them.

RATING: 8.5/10


#2: PUMPKIN PANCAKE & WAFFLE MIX

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Check out those perfect pancake making skills

How can you not want a pancake or waffle when the temperature is dropping. I want them all year, but I am a special breakfast-loving human. When I saw these in the store, I instantly fell in love without even tasting.

REVIEW: All the pancake texture with a subtle pumpkin flavor. If you are looking for a slap-you-in-the-face type of pumpkin taste, you probably won’t get it eating these, but they are pretty delicious. It’s everything you need to get your hot, buttery pumpkin fix. (PRO TIP: Add some homemade cinnamon butter on top)

RATING: 8/10


#3: McINTOSH APPLE JUICE

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I’m always in the mood for apple juice. I saw this one today while shopping and just had to get it. Okay, actually Tom saw it.

REVIEW: Honestly, the most crisp, refreshing apple juice we’ve ever had. It tastes like it’s fresh out of the orchard. It’s an amazing fall drink. BUY A FEW GALLONS. (PRO TIP: It would be an amazing apple juice to use to make a hot drink w/ caramel)

RATING: 9.5/10


#4: FIG BITES

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HOLY MOLY. I don’t know about you guys, but this tickled my fancy just with it’s name. It was an automatic throw-it-in-the-bag.

REVIEW: Are figs even fall related? I’m not 100% sure. But, I made them fall related, so here we are. If you are a fan of Fig Newtons, you need to get these amped up, more delicious FIG BITES. We were actually blown away and ate a ton. They are so light and fruity.

RATING: 9/10


#5: TRADER JOE’S PEANUT BUTTER (Creamy + Unsalted)

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If you’ve never heard anything about this peanut butter, then you better get in your car as soon as possible and go get some and try it.. now.

I mean unless you’re allergic, then please do not. **DO NOT CONDONE**

REVIEW: Technically not a fall item.. I know. But, when is PB ever a bad option? I love this peanut butter because the only ingredient is.. peanuts. How natural and refreshing. The taste is a classic, clean flavor that makes you feel good about eating it. I wanted to bathe in it, but Tom is scared of peanut butter. I would definitely suggest trying this.

RATING: 10/10 DUH.


I hope you guys get the chance to try some of these out!

End of Summer Recipe — Pineapple-Mango Green Smoothie

I have been on a crazy smoothie kick lately after taking a break (I was SMOOTHIED OUT). It helped having my wisdom teeth pop through my gums and make solid foods really hard to eat.

This smoothie is a perfect taste of those last few weeks of Summer. It is tropical, fruity and all kinds of refreshing (and HEALTHY). I prefer to drink my fruits and vegetables and this drink has really helped me do so. Don’t think it’s just limited to summer either, you can drink this whenever you are craving a taste of the tropics. (Don’t worry, Fall Lovers, I’ve got you covered with a smoothie recipe soon).

GUYS, this is so good.

Recipe:

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  • 5 Full Cubes O’ Ice
  • 3/4 Cup Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Mango
  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Pineapple Chunks
  • 1/4 Cup Frozen Strawberries
  • 1/2 banana
  • 3/4 Cup Non-Pulp Orange Juice
  • 3/4 Cup Water
  • OPTIONAL: Chia Seeds, Honey and Granola

Directions (VERY EASY):

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  1. Prepare all of your ingredients. I have a specific order of adding things in (this works well if you have a Nutribullet, If you don’t.. I’m not totally sure it matters). This is the order: ice, spinach, mangos, pineapples, strawberries, banana, liquids. Throw them all into the blender.
  2. BLENNNNNNNNND. I usually let it go a solid 2 minutes to make sure all the ingredients have fully blended for a perfectly smooth smoothie. If you notice it’s struggling or too thick, add a little bit more orange juice or water.
  3. Pour into a glass, or into a bowl to top with granola, chia seeds, bonus fruit and nuts (smoothie bowl!)

FINISHED PRODUCT:

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You will have ALOT to drink. This is about 1 & 1/2 Smoothies. I always drink it all, but if you can’t.. save the rest in the fridge!

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe and try it out

-Emily