Friday Faves (July 6)

The festivities of the 4th are over so now it’s back to real life. Who am I kidding, summer isn’t real life, at least if you’re still a student! I still have about a month left at my internship but the majority of my weeks are spent doing whatever I want. I’m definitely appreciating that I can still do that–in a couple years, that won’t be an option!

Favorite App: LabelBox

Labels make everything more fun!

I’ve been noticing cute little labels popping up on a lot of people’s Instagram photos so I had to do a little sleuthing to figure out how they were doing this. Turns out, it’s a simple and free app called LabelBox. It’s available for iPhones/iPods and Androids and it’s so easy to use. Basically all my Instagram photos will be labeled now. #Sorryimnotsorry

Favorite Obsession: Waffles

Told you I’d be using these labels a lot!

I almost can’t remember the last time I didn’t have a waffle for breakfast! And don’t be fooled, these homemade waffles are 100 times healthier and tastier than those pathetic frozen Eggo waffles. I’ve been loving on the protein waffles mostly but when I just want a simple, fruit-packed waffle like the one above, I just use some oat flour, which gives it a perfectly fluffy texture while also packing it with fiber. And toppings are necessary, of course. I topped my 4th of July waffle with fresh raspberries and protein frosting made with Vega vanilla almondilla protein powder and water. Mmmmmmm!

Favorite New Find (that I haven’t found yet): So Delicious Greek-style almond milk yogurt

6 grams of protein and fiber ain’t too shabby for a nondairy yogurt!

The Amande almond milk yogurts are decent, but a little too jiggly and low in protein for my liking. When I popped on over to the So Delicious website and saw this gem, I knew I had to have it ASAP! The only thing I somewhat miss from my non-vegan days is Greek yogurt, and now I can get my fix in nondairy form, with more fiber and calcium than the dairy version! I just need to find it in stores first…

Favorite 4th of July Activity: Water balloon wars

I probably dropped more than I caught, but it was still fun!

What do you do on the 4th when it’s hotter than an oven outside and inside, the parade your family was planning on going to was cancelled and there are no fireworks shows within 100 miles? Have a water balloon war, of course! Filling up countless water balloons was worth the fun we had and it was actually great getting water in your face when you didn’t catch a balloon. Not that that happened to me though 😉

What’s something fun you did on the 4th (whether you’re from the U.S. or not!)? What’s your favorite app?

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WIAW: Branded for Life

Sadly, spring break came to an end for me and now it’s back to the daily grind. The break really got me excited for summer and I can’t wait to start my TV internship in exactly two months! I just want school to be over with already–just six and a half more weeks left in the semester. It’s actually pretty crazy how quickly this school year’s gone by for me. I can’t believe I’m almost a junior and I’ve got less than 2 months left of dorm living. Trust me, I’m not complaining though–I think I’m going to start a countdown til I move in to my apartment 😉

This WIAW, I don’t have any exciting food pictures or recipes to share with you, since I just got back from break and my dorm room eats have been sub-par but I still wanted to participate in the part-ay so I’m gonna do a little twist on the typical WIAW. This edition is all about brand loyalty, whether it’s to clothes or food or beauty products. I know most of us have some brand preferences so I wanted to share a few of mine.

Sorry for the repeat picture, but it was too good not to share twice!

When it comes to coffee, it’s Starbucks or nothing for me. Really. I’ve tried Archer Farms’ flavored coffee blends and they were just nasty. Yes, Starbucks is an expensive habit, but luckily I only go maybe once or twice a month right now, so it’s not too expensive. When I want coffee at home, I buy their VIA instant packets and pretend I’m drinking it inside a real ‘bucks.

A tempeh-topped salad with a side of frozen bloobs and half a yam topped with almond peanut cashew butter and raisins.

I’m one of those vegans who eats fake ‘meat’. I’m not a fan of the overly processed stuff, or of meat-like subs such as seitan and tofu (tofu is alright, just not my fave) but I do love me some tempeh and soy pepperoni slices. For those, I always rely on LightLife. Their faux meat products are always vegan, and full of protein and fiber. They are a little processed, but they don’t have a million and one ingredients and I can actually pronounce all of them. Plus they’re tasty, so they’re winners in my book.

My Coach Poppy backpack is probably my favorite designer purse.

I haven’t talked about it much on this blog, but I am a designer purse fanatic. I currently own 5 (all of which I was so lovingly gifted with for my birthday or Christmas over the past few years) and I love them all, from my orange Gianni Bini hobo bag to my brown leather Fossil tote. However, if I had to pick a favorite designer brand, I’d go with Coach. I have 2 Coach purses (well, one’s a backpack) and I just love their classic but standout designs. I realize they aren’t cheap by any means, but I take good care of them and they are well-worth the price…at least for me!

My favorite banana whip smoothie made with unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

Oh, almond milk. I go back and forth on this one. Not that I don’t love it, because I most definitely do. But I do switch between three brands on occasion–Pacific Naturals, Whole Foods 365 Organic and Almond Breeze. I love Pacific Naturals’ unsweetened vanilla flavor–it’s so creamy and thick. Whole Foods’ organic brand doesn’t have a u/s vanilla flavor, so I stick with their u/s original, which is pretty good for using in recipes. And Almond Breeze is the only one I know of that has a u/s chocolate flavor, so I buy that. They’re all good in their own ways, but for my personal favorite, I have to go with Pacific Naturals.

My new mini lotions (and lip gloss) for spring: Coconut Lime Breeze, Bali Mango, White Citrus and Liplicious Limeade.

Is anybody else obsessed with Bath and Body Works? I really just love going into a BBW and smelling all their lotions–they’re just so yummy-smelling! Of course, sometimes I do actually buy some of their products and as far as lip gloss and lotions go, they’re the only place I’ll buy from. They have the best quality products at fairly low prices and so many amazing scents.

Maybe I like this chip brand because my birthday's in Late July?

You guys all probably know this by now, but I am way more of a sweet snack fan than a salty snack fan. However, there are some times when I could really go for something salty and crunchy–like Late July multigrain chips. These chips come in a ton of varieties (I’m really loving the sweet potato kind right now) and they’re all gluten-free and most flavors are also vegan. I love that they’re baked and made with organic, whole foods ingredients like brown rice, chia seeds, quinoa and amaranth. I love plating them up with sweeter stuff for an afternoon snack plate.

Greek yogurt and frozen blueberries make a perfect sweet treat.

I’ve mentioned it before, but I am NOT a “Cho Ho” or whatever fans of Chobani like to call themselves. I realize I am in the minority here, but my favorite brand is and always will be Stonyfield Oikos. Why? Because it’s organic, I like the flavors they have (like superfruits, peach mango and even chocolate) and they don’t have as much sugar as Chobani. I’ve yet to try the new Oikos by Dannon, but I’m too busy enjoying my one true Greek yogurt love…

Spring break = perfect excuse for a shopping spree!

A fashion-lover like me must have some favorite brands, right? Of course. But I’m not a fan of runway styles or a lot of high-end designer pieces (mostly because of the price) so I stick with fairly high quality but lower price options such as Abercrombie & Fitch (okay, not exactly cheap but I love them anyway), American Eagle, Forever 21, Gilly Hicks, Hollister and VS Pink. The styles that these stores carry really just appeal to me and the prices are reasonable. If I had to pick one favorite, I’d go with Hollister, because I love their bold beachy style and most of my closet is made up of stuff from that store. In fact, when I went shopping over spring break, I picked up three things from Hollister, one thing from A&F, two things from American Eagle and one thing from Forever 21. So I am definitely obsessed with Hollister! Oh, and in case you were interested, you’ll hopefully be seeing some of my new purchases on here soon!

These are a few of my favorite bars!

It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with bars. But I am pretty picky when it comes to the brand. I have tried out several kinds, but my personal favorites are Clif (Mojo and kids bars only), Kind bars and Pure bars. I still need to try my new cappuccino Larabars and the raw cacao chia bar I got over break, but Clif, Kind and Pure are definitely my top three. I’m weird when it comes to bars, though, because I’m even more picky about the flavor. Like with Clifs, I really don’t like the originals anymore and I only buy the Mojo bars in mountain mix and white chocolate macadamia. With Kind bars, I’m obsessed with the PB & strawberry, but I also kinda like pomegranate blueberry pistachio. And I’ve tried all the Pure bars except the naturals line and their new dark chocolate berry flavor (which I’m dying to try) and I like them all but I only ever buy the chocolate brownie, cranberry orange and wild blueberry.

What are some brands (food, clothing, etc.) that you’re loyal to? What’s your favorite lotion scent?

I’m Weird Because…

My spring break has officially begun! I am super psyched to get a whole 9 days off from school and get a little chance to relax in the middle of this crazy semester. I don’t have any really exciting plans for this break (boo!) but I’m sure I’ll have some fun no matter what goes down.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about things that I like and comparing them to the preferences of the healthy living blogging community as a whole. Don’t get me wrong–I’m not comparing in a way that makes me feel inferior or whatever–just in a fun way that shows that we all have differences and it’s good to embrace those differences. So in the spirit of my It’s Okay… post a while back and share the reasons that I’m weird awesome!

I’m weird because…I love peanut flour but can’t stand peanut butter.

I basically have peanut flour paste in some form at least once a day!

I know most people say peanut flour isn’t a replacement for PB, but for me it is–not because I’m scared of the fat in PB (I just prefer other nut butters, like almond and pecan) but because I don’t like the texture or taste of straight-up PB. I use peanut flour as a source of easy protein and I just love how delicious it is!

I’m weird because…my Greek yogurt brand of choice is Oikos.

I haven't seen this flavor in sooooo long!

I know, I know, I’m not a Chobani fan like most of the blogging world. Honestly, I discovered Greek yogurt prior to blogging and Oikos was the first brand I tried–and I was hooked! I’ve tried Chobani and Fage a few times since then (Fage is okay…) but Oikos is still my one true Greek yogurt love. I like that it’s organic and I just love the flavors they offer, plus the plain kind is so thick and tangy.

I’m weird because…my favorite dinner at the moment is a topped sweet potato.

An oldie but a goodie!

I just love a hot sweet potato “baked” in the microwave and topped with peanut flour paste, almond peanut cashew butter and some cinnamon. I don’t know why, but it’s just so tasty and filling!

I’m weird because…I’m loving my coffee iced and my tea hot right now.

Some iced coffee (and a yogurt mess) from last summer.

Before a couple of months ago, you couldn’t pay me to drink hot tea–I loved iced, and that was that. Now I really love me some hot Celestial Seasonings, especially country peach passion, and I’m craving iced coffee like no other. I’m hoping I can hit up Starbucks over spring break and get some of their iced coffee with some sugar free vanilla or hazelnut syrup in it–mmmm! For now, I’m making my own and flavoring it with my new stevia drops.

I’m weird because…I prefer my fruit frozen.

Bananas are so much better frozen!

Once I realized bananas taste amazing when frozen, I don’t think I’ve eaten a room temperature banana! I’m also hooked on freezing my grapes, and buying frozen pineapple, mango and berries from Target. There’s just something about frozen fruit that can’t be beat. I don’t even care if it’s cold out, I’m eating my fruit frozen!

I’m weird because…I make oats just for the toppings.

One of my fave oats combos--caramel apple pie oats.

Okay, maybe I don’t make them just for the toppings, but they are the best part! You’ll never find me eating a naked bowl of oats–I love me some nut butter/peanut flour, dried fruit, nuts, cereal, etc. to top them with. I love creating flavor combos and making a totally delicious bowl. Some of my current faves include carrot cake, s’mores, PB&J (topped with grapes and peanut flour) and banana/honey/pretzel/peanut flour. Mmmm, so many choices!

Finish this statement: I’m weird because…

WIAW: A Day of Red & Pink

Hey everyone! I hope you all had fabulous weekends! Mine was really good, since I spent it at home, and actually a little longer than usual, because of a snowstorm that kept me here for another day. But I’m not complaining 😉

Anyways, I really wanted to thank every single one of you who commented on my last post. I loved that you guys spoke your mind in a very respectful way and I really liked the conversation that the post sparked. I really do believe that every person is totally different and as such, they have completely different nutritional needs and we should all be respectful and understanding of that, which you all did. So thanks again!

Peas and Crayons

Moving on to WIAW for this week! I decided to do mine a little early, since I wanted to do a special Valentine’s Day edition and V-Day is today! Basically, my meals were pretty pink and red (and chocolate-y) today in honor of the holiday. I’m not a huge fan of V-Day, but I also don’t hate it. I mean, my parents are basically the best Valentines ever, since they got me the sweetest card, a pink carnation plant and a cute American Eagle scarf. And after all, the day’s a good excuse to wear pink which is exactly I did. But more on that later!

Breakfast: raspberry mocha smoothie in a bowl topped with Kashi GoLean, peanut flour paste, gummy vitamins and a couple vegan chocolate chips.

This was my first attempt at a smoothie in a bowl and while it was super tasty, it wasn’t thick. At all. More like cold soup, which is alright but I want a super thick smoothie. Looks like I have to invest in some xanthan gum…Anyways, the smoothie was just a mix of some frozen raspberries, cocoa powder, u/s vanilla almond milk (my personal fave brand is Pacific Naturals) and a little Starbucks instant coffee powder. I love the little caffeine burst+coffee flava in the morning without shelling out $4 for some ‘bucks. Speaking of which…

Tall skinny soy caramel macchiato (love!) in a special Starbucks Valentine's cup.

My dad and I hit up the ‘bucks on Sunday for some afternoon coffee and I was soooooo excited, because I’d heard about the special V-Day cups. I am such a sucker for all things seasonal so this did not disappoint. I also tried out a new-to-me drink, the skinny caramel macchiato with soy and it was delicious and caramel-y without being too rich. Definitely a repeat order.

Outfit of the day: hot pink cropped cardi (A&F), pink ruffled tank (A&F Kids), tan corduroy jeggings (Hollister), pink plaid scarf (American Eagle), pink polka dot headband (American Eagle).

I was honestly surprised by how few people were wearing red or pink on campus. I guess I just like to be festive 😉 The pants look like a nasty color in the photo, but trust me, they’re actually a caramel color, not a gross mustard yellow. The lighting in my dorm is pretty pathetic!

Lunch: butternut squash cubes with cinnamon, chocolate brownie Pure bar, raisins.

Who says you can’t eat a brownie for lunch? It is Valentine’s Day, after all! And of course, the chocolate brownie Pure bar is super-healthy, so it’s alright. I enjoyed this lunch on-the-go between classes as per usual.

Snack: raspberry zinger tea, superfruits Oikos.

My favorite Oikos flavor, hands down, would have to be the superfruits. It’s an amazing mix of pomegranate, raspberry and acai and I just love it. I haven’t had it in literally months, though, because the stores me never seem to stock it. When my lovely mom picked up groceries for me last week, she found it and knowing how much I love it, got it for me. Now I get to enjoy it three more times!

Dinner: dark chocolate raspberry "cheesecake" oats, smart bacon.

I love love LOVE having oats for dinner…with some protein and a fruit or veggie to balance it out, of course. Tonight I went for a really sweet oats combo of dark cocoa powder and frozen raspberries with a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt stirred in. The yogurt made the oats really creamy and reminded me a little bit of cheesecake. A healthy cheesecake, of course!

Snack: bunny pretzels, organic strawberry jam, almond peanut cashew butter, peanut flour paste.

Of course I had to use my heart-shaped bowl at least once today. I’m not really sure how this snack is related to Valentine’s Day, except that it’s in the bowl and it has strawberry jam. It’s just one of my favorite snack combos at the moment!

How did you celebrate Valentine’s Day? What’s your favorite berry?

Yum vs. Yuck

Everyone has them. A ‘yum’ and a ‘yuck’ list. Maybe they’re not actually written-down lists, but you know what foods you can’t live without and those that you wish would just disappear.

Here’s a few things I want to share from my own lists. Some of them have changed over the years, while some have stayed the same. Of course, it’s great to work on incorporating a lot of variety into our eats, but it’s okay to admit that there are some foods we just can’t stand.

Yuck!

  • Cottage cheese. I haven’t tried it recently, or very often, but the texture is just too sketchy for me. I much prefer Greek yogurt, thank you very much! Plus, now that I’m mostly vegan, I see no need to include it in my diet.
  • Green beans. It’s one of my mom’s favorite veggies, so I’ve been forced to have it throughout the years and it’s just never good. The only way I can stand them even a little bit is with tons of mustard!
  • Ketchup. I think I might have liked it as a kid, but now it’s just so gross to me! I mean, who wants a sweet condiment? Plus, I hate tomatoes (except in salsa) so it kind of explains my disdain for ketchup.
  • White potatoes. Give me a sweet potato any day and I’ll happily devour it. But a white potato–no thanks! They just make me really thirsty for some reason, and I really can’t stand them roasted.
  • Eggs. This one’s been on my list since I first tried them. Ick, ick ick! I think it’s the whole texture thing. I know they have a ton of protein, nutrients, blah blah blah but…just no.
  • Cheese. Used to like it as a kid, was scared to death of it during the worst of my ED, now I just think it’s disgusting. Soy and almond cheese, however, are sometimes part of my diet since they’re vegan-friendly and yummier than dairy cheese.

I prefer my pizzas with tons of veggies and NO cheese!

  • Coconut. Not quite sure how I feel about this one. Part of it is because it’s a “fear food” for me (because of the high sat fat content) but part of it is that it just weirds me out, especially in shredded form.
  • Pears/cherries/canteloupe. These are the only fruits that I’ve tried (and can think of) that I just don’t like. Cherries are too sour, but I’m okay with dried cherries, pears are just too squishy and canteloupe is bleh, not to mention that whole scare that happened over the fall with them–the farm traced to it is only 2 hours away from me 😯

The only way I'll eat cherries is in overnight oats.

  • Cashews. I like a lot of nuts, from almonds to walnuts to pecans to pistachios but there’s just something off with cashews for me. I do want to try them in a raw cashew cheezecake, though!

Yum!

  • Medjool dates. Actually, I had never tried these until about a year ago, and I fell in love. They’re so sweet, with an almost caramel taste and an amazing soft texture. Now I love them stuffed with almond butter, dark chocolate or used in raw desserts.
  • Unsweetened almond milk. The blog world helped me discover this, and I’m forever thankful. It’s so deliciously creamy and makes the perfect base for smoothies. I looooooove the vanilla kind, but I want to try Almond Breeze’s unsweetened chocolate kind.
  • Rolled oats. Another blog world find. I never used to like oatmeal as a kid, since it was too mushy, but once I figured out how to make it overnight (and voluminous) style, I was hooked. Now I get a perfect, chewy bowl of oats practically every day. And the topping/flavor combos are almost endless.

Carrot cake oats are one of my current fave combos!

  • Brussels sprouts. I grew up thinking they were beyond nasty, even though I’d never had them before, because they just had a negative connotation. I tried them for the first time this fall, and they are so good grilled or roasted with a little olive oil and some salt and pepper.
  • Cilantro. I know some people can’t stand the taste of it, but it’s my favorite herb!
  • Almond butter. This one is a pre-blog discovery, and it’s stuck with me ever since. I’ve never been a fan of peanut butter, even as a kid (I would always eat jelly-only sandwiches–yeah, I was weird) but almond butter is a whole different story. Now I also love walnut butter, pecan butter and almond peanut cashew butter.
  • Tropical fruits. I love practically all fruits, but this is probably my favorite group. Pineapples, bananas, mangos, kiwi, limequat, pomegranate, tangerine, watermelon…I love all the kinds I’ve tried and I still want to try even more!
  • Quinoa. I had this for the first time several years ago, when my cousins introduced it to us. They lived in South Africa for a year and quinoa’s really popular there and as soon as I tried it, I was hooked on the fluffy texture and nutty flavor. I also love that it’s so versatile and is a complete vegan protein source.
  • Edamame. I know some people say soy is unhealthy, but I just can’t get enough of edamame! It’s so good in stirfrys and I love getting it in the pod at Asian restaurants. And it has tons of healthy plant protein!

Edamame guacamole, ready to be mixed.

What’s one thing on your yum or yuck list? Have you tried anything lately that moved from one list to the other?

WIAW: Goals for the New Year

Hi everyone, and welcome to 2012! I know it’s been a few days already, but it still feels so weird to me that we’re in a brand new year. 2011, especially the second half, just flew by! I can’t believe I only have 2 1/2 years left in college–part of me is excited though, because I can’t wait to get out in the ‘real world’ and be even more independent!

Peas and Crayons

Sadly I missed out on WIAW last week and I did not want that to happen again this week (which is why I’m a little early to the par-tay)! I haven’t been so great with taking food photos, but honestly I’d rather just be having fun at home than trying to document every meal. But I do have a few pics from throughout the week so I’ll roll with that 😀 I also wanted to share a few of my goals for 2012. They’re not exactly resolutions, since I don’t really believe in them, but just things I’d like to make happen in the new year.

My last skinny soy peppermint mocha of the season? Say it isn't so!

  • Try out more raw foods/recipes. I’m not going to go completely raw, but I really love how whole, fresh, raw foods make me feel. I’ve made a couple of raw recipes in the past year (check them out here) and I actually loved them more than ‘traditional’ desserts so I’d love to make more. I’d also like to try out some raw main dish recipes (like raw tacos made out of walnuts!) and maybe even a raw dish at a restaurant!

Sweet potatoes make the best lunch! With fresh pineapple and mango and topped with peanut flour paste.

  • Improve my GPA in spring semester. Because of my (horrendous, horrible, awful, insert-word-here) stats class last semester, my GPA slipped a little bit. I will admit I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so getting a C+ as a final grade for the first time ever was somewhat devastating. I’m hoping I can pull my GPA back up in the coming semester, and maybe even make it better than before, since I’m taking all classes that interest me.

Switching up my breakfast has never tasted so good! 1/3 cup PB Puffins, plain Oikos mixed with a little organic raspberry jam, peanut flour paste sandwiched in half a banana.

  • Get a Twitter? I’m not sure if it’s worth it, but I’ve always been interested in it. However, I already waste enough time as it is on Facebook, so maybe not. But it seems like a good way to stay connected and stalk my fave celebs.

Organic kettle corn and a peanut flour-ed banana make a delicious nighttime snack!

  • Get an internship. I’m taking a class this next semester that I need to get an internship at a TV station over the summer, so I’m crossing my fingers that I land one. I honestly don’t care if I have to run Starbucks errands or make copies, as long as I can get my foot in the door in the TV news industry, I will be very happy!

Guys, seriously try this right now if you haven't--Medjool date stuffed with a couple dark chocolate chips. It legit tastes like a cookie!

  • Learn how to budget. Now that I have my first job and am getting paid on a somewhat regular basis, I’d like to work on my budgeting skills. I know I still rely mostly on my parents to provide me groceries and such, but I do need to learn in advance so I’m not completely lost when I’m out in the adult world. Oh, and I need to stop impulse buying clothes! I don’t really regret my purchases ever, but I should at least try to wait til they’re on clearance 😉

Cheeseless pizza makes my world go 'round! 2 slices Amy's vegan roasted veggie pizza, side of roasted brussels and a simple almond milk/banana/peanut flour smoothie.

  • Have more fun. I will admit that I’m naturally an introvert, and I actually like quiet nights at home vs. going out most of the time, but I’d like to take more risks and hang out with friends outside of class. I do tend to get bored spending a whole day at home, so I do like to go out for some shopping or whatever, but I usually don’t feel comfortable enough doing stuff like that with friends and I’d really like to do more of that this semester.

What is one of your ‘goals’ for the new year? What is the best thing you’ve eaten so far in 2012?

WIAW: With a Side of Survey

Hiya guys! I can’t tell you how glad I am that I’m not the only one who seems to be stressed out around this time of year! For any of you currently in the same boat as me (finals, packing, etc.)–hang in there! We will make it through, and today is one day closer to freedom break.

I decided to interrupt my studying (ummmm who am I kidding, I haven’t started yet!) and bring you this week’s edition of WIAW, aka the best part-ay ever! I mean who wouldn’t want to party it up in the midst of finals and projects? I know I do so let’s get to it! This week’s version includes a fun little survey brought to you by Tessa at Amazing Asset.

1. Four TV Shows I Watch

  • The Office—OMG, so funny! I started watching this show religiously a couple of seasons ago and haven’t stopped since. It isn’t quite the same with Steve Carell (aka Michael Scott) around, but it’s still hilarious
  • What Not to Wear—probably my favorite show. Stacy and Clinton aren’t afraid to tell people that their style is horrendous, and I love seeing the before & after, and their shopping trips.
  • Saturday Night Live—okay, maybe this is my favorite show? This show makes me crack up every time, and I love watching it with my family. Looking forward to some hilarious fam time over winter break catching up on SNL. Seriously, we are so obsessed that we constantly quote the sketches.
  • The news—haha I watch the local news on a pretty much daily basis, whether I’m at home or at school. What can I say, I’m a broadcast journalism major and I pretty much have anchors who are my idols on the local news!

Breakfast of champions: (last) Clif Kids full moon brownie bar, spicy veggie sausage, gummy dinosaur vitamins, frozen pineapple/banana chunks.

2. Four Things I’m Passionate About

  • Healthy living. One positive thing that’s stemmed from my eating disorder is my passion for eating healthy. I am now vegetarian/semi-vegan and it just feels right for me. I also like to stay active in fun ways like playing tennis with my dad and sister, going for a long bike ride or a major shopping trip  😉
  • My faith. I don’t mention it a lot on here, but I have a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, and it really fuels everything I do. I’ve been  Christian my whole life but my faith has grown even more as I’ve struggled with things during the past few years.
  • Fashion. I really need to do another  Style Phile post on here soon, because I’m missing having a fashion outlet through blogging. I am not the kind of girl who goes to class in sweats or jeans and a t-shirt. That being said, I do think comfort and style can go together and that’s how I strive to dress.
  • Staying true to myself. Sometimes, yeah, I do feel out of place for not going out and partying every weekend (or ever…) but I remind myself that that’s just not who I am and I know personally that that’s not what I consider fun. I prefer hanging out with people on a closer basis and just doing low-key things and that’s perfectly okay.

Seems like a bizarre lunch, but I promise you it was delicious! 1/2 cup organic kettle corn (my new addiction), tablespoon peanut flour sauce, plain Greek yogurt mixed with cinnamon and Truvia.

3. Four Words/Phrases I Use A Lot

  • Like, especially when I’m nervous!
  • Definitely. It’s pretty much my go-to phrase.
  • Haha. That one is definitely overused in my text messaging!
  • That sucks! So creative, I know!

Apples and peanut flour sauce are a match made in my mouth 😉

4. Four Things I’ve Learned in the Past

  • Don’t take things too personally. Honestly, I am still so bad at this. I get emotional really easily and I read too much into people’s words and reactions. But really, most of the time, people don’t care that much about me, so I should just move on.
  • Comparisons suck. I am so done with comparing myself to others, it’s just completely pointless and has it ever made anyone feel better about themselves?
  • Making excuses all the time can really bite you in the butt. I make excuses a lot and while they sometimes work to my advantage, sometimes I just need to suck it up and do the work.
  • I am so glad I’m not majoring in a math-related field. Pretty self-explanatory, but I am so over math and science. I definitely wasn’t expecting to have to take some classes in it in college…

And this is why I've stopped taking pictures of my dinner! The sun sets basically at like 5 pm, so lighting at a quarter to 7 is awfulness. But it honestly was good--volume oats topped with peanut flour sauce (I'm on a roll with this, obvs) and organic raspberry jam, with a side of cinnamon-spiked butternut squash.

5. Four Places I’d Like to Go

  • Somewhere in the Caribbean. I love that whole tropical atmosphere, plus the water there is gorgeous!
  • Mall of America. Shopaholic over hurrrrr! Haha but seriously, this mall has everything (or so I’ve heard). I just need a ton of cash to spend first!
  • Australia. I’d actually love to go there this time of year (when it’s summer there) and spend Christmas on the beach or something. It would probably blow my mind.
  • A vegan/raw restaurant. They have these in a few places across the U.S. but they just sound so yummy whenever someone posts about going there. The food seems so creative and I’d love to try a raw recreation of some of my fave foods.

This banana looks suspiciously vibrant...with some almond peanut cashew butter and a couple of vegan dark chocolate chips.

6. Four Things I Did Yesterday (I’m writing this on Tuesday, so it’s what I did Monday)

  • Gave a presentation in my PR class. My group did pretty well I think, but I just can’t wait to be done with the project altogether. Just some issues I’m having with the group…
  • Did NOT slip on random ice patches in my new heeled boots. We had to dress professional for the presentation (I was basically the only one who really did) so I decided to wear my boots with tights and a dress. Luckily, I didn’t slip on the stupid random patches of ice all around campus.
  • Took an hour-long nap around 5:30. I try not to nap so late in the day, so it doesn’t wreck my sleep schedule, but I was honestly so exhausted yesterday that it felt good to just rest. I didn’t really sleep much, but it was still a nice break.
  • Continued to count down to Christmas break. Yeah, it’s down to only 8 days total, as of Wednesday!

And finally, for a pin of the day--how women see color vs. how men see color. So. True.

7. Four Things I Love About Winter

  • Starbucks holiday drinks and red cups. You could say I’m obsessed.
  • The holidays. Christmas and New Year’s, it doesn’t get any better than that!
  • Wearing tights and boots together. It’s one of my favorite outfit combos—sometimes I wear (different) tights and boots every day of the week!
  • How pretty snow is when it’s falling. Once it’s on the ground and frozen over so you slip every few seconds, not so much…

What is one thing you love about winter? Do you have a peanut flour obsession?