Fall Fashion: Take 1

Well, folks, there’s no more denying it for this girl. As of a few days ago, it is officially fall (did you know that September 1st was technically meteorological fall? —> total weather nerd). I can’t say I totally hate it, but I’m definitely NOT your basic white girl. I’m NOT obsessed with fall for one major reason…it means winter is on it’s way. And as  Colorado semi-native who spent 19 winters there, I’m so over the snow and cold. It can be in the 80s and 90s and sunny year-round, kthanks.

But because it is fall (P.S. I’m liking the 80 degree, non-humid weather we’ve been having here this month…it can stay all fall long) I am embracing the fall fashion. It’s the one thing that keeps me from flipping out that winter is now less than 3 months away. I love riding boots, infinity scarves, anoraks, tights, ankle booties, kimonosand cardigans. I’m still holding out on the whole pants thing. Sorry, but I want to wear skirts and dresses all the time and tights usually make that possible.

So in honor of Fashion Friday, I’m laying out the deets of some of my late summer/early fall outfits. I have it in mind that I want to post again in a month-ish with my mid-fall picks and then in late November/early December with my late-fall OOTDs. In this edition, expect a lot of kimono action (I just bought 2 that I’m obsessed with), bare-legged outfits (woo for warm weather) and booties. Of the shoe kind, obvs.

image

From top left: cream lace kimono (Lucca+Lily), olive jumpsuit (American Eagle), necklace (H&M); navy printed kimono/cardigan (Forever 21), burgundy skater dress with keyhole cutout (F21), fish necklace (AE); cream lace kimono, salmon halter dress (AE), fish necklace); navy/white striped cardigan (Gap), black bralette (Victoria’s Secret), orange textured skirt (F21), orange/navy statement necklace (ALDO); black lace kimono (F21), leopard sheer tank (Charlotte Russe), black belt (F21), royal blue high-waisted shorts (F21)

image

From top left: red/blue/gold/black bracelet set (Call It Spring); gold mid-finger rings (ALDO); gold watch (ALDO); pearl/jewel stud chain necklace (H&M); Franco Sarto nude suede desert booties (DSW)

How are you embracing early fall? Is it still summer-like where you are?

From Texas to Tulsa

Thursday is the big day. AKA I pack up my life in Colorado and move 600+ miles away to Tulsa, OK. I also start my first real girl job in less than a week, so all that adds up to one stressed chica. I’m just trying to take things one day and one box at a time and enjoy the time I have left as an unemployed Colorado girl 😉

But enough moving and life change talk, let’s talk about spring break instead. Specifically my spring break. I spent most of it in Houston, TX at my aunt and uncle’s house and then a couple days at their lake house a few hours away (along with a side trip to Tulsa the weekend before to find me an apartment and furniture). This was possibly my last family vacation ever and even though it wasn’t always perfect, I tried to soak up every minute (even our way-too-long 18 hour drive home on Saturday) of the trip.

car snacks

Prepping road trip snacks.

Lunch at Whole Foods after a morning of apartment hunting in Tulsa. This WFM was huge, had a great salad bar selection and is a 7 minute drive from my new place!

Lunch at Whole Foods after a morning of apartment hunting in Tulsa. This WFM was huge, had a great salad bar selection and is a 7 minute drive from my new place!

lizard

A cute li’l lizard I found (you can barely see it, but it’s in the middle, on the fence) when I was laying out by the pool.

I could get used to this #poollyfe

I could get used to this #poollyfe

Galveston day trip.

Galveston day trip.

I love my sissy!

I love my sissy!

They had the most colorful parrots at the Moody Gardens rainforest.

They had the most colorful parrots at the Moody Gardens rainforest.

I dressed up for a day that was mostly spent driving to the lake house.

I dressed up for a day that was mostly spent driving to the lake house.

Rain on the window.

Rain on the window.

Doesn't this look so real? It was actual a fake turtle in an exhibit at a national park visitor center.

Doesn’t this look so real? It was actually a fake turtle in an exhibit at a national park visitor center.

Easy and healthy road trip snacks in the car on the way back home. Grapes, carrots and one-ingredient PB.

Easy and healthy road trip snacks in the car on the way back home. Grapes, carrots and one-ingredient PB.

I didn't know the TX panhandle had so many mesas! I absolutely love desert-like terrain.

I didn’t know the TX panhandle had so many mesas! I absolutely love desert-like terrain.

I love vacations, but it feels great to be back in my own bed!

I love vacations, but it feels great to be back in my own bed!

This vacation really challenged me A LOT! I had to deal with 4 really long drives (CO to Tulsa, Tulsa to Houston, Houston to the lake house, the lake house to home) where I was eating on the road (either Chipotle salads or healthy road trip snacks like Larabars and kale chips and carrots) and not getting much movement (I HATE sitting for long periods of time), as well as eating meals at weird times (my aunt and uncle love eating dinner late, so every night we ate after 8:30 pm!) and sometimes skipping meals because I wasn’t hungry, and also not getting any real exercise other than some walking. There were times on the trip I was miserable, because the humidity was messing with my hair and skin and I felt downright ugly and fat. But honestly, it was a nice trip, even though it wasn’t necessarily very relaxing. And when I got home, I was surprised to notice that my body didn’t really change at all during a week of no formal exercise and mostly eating snacks and not a ton of veggies. Of course, it felt great to get back into my daily workout routine and eating normal meals/snacks at regular times but this vacation taught me that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Flexibility is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, a part I’ve been mostly neglecting. Yes, regular exercise and balanced eating are incredibly good for you, but eating at Chipotle twice in one week or taking a break from working out on vacation is normal sometimes, and there’s no reason to beat ourselves up about it. This is hopefully something I can carry into my new life, because there may not always be time for 2 workouts a day or homemade salads for lunch, but I can still be healthy, and that’s what matters.

Do you prefer road trips or flying? How do you fit flexibility into a healthy lifestyle? 

Perfectly Imperfect

This weekend was one of those weekends that I never wanted to end. Don’t get me wrong–it wasn’t the perfect weekend in every way. But perfection is boring! My weekend was perfectly imperfect, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • I finally got my hair re-done.

It was time for a change and I’m so glad I made one. I got about 5-6 inches off the length (big for me since my hair’s been this long since 9th grade!) and got it colored darker. I’m in love with the results though–but of course, hair is never as amazing as it is right after getting it done.

I'm a brunette again!

I’m a brunette again!

I was a little worried when I went out with my mom later on Friday on a few errands because it was raining & snowing and I didn’t want my new hair getting ruined. Fortunately, it stayed pretty dry and I was able to score a new bikini from Target thanks to my lovely mom. Trying on swimsuits is still an anxiety-provoking thing for me but I was able to get over my body hang-ups and find a cute suit that I love!

View from my room on Friday afternoon. Looks more like December than March!

View from my room on Friday afternoon. Looks more like December than March!

I can't wait to wear this...hopefully soon!

I can’t wait to wear this…hopefully soon!

  • I went hiking with my parents. 

After crappy weather on Friday and some cold (in the 40s) sunshine on Saturday, I was more than ready for some springlike weather like we had on Thursday. Sunday delivered on that, so my parents and I laced up our hiking boots (okay, I just wore some tennis shoes) and hit the trails at a state park in the foothills on the south side of town. The weather was perfect–in the 70s with gorgeous blue skies. I was excited to fit in some exercise out in the fresh air. Everything was great…until we ran into some mud on the trails. And by mud, I mean several inches of sloppy, gooey fresh mud. Not so ideal, especially with the shoes I was wearing but with a little help from my dad, I was able to survive the muddy trails. You never know what’s going to happen when you’re hiking, and that’s what I love. Sure, it wasn’t quite the perfect conditions but we made the best of it and now we have a great story to tell 😉

I was finally reunited with the Whole Foods salad bar!

I was finally reunited with the Whole Foods salad bar for an almost-perfect picnic lunch.

Isn't this view just gorgeous? I'm so lucky to be able to call Colorado my home (for now)!

Isn’t this view just gorgeous? I’m so lucky to be able to call Colorado my home (for now)!

A photobombed selfie on the trail.

A photobombed selfie on the trail. I love my mom!

  • I got my grocery shopping done for the week. 

I’m being serious when I say that grocery shopping is one of my highlights of the week. I love browsing the aisles for new products and being able to pick out my produce and other food for the week. I get a little upset, though, when I have to push back my grocery trip because of my mom or dad’s schedule. Mostly because I go through my groceries by the time the weekend rolls around, and being low on my favorite foods is a little annoying. But I’m learning to be patient, and just to appreciate the fact that right now, my parents are paying for my (slightly expensive) groceries.

My dad and I didn’t get to the store until 5 pm on Sunday because of our hiking escapades earlier in the day, but I really enjoyed the time I spent with him at Sprouts and Whole Foods. We ran into my internship supervisor from last summer–he’s always been so nice and funny and supportive, so we talked a little about my possible upcoming job. My dad and I share a love for fruit, so we went a little crazy in the Sprouts produce area. At Whole Foods, I wasn’t able to buy everything I had on my list (no spinach, boo!) because things weren’t stocked or they were a bit too expensive but I’m just so grateful that my dad spent the time and money to take me to my favorite store. And now I’m all stocked up for the week and ready to try out some new recipes!

Homemade grain free pizza with homemade kale pesto made from the remnants of my last grocery haul.

Homemade grain free pizza with homemade kale pesto made from the remnants of my last grocery haul.

So yeah, my weekend wasn’t perfect. My nail polish chipped right after I painted them, I had some anxieties over my workouts, I ate too many Larabars (I’ve had 1 per day since Thursday even though I meant to save them…oops!), I was disappointed by this week’s SNL, I didn’t drink enough water, I got a not-so-great voice mail from my doctor’s office and I struggled with some lingering cold symptoms. But you know what? My weekend was perfectly imperfect. I enjoyed plenty of family time, I ate some amazing pizza (of the homemade, grain free variety), I helped my sister with a baking project, I slept in and stayed up late and I just lived. Not every weekend or every day will be perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes, the imperfect days are the best!

What were some highlights of your weekend?

 

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

image

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

image

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

image

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

image

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

image

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?

Forever 21

Finally 21. I usually don’t feel different on my birthday, but this year I did. I feel more mature, more independent. Not just because I can legally drink but also because I’m just a few months away from graduating college. It almost feels like yesterday that I started college as a scared little freshman, and now I’m about to embark on my adult life. Weird.

21 was a birthday I’ve only really looked forward to in the past year or so. Before that, I vowed I would never drink–because the few sips I sampled of my parents’ drinks tasted gross to me. That’s not to say that now I’m 21 I’m going to become a crazy partier. I have no desire to get drunk or drink cheap alcohol. I would much rather sip a glass of white wine while watching a movie at home, or enjoy a fun cocktail at a fancy restaurant.

I did drink on my 21st, but my birthday was more than just about the alcohol. This birthday marked the last time (most likely) I’ll be living at home to celebrate. It’s bittersweet looking back on the past 21 birthdays (obviously the first few I don’t remember)–going to waterparks on my birthday, spending it by the pool in the mountains, watching the Summer Olympics, always going out to eat with my family/friends. I’m going to miss this part of my life.

As I said, my 21st was a lot more than being able to drink in a restaurant–which I definitely did, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I started the day as usual–waking up, checking my phone, enjoying some sweet potato-Sunwarrior-banana softserve with homemade magic shell (hey, had to make it special for my birthday!) and getting ready. I did wake up still sick, with a still-sore throat and irritated eyes, but I’m sick of letting little things ruin my day, so I’m really glad I didn’t let lingering sick feelings make my birthday less than special. And what made it that much more special was the decorations I found once I got downstairs. My parents have always been great about making our birthdays feel fun, no matter what we end up doing, and I’m really grateful for that!

bday decos

Starbucks and shopping were on the agenda…with none other than my sister! Even though we’re really different, we have a lot of things in common–namely our love for the ‘bucks, shopping for clothes (especially at Forever 21), Whole Foods salad bar and alt rock music. All of which we enjoyed together on my birthday 😀 I’m seriously gonna miss that girl when I graduate and I still can’t believe she’s just a year away from college herself! Anyways, we had the best time drinking iced coffees, yelling at stupid drivers, finding the perfect things to buym laughing at the dumbest things and marveling at the giant Whole Foods we ate lunch at.

Breakfast at home. Lunch at Whole Foods. Birthday dessert made by me.

Breakfast at home. Lunch at Whole Foods. Birthday dessert made by me.

The rest of the afternoon was spent making my own birthday dessert. I’d never done that before, but I really wanted to make something that my family and I could all enjoy together. I went with this raw coffee cheesecake and it.was.delicious. My dad even said it was one of the best desserts I’ve ever made, and he’s a total dessert freak! It’s definitely a great dessert to make for raw vegans and non-raw vegans alike, especially if you love coffee. Aaaaaaaand…I got to enjoy a piece for two nights afterwards, so a total winner!

Dinner was what I was looking forward to all day though (other than shopping obviously!) I’d been wanting to go to a tapas place in town since I’d heard they had lot of vegan options, and the fact that they’re 100% gluten free was icing on the cake. I wasn’t sure if my family’d like it, especially my sister who’s pretty picky and likes typical teen food, but they loved it just as much as I did!

Tapas are basically small dishes generally in a Mediterranean or Spanish style that are meant to be shared with others. I’d never had tapas before but since I love eating little bits of a lot of different things (and Mediterranean food!) I knew I’d like it. My family got some dishes with meat or cheese, but I was still able to try a lot of the things we got, like warm olives (love olives!), fresh garlic bread (the best garlic bread I’ve ever had, and GF too!), patatas bravas, artichoke and onion salad and a gazpacho ‘shooter’. Everything was so fresh and tasty–definitely my kinda place. And their sangria was amazing as well. We got two carafes–one was the sangria del dia, which was pineapple orange with white wine and my personal favorite, and the other was a traditional blood orange sangria with white wine. I got carded (of course) but I loved the experience of being able to enjoy a quality drink in a nice atmosphere. And sangria is now my favorite drink!

Gazpacho and sangria del dia.

Gazpacho and sangria del dia.

But the best surprise of the night was when our waiter found out it was my birthday and he let me pick out a dessert for free. I had already made a dessert for us at home, but the chocolate tasting plate sounded too good to pass up, so I ended up sharing that with everyone. It was basically 8 small squares of dark chocolate ranging from 65-85% cacao and it was paired with some blueberries and Marcona almonds. It was some good chocolate, and it went really well with the berries and almonds. So glad I went for the dessert instead of opting out just because I had dessert already planned!

My two loves are evident in my presents: clothes and food.

My two loves are evident in my presents: clothes and food.

Back at home, I opened presents and then we had my birthday cake cheesecake. A few of my presents were total surprises, like the denim shirtdress and Zoku pop maker, but everything I got was something I’ve been wanting for awhile. You know you’re a foodie when you get excited for a popsicle maker and vegetable peelers 😉 And the raw ‘cookbook’ has some really delicious looking recipes so hopefully I can share some with you guys soon! The purse and clothes will also get a lot  of use–this girl can never have too many purses or outfits!

My birthday was one of the best birthdays I’ve had, and it wasn’t just because I got presents I loved or because I could finally order a drink in a restaurant. It was more about the memories I made with my family and the happiness I got from being able to enjoy one last birthday with them.

What made your last birthday special? What’s your ultimate birthday dessert? 

Currently: June

I’m off on vacation from tomorrow afternoon through Wednesday, so I probably won’t be doing much blog commenting or posting over the next few days but I do have a couple planned posts in the works and I’ll be back at the end of next week with regular posting, and a vacay/internship recap!

Before I go, I’ll leave you with my “Currently” post for the month…enjoy!

Current Book: This sucker. Summer classes aren’t the best, but at least mine’s online and only 4 weeks long. I’ve got about a week left and I’m so ready to be done…but the class is pretty interesting, I love human geography!

intro to geography

Current Music: Another alt song, but what can I say, it’s my fave genre of the moment! Vampire Weekend was on SNL a month or so ago and I loved their live rendition of “Diane Young”. I also scored the song for free on the Google Play Store a week or so ago.

Current Guilty Pleasure: The mini shopping spree I had last week. Two pairs of shorts (one of them my first pair of high-waisted shorts!), a lacy bralette and a printed romper, as well as some items ordered online that just arrived. I love summer clothes, and giving some old ones away means more room for new ones, right?

Current Nail Color: Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear in fuschia power, with a coat of disco ball on my ring fingers for a ‘party nail’. I love this brand because it’s a lot cheaper than most other brands, but the Hard as Nails kind lasts longer than OPI! I really want to try Essie though.

Current Drink: Homemade iced tea, with or without stevia. And of course, Starbucks unsweetened passion iced tea!

Current Food: I’m loving all things raw, from ‘French toast’ to ‘coconut bacon’, to fruit and veggies (cauliflower is even better raw than cooked, especially dipped in salsa or guac) to raw desserts. Seriously just so good, and so energizing.

Current Favorite Show: I’m loving the Little Couple on TLC right now, because their new little adopted son is adorable, and I think they’re seriously the best parents. So different than most reality shows (with b*tchy people, letsbehonest) and that’s why I love it.

Current Wishlist: A Yonanas maker (seriously, it would make banana softserve so much easier to make), an ice cream maker and a spiralizer. I’m really getting into the whole raw thing, and having these (relatively) inexpensive appliances would make it so much more fun.

Photo courtesy of Unclutterer.

Photo courtesy of Unclutterer.

Current Needs: More time to pack…and catch up on assignments for my summer class!

Current Triumphs: Not taking constructive criticism personally. I’m learning a lot at my internship, and it’s making me check my pride at the door in terms of what I know and what I don’t. It’s really humbling learning from professionals who’ve been on TV for 10+ years and I’m improving every day. It helps having someone who’s so understanding and willing to work with me. Hopefully I’ll be ready for my first real job in 6-ish months!

Current Bane of Existence: Worrying about not getting in as much exercise + eating out a lot over the next few days on vacation. I think it’ll be a good test to see how I’ll do when my family flies out to visit our extended family in August and I have to deal with a lack of vegan food in restaurants and relatives who think meat and dairy are nonnegotiables. This upcoming trip will be a piece of cake, as I’ll still be pretty active (tennis and hiking for sure!) and have more vegan options.

Current Celebrity Crush: Macklemore. I swear, Can’t Hold Us is even better than Thrift Shop (ok, mayyyyybe not quite) and his hair is legit. Also, I’m kinda upset that I probably won’t get to see him in concert when he comes to my school in August. Not cool. Maybe I’ll just sneak in 😉

Current Indulgence: These raw flax pancakes I whipped up the other day. No dehydrator or food processor needed, and plenty of protein+fiber and sweetness from raw honey.

raw flax pancakes

Topped with more raw honey, raw coconut ‘bacon’ and a doughnut peach.

Current Blessing: A great forecast just in time for vacation. Can you say 80s and sunny every day? Perfect for tennis, hiking AND laying out by the pool!

Current Slang: Uh…I’m starting to say ‘real’ in place of ‘really’, like “That was real bad.” My sister got me into it 😉

Current Outfit: Wednesday I was wearing a sweater and cropped jeans (for real…this is summer?) and yesterday I wore a skirt with a short sleeved tee and a scarf. Can you say bipolar weather?

Current Excitement: Vacation! And possibly getting to go to Native Foods for the first time on the way up or back 😀

Current Link: This Rawsome Vegan Life. Told ya I’m getting into this raw foods thing! But really, they have the most drool-worthy photos of things I’d never think to make raw, like s’mores and knockoffs of the cranberry bliss bars Starbucks sells.

Current Mood: Excited for the next few days!

Answer any of the above!

WIAW: Adios, Junior Year

First things first–yes, I did change my blog design after at least a year and a half with the previous one. I just needed something new, plus I like the sidebar ‘about me’ things everybody has and the old design wouldn’t let me do that! 

I’ve been waiting for this day all year. Well, maybe not, but I’ve definitely been for at least the past month or so! The last day of my junior year of college is TODAY…and how crazy is that? I remember when college felt sooooo far away, and now I’m really close to graduation. Scary stuff.

I know my blogging’s been pretty sporadic anyways for the past few weeks but it’s gonna get even more infrequent in the next week or so. First of all, I’m moving back a lot of my stuff this afternoon and moving home for the summer. Then my family’s driving back up here this weekend to load everything else up and my mom will be doing some epic cleaning (maybe not that dramatic) so I can turn in my keys to my complex for the summer and end my lease. It’s a pain to have to move everything out, only to move it back in again in August, but I’d rather not pay the extra rent just to keep my stuff here for the summer. And then next week is when I hopefully start my internship, so it’ll be a whirl of paperwork, a drug test and plenty of excitement. And there’s a doctor’s appointment thrown in there as well, so it all makes for quite a crazy several days. So I’m really sorry if I don’t post here too much or comment on all of your blogs but I will be back as soon as the craziness dies down.

What wasn’t too crazy was the meals I enjoyed over the past week. Well, unless you consider a lot of random experimenting to be crazy, but all I know is it was delicious. And I had plenty of fun, despite finals week and moving out looming. Hey, I only had one actual final exam this semester, so paper writing and projects were the name of the  game, and a little less stressful than studying.

Bringing back an old favorite from last summer: pineapple 'fried' quinoa.

Bringing back an old favorite from last summer: pineapple ‘fried’ quinoa.

I’m doing my best to embrace the healthy grains again. I have to say I prefer the ‘ancient’, gluten free, psuedo-grains such as quinoa and buckwheat, for their stellar nutritional profile and higher protein, not to mention their deliciousness. I had some leftover quinoa in my fridge from a couple of weeks ago, and I remembered how much I used to love this random stirfry I threw together for the first time last year around my birthday. The best part about it is it’s totally customizable, so I threw in the last of my frozen edamame (I’m trying to finish up or toss things that aren’t as easily transportable before I move home), orange cauliflower, spinach, curry powder, coconut aminos (way better than soy sauce!) and fresh pineapple was a given. Not too far off from the original, and topped with sprouted pumpkin seeds and cashew butter, it was a total winner dinner.

Pineapple fried quinoa leftovers in a nori wrap, side of Thai lemon curry cashews.

Pineapple fried quinoa leftovers in a nori wrap, side of Thai lemon curry cashews.

And the little bit I had leftover made the perfect nori filling for lunch one day. I think I’ve been loving on the Asian and Mexican flavors a lot lately, between my homemade guac obsession to constantly resupplying my pantry with those addicting Thai lemon curry cashews. Maybe I could combine the two and create a Mexican stirfry or an Asian taco…

Poooool time. Pool > studying. Sorryimnotsorry.

Poooool time. Pool > studying. Sorryimnotsorry.

My apartment complex does have a pool, but they’ve been slacking on opening it up (uh, kinda late there, management. Almost everyone’s moving out this week…) so when my friend invited me to her complex’s pool on Monday, I jumped on the chance to lay out. Honestly, I usually just lay out by the pool versus actually swimming, but I did go in it a few times just to cool off. Guys, I’m so happy. We finally have my dream weather, aka 80s and sunny. With afternoon thunderstorms. Basically, it’s finally summertime in Colorado.

A not-so-pretty carrot cake protein pancake (mix of garbanzo flour+peanut flour with shredded carrot and cinnamon in the batter) topped with chopped dried fig and coconut butter crumbles.

A not-so-pretty carrot cake protein pancake (mix of garbanzo flour+peanut flour with shredded carrot and cinnamon in the batter) topped with chopped dried fig and coconut butter crumbles.

I don’t get how some people make their protein pancakes look so perfect. I do okay with multiple, small-sized pancakes but a full size one is just asking for trouble. I thought I waited long enough to flip, but part of the top crumbled off so I cooked it in two pieces. It luckily didn’t burn, but it certainly wasn’t round or anything, and parts of the inside were still undercooked. It tasted great, but my pancakes skills need some work…

Quinoa flour+chocolate Sunwarrior protein waffle. Topped with strawberries, cacao nibs and coconut butter.

Quinoa flour+chocolate Sunwarrior protein waffle. Topped with strawberries, cacao nibs and coconut butter.

…which is why I stick to waffles. Sometimes they don’t quite hold up, but if I get the ratios just right, they turn out pretty perfect and intact. This one was a bit crumbly, but it mostly stayed together, and it tasted great, which is what really counts. Protein waffles are hard to make vegan, so I’m proud that most of mine aren’t complete disasters.

I love the sun.

I love the sun.

I’m glad I stuck through the crappy weather we got in April (and foot of snow on May 1st…thanks but no thanks, Mother Nature!) because it is absolutely gorgeous now! Like I said, 80 degree temperatures, lots of sun, minimal wind (but enough of a breeze to keep you cool) and the trees are blooming after being freaked by weird cold weather. And the grass, at least here in my college town, is nice and green after getting enough precipitation last month. If you’ve ever been to Colorado, you know that the grass here is generally brown because it’s basically a high altitude desert. I’ll be going back to brown lawns today (my hometown wasn’t blessed with as much snow) but I’m hoping we get some nice afternoon rains to keep the fire danger low and makes the grass nice.

Random but surprisingly good snack: half an avocado sprinkled with stevia, topped with organic crunchy PB, cacao nibs and coconut shreds.

Random but surprisingly good snack: half an avocado sprinkled with stevia, topped with organic crunchy PB, cacao nibs and coconut shreds.

I can’t remember where I first saw the idea for a sweet avocado, but I was really intrigued by it. I’ve really only used avos in guac, and had them raw in salads, but topping my avo with something other than lime juice or salt seemed weird. But I decided to try it with one of my favorite flavor combos (PB+cacao nibs+coconut) and it was actually really amazing. The key is a perfectly ripe avocado, so the flavor isn’t too overpowering. I still don’t like avocados plain (to me, they either need salt or something sweet to taste like anything) but now I have a new way of enjoying them!

Peanutty kelp noodles with romaine and carrots.

Peanutty kelp noodles with romaine and carrots.

Kelp noodles are still a favorite of mine, but especially now that it’s so warm and I prefer to do as little cooking as possible. I love that kelp noodles are raw, and they work out perfectly in salads, like this one. I used up some of my PB2 for the dressing (I finally finished the jar, and I’m glad it’s over because I did not like it, especially compared to real peanut flour), and added in carrots and romaine lettuce, aka the last of the produce I had until I went grocery shopping later that day.

Always need to have an awkward selfie.

Always need to have an awkward selfie.

The problem with poolside selfies is that A) I’m wearing a bikini which is super awks in a photo (and already sporting a sunburn) and B) I can’t really see my phone screen in the sun, so I end up taking them from a weird angle and usually have a weird face in them. #firstworldproblems

The best dessert/breakfast ever. Coconut cream (scooped off top of full fat coconut milk from fridge) blended with chocolate Sunwarrior protein powder and frozen banana chunks, topped with fresh strawberries and half a crumbled chocolate coconut Kit's Organic bar.

The best dessert/breakfast ever. Coconut cream (scooped off top of full fat coconut milk from fridge) blended with chocolate Sunwarrior protein powder and frozen banana chunks, topped with fresh strawberries and half a crumbled chocolate coconut Kit’s Organic bar.

This is like a super-rich mousse, but the best part is that it’s perfectly acceptable for breakfast, because it’s protein-packed. There was 16 grams alone in just the Sunwarrior, plus a few extra grams from the other ingredients and toppings. It’s also no added sugar, just the natural sugars from the fruits (the Kit’s bars are just date sweetened, like Larabars) and the stevia in the Sunwarrior, so it makes for a healthy dessert option that isn’t too sweet. And it’s so easy to make if you have a food processor, just add in the protein powder, coconut cream and frozen bananas (optional, but add a little sweetness and coldness) to the processor, blend, and top away! I’ve enjoyed this twice this week, once as a dessert and once as breakfast and it was perfect for either occasion. I only wish I had more coconut cream to make it again!

Any new breakfasts you’ve been trying out? What’s your ideal weather conditions?