WIAW-Trying other blog recipes

Merry Christmas Eve! Are you ready for all of the festivities to begin?

These past few days have been a whirlwind and I cannot believe that Christmas is tomorrow.

Yesterday was a pretty good day of eats. I have been working on getting more variety into my diet and trying to break the habit that I have or eating the same things Every.Single.Day. I did fairly well yesterday. On to the eats….

Breakfast:

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I started the day off with a nice and comforting breakfast. I made Amanda’s gingerbread pancakes. The only changes I made were substituting applesauce for the banana and omitting the chocolate chips because I am not a fan of them in my pancakes. I know. Craziness.
The pancakes were really good (like all of Amanda’s recipes), except I don’t think they can be eaten without syrup. The greek yogurt can be tasted, so the sweetness of the syrup is a MUST.

Lunch:

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I never know what to eat for lunch. I am not one for waiting an hour while something cooks, so I usually need something quick and easy. When I am hungry, I am hungry now.
I made Angela’s Tortilla Soup (from the Oh She Glows cookbook) for dinner last week, and pulled some of the leftovers out the freezer for a quick and delicious lunch. I topped mine with tortilla strips and green onions.

Dinner:

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We went out for pizza with some friends as an early Christmas celebration. I ordered a mini veggie pizza, but ate the entire thing before realizing that I forgot to take a picture. Whoops.
Afterwards, we went bowling. I haven’t bowled in FOREVER and man am I awful. Oh well. It was fun anyways 🙂

There were lots of snacks involved in yesterdays eats as well, but those were eaten so fast that pictures were not involved. Sorry. I really need to get better at that. New Years Resolution perhaps?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Enjoy your loved ones and eat some good food.

Check out the other eats.

Weekend Recap

I have officially finished the fall semester! I cannot be more excited. Its bittersweet I guess. One more semester until the real world hits. Ewww. adulthood.

My sister and her boyfriend flew in on Thursday night and then they headed for Arizona with my mom to visit some family. I stayed home to babysit my dad 🙂 he doesn’t know what to do when he is by himself. haha

We tried to keep the weekend full and exciting while trying not to get on each others nerves and kill each other. We managed pretty well!

Saturday we went to Knotts Berry Farm. It has been FOREVER since I have been there, so it was pretty fun. You know you are getting old though when you get off every ride super dizzy though. #grandma

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On Sunday I was given the task of entertaining the dogs all morning because they were keeping my dad awake and he wanted to sleep. Life’s rough. We were out the door and on our walk by 6:15. Dogs are like little kids. They don’t ever leave you alone 🙂

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On Sunday night, we went around and looked at all of the Christmas lights. There were some really well done houses.

We have already been scolded for going without the rest of the family, so we will be going again in the next few days.

My mom and sister are back in town now, so we are in full swing Christmas craze mode. Two more days!

How was your weekend?

Have you finished all of your holiday shopping?

Thinking Out Loud- 12/11/14

Hello friends! I am currently in a mind fog fueled by lots of caffeine and lack of sleep. Oh finals. The joys of being a college student. On that note though….

1. I have 5 more days of this semester and then Christmas Break!!!!! I cannot be more excited. Actually I will be 10000000001 times more excited next Wednesday when it officially break, but until then….
And after that, I will only have one more semester left of my undergraduate degree. Can someone find me a decent job please? Thanks!

2. Can I have the life of [one of my] dogs? They have it so rough. People making you every meal, cleaning up after you, sleeping all day, and then playing at your leisure! Life’s rough 🙂

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The red eye remover didn’t work so well….

3. Gold nails. Love or hate them? I am torn on this color. I usually go for the unusual colors, but I am not so sure this one is working for me. Thoughts?

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4. Today is the first day I have been able to wear boots this season. Exciting stuff! We are supposed to get a major rain storm tonight, so everyone and their brother are in panic mode. We’ll be okay. I promise. Well, hopefully.

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5. Crows. I am not fond of crows. There are a lot of crows this time of year ALL.THE.TIME!

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My mind is all over the place. Currently, I am repeating economics graphs in my head trying to make some sense of them.

Have a good weekend. Christmas is officially two weeks away! Where has the time gone?

Any plans for the weekend?

What’s the weather like where you live?

Read all of the other thoughts.

Thursday Thoughts- Its Christmas Time!

I have one more full week left of school, before finals week, and I couldn’t be more excited…except for the finals part. Can we just skip over those? Yes. Ok good. Moving on.

Thanksgiving is over [and I forgot to take any food pictures. GASP!] and now it is all things Christmas. My family is HUGE on Christmas, so, tons of decorations are a must.

1. We put our tree up this week, which is my absolute favorite! I love having it all lit up at night with all of the colorful lights. Ahhhh. So fun.

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2. It finally rained this week. Like a lot. I don’t like rain. Well, it’s fine when I can cuddle up with some hot chocolate and a movie, but not when I need to look presentable and spend  a full day of school. I had to do a huge presentation yesterday, and I looked like a wet dog, because I seem to think I am above mother nature and immune to getting wet. I was wrong. Fail.  We need rain though. A lot of rain. Here in Californialand, we have a huge drought, so it was okay this time. But now I’m over it again, so I hope today is the last day.

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3. I really want a DSLR camera for Christmas, so I have been crazily searching for good deals on them. Best Buy had one on black friday, so I had the intention to wait in line on Thanksgiving day to be there when they opened at 5pm. My mom wasn’t so thrilled with that idea, because she doesn’t agree with stores being open on Thanksgiving. I mean, I agree with that, but its a sale, so…. 🙂 I ended up waking up at 3am on Thanksgiving morning to order it online. It worked and I got it. Problem solved.

4. I cannot wait for this semester to end. December 19 cannot come soon enough. I contemplated not going to the last two weeks of class and just showing up for finals. Sounds like a good plan right? Jay. Kay. Well maybe…

Happy Thursday. The weekend is so very close.
Check out the other thoughts

What are your weekend plans?

Are you a fan of Black Friday shopping?

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends! And to all of my international friends, please go make yourself some stuffing and potatoes and join in on the celebration 🙂

So far this morning, I have been running around like a mad woman trying to get everything prepped and ready for the gang to get here. The turkey is roasting away, the potatoes are peeled, the appetizers are set, the desserts are made, and I finally put some presentable clothes on. Now, it is time to count my blessings.

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Thanksgiving is the time to give thanks. So many times throughout the year, I [and many other people] forget how fortunate they really are. Here are some things I am thankful for…

1. My family: They are truly amazing. They are the most supportive, nonjudgmental, funny, crazy, silly, and loving humans I know. Maybe I am biased…but they are great! Love you guys!

2. Living in Southern California: Seriously though, this place is paradise. Today it is 90 degrees. In the middle of November. While I have never been able to experience a white Christmas, or the changing of the leaves in the Fall, I truly do love the sunshine. The environmentalist in me is kind of worried about this kind of weather though. Global climate change!!!!!

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3.Completing my bachelors degree in May: I have one more semester until I am finished with my bachelors degree. Now I have to find a job…Lets pray for that to happen very soon!

4. Health: Health is SO important. We take for granted the everyday things we are able to get done. This past week, my mom has been hit with a serious case of vertigo for the first time ever. It has been awful and really taken a toll on her. It made me realize how important taking care of ourselves really is!

5. Internet shopping: I am NOT happy about all of the stores opening on Thanksgiving day. I think its sad actually and do not want to participate. Although, I am a crazy Black Friday shopper. I usually don’t even buy anything, but I love to be out with the masses! Its so exciting! This year though, I really wanted to buy a DSLR camera, and Best Buy had a crazy sale on one. It turned out that they offered the same sale online, so I woke up early in the middle of the night and got it ordered. Mission accomplished!

6. You! Anyone who reads my blog means so much to me! I am a new blogger and just getting a start, so anyone who cares to listen makes my hearts smile! Thanks so much. It means more than you could imagine.

There are so many other things that I am thankful for, that I could be typing for days on end.

Happy Thanksgiving or Thursday everyone. Remember to reflect on everything you are thankful for.

Be sure to check out the other thoughts!

WIAW- My Thanksgiving menu

I cannot believe Thanksgiving is tomorrow. It seems as if just yesterday was Halloween.

Thanksgiving is a very stressful holiday for me.
1. It’s food centered.
2. It’s meat centered
3. It involves a lot of people.

Last year, I didn’t plan anything in advance and then figured out when it was time to eat that my options were pie, mashed potatoes, salad, and rolls. Ummmmm yeah. It wasn’t the best situation. My family tends to enjoy their meat on this holiday and want to put meat in EVERYTHING.

Bacon in the green beans. Turkey broth in the stuffing. Turkey drippings in the gravy…

So this year, I am more than ready. Instead of focusing on the anxiety it might cause me, I have learned to plan ahead.

What will be on my Thanksgiving plate:

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Banana Streusel Muffins

Cauliflower steak with Mushroom Gravy from Vegan Richa

Simple vegan stuffing from Minimalist Baker

Thanksgiving Loaf from Fat Free vegan

Mashed cauliflower from Detoxinista

We will be having a lot of family over for Thanksgiving day, so it will be a full day of cooking and eating.

Happy [early] Thanksgiving!

Check out the other eats today!

Banana Streusel Muffins

A non-pumpkin recipe… in the middle of November? I know, I know. It’s slight craziness. Do not be disappointed though. These banana streusel muffins do not disappoint.

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Now, normally I am pumpkin all the way. Bread, pancakes, muffins, donuts, etc. I want all the pumpkin I can get my hands on. Until, I run out of cans of pumpkin. And I am too lazy to go buy some more. But I want some muffins. Oh, the dilemma!

But then, to my surprise, two way overripe bananas are sitting on the counter. You see, I do not eat overripe bananas. If they have the slightest hint of brown on them, there is no way I will be the one to consume them. Unless, they are in baked good form. Then I am game!

So, with my lack of pumpkin, and overly brown bananas, these muffins were born. And they sure did satisfy.

They are perfectly fluffy with big round tops, and a crunchy brown sugar topping that puts them over the edge. They are also made partly with wheat flour to give them some extra fiber. Because of the sweetness of the banana, and the addition of applesauce, not much added sugar is necessary. Hooray for healthier baked goods, that take care of any cravings you might have. These are definitely a winner!

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Banana Streusel Muffins:
adapted from Damn Delicious
-1 cup all purpose flour
-1 cup white whole wheat flour
-1/4-/1/3 cup sugar (depending on your desired sweetness)
-1.5-2 teaspoons cinnamon (depending on how spicy you like)
-0.5 teaspoon nutmeg
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-0.25 teaspoon salt
-2 large very ripe bananas
-0.5 cup applesauce
-2 eggs
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Streusel Topping:
0.25 cups flour
0.25 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter (I believe coconut oil would work as well)

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jumbo muffin pan with 6 liners. A standard 12 size muffin pan would work as well.
2. Prepare the streusel topping by by combining all streusel ingredients in a small and working together with a fork or your hands to make sure butter is incorporated.
3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. In another bowl mix together the banana, applesauce, eggs, and banana.
5. Combine wet ingredients with the dry and stir until just combined. Do not over mix.
6. Scoop batter into muffin pan and sprinkle streusel over top. Use fingers to press gently into batter to make sure it sticks.
7. Bake in oven for 25-20 minutes for jumbo sized. Baking time will be less for standard size muffins.
8. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
9. DEVOUR!

Check out the other WIAW posts

Is it half empty or half full?

What is it about moms and their ability to teach you lessons and give you advice without even meaning to? Is this just some super power that you automatically get when you become a mom? Or is there some pill you have to take or something? Somebody please let me know, because if/when I ever become a mom, I will be seriously lacking in the Super Woman category…..

 

Anyways, lets have story time first.

The other night, I was sitting on the couch with papers and notes scattered everywhere while I was frantically trying to study for economics and trying to keep my head from spinning in circles while I was waiting for dinner to cook. My mom was sitting on the couch flipping through a Tiffany and Co. magazine while watching TV. Why we were sent a Tiffany magazine is beyond me, but we will roll with it.

After a few minutes of flipping through, she started dying laughing. Like the uncontrollable I cannot even talk and I am going to pee in my pants laughter. Over a Tiffany magazine. I was so confused…and pretty irritated as well because I was getting distracted. After she finally contained herself and could get some words out, she let me know that they were selling and ice bucket for $5000. I still didn’t get it. Ya, so??

She found it hysterical that someone would purchase an ice bucket for $5000, when we find it crazy to buy a $200 bracelet. My ice bucket is from Target in case you were wondering, and it was probably less than $10. We’re super fancy down here.

Her laughter and humor taught me a lesson though. Life is all about perspective. I don’t even bother looking at magazines like that, because I end up getting mad at myself. I question why I am not successful or rich enough to be able to purchase things like that? I feel inadequate and inferior to other people and I am constantly comparing myself to others. Her, she just laughs it off.

After my frustration of her disturbing me, I too started laughing. If I was super rich, I sure wouldn’t spend it on little things like an ice bucket. Well maybe I would. Im not uber wealthy so I can’t really speak. Maybe one day….. 🙂

And then, because one lesson is never enough, she taught me something else the next night.

After coming home from dinner, I asked my mom how it was and what she ordered. She explained to me that she basically ate all vegetables for dinner, while also smirking and trying not to laugh. My mom would never eat all vegetables when going out to dinner. While she isn’t unhealthy in any way, she does love her sweets, and potato chips.

I wasn’t catching on quickly, so she further explained what she meant.

She ate an order of onion strings (fried onions) followed by a wedge salad (topped with bacon and blue cheese dressing) finished with a baked potato (stuffed with cheese and butter) and a few bites of steak. All vegetables?

While this probably wasn’t the healthiest meal, there was something to be learned. I am constantly worried about what I am eating and trying to eat well at all times. I have to get my 5 servings of fruits/vegetables in a day, I try not to eat too much sugar, etc. My diet is far from perfect, let me say, and I LOVE sugar, but I constantly worry about it. My mom, on the other hand, lets things go most times. She enjoys her life and doesn’t stress about the little things. She eats well most of the time, but allows herself to let loose occasionally. That is definitely something I could work on. Life is about perspective. View things with optimism and your life will be that much better.

We followed up that conversation with a debate about potatoes. Are they considered a starch or a vegetable?

Moms. What would we do without them? 🙂

Are you an optimist or pessimist?

 

What would it be like…?

I am sure some of you have seen the video that shows the differences in how adults and kids react to the question of what they would change about their bodies.

This video brought tears to my eyes. A little dramatic? Maybe, but it really hit home.

I was a super happy kid that ate whatever I wanted. I ate my fair share of fruits and vegetables, but I also plenty of kid foods as well. My parents let us eat what we wanted for the most part, without anything getting too out of control. We were never told what we could/couldn’t have and were all pretty healthy kids. I was always really active and pretty slim.

I remember vividly the day I went to the grocery store with one of my friends when I was in 2nd grade. We were running down the aisle ahead of her mom picking out a bag of chips for our sleepover. When I picked up the bag of Ruffles she immediately put them back and told me her mom only allows her to eat Reduced Fat chips. I was so confused. I didn’t even know what reduced fat meant. I probably didn’t even know what a gram of fat was.

Nutrition and food labels are VERY important, but there is something so freeing about being so innocent as a child. Not worrying about calories, fat, weight, body image, etc. For the most part, I just ate as a kid. Calories didn’t exist, and cookies were always ok.

I tried to think back about how I would have answered the question of what I wanted to change in my body when I was a child. I probably would have answered with something ridiculous like having wings or something. Maybe time traveling, because I was 5 going on 35.

What happens when we hit a certain age that we change from accepting ourselves to hating everything about our bodies? Society? Peers? Media?

I have often wondered what life would be like without mirrors or nutrition labels. People might be happier without having calories plastered over their eyes or seeing themselves every three minutes in the mirror. Fad diets might be less prevalent because people wouldn’t even know how to eat low carb or fat free. But then again, maybe it wouldn’t be any different.

One thing I learned from this video was to accept myself. Maybe my stomach isn’t completely flat or I am not as tall as I wish, but I am me. If children can teach us that life isn’t as awful as we make it seem, then is it really?

Instead of moving from acceptance into hate, learn to love yourself. If the worst thing about myself was that I didn’t have fairy wings, I would be okay with that.

What would you want to change about yourself when you were young?

What were your thoughts of the video?

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WIAW- Because I like carbs

I like carbs. Some of my favorite things to eat include bagels, muffins, fruit, vegetables, and frozen yogurt. All of those things are mostly carbs. Some days I embrace it, while other days I try to even myself out with other nutrients. Yesterday, I embraced it.

Breakfast:

Wheat bagel

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Bagels with an [unpictured] smoothie

I LOVE bagels. Not just any bagels though. I like one specific bagel from one specific store. Any other bagel I could take or leave, but these….YUM! I am not sure what it is with them, but somedays, I just need to have one.

Lunch:

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Chicken-less noodle soup

This was leftovers from Monday night. Soup is always so comforting and warming. ‘Tis the season, it finally feels like fall down here.

Dinner:

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Baked ziti with garlic bread and brussels sprouts

I am not a pasta lover. It never satisfies me or interests me, but sometimes, it gets the job done. Its easy and quick. Dinner was served.

Snack:

I ate a million and one snacks yesterday, but this is the one that stood out.

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Amanda’s snickerdoodle donut holes

My picture does not do them justice, so be sure to check her amazing photography out, but these were good. I ended up needing extra sugar coating though. Oops.

Yay for carbs. Embrace them and let the days balance out.

Happy Wednesday. Check out the other links.

Do you have carb heavy days?

Whats your favorite carb?