Friday, May 22, 2015

Easy No-Cook Overnight Oats

So if you're like me you're always looking for the easiest of breakfast ideas because you know that it's the most important meal of the day - and you know your kids need it to give them enough energy to last them til lunch time.

And maybe you're tired of microwaving mini-pancakes every morning, or watching soggy cereal go down the drain. And maybe you're tired of having to figure out what YOU should eat, too.

Because deciding what to eat day after day after day? BORING.

I've got the answer for you.

oats, breakfast, overnight, oatmeal, healthy, fruits, delicious, canning

Overnight Oats.

I know. It sounds a little crazy. You've probably heard of them before. Maybe even looked at them as too much work or were skeptical about the taste. But you should try them anyway. Because you might be surprised.

I definitely was.

And? Bonus? My daughter loves them, too.

Start with rolled oats. You can use steel cut, but I did some digging and rolled oats work fine - and taste great, in my opinion.

Grab a 1/2 c of oats and toss them into a mason or canning jar or some other clean and lidded jar.

Cover the oats with 1/3 c of milk. I prefer unsweetened almond milk, because the sweetness will come later and that gives me some leeway with the calories.

Add 1/2 c of Greek yogurt. I use vanilla, because FLAVOR. And if you don't like Greek yogurt you can give it a try with regular yogurt. Plain works fine because you're adding a lot to it, but again, I prefer the flavor of vanilla yogurt to plain. It's a complete preference thing.

Top that off with a drizzle of honey. Be generous. Or don't. It's good stuff, though.

oats, breakfast, overnight, oatmeal, healthy, fruits, delicious, canning

Sprinkle in some flax seed. Or chia. Or protein powder, if you use that sort of thing. I've even seen people say they use peanut butter powder, like the kind you'd toss into smoothies. I might be curious enough to get some and give it a try.

oats, breakfast, overnight, oatmeal, healthy, fruits, delicious, canning

Last step? Add the fruit of your choice. I've made it with strawberries, you can slice about 4-5 and put those in. Or cover the top of the jar with blueberries. I don't eat bananas but I've heard that they work well and don't get too gross, but I can't speak to that first-hand. I used up those so these pictures here have some diced and peeled (personal preference) apple. They turned out amazing. The apples softened just enough and it kind of tasted like apple pie - but healthier. And less syrupy.

oats, breakfast, overnight, oatmeal, healthy, fruits, delicious, canning

Lastly, if you're interested, sprinkle some cinnamon on top before you finish up. You could also add more honey at this point, if you prefer your oatmeal sweet.

oats, breakfast, overnight, oatmeal, healthy, fruits, delicious, canning

Be sure to leave yourself enough room.

Most recipes will tell you that you can shake it up once you put the lid on. And you can, but I prefer to give it a quick mix to make sure that the consistency throughout is the same.

It will look like this.

oats, breakfast, overnight, oatmeal, healthy, fruits, delicious, canning

Put it in your fridge and you're good to go.

Golden, in fact.

Some ideas for additional layers or mix-ins:

raisins (golden raisins taste especially amazing)
dried fruits
cocoa powder
peanut/almond/nut-of-your-choice butter
maple syrup

Honestly, I think whatever you put in regular oatmeal you could add to overnight oatmeal.

So - give this a try and let me know what you think. I hope it helps make breakfast-time easier for you and your family. Let the little ones help you choose and fill the layers and they'll feel like they're a part of the planning, and when they feel a part of something they're more likely to dive right in when you serve it. It's a win-win all around.

no-cook, refrigerate, overnight, oatmeal, oats, breakfast, fruits, yogurt, simple, recipe

If you want to make things easier for yourself, just click on this recipe card image below, save it to your computer or phone. Print it out (it's kind of huge - sorry!) or just keep it on-hand. You'll have the info you need available for easy prep (and shopping!).

oatmeal, breakfast, no-cook, refrigerator oats, oats, fruits, easy recipe, recipe

And if you're looking for a different kind of oatmeal recipe that can also be prepped in advance and warmed up in the the morning check out my pumpkin oatmeal by clicking the image below.

oatmeal, no-cook, stove-top, pumpkin, fruits, breakfast, easy, domestic goddess

* Thanks to Home Cooking Memories for this recipe card template. 
* There are affiliate links for products on Amazon scattered throughout this post. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Maternal Mental Health Awareness and Support

mental health, PPD, PPA, maternal, postpartum, support, PMAD, PPMD, depression, anxiety

May is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month.

Try saying that a few times fast - it probably won't happen - but say it at least once - to someone who might be needing to hear it. Because they'll thank you. I'm sure of it.

And in honor and recognition of the importance of this month, Postpartum Support International is hosting its annual Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month blog hop. I participate in this blog hop with PSI almost every year because I think it's extremely important to help get the word out about maternal mental health.

Between the stereotypical news stories whenever a mother has a supposed mental break, and the fear-mongering of word of mouth when gossip comes into play, all of that and more? It hurts my heart. It makes me ache for mamas in need who could benefit from the reminder that they are not alone. And that they're not crazy. And that not every single one of them will do whatever the mom in question has done. And maybe that mom being reported on and spotlighted didn't experience what they're experiencing. And that we're all unique - and yet we're never alone. 

As a mom-to-be I experienced anxiety that would keep me awake at night. And as a new mom it didn't really subside much. I joked that I had PPD-lite. I had no idea that PPA was actually a thing. But it was. It was a thing - AND I had it. 

It wasn't fun. My mind did a lot of racing. I couldn't close my eyes without thinking about the what-ifs. But I found a way to resurface. To hang on. I spoke to friends. Family members. Doctors. I got the help I needed. During pregnancy. After childbirth. Postpartum. All of it. Anxiety is a part of my life, and I get that. I know it's a huge component of who I am. But the ability to speak freely about it helped me to engage with people who knew of what I spoke. They knew me. They got me. And many of them WERE me. *Not literally, but you get it - right?*

A few years ago I shared a list of some of these incredible mamas who have muddled through postpartum mood disorders and write freely about their experiences. These women are just a sampling of people I have learned from, grown with and found hope through. I strongly recommend you take a peek at their worlds, as they remind us all that there is always hope. They remind us that there are so many people who struggle in their postpartum window, but make their way to the other side. You will, too. 

I will state over and over that women everywhere need to be educated about maternal mental health - for their own information and awareness - of course - but also for the ability to reach out and help others. You don't have to have experienced any of this to understand it exists. You don't have to have breathed your way through it to know that there is hope. And help. 

You can support your friends and loved ones. You can encourage a family member to get help. You can learn the signs to look for that might be just what that new mama needs. You can reach out. You can remind others that help is out there. 

If you or someone you know is in need of immediate help, please contact the National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-TALK (8255).

If you are in need of pregnancy or postpartum support, please contact Postpartum Support International by calling the PSI Warmline at 800-944-4PPD (4773). English- and Spanish-speaking volunteers are available. You can also email

If you are local to my area (Triangle, NC) and in need of support, please contact Postpartum Education and Support (PES) at 919-454-6946 or email 

Please reach out. Help is out there. You deserve support. Allow us to connect you to the right resources. Allow us to help you. 

PSI Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month Blog Hop

If you would like to participate in this year's PSI blog hop, head on over to the info page to find out exactly what the post requirements consist of and how to submit/link up when you're ready to do so. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Recipe Round-Up: Pasta Favorites

I haven't done a recipe round-up in a while, but I'm itching to get some pasta recipes jotted down, and what better way to do that than to ask my friends to share their favorites with me - so I can share them with you!

So, here you have it - some of the yummiest looking pasta recipes around. And what I really love about them is that some of the ingredients seem easily adjusted to meet your tastes. Switch out the pasta of choice for your favorite. Change the ground beef to turkey. Add some extra veggies if you prefer to see more green on your plate. Drop the meat if you want to go vegetarian. Opt for gluten-free noodles to meet your dietary needs.

recipes, pasta, dinner, delicious, vegetables, meat, ravioli, spaghetti, linguine

Friday, May 8, 2015

How You Can Help: Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive - Saturday, May 9

Every year on the second Saturday in May our mail carriers go above and beyond for us. They help us get our donations to our local food banks for the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.

This event is held nation-wide and is coordinated by the National Association of Letter Carriers. 

As a volunteer for my local food bank in North Carolina, I could not be more grateful for this assistance and event, because we all know that when someone helps make it easier for us to contribute we'll find ourselves more likely to do so. Knowing that the USPS will be coming by on Saturday no matter what guarantees that my items will make their way to help those in need!

All you need to do is grab a bag, fill it up with some items you would like to donate, and leave it outside by your mailbox on Saturday morning.

It could not be any simpler!

The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina has a list of items that they need, and in sharing this with you today I can guarantee that your local food bank would love these same items. Non-perishables that are in cans, boxes, bags (no glass - please!) are accepted with a huge thanks.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Random Ramblings.

I haven't been writing all week because - well - my mom has been visiting!!

Yay, Momma!!!

Too exciting.

Unfortunately she's heading home tonight, and I'm #sadfaced.

My kiddo is likely going to be even more sadfaced than I am. Sniffle.

Saying bye to family when they leave is awful. It's not fair.

I'm still waiting on those automatic transporter things for people so we can get together whenever we want, ya know?

You know you know. I'm sure of it.

I kind of need to get in the shower and feel more awake. In the meantime I'm sipping cold coffee and doing some internet engagement stuff.

Where do you find the posts you read and share online?

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