Confessions

Confession #1: I haven’t posted on here in…ummmm…almost a month. The time has just gotten away from me, between waiting for my computer to get fixed (the one downfall of having a tablet without a bluetooth keyboard is that writing blog posts was torture), getting through the first 3 weeks of my last semester of school and all the craziness that’s ensued since that. But I’ll discuss that below! Point is, I’ve missed blogging regularly BUT I can’t promise I’ll be back to it anytime soon.

Confession #2: I’ve been doing a LOT of online shopping lately. It’s my weakness, but as long as I don’t let it get out of control (and try to keep it to the ‘necessities’) then I don’t see anything wrong with a little retail therapy.

My first order from Nuts.com! They have a lot of awesome raw snacks and superfood-type stuff for cheaper than in stores.

My first order from Nuts.com! They have a lot of awesome raw snacks and superfood-type stuff for cheaper than in stores.

Confession #3: I think I may be (almost) ready for fall weather. Since early last week, it’s been a little cooler and a lot rainier than average for this time of the year, and it’s been nice to not be sweating in my apartment when the A/C hasn’t kicked in yet. I still love summer, but I want to start wearing boots and scarves! The cold weather and snow can stay far away though, I’m happy with sunny skies and 70 degrees.

Confession #4: I feel so so guilty for the floods in my state. If you haven’t heard, Colorado has been dealing with extreme flooding since late last week. It’s hit most of the state, including my hometown and where I’m living for school, but I’m incredibly lucky to not have experienced any loss or damage from the floods. It just makes me so sad to hear about the hundreds of people still unaccounted for, the people who have unfortunately died in the aftermath and the damage caused to some of my favorite places in this beautiful state I call home. I’ve been blessed enough to have escaped three natural disasters in my area in the past 2 years, and seeing all this destruction and loss really hits home for me how precious life is. Please keep Colorado in your thoughts and remember to tell your family and friends how loved they are, because you never know what could happen at a moment’s notice.

One of my favorite vacation spots in CO is under a lot of water.

One of my favorite vacation spots in CO is under a lot of water.

Confession #5: Senioritis has been hitting me HARD. I didn’t really have it much my senior year of high school, but now that I’m on my last semester of school ever, I’m so unmotivated, yet more inspired at the same time. Like I’m getting more frustrated in group projects when people don’t do their part, because I need to graduate in December, yet I really dread doing readings and taking notes. Just 3 more months…I can do this!

Confession #6: I’ve technically been a vegetarian for the past 2 weeks. I announced via Twitter a few weeks back that I wanted to reintroduce eggs into my diet. I’ve never liked eggs, like ever, but I know that they’re basically a nutrient powerhouse, and I was sick of missing out on certain recipes because they contained eggs. However, after these 2 weeks, I think I’ll probably go back to veganism. I’ve tried egg whites in a few recipes that ended up as total flops (coconut flour waffles = epic fail) and even the one that did work tasted really eggy to me. Ehhh, you win some, you lose some. However, I have yet to try eggs straight up, but I plan on buying some local, free range eggs this weekend from Whole Foods and I’ll let you know the verdict! (P.S. Julian Bakery paleo bread will probably be my one exception to the veganism thing–it’s so good, fiber-full and packed with protein and simple ingredients).

See those egg whites hiding in my Whole Foods haul?

See those egg whites hiding in my Whole Foods haul?

Confession #6: I love my hipster glasses. Best $15 investment. Ever.

I'm guilty of the car selfies (not while driving).

I’m guilty of the car selfies (not while driving).

Confession #7: I still haven’t gotten around to transitioning this blog over to my new one. Whoops. I also have several recipes I want to post (and I don’t want to miss out on Vegan MoFo completely) but I’ve just been too busy. I never want to promise posts or recipes because I know I might not deliver on that promise, but I need something to motivate me to actually do it!

What are your confessions?

Friday Five: Online Shopping Addict

Hi guys! Sorry I’ve been a little absent lately–the semester’s starting to get busy and I literally have next to no time during the middle of the week for anything but sleeping and getting homework done. But I’m more thankful than ever to have three day weekends every week–it’s seriously my lifesaver.

Anyways, I didn’t want to let a whole week go by without another post so I’m throwing a little Friday Five fun in here!

Five Things I’ve Eaten Recently

  •  The best vegan restaurant pizza I’ve ever had. It’s hard to find vegan pizza in restaurants. It’s even harder to find amazing vegan pizza. I’m not one for fake cheese (don’t get the Daiya appeal) so I always go cheeseless. The other toppings are the best part anyways, especially in this case. My mom and I tried out a new-to-us restaurant in my college town called Restaurant 415. They aren’t specifically vegan, but they have plenty of gluten free and vegan options and focus on locally-sourced and organic ingredients. My kinda place for sure! I ordered The Woodland pizza sans the cheese and I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. The crust was not too thin or too thick, and it came topped with garlic & olive oil, mushrooms, deliciously salty & crunchy kale (when do you ever see kale on a pizza?!), dried figs (ditto), caramelized onions and a balsamic glaze. The sweet and salty flavors worked together perfectly and I was in vegan pizza heaven. 
My delicious leftovers!

My delicious leftovers!

  • Banana softserve…with a twist. Who doesn’t love banana softserve, aka frozen bananas all blended up until they look like ice cream? Seriously, one of my favorite blog food finds ever. Well, I also discovered a little trick recently: mix almond butter (or nut butter of choice) with a little  coconut oil and drizzle over banana softserve…homemade magic shell! You can even add cacao powder or whatever you want to make it even better. I like topping my softserve and shell with cacao nibs for the perfect healthified dessert.
Who needs ice cream when you can have banana softserve?

Who needs ice cream when you can have banana softserve?

  • Raw jalapeno poppers.  I’ve been eating them whole, putting them in salads…basically just loving them. I should have made more but I’ll definitely be stocking up on jalapenos this weekend!
So spicy, so clean, so good!

So spicy, so clean, so good!

  • Brown rice sushi from Whole Foods. I’ve mentioned before how disappointed I am in the salad bar at the WF in my college town. However, when I discovered their brown rice sushi, I just couldn’t resist. I’ve never had brown rice sushi before, let alone vegan-friendly brown rice sushi. I got the avocado carrot cucumber roll and it was great dipped in coconut aminos and as a salad topping.
An easy dinner at it's finest.

An easy dinner at it’s finest.

  • Salads…on salads on salads. I’ve had a salad-a-day streak for at least the last three weeks, and I don’t want it to end anytime soon. I’ve discovered what makes a really great homemade salad–chopping the greens, shaking everything up to mix it around and letting it sit for at least half an hour in the fridge. It all makes for a very tasty salad. The toppings and dressings are what makes them, though.
Latest obsession: taco-inspired salads.

Latest obsession: taco-inspired salads.

Five Things I’ve Bought This Week

  • A set of weights. Yep, finally jumped on the strength training trend, and I gotta say, I really love it! I’m definitely not lifting heavy yet, but it’s good to start out light. And besides, I’m not so much wanting to build muscle as I am wanting to lean out. So lighter weights+more reps=(hopefully) a leaner body!
And they're green, what could be better than that (besides pink)?

And they’re green, what could be better than that (besides pink)?

  • A geology textbook and cacao nibs from Amazon. Random, yes, but I needed to get the super saver shipping so the cacao nibs were a much-wanted add-on item. The textbook is obviously for the geology class I’m in–I took it because it’s supposedly a prereq to the meteorology program I want to get into after graduation and I don’t really love it so far (mostly because of the professor) but I have a friend in it so that helps a lot!
  • A massive iHerb order. They used to offer free shipping in the U.S. for any order over $20 or $25 I think, but now it’s for orders over $40. I hate paying for shipping so I just stocked up my online cart more than usual. I got a few new-to-me items (raw buckwheat granola, a new brand of coconut flour) and some other things I can’t get in store (namely, peanut flour). I think I’ll be set with new products for awhile…
Love getting packages in the mail!

Love getting packages in the mail!

  • Some new-to-me Whole Foods finds. Yes, I love shopping online for things I can’t get near me, but there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned shopping trip to the grocery store. On my last trip to Whole Foods, I got a bunch of new-to-me items and I’m loving them all so far. The best is the Thai coconut curry hummus by Hope Hummus–it’s a local brand, but they might have it in WFs across the country so definitely check them out if you ever see them near you. This is the best hummus flavor I’ve ever tried, period. I also got a couple new Larabar flavors, unsweetened ketchup, coconut oil spray, dark chocolate Nuttzo (it was on sale!) and WF brand pickles (because other brands have not-so-good ingredients).
There's always something new to try at Whole Foods.

There’s always something new to try at Whole Foods.

Five Sites I’m Loving This Week

  • Chicnova. It’s an online store I just discovered that has a ton of cute, affordable clothes in all kinds of styles. I haven’t ordered anything (yet) but there’s quite a few things I’m drooling over.
  • Warby Parker. Notice the online shopping trend? Okay, so I haven’t bought from here either but I love the concept: you get to choose prescription glasses to try on at home, and you send back the ones you don’t like. I’m a sucker for hipster style glasses, so the next time I need a new pair, I’ll definitely be hitting up this store.
  • DAMY Health. I don’t follow their nutrition plan by any means, but the recipe section has all sorts of amazing-looking vegan, gluten free and raw desserts. I kinda want to make them all…
  • PicMonkey. The best free editing site I’ve come across. I just wish I could use all the upgraded features.
  • Weather Channel. Yep, I’m a weather nerd and proud of it (that’s why I’m going into meteorology!) Besides just the forecasts, they also have weather stories and articles that are really interesting. For example, I found out the other day that Denver is in the top 6 cities for most snowfall. I actually don’t believe it, because for the past few years we haven’t gotten much snow at all!

Do you do any strength training? What’s one of your favorite sites at the moment? 

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?

Saturday Seven: Oh, Fudge!

Let me just say that I loved all your responses to my WIAW post–you guys are the best, seriously, so thanks! I’ve been getting some…erm, weird, creepy and downright mean comments in my spam box but seeing all the supportive and nice comments from you all has really helped me brush off the anonymous negativity.

Anyway, I’m spending another weekend on campus, this one filled with tons of studying and homework, but at least I have a weekend at home to look forward to a week from now! I thought I’d do yet another Saturday Seven post because they’re just fun so here we go!

1. You can make fudge in a dorm room

Oats topped with peanut flour paste and frozen PB fudge cubes.

I know I complain a lot about not having the best food living in a dorm, but honestly, I’ve been making do and it’s not that horrible. I actually eat pretty similarly here and at home, just minus the extra cooking appliances like an oven, stove and food processor. However, I think this is my first real recipe that I’ve ever created in my room–and it rocks! I made two variations and I really love both. So simple, so tasty…make it now!

Frozen PB Fudge (vegan)

1/3 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk (I used Almond Breeze)

1 tbsp dark cocoa powder

1/2 tbsp peanut flour

sweetener, to taste (I used 2 packets of Truvia)

Stir all ingredients in a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute; take out and stir til mostly mixed. Microwave for another 3o seconds and then pour into an ice cube tray and freeze for a few hours (makes 1 small tray of fudge cubes or half a tray if you have a bigger tray)

I was surprised how delicious these little fudgy cubes are. They’re a bit icy, but I don’t mind that. They’ve got a rich chocolate flavor from the combo of the chocolate almond milk and dark cocoa powder. And they’re a lot healthier than traditional fudge–low cal (about 40 for the entire batch!) and sugar-free (if you use a natural no-calorie sweetener like stevia or Truvia).

Frozen Vanilla PB Fudge (vegan)

1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I used Pacific Naturals)

1/4 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Soytein)

1 tbsp peanut flour 

sweetener, to taste

Stir all ingredients in a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute; take out and stir til mostly mixed. Pour into an ice cube tray and freeze for a few hours (makes 1 small tray of fudge cubes or half a tray if you have a bigger tray). 

This combo is also super yummy and has about 8 grams of protein in the entire batch–not too shabby for ‘fudge’!

2. Snow is really pretty…as long as you don’t have to be out in it

The view from my room on Thursday night. Isn't it gorgeous out there?

I’ve lived most of my life in Colorado, so it’s safe to say I’ve been through my fair share of real winters. Almost 17, to be exact. Okay, okay, maybe they’re not as brutal as Midwestern or even Northeastern winters, but they can still be pretty rough. I used to love snow as a kid, because it meant sledding, hot cocoa and snow days. Now, it means cussing under my breath while trekking to class. Even last winter, when we had sub-zero temps (which never happen here!) my college was basically the only school in the state that didn’t close. Yeah, didn’t appreciate that. Anyway, this Thursday and Friday was supposed to be the mother of all winter storms. As far as I know, it snowed a ton in Denver and at my house, but not so much in my college town. It probably snowed 5 inches, which isn’t horrible, and the sidewalks were just a little slushy. But still, I hate having to be out in snow! Can it just be summer already?

3. I really love quick cardio circuits

Looks easy, but it's a really effective workout!

I am not the kind of girl who likes to hit the gym for a workout–I prefer fitting exercise into my day, like walking to classes (I walk for 30-60 minutes 5 days a week!), outdoor sports like tennis and biking or my personal favorite, shopping! What, it totally counts as cardio 😉 Because it’s winter, doing stuff outside is usually not an option, so I turn to cardio circuits I can do in my room. I love that they’re quick but they do give you a really good workout. I’m definitely sweating and my heart’s pumping after 15 minutes of these circuits. I typically do two different ones per day, as well as some yoga and walking to class. The one above is a new personal favorite, and I also love this free workouts app I have on my iPod that gives me a good full-body workout.

4. I’m obsessed with ordering food online

Still waiting impatiently for my kale chip order!

I ordered a Hugh Jass thing of peanut flour as soon as I got back from winter break (hey, I was running out!) and earlier this week I ordered some Natural Nacho Brad’s Raw Kale Chips. I’m really nervous that my order isn’t going through, since I got the confirmation email and it said that there’s a lot of demand for the chips at the moment…and then the other day, the charge was canceled on my credit card. I’m holding off on reordering for a few days so I don’t spend money that I don’t need to in case the shipping is just delayed. I can’t wait to get my hands on the kale though–I’ve heard good things about it!

5. I have 4 tests coming up in the next 2 weeks

So. True.

They’re not even midterms–I’ve only ever had two midterms in my year and a half in college, so I don’t know the awfulness that is midterm week. I’ve got a weather & climate test on Tuesday, a broadcast writing test on Valentine’s Day, an American environmental history essay exam on that Thursday, and a national parks history test the next day. Yikes, I hate having three tests in a week! It makes me think it’s finals week, which sadly it isn’t. Luckily, this semester I only have ONE final exam, so I guess it’s not too bad having so many tests back-to-back.

6. I don’t get Recipage

I just don't understand how it works!

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers using Recipage, and I think it looks really professional, so I set up an account and followed all the directions, but it didn’t create a Recipage on my blog! WTH? I don’t get what I did wrong, so for now, I’m still storing my recipes in a somewhat disorganized way on my Eats & More page. I really want to set up a Recipage at some point, so does anyone have any advice for me on how to make it work?

7. Naps are my new BFF

I can only hope to look this cute when I take a nap!

I don’t know what’s been up with me but lately, an afternoon nap has sounded so good to me. It’s not like I’m not sleeping enough at night–I get about 8 to 9 hours per night (I’m one of those people who needs that much to function) but I think it’s because my Tuesdays and Thursdays are crazy-busy. I have classes straight from 9:30-2 and by the time I get back, I just want to take an hour-long power nap. I’ve napped 3 times in the past week, and that’s just something I never do. But I don’t think it’s a bad thing right now since I’m getting used to having a crazier schedule, plus I feel so refreshed when I wake up.

Do you take naps? What do you think about snow?

Shopping & Sledding

Soooooo guys, I kinda lied to you last time at the end of my post when I said we were going sledding. We actually ended up going sledding yesterday since the state park we were going to didn’t have any facilities open on Monday or Tuesday and we didn’t want to be stuck up there without a bathroom–ummmm TMI!

What we did end up doing on Tuesday was even better–shopping! Obviously I am such a shopaholic, I will almost never turn down a shopping trip, clothes or grocery or otherwise. It’s just so much fun. We headed up to our favorite Denver mall for a day of shopping and eating out.

One major disappointment of the day was driving to Gelazzi (aka the best gelato place ever) and realizing that it was closed for remodeling! Yeah, uh, what is that all about? But no worries, we ended up checking out a new-to-us froyo place called Peach Wave and the disappointment ended when I realized they had several seasonal flavors to choose from. Me and seasonal flavors are BFFs, of course, so I ended up getting peppermint stick and chocolate froyos with raspberries on top. Boy was it delicious! I also sampled a few other flavors, including peanut butter, which was outta this world! But then again nut butters rock my world 😉

Shopping was hella fun, as expected. My sister and I headed out on our own, only to be surprised by how crazy the crowds were! I don’t think we’ve ever gone shopping that soon after Christmas so it was quite a shock. We even had to wait in a line outside of Hollister for about 5 minutes before they’d let us in since so many people were in the store 😯 It was hectic to say the least, but we got a ton of good deals and we both scored a ton of things! I seriously don’t think I’ve ever bought that many things at once!

I'm starting to really love stripes--especially in my favorite color (A&F Audrey pullover sweater)

 

I can always use another cute tank top...especially when it has the same name as me 😉 (A&F Ashley tank)

Abercrombie & Fitch, usually the calmest store at the mall, was packed with so many people that my sister and I got really frustrated! We did end up leaving the store with two purchases each in hand (for 40% off, too)–a pair of flare jeans and a lacy top for her, a pink striped sweater and ruffly grey cami for me.

I'm obsessed with lace...and bows! (Abercrombie Kids Dessa tank)

Abercrombie Kids was also a zoo, but practically everyone in the store was much shorter than me–that’s what I get for shopping in a kids store, I guess. I did score this adorable lacy tank with a pinstripe bow ‘belt’ for less than $20 though!

As if I really need more necklaces in my life... (AE)

How cute is this ring? (AE XO Ring)

 

American Eagle is the best place to get good jewelry cheap (okay, Forever 21 is too). I had a gift card to here that I spent completely on a necklace and a ring. I am basically jewelry obsessed and rarely go a day without wearing at least a necklace or some bangles. Apparently this Christmas I was really blessed with jewelry, since I also got another necklace and another ring as presents…

You can never have too much plaid (Hollister Manhattan Beach shirt)

 

Still in love with jeggings (Hollister Cord Jegging)

At Hollister, I continued my recent obsession with plaid shirts and jeggings. I’ve been eyeing these corduroy jeggings for the longest time, and once I took the plunge and bought my first pair the other day I decided to get these too. Since they’re tan, they’ll look good with anything and will fit well with my brown suede boots and the new boots I got for Christmas!

I also did a little online shopping back at home, where I ended up buying grey lace shorts from Abercrombie Kids and a pinstriped oxford-type shirt from Gilly Hicks.

We ended our day in Denver with dinner at On the Border, courtesy of a gift card my mom got. I haven’t been there in years, not since I’ve gone vegetarian, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a delicious veg-friendly meal of grilled veggie fajitas. Fajitas are always good and this one did not disappoint–it was mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, squash, zucchini and topped with super-hot fresh jalapeno slices. You can bet I was downing a ton of water throughout the meal, but it was delish! The fresh guac on the side was also amazingly good. I’m also pretty sure that the fajitas are vegan-friendly, as long as you don’t eat the side of sour cream that it came with–so I was able to find a yummy vegan meal in a regular restaurant..wooooo!

Sledding yesterday was also oodles of fun! We drove up to a state park up in the mountains and spent a couple of hours racing down the hills on our sleds. On one really fast run, I ended up tearing our inner tube on a stick and it deflated 😦 But it was fun while it lasted, and we still had two other sleds to have fun on. I was surprised by how fast and far we could go, and also by how bumpy the runs were. It was also reeeeeeally hard to walk up the hills, but it was an awesome workout without really feeling like one! On our way back home, we hit up Starbucks and I bet you can guess what I got–my usual holiday drink, a tall skinny soy peppermint mocha. Definitely a day to remember!

What fun things have you been up to lately? Have you gotten any good after-Christmas deals yet?