WIAW: Halloween (Weekend) Edition

Hey guys, how were all of your Halloweens? Mine was basically like any other school day: classes at 10 and 1, then an editorial meeting with staffers at 3. Oh yeah, not sure if I mentioned this or not, but I’m the editor for my campus’ faculty & staff newsletter! I’m so stoked because it’s a paid job and it’s in journalism, which is my field. I was dreading trying to look for some lame minimum wage job but I’m so glad I got hired for this. It was a long process of interviewing and paperwork, but it’s finally coming together. Me and another girl (the other editor) get along really well, and even though we’re pretty confused and overwhelmed at this point since we have a deadline this week and only just hired our writers, we’re still loving the position. So yeah, I officially have my first ever job 😀 But anyways, yeah, my Halloween was pretty boring…but Halloween weekend is a totally different story!

Peas and Crayons

Mi madre picked me up around 2 on Friday and we were off! Unlike most weekends that I go home, she was able to get me earlier which meant I got to eat a home cooked meal. Score! Sure, I like going out to fast casual places, but they can get repetitive and expensive after a while, and I’ve missed being able to use the oven. So that’s exactly what I did–I made Gardein meatless ‘chicken’ nuggets and Alexia sweet potato tots (best thing ever!) alongside some green beans (ick, but decent with some spicy three-pepper mustard) for dinner. It was basic but gourmet compared to my dorm meals. Though I can get pretty creative with those… 😉

Look how much snow was still at our house 4 days after the storm!

Friday night was so much fun, because we all carved pumpkins and watched some reallllllly old (from the early 90s!) Disney Halloween cartoons. Those 2 things are basically a Halloween tradition in our house, and I love it. I ended up carving a pumpkin in my pumpkin because I thought a face was too cliché haha. It was so much easier than carving a face too, and the only part that sucked was digging out all the seeds. The insides of all the pumpkins were freezing cold so it hurt our hands after a while to get all the seeds out. But trust me, it was worth it–you’ll see why soon!

My pumpkin in a pumpkin!

My mom's and dad's pumpkins. My dad always likes to do something--erm--creative!

Saturday morning I woke up a little early (like 8:15, which is totally not early but it is for the weekend) because I wanted to make pancakes for my lovely familia. But not just any pancakes–oh no!–I made pumpkin pancakes with dark chocolate chips! OMG, pumpkin and chocolate are a match made in heaven for sure. I love the Archer Farms pancake/waffle mixes because they have the best flavors, especially seasonal kinds. My personal fave is the double chocolate peppermint (I’ll be making those over Thanksgiving break!) but pumpkin is awesome-sauce too. I also added a scoop of vanilla protein powder, to up the protein a little and use up the powder. They turned out really good but sadly, there weren’t that many of them. The amount I used only made 15 mini pancakes, so everyone got 3 (and I froze 3 for myself for later…shhhhh!)

Pancake batttttttah 😉

Just 3 ingredients: pumpkin pancake mix, mini chocolate chips and vanilla protein powder. Oh, and water of course!

My dad and I ventured out to (where else?) Whole Foods. Knowing us, we also made stops at Sunflower Market and Albertson’s. Gotta stock up on food, ya know? I got bunches of yummy stuff from WF, including some new things you’ll hopefully be seeing on this bloggie soon, like purple cauliflower and dried figs. Love that store. At Sunflower, I basically took their entire bar selection 😉 Just kidding, but I got soooooo many bars, like my newly beloved Clif Mojo white chocolate macadamia, Clif Kid Z-Bar full moon brownie and Pure orange cranberry. That is literally the only store near me that has that flavor of Pure bars and Clif Mojo bars, so I gotta get ’em where I can.

I may love the chocolate and PB Puffins even more than the PB!

Back at home I had a super late lunch and then got to work roasting my pumpkin seeds. You know the seeds are the best part, right? Of course they are. I decided to stray from the usual spice combinations and make a spicy-sweet kind. I found the recipe from here and they turned out better than I thought. I made a few tweaks though based on what I had on hand: I used Eggbeaters egg sub in place of the egg white, I used raw sugar instead of cane sugar and I used crushed red pepper flakes instead of cayenne pepper. They still ended up amazing, with just enough sweetness and heat.

So. Flippin'. Addicting.

Dinner turned out to be an (almost) family affair. My dad and I really wanted to try grilling eggplant and brussels sprouts so we fired up the grill for those. Meanwhile, my mom made dinner for the rest of the fam (minus me) while I cooked up a couple of Gardein meatless nuggets at the last minute. My sister, the only non-cook in the house, was of course the only one who didn’t participate but it was still fun. I miss being in the kitchen with everyone. It’s just such a fun, lively atmosphere. Anyways, dinner turned out great, especially the grilled veggies. I’ve had grilled eggplant before, but I’ve never done it myself and it turned out amazing. Same with the brussels sprouts. The outsides got nice and crispy and the insides were warm and smooth. So. Darn. Delicious.

Would you like a little fake chicken with your veggies?

I love how pink this raspberry cappuccino smoothie is!

The rest of the night was spent watching-slash-making-fun-of a really lame infomercial on 70s music, my dad helping me with stats (beeteedubs, I absolutely HATE stats with a passion, so this sucked but was also super helpful), me learning to enjoy hot tea (my mom got some Celestial Seasonings candy cane and sugar cookie tea bags, and they totally transformed me into being a hot tea lover) and watching reruns of SNL. I ended up staying up pretty late but it was so worth it.

Mmmmmmm, I'm such a sucker for all things seasonal!

I love this mug (please ignore all the random crap in the background).

Sunday, as usual, was pretty chill. Enjoying breakfast with the fam, reading the Sunday newspaper, packing up my stuff, lunch, hanging out with my sister and finally having to drive back up to school. I always hate Sundays on weekends I’m at home because it means I have to go back to school. Don’t get me wrong, I like school and my dorm and all, but I just really cherish the weekends I spend at home and it sucks when they’re over. They always seem to go by way too fast 😦 Back up in good old FoCo, my mom and I stopped for more groceries (I couldn’t live with nut butter, of course!) but sadly, I’ll have to be sweet potato-less for the next two weeks ’cause we couldn’t find them anywhere. We also stopped for dinner at a new-to-us place, HuHot Express. We went to HuHot once for my dad’s birthday, but this one was slightly different because it’s not all-you-can-eat. But I ended up loving what I got here better than at the regular place. I got rice noodles topped with shrimp, fresh jalapeno (spicy is where it’s at), edamame, spinach and what was called a Mongol mustard sauce. It was really delish, a little spicy, and not too overwhelming. I ended up mostly just eating the shrimp and veggies, but I would totally get it again. But the real star was the super-cool, high-tech soda machine. It had a touch screen menu so you could mix and match between all kinds of sodas and juices. Normally, I don’t drink soda but I had to try this. I got diet orange Coke mixed with diet vanilla Coke–it was like an orange creamsicle! Have you guys ever seen one of these machines? They are le-git!

Overnight oats in a jar! I basically just saved this jar and keep reusing it. Cookies 'n cream overnighters, frozen raspbs, spicy veggie sausage. Breakfast of champions right thurrrr!

I love tempeh bacon. And apples. And sriracha. Oh, and cold brussels sprouts. Don't judge me 😀

Of course, it was sad to say goodbye to such a fun-filled weekend, but Thanksgiving break is in less than 3 weeks–wooooohooooo 😀 You know I’m looking forward to 9 days away from school!

What was the best thing you did or ate this weekend? Do you like roasted pumpkin seeds?

Sweet 16 & A Half?

Happy Friday, ladies! Yay, another weekend is upon us! I am so excited for this weekend–it’s another one at home, which is always fun and busy. This one involves grocery shopping 😀 , possibly making dinner and…oh yeah, a trip to urgent care. Say what? Yeah, my foot still hurts when I walk or stand on it, and since I didn’t have time to get back home today to get it checked out, I have to go into the urgent care tomorrow to see what’s up with it. Probably won’t be the funnest way to spend a Saturday morning, but I wanna get it taken care of, whatever the problem is.

Sweet, I'm 16 again. So why do I have all these college-level classes?

 Ummmmmm so yeah, according to RealAge, I’m 16 and a half. Right on. I must be doing something right. Except, honestly, when I was 16 1/2, I wasn’t that healthy. That was actually the height of my eating disorder–so I was starving myself and my mind was in an awful place. So I’m psyched that my “real age” health-wise is two and a half  years younger than my actual age, but I’m glad I’m not actually 16 1/2, or I’d be so messed up. I know I haven’t talked much about my anorexia on here, but I’d really love to hear your feedback on whether or not you’d like a post or two on my ED history. I know a lot of you out there struggle with it (or have struggled with it) too, so maybe you’d like to hear my personal story. Just let me know, k?

Anywho, this is just a super-quick update before I head home. I’ll let you all know about the foot situation, what I made (fingers crossed it turns out amazing) and what else went down this weekend. Oh yeah, and it’s totally Homecoming weekend here which is ironic since I’m going home 😛 Last year the HC festivities were fun and all, but this year my parents couldn’t make it up here so I decided just to head back down and spend the weekend at home. But…go Rams at the game tomorrow! We will be kicking some San Jose State butt…hopefully 😉

What are you up to this weekend? Would you like to hear more about my eating disorder story?

 

Weekend Food & Fun

Ya wanna know what my least favorite part of the weekend is? When it’s coming to an end. I hate that feeling you get on Sunday night when you realize that the weekend’s pretty much over and tomorrow it’s back to the daily grind. Can you tell that I’m sick of school already? 😉 I know how sad that sounds, I mean come on, I’m only like 5 weeks in! Honestly, I actually love school this year (nerd alert!) but sometimes you just want a nice little break. Especially when you’ve got a crazy busy next few weeks ahead–in my case, 2 tests this Friday (eek!), 2 tests next week and a paper due in 3 weeks. Gosh, these professors are insane!

This is my "You've gotta be kidding me, 2 tests in one day?" face.

 But the point of this post is not to complain about school but to talk about my weekend! It started out when my mom picked me up around 6:30 on Friday. We grabbed dinner at Garbanzo, which is this really awesome fast casual Mediterranean place. It was a little too awkward taking a picture of my amazing dinner, so I’ll just explain it: baby greens, tabbouleh salad, fresh red cabbage, hummus, falafel topped with spicy cilanto sauce and grilled eggplant slices on top. It was drool-worthy.

I finally changed my nail polish! My sis got the shatter polish for homecoming, so I def had to try it out once I got home. Verdict: love it! And every time, it's a different design!

Saturday started out bright and early (if you consider 8:15 early, which sadly I don’t anymore since I’m used to being up by 7) with some Kashi Honey Sunshine-topped overnight oats. Oh how I’ve missed Honey Sunshine! I haven’t had it for months and forgot how much I loved it. Topped with frozen nanner slices and mango chunks, it was heaven in a bowl.

Please take me back, Honey Sunshine! I can't live without ya 😉

Around 11:30, my mom turned on the TV so we could cheer on my college’s football team in their big annual rivalry game. The Rammies did so well in the first quarter, but then they lost a lot of steam after the half. It was getting way too depressing so I stopped watching 😦 Luckily, my dad and I ended up going to see “Crazy Stupid Love” (I was shocked it was still in theatres) so it ended up being a great afternoon. I love comedies, and it was  really good one, so definitely see it if you have the chance. Then my dad took me to get froyo nearby–how could I pass that up? Despite the fact that I was freezing cold all day (seriously, the weather changed so drastically!), I still enjoyed my frozen yogurt. I got a new-t0-me flavor, apple pie. It tasted as good as it sounds 😀 Perfect for an almost fall day.

I have so many froyo pics on this blog, it's a bit ridic. But each one is unique and a piece of art (baha). Apple pie froyo topped with raspberries and blueberries.

After a Target run, we got home and I was able to make my own dinner–for realsies this time, I actually used the oven, which totally counts as cooking. I miss being able to do real cooking, but I’ve got a whole lineup of recipes that I want to make come Thanksgiving break. Everyone better stay outta my way–the kitchen will be mine 😆

I also appreciate the slightly better lighting I get at home! My dinner was a Gardein veggie burger topped with General Tso sauce, baby carrots, chipotle seasoned sweet potato fries and sweet potato tots. I think I OD'd on the orange.

The rest of the night was pretty low-key: SNL-watching, shower-taking, beating my dad at an UNO tournament. I am beast at UNO–no really!–I mostly always end up winning against my dad.

I think a big trend for me this fall will be layering--I love how cozy I felt in this outfit. Grey knit duster cardigan (A&F), burgundy plaid tunic (A&F Kids), navy culotte shorts (A&F), navy sparkle tights (AE).

Today was even more chill–at least until I had to head back up to school. When we finally got up here, my mom suggested Larkburger for dinner. It’s basically this pretty simple place with all-natural gourmet burgers and fries and such. Usually I end up getting the portobello burger but I wasn’t too hungry tonight and settled for the field greens salad topped with a grilled tuna filet and some edamame on the side. The tuna was amazing and the edamame was too (of course!) but the salad wasn’t great, mostly because they served it in this plastic container that was extremely hard to eat out of, plus the tamari ginger dressing  that sounded so promising, turned out to be totally nast. I hate when that happens, but I pretty much usually expect restaurant dressings to be sub-par. Luckily, it was on the side so I could just toss it without having the whole salad be ruined. I ended up saving the salad to eat sometime this week–in a more convenient way, like on a plate!

More Kashi Honey Sunshine? Yep, I'm a woman obsessed.

Now it’s back to the real world 😕 Oh well, not every day can be a blast and I know I’ll have some awesome days in the near future!

Oh, P.S. an update on my foot. Thanks so so so much for the well wishes! It’s still in pain, I wrapped an Ace bandage around it and hope it might help–hey, if it doesn’t, at least people will know why I’m limping around 😀 Plus I feel cool with it on, please don’t ask me why!

 

What fun things did you do this weekend? What is your dream froyo flavor?

Estes Park Day 4 (and a half!)

If you missed my first three recap posts, go here (day 1), here (day 2) and here (day 3). This one is the last vacation recap!

TUESDAY

It was our last full day in EP, so we wanted to make the most of it. So what did we do first? Pool time 😀 Again, we got some quality water time in and not too many people were still at the condos, so we had it mostly to ourselves. A rousing game of Monkey in the Middle was involved!

Right after lunchie time, my dad, sister and I drove to the town’s little amusement park. It’s pretty small and basic compared to others I’ve been to (like Six Flags, of course!) but it’s still a lot of fun. The dark clouds were starting to roll in, but we were chill about it. We got a couple of slides in on the giant rainbow colored slide and then headed over to the mini golf course across the river. As soon as we started our first hole, it started to pour! Everyone left the golf course in 2 seconds and we were all crowded under the little awning. Fun times 😉 But like almost all summer rainstorms in good ‘ol Colorado, this one lasted like 10 minutes so we were able to finish start our mini golf tournament. Even though I lost, I was the only one to get a HOLE IN ONE! I was actually pretty proud of myself 🙂

My mom had gone into town to do a little shopping so we met her at the local brewpub for dinner. It was my mom’s choice, mostly because of the beers there. Unfortch, none of us really loved the food. We’d been there a few years back, and it had seemed to be a little better then. I got the shrimp cocktail and a side of wheat bread. They were both okay, but def not amazing. Plus the service kinda sucked, so we agreed not to go back again.

After that disappointment, we did a little more window shopping in town then grabbed dessert. We went to a little place that has handmade flavored waffle cones (can’t pass that up!) and luckily, they had a strawberry froyo that I got in a marshmallow-flavored cone. It. Was. Deelish. When we were standing around eating our cones, a car drove by and someone leaned out the window and honked an air horn really loudly. It freaked my sis out, and she dropped her cone on the ground! She was kinda upset about it, but my dad bought her another one. It wasn’t funny at the time, but it kinda is now 😉

So yummy (and so colorful)

WEDNESDAY

Last day. We had to wake up at the crack ‘o dawn (aka 8 am) so we could leave by 10. Even though my mom was freaking out that we’d have to pay overtime, we got out with plenty of time.

We drove into town, car packed to the gills with our stuff (why does it always seem like you come back with more stuff than you left with?), and stopped in a Christmas boutique. It was really cute, all the different themed ornaments and decorations.

Oh hey random peppermint horse!

Then we went over to the deli where we were getting lunch-to-go. The deli is right by the movie theatre, so all the sandwiches and salads there are named after movies! I got the Strawberry Fields salad and it was truly a Hugh Jass salad. It was piled high with lettuce, fresh strawberries, sliced almonds, cranberries and a raspberry vinaigrette. We took our lunches into Rocky Mountain National Park and picnicked (I had the hardest time spelling this word, bee-tee-dubs!) there. It was really yum, but since it was ginormous there was no way I could finish it!

Now this is a salad!

Since we were right by a hiking trail, we packed the cooler back in the car and hit the trail. In the past, we’ve usually done one or two big hikes when we were in Estes (usually around 7 miles roundtrip) but since we hadn’t spent many days this time, we decided to just do a quick little hike. Luckily we didn’t do a longer one, because halfway through, it started raining and thundering so we had to get back to the car anyway.

You can kinda see the lake

This tree just looked so cool!

Rain is beautiful

The rain died down en route to another hiking spot, so we got out there for another quickie hike. The place we went to is called an alluvial fan, and it was caused by a dam breakage that led to a deadly flood back in the ’80s. Luckily, it didn’t kill a lot of people, but it brought down millions of giant boulders and killed trees in its path. It looks really cool now, though. I was stupid enough to wear a dress and flip-flops, so climbing on all those rocks was tricky business. I didn’t trip or anything (I’m such a klutz) so that was good.

Part of the waterfall

My dad. So cray-cray!

These mountains are BIG!

I wasn't kidding about the dress

One last look at the alluvial fan

What is one of your favorite vacation memories?