Feeling 22

Wow, where does the time go? I hate saying it because it’s such a cliche, but I can’t believe it’s August. Mostly because that means my birthday has come and gone…and I guess it’s time to talk about it!

The last four days of my birthday week were the best four days I’ve had in awhile. My family drove 10+ hours each way from Colorado to spend 5 days with me and I had so much fun. I honestly would not have wanted to spend my birthday any other way. And yes, I am feeling 22 😉

I don’t want to bore you with long descriptions of what went down (and believe me, I could go on and on) but I’ll just share some highlights of each day through pictures.

Thursday

My last day of work before an extended  (4 day) weekend. I spent the afternoon running errands, treating myself to an amazing green smoothie and getting my place ready for the fam. Once they got here, we went out to eat at Freebirds, a Chipotle-like place.

This stuff is worth the $7 price tag -- local and DELICIOUS.

This stuff is worth the $7 price tag — local and DELICIOUS.

 

Friday

Running some errands in the morning, pool time and then getting ready for the main event: Center of the Universe. I was SO excited for this alt rock music festival. It was freakin’ hot but Fitz and the Tantrums were incredible, 21 Pilots was also pretty cool (AWOLNATION was there too but we left during their set) and the falafel I got for dinner was amazing.

Getting ready for Fitz with my sissy.

Getting ready for Fitz with my sissy.

High-tech wristbands.

High-tech wristbands.

Watching local act Fiawna Forte from afar.

Watching local act Fiawna Forte from afar.

"Street" falafel, cucumber salad, spicy mango sauce, hummus and cabbage slaw for dinner in the hot hot sun.

“Street” falafel, cucumber salad, spicy mango sauce, hummus and cabbage slaw for dinner in the hot hot sun.

Right next to the famous Cain's ballroom.

Right next to the famous Cain’s ballroom.

The main attraction: Fitz and the Tantrums! So amazing live :)

The main attraction: Fitz and the Tantrums! So amazing live 🙂

 

Saturday

Pool time was a big theme for the day, as well as buying some fun apartment decorations for me. We did some tourist-y sightseeing around town at some landmarks. Dinner was at a taco place downtown — I got some tasty fried avocado tacos with black beans and these delicious roasted sweet potatoes. And then some Netflix and games at my apartment with the fam.

Pretty flowers on a tree.

Pretty flowers on a tree.

Largest praying hands in the world on the campus of ORU.

Largest praying hands in the world on the campus of ORU.

The Golden Driller.

The Golden Driller.

The real Center of the Universe, for which the music festival was named. It's a spot in the middle of a bridge where your voice echoes in a really cool way.

The real Center of the Universe, for which the music festival was named. It’s a spot in the middle of a bridge where your voice echoes in a really cool way.

Sunday

The big day! I really wanted to go for a hike, so we hit Turkey Mountain in the morning for a quick hike with some great views of the city. More pool time since it was so hot and then getting ready for dinner at Laffa, a cool Mediterranean place downtown. I finally got the sweet potato fries I’ve been craving for months! And for the birthday dessert, we stopped at Whole Foods (of course) and then celebrated back home with a few presents (think owl-themed stuff mostly) and games…and more pool time.  

Awww, love this sign.

Awww, love this sign.

Love this view.

Love this view.

My "I need to go hiking more" face.

My “I need to go hiking more” face.

Getting ready for the big birthday dinner.

Getting ready for the big birthday dinner.

Sister selfie.

Sister selfie.

This was called "Forbidden Fruit" and it was incredible. It tasted like fruit punch but it wasn't artificial at all and had some kind of hibiscus-infused vodka in it.

This was called “Forbidden Fruit” and it was incredible. It tasted like fruit punch but it wasn’t artificial at all and had some kind of hibiscus-infused vodka in it.

My dinner spread. Laffa flatbread (which I LOVED, even though it wasn't GF), harissa carrots, cabbage slaw, red pepper hummus and TONS of unpictured sweet potato fries stolen from my dad.

My dinner spread. Laffa flatbread (which I LOVED, even though it wasn’t GF), harissa carrots, cabbage slaw, red pepper hummus and TONS of unpictured sweet potato fries stolen from my dad.

Feeling 22!

Feeling 22!

These candles were too cute to throw away!

These candles were too cute to throw away!

Monday

I was dreading this day because it was the last full day my family was here. But it was a blast! We went to the zoo and literally spent 4 or 5 hours wandering around checking out all the animals and exhibits. It was basically the biggest zoo I’ve ever been to! I got to see tons of my favorite animal — flamingos! And then it was off to a sushi place for dinner (I found a new go-to). 

Really colorful fish.

Really colorful fish.

Polka dotted lizard.

Polka dotted lizard.

My favorite <3

My favorite ❤

This giraffe totally devoured those trees.

This giraffe totally devoured those trees.

My kind of place.

My kind of place.

What’s your favorite zoo animal? What do you like doing for your birthday? 

Week through my iPhone

Ever notice how everyone always apologizes for ‘crappy’ iPhone photos? Ummmmm, crappy? Maybe it’s just because I came from an Android with a lame camera, but I love the iPhone 5 camera. Sure, it’s not like a DSLR but it takes gorgeous photos for a smartphone and who wants to drag around a huge camera everywhere? I know I take a lot more photos now that I have a nice phone.

So here’s some highlights of my past week, as seen through my iPhone lens.

My work outfit on Saturday. I love the pink+brown combo.

My work outfit on Saturday. I love the pink+brown combo.

I’m getting back into taking outfit selfies when I’m wearing something I feel cute in. This was my work outfit on Saturday and I only regretted it when I stopped by the farmer’s market after work and it started pouring. Sheer shirts+rain don’t exactly mix.

Homemade sweet potato hash.

Homemade sweet potato hash.

I don’t have time for elaborate meals anymore, so my “dinners” are usually thrown together things like snackplates or this sweet potato hash. This tastes incredible, but is really simple. I take a sweet potato, remove the skin, chop it up small in a food processor and blend it with sea salt, garlic powder, nooch and cayenne pepper. Then I throw it in a pan with coconut oil, spinach and hemp ‘tofu’. Then I toss it in a bowl and serve it with raw seeds and local hummus. I don’t even know how it’s so good, but it is.

Sweaty selfie after running my first 5K.

Sweaty selfie after running my first 5K.

I haven’t talked about it much yet, but I’ve started running in the past month. I just love living so close to an awesome running trail right by the river. I’ve been doing a walk-run approach because I’m still working up to running consistently, but I love it. My Achilles’ was also injured for about a week but buying actual running shoes has helped. I ran my first unofficial 5K on Monday and I’m so excited for my running future. I can finally run about 10-12 minutes at a time with no walking breaks!

My huge produce haul from Whole Foods.

My huge produce haul from Whole Foods.

In the summer I spend SO much on produce. Like, this was literally half of what I spent at Whole Foods this weekend. I’m basically obsessed with watermelon, fresh berries, lettuce and cauliflower at the moment. All devoured straight from the fridge. That yellow ball up front is a new melon I spotted called a Fonzy melon. It’s really soft and sweet, like a subtle cross between honey and vanilla.

I have a thing for jumpsuits now.

I have a thing for jumpsuits now.

I’m getting more adventurous with my fashion choices and I don’t hate it. I never thought I could pull off a jumpsuit, but it helps that I found one that doesn’t drown me and has some cute ruffly details to add some interest. The fact that this was $13 at American Eagle is even better. Now I want #allthejumpsuits.

This deliciousness was consumed within 15 minutes.

This deliciousness was consumed within 15 minutes.

I stopped at a cute little juice bar near the outdoor shopping center where I got my jumpsuit. I’ve been dying for some fresh juice/smoothies since it’s been so hot and humid here. I got the “Summer Love”, which has blueberries, grapes, pineapple, peaches, dates, vanilla, chia seeds and coconut water. Basically all of my favorite things. It was kind of a cross between a fresh-pressed juice and a smoothie with a thicker texture and I loved it. I can see myself making more stops here in the future. The fact that it’s less than a 10 minute drive from work sweetens the deal.

What’s been going on in your life lately?

What I’m Loving Wednesday: Part 1

Thanks for all the advice, support and helpful words on my last post! I always get a little anxious before posting my more open posts, especially regarding my eating disorder recovery, but then I’m always blown away (in a good way) by the responses I get. So thanks, as always!

Instead of doing WIAW this week (let’s be honest, I forget to take food pics, even though I’m not as busy anymore) I wanted to share some of the things I’ve been loving this week. Maybe this will become a regular kind of post, we’ll see!

Work-appropriate dresses

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I feel like I’ve been shopping sooooo much lately, and I kinda have, just to use up my Christmas/graduation $$$. It’s finally all gone after 4 shopping trips, and my latest one lat weekend gave me 3 new dresses I can add to my work wear. Yeah, so I’m not working just yet, but I want to be ready for when I do get my first job, and all of these dresses will look great on camera and off. Plus each of the dresses (1 from H&M, 2 from Forever 21) were inexpensive YET fairly well-made, so I’m hoping they’ll last a long time. I may not be able to wait til I’m working to wear them…I love them so much I want to wear them NOW!

Starbucks black iced coffee

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I don’t go to Starbucks as regularly as I did my last year and a half of college (2-3 times per month) but sometimes I still want to treat myself to some quality ‘bucks time. Last Friday was warm–60 degrees–and sunny, so it was the perfect time to grab my favorite drink, a black iced coffee. I know it’s so simple, and maybe boring, but it’s got a great flavor that’s even better with just a little stevia added. I love that I could drink an iced drink in January, when most of the country was dealing with sub-freezing temperatures and snow. It was good I got my iced coffee fix when I did, because it finally snowed on Monday…but I’m sure iced coffee weather will be back again in a week!

Someecards

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Someecards are the best, aren’t they? So accurate to life, and better than regular old cards. They just get my sarcastic sense of humor. The one above was taken from a Buzzfeed post my dad shared with me that was supposed to be the different U.S. states summed up in a postcard, and meant to be offensive. Sorry, but the Colorado one is pretty darn accurate but not that offensive. Whole Foods is one of the best stores ever–why wouldn’t a state want to be like Whole Foods? That’s actually something I’ll miss a lot about Colorado if I end up moving elsewhere for my first job–it has so many Whole Foods and health stores (still no Trader Joes til February though!)

Sunwarrior protein powder

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I’ve had Sunwarrior before a few times, but I wasn’t really a fan of how chalky and powdery it was. Until I tried the classic blend. This stuff is way creamier and tastes even better than the warrior blend. The vanilla is so rich and creamy it’s almost hard to believe it’s a raw vegan protein powder. I’ve been loving a scoop of it for breakfast (16 grams of protein!) mixed with unsweetened almond milk and a little coconut flour and topped with fresh fruit.

Plaids+leggings

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I love my dresses and skirts, but sometimes I want to dress a little more casually. Black leggings (from American Eagle in the picture) look sleek and chic while still being comfy and they pair well with buffalo plaid shirts. I wore this on a day I was just hanging around the house doing laundry and such but it would be just as cute for running errands or grabbing some Starbucks paired with black riding boots and an oversize tote bag!

What have you been loving this week?

Currently: January

I’m writing this post from my tablet since my laptop decided to freak out on me and not turn on. All I gotta say is, thank God this didn’t happen last year when I had to write papers and I’m also glad I got a bluetooth keyboard for Christmas. It makes post-writing on a tablet a little easier!

Current Book: Ha, me read books? When I’m not in school anymore? I’ve been taking a much-needed hiatus from all books since finals week but maybe in a few months I’ll relearn how to read for pleasure!

Current Music: I’m back on the alt music train after Christmas. I’m really loving Tennis Court by Lorde. Yes, I know everyone’s still gaga over Royals, but lets be honest, that song came out on Alt Nation last summer and was only recently picked up by the masses. I prefer some of her lesser known songs.

Current Guilty Pleasure: So Delicious brand no sugar added chocolate coconut-milk ice cream. I know, I know, who says sugar free ice cream is a ”guilty pleasure”? Honestly, it’s not really other than the fact that it costs $6/pint at Whole Foods and is sweetened with erythritol (which is better than most fake sweeteeners). Really though, it tastes like the fudgsicles from my childhood and who wouldn’t want that?

Current Nail Color: Actually not the color I’m wearing now (that would be Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in Pacific blue) but before this, they were an OPI red covered with Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear gold glitter.

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Perfect for Christmas!

Current Drink: Waterrrrr. How boring can I get?

Current Food: Homemade PB&J and protein raisinet (raisins+chocolate protein powder+cocoa powder) balls, grain free vegan pizza, romain lettuce+dates, raw jalapeno sunflower seeds from bulk bins at Whole Foods, eggplant, peanut butter+melted coconut oil.

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This is way better than delivery!

Current TV Show: The Newsroom, as usual. My dad and I only have one more episode of the 1st season left on Netflix 😦 Then we have to wait awhile til season 2 comes out on DVD.

Current Celebrity Crush: Mila Kunis. She looked stunning at the Golden Globes (when does she not?) and she’s always an amazing actress, whether in funny movies like Ted or more serious ones like Black Swan. Plus I love her voice–it makes me feel less self-conscious for havng a low(er) voice.

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So gorg!

Current Wishlist: More blazers (I have a newfound obsession with work-appropriate AND cute clothes), more money left on my iTunes giftcard so I can buy more songs I’ve been wanting for awhile, for it to be spring already (I’m already sick of winter and we haven’t even gotten it that bad yet), for my doctor’s appointment next month to be helpful (there is probably some serious underlying issue that will explain my skin problems/digestive woes/lack of period for almost 9 months).

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I have an addiction...to clothes shopping!

Current Triumphs: Keeping up with applying to jobs (more on that below), trying to reconnect with my sister (we got in a huge fight last week and I’ve been trying to show her how much I care
about her, even if she doesn’t have time for me right now), working on feeling confident in myself in various ways.

Current Bane of Existence: Not hearing back yet from ANY of the jobs I’ve applied to. I know it’s only been a few weeks or even days for some of them (the first application was sent out on December 28) but I dunno, I was expecting to at least hear something, at least confirmation that the stations I applied to received my resume/cover letter. My dad said it may take a few MONTHS to even hear anything, which is discouraging. I’m going to keep plugging away though and applying to at least 3 TV stations each week. I’m just so impatient–I want a job NOW!

Current Outfit: This was actually from when I went shopping in Denver with my mom this past weekend. The sweater is new, from Christmas, and I love the slightly cropped length and lace detail. The jeggings are my new favorite, black, from American Eagle and scored for only $13!

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Monochromatic but still cute.

What are some of your currentlies?

(Almost) Wordless Weekend

I feel like I haven’t blogged in forever, but really, it’s only been 5 days. It’s been quite the whirlwind of 5 days though and a LOT has changed, though it doesn’t quite feel like it yet…

Instead of boring you with the details of my (amazing) weekend, I’ll just share some of my favorite pictures from the last 3 ish days. It’s still crazy to me that Christmas is in less than 2 days now, since I just moved out of my apartment this morning and I’m finally home for the holidays. I’m planning on ‘celebrating’ tonight with some Whole Foods salad bar action 😉

Ashley-sized mojito at Luscious Nectar downtown to celebrate being done with finals with some friends.

Ashley-sized mojito at Luscious Nectar downtown to celebrate being done with finals with some friends.

 

Fun (and cheap) Target finds. Navy blue wedges, sparkly gold nail polish, under $10 for both.

Fun (and cheap) Target finds. Navy blue wedges, sparkly gold nail polish, under $10 for both.

Getting ready before graduation on Saturday.

Getting ready before graduation on Saturday.

 

Getting pumped to be a college grad!

Getting pumped to be a college grad!

Leaving for the commencement ceremony.

Leaving for the commencement ceremony. It was so cold, I was glad I wore pants!

 

First selfie as a college graduate.

First selfie as a college graduate.

My mom and me after the ceremony :)

My mom and me after the ceremony 🙂

My family held up signs for me, how cute!

My family held up signs for me, how cute!

 

Caught in the act of taking a selfie!

Caught in the act of taking a selfie!

The amazing vegan reuben on gluten free bread at my favorite vegan restaurant in FoCo.

The amazing vegan reuben on gluten free bread at my favorite vegan restaurant in FoCo.

 

Cute lamb slippers at Bath & Body Works shopping for my mom's Christmas presents.

Cute lamb slippers at Bath & Body Works shopping for my mom’s Christmas presents.

 

 

Soy skinny peppermint mocha and some sister and dad time at Starbucks after shopping.

Soy skinny peppermint mocha and some sister and dad time at Starbucks after shopping. My first Starbucks drink in 3 weeks!

I am so thankful I had the opportunity to attend the school that I did, have an amazing experience there, and was able to graduate in 3 1/2 years without too much stress! This weekend was incredibly fun (and busy) so I’m ready for Christmas and some down time before I start the job search. I still can’t believe I’m living the post-grad life haha.

Enjoy your holidays, and have a happy New Year if I don’t talk to you before then!

What did you do this weekend?

 

Post-Thanksgiving (No) Blues

Do you ever feel let down after a holiday is over? I almost always do, especially after Christmas. It’s always a little sad to have to take everything down, and move on to real life again. I’m usually a little upset after Thanksgiving is over, usually because it means that I have to go back to school in a few days. This year, though, I’m kind of ready for Thanksgiving break to be over. Not that break was bad–I really needed the time off from school–but I’m more than ready for the semester, and my time in college, to be over. Senioritis, much?!

Even though break is almost over, and I’m itching to go back to school and finish up the semester strong (just 8 more days of classes, then finals) I’ve definitely enjoyed Thanksgiving break while it lasted. It was pretty low-key, mostly just plenty of time spent with my parents and sister and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But I also had some pretty delicious food (on Thanksgiving Day and otherwise), did some retail therapy pre-Black Friday (it was way less crazy to shop on Wednesday) and even got some school stuff done.

Snow on campus to kick off Thanksgiving break.

Snow on campus to kick off Thanksgiving break.

I love the Mexican-inspired dishes at Native Foods!

I love the Mexican-inspired dishes at Native Foods!

Caught up on a few episodes of my new favorite show--The Newsroom.

Caught up on a few episodes of my new favorite show–The Newsroom.

Native Foods leftovers. Ensalada Azteca salad+sweet potato fries and some black beans, sauerkraut and pomegranate seeds.

Native Foods leftovers. Ensalada Azteca salad+sweet potato fries and some black beans, sauerkraut and pomegranate seeds.

I was feeling the navy blue on Black Friday. Cardigan: American Eagle. Strapless checked peplum top: Abercrombie & Fitch (hand-me-down from my younger sister). Dark wash jeggings: American Eagle. Necklace: American Eagle.

I was feeling the navy blue on Black Friday. Cardigan: American Eagle. Strapless checked peplum top: Abercrombie & Fitch (hand-me-down from my younger sister). Dark wash jeggings: American Eagle. Necklace: American Eagle.

Pumpkin nog banana softserve. Made with pumpkin puree+Califia Farms almond milk nog+frozen bananas and topped with cinnamon and pecans.

Pumpkin nog banana softserve. Made with pumpkin puree+Califia Farms almond milk nog+frozen bananas and topped with cinnamon and pecans.

Desert-like field near my house.

Desert-like field near my house.

Thanksgiving snack plate in lieu of lunch. Date+romaine wraps, sweet potato chips, olives, homemade guac, Skinny Crisps.

Thanksgiving snack plate in lieu of lunch. Date+romaine wraps, sweet potato chips, olives, homemade guac, Skinny Crisps.

The cutest car ever, spotted on a walk through the neighborhood.

The cutest car ever, spotted on a walk through the neighborhood.

Parnsip mash, with olive oil, sea salt and garlic.

Parnsip mash, with olive oil, sea salt and garlic.

Maple orange shredded brussels sprout salad.

Maple orange shredded brussels sprout salad.

Sweet potato fritters coated in pumpkin seeds+pistachios.

Sweet potato fritters coated in pumpkin seeds+pistachios.

Raw caramel pecan pie topped with cacao sauce and more pecans and raisins.

Raw caramel pecan pie topped with cacao sauce and more pecans and raisins.

I have some exciting (well, for me) plans for my time post-Thanksgiving. It might seem a little cliché to be hyperfocused on clean eating after the holidays, but that isn’t what I’m intending my plan to be about. I’m going to be avoiding all added sugars for the next two to three weeks and trying to get back to eating more whole foods. I generally do pretty well with this, but I also sometimes buy some cleaner packaged foods that happen to have added sugars. Things like store-bought buckwheat rawnola or the Larabars with chocolate chips aren’t necessarily unhealthy, but all those added sugars do add up, and I know I feel my best when eating foods without added sugars. So what will I be eating the next few weeks? I’m not going to be drastically changing anything, just focusing more on fruits, veggies, nuts and nut butters (with nothing added), beans and lentils and some raw stevia-sweetened protein powder. I will not be avoiding stevia during this mini-challenge because I feel like it’s a healthier alternative to sugar and I don’t tend to go overboard with it, so it’ll be nice to still allow it in my diet in things like stevia chocolate chips, black coffee and homemade desserts. I don’t think this challenge is coming from a disordered place–I just want to be more mindful of what I’m eating because added sugars are in EVERYTHING, and even the sweeteners I feel comfortable with (maple syrup, coconut sugar and raw honey) are much better in small amounts. So hopefully this challenge will help me realize that I can live without added sugars in my life. And I will definitely keep you all up to date on how this goes for me!

Do you ever feel sad when the holidays are over? How do you feel about post-holiday eating plans?

Happiness

What is happiness? I think it means different things for everyone, but there are some universal things that make most of us happy in some way or another. With that, I’m sharing a fun little list Emily posted the other day…feel free to repost with your own answers!

8 Things Every Happy Woman Should Have 

  • A go-to drink: For me, it’s sangrias (love the white wine versions especially), cider on the rocks (I had a really good one a few weeks ago) and homemade margs. And for daily drinks, water always.
  • A go-to karaoke song: Anything Lady Gaga. Her songs just pump me up like no other.
  • A uniform: colored skinny jeans (especially burgundy), faux leather jacket, riding boots, statement necklace or loop scarf
  • A hair stylist they love: I’ve switched stylists a lot over the years, so I’m going to change this one to hair style. I love my hair in big curls with full bangs.
  • An exercise routine: At home workouts 7 days per week, with some walking thrown in as well.
  • A hobby: Grocery/clothes shopping, blogging, yoga, cooking.
  • A best friend: my sister, always and forever. And at the moment, a really close friend I’ve made through working together and having classes together. I’m going to miss her a LOT when I graduate but we’re hoping someday we end up at the same TV station!
  • A healthy sense of self: I feel like I’ve really grown a lot in the past year. Maybe it’s partly because I’m almost a college grad (scary!) but I’ve been maturing and becoming more independent and focusing less on things I used to freak out about. I can’t say I don’t worry about things anymore, but I’m trying to let life happen and just being okay with whatever comes my way. And I’m excited for the future.
Selfies make me feel good, too #noshame.

Selfies make me feel good, too #noshame.

What makes YOU happy?