All Posts By

claire

Food

Overnight Oats Breakfast Recipe

I first learned about Overnight Oats about 2 years ago on Pinterest. The first time I made it, I wasn’t overly impressed. The fruit was chunky and oats tasted a little bland. Over time, I’ve tweaked the recipe and made it my own – one that I find so delicious I can’t resist. So instead of keeping this amazing recipe a secret, I’ve decided to share it with anyone looking to spice up their morning with an easy, healthy and tasty breakfast choice.

The reason I love overnight oats is that you can make it the night before, and as soon as you wake up in the morning it’s ready to eat. All the work is done as the oats soak up the ingredients overnight (hence the name). I actually go to bed every night looking forward to breakfast.

Most overnight oats recipes you might find will have you just throw some fruit in, pour in almond milk and stir it around. Mine is different from most others in that I use a blender to mix the ingredients. This helps to create a smooth texture and consistent taste for the oats to soak up overnight.

For fruit, I use a ripe banana (small-medium size),  ~15 frozen blueberries and a couple pieces of frozen acai mix. You can get it all at any grocery store but I prefer mine from Trader Joe’s. I toss them all in my Nutribullet (single serve size cup).

P.S. you can scroll to the bottom of this post for a full list of each ingredient, or follow along with my photos below 🙂

Once the fruit is in, I pour the almond milk until I hit the “max” line. This is usually the perfect amount of liquid for it.

Then, I toss a tablespoon of dark cacao powder, a pinch of cacao nibs, a bit of honey, and tablespoon of almond butter.

After everything is in (except the oats), I blend it all together until it’s smooth and creamy. It should be slightly more “liquidy” than a smoothie. Pour the mixture into a Mason jar or tupperware and then mix in about 1 cup of rolled oats. I typically eye it out, but I use about 7 tablespoon size scoops of oats.

Once it’s all mixed together nicely, put the lid on, and go to sleep. In the morning, you’ll wake up and a delicious breakfast will be waiting for you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

RECIPE INGREDIENTS

  • Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • Pinch of Roasted Cacao Nibs
  • 1.5 tbsp. 100% Cacao Powder (Special Dark is my favorite)
  • 1 tbsp. Almond Butter
  • 1/6 of Frozen Acai Puree
  • 15 Blueberries
  • 1 ripe Banana
  • 1 tsp. Honey

Travel

First time to Bogota

30 hours in Bogota… I wasn’t sure what to expect when I had this trip on my schedule, but was eager to find out.

We arrived late at night, so I went right to bed when we got to the hotel. I woke up slowly the next morning, not sure what was in store for my day Bogota. When I finally got out of bed, I pulled back the curtains and saw the most unexpected, amazingly beautiful view.

Instantly, my mood changed and I was excited to get outside and explore.

The hotel provided free breakfast, with delicious pastries like carrot bread, chocolate croissants, donuts, and scrambled eggs made to order. After fueling up, I explored the blocks around the hotel, admiring the buildings and restaurants with gorgeous facades. I couldn’t stop snapping photos.

Lots of pretty dogs too. I found one sweet pup roaming around alone, wishing I could take her home with me!

After some difficulties at the ATM (including freaking out after I withdrew something like 60,000 pesos which converts to only $7 USD), I stopped by the street market to do a little shopping. I ended up buying some homemade jewelry and a magnet for my collection on the fridge.

Later on in the day, I got a 60 minute full body massage. This was recommended to me by lots of flight attendants who have been to Bogota before, and it was so worth it! Much needed relaxation.

I then walked to find some pizza for dinner, planning to take it ‘to-go’ back to my room. However, no one spoke a lick of English at the restaurant so I had to eat inside at a table (they didn’t understand me asking for a take-away order). It was nice though, I had the whole restaurant to myself, a great view by the window, and they were so nice to me despite the language barrier.

I then ended the evening reading my book in bed. It was a successful layover and I can’t wait to come back someday soon!

Travel

My Atlanta Bucket List

I recently moved to the city of Atlanta and there’s still so much that I haven’t seen. From day trips all around Georgia, right down to exploring my very neighborhood, I’ve created a list of what I’d like to see and where I’d like to go.

Toccoa River

Walk the 270-foot swinging suspension bridge over the Toccoa River in Blue Ridge, GA.

Chattahoochee Coffee Company

Not your average coffee shop, this one is located right on the Chattahoochee River. It sounds like a hidden treasure, as you have to enter an apartment complex and ring in for them to open the gates for you. Not many people even know it’s there, but I’ve been dying to spend a day working by the river and sipping coffee here.

Another reason I think it’s special is that it’s located right near where my mom first lived in Atlanta when she was my age. Also, my roommate/best friend used to live in the apartment complex where it’s located.

Overcast morning by the river. P:@erolader

A post shared by Chattahoochee Coffee Company (@chattahoocheecoffee) on

Tallulah Gorge

Hike to see the falls at Tallulah Gorge, which also has a suspension bridge and incredible views. I would love to get here for the autumn season colors!

Wild Animal Safari

Drive thru safari in Georgia with over 65 types of exotic animals in Pine Mountain!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BZzmWEOjkui

Okefenokee Swamp

I mean, a swamp seems like a pretty cool spot to explore!

Lullwater Preserve

This one is right near where I live. It’s amazing what you can find right in your backyard.

Stone Mountain

It’s been nearly 10 years since I’ve hiked Stone Mountain, so I’d say it’s time to go back!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BcTFMiGnDpN

 

I hope you can take away some ideas from my curated list of beautiful hiking spots, quaint little towns, beautiful scenic spots, and fun activities for day trips from Atlanta.  Let me know if there’s any you have already explored or recommend!

Flight Attendant Life Travel

How I Spent Christmas as a Flight Attendant

Being a first year flight attendant, it was pretty much a given that I would be working on Christmas. With that being said, I still tried everything in my power to at least have the eve, morning or afternoon of Christmas off to be with family. This is a little story of how it went down, and how none of that worked out, but it still ended up as one of my favorite work trips.

I was scheduled to be “on call” for six days in a row, beginning on December 20, so that left me with hopes of having a chance of Christmas at home. The trip started out dull – but ended up being great.

Day one: I was assigned “standby” (on-call at the airport) and got sent somewhere I can’t even remember. I was sick with a cold and slept the entirety of my first layover.

Day two: things started to look up. I had the pleasure of being flown to Grand Cayman where it was about 80 degrees and a perfect chance for me to recover from the cold.

(I should mention the two crews I worked with here were the sweetest. Working with people like them makes the whole idea of flying over the holidays easy to forget.)

When we arrived in Grand Cayman, our hotel was a resort right on the beach. Even though our layover was only 11 hours, the last thing I wanted was to sleep or stay inside all night. The pilots invited me and the two other flight attendants to grab pina coladas with them by the beach, so of course we said yes. We spent the whole night playing Jenga together as a crew and feeling like we were on a tropical vacation.

We had to get up early for our flight the next day, but I made sure to go out on the beach to witness the sunrise first.

The next trip I was given while “on call” was out to join a Seattle-based crew. They were the absolute nicest flight attendants and it was really cool to fly with people from another base. That doesn’t happen too often.

On this trip, I was happy because I was *scheduled* to get home by noon on Christmas day. They were going to lay me over (give me a hotel) in Seattle on Christmas Eve and then deadhead me home (fly me home in a seat like a passenger) early Christmas morning. It was perfect.

But… of course… too good to be true!

Seattlers got a beautiful White Christmas with about a foot of snow overnight, which meant my flight home to Atlanta was delayed and then they changed my schedule to have me work (not deadhead) a different flight home that afternoon. That got me home around 10pm, missing most of Christmas and spending it alone in a hotel and then on a plane.

HOWEVER, I was still pretty happy…

I had nothing to complain about because I knew from day one that I would be working on Christmas. I was only hoping for a miracle to be home earlier. But in the end, I got to experience pina coladas by the beach one night, and a White Christmas the next. Who can complain about that?

It was a Christmas I’ll always remember.

How To Travel

How to Perfectly Pack a Suitcase

As soon as I became a flight attendant, I was in dire need of a better way to pack my suitcase. I have a 22-inch rollaboard bag with a tote that should EASILY fit my belongings for a 3-day trip, right?! Well, it’s sometimes a struggle, especially if I’m packing winter type clothes or trying to fit my camera equipment as well.

After hours of research on Google, Pinterest, vlogs, blogs, and books, I’ve tried each and every way you can possibly imagine to pack a bag. I’ve tried simple folding, shoving everything in, and even rolling clothes up. But nothing quite compares to this one particular method. And now I can safely say I have officially discovered how to perfectly pack a suitcase.

The method I’m talking about is called the Konmari method. I first learned of it through the book titled, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, which utilizes and describes the Japanese art of organizing. The book doesn’t mention anything about packing suitcases, but I’ve taken the Konmari method of folding and incorporated it into packing a suitcase.

The part of the book that focuses on organizing clothes describes a specific art of folding clothes that helps to create more space, less wrinkles, and peace of mind.

I used this folding art to create an unbelievable amount of space in my suitcase. It’s now easier to find things in my bag, keep things organized, and leaves me more space. It has even proven that folding doesn’t create wrinkles if you do it the right way.

Basically, you have to fold your clothing items into rectangular shapes and stack them next to each other, as opposed to on top of each other. That way when you are looking in your suitcase, you can see the edge of each piece of clothing in your bag without having to dig through or look under another item.

Here are some diagrams to explain the folding process for perfectly packing your suitcase.

I found these illustrations on Pinterest (link here).

Soon enough, you will have a perfectly packed suitcase with more room for extra outfits and less wrinkles in all your clothes. Most importantly, you will feel better with a cleaner and more organized bag!

Travel

The Ultimate Edinburgh Experience

This is the story of my first time visiting my new favorite city : Edinburgh. It’s one of those places I’ve heard of but knew nothing about, not even how to pronounce it.

The weather forecasted rain the entire 24 hour layover, so as soon as we arrived I took a 4 hour nap. I met up with another flight attendant on my crew, Amy, and we headed out to explore around 4pm. It was still drizzling a little so went to get coffee and buy panty hose (life of a flight attendant). The clouds slowly drifted away and the sun came out to make for a beautiful rest of the day. A wee bit chilly.. but at least no more rain.

We walked around not knowing at all what to expect. Turns out, August in Edinburgh is a big deal. It’s their annual month-long festival called Fringe, which is a cultural and arts festival with street performers all over and military tattoo shows every night at the castle. I think it’s the best time of year to visit!

Nearly every building in the city of Edinburgh was absolutely gorgeous with medieval architecture. So many cathedrals and castles. Add in the green hills and without a doubt I was in heaven. I had a hayday with photos here, wishing I had more than just my iPhone.

 

Once the sun set, we grabbed drinks at a few pubs and scouted tickets for the tattoo. (Maybe I’m the only one who thought they meant literal body tattoo ink show, but I’ll clarify anyways.. a tattoo in Scotland is a show put on by military bands from across the world). We tried negotiating with a couple guys and eventually found tickets for $40 a piece. They were only a couple rows from the ground.. we couldn’t have had a better view!

Right as we were walking in, a couple fighter jets zoomed over our heads and around the stadium which is set right in front of the castle. The show opened up with a band from the British Armed Forces playing bagpipes, commencing the start of the tattoo.

There was an announcer narrating the history of Scotland and the founding of different countries, that’s how the show went on with different military bands representing their countries. The performances ranged from dancers, singers, reenactments, kids choruses and full marching bands. It actually reminded me a lot of what you’d see at the Olympics grand opening.

Throughout each performance, they projected images and designs onto the castle. It made for a beautiful backdrop. At the end, an amazing fireworks show was put on above/behind Edinburgh Castle.

After this awesome show, Amy and I went to find food. It was like 11pm, but since we woke up at 4 it was barely dinner time for us. Turns out, everywhere in Edinburgh closes their kitchens at 10 so we ended up getting pizza at a food truck.

On our way back to the hotel, there were tons of pubs with live bands so we stopped into one called The Inn, ordered a couple mojitos, and listened as they played all the best of 80s and 90s songs.

It was a great day in Edinburgh and I can’t wait to go back.

Travel

My Luckiest Trip

By pure “luck of the Irish” – I got a nice Dublin trip on my schedule for 4th of July. I know I say this about everywhere, but Ireland has been at the top of my bucket list for a long time! The photos of lush greenery under grey skies have been luring me in ever since I can remember.

A couple days prior to departure, I asked my dad if he’d want to tag along for the ride. Flights looked promising (aka, looked like he would get first class) so of course he was down to join.

He got first class and I got to serve him the full Delta One service, three course meal and all.

Once we arrived, we went and rented a car right at the airport. I had a full day planned of exploring the countryside around Dublin. First we drove to Wicklow, which is an adorable little medieval fishing town. We stopped by Black Castle, a castle that was built in the 1600s but burned down shortly after. The ruins of it are beautifully set on the cliffs of Wicklow.

We got lunch at a little coffee shop, uniquely named The Coffee Shop, and continued on our way to Glendalough.

Glendalough, pronounced “glen•da•lock,” is a beautiful nature preserve park with two lakes set in a valley of mountains. It was so picturesque, with families and dogs frolicking around the lake and through the park.

We hiked up a little ways on one of the trails to see a tall waterfall. It was so pretty!

Then we took another trail to a run down medieval cemetery. It was eery but also beautiful!

After all that hiking, we treated ourselves to some ice cream in the parking lot. YUM.

At this point, I realized we came all the way to Ireland and I haven’t seen ANY sheep.. So of course, our next mission was to find a flock of sheep. I made my dad drive out of the way into even more rural areas. And finally… sheep!

We pulled over at one farm and behind us a man with his crook and sheepdog walked by, herding a giant group of sheep. I was in heaven..

We were almost ready to call it a day, when we realized we still had a couple hours and a full tank of gas. So we made one more pit stop at Howth. I had heard so much about this town called Howth and a “beautiful lighthouse” that was a must-see. So I put it in the GPS and it’s an extra hour away. Finally we get there, only to see the most disappointing lighthouse you’ve ever laid eyes on. I don’t even have a photo to show you, because it was just plain ugly and uninteresting. I was thinking they MUST have been talking about a different lighthouse, but whatever, we made the most of our time in Howth. We got dinner at this little Australian-Italian restaurant and walked around the marina.

I did later find out, it’s a different lighthouse that I guess you have to hike to, outside of Howth. So next time I’m in Dublin, I’ll go see what the real hype is all about 🙂

This was our cute little rental car.

By the end of the day, my dad and I were exhausted – but it was no doubt a successful, adventure-filled day. I’d say it was my luckiest trip to date! 🍀

Travel

Seattle is Pretty Cool

My first layover in Seattle was my very first time ever there. I walked 16 miles that day, all around the whole city. From Pike Place Market, to the waterfront/pier 66, to the Space Needle and to Kerry Park – I had a long to-do list for the day and accomplished it all!

We arrived in the morning and I went right out to Pike Place to try some fresh fruit, see cheese being made from scratch, and taste some true Seattle coffee. I walked down to see the Gum Wall. Just to see it. Then I walked along the waterfront, braving the powerful winds and even a couple raindrops.

I then went to lunch at the Space Needle park area, had some bubble tea, and just enjoyed some time in the square there.

Kerry Park is at the top of a hill, so I got an uber up to take in the beautiful views of Seattle. I love exploring a city like this, getting to take my sweet time, sit in a park and relax until I’m ready for the next site. I get to enjoy the moments a little more.

For dinner, I went to this delicious pizza place and brought it back to the room to call it a night.

I’ve been back to Seattle once more since then and got to revisit Pike Place and explore a little of Capitol Hill. Seattle still remains one of my favorite layovers. It’s a beautiful city with great food and lots to do.

Travel

Adventures in Colorado Springs

I was so happy to have my best friend Laura join me for a weekend in Colorado Springs! I had a 30 hour layover, so two nights and an entire day to explore this beautiful scenic destination. Laura got on my flight from ATL – COS at the very last minute, and I couldn’t have been more excited! Plus I got to serve someone I knew on a flight for the very first time! Proof:

We started the day off at Over Easy, a delicious brunch spot recommended to me by another flight attendant. Laura and I both got the quinoa coconut oatmeal with fresh fruit. It was hard for me to pass up the flight of pancakes or french toast, but I don’t regret the oatmeal one bit!

We then Ubered our way to Red Rock Canyon / Open Space park. Our Uber driver was this super cool high school teacher who was telling us all the best routes to take and places to see in Colorado Springs. We had a nice long hike through the park and even saw a couple of mule deer. It was amazing! So many cool red rock formations and scenic views!

After that, we went to Manitou Springs and this little town, nestled in between mountains, was probably the highlight of our day!

We walked along the quaint little streets with historic buildings and homes. We had been in the mood for smoothies, a tradition we have, and so we stopped at this little shop with local organic food and goods. I got a DELICIOUS iced coffee peanut butter chocolate banana smoothie, and Laura got a green smoothie which she said was delish as well! We almost went back for seconds. The guy who made our drinks, Luke, was so incredibly friendly we couldn’t believe it. The people in Colorado Springs in general were all SO nice!

After finishing our scrumptious smoothies, we walked over to this park where we heard live music. Come to find out, there was a wine festival going on. So we sat in the park across the street and relaxed, listening to the music and people-watching everyone who had a little too much wine.

Finally, to finish the day we planned to grab dinner and check out Garden of the Gods for sunset.

We went to Garden of the Gods Café, which was a really nice restaurant with locally sourced organic ingredients. We both loved our dishes! I had a spaghetti bolognese and Laura had a salad.

Just in time for sunset, we called an Uber to drop us at Garden of the Gods. Typical us, we had no idea what to expect, because apparently you can’t just get dropped off at one spot to see it all. You basically would have to spend several hours walking through the park or drive through it. After he explained this to us, our Uber driver offered to drive us through for an extra couple bucks.

So we said YES PLZ, and next thing you know we had our very own tour guide / private driver taking us through Garden of the Gods! He stopped at all the famous photo-ops and let us get out of the car for pictures. It was the perfect end to our day.

See what I mean about everyone being so nice here?? Where else do you get an Uber driver offering to be your tour guide through a national park?

Travel

24 Hours in Amsterdam

There I was sitting standby at JFK airport, when my phone rang. Scheduling was calling to ask me if I wanted to work a trip to Amsterdam. My standby shift was in the morning, and Amsterdam wasn’t until later that afternoon, so they were giving me the option to say no. But obviously I said YES PLEASE!

Working international trips can be exhausting. Usually we have a 24 hour layover, but the flights are essentially red eyes. Meaning we leave in the afternoon and have to work all night until we land at ~7am Amsterdam time. Some flight attendants power through and go right out to explore, while others take a quick 3-5 hour power nap before heading out. I love my sleep, so I’m one of the nappers.

I was up and ready to explore Amsterdam by 1 pm. I had been once before with my mom, so my goal was to retrace some of our steps. I explored a lot of the Jordaan district first, and stopped for lunch at a cute place called Piqniq. I sat at a table for one and had a delicious sandwich and flat white coffee.

A little later I went to a cheese museum. This place I highly recommend! They have samples on samples of FREE cheese. From blue pesto cheese to classic cheddar, you’ll quench all your cheese cravings here.

I had heard a lot about this place called Winkel that has to-die-for apple pie, and noticed a long line constantly outside of it. I decided to see what all the fuss was about, and treat myself to a slice. It was definitely the best apple pie I’ve ever had! I enjoyed eating it on a bench by one of the many canals in Amsterdam.

By this time, I was ready for dinner. Ok.. I know it sounds like all I did was eat in Amsterdam. But I swear I walked like 13 miles exploring the city and taking photos, but none of that is worth mentioning more than the delicious food! I started heading to this place called Casa di David, where my mom and I ate last time I was there. It’s a very delicious Italian restaurant with big windows overlooking a canal and beautiful street. When I walked in, there was a line of people and the host mentioned an hour long wait. So quickly I turned back around and left (It was past my bed time by this time anyways). I wandered back in the direction of my hotel and figured I’d stop at the first place that looked good. I was already in the mood for Italian, so when I saw this tiny cute Italian pizza place, I stopped in my tracks.

I walked inside and like a true Italian, the owner behind the counter greeted me “Ciao bella!!” He asked me where I was from and was overjoyed that I was from TENNESSEE?!? “Where they make whiskey!” And he points at their Tennessee Whiskey bottles on the wall and shouts to everyone in the cafe that I was from “The Tennessee!” I then go to pay for my margherita pizza and he sees the First Tennessee Bank written on my card. He holds it up to everyone in the store, once again, and says “Look! Tennessee BANK!!” This man was so happy and it truly made my whole day. The pizza was so delicious and authentic, I can’t wait to go back next time I visit Amsterdam!

By now it was bed time, and I got a fantastic night’s sleep. A successful, short but sweet, trip to Amsterdam. Thanks, Scheduling 🙂