WIAW: Staples and Goals

Happy Wednesday, everyone! It’s also Lady Gaga’s birthday…can you tell I’m obsessed 😀 Ummmm yeah, so it’s also almost April and Easter–crazy stuff! In just a little over a month, I’ll be done with my sophomore year of college. I think my mom was right in saying that time flies by once you’re an ‘adult’–I still don’t feel like an adult, but I’m already going to be turning 20 in 4 months. Wow, where’d my childhood go?

Instead of reminiscing, let’s take a look at this week’s meals. With the change of seasons, extra daylight and amazing weather, I’ve been changing up my eats somewhat lately so I want to share some of my latest staples, plus an update of the goals I made for March.

Voluminous overnight oats topped with pretzel sticks, peanut flour paste, kettle corn, raisins and drizzle raw honey.

Okay, so overnight oats have been a staple in my life since last summer, but lately I’ve been loving on the sweet and salty combo. My go-to toppings are crushed pretzel sticks, almond peanut cashew butter, raisins and a little raw organic honey. I mixed it up on Monday when my peanut flour order came in (I can’t tell you how excited I was to see the package in the mail–can you say addicted?) by subbing PF paste for the nut butter and also adding in a little Whole Foods kettle corn. So. Good.

It looks like soda, but it's not and it's wayyyyy better!

I’ve professed my love for Starbucks’ unsweetened iced coffee a lot lately–but can you blame me? It’s just so refreshing! Now, I’m not hardcore enough to be able to drink it sans any sweetener–I just bring my own Truvia packets and stir away. That way, I can control the sweetness and it’s a natural sweetener so it’s healthier. My former favorite summer drink from the ‘bucks was their light Frapps, but this may be my new drink for the warmer months.

Fresh spinach and red cabbage salad topped with crumbled southwestern Sunshine burger and vegan Caesar dressing.

Usually my dorm room meals are sadly lacking in the veggie department. I usually have some baby carrots and edamame stocked in the fridge, and sweet potatoes of course, but I rarely have greens. After spring break, I had some leftover spinach, so I decided to bring it back up with me. Best decision ever! Now I’ve been able to enjoy a salad for dinner some nights. I’ve been really loving topping the spinach with a crumbled veggie burger. I haven’t had a Sunshine burger in several months but my mom happened to leave me some so I was able to have them again. I think they’re becoming my go-to veggie burger brand, because of how simple yet nutrient-packed they are.

Return of the snack plate: crushed Late July chips (summertime blues and sea salt by the seashore), Whole Foods kettle corn, raw kale chip crumbs, dried fruit (mango, pineapple, raisins and stuffed date), vegan pepperoni slices.

I rediscovered my obsession with snack plates over spring break, and I brought it back with me to school. Lately, I’ve been having combos similar to the one above. They’re the perfect snack for an indecisive person like me. I just love having a variety of flavors and textures to choose from.

Why didn't I try this earlier?

My bar obsession is still going strong. My current favorites are the Clif Mojo white chocolate macadamia trail mix bar, KIND peanut butter & strawberry bar, Pure chocolate brownie bar…and Larabars? Yes, I actually just tried my first one yesterday and wow! Why have I never tried these before? I love that they have so few ingredients, yet taste exactly what they’re named for. I guess I never tried them because of their low protein content (this flavor has 5 grams, though, and a few others have 6 grams, which is decent) and their high calories/fat. Since I’m working on feeling safer with higher calorie and fat things as long as they’re healthful, I decided to buy one, specifically the cappuccino flavor since I love anything coffee-flavored. It was perfect, especially paired with some dark chocolate chips! Now I can’t wait to try more Larabar flavors. I’m addicted!

Lovin' on the bright colors: belted coral ruffled tank (Hollister), pink plaid scarf (American Eagle), jeggings (American Eagle), various bracelets.

Not a food staple, obviously, but with spring and the warm weather, I’ve been really loving wearing brighter colors. I am not someone to shy away from color, even in the winter, but spring and summer bring out the color-lover in me even more. I love how the tank top pops against the dark jeans, and coordinates nicely with the scarf.

Now onto the goal updating. I actually think I did pretty well with most of them, and it inspired me to make a few more for April!

  • Eat more veggies: Check! This WIAW doesn’t showcase many, but I definitely got in my veggies  a lot over spring break, and have been doing pretty well with my limited groceries back at school. Some of the veggies I’ve been enjoying include spinach, kale chips, yams, carrots, red cabbage and grilled asparagus. I’m excited to eat my veggie quota again during the summer!
  • Summer internship: I’m happy to announce that I landed an internship with a TV station back at home. I’m super excited to start working and it’ll be a great opportunity. It’s unpaid, of course, but amazing work experience.
  • Cook more: I definitely accomplished this over spring break. Of course, it’s basically impossible to cook while at school since all I have is a microwave, but I’ve been making do. When I was home for break, I made quite a few things and even shared 4 new recipes.
  • Budgeting: This was one area I didn’t really do too well on. I got paid right before spring break, and all I could think of doing was going on a major clothes shopping spree. So that’s what I did, and while I don’t regret it, I wish I had planned out my spending more wisely. I also really need to work on my grocery shopping budget, since I’ll be doing more of that myself next semester and I need to not blow all my money at Whole Foods Paycheck.
  • Avoid food ruts: Spring break helped me do this, since I had so many more food options, but I’m still doing well with this goal even with fewer groceries at my disposal.

With my success at goal-making and accomplishing this month, I wanted to set a couple new ones for next month.

  • Eat more. This goes back to my honest post a couple weeks ago, but it’s something I need to be consciously working on. I don’t want to lose all the progress I’ve been making in my ED recovery, so this is a non-negotiable goal. However, it’s still extremely hard. Most days I’m never super-hungry, so it’s difficult to eat more than I have been, but I’ve just gotta buck up and do it.
  • Don’t get burned out. Yes, summer is just around the corner. Yes, finals and final projects are too. I’m in the home stretch, and I can almost taste freedom. However, I’m also starting to get really burned out with school. I need to keep my motivation going for the next few weeks so I can finish this semester out strong.
  • Focus on eating more “whole foods”. Obviously, this doesn’t mean just stuff from Whole Foods, as much as I love that store. I’ve been reading a lot lately on how processed soy products are really not that healthy, and I want to cut them out of my diet. I’m not cutting out soy completely–just the more processed stuff. I’ll still be eating edamame, tempeh, tofu (0n occasion) and Clif Mojo bars, because they’re all either organic or more whole/natural forms of soy and therefore a lot healthier. Yes, things like soy bacon and other fake meats are tasty sometimes, but I’m going to work on finding better, “whole foods” versions to replace them with, like Sunshine burgers which are only made with veggies, seeds, brown rice, beans and spices; and beans, quinoa, etc. I don’t think all processed things are bad, but I’ll be buying things that have as few ingredients as possible, or at least all pronounceable, healthy ingredients.

Do you have any goals for April? What’s one of your food staples right now?

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?

Christmas Came Early!

Hi everyone! I can’t believe how close we are to Christmas, it’s craaaaaaaazy! I am so excited for the big day, of course, but also to finally be free of school. I have one more final tomorrow afternoon and then I’m home free–literally! College is super awesome because they give you a month off. Honestly, that’s all I really want for Christmas, but some presents are a nice bonus 😉

Because I’m obviously in the Christmas spirit, I decided to share a few things from my life lately that are somewhat holiday-related. First up is (part of) a survey, from  Alexandra and Tara. I love doing surveys and a Christmas one is even better! I kinda shortened it so this post wouldn’t be quite as monstrous. I also was awarded the Versatile Blogger award by Lindsay, which was super sweet of her, and since I’m doing this survey, it kinda counts as my seven random facts, right? Either that or I’m just too lazy to come up with seven more things about me 😀

1. Eggnog or hot chocolate?

I’m gonna go with eggnog, but I like the Silk Nog, not the regular way-too-sweet-and-rich stuff. The Nog is so good without being too much.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?

He definitely wraps them, but his handwriting and wrapping paper is different, so you can tell who it’s from 😉

3. Colored or white lights on the tree/house?

In a perfect world, I would have pink lights on everything! But I think white looks so classy and wintery on houses.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?

Ermmmm, no. I always think it’s super awkward if there is mistletoe for some reason.

5. When do you put your decorations up?

Usually the weekend after Thanksgiving. We like to have them up early, and don’t take them down until sometime in January!

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (besides dessert)?

Gosh, I was totally going to say a dessert since that’s the best part! We don’t always have the same thing, but I remember last year we had chili lime pasta with grilled shrimp and it was sooooo good!

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?

My dad used to always read short Christmas stories to us on Christmas Eve right before we’d go to bed–I used to fall asleep though!

8. What’s on your Christmas wishlist?

Lots of clothes, because I’m a total shopaholic and also a vegan cookbook.

9. Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve?

Nope, never! We always save them til Christmas morning and we try not to rush through opening them. We open stockings first, then have breakfast and get dressed and then finally open presents. When I was little, I always just wanted to open all my presents right away!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

The one in my dorm is tiny, but it has ornaments that match my bedding–so it’s pink, red, purple and orange! The one in my bedroom at home has blue lights and aqua and silver and green ornaments and the main tree has a ton of random ornaments that we put up every year. My favorite one is a mini book about Humpty Dumpty–don’t ask 😉

11. Snow–love it or dread it?

I always love the first snow because it’s so beautiful, but I hate when it sticks around and gets all dirty. I also love snow on Christmas, but it rarely happens here. We almost always get snow on Easter in Colorado, though, which is super bizarre!

12. Real tree or fake tree?

We’ve never had a real tree because my mom has allergy issues with plants, but I think our fake one looks just fine! Plus we can reuse it year after year!

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?

I got a doll house when I was like 3 or 4 and I was soooooo excited about it! I loved playing with it for years afterwards.

14. What’s the most important thing about Christmas to you?

Being with my amazing family and remembering that Jesus is the reason for the season (so cheesy, I know, but true!)

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?

Peppermint bark! I’m on a mission to veganize it this year, so check back for a recipe hopefully soon! I’m also kinda in love with the festive garland bars I made over Thanksgiving break, so those are a definite must-make-again.

I think I mentioned in one of my recent posts that I got some free goodies from iHerb just for reviewing their products on my blog! How nice of them! I just got the package the other day and I swear I thought it was Christmas morning, I was so excited to rip into it!

Delicious free food is a great early Christmas present!

They sent me an Earnest Eats baked whole food bar in choco peanut butter, a jar of Artisana walnut butter with cashews and a 15-pack variety bag of organic lollipops! If that isn’t a great package I don’t know what is! The great part about all these products is that they’re completely vegan (even the lollipops) and have awesome ingredients. So far, I’ve only tried the walnut butter, which is subtle but sweet and nutty. I love having a new nut butter to add to my growing collection, which now includes crunchy almond butter, almond peanut cashew butter and homemade coffee maple pecan butter! I’ll let you guys know what I think of the other two products once I try them out. Thanks again so much, iHerb!

And finally, another early Christmas “present”…my last sweet potato! You can bet I savored this bad boy–topped with vegan chocolate chips and peanut flour paste. Chocolate chips sound like a weird topping, but trust me, it was sooooo good, since they got all melty on top of the hot potato!

Now I want to have a sweet potato again...

What was your favorite gift ever? How do you top your sweet potato?

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?

Saturday Seven: Sick of School

Aren’t you all pumped that it’s the weekend? To be honest, I’m actually not…because I have a lot to do this weekend, like a mini take home exam, making flash cards, a stats lab, working on a portfolio for my newswriting class and a meeting for a project that we’re presenting on Monday. So yeah, not the most fun weekend of my life, plus I am just itching to finish up this semester. Only 9 more full days on campus before I can leave for winter break–wahoo!

I think the worst time of any school year is coming back from Thanksgiving break. I got a week off from school, got to chill at home and enjoy a few shopping trips and Starbucks runs, as well as a fully stocked kitchen. Break went by wayyyyyy too fast, and then I find myself back at school, with three weeks left in the semester before an even longer break. By the time I got back, I was so used to being on break that it felt so weird to have to come back to school, but not in a good way like after summer break. More like a “I just can’t wait to be done” kind of way. Now that a week’s gone by, it’s back to normal for the most part, but I still can’t wait to be done with this semester. I remember back in elementary school when we used to have class parties and cookie exchanges right before Christmas break. Now it’s finals time, along with tons of projects and what-not. So stressful.

I have a week left of classes, which includes one random final thrown in there and a project presentation, then I’m supposed to be headed home for an extended weekend so my wonderful daddy can help me with my stats take-home final and then it’s back to campus for 3 days to finish up finals. Whew, I’m getting exhausted just thinking about it! Anyways, this edition of Saturday Seven is all about random things that are (somewhat) related to the end of the semester, so enjoy!

1. Why doesn’t Colorado have a Trader Joes?

I need these in my life ASAP!

I mean, really?! This is what I’m missing out on? Come on Colorado, you’re a beautiful state and all but you’re killing me with the lack of Trader Joes. And by that I mean, there are literally none in the entire state. I keep reading about all these wonderful-sounding seasonal TJs products on practically every blog, and I’m drooling in jealousy over here. Sometimes people say they rarely go to TJs because it’s like 90 minutes away from home or something–I am so deprived that I would gladly travel that distance to get my hands on these Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s, as well as the entire contents of the store. However, I did join the Facebook group Coloradoans for Trader Joe’s, so we’ll see where that goes…

2. Just call me a master decorator…

Isn't it purty, especially with all the snow outside? The stupid light reflection ruins it though.

…Or just tell me to keep my day job, since I obviously am no Martha Stewart. I just wanted to bring a little Christmas cheer to my room, so stringing Christmas lights and sticking window clings was the best I could do. Oh, and I also have a mini Christmas tree, decked out in the colors of my room (purple, pink and orange). Maybe I am an expert after all!

3. Pandora is my new best friend

I'm loving the Christmas music playlists!

Who needs someone to talk to when you have an amazing app that plays the music you want to hear? When thinking about finals is putting me in a craptastic mood, I just turn on a little Christmas music and I’m instantly 10 times better. And it’s putting me in the Christmas spirit (the big day, btw, is in 3 weeks!)

4. Starbucks VIA Christmas Blend and I have a little fling going on

Once I dump a bazillion packets of Truvia in you, you actually taste delicious.

I bought some Starbucks VIA Christmas Blend 2011 on a whim, having no idea what it’d taste like. I live on instant coffee when I’m at school, with no easy access to a real ‘bucks, and come finals time, it’s even worse. I first tried it at home, and couldn’t stomach it. I’m used to their instant coffee packets that have a little sugar and flavoring already blended in. This is just straight-up ground coffee, which I’ve basically never had before. I thought these would go to waste, until I put 3 packets of Truvia in a cup and it turned out pretty good. I could still taste the coffee, and this particular blend has actually grown on me, but it wasn’t so bitter. I’m planning on trying it with a little mint chocolate soy milk, which will hopefully be even better. Here’s to our newfound relationship, Christmas Blend!

5. My planner is becoming one big countdown book 

This is just one of many!

You do not want to know how many pages are devoted to counting down to break. I have a count down for every day on the daily part of the planner, plus several in the extra pages, including how many weekends left on campus and how many class hours are left. I am a desperate woman with too much time on my hands, that’s for sure! Except scratch that last part, I don’t have that much time to waste but I do it anyway. Sorryimnotsorry.

6. Why does every little thing become so stressful around finals time?

Just don't be this girl!

The stupidest things ever are stressing me out right now. Like I opened my fridge door and as usual, all the stuff in the door flew out, including my mint chocolate soymilk, which ended up spilling all over the floor. Awesome. I practically had a meltdown about it, and there’s still a stain on the carpet because I was too stressed out to properly clean it up. Or when my purple pen stopped working the other day, I almost teared up. It’s just a stupid pen. But really, the littlest stuff sets me off right now. You’ve been warned.

7. I miss my sweet potatoes

'Nuff said.

I’ve mentioned the apparent sweet potato shortage in my area before, but coming back from Thanksgiving break with only one sweet potato with me is a crime. Considering I enjoyed one probably 4 times over break just makes me miss them even more. I’ve only got one, so I’ve gotta make it count. Wow, how pathetic am I?

What little things have been stressing you out? What is your favorite TJs product (if you have one near you) or what would be your favorite product (if you had one near you)? 

Who New?

Heeeeeeey there! Glad to see there was a lot of Whole Foods lovin’ going on around here. I will hopefully be getting my cook/bake on in less than 2 weeks and making some or all of those things.

So lately in my life there’s been a lot of new stuff, which is always fun and exciting. So obviously, I had to make a little play on words (get it–who knew…who new…new things?) because that’s how I roll. So lets run down the list of new-ish things, shall we?

Who new…voluminous oats could change my life?

Dark chocolate java raspberry almond voluminous oats. Probably the best combo I've ever created, just sayin'.

Ignore the crapalicious quality of the pic, it was taken at like 9 pm. Cinnamon raisin voluminous oats. See how much they fill up the bowl?

 Ever since I discovered the joy of oats, I’ve been hooked. I’ve been whipping up overnight oats almost every day since this May, and I haven’t gotten sick of them yet. But…no more. I found CCK’s Voluminous Oatmeal Trick and I’ve abandoned my beloved overnighters in favor of thick, fluffy, volume-filled oats. Sure, I still eat them cold (for some reason, they are just SO good that way) but now they actually take a little prep work, which I don’t mind at all. Sure, they tend to spill in the micro which is annoying, but who wouldn’t want double the oats for the same amount of calories? I was shocked at the amount of oats my usual 1/4 cup made when I used this method. And the texture is pure awesomeness. Do I miss my overnighters? Well, yeah, but not enough to quit my addiction to voluminous oats!

Who new…Iron Chef America would do a challenge with oatmeal?

Okay, okay, so this episode isn’t exactly new (I found out it was from the 2010 season) but I just saw it for the first time on the Food Network a week or so ago. Usually, they do things like exotic veggies or something, but oatmeal? So cool to see for a self-proclaimed oats lover like me.

Who new…I’d have issues signing up for next semester’s classes?

My schedule so far. I'm still waiting on one class...

 Honestly, making your class schedule in college is way less stressful than in high school, at least at my university. But this year, I was freaking out because I need this one class to get an internship at a TV station this summer, and it’s a class mostly for juniors and seniors. I’m a sophomore. So I had to sign up for classes later, because of my class standing. A few days before my sign up date, there were only 4 slots out of 18 left. The day before, there were 2. And when I finally signed up for it, there was exactly one left. Yep, I got the last spot! I was so ecstatic to get it that I texted my dad about it. But signing up for other ones was more of a hassle. I need an additional comp class, and it’s a 300 level, so I thought I’d be able to get in no problem. Well…it wouldn’t let me, since I’m not a junior or senior. Urgh, what classes do they expect me to take then? I’ve already got most of my graduation requirements done or currently being finished. A lot of upper level journalism classes were already filled or didn’t work with the class I already signed up for. In the end, I’m taking two American history classes (for my option area, which is like a minor but less official), broadcast news and a weather and climate class (I’m considering being a TV meteorologist!). I also finally got into a TV studio production class that I needed an override for and I’m waiting on a business reporting workshop class to open up. If I get that, my spring semester looks pretty decent, no real math or science classes and a lot of journalism and history, which I love.

Who new…you can make a healthified sopapilla with just two ingredients?

Vintage-ized "sopapilla" picture.

 I can’t remember if I’ve ever actually had a sopapilla (maybe in a Spanish class fiesta a long time ago), but it wasn’t on my agenda to recreate one…but I did. A few nights ago, I was having a brown rice tortilla and on the side I had a little bit of honey. I was planning on making a wrap with the tortilla, honey, almond butter and butternut squash, but then I remembered how easily the tortillas fall apart. So I just ended up putting the honey in the tortilla, folding it over and well, it reminded me of a sopapilla for some reason! I mean, it actually does seem pretty similar to one, only way more healthy. Brown rice tortillas are pretty chewy like fried dough and putting honey on it sweetens it up just like with a real sopapilla. But you can feel good about eating this 2 ingredient “sopapilla” because it’s gluten-free, not fried and sweetened with just a little raw honey (well, if you use the ingredients I did). It makes a perfect little sweet snack.

Who new…cauliflower could be purple?

Purple overload! Purple cauliflower in a purple mini colander.

 I gotta admit, I was pretty weirded out myself when I first saw it at Whole Foods. But they were giving out samples of raw colored cauli and I just had to try it. It’s actually the same as regular cauliflower, just prettier. I always eat my cauli raw because it’s delish that way, especially dipped in spicy salsa!

Who new…I’d actually order something from iHerb?

My iHerb goodies. I Picnik'd this photo, in case you were wondering why it looks weird!

I’ve been dying to try ordering something from iHerb, but never got up the nerve until I saw a $5 off code I could use on my first order. Well, I knew right away what my first purchase would be–PB2! I have always wanted to try it, but didn’t really want to pay a lot for shipping and stuff on Amazon. With the $5 off, the chocolate PB2 was basically free, except for a measly $2 for shipping. Not half bad! And the verdict: so yummy! I think it’s fairly similar to peanut flour (probably my next purchase) and the chocolate doesn’t overpower the peanutty taste. And I love that it was so cheap. Overall, I really had a good experience with iHerb…and they included a little freebie in my package–some weird mushroom-infused coffee. Ermmmm, what? I guess I’ll try it, but I’m expecting to gag 😛

Oh, and P.S. for any of you who want to check out iHerb for the first time, you can use the code NOQ779. You can thank me later 😉 Just kidding, but iHerb is my new go-to for foodie finds.

And finally, thanks to the beautiful Brittany who awarded me with the Liebster award! How nice of her 😀

 

Liebster’ is German for ‘dearest’ or ‘beloved’ but it can also mean ‘favorite.’ The idea behind this award is to bring attention to blogs with fewer than 200 followers and show some support.
The rules of winning this award are as follows:

1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.

2. Reveal 5 of your top picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

3. Post the award on your blog.

4. Enjoy the love and support of some wonderful people on the www!

So I’m gonna give it to… Chloe at LightOnMyFeet, Aja at Writing and Recovering, Michelle at Oats ‘n Bows, Kat at A Dash of Fairydust and Ragnhild at Vegan Aphrodite.

What’s new with you? Have you ever bought anything from iHerb?

WIAW: A Day in the Life

Have you ever wanted to see what someone else does in a day? I mean, WIAW is one thing (a good thing) but have you ever been curious about what a blogger does besides eating? Are you kidding me–all we do is eat 😉 Just kidding!

You asked for it (not really!) and here it is…a typical day in my life (inspired by Tara’s post last week)! Plus the usual WIAW eats in the appropriate spots throughout the day!

DISCLAIMER: My life is really not all that exciting so be warned 😉 Oh, and this is what a typical Tuesday/Thursday looks like (since it’s my busier day)…Monday/Wednesday/Friday and weekends are totally different.

7:00 a.m. Wake up. Get mad at my iPod alarm (just kidding!). Do my biz-nass (aka bathroom) and probably crawl back in bed for like 5 minutes.

7:20 ish to 8:15. Make and devour breakfast. Have the Today Show on tv but don’t really watch it (yeah, idk why I do this, but it feels better than just getting ready in silence). Brush teeth, makeup, hair, get dressed. I usually plan my outfits a week in advance ’cause I’m cool like that!

A day without overnight oats at least once...does not happen for me! Dark chocolate overnighters topped with half a Kashi cherry vanilla cereal bar. The toppings are always the best part!

8:15 to 8:35. Catch up on blog reading. Pack up all my school stuff. Check, recheck and recheck again that I have my keys (don’t wanna risk getting locked out!). Walk down 3 flights of stairs and head out to my first class.

9 to 9:50. Stats class. Ugh, can I just say how much I wish I was done with math already? I thought the basic math class I took last year was it, but nooooooo! I’m almost 99% positive this will be my last math class, though.

Yes, I'm totally rolling my eyes at stats class. Ugh, get me outta there 😦

10 to 11. Turn in stats recitation work. I never go to recitation (’cause it’s so lame and not required) so I always have to turn in the homework on Tuesday. Then I walk around campus until my next class, or end up stuck in the library printing something off for another class. I’m pretty much printing something every other day. I need to get a life printer.

11 to 12:15. American West Since 1900 class. So far, I’m liking this class. I love U.S. history, and Western history is even more exciting for me. Unfortch, we have a hugh jass paper due the week before Thanksgiving, but otherwise it’s okay.

12:15 to 12:50. Read blogs and eat lunch. I always go over to the building next door because it’s close and it has a bunch of awesome comfy seating. The internet kinda sucks in there, but oh well. I always have to eat on-the-go on Tuesday and Thursday since it doesn’t pay to walk all the way back to my room for like 10 minutes and then have to walk back. I usually pack a bar of some sort (my faves are Clif Mojo Mountain Mix and Pure Chocolate Brownie bars) since they’re not messy and some fruit and carrots. I’m so glad it’s apple season because apples are totally portable.

I love random lunch combos. Lately I've been feeling the AB&J vibe, so I paired Archer Farms almond butter with organic grape jelly, Kashi crackers and frozen nanner slices. All eaten on my colorful bed.

1 to 2:50. Newswriting class. If you think this class sounds really long, you’re right. It’s because it includes a “lab” component, which is not really a lab in our case, but more like newswriting assignments and practice. I actually love the class, because it’s for my major. Plus we do fun things like go on “field trips” and my professor is so chill. Love it!

2:50 to 3:05. Head back to my room. My walks have sucked a little bit lately, because of my foot pain. It’s gotten a little better, so I hope it’s healing and not a serious injury.

3:10 to 3:45. Snack time. I also squeeze a “cardio blast” circuit workout in there, and some minutes of yoga.

I just realized that they make the superfruits Oikos flavor in a 4 pack so I had to get it. It's my current fave flavor of Greek yogurt.

3:45 to 6. Homework. Well, in an ideal world this is what I’d be doing. In the real world, however, I usually end up looking up random things on the internet, like recipes or clothes, and then realize how much time has passed. Then I actually start doing homework.

6:30 ish to 7. Dinner time. It really depends on when I’m feeling hungry, but 6:30 is usually it. Now I can actually sit down and enjoy a meal without rushing. Of course, I can’t really cook (besides in the micro which doesn’t count) but at least it’s something. Oh, and btw, I almost always make my own dinner vs. going to the dining hall. I tried it a lot last year and I didn’t love it. When I do go, I usually end up grabbing something from the express area which is like a healthier convenience store or just get a salad from the salad bar.

If you think this dinner is bizarre and random, you are obviously not me! Raw broccoli and cauliflower (only way I will eat them is raw..try em dipped in salsa!), a few green mojo multigrain chips, AB&J overnight oats, with a side of People StyleWatch, aka my favorite fashion/celeb mag.

7:30 to 8. Shower. I’m one of those weirdos who showers at night. I’d rather not have to wake up any earlier than I already do to wait for my hair to dry, blah blah blah.

8 to 9. Blog reading and maybe watch TV. I just tend to put the TV on and not actually watch it–I like it for the background noise–but I will sometimes watch if it’s a show I love, like The Office or What Not to Wear.

9 to 9:15. Night time snack. I love having cereal, or maybe a Vitatop. Just something sweet and small to end my night.

Awh, my cereal ❤ s me! Well, I ❤ you too! Bear Naked Fit (triple berry) with frozen bananas. Can you tell I'm lovin' on the frozen bananas? Best. Fruit. Ever!

9:15 to 9:30. Get ready for bed. Brush teeth, PJs, all that.

9:30 to 11. Text my mommy. We text each other every night for like an hour and a half. It’s the highlight of my day.

Outfit of the day: lime green/white striped boat neck tee (American Eagle), slouchy skinny jeans (American Eagle). I love baggy jeans, y'all!

11 p.m. Go to bed (hopefully). I like to get 9 hours of sleep, so an early-ish bedtime is a must. Plus I get tired around this time anyway. Good night!

What is your favorite brand of Greek yogurt (I am a tried-and-true, hardcore Oikos fan! I also like Fage mango guanabana)?

What kind of jeans do you rock (I’m partial to slouchy and boy fit jeans but I’d love to try some skinnies–any tips on how to rock them? I’m still kinda scared to wear them.)?

What’s one part of your day that’s always the same?

Saturday Seven

Hey hey hey! Thanks for all the wonderful comments on my bucket list/WIAW post! I always love seeing new faces around here, so stick around if you like what you see 😀

I’ve been seeing a lot of Friday Five type posts lately (well, duh, it was just Friday!) so I wanted to do my own version of that: Saturday Seven! Basically it’s the same as the Friday Five, except it’s Saturday and there’s two more things–bonus!

1. Rekindling my love for yoga

I love my purple yoga mat--plus it matches my room!

 I love yoga, and I do it on a daily basis, but lately I haven’t been really into it. I pretty much forgot about my yoga mat since it’s been in my closet, so some of the poses haven’t been as comfortable, but with my mat back in action, I should be ready to get my yoga on!

2. Obsessing over new foodie products

This list will be added to, for sure!

 Not sure if you can read that list (my camera is sometimes weird with taking pics) but I’m currently on the lookout for Oikos frozen yogurt, Clif Peppermint Stick (new seasonal flavor–heck to the YES!) and White Chocolate Macadamia Mojo bars and Silk Mint Chocolate and Nog soy milks. I know that those last 2 exist, but it’s not quite time for them to reappear in stores–why can’t it be November already? The other things I have yet to see and they need to be in my life ASAP!

3. Resting my foot

Feet look really weird in pictures...

 The foot pain on my sole has yet to disappear, but since it’s the weekend and I have no classes to be at, I decided to take a break from walking on it and see if it speeds up the healing process. I’m also planning on icing it. I’m still really hoping it’s not a stress fracture…

4. Finishing off my almond butter

It's not quite ready for OIAJ, but almost!

 For once, I actually have a jar of almond butter. I usually get my AB from the grinders at Whole Foods, so it just comes in a little flimsy plastic container. This time, I got some AB from Super Target so it came in a jar…and it’s almost out! OIAJ time later this week 😀 I’d love to try the Almond Cashew Peanut butter next time–have any of you tried it yet?

5. Plowing through my to-do list

Augh, I'm buried in homework 😦

 I just get done with 2 tests in one day and now I’ve got another test on Tuesday, a bunch of homework and a paper due in 2 weeks? Yay school 😦 I’ve got most of the take home exam done, plus I organized my closet, vacuumed my room and did my online homework. All that’s left to do today is watch the new SNL 😉

6. Rockin’ my real glasses

You know you're jealous of me...

 While I wish my “nerdy” 3D glasses were my real glasses, they don’t have any lenses. And I actually need glasses. Usually I wear contacts but I was feeling kinda lazy and kinda smart today, so I decided to wear my glasses. I think they’re flippin’ awesome!

7. Organizing my closet

...and this is only part of it!

 Yes, I’m one of those obsessive, anal people who needs to have their closet organized by color. When I first unloaded all my crap stuff into my room at the beginning of the school year, I just hung things up based on category (like tanks, sweaters, shorts, etc.). But I was getting annoyed with that, so I organized it by color, just like it was at home. Now I feel so much better 😉

What have you been up to this weekend? Any new foodie products you really want to try but haven’t been able to find (another one of mine is peanut flour!)?