Saturday Seven: Good Things Come in Threes

Hi everyone! So here we are again at the end of another week…and it’s almost halfway through April! I feel like I’ve said this a million times before, but time is really flying by! It’s almost kinda scary, considering how much stuff I still have to finish before I can say adios to this semester. Oh well, that’s pretty much the status quo for the end of any semester.

I haven’t done a Saturday Seven in…um, 2 months?! Yeah, let’s fix that right now!

1. The countdown is SO on!

I'm hoping this doesn't happen (photo from here).

As the title of this post suggests, there are only 3 weeks left in my semester. Technically, there are 4, but I only have one real final (the rest are papers or projects, which I kinda prefer) so I’m planning on peacing out the weekend before finals and just popping back up here on that Thursday to take that final. This is the first time I’ve ever had only one final in my college career so I am definitely going to appreciate it! Plus going home a few days early is always a plus.

2. I have a shopping addiction…

Obviously I suck at being creative!

Online shopping, that is. It’s where I get all these new-to-me food products that I never seen in stores or that are a little too expensive when I do see them. The latest purchases are from Amazon, where I got some Vega vanilla almondilla shake and go protein powder, xanthan gum and liquid vanilla stevia, all for under $40 and free shipping! I’m really excited to try the Vega powder because I’ve been on the hunt for some good, fairly inexpensive vegan protein powder that is free of soy protein, and this fits the bill! The xanthan gum is something I’ve been wanting for awhile, after seeing everyone post amazing-looking, super thick smoothies. And the stevia I’ve had before, but now it’s in a bigger bottle so I’ll get to use it more.

3. I’m actually being creative with my hair

I'm lovin' the side ponytail lately!

I almost never, I repeat NEVER put my hair up. But three times in the past week, I’ve put it in a side ponytail. Who am I? Twice this last week, it was curly (and in a side pony one of those days), then it was wavy for two days and finally straight for two days (once as a side pony). It’s actually been fun switching up my hairstyles, because I used to only have it wavy or straight, and down. I’m going to experiment with a side braid next.

4. It’s supposed to SNOW this weekend

I'm not looking forward to this again!

I already know that Colorado is a bizarre state, after living here for 17 years of my life. But this unusually warm spring has thrown me for a loop, and now I’m expecting it to continue to stay warm until October. Yeah, too bad it’s still April, one of the snowiest months here. We don’t get spring showers, we get spring blizzards. Luckily they are usually short-lived, and warmer temps return the next day, but snow is still no fun.

5. I’m becoming a Larabar lover

My second-ever Larabar...almost as good as the first.

I used to say I wasn’t a fan of Larabars–not sure why, as I’d never tried them before a couple of weeks ago. But I actually do love ’em…a lot! So far, I’ve tried the cappuccino (mmmm!) and the chocolate chip brownie, which reminded me of a chocolate brownie Pure bar, except with the addition of fair trade chocolate chips. It was good, but I think I’d stick with the Pure bar version in the future, since it has more protein. That’s my only complaint–most Larabar flavors have barely any protein. But I think some of the more unique flavors might be worth the lack of protein, and a few actually do have 5-7 grams, so it’s not too big of an issue. I just love how simple they are, yet really tasty!

6. I’m really missing the food at home

One of my favorite lunches over spring break: curried sweet potato pinto burger, kale chips, fresh mango.

Yeah, dorm room food isn’t cutting it anymore. Every time I go home for the weekend, I remember how much I love being able to cook for myself. And no, the microwave and blender don’t count. This is another big reason why I’m so ready for it to be summer–I can finally cook again. Plus I love summery foods, like berries, asparagus (okay, this is more springy but whatevs) and grilled veggie burgers so that makes cooking even more exciting.

7. I’m all ready for next semester

Registering for classes is always really stressful, but it wasn't too awful this time around.

Next semester is going to be SO different than my past 4 semesters have been. Mostly because I’ll be living off-campus for the first time, and I’ll be taking the bus everyday to classes. So I’ve gotta learn the bus routes and schedules. I also tried to schedule my classes in a way that would either give me big breaks (so I can catch a bus back to my apartment) or really small breaks so I can stay on campus in between them. I’ll definitely have to do more meal planning, even more than I already do with my current schedule, but I’m excited for a change. I think I’ll feel even more independent than I currently do.

Do you like to change up your hairstyles? What’s your favorite or least favorite Larabar flavor?

Trying New Things

Thanks for all the wonderful compliments and suggestions you all left on my last post! You sure do know how to make me smile.

I have some exciting news–another product review! Like I said in my Coach’s Oats review, I really love reading other people’s product reviews and getting to do my own. Trying out new things is always fun, and the worst that can happen is you don’t like a product.

This product review is kind of a continuation from NaNeFoMo that I did way back in December. I still have a few things on my original list that I have yet to try (kombucha and vegan marshmallows) but that doesn’t mean I’m not up for adding new things to the list. Since that post, I’ve tried tons of other new-to-me things, like kale chips and parsnips, and have liked them all. Now I want to tackle two more things that I’ve seen in the blog world many times (and have drooled over) and finally got the chance to try myself: nutritional yeast and flavored liquid stevia!

Nutritional yeast, or nooch, is something I’ve known about almost since I started reading blogs. At first, it kinda freaked me out–a cheesy powder that you can add to things to boost the protein, fiber and vitamin content? Most people seemed to like it, so I finally took the plunge and ordered it from Amazon, after passing it over in the Whole Foods bulk section because it was so flippin’ expensive. Luckily, I only spent about $4 pre-shipping online, and I got a pretty large container of it.

Why did I wait so long to try you?

The brand I ordered was Red Star. I honestly don’t know if there’s a difference between brands. I opened it up, and it didn’t really smell too strongly or anything, so I took a little taste of it. To me, it doesn’t so much taste cheesy as it does nutty, which is maybe a good thing. I’m actually super excited to try it out as a topping on plain popcorn, as well as in some kind of vegan cheeze sauce. Maybe I’ll even give it a whirl in some savory oats or in homemade nut butter cups (I’ve heard nooch adds a texture to the nut butter than makes it like the filling of Reese’s). Anyways, I think it’ll be a good staple in my diet, seeing as I’m mostly vegan and can always use a little protein/vitamin B boost.

I also ordered some flavored liquid stevia from Amazon. When I was restocking on peanut flour last week from iHerb, I was looking through the liquid stevia they sell and they’re pretty expensive–almost as much as what I’ve seen them sell for at WF. When I saw a trial 4-pack of flavors from SweetLeaf for only $12, I jumped on it. When they arrived, I wasn’t expecting them to be so tiny (each bottle is only 4 ml, or about the size of my thumb) but I guess you get what you pay for.

These bottles kinda look like eye drops...

The flavors it came with were vanilla creme, lemon drop, Valencia orange and chocolate raspberry. I sampled a drop of each one on their own, and was surprised by how bitter they were compared to powdered stevia. I’m thinking it’s something I’ll get used to though, especially when using them in things. I tried a few drops of the vanilla creme in my peach tea, and it tasted pretty good, though I probably could have used a few more drops to add some sweetness. I think these will be perfect to add flavor to plain oats and plain Greek yogurt.

So overall, I’m glad I invested in these new-to-me products and I can’t wait to really try them out in a bunch of different things! Oh and speaking of new products…has anyone seen this?

I'm already obsessed, and I haven't even tried one yet!

Yep, I’m a Pure Bar addict and I need to get my hands on this new dark chocolate berry flavor ASAP!

Do you like nooch or flavored liquid stevia? Any suggestions for how to use them?