On My (Wish) List

I don’t know about you, but I always made a “wishlist” of what I wanted before Christmas and birthdays when I was younger. Okay, let’s be honest, I still do that. I don’t really like surprises (unless they’re really good ones) so I’d rather give people a list of things I want so they don’t end up getting me something that won’t be used/worn. I’m just trying to be proactive. Anyways, I’ve also been compiling a wishlist of sorts for things I want this month–in life, with food and fashion and at school. So what’s on my list?

School

  • Survive the next two weeks. This sounds a little extreme, but I get a little anxious around Thanksgiving break time. I still can’t believe it’s already November, so now I’m stressing about some of the assignments I have to work on before I can go home for an extended break (10 days, baby!) There’s no tests (thank God!) or major assignments but I should probably do some things so they’re not hanging over me over the break. And I just want it to be break already, so it’s hard to focus on writing papers and reading textbooks but I know I’ve gotta do it. Just 9 more days of classes!
  • Appreciate my time at CTV more. I can’t believe there’s only 3 more weeks of broadcasts left in this semester…where has the time gone? I’ve loved being able to report the weather every week but I haven’t really appreciated it as much as I should have (I’ve also complained a lot about my crew position, but it’s really not that bad). Hopefully I’ll be able to do this again next semester but I still need to be grateful for the few weeks I have left this semester.

Food

  • Vega maca chocolate bar and saviseed snacks

I love all the Vega products I’ve tried, especially their vanilla protein powders. I just wish they weren’t so expensive! But they recently came out with some new ‘superfood’ products that I’m really intrigued by. The maca chocolate bar provides a big dose of B12, which is always needed in a vegan diet, and the saviseed is a complete protein and has more omega-3s than wild salmon! How’s that for a healthy snack? Plus it comes in a caramelized and chocolate version, and who can pass up that? I haven’t seen either in stores but I was thisclose to buying the saviseed in my recent iHerb order…too bad it’s 9 bucks for a bag though!

  • Garden of Life RAW Vanilla Spiced Chai protein powder

I literally picked this up the other day while I was at Whole Foods (it’s a Whole Foods exclusive flavor)…and then put it down. I just didn’t want to spend the money right then when I had just ordered some peanut flour and already had some vanilla protein powder at home. However, I am almost out of my chocolate version of this powder so I may get this one to replace it even though it’s not the same flavor. It just sounds so good, and I loved the chocolate. This protein powder is actually priced pretty well for a plant-based, raw protein powder.

  • A decent Whole Foods salad bar box

I’m hoping I can fulfill this over Thanksgiving break. Because as much as I love the Whole Foods in my college town (it’s so close and well-stocked), it has a crappy selection of salad bar items most of the time. There are rarely many vegan options, and if there are, they’re totally processed (like faux chick’n salad). The WF near my house, however, is awesome. They almost always have an amazing selection of salad bar things and I can usually find something new to try, and it’s always worth the price. At the beginning of the school year, I would get the salad bar from the WF up here once every other week and I was usually not thrilled. I decided to stop wasting my money, but I still miss my WF salad bar dinners.

Life

  • Enjoy the upcoming weekend with my family. My family is coming up to visit me this next weekend because my dad has something to do in a nearby town (well, not actually nearby, it’s the next state over but my college town is close to the state border) so my mom and sister decided to tag along too. Don’t get me wrong, I love being with my family but the visit is stressing me out. I’m worrying that I won’t be able to workout as much as I usually do, I won’t be able to eat my normal meals (because they might seem restrictive/weird) and that I have to be the ‘perfect’ hostess the whole time. But I want to enjoy next weekend, so I need to just remind myself that it’s a few days and I won’t die/get fat/lose my fitness. Besides, we all need breaks once in awhile.
  • Plan for Thanksgiving break. This kinda ties into food, but I also just want to have an enjoyable break from school without worrying about the same things I mentioned above. I need to make sure I bring all my stuff home that I need to feel comfortable and try to plan ahead so I don’t have to do school things over break.

Fashion

  • Riding boots

I’ve been looking all over, and I’ve seen some that I love, but right now I just don’t have the money for any of them! Why do nice boots have to be so expensive? I’m planning on asking for a pair for Christmas because I really like/need them–they’re so versatile.

  • Sparkly Sperry’s

Ummmm, how cute are these? Unfortunately, they’re around 100 bucks, aka not affordable. I kinda want to ask for them for Christmas, but that would take out an even bigger chunk of my list than the boots, and I don’t want to just get some shoes for Christmas, you know? So maybe I’ll save up my money for awhile…

  • Abercrombie & Fitch colored jeggings

What can I say, I’ve fallen head-over-heels in love with jeggings! I’m especially diggin’ the colored pairs, like this awesome blue-colored one from A&F. Actually, they have several colors I’m lusting over but some are very impractical…like the bright orange pair.

What’s on your “wishlist”? Do you like Sperry’s (or that style of shoe)?

Best of…November!

Can you believe it’s already December?! In less than a month, it’ll be a brand new year…how cray cray is that? It’s also my little sister’s birthday today–she’s sweet 16! Sheesh, she’s growing up so fast! I feel old 😉

I started this “Best of…” thing last month and it got such a great response that I thought I’d do it again. Besides, it’s fun to look back at my old posts from the past month. So here we go!

Best Foodie Post: What I (Wish I Ate) From Whole Foods

I loved hearing about all of your love for Whole Foods. It made me feel like less of a freak for basically being obsessed with that store 😛

Best Information: Who New?

Okay, to be honest it wasn’t that informative but I’d like to think so! It was just fun sharing some of my random updates.

Best Discussion: Too Much Fruit?

The responses to this post were amazing! They made me smile and reassured me that my obsession with fruit is okay! Fruit is healthy, and while everything in moderation is a good idea to live by, no one should feel guilty for enjoying their daily fruit habit.

Best Recipe: Festive Garland Bars

This one was actually really hard for me to decide on, since I made a lot of recipes this month, especially over Thanksgiving break. But this ended up being the winner, because I made a lot of substitutions to veganize it and they actually turned out quite amazing and addicting. I made two batches in one week, and they’re almost all gone now!

Best Recap Post: Simply Having a Wonderful Weekend Time!

Seriously, if you guys made it through this entire post, you are my hero! What was I thinking making it that long? Apparently a lot of stuff went down that weekend and I wanted to make sure I shared it all. It was a fun weekend though and hopefully all the foodie pics made the massive amounts of reading worth it 😀

What did you love most about November? I loved Thanksgiving break in general! What are you looking forward to in December? Winter break, Christmas and New Years Eve, baby!

 

What I’ve (Been Wanting to Eat) Wednesday

Hey ladiessssss I loved reading about all your Thanksgiving fun slash shopping adventures. I know I’m going to give H&M another chance, I just think it wasn’t such a great experience since a lot of stuff was picked over, but what can you expect the week of Black Friday?

Basically I haven’t taken any pictures since coming back from break, I’m just so burned out with projects, studying for finals and work stuff–I am so ready to be done. Thanksgiving was kinda like a little teaser for winter break so I’m hoping the next 15 days go by quickly so I can be outta here! But I love WIAW way too much to not participate in some way or another, so I decided to dig up some older food pics and make this week’s theme about things I’ve been wanting to eat lately.

I’m in the dorms, so it’s required to have a meal plan. Last year, I went a few times a week with my roommate (before our relationship got really awful) but then around October, I stopped going that much. Second semester was basically the same–I just wasn’t diggin’ the dining hall. Luckily I had a microwave in my room to cook stuff in. This year, I’ve been to the dining hall a whopping two times, and both were the first weekend of school. Yeah, can you say bad resident? The only thing that’s somewhat decent there is the salad bar, but I’m too lazy to go there. So I’ve been making do with my dorm, which this year is equipped with a micro and two fridges. Mini, of course, but still. And for the most part, I really love what I’ve been able to make in my room. But going home over break made me miss the oven and stove and grill and a real freezer and…you get the picture. Plus I miss being able to go out to eat occasionally with my fam, so this edition of WIAW is all about what I really want to eat.

Cinnamon-spiked apple, millet bread topped with crunchy AB and a date.

Breakfast: You know how much I miss being able to use a toaster? A LOT! I can’t ever have toast, or English muffins or waffles because of the stupid rule of not being able to have a toaster in the dorms. So dumb.

Qdoba naked veggie fajita burrito with grilled squash and onions, black beans, pico de gallo, cilantro lime rice and black beans.

Lunch: My lunches now are always something quick and easy, like some Greek yogurt and fruit or a Clif Mojo bar. But as much as I love those things, they get old fast. I haven’t been to Qdoba/Chipotle since I took this picture way back in August, and I miss their naked burritos, which are like a burrito in a bowl. I especially love the grilled veggies!

Yogurt mess with chocolate Oikos, vanilla Bear Naked granola and banana slices.

Snack: Okay, honestly, there’s nothing really stopping me from making a yogurt mess for snack. But…well…I haven’t. I’ve just been eating Greek yo’ on its own, or granola on its own, but not together. I guess I’m lazy?

Vegan Philly sandwich, carrots, waffle fries.

Dinner: This was something I made for mi familia way back during spring break. The inspiration just came to me randomly, and I decided to roll with it. I’ve never been a big Philly sandwich fan (since I never loved beef) but this vegan version was awesome. Seriously, try it! It was basically sautéed peppers and onions, vegan cheese slices and Gardein beefless tips. So easy but so delicious.

Raw brownie pie with raspbs and coffee froyo.

Dessert: Honestly, I was planning on making a version of my raw brownie pie topped with pumpkin Greek yogurt mousse over Thanksgiving break, but I already made the festive garland bars and didn’t want too many desserts around. Not that that’s a bad thing, since both are pretty healthy, but I didn’t want my mom getting on my case for making so many! But I really need to make a minty version of this over winter break. I’m going to experiment because I miss these delicious raw treats.

What have you been wanting to eat this week? Do you like Qdoba or Chipotle?

 

A Very Vegan Thanksgiving

Hi peeps! Hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving and Black Friday (if you live in the U.S.)! I am so sad that it’s over, mostly because I’m headed back up to campus tomorrow 😦 I’ve had such an amazing time this past week that I can’t believe break’s almost over. However, in less than 3 weeks, I’ll be back home for a whole MONTH! I ❤ college 😀

I decorated my little Christmas tree, even though I won't get to see it again for a couple of weeks. Ignore the toilet in the background, I am so classy 😉

Let’s back up to the day before Thanksgiving. I’ve never gone shopping on Black Friday before–I love shopping, but can’t handle the crowds and possibility of being attacked viciously by desperate shoppers 😯 My family decided to head up to Denver’s 16th Street Mall the day before Thanksgiving to try to avoid the crowds. We hit up the brand new H&M store first…where apparently a million other people also decided to go! So yeah, we did not end up avoiding the crowds. And unfortunately, the store was underwhelming. I mean, it looked cool inside, but it was packed and the clothes were kinda eh. I was definitely expecting more. I was considering buying a cute gold clutch, but I didn’t really think it was practical, so I passed. The only things I really wanted, a pair of cream knit legwarmers and a sequin skirt weren’t there or in my size so I left empty-handed. My sister and I also left Forever 21 without buying anything. They had more cute things than H&M, but I wasn’t really feeling it.

The lovely boots I was telling you about in my last post. I've already worn them out a few times!

What didn’t end up being a disappointment was Pinkberry. But then again, is froyo ever disappointing? Especially peppermint froyo? My mom and sister really wanted to try their seasonal peppermint flavor, so both of them got a cup topped with peppermint bark. I also got peppermint, but topped mine with just pomegranate seeds. Weird? Yes. But also really good. Don’t knock it til ya try it 😉

Another way I've been avoiding my homework--reading my fave magazine, People StyleWatch.

After walking around the pedestrian mall to kill some time, we drove across town to our favorite mall. We seriously go there quite a few times throughout the year, even though it’s probably 60 miles from our house. Dedicated shoppers right thurrrr 😛 But it is such a nice mall, and pretty huge. I just realized that it has an Anthropologie store–I may have to check that out next time we go there! Anyways, my sister and I were on a mission so we ditched our parents and headed straight for Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch. As I’ve said before, those are two of our favorite stores. I know they’re totally cliché or whatever, but we truly love them and don’t just shop there because it’s the ‘cool kid’ thing to do. We both ended up getting one thing at each store and with all the discounts we used, we ended up saving a ton of money. Love when that happens! Afterwards, we met up with our parents at the T-Mobile store. Our cell phone contract expires soon with them, so we wanted to play around with the phones and see what we might end up buying. A lot of them were really neat, but my mom ended up deciding later that we’re probably going to switch to AT&T. Fine with me, as long as they have awesome phones!

Navy striped pullover sweater from Hollister, red/navy plaid shirt from Abercrombie & Fitch, both for less than $50 total!

Can I have this sexy man for Christmas? Kthx.

Thursday was, of course, Thanksgiving. The food of T-Day is never my favorite part–I just love being with my family. The Macy’s parade was fun to watch and it was so nice to just spend the morning and afternoon relaxing while my mom slaved away in the kitchen. One of our traditions is to have snacks in the early afternoon instead of lunch and I was looking forward to that. I filled up a turkey-decorated paper plate with some of my fave snacks and then just chilled out on the deck with my madre and padre. It was so weird that it was warm enough to sit outside on Thanksgiving–usually it’s pretty cold and sometimes snows. But Colorado is so random weather-wise, I love it. After snacks, my dad and I went on a long walk and then came back and started prepping the brussels sprouts we were going to grill for dinner.

My T-Day outfit: grey wool duster cardi (A&F), grey floral tank (HCo.), coral culotte shorts (A&F), grey polka dot tights (Target). Sorry about my weird stance, I was trying unsuccessfully to show off the tights.

Snack plate lunch: Whole Foods kettle corn, jalapeno-stuffed green olives, local salsa, Whole Foods guac, bell pepper strips, green mojo multigrain chips, artichoke hummus. I went back for more kettle corn and chips latah!

Thanksgiving dinner was pretty quiet with just the four of us, but it was nice. My dinner ended up being all vegan, but it was kinda disappointing. I tried this field grain celebration roast that tastes exactly like stuffing. Unfortunately, I hate stuffing, but the roast wasn’t awful. The best part of my dinner by far was the baked sweet potato topped with a little maple syrup and some peanut flour sauce. Mmmmm, so darn tasty! What is it about sweet potatoes that’s so addicting? The sprouts turned out way too hard and dry, which was sad because I usually love ’em. You win some, you lose some. I tried a little of my mom’s stuffing, which she made vegan, but honestly, I still hate it. Sorry stuffing lovers! I might like a cornbread stuffing though so that may be tested out at next year’s feast. However, dessert is always the best part, hands-down. I had another piece of the festive garland bars I made (I’ve seriously had a piece of it every night since I made it on Monday–can you say obsessed?) and a slice of the pumpkin pie bars my mommy made. She also made these vegan especially for me, and they were super delicious, even better than a pumpkin pie. They were a little cakey and pretty sweet but so good.

My breakfast on T-Day: banana softserve topped with chocolate & PB Puffins and peanut flour sauce.

Friday I woke up later than I have in awhile (9 am!), had breakfast and just hung out for awhile. Lunch was a strange but yummy creation I’ve been enjoying this week. I cook up some butternut squash cubes, top them with black beans and some plain Greek yogurt mixed with a little guacamole. Then I pour on some really good salsa and crush some Late July mild green mojo chips on top. It seems so weird, but it’s actually good and kinda Mexican-y. I made something similar to it over summer break, but it was on top of lettuce instead. We ran out of lettuce this week, so I decided to use squash as the veggie base and it turns out just as good. Plus I’m obviously obsessed with anything orange.

I'm not even sure what to call this, except amazingly delicious!

Later on, my sister and I drove out to brave the Black Friday crowds get our Starbucks fix. The ‘bucks we went to was crowded as usual, but we actually ended up getting to sit in the leather chairs in the corner, so that was a win. I got the tall skinny peppermint mocha with soy, and it was even better with the soy versus the skim. A lot creamier without being sickening. I think this will be my holiday drink go-to. Afterwards, we walked over to Ulta to goof around and try on sunglasses and smell all the lotions and stuff. I love that girl; we always have so much fun together, especially when it’s just the two of us. Surprisingly, most of the stores weren’t that crowded (except the Apple store) but then again it was almost 5 at night. I guess most Black Friday shoppers head out early.

I'm a sucker for the red cups!

Friday night my dad had another performance of his play, so the rest of us just stayed home and had a nice dinner of leftovers (I had a slice of the celebration roast topped with yellow mustard, which made it so much better, and some sweet tater fries) and then spent the rest of the night watching The Devil Wears Prada (my favorite movie ever!) and playing games.

How sad is this--packing up to go back to school 😦 The countdown til Christmas break officially begins Monday!

What have you been up to the last few days? Have you ever shopped at H&M?

WIAW: What I’ve Been Making

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving to all my fellow U.S. bloggers! Are you excited for the big day? I know I am, since I’m planning on making a few things for the meal.

I wasn’t exactly planning on doing a WIAW post this week–in fact, it almost slipped my mind! But I did promise you guys a few recipes, so I decided that a WIAW post could be good for that. I know it’s kinda cheating, but I did eat them all on Tuesday, so it’s just a shorter version of my usual WIAWs.

Peas and Crayons

I was totally inspired by my pumpkin s’more from Monday night, so I decided to recreate it in oats form. I made a batch of plain volume oats, heated it up in the a.m. and topped with a teaspoon of vegan chocolate chips, a couple of mini marshmallows and a square of graham cracker. I loved how the chocolate and marshmallows melted into the oats. Probably my best oat creation to date!

S'mores in a bowl!

Remember those festive garland bars from WIAW a couple of weeks ago? Well, I made them and they turned out fabulously good. I’m so glad that I’ve finally been able to make a baked treat that turned out perfect. Plus, they’re completely vegan!

Sweet, salty, pumpkin-y and chocolate-y.

Festive Garland Bars (vegan)

1/2 c oat flour

3/4 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

1/8 t baking soda

1/3 c dried cranberries

1/3 c vegan chocolate chips

1/3 c maple syrup

1/4 c pumpkin puree

1 c Whole Foods popcorn or kettle corn

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with PAM; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; add 3 T cranberries and 3 T chocolate chips and toss to coat. In a large bowl, mix maple syrup and pumpkin until combined. Add flour mixture and stir together until combined. Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake until just cooked through and golden brown, about 20 minutes; set aside to let cool. Melt remaining chocolate chunks. Spread 2/3 of melted chocolate over bars and immediately scatter remaining cranberries and popcorn over the top, pressing down gently to help adhere. Drizzle remaining chocolate over bars. Set aside until chocolate sets, about 15 minutes; cut into squares and serve immediately.

This dessert was definitely a turning point for me, as far as my ED goes. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but one of my biggest fear foods is chocolate. I love dark chocolate, but I can’t eat it straight-up, it has to be in cocoa powder form or something. I’m mostly scared of the saturated fat in it, which is ridiculous. I don’t eat very much sat fat, maybe 2 grams a day, so it scares me that just a tablespoon of chocolate chips has 2 1/2 grams. But I used 6 whole tablespoons of vegan chocolate chips in these bars, so there’s a little over 1/2 a tablespoon of chocolate per square. I gotta be honest, I loved these little bars, but the chocolate did make me feel a little guilty, especially since I already had a teaspoon earlier. I know this probably sounds completely ridiculous, but I’m working on feeling okay with eating chocolate, one teaspoon at a time.

The main ingredients of the most amazing bars!

Later, I made dinner for me and my parents. My mom ended up not liking it, but she hates squash for some reason! Crazy woman 😉 This recipe is not vegan, because it has shrimp, but if you don’t eat seafood like I do on occasion, then you can definitely sub tofu or even just chickpeas.

I love my orange overload dinners!

Butternut and Pumpkin Curry with Quinoa

1 butternut squash, cut into small cubes

1 c unsweetened plain almond milk

1 c vegetable broth

1 lb raw shrimp

1 T red curry paste

1/4-1/2 c pumpkin puree

1/2 yellow onion

1 t minced garlic

1 t ground ginger

1 cup quinoa (dry)

Chop up onion and toss in pot with garlic and a teaspoon of olive oil. Cook on medium heat until onion is fragrant and translucent. Add red curry paste to taste, and cook for a few more minutes. Add veggie broth, almond milk, pumpkin, ginger and squash and cook until boiling. Cover and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook quinoa in 2 cups of water (for about 15-20 minutes on medium low heat), and cook shrimp in a pan until pink. Set quinoa aside and add shrimp to curry. Cook for a few more minutes, then serve on top of quinoa. Makes 4-5 servings.

What’s the best thing you’ve made lately?

Simply Having a Wonderful Weekend Time!

Heya everyone, thanks for all the input on my fruit and sugar post. Of course, I know fruit is good for me, but with all my eating disordered tendencies, it can be really hard to push all these silly “diet tips” out of my brain and do what’s right for my body. I really love what you all had to say on the subject though!

Now onto more fun 😀 Sorry about my really lame title, can you tell I’m in the Christmas spirit? I’ve officially been home for Thanksgiving break for 63 hours as I’m writing this (yes, I really did count!) and it’s been the best two days so far!

Friday was a crazy-busy day as I got ready to leave campus for break while also having classes and a test to go to 😦 I was running back and forth between class and my dorm and then I finally met my mom back in the parking lot after my last class. I was so excited to see her, even though I had just been home the weekend before. But I haven’t been home for more than 2 days since summer break back in August so it’s definitely been awhile since I could just take some time to relax at home. We headed straight for this nearby apartment complex that I recently applied to for next year. I am so ready to get out of the dorms after almost a year and a half so I was super pumped when I found out that they accepted my application. So we went on a little tour of the place, and it seems pretty cool. I’m planning on moving into a one-bedroom (because of my horrible roommate fiasco of last year) and the one bedrooms actually are pretty large. My mom seemed to like the place too, and it’s not too expensive, plus it’s on the bus line to campus which is awesome as I might not have a car next year. Oh, and it has an outdoor pool–holllllla! I’m crossing my fingers that we can sign a lease soon. An apartment with a real kitchen, here I come!

After that, I had to take a stats test (so ready to be done with that awfulness) and then my mom treated me to some gelato! I haven’t had some in months and I’ve been craving it, even though it’s been cold out, so it was a nice little snack. I got my usual soy chocolate, and some pumpkin. Seriously, the combo of pumpkin and chocolate is up there with peppermint and chocolate. Just so darn tasty!

I could seriously live at Gelazzi, it's the best gelato place ever!

After grabbing all my stuff from my room, we headed home, what we thought would be a 2 and half hour drive as usual. Well…it actually turned out to be a 3 hour and 15 minute drive, because of all the horrible traffic. Seriously, drivers in northern CO are the worst–they slam on their brakes for almost anything. Cars pulled off on the shoulder cause major pile-ups and end up making the relatively short drive home way too long. Luckily, we did get home safely and we listened to Christmas music the whole way down, so it wasn’t too awful 😛

On Saturday morning, I totally savored the family time at breakfast. On the weekends, we almost always all have breakfast together, and it is the best, with the newspaper all over the table! We are big newspaper readers fo sho, even though I usually only read the lifestyle section and the comics 😉 Then I dragged my dad outside so we could get the mail…because I was expecting something big! Well, not really, but I was excited. I ordered……….peanut flour! Heck ya, you better believe I was chomping at the bit to try it! I’ve seen it on like a billion blogs, and never got to try it, since I have no Trader Joe’s in my state 😦 Come on TJs, come to Colorado, pretty please? I ordered mine off iHerb and I couldn’t wait to dig in. For lunch, I was really feeling some veggie chili, so I heated up some Amy’s black bean chili and I really wanted cornbread on the side. Of course, I didn’t want to make a huge batch of it in the oven, so I thought why not make a microwave corn muffin? And add peanut flour to the mix–genius! It was soooooo good, you’d think it was actually cooked in the oven, but it only took a minute in the micro to puff up nicely.

Veggie chili + corn muffin = best cold day lunch.

Peanut Corn Muffin for One (vegan if Greek yogurt omitted, high protein)

1 tbsp yellow corn meal

1 tbsp peanut flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

water, enough to make smooth

1/2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt (can use pumpkin or applesauce to make vegan)

sweetener, to taste (I used a packet of Truvia)

Mix dry ingredients together in a small microwave-safe ramekin or nonstick cooking sprayed coffee mug. Add wet ingredients and stir til smooth and blended. Place in microwave on high for one minute; add additional time if necessary. Serve with veggie chili or topped with nut butter.

I am definitely making more microwave mug cakes with peanut flour–it adds a nice light peanutty taste, not to mention lots of protein!

After this delicious lunch, we were off–to Starbucks! They were having a deal this weekend between 2 and 5 pm where you could buy one holiday drink and get another one free. I love their holiday stuff, and couldn’t wait to try their new skinny peppermint mocha so I dragged my dad and sister along. Just kidding, they love Starbucks as much as I do! First, we made a stop at the mall nearby. It was cool to see it all decked out for Christmas–the crowds on the other hand were not so cool. I guess they’re normal around this time of year though. After a brief swing through Hollister (mine and my sister’s favorite clothing store), we hit up Bath and Body Works. I ran out of the vanilla bean noel lotion awhile back, and since I love their holiday lotions, I wanted to stock up. I got a mini vanilla bean noel lotion, a mini pink sugarplum lotion (one of their new ones, and SO good) and another pink sugarplum lotion for my sister since they were 3 for 10. I love Bath and Body Works–lotion is one of my addictions for sure and theirs are the best.

How cute are these?

Starbucks was also crowded, but it was worth the wait to get my tall skinny peppermint mocha latte–in a red cup, my first of the season! The red cups always make me feel so cozy and excited for the holidays. I was really glad I got a hot drink yesterday, too. It was so windy and cold out that the drink definitely warmed me up. The verdict? I loved the drink. I’ve mentioned before that I always get the skinny versions of their drinks, and this one did not disappoint. Peppermint and chocolate (plus coffee!) is my favorite seasonal flavor combo, and this drink might become my go-to this season. Plus I didn’t get a headache or feel sick afterwards, so that was a win. I’ve found that if I get anything larger than a tall, I get all queasy and feel crappy the rest of the day, which is no bueno. So tall it is for me!

Oh yes, Starbucks, you are my best friend 😉

Saturday night, we saw my wonderful daddy in a play. Seems like every time I come home, I’m seeing someone in a play. I guess my family is very theatrical 😛 Actually, it’s usually only my sister, though I used to be really into acting in middle school and high school, and my parents used to run kids acting classes. Now my dad mostly just writes plays in his free time, but he got corralled into acting in one of the short plays. The one he was in was pretty funny, as was another one of the plays. The other two were…well, bad, but luckily they were short!

A random lunch that was actually great: vegan quesadilla (jalapeno almond cheese on brown rice tortilla), dark chocolate peanut mug cake, cinnamon-spiked butternut squash.

Sunday was grocery shopping part uno. You all know how much I love grocery shopping, and shopping in general. My mom and I went to Bath & Body Works (again!) to find some lotions that we ended up having to order online, but we did get hand massages in the store! Then we went to Super Target, aka my favorite grocery store after Whole Foods. Since Thanksgiving is only a few days away, it was busier than usual, and we ended up spending almost 2 hours walking all over the store. Shopping is my favorite form of cardio for sure 😉 By the time we got out of there, our cart was filled to the brim, and I ended up getting some ingredients I need for some things I’m planning on making (recipes to come very soon), as well as a dress, pair of heels and tights for an audition/interview I have with my school’s TV station (I want to be a weather anchor!) and also some Christmas window clings for my window at school. Definitely a successful shopping trip!

A very orange and yellow dinner: Gardein veggie nuggets, chipotle sweet potato fries, sweet tater tots, butternut squash and yellow mustard.

I really wanted some oats this morning, and since I’ve been really into volumized oats lately, I had to plan in advance, so I whipped up a batch of dark chocolate peppermint oats! I think I ended up adding a little bit too much peppermint extract, but they were still nice and minty and refreshing.

Dark chocolate peppermint oats topped with half a homemade dark chocolate peppermint waffle. Peppermint overload? No way!

Today seemed to be the day of making new, simple recipes. At dinner, I made a smoothie with Silk Nog, organic pumpkin puree and peanut flour (yes, I’m already obsessed) and it actually turned out awesome. Peanut flour really does go with almost everything, it was definitely a smart purchase. Then I made pumpkin s’mores. Oh yeah, get excited! Pumpkin and chocolate is an amazing combo, I love s’mores in general so I thought it would be awesome. And I was not disappointed!

Check out that oozing pumpkin goodness and an Instagram'd photo.

Pumpkin S’mores (can be made vegan, makes 1)

1 graham cracker square, halved

vegan chocolate chips (I used a teaspoon)

vegan or regular mini marshmallows (I used a tablespoon)

1 tbsp pumpkin puree

Place chocolate chips on one side of a graham square and microwave for 15-20 seconds on high until the chips start to melt. Add marshmallows on top and microwave for 10 more seconds. Spoon pumpkin onto other graham square and place on top of chocolate and marshmallow side. Don’t forget the napkins!

Besides my random experiments in the kitchen, I also did some more grocery shopping (this time at Whole Foods–yay!) as well as boot shopping and a hair cut. I always love how my hair looks right afterward until I shower, but then I can never style it the exact same way again. And the boot shopping was also a huge success–I’ll show you guys my new boots in action sometime soon, but for now, here’s a photo from the DSW website, where I got them from. There were a little bit more expensive than I would have liked, but they’re very cute and comfortable, even with a 2 inch heel. I think they’ll get a lot of use and I can’t wait to show them off on campus.

Mine are brown, but they are exactly like this!

I love my new hair, too!

So my weekend was definitely action-packed, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I had so much fun and I can’t wait for the rest of Thanksgiving break. And no worries, I’ll be getting back to you all with a few recipes very soon!

What was something fun that you did this weekend? Do you like tall boots?

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: What I (Wish I Ate) From Whole Foods

Another week, another Wednesday…another WIAW, of course! I love this little shindig that Jenn came up with–total genius idea! And just think, only two more Wednesdays til Thanksgiving! If only T-Day were on Wednesday because how epic would that WIAW be?

Peas and Crayons

Anyways, y’all probably know how obsessed I am with Whole Foods already. I mean, I talk about it practically all the time 😛 Okay, maybe not that much, but lately I’ve been making a stop there every other weekend and I’m lovin’ it! My parents’ wallets, not so much 😉 But hey, I try not to go overboard there, just stocking up on the essentials like oats and dates and squash and cereal. I always end up with a few more things than I planned on, but I’m not complaining.

Besides my undying love for Whole Foods stores, I also love the recipes they have on their website/app. I’ve bookmarked so many it’s ridiculous. Obviously I haven’t even come close to making them all, but someday I will! For today’s WIAW, I wanted to share with you some of my current favorite recipes that hopefully I’ll be making come Thanksgiving break. So here we go! (P.S. All photos courtesy of http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/. I am not that good of a food photographer 😉 )

Breakfast: Cocoa Almond Baked Breakfast Quinoa

This almost looks like cake!

 I know what you’re thinking–quinoa for…breakfast? I totally thought the same thing, but this actually looks really heavenly, and is healthy to boot (of course!) Quinoa is a complete source of protein, which is great at breakfast, and with the addition of some hemp seeds and almond meal, has some healthy fats and fiber. Overall, it’s got 10 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber per slice.  Plus it’s sweetened naturally with dates and is made with cocoa powder.  Total win, right?

Lunch: Carrot-Ginger Soup and TLC Sandwich

I love how orange this is!

It's like a BLT...but better/healthier!

 I’m usually not the hugest fan of soup, but I’ve gotta admit that it’s super-comforting in the fall and winter. I love carrots too and this broth looks so thick. I’d probably just swap out the regular potato for a sweet tater, you know, to increase my chances of turning orange 😉 And the soup/sandwich combo never gets old. This sammie features homemade tofu “bacon” which sounds absolutely amazing! Definitely a must-try recipe. If I was in a hurry, I’d probably just cook up some strips of tempeh bacon to put on the sandwich. I never used to be a big fan of real bacon, but I love me some vegan bacon! It’s so crispy and smoky.

Snack: Cocoa-Oat Truffles

Looks like poop, tastes SO much better 😉

 How simple are these–just 4 ingredients, plus extra spices if you want to. I would totally make these right now if only I had a food processor, because I’ve got everything else on hand. A mini food processor is DEF going on my Christmas wishlist! Basically, these are 4 of my favorite staples–rolled oats, cocoa powder (I’d use Hershey’s Special Dark), dates and almond butter–all rolled into one ball. Could they be any more yummy?

Dinner: Portobello and Pineapple Teriyaki Burgers (with a side of Baked Sweet Potato Fries)

Too bad mine wouldn't look this perfect!

Now I really want sweet potato fries!

 If you’ve ever had a portobello burger, you’ll know how delicious they are. I’m not even a big mushroom person and I love them. My favorite kind is from Larkburger, but I’d love to attempt to make my own at home. And I would totally dress them up with teriyaki sauce and grilled pineapple, because those are some of my fave burger toppings. And of course, what would a burger be without fries? I love love LOVE baked sweet potato fries with all my heart, they will never be replaced!

Dessert: Festive Garland Bars

Sweet and salty is the perfect way to end the day!

 I will find some way to make these vegan for sure. I’ll probably sub dark chocolate chunks for the white ones, omit the butter, replace the egg with pumpkin puree (for an extra festive twist!) and use oat flour or whole wheat flour in place of the all-purpose. But these are definitely on my must-make list for Thanksgiving break, I just love the sweet and salty combination!

So there you have it! While I wish I could really cook on a regular basis, it just isn’t possible in a dorm room so I have to look forward to breaks and weekends at home!

Do you like the Whole Foods website recipes? What do you wish you could make for yourself right now?