Quick & Healthy Dinners.

Even though ‘summer’ has technically began- my schedule hasn’t really calmed down. Studying all the time doesn’t have to mean unhealthy dinners though! I’ve been cooking dinner for my parents and me a few days a week, and I thought I would share a few of my quick and healthy dinners (+1 breakfast) with y’all!

First off: breakfast.

 Overnight _____ (oats, sweet potato, chia pudding). Anything that you can mix up and leave to ‘cook’ itself in the fridge overnight is a great option. This is a sweet potato, 1/3 cup almond milk, 1 T chia seeds, and some cinnamon. It’s perfect for a quick breakfast is the morning. I like to grab mine after my morning walk with my mom. It’s the perfect quick breakfast while I check email or start my studying for the day.

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Now, some dinners.

1. Stir Fry. With the help of some frozen vegetables and shrimp, a stir fry like this can be ready in 20 minutes. I just took 2 bags of frozen vegetables and a bag of frozen shrimp. I defrosted the shrimp while the vegetables started to cook, and added some low-sodium soy sauce as it cooked. The vegetables and shrimp were so delicious, they didn’t need much seasoning. I added the shrimp into the wok, and allowed everything to cook, before adding a little more soy sauce and voila, it was all ready!

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2. One thing that really saves me for dinners is prepping before hand. For example- if I have some free time on a Saturday or Sunday, I’ll cook up some broccoli,  asparagus, brussel sprouts- anything I know I like to grab from the fridge for a healthy dinner. Then, all I have to do is make the chicken, or fish and dinner is complete!

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3. Brinner! When in doubt- breakfast! Eggs are such an easy and quick meal, and I don’t know many people who don’t like eggs. This is an easy way to make a protein-packed dinner. Plus- scrambled, fried, sunny-side up- you can customize the eggs to everyone’s liking!

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I hope y’all enjoy these tips!

What’s your favorite healthy dinner when you’re short on time?

A Week’s Work

What a crazy week. Luckily this one will be my last super busy week before my finals. I have my last big Physics test and my final presentation for my Independent Study this week. Then, this weekend is my boy’s formal down in Charleston. Lots to do- healthy food, good workouts, and organization is the best way to get through!

Here are my eats and workouts from this week!

Eats:

Homemade chicken, quinoa, and pesto from NMK. He made me a belated birthday dinner. I am one lucky 21 year old!

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Pecan-encrusted chicken salad. I went out with my roommate and her mom, and we all got the same thing. No regrets, this was the best chicken salad I’ve ever had.

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Spaghetti squash, bell pepper, and eggs + hummus. A veggie-filled start to my day.

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Another vegetable-tastic breakfast. I love cooking up vegetables on Sunday and having them for quick meals during the week.

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Dining Hall salads. Basically only thing I eat there. I’m not complaining about that though.

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Workouts:

Workouts this week:

Monday: A 5:45 am bootcamp workout. SO early but lots of fun.

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Tuesday: A partner circuit with my roommate and an easy 20 minute cool down on the Arc Trainer. The partner circuit was no joke and almost killed us. In the best way!

Wednesday: Simple Arc Trainer workout. Busy days call for easy workouts!

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Thursday: A 5 mile run on the treadmill.

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Friday: An hour of cross training on the bike.

Saturday: A treadmill run and an outdoor circuit with my boy. But I didn’t account for the hot weather, and almost passed out. I am not ready for summer workouts!

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Final Thoughts:

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My beautiful school. I really am blessed!

This weekend I am also extremely thankful for my opportunity to be at this school and for my amazingly supportive parents. They make it all possible!

Question of the day:

What are you thankful for lately?

Is it springtime by you yet?

Thanksgivukkah– A once in a lifetime experience!

Thanksgiving morning started off bright and early…and cold! My dad, my friend, and I ran in a 5K Turkey Trot together.

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^this is my cold weather face.. and gear. I needed a LOT of gear to keep warm. It was 30 out BUT the “real feel” was 16 degrees.^

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^we snapped some pictures together while we waited around for the race. I think I had about 5 layers on top plus the jacket? it was cold guys! My toes didn’t thaw out until the last mile of the race…oh well. We all stuck together, so we weren’t going for a fast time or anything– just for the fun of it. And it was awesome! My dad and I started this tradition last year, and I am hoping it stays around for a long time.^

Following the run, I went home and took a looooong shower. Usually I’m all about the short showers- efficient, environmentally friendly, and I just don’t like to waste my time. But it took me a while to thaw out from the cold, and then a bit longer to convince myself to get out into the cold air again.

After my shower, I grabbed some quinoa granola {gluten free} and some greek yogurt, before heading over to my friend’s house to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Macy’s parade is one of my absolute favorite holiday traditions! Unfortunately the race was at 9 {the same time the run started!} so Krista recorded it, and we watched it afterwards {with the added bonus of fast forwarding through the commercials!}.

Later, we headed over to our family friend’s house for a celebration of “Thanksgivukkah”. My family is Christian, but it was still fun for us to be a part of this cultural tradition and learn some about the meaning!

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^We each got to light our own menorahs– I chose the slide and swings one… I’m a child.^

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Dinner was delicious, and the company was better. I love being with my parents, and any other friends who are there are just a bonus. The only regret is that my sibling couldn’t make it home. My brother is a marine, and only had Thursday off {too far to travel for 24 hours}, and my sister is studying in Dublin {for her Masters woo!}. Dinner was all the classics– mashed potatoes, turkey, green bean casserole, apple sauce, roasted butternut squash, and a Chanukah twist– potato latkes. My meal was something like: lots of squash, potato pancakes, apple sauce, and some stuffing. Dessert- a little whipped cream, some fruit, and a taste of apple crisp. YUM. That was plenty of food!

And…. as a bonus: some pictures of my favorite siblings– I can’t wait to see them in December!

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I know…we used to be so cute sigh…. what happened?! 😉

How was your Thanksgiving?

Did you get to celebrate with your whole family? 

babies and prayer time.

After class today I headed off to the weekly babysitting {I do 4 hours two times a week}. Because of the close cut between my last class and my job, I have to pack lunch and eat in my car on the way there. Not ideal- I try not to eat in my car {it’s a lease} BUT what can you do. So I aim for things that are minimally messy and pretty quick to eat. Today the menu: a baked sweet potato {which I cooked and froze last week– only had to defrost it last night!} with some goat cheese and some hummus for staying power.

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^I promise you- goat cheese makes anything better^ 

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^while I was feeding him a bottle, he tilted it back like a little drunken man…too cute. I tried to capture a picture, but he wouldn’t do it because he was so enthralled by my phone. #fail haha^

Dinner:
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Dinner was in our dining hall- unmentionably limited options 😦 I went with a salad {no picture sorry} some pita chips + hummus, and a mix of greek yogurt, granola, fruit and peanut butter for “dessert”. Apparently I didn’t eat enough lunch because about 2 hours after I was starving so…by the time I got to dinner 3 hours late I was famished.. message to future self, babysitting is hard- you need a snack!

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 Workout:

Today was the first day of the 28 Day 6 Pack challenge that I am doing with my boyfriend {via men’s health}. I’m not looking to get a six pack but I am excited to add some more strength training back into my routine. I’ve been regrettably lax in the weight lifting area lately, so this will be a good kick start. Today I did the Upper Body Blitz which was intense- especially after 4 hours of babysitting! Loving this challenge already.

 After my workout I headed over to Campus Outreach {CO} where I had great fellowship {catchphrase is an amazing game :)}. We read 2 Chronicles 20: 1-30 and had a good discussion. My take away: praise God in every situation! I know I am guilty of not doing this, but I am working on it everyday.

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and finally ^^ a snack for post-CO studying. Popcorn and hummus– don’t knock it till you try it y’all!

Any weird snacks you’ve been loving lately?

roadtrippin’ day 2

Day 2- Monday:

On Monday, we woke up nice and early so we could start our day and see the town. We started with a lovely 2.5 mile walk around the lakes- which were right next to our hotel!

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^walking is my favorite. First thing in the morning, with a good friend, around a scenic lake?! It’s the bomb.^

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^after that we packed up and headed out to find some food. I was hannnnnnnngry! Maybe it’s better that la madre and I were driving in different cars. We headed to a diner on the side of the ‘highway’ {aka 1 lane road surrounded by cornfields…a lot nicer than any highway I’ve ever been on!}. these are some pictures from cornfields. It was amazing…. so gorgeous. I love the country!^

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^oatmeal + raisins… which I devoured soooooo quickly that pictures only captured the remnants…oops ;)^

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^we then headed into the little town of Bird in Hand Pennsylvania. When I say little I mean like…. 500 yards long. But what it lacks in size it makes up for in stores. Amazing little knick knack stores, and shops featuring local/handmade Amish goods.^

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^these are your typical electric candles, but with a flair! They have real wax added on the outside to make them look realistic + beautiful. I LOVE this! Especially because I am not allowed to have real candles in my apartment. This will add some class and ambiance for sure. {not that I really know what ambiance is…just that I want it}. I picked up a teal and a yellow one, and la madre went for some navy blue tall candles. She was especially excited because we haven’t had candles in our house for about a year, since she and my pap almost burned the house down..{long story}. Electric candles {and they’re on a timer!} are the way to go madre.^

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^a GIANT squash. After some reserach I think it’s a Dutch Crookneck Squash ? It was pretty legit.^

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^then we headed into a little bake shop! look at that cinnamon bun…. mmmmmm sugar high!^

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^I tried my first bite of Shoo Fly Pie! It was basically buttery sugar… aka heaven in a bite.^

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^this is the last picture I snapped of the day…. After leaving Lancaster, we headed straight {literally no stops- don’t know how I did it!} to Richmond, VA. By the time we stopped {~4.5 hours later} I was stiff, starving, headache-y, and totally out of it! We rushed to get some dinner ^^ which was lentil and rice croquettes for me. Pretty good, but that may have just been because I was SO hungry. It’s really unusual for me to go from breakfast to 4:30 pm without eating, but my car is so pretty! I didn’t want to get it dirty. Oh well.^

From there we headed about 20 minutes south to Chester, VA before calling it a night. I finished the day up with a workout of some walking and some weights. By the time I turned in {around 9:30!} I was exhausted. Sign of a good day, right?

any exciting roadtrips or travels in your week?

a crazy week.

nfinally, I’m back with a recap! after being away all weekend, and then having a huge test today….the past week has been a little insane. And it’s not stopping! Next Thursday I’ll have my final exam {praise the Lord!} and then only 3 days later I’ll be leaving for my mini roadtrip back to school. Although it’s going to be a whirlwind {and stressful} 2 weeks, I’m so happy and excited for everything that’s coming!

Anyway…this past weekend I traveled up to Vermont for a wonderful lake weekend with friends and I am so excited to share it with you all!

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^the weekend started with our trip up… first was an hour ferry ride, followed by 5.5 hours of driving^970647_690970867584144_984477220_n 76010_690971134250784_142729264_n

^Luckily, my amazing friend Krista came with me which made the time literally flyyyyyy by. by the end of the drive we were getting a leeeeeeeetle loopy but, that just made it all the more entertaining^

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^we passed through a bunch of quaint little towns, it was a really lovely drive^

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^driving through the Green Mountains….I was in complete heaven^

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^in Vermont, we stayed at my friend Tyler’s lake house. It’s the MOST amazing {and huge} house, right on Lake Champlain {like we’re talking dock in their backyard}. These are some of the views from my bedroom the first morning. Looking out over the lake onto the Adirondack Mountains. The house is right behind an awesome mountain retreat called Basin Harbor Club where my friend Tyler works during the summer. Tyler’s family has been coming there since his grandma was a little girl…. yup. Pretty cool.

Basin Harbor Club is an amazing “resort” in the mountains, with a very relaxing, calming, family vacation atmosphere. They don’t have televisions {which I love} but they do have watersports, a gym, a golf course, and so so many activities for family fun! They also have a cozy bar/restaurant called the Red Mill where we went for some dancing the first night. Long story short, if you are looking for a relaxed, unplugged retreat with friends or family…this is the perfect place to go!^

Saturday:

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^On Saturday morning, we headed into the little town of Vergennes, VT to explore. Well, there’s not much there to explore, but it is certainly a quaint, adorable country town.^

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^For brunch, we headed to 3 Squares Cafe to try their brunch, which Tyler and his girlfriend raved about^

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^well, all I can say is, I am SO GLAD we went to 3 Squares because brunch was unforgettable. My friends Sarah, Krista, and I split 3 different dishes so we could get the most out of our brunch! I wish I had gotten pictures of them all, but I only captured my own dish. Above is the egg white frittata. It was delicious, but my friend Sarah’s peach and strawberry pancakes STOLE THE SHOW. I need to go back….the 6.5 hour drive is totally reasonable for some good brunch right?!

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^Krista got the Challah French Toast, which was also to die for! I’m so glad we split everything, because I got to try so many unique and ah-mazing dishes.^

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^after brunch we cheesed around some before heading back to the lake for some fun!^

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^It was admittedly a little chilly, but Krista and I were GUNG-HO! We put on our bikinis and got into the sun! everyone else put on sweatshirts and blankets haha but it warmed up before long, and everyone else joined us in our sunny daze.^

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^before long, we were all ready to jump in and get our lake on!^

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^we finished off the afternoon with a long walk around the Basin Harbor Club. bliss.^

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^Saturday night we gussied ourselves up and headed to dinner at the Black Sheep Bistro. The food seriously tasted superb. The bread and olive oil was scrumptious. For my meal I had the Black Olive Caesar Salad, and split an order of the Spring Rolls with Krista. It was all great, but a little small.  The only vegetarian entree was a vegetable + cheese tart, and I wasn’t feeling that. But my choices were definitely awesome, and the fries + mashed potatoes served to the table (yes they do this for everyone!) were pretty amazing too^

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^the rest of the night was filled with chilling by the lake, quality friend time, and…a little debauchery as well ;)^

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Sunday:

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^Sunday started at Tyler’s house, with some relaxing chats and coffee by the lake. Then some eggs, bacon (the famous Dakin bacon from Dakin farm….I didn’t try {obviously} but I did hear some rave reviews!)^

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^then BOATING. I love being on a lake {or ocean} so much! As a Long Island girl, I’m much more familiar with beach days, so when I get a chance to get in that fresh water….I’m all over it! Some lovely pictures of Krista and I tubing… total horror {and joy} on our faces^

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^sadly, Krista and I had to head out early afternoon in order to make the evening ferry and make it back at a reasonable time. But, we made sure to take time for a last minute shopping stop {I got a super comfy + cute Basin Harbor pullover}, and some ice cream. I don’t normally do ice cream because I try to avoid dairy but… this was too good to pass up.  Cake batter ice cream {legit one of my favorite flavors ever} with a swirl of chocolate icing… yes. Done.^

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^we made it back to the ferry just in time to see it pulling away!! Oh well, we had a short 45 minute wait till the next one, and then only a 10 minute drive from there to get home.^

Visiting Vermont was amazing. I am so glad that despite my class and stress I decided to focus on friends and good relationships this weekend. Sometimes, you have to look at the big picture and decide what’s important in the long run. A weekend with friend {especially Sarah who is transferring schools!} was definitely worth it. I have our Frekend {our unofficial name for the friend weekend} will become an annual event 🙂

Have you had any fun trips lately?

What do you prefer- lake or beach?