WIAW: The Big 1-9

Hey guys! Sorry my WIAW is a little late this week. I was pretty busy on Wednesday, so I didn’t have much time to post. But I still wanted to get in on the party, so here it is!

Well, it’s finally here–my 19th birthday!I feel like I’ve been waiting a whole year for my birthday…oh wait, I have 😉

The most exciting part of this year’s birthday (besides a special store opening event–more on that in a bit) is that it just so happens that it’s also Wednesday. As in, What I Ate Wednesday! I love this weekly party (hosted by the lovely Jenn) and this week, it feels like even more of a party, since it’s my b-day. Self-centered much? 😀

Peas and Crayons

I started my birthday out reaaaaaaaally early (well, early for me!) at the ripe hour of 6 o’ clock. Who in their right mind wakes up that early on their birthday if they don’t have to go to work (or they just happen to be an early bird, which I am most definitely not)? This girl right here, and for a good reason–my mom and I were going up to Denver for the grand opening of Colorado’s first-ever IKEA store! I’ve never been to an IKEA store so I was curious about what they’d have there, but mostly because they were giving away gift certificates worth $52.80 (the elevation of the store is 5280 feet, I guess that’s how they got that amount) only to people whose birthday was on July 27th (the grand opening day, obvs). I’ve never thought my birthday was on a special day (though, one of my lucky numbers is 7, so it’s kinda special) but I guess it was in this case! I had to prove my birthday was really July 27th, though (this is when having a driver’s license comes in handy…oh, I guess also if you want to drive 😉 )and I got a neato Happy Birthday stamp on my wrist. I think some people thought it was a tat lol JK.

Cake batter oats for breakfast. I just had to, I mean, it was my birthday after all!

...along with a spicy veggie sausage, mixed berries and PB Puffins.The sun was shining right behind it, so you can't really read the sign

Welcome to IKEA!

The coolest stamp ever!

 My mom scored a $10 gift certificate at the door, so we had over $60 to spend. My dad told us that we couldn’t go crazy and spend way over the amount we got (knowing us, we probs could have easily) and we didn’t! We even had $5 left over. We ended up getting a floor lamp with a pink and orange shade, a pink plastic shower caddy and a cool orange lamp thing (notice a trend here?) All the stuff gonna be for my dormie room and I can’t wait! I’ll show pics when everything’s actually assembled. As for the verdict on IKEA? Love. It. I’m a big fan of modern, sleek, cool furniture and I can totally see myself shopping here when I have a place of my own. The best part is that it’s all pretty cheap but well-made. Double score!

After the adventure that was IKEA (I totally got my exercise in for the day at that store. No joke. We were running to try to find the birthday certificate hand-out area, wrestled people to the ground manuevered around people to check out the lighting fixtures and almost got lost in that maze of a store.) we went to Panera for lunch. I got the strawberry poppyseed salad for the second time, and it was perfect for a hot summer day. It was huge though, so I wasn’t able to eat much of it.

Mi ensalada: greens, grilled chicken, pecans, strawbs, mandarin oranges, bloobs and pineapple

Then we drove to Gelazzi (the best gelato place, hands-down!) to pick up my b-day dessert. I was planning on getting a gelato cake or pie, but after being shellshocked by the prices (30 bucks for a cake? No thanks!) I settled on 2 pints of gelato, one mint chocolate chip and the other Hilo pineapple. Mmmmm (not together, though!)…

Back at home, I was starving so I munched on a handful of PB Puffins (those things are like crack, I swear) and some raisins. IDK why, but I’ve been loving on the raisins lately, even more so than my beloved dates. Don’t worry dates, you’ll always be my true love 😛

Birthday girl outfit: light green floral Hollister dress, coral VS Pink bandeau bra, AE pink crystal necklace

After some cardio interval time and yoga (as if I didn’t exercise enough already at IKEA…) I had a snackie that’s quickly becoming a favorite of mine: Late July mild green mojo multigrain chips alongside an almond butter-stuffed date and pineapple chunks. I convinced my sis to try the chips and she fell in love. My sister, the organic-hater, loved these organic healthy chips because they “taste like Doritos” (her words, not mine). I’m glad I can convert her to healthy eating 🙂

Amazing snack!Another birthday "present" I got was my first edible strawberry from my little plant. The first one got eaten by birds...yikes!

My daddy got home and then we were off to Pei Wei for my birthday din din. If you’ve never heard of/been to Pei Wei it’s basically a cheaper version of PF Changs. Okay, maybe that didn’t help either, but it’s a place that has a bunch of different Asian cuisines and dishes. I got my personal fave, the Vietnamese Chicken Salad rolls. I also had some iced chai black tea (s0 delish with a fresh orange slice!), edamame and a little bit of my dad’s brown rice mixed with peanuts from his Kung Pao. Such a delish dinner and I can’t wait to have the leftover roll for lunch! My only complaint is that I was freezing my butt off the entire time! What is it with restaurants and their extreme air conditioning?

Sorry about the horrible quality of these photos, they were taken in weird lighting and I had to be sneaky about it!

Edamame for the win!Vietnamese summer rolls are my favorite!

 

 Presents time back at home (aka my favorite part of my b-day)! I got really sweet cards from my parents and sis and some pretty rockin’ presents as well.

Coach Poppy backpack, cropped denim jacket, Gilly Hicks pink tee and blue floral pj shorts, hair waver, fashion book

I'm a little obsessed with wrapping paper...

After a little AGT (America’s Got Talent) watching, I was starving again (!) so we decided to have the birthday gelato then. Remember above when I said that I would never have pineapple and mint chocolate chip gelato at the same time? Well…I did. It honestly wasn’t bad, but that’s probs because I ate each flavor separately (and now I can look forward to many more nights of gelato leftovers!) I was surprised the house didn’t burn down, with 19 candles on a tiny gelato container!

That's a whole heck of a lot of candles!

Mint chocolate chip and pineapple--a match made in (weird) foodie heaven!

My new pjs in action!

Thanks for sticking with me through that monster of a post! I had an amazing day and couldn’t ask for anything more!

What is one of your birthday ‘traditions’? Ever been to an IKEA?

WIAW: Survey Says…

I really, really REALLY missed WIAW last week when I was on vacay–shows how addicted I’ve become to it 😉 It just doesn’t feel right to let a Wednesday go by without doing it! But don’t worry, now I’m back and ready to get back into some WIAW action.

Peas and Crayons

Recently, on Amanda’s and Tori’s blogs (both amazing, BTW) I saw a cute lil foodie survey so I thought “Why not include that in my next WIAW?” Sure, I wasn’t technically tagged in it, but there’s nothing saying I can’t do it, right? Right 😀 So look for that between my meals. This week, I decided to highlight some of my favorite meals I’ve had recently, so while these aren’t all from the same day, they are from the past week or so.

These were the oats that started it all...my "pudding on oats" obsession, that is! This particular bowl is Neapolitan overnighters, topped with homemade black bean pudding (don't knock it til you try it...thanks Tara for the recipe!) and fresh strawbs.

 How do you like your eggs? Ummmm…not at all? I have honestly never liked eggs, ever. I’m not sure if it’s the texture or the smell or taste that throws me off, but I refuse to eat them unless they’re cooked into something, like baked things. Otherwise, keep those eggs far away from me!

Also muy delicioso, today's bowl was mocha pudding! Coffee-infused oats topped with more black bean pudding. It's super chocolatey (if you use dark cocoa powder) and is thicker than typical pudding, but still very yum.

 How do you take your coffee/tea? If it’s tea, that’s easy: only iced. I’ve been living off of freshly-made iced tea this summer and nothing’s better to beat the heat. My family’s been going through 2 pitchers a day, easily 😉 Coffee must be Starbucks (I’m picky haha), and I prefer iced to hot (mostly because I never fail to burn my tongue on the hot stuff). My current favorite drink is any of their skinny lattes, especially the hazelnut. Mmmm…

Favorite breakfast food? As of right now, definitely overnight oats! I’ve had so many different combos lately and none disappointed. In fact, many were absolutely amazing! Some of my favorites are Neapolitan (see above), banana split, cookies ‘n cream and carrot cake.

Peanut butter: smooth or crunchy? Well, considering I haven’t eaten peanut butter in several years (probably since elementary school!), I can’t really answer this. Oh, except for almond butter, my one true nut butter love! I love it smooth or crunchy, but I think crunchy wins out. The texture is the bomb.com.

I love this lunch! I found these soy chorizo-filled vegan taquitos at Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago and I had to try them. They did not disappoint! I always chop one up on top of some greens and add a Southwest-inspired topper, like black bean hummus or spicy Greek yogurt dip.

 What kind of dressing on your salad? I really like the Annie’s mango vinaigrette, or any simple light balsamic. Or, edamame guac/black bean hummus/spicy Oikos dip like on the salad above!

Coke or Pepsi? I haven’t had soda in at least a year, but I always preferred Coke, hands-down. The diet vanilla Coke was my fave.

I get stuck in ruts a lot at snacktime. But it's not necessarily a bad thing! Lately, I've been loving on the Kashi TLC crackers, with fresh berries and an almond butter-stuffed date on the side. Snack plates rule.

You’re feeling lazy, what do you make? It depends on what meal. Breakfast, probably cereal or overnight oats. Lunch, a quick banana and almond butter wrap on an Ezekiel tortilla. Snacks, Oikos Greek yogurt, possibly with some Bear Naked granola. Dinner, a cheeseless tortilla pizza (those can get pretty crazy, though!)

You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order? Definitely something sans cheese. I’m no vegan, but I just don’t do cheese (unless it’s soy or almond-based). Plus I think cheeseless pizzas taste so much fresher.

Excuse my strange face. I just got back from the dentist with less-than-good news (a cavity). No bueno.

You feel like cooking. What do you make? Possibly a quinoa bowl, a vegan BLA (tempeh bacon, lettuce, avocado) or some grilled shrimp tacos. I do the meatless thing a lot, but I really like seafood.  

Do any foods bring back good memories? I used to really love those Nutrigrain bars when I was little! Also, eating uncooked ramen mixed with the seasoning in a Ziploc bag as a snack. I haven’t eaten those things in years, but they still remind me of being a kid.

There, that's better! When life gives you bad news, smile!

Do any foods bring back bad memories? When I was struggling hard core with my ED, I would eat teeny tiny amounts of cold black beans and white rice. I do love black beans still, though, so that’s not really bad. I’d also have sugar-free Jello and those lame “light” bread slices. I can’t believe I deprived myself that much.

Why get takeout when you can make it at home? I made a Chipotle-inspired quinoa bowl, filled with black beans, salsa, lime slices and edamame guac.

 Is there a food you refuse to eat? I’m kind of embarrassed to admit (thanks to my ED) that there are a lot of things I won’t eat anymore. However, some of those things aren’t because of lingering fear, but true hatred, like: tomatoes, eggs, meat (minus the occasional chicken, ground turkey and seafood, of course), ketchup (yet I love salsa, go figure), cheese and corn.

What was your favorite food as a child? I was a big cereal lover (I think I really liked Honey Bunches of Oats and Berry Berry Kix) and I also loved candy. I didn’t really eat junk food a lot, but I looked forward to Halloween for sure!

Is there a food you hated as a child but now like? Yogurt (Greek yogurt is amazeballs), a lot of veggies (like artichokes and asparagus), tempeh bacon and other vegan things (but I never really tried them then, so I can’t be sure).

I randomly thought this up last night, and thought "Why not?" I call it cheesecake yogurt, because it kinda reminds me of cheesecake. I took some plain Greek yogurt, added a packet of Truvia to sweeten, mixed in a little black bean pudding and stuck in a Whole Foods duplex cookie. Deeeeeelish!

 Favorite junk food? I honestly don’t eat junk food anymore (doesn’t appeal to me). Do froyo and Whole Foods sandwich cookies count? 😛

Do you have any weird food habits? I prefer eating off small plates–larger ones are too overwhelming. I always eat my overnighters in the same bowls. I always have to have a little “dessert” or something sweet to end my lunch with, like a granola bar or a homemade raw treat.

Favorite dessert? Hands down, gelato. I don’t get it a lot, but when I do, I’m in heaven. My favorite place to get it is called Gelazzi, and they have tons of flavors, but my favorites are soy chocolate and birthday cake. In fact, I’m thinking of getting a gelato cake for my birthday (which is in two weeks, eeeek!).

My baby strawberry plant is growing up.

I tag…everyone! Seriously, please do this if you want to. It’s fun to find out about other bloggers. In fact, why not answer one of the survey questions in your comment if you wanna!

P.S. I’ll post the last two vacation recap posts ASAP!

I’m Outta Here! (at least for a few days)

Thanks for all the loving on my WIAW post! I loved catching up on all your WIAWs, too.

Recently, I’ve been seeing the Amazing Blogger Award on many of my favorite blogs, so I was thrilled to be awarded with it today by the very lovely Carrie of Moves ‘N Munchies! If you’ve never checked out her blog before, doooooooo it. Now. She always has yummy eats and I love her style.

I love surveys/quizzes so this should be mucho fun! (If you want to play along on your own blog, all you have to do is answer the questions and then add your own to the end. Ready…GO!!!!!!)

Favorite Cartoon Character: I used to be OB-SESSED with the show “Arthur” (anyone else????) It was actually really funny for a kids show, so funny that I still watch it today 😀 I loved Muffy, even though she’s a snob, because she’s a fashionista like me!

 

Favorite Thing to Photograph: Does it sound stuck-up if I say myself? Trust me, I’m not one of those girls who is completely self-centered, but I like to take pics of myself with goofy faces because it’s fun. Surprisingly, I don’t like it when other people take pictures of me. I look back at them later and I usually hate how I look in them. When I take pictures of myself, I can delete the ones I like and only end up with the best ones.

I'm obsessed with Instagram, and I really love this photo 🙂

 Favorite Thing to Cook: I actually have gotten into the whole raw food making/no cooking thing and I really love it. Like my obsession with overnight oats. And my recent raw desserts (including some dark chocolate pudding that I just made. It tastes a little too avocado-y for me, though, so I may have to tweak the recipe). But if I have to actually answer the question, I’d say homemade waffles or quinoa bowls. I’m planning on making a Chipotle burrito bowl-inspired one tonight, so we’ll see how that turns out.

Banana Split Overnight Oats

A quinoa bowl without the bowl: quinoa (duh!), leftover shredded sweet potato, crumbled tempeh bacon and fresh edamame guacamole

 Favorite Way to Exercise: This is sooooo hard! I love yoga (I have gotten so much stronger from it, and its calming), biking (it really works your legs and makes me feel like a champ when I make it up a huge hill!) and tennis (fun to play it with my dad and sister). I try to be active everyday, but I NEVER go to the gym. I want my workouts to be fun!!!!!

I also like to hike! One of my favorite hiking spots: Rocky Mountain National Park

Favorite Movie: Hands-down, no question…The Devil Wears Prada! If you know about my love of fashion, then this movie pick seems obvious. But I also love it because a) It has Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep and b) It’s engaging and funny.

Love this movie!

Favorite Clothing: Ughhhhhh, this is really hard since I love me some clothes, but I’d have to say summer dresses! I’ve also recently gotten into shorts (I prefer twill/culotte styles) and rompers. I wish I lived in a warm climate year round so I could wear these things all the time.

My new Hollister romper that I love to death!

 Favorite Flower: I love big daisies, or roses in any color other than red. My mom loves flowers, and she was growing some on our deck, but a lot of them died (sadly) because of our abundance of hail and lack of moisture. We are in a severe drought here, and the July 4th fireworks show is cancelled 😦 Luckily, we won’t be around, so we’re not missing much.

Favorite Breakfast:I used to be a hardcore cereal girl, but that was before I discovered the bliss that is overnight oats! Now I mix it up, with my beloved OOs, cereal (I’m picky, but I love Cascadian Farms kids cereals and some Whole Foods brand varieties), Greek yogurt (partial to Oikos) and occasionally Vitatops. I always gotta have my Morningstar spicy veggie sausages, though!

A typical breakfast: banana nut Vitatop, spicy veggie sausage, fresh mango, homemade waffle half

 Early Riser or Night Owl: Definitely the second one! I absolutely hate waking up early, even though I had to wake up at 5:15 all through high school. My first year of college spoiled me–I got to wake up at 9 every morning 😉 I’m gonna have to get used to getting up earlier next year because I have a 9 am class…yikes! I usually stay up til 11 or 12, so I’m not a super night owl.

If You Could Go Anywhere in the World Right Now, Where Would it Be?: Either Greece or somewhere in the Caribbean. I’m a sucker for pretty water and beaches 😛

Doesn't this look absolutely gorgeous?

(now for my own question addition)

Favorite Musical Artist: Don’t you know this by now? LADY GAGA! No question!

 

Well, everyone, I’m leaving for a few days on a little family vacay! It’s to one of our favorite in-state destinations, and I’m excited for a few days of hiking, swimming, soaking up the sun, shopping and some eating out. I’ll let you all know how it went when I get back, promise!

Answer one of the above survey questions, any that you’d like to!