Looking Back on 2013

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I still can’t believe it’s over, and that 2014 is just around the corner. I still didn’t feel like it was Christmas until earlier this week so it’s crazy that it went by so fast.

I’ll probably do a recap of my Christmas/New Year’s week sometime next week but for now, I wanted to share some of my favorite posts and moments from 2013. As with any year, there were some ups, some downs, but overall it was an incredible year for me for many reasons, and I’m hoping 2014 is even better!

January

I experimented with homemade donuts, I took a hiatus from WIAW and I shared my orthorexia story

Some post-holiday Christmas lights in Denver.

Some post-holiday Christmas lights in Denver.

February

I broke some fashion rulesmade some Superbowl-worthy raw jalapeno poppers and shared my thoughts on clean eating

No white after Labor Day? Pssh, I wear what I want!

No white after Labor Day? Pssh, I wear what I want!

March

I compared my meals from when I started my blog until nowI tried out grain free baking and I admitted to my struggles with the scale and mirror

My first sushi night with friends.

My first sushi night with friends.

April

I got snowed in, shared my fear of rest days and feeling full and made some homemade Easter candy.

Snow in April isn't unusual but a FOOT of snow definitely is!

Snow in April isn’t unusual but a FOOT of snow definitely is!

May

I spent some time at the poolgot all nerdy about cacao powder and started my weather internship at a local TV station. 

I also reunited with an old Starbucks favorite,, the unsweetened passion iced tea.

I also reunited with an old Starbucks favorite,, the unsweetened passion iced tea.

June

I started eating more raw foods, expressed my sorrow over a second year of wildfires in my hometown and revisited an old favorite vacation spot

More pool time for this chica.

More pool time for this chica.

July

I professed my love for homemade fooddealt with some flash flooding on the job and found that being sick can be an ED trigger

I also celebrated my 21st birthday in style, even while recovering from being sick.

I also celebrated my 21st birthday in style, even while recovering from being sick.

August

I indulged in some incredible vegan carrot cake ice creamvacationed to see family in Wisconsin and got a tablet to replace my dying laptop. 

I love airports and flying!

I love airports and flying!

September

I tried out eggs (and ended up keeping them out of my diet), gave an inside look at my fridge and struggled with senioritis

I also got my third-ever manicure.

I also got my third-ever manicure.

October

I shared my thoughts on figure competitionstalked about the ‘Ashley Diet’ and did some fun things with my family during a weekend at home

A quick and yummy lunch from a local vegan juice bar and cafe.

A quick and yummy lunch from a local vegan juice bar and cafe.

November

I let you all in on my meal prepping secrets, I talked about some girl problems and I bought a bunch of fun foodie products

I went to Native Foods for only the second time ever and I can't wait to go back again.

I went to Native Foods for only the second time ever and I can’t wait to go back again.

December

I started a no-added-sugar plan before the holidays, I got through finals week with some good food and I graduated college a semester early. 

The happy graduate.

The happy graduate.

I feel like I’ve grown up so much since the beginning of the year–I’ve conquered another year of living (mostly) independently, completed an amazing internship, got through a semester taking on a full course load, dealt with some personal struggles (some are still going on), made some great friends and most of all, started my new life as a post-grad looking for her first full-time job. It’s crazy how much things have changed since this time last year, but I wouldn’t trade any of it! I’m even more excited to take on 2014!

What were some of your most memorable moments of 2013? What are you looking forward to most in 2014? 

Things I Love

My lovely mom is in town for the weekend, so I’m gonna make this post short and sweet in order to spend the most time I can with her. So let’s get to it!

I’m basically just filling out the Lovely 14–Things I Love survey that I’ve seen floating around. It still counts if it’s right after Valentines Day, right? 😛

1. Valentines Candy I Love: 

Gotta be honest with you, not a big fan of candy. The closest I get is fair trade, vegan dark chocolate made with natural ingredients. #sorryimnotsorry But really, I love Theo and Alter Eco’s chocolate, particularly their mint varieties.

2. Current Workout Jam I Love:

Pound the Alarm by Nicki Minaj, I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor by the Arctic Monkeys and Houdini by Foster the People. Yes, all completely random but they really pump me up to pump some iron or blast out some ab exercises.

3. Article of Clothing I Love:

The boyfriend-fit chambray shirt my mom got me for Valentines Day from American Eagle. We actually just stopped by there today and I love literally almost everything in the store right now. Not an issue at all…nope, except for my wallet!

4. Something Red I Love:

Microwaved raspberries on my waffles

This was my very appropriate V-Day waffle.

This was my very appropriate V-Day waffle.

And my mommy (she’s a red-head, it totally counts!)

5. Month I Love:

July because it’s my birthday month, the height of summer (my fave season) and I love Independence Day! Oh, and I also like May because it kinda marks the beginning of summer for me, what with getting out of school, Memorial Day weekend and the weather warming up. Can you tell I like summer…and much warmer weather than we’ve been having?!

6. Piece of Advice I Love: 

Just do you. I have a bad habit of falling into comparison traps all.the.time so reminding myself that I need to do what works for me and not worry about anyone else is vital.

7. New (or Old) Blog I Love:

Amanda’s blog is pretty much bangin’–love her more personal posts as well as her fun thoughtful ones. And Alex’s blog always keeps me second-guessing myself and my recovery in a really good and helpful way.

8. Current Reading Material I Love:

I honestly like never read books other than required readings for classes (school has ruined me haha) so I’m actually kinda liking my advertising textbooks. Nerd alert! But actually, they have really cool ad examples from a long time ago and even recently so it’s an entertaining read.

9. A Memory I Love:

The summer between my junior and senior years of HS when I went on a church mission trip to San Francisco. Not only was the work we did really humbling and eye-opening, but the city itself is really cool and I’m itching to go back.

A gorgeous city, even from afar!

A gorgeous city, even from afar!

10. “Chick Flick” I Love:

I’m not sure if this counts as a chick flick, but I love love LOVE The Devil Wears Prada. Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep are amazing (when are they ever not?) and the fashion story behind it is totally my thing.

11. A Special Place in the World I Love:

My hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. I was born there and lived there for the first 2 years of my life, and have only been back once for a spring break trip, so I don’t know all its ins and outs but I do know that I have a special connection to it, it’s really beautiful (I love deserts) and I want to go back someday (hopefully immediately post-college) to live and work. I know the summers are brutal (hey, I was born there in the middle of summer!) but I think it would be worth putting up with to live there amongst the cacti.

You can't tell me this doesn't look beautiful.

You can’t tell me this doesn’t look beautiful.

12. Beauty Product I Love:

Bath and Body Works white citrus scented body lotion. The smell reminds me of summer, just what this summer-lovin’ girl needs right about now!

13. Nifty Website I Love:

Not exactly a site, but these hilarious and so-true Shit Vegans Say videos were found on the SFWeekly website…another reason to love San Fran!

14. A Beautiful Blog Post I Love:

Gah so many! Really, I just love all your blogs #cheesybuttrue

Answer any of the above…and enjoy your weekend!

The End is Near+Kelp Noodle Stirfry

Well guys, here we are again, at the end of another year. I hate being cliche, but where the heck did 2012 go? I feel like as I get older, the years fly by so much faster than when I was a kid. Not that I’m complaining, but it’s crazy to me that I’m practically done with college!

I’m really excited for 2013. I have no idea exactly what will happen, which scares the type-A planner in me, but it’s exciting to think about all the things that could happen this year. For one, I’m finally turning the big 21 in July. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not big into drinking or anything but it’ll be nice to be able to order a good drink in a restaurant sometimes, or enjoy a cool cocktail at home. Also, I might possibly be graduating in December–crazy talk! I really want to get all my credits done in time so I can graduate a semester early and get started on my first big girl job. I know a lot of people would rather stay in school as long as possible but I’m so excited about my future career (hopefully as a meteorologist) that I want to get a head start!

I don’t want to drag this post on forever, so I’ll just share some brief highlights from the year with you and then give you a delicious, quick recipe at the end.

January

I finally got a Twitter, I experimented more with raw recipes and I overcame my hatred for hot tea. 

Raw carrot cake bite with peanut flour frosting.

Raw carrot cake bite with peanut flour frosting.

February

I tried a bunch of new-to-me products, did a raw food challenge and went to a father daughter dance with my sister and dad. 

Dressed up for the dance.

Dressed up for the dance.

March

I reevaluated my recovery journey and eating habits, got an internship at a local TV station and made a bunch of recipes over spring break.

Enjoying the sunshine during spring break.

Enjoying the sunshine during spring break.

April

I celebrated Easter with the fam, tried Zevia for the first time and got ready for summer food & fun

Coloring Easter eggs.

Coloring Easter eggs.

May

I finished up my sophomore year of college, made my first pancakes from scratch and celebrated my blog’s first birthday

Peanut flour pancakes with homemade strawberry vanilla jam

Peanut flour pancakes with homemade strawberry vanilla jam.

June

I talked about why I eat healthy, made a goal to stop counting calories and moved to a new house

Eating applesauce on the go.

Eating applesauce on the go.

July

I embraced my love of healthy fats, made my go-to meal for the first time and celebrated my 20th birthday

The delicious vegan cake I enjoyed on my birthday.

The delicious vegan cake I enjoyed on my birthday.

August

I tried vegan sushi, almost saw the President and started budgeting my grocery shopping. 

Vegan sweet potato tempura sushi rolls.

Vegan sweet potato tempura sushi rolls.

September

I overcame my fear of coconut, had jury duty and embraced fall

I also did my first giveaway!

I also did my first giveaway!

October

I participated in Vegan MoFo, started my addiction to kabocha and broke some fashion rules.

My first Fashion Friday post.

My first Fashion Friday post.

November

I shared my Christmas wishlist a month early, proved that vegans can get protein too and spent Thanksgiving break writing papers

Almond cake vodka on Thanksgiving.

Almond cake vodka on Thanksgiving.

December

I proclaimed my love for the Whole Foods salad bar, stressed out about finals and had an enjoyable (while sick) Christmas.

It was a white Christmas after all!

It was a white Christmas after all!

 And now for the recipe! I don’t know about you, but after Christmas, some nights I’m feeling lazy and I just want a quick dinner to throw together so I have more time for family game and movie nights. This stirfry recipe comes together in 10 minutes and is easy to customize to your tastes. I used kelp noodles as the base because I love their texture and how they can bulk up a meal without adding any calories but you can use rice or soba noodles if you prefer.

coconut curry kelp noodle stirfry in bowl

Coconut Curry Kelp Noodle Stirfry (vegan, gluten free, grain free)

1/4 cup light canned coconut milk (can use full fat)

1 tsp curry powder

red pepper flakes, to taste

1 tbsp peanut flour (or peanut butter)

1 tsp coconut aminos (or tamari)

1/2 cup kelp noodles, rinsed and dried

fresh or frozen veggies (I used shredded carrot slaw and fresh green kale)

1/4 cup fresh or frozen pineapple (or chopped fresh orange)

1/2 cup shelled edamame

In a small bowl, stir together coconut milk, curry powder, red pepper, peanut flour and aminos until thickened and combined. In a medium pan over medium heat, cook edamame, veggies and pineapple in a small amount of coconut oil. Add in kelp noodles and stir sauce over noodles. Cook for 5 minutes or until mixture is hot and sauce thickens up a bit. Serve topped with shredded coconut, chopped peanuts, pumpkin seeds or a drizzle of sriracha. Serves 1. 

What are some of your favorite memories from 2012? What’s one new thing you tried this last year?

Recipe submitted to Healthy Vegan Friday #23.