Finding A New Routine [+ Random Ramblings]

Hey guys! I’m back to my regularly scheduled programming now… whatever that means. :) I hope that you enjoyed reading my Colorado re-caps and looking through the 1,000 photos that I posted- it was certainly a wonderful vacation! And in case you missed it- you must check out the cute baby overload photos in yesterday’s post. That’s something you won’t hear me say often!

But for now, it’s back to reality. What I’m trying to figure out for now is: what is my reality?

(Pretty much) ever since school ended in June, I’ve been traveling. All along, I’ve been saying “When I get home from Colorado, I’ll get down to business.” I spent most of last week playing catch-up, staying up late and sleeping in and generally feeling unmotivated to do much, but that is definitely going to be changing.

One of the big things on my Summer Bucket List is to get my home office cleaned up and in order so that I can actually used it as a home office. I tackled it last week and still have a little ways to go- but I made pretty good progress. And over the weekend, Greg and I went out and bought a cheap desk from Bed, Bath and Beyond to put it in there, so I can set a little private study area for myself.

I also registered for personal trainer certification study program this weekend!

After months of researching, talking to health club managers and other trainers and weighing the options that each different certification offers, I opted to go with NESTA. Even though I heard a lot of trainers say “go through NASM,” what I heard from every single club manager was “it doesn’t matter- just get certified.” NESTA’s training program and exam fees were a lot cheaper than NASM and ACE- and that was a big selling point for me. They are nationally accredited and accepted by every major health club- so I’m confident in my choice. I have 90 days to take the exam from the day that I registered (which was Saturday), but I’m hoping to have it by mid-September. Which means- I have to seriously hit the books. I’m really excited to get going with this new career and to see where it leads!


Another thing that I need to get back on track with is my eating. I’m going to elaborate more on this a little later in the week- but all of the traveling this summer certainly hasn’t helped with my weight-loss efforts. Sure, our vacations are super active and I still exercise every day when I travel- but I also eat more calories than I do at home- and for me, those do not cancel each other out. Now that we’re not traveling anywhere for a while, I have no excuse not to get back on track. Like I said- I’ll talk about that more soon- and also about a few new exciting fitness initiatives for the blog!


I have to share this amazing recipe. I’m slightly obsessed with it- and I don’t think I’m the only one (including the chef/creator herself!). Last week, Amanda posted a recipe for Cool Ranch Hummus on her blog, and I was immediately intrigued. I’ll confess- I definitely ate my share of Cool Ranch Doritos (or Doritos, period) in college, and although it’s probably been about 10 years since I’ve had any- I can still remember how they tasted. Amanda stated that this hummus tasted just like Cool Ranch Doritos- so I had to find out for myself. I immediately threw a bunch of dried chickpeas and water into a jar to let them hydrate overnight. The next morning, I boiled them and made the hummus in my food processor… and oh Mylanta…. it’s good. REALLY GOOD.

I only had dried herbs, and used sesame seeds instead of tahini and Vidalia onion instead of red… and it still tasted exactly like Cool Ranch Doritos.

GO MAKE IT NOW. You’re welcome.


I’m going to talk about how much I love iHerb again (and no- they do not bribe me to say that). I earned so many “rewards” through them last month, that I got over $100 in free products! Even better- shipping was free and my order got to my house two days after I placed it. Check out this loot!

FOR FREE, my friends. If you haven’t checked out iHerb’s website- be warned- you will get sucked in. They have so many good vitamins, supplements, grocery items, health & beauty and household products for really good products. Use the code QIR197 for $5 off your first order!


While looking through the freezer yesterday, I discovered the top tier of our wedding cake. I had completely forgotten about it! We were in Colorado on our anniversary, so obviously we didn’t get to eat it then. I took it out, cut a piece off to let it thaw, and we had it for dessert.

It was still good! The majority of our wedding cake was carrot cake (the best ever!), but this was vanilla with a chocolate hazelnut filling. The only problem now is, I’ve got about 12 slices of wedding cake that I’m trying to decide what to do with (eating all of them is not an option).


And one last thing. If you follow me on Instagram (@OatmealLauren) you’ve probably seen a million photos of my dogs- but I just have to share this one that I took on Saturday night. I had my flip flops sitting on the living room floor, and they each grabbed one to take upstairs for me when it was time for bed.

I love them. :)

Have a fantastic Monday!!


  1. The pups must have been so happy to see you!

    • Jackson literally jumps into Greg’s arms when he’s been away for any long period of time. It’s ridiculous!

  2. Thanks for the hummus shout-out! I’m so glad you thought it tasted like Cool Ranch Doritos too – it’s so odd how that happened, but I’m not complaining! Also, congrats on choosing a personal trainer certification! If we lived closer together, I would definitely hire you as my trainer. I’ve been feeling kind of meh about the gym lately and need a kick in the butt. :)

    That photo of your dogs is priceless.

    • Oh, man I wish we DID live closer to each other! Move down here! (or at least visit!) It doesn’t look like we’re going to make it to Boston this month :( but we will definitely be there in October for Greg’s stepbrother’s wedding. We HAVE to get together then.

  3. I am so proud of you, in so many ways!!

  4. Congrats on registering! So exciting! You are on your way now!

  5. Awwww the dogs are SO cute.

    LOVE that you signed up do the exam! WAHOOOOOOO!!!

  6. Your doggies are TOO cute :) Welcome home, and good for you for getting going right away on the home office and studying! You’ll have that certification before you know it :)

  7. First, the obvious: HOLYSHITYOURDOGSARECUTE.

    Second, I hear you with the eating thing. I have vanity weight to lose too (be honest girlfriend, yours is vanity weight too — you are healthy and beautiful!), but it’s hard when everything is telling you that you don’t need to lose weight (like I *just* did to you). But you want to, so I’m with you. You could hop on my goal bandwagon with my friend Steph and I and set a goal for August 17 (we randomly started on July 17). I’m wanting to stay at my goal weight for 2 consecutive weeks before then and she’s got another goal. We were planning on getting a pedi to celebrate at the end of it, and whoever (if anybody) doesn’t make the goal pays for the pedis.

    Also, thanks for the hummus recipe. I made some last weekend for the first time and I am never buying again. I eat it daily with veggies for lunch and though I love the hummus I get (from a restaurant in Iowa City), I can add 5 cloves of garlic to my batch, and spend $2 making it.

  8. Gah, the flip flop picture is killing me!! And I’m typing this while Lincoln has one paw on the laptop :)

    Good luck with getting into your new groove and routine! You’ve had a ton going on and I think once you get into studying and have your office done, you will be all set!

    And cool ranch hummus?

    I don’t even know what to say about that. Except I need to make it….NOW!!

  9. Wow, that’s awesome that you decided to sign up for NESTA! Congratulations :)

  10. How exciting! Congratulations for registering for the exam…you’re gonna knock it out of the park! I have GOT to try that hummus! I was OBSESSED with Cool Ranch Doritos when I was a teenager! I’d always lick off all the spices before eating the chips! Lol

    That cake looks delicious! Send some my way…I’d be more than happy to help you eat it! ;)

    Love love LOVE seeing your cute pups pop up on my Instagram feed! How cute they wanted to help you get to bed!

    • If you make the hummus, let me know. It’s SO GOOD.
      I’m glad people don’t get sick of seeing my pups- I’m a little obsessed with taking photos of them (but you probably already figured that out)

  11. Cool Ranch Hummus!?!?!?!

    Going to soak the dried chickpeas in my pantry now…

    PS I am hering so many good things about all of the various supplemen sites! Have you compared Iherb to Netrition?

  12. our cake is still in the freezer.. untouched.. i wonder if it would taste ok haha.

Comments are welcome (and encouraged)!