Day 14 & 15: Histograms! & Breakfast!

Day 14 and 15: Histograms are another topic I didn’t know much about and I’m a fan of them already (I’m a numbers and charts and graphs kinda girl!) I set my nikon to show the histogram with the images when I go into playback mode to view my photos.

Also, here’s a photo of one of my favorite easy breakfasts: toasted pita, mashed avocado, a fried egg and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

DSC_0178Best x.

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Day 2 & 3 and Breakfast

Day 2– 31 Days to a Better Photo: Read the manual
Sure I’ve flipped through the manual before…but who actually reads every page? So I sat down and read it.

  1. How to change the mode of your camera – auto / program, aperture priority, shutter priority. 
  2. What do the icons on your camera mean? The flower, the running man, a face, mountains, stars, etc. What does each symbol represent? 
  3. Which wheel controls shutter speed, which wheel controls aperture? ✓
  4. How to find the white balance menu, and change it. ✓
  5. How to change ISO ✓

Here’s a practice shot of breakfast: avocado, turkey bacon and an egg on a whole wheat english muffin + strawberries.DSC_0896

Day 3– 31 Days to a Better Photo: Shooting fast vs. Shooting slow

I practiced shutter speed by taking shots in shutter priority mode and manual. Of course, the puppies are my favorite subject. For these pics I kept the ISO and aperture the same and changed the shutter speed. I like visuals and seeing the numbers on the pictures helps me understand how shutter speed changes the photo.

Dog and SS numbers

Best x.

Ladies Weekend: Fun & Food

This past weekend I drove the 4 hours up to my old college town to connect with my 2 best girlfriends. It was really relaxed. We chatted, drank wine and had an all around good time together. My friend served a variety of delicious cheeses and made us some giant bratwurst for dinner to get the party started.

IMG_2903Also, I spent some much needed time with my doggy nephew Hercules. I love this little man!

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Saturday involved hangover breakfast, a coffee date, boutique shopping, afternoon antiquing and going out for drinks and burgers. Responsible over 25’s still take selfies right? PS. Love you guys!

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Can Jean make me hangover breakfast every morning?

Can Jean make me hangover breakfast every morning?

Check out this beaut! I found it while antiquing for quite the deal!

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And now, after a fun weekend, I’m ready to detox both my liver and eating habits and get on the Super Shred eating plan! I’ve got my grocery list and meal plan ready! Here’s to the next 4 weeks!

 

How to Build the Perfect Breakfast

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I’m a HUGE breakfast/brunch fan. It’s my favorite meal to cook. Until recently, breakfast to me always included cereal, toast, oatmeal, pancakes, bagels, waffles or other grains. It was always high in sugar and I would feel hungry a couple of hours later. In September I did the Whole30 Program and was completely lost as to what to eat for breakfast. I started out just eating eggs and that was it. I knew I had to be more creative so I started playing around in the kitchen. My on-the-go paleo breakfast will always be egg muffins (recipe here), but when my morning is a little more relaxed I love to make a big roasted breakfast! If you are following a strict paleo diet use sweet potatoes, coconut oil, and remember have your coffee black!

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1. Start with potatoes. Red potatoes, fingerling potatoes, sweet potatoes, any potato of your choice. Wash well and cut into small 1/2 inch cubes. I like to leave the skins on because they taste delicious and crunchy when roasted. Put your potato cubes in a large bowl and mix in the seasonings! Definitely sprinkle some salt and fresh ground pepper on the potatoes followed by any spice of your choice. I like using garlic powder, onion powder and smoked paprika (for a little kick). Coat the potatoes with a small amount of oil. I like using olive oil or coconut oil! Roast your potatoes at 425 for about 20 minutes or until crispy!

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2. Load up on veggies. I always struggled with adding vegetables to my breakfast. I just found it hard to stomach greens in the morning. I found that if I roasted the vegetables though they were much more enjoyable. I like using broccoli, carrots, peppers, kale, zucchini, cabbage and mushrooms. Chop up veggies of your choice, coat with a little bit of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes on 425. You’ll find yourself loving kale for breakfast in no time!

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3. Bacon. Regular bacon, turkey bacon, veggie bacon….just any kind of bacon. You don’t need much bacon to add flavor to your dish. If I’m cooking breakfast for my husband and I, I use 3 slices (2 for him and 1 for me). I usually like it crunchy and chop it up to add to the mix. If you absolutely don’t like bacon try using black beans!

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4. Top it off with an egg! I like cooking my egg over medium because I love to dip my veggies in the yolk.

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5. Avocado. Avocado. Avocado. I LOVE avocado. I always think the best combinations are bacon & avocado and egg & avocado, so obviously all three together are amazing! So slice it up and don’t be afraid of the fat! It’s good for you.

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6. Coffee. No breakfast is complete without a  hot cup of coffee!

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Fruit & Coconut Baked Oatmeal Cups

 

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Oatmeal has always been a favorite of mine for breakfast. It’s warm and cozy and warms me up on those cold mornings. I used to just heat up one of those instant oatmeal packets in the microwave every morning (strangely enough I used to top my oatmeal with a fried egg, what a weirdo). When I started paying attention to what was actually in the food I was eating I noticed that oatmeal is unfortunately filled with crap. Also, just FYI all fruit in instant oatmeal is just apple flavored to taste like whatever fruit is being advertised (true story, go check the ingredients in the cereal isle at your grocery store). Here are the ingredients for Quacker instant oatmeal. The added sugar and preservatives are just not necessary and it’s super easy to make yourself. And because I’m all about making breakfast quick and easy I baked the oatmeal in grab and go muffin size! They can also be stored in the refrigerator for a week or frozen and take about 45 seconds for 2 in the microwave. I baked this batch of oatmeal with raisins, blueberries and almonds, but I’ve used raspberries, strawberries, walnuts, chocolate chips, even sweet potato in the past.  Feel free to add your favorite oatmeal topping.

51AMEvDibIL.01._SR300,300_Ingredients

WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, SUGAR, DEHYDRATED APPLES (TREATED WITH SODIUM SULFITE TO PROMOTE COLOR RETENTION), NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SALT, CINNAMON, CALCIUM CARBONATE, CITRIC ACID, GUAR GUM, MALIC ACID, NIACINAMIDE*, REDUCED IRON, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE*, RIBOFLAVIN*, THIAMIN MONONITRATE*, FOLIC ACID*, CARAMEL COLOR

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Fruit & Coconut Baked Oatmeal Cups

2 brown bananas
1 tbs coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 TBS honey
3 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 TBS cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
3 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup of raisins
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350. Prep a muffin pan by spraying with nonstick spray. In a small bowl mash bananas until there are almost no lumps. Add in coconut oil, vanilla extract, honey, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, almond milk and stir. In a seperate large bowl mix oats with shredded coconut, sliced almonds, raisins and blueberries. Slowly add the wet mixture into the oats and stir until well combined. Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, scoop the mixture evenly into a muffin pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until muffins brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

These tasty oatmeal cups can be a part of any cute balanced breakfast!

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Very Simple Breakfast Egg “Muffins”

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If you’ve ever had the great fortune to meet me early in the morning, you know I like my coffee black and my breakfast fast. A good breakfast keeps me full all morning because I’m always on the move until lunch. Eggs in the morning always seem to do the trick, but I don’t have time to make a fried egg in the morning (I know, sad). These beauties have been a staple in my house since I first cooked them. These egg muffins are very versatile and very easy. I’ve kept them refrigerated for a whole week and they’re still good to go in the morning.  Just pop 2 in the microwave and heat for 45 seconds. Even my husband, who has never been a breakfast man, loves eating them on the way to work. I’m cooking this batch with bacon, broccoli, orange bell pepper and spinach, but you can use any veggies you like. I’ve used various veggies before including kale, carrots, zucchini, bell peppers, scallions, tomatoes, etc. You can also leave out the meat completely to make them a vegetarian breakfast or use any other type of meat, ground beef, ham, Canadian bacon, your choice. They’re also gluten free and paleo!

Simple Breakfast Egg “Muffins”

Ingredient

1/2 pack of bacon (4-5 strips), chopped
1 head of broccoli, stem removed, roughly chopped
1/2 bell pepper chopped
2 handfuls of spinach
14 eggs
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder

Preheat oven to 350 and spray muffin pan with non stick oil. Heat a skillet on medium heat, add bacon and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add in broccoli, peppers, and spinach and sauté until veggies soften and bacon starts to brown. Set pan aside. In a large bowl crack eggs and add spices. Beat until well blended. Add veggies to the eggs directly from skillet and stir. Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup fill each muffins cup about 3/4 of the way full with egg mixture. Cook muffins on middle rack for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve with whole grain bread, oatmeal or eat on their own for a delicious breakfast. Makes 16 muffins.

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