wedding weekend in LA!

Hey guys! It’s been a while. School has been crazy, and right in the midst of applying to medical schools, submitting a research abstract (hello days and night s spent in the lab) and multiple tests… my cousin got married. It was an amazing trip out to Los Angeles to visit my family and see the wedding. I was exhausted last week, after getting back and having 3 tests the next day, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

The wedding was in a house overlooking the valley of Los Angeles, and the view was spectacular. I thought it was beautiful during the ceremony, but it was even more spectacular when the sun went down. The wedding was very DIY and basically the exact wedding you see on Pinterest and think you want to recreate but never could.

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^The beginning… #ryanandgenie^

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^my date for the night was this stunner. AMT, my big sister!^

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^what a family.^

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^sass runs in our blood.^

The ceremony was about 20 minutes, and their heartfelt vows had at least half (more like 90%) of us in tears. After that, it was drinks and appetizers in the front of the house, then back out to the yard for food, dancing, and great company! I was definitely running on the energy around me- I had only barely been in Los Angeles for 24 hours at this point!

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^the first dance. it was perfect, and completely un-choreographed (much to my surprise!)^

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^a night time view over the valley.^

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^we love each other!!!!^

The next morning, we all re-gathered for a family brunch. I was basically starving at this point between the exhaustion + dancing the night away + the vegetarian wedding (which was delicious, i just didn’t eat much. soy chorizo, not my thing!). The brunch hit the spot, and it was great to see everyone again before we all headed home.

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^old cousins, new cousins^

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^the last picture I snagged with the married couple!^

It was an amazing weekend, and the first cousin to get married. How exciting! I have at least 2 wedding to go to in the next year, and after this wonderful weekend, I can’t wait for the festivities to continue! 

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On: Rest.

Time for some Thinking Out Loud!

I am currently sitting on the plane back to Greenville, typing in the air. The past few days have been crazy around here! It wasn’t easy to find the balance between packing, studying, workouts, and making sure I spent enough time with my favorite people (aka the fam) before heading back down to South Carolina for the whole summer.

A funny thing happened in the midst of all the busy days. I didn’t go to the gym- Thursday or Friday. As someone who is likes control and order in her life, I normally don’t skip a day at the gym, and in the past missing a workout would have made me feel stressed and out of control. Especially in the midst of a week (like this one) where I was eating out more, and indulging in some treats.

But who wants to live tied to a schedule, stressed out anytime life gets a little crazy, or anytime we miss a few workouts. Not me! Being able to let go of that control, and just enjoying the time with my family was such a blessing. God has brought me so far in this journey, and He continually shows me that I don’t need to be in control, in fact I can’t be in control- He already is!

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Thursday morning, I woke up and it was pouring rain. My mom was at work already, and I was stuck at home. I like to get a morning walk in with my mom every day, but what can you do?! Rain is rain. I studied most of the day, and didn’t do anything too eventful. At lunch time, I did a 30 minute mini-circuit workout, just to get the blood flowing back to my head. Mid-afternoon, my mom arrived home and we decided to go for a walk, to hang out and make up for the walk we had missed in the morning. Normally, 2:30-3, when my mom arrives home, is right when I head to the gym. But I decided that spending 1 hour+ with my mom would be much more beneficial to my health than any workout. In addition to the excellent conversation, we ended up walking 5+ hilly miles, so we got our own little workout in after all! I told myself I was going to do a workout in our basement later that night, but between talking to my mom, studying, making dinner, and starting to pack.. I never did. And I was completely happy with that decision!

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Friday morning, I woke up and walked with my mom, as per our usual schedule. We walked our normal 3 miles, enjoying the early morning chill in the air.  The time spent together was so valuable! We always have fun on our walks, even if I was getting pretty hungry hangry for breakfast by the end 😉

We had to rush to clean & prepare our house before a family came to check it out at 10:30 (my parents are selling!). My mom met up with a friend to walk 2.5 more miles (way to go Mama T!) and I got ready for the day. While our house was being shown, we spent an hour shopping at the Gap, and I scored a bunch of cute new dresses! I spent the rest of the morning packing, eating lunch, packing more, and studying a little bit.

Mid afternoon one of my best friends stopped by so we could hang out– who knows the next time we’ll both be on Long Island at the same time! We decided to walk the ~1.3 miles from my house down to Dunkin Donuts for an afternoon ice coffee. The walk wasn’t bad at all, but the sun sure was shining down on us! I pretty much guzzled down my iced coffee, and enjoyed every sip! Plus, it was “National Donut Day” so we each got a free donut with our drink. Normally, I would never eat a donut, especially on a day I hadn’t been to the gym– you know, a day I hadn’t “earned” it. I got a frosted chocolate donut with sprinkles, but mostly ate the frosting.. I wanted the treat but didn’t really want to risk it with all that gluten.

That night, my Dad and I headed out for a delicious dinner in downtown Port Jefferson. I had a greek salad with salmon- simple and delicious. After dinner we walked around for a while and enjoyed the sunset. Then we grabbed some ice cream- yum! I had chocolate soft serve and rainbow sprinkles.

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It was such an enjoyable day, and I was glad I didn’t stop to worry about the working out, or what I was eating. I had what I wanted and I felt great about it! Plus, with all that walking and activity, I was getting good ‘exercise’ without putting the stress of a hard workout on my body.

Saturday morning, it was another mom & daughter walk- our last for a while :(. After the walk, we had tea together! There is the cutest little Tea Room in our town, and it’s a fun date for anyone who enjoys some good tea. I had apple-cranberry tea, and a cinnamon scone. A fun and perfect morning!

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After packing all Saturday afternoon, I headed to the gym and did a 40 minute HIIT workout. After a few days out of the gym, I felt awesome! I’m sure I would have enjoyed working out on Thursday and Friday, but I enjoyed spending time with my family and friends so much more. My priorities are way different than they were a year ago or 2, and that is something to be thankful for. I can’t wait until the next time I get to spend time with my favorite people!

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Do you ever choose fun over the gym? 

When was the last time you took a rest day, or *gasp* two?

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?

Whirl.

Hey y’all. I’m almost back in the South, so I’m allowed to say things like “y’all” again ;). The past few days have been complete madness around here! A whirl of emotions, hectic-ness, friends, and family.

Friday morning, I woke up unreasonably early {like pre 6 am!} for no real reason. I guess my body wanted me to be productive? I read a little, talked to my parents, and then got my morning started. Coffee, granola, greek yogurt. Check, check, check. It was the perfect breakfast on a cold rainy morning. I mean- you can never go wrong with coffee.

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After breakfast, my mom and I headed out to see Saving Mr. Banks. Y’all- go see this! It’s not an action movie at all, but it is a heartwarming, sad, inspiring tale. I was crying more than once but it was more than worth it.

After the movie, we ran some errands, which was great mother-daughter time :). Then we met up with my best friend Krista and grabbed some lunch at a local Mexican restaurant. I had a plate of roasted vegetables and fresh cheese. Simple and scrumptious. We walked and talked some, and then grabbed some frozen yogurt. I had apple pie and cake batter topped with cookie dough bites– love me some dessert!

When we got home, I started packing and then headed out for a quick workout as a break.

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^A quick 30 minutes on the Arc trainer. Fast and dirty.^

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My room was kind of a mess. My mom hung out with me while I packed, and then we all had some dinner together. Simple salad and hummus. My mom and I were still pretty full from lunch, and my dad had some extra chicken to fill him up.

After dinner, packing continued, fun stuff. A little later, I had a slight panic attack… I was not emotionally/physically/mentally ready to leave home. I’ve gotten to an age where I worry about my parents and my siblings when we’re apart, and it makes me miss them so much more than ever before. So.. 20 minutes later and one impulsive decision- I changed my flight to Sunday, giving me an extra day at home. I immediately felt so much better after changing my flight. It was even cheaper!

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^A little snack after the ordeal. I kept packing but felt so so much better and relaxed.^

Question of the day:

What was the last impulsive decision you made?

Holiday Highlights

Before Christmas, we had lots of parties, fun, and all around hectic-ness. My mom and I babysat, and I needed to keep up to date with my workouts {hello, half marathon training!}. With all the treats and fun, I had to make sure I kept healthy and on track. I got in a workout almost everyday, except two when we were driving pretty much all day/went straight to family after a long drive. But rest is good too!

Also, if you guys haven’t noticed, I have gone gluten free in the last month. It has to do with my Hypothyroidism, which is officially “Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis” and is an autoimmune condition. Since eliminating a lot of gluten from my diet, I haven’t noticed a huge difference in my day to day feel, but I have noticed that when I eat a lot of gluten at one time/in one day, I can definitely feel a negative effect. Digestion/stomach wise, and energy wise as well. It’s an experiment in process. One of my goals for the holidays was to not overload on the gluten, knowing that it would really affect how I felt. I didn’t do a great job but I didn’t do a terrible job either!

Enough rambling… here are some holiday highlights.

Eats:

pictures of my eats are few and far between.. here we go though!

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^coffee. x1000000. I always think I’ll be more rested/off caffeine when I’m home but… somehow that doesn’t seem to happen. Enter 1 million cups of coffee.^

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A lot of savory breakfasts. In an effort to combat sugar cravings and offset treats.. I have eaten a lot of savory breakfasts in the past weeks. It’s really nice to start the day with veggies, and at least know I’m getting off on the right foot. Above ^^ spaghetti squash, bell peppers, some Earth Balance butter, and goat cheese.

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^We had friends over for brunch one morning and produced quite a spread. Yes, that is a cupcake in the background. 2 actually. What else are you supposed to do when 2 of the most adorable kids are coming over?! I ate some fruit, yogurt, granola, and some peanut butter cookies. They’re gluten free! That makes cookies before 12 ok..right? 😉

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^And last, an awesome salad I made when we had friends over for dinner. We ordered in pizza, but I was trying to stay off the gluten, so I make this huge salad from all the fixins. Everyone ate smaller side salads, but I was happy with my monstrosity!^

Workouts:

Before I left for family holidays and my conference, I got a 7-day pass to a local gym. It was so nice of them to give it to me for free, especially because they knew I don’t go to college here and wasn’t interested in buying a real membership.

Workouts mostly consisted of runs {half marathon trainings}! When I wasn’t running, I did some circuits, some elliptical, and some biking. Kept it simple while on the road with mostly cardio, which I was able to do in the morning before family time, conference things, travel, or whatever was going on that day! When I’m at home/school I can normally get away with a workout later in the day, but when traveling/away I find it so much easier to do it before anyone else is up {unless they want to come with me of course!} and not worry about when I’ll have time later.

Workout selfies… an experiment ;)-

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^6 miles. Harder than when I ran 9. Weird. But I’m getting my distance back up and getting close to half marathon ready!^

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Fun//Activities:

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^all dressed up for a Christmas party at home.^

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^The first picture is mine.. the second was made by our little 7 year old friend, Anna Grace. Yep. She’s more artistically talented than me. Mine is “more of a Christmas blob”- family friend. Pretty accurate though…^

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^Brunch with old friend, little friends, and family^

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^a huge dessert night! I made sure to conquer the {gluten free} peanut butter cookies^

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^siblings and family friends. I wonder who the weird one in the bunch is…^

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^Christmas nails. Get your holiday sparkle on. This was such a fun color!^

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^Sometimes when I’m bored, I go to the strip club. make fun presents.^

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^The result… little wrapped up presents for my awesome older sister. She had fun unwrapping all the little bunches and finally figuring out the count.^

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^The most gorgeous Nativity scene. My mom actually won it at our church one year, and it is stunning! Baby Jesus doesn’t get put out until Christmas of course!^

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^My mom did such an amazing job with our tree. Gorgeous!^

Questions:

How do you keep healthy during the holidays?

2014. Resolutions and Plans!

It’s 2014! Can you guys believe it?

In 2013 I started this little blog, and I definitely haven’t been as dedicated to it as I planned. During the school year I alternated between dedicated and slack depending on the intensity of the work load. I figured that once I got home for winter break, I would settle in and blog as much as I had been itching to. But…. there was so many activities! Family parties, friends, babysitting {hello exhausting}, and then of course Christmas with the whole family! Right after Christmas, my mom, my brother, and I drove down to Jacksonville, FL {a 15 hour drive}. I was there for a Campus Outreach conference and my brother was there to see his roommate get married! So much excitement!

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^Dessert with friends, and my .siblings!^

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^Christmas in Baltimore.^

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^The littlest elf cousin. Doesn’t that just melt your heart!!^

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^The schedule from my awesome conference!^

^The schedule from my conference. It was busy but amazing!^

So with that, here’s what I’m thinking. 2013 was the start of this little blog. I trucked along and did the best I can. For 2014 I am going to be more accountable. I want to post more, but especially post more of 1- my eats {because that’s what I promised when I started this} and 2- my thoughts, because they are cool too.

So here it is in writing. I’m sure it won’t go 100% as planned, but I’m excited for 2014 and I can’t wait to see what it will bring!

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? 

survey it.

I loveeeeee surveys. I think it’s because they are really similar to making lists….and I loveeeeeee making lists!

A is for age: 20 years old :)!

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B is for breakfast today: coconut milk greek yogurt with some Trader Joe’s fiber cereal

C is for currently craving: chocolate. but….when am I not 😉

D is for dinner tonight: good question…. probably chickpeas, grilled veggies, and hummus on some lettuce. a staple.

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E is for favorite type of exercise: #1 has to be walks with my family because nothing is more special than that! and #2 just for me– currently loving my Half Marathon Training, and Jamie Eason’s LiveFit trainer (I’m doing phase 2- not following exactly, but it’s really helpful to have a guideline of weights workouts)

F is for an irrational fear: big waves! kind of embarrassing considering I love the beach and basically grew up on it… one day I will overcome! I want to learn how to surf so it’s probably a necessary step..

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G is for gross food: meat…haha long time vegetarian here. Meat just doesn’t do it for me.

H is for hometown: born- Virginia Beach lived- Honolulu Hawaii, Tokyo Japan, Puerto Rico, Baldwin New York and most time lived- Setauket New York. plus 1 year living abroad in Belgium, and now I go to school in Greenville South Carolina.. hometown doesn’t really apply to me?

I is for something important: my twin brother. my mom, dad. my sister. my cute boyfriend. my faith in Jesus Christ.

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J is for current favorite jam: current (and pretty much constant)- anything by Mumford and Sons, the Avett Brothers, the Lumineers, the Civil Wars (c’est la mort makes me melt), Regina Spektor, Ingrid Michaelson, and Jack Licitra!

K is for kids: I am a kid. at heart. that is all.

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L is for current location: Stony Brook/Setauket New York. Only 3 more weeks though and I’ll be trekking back to South Carolina!

M is for the most recent way you spent money: leasing a car?! yes. I am now the owner (leaser?) of my very first car!

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N is for something you need: to get a good grade in this summer ochem class!

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O is for occupation: full time student. part time babysitter. full time goof.

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P is for pet peeve: when I see people running (like not to catch a bus/train…just seems like they’re out for a jog)….IN NORMAL CLOTHES. anyone who knows me knows that I get very flustered by this. what are they doing?! you can’t run in jeans and chucks people!

Q is for a quote: “Every good and perfect gift comes from above”. James 1:17

R is for random fact about you: I speak Dutch !

S is for favorite healthy snack: kale chips and guacamole YUM. and greek yogurt. and any kind of trail mix (if it has chocolate all the better…)

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T is for favorite treat: chocolate cake! but….I don’t really care about the cake. Icing, you have my heart.

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U is for something that makes you unique: 

V is for favorite vegetable: seriously? you’re asking a vegetarian to choose a vegetable? how about top 5…. spinach, kale, asparagus, eggplant, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, romaine lettuce, spaghetti squash. oops…top 10. 🙂

W is for today’s workout: this morning: walked with Mom. good times. later- probably a little Arc trainer at the gym followed by a leg workout woo! plus I bike to and from class + the gym each day which is an awesome bonus for my workout.

X is for X-rays you’ve had: one time, I got in trouble for wearing a metal bobby pin during a CAT scan. adventures.

Y is for yesterday’s highlight: yesterday’s highlight- seeing my cute new car between my parents’ cars. mine is a shade darker than both of theirs so it makes me looks like SUCH A REBEL . (which I definitely am…not.)

Z is for your time zone: Eastern Time Zone!

happy Wednesday!

walks, workouts, and TWO recipes.

hey all! here are some things I’m digging right now. some workouts I’ve been doing, and two recipes I whipped up!

High-5-Workout

^I’m loving this High 5 workout from Sarah over at Sarah Fit. It’s quick, sweaty, perfect for these hot summer days when you’re not sure what to do, or..to do while you watch TV in your nice air conditioned home. (unless you’re like me that is…and have ‘AC’ but only set it to 80…it’s still pretty hot in hereeeeeeee!)^

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^I’ve had some really lovely morning walks with my mom, and my sister even joined us one day! It’s good to get moving early, but it’s unbelievable how hot it already is at 6 am!^

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^I’m currently on week 3 of this 10 week plan from Hal Higdon. I’ve always like running but never more than 3 miles. This will have me running 10 by September…pretty exciting!^

and now…the recipes! or ‘un-recipes as I like to call them because they’re so easy and really don’t have much to them!

First up: Honey Almond Butter

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^this first one is SUPER simple- which is basically a requirement if I’m making something. This recipe was actually born out of my weird eating… aka when I eat trail mix I eat a disproportionate amount of the goodies (dried fruits, choc chips, etc) and leave A LOT of the nuts behind… doesn’t everyone? 🙂 So I often find myself left with large amounts of almonds and nothing to really do with them. So I thought…I like nut butter a lot more than plain nuts, so why not test my hand at some homemade almond butter?^

Honey Almond Butter

~3 c almonds

~1/4 honey (or to your taste)

…that’s it!

-whiz in your blender/food processor/vitamix for about 10 minutes until it’s the consistency you’d like!

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^this is a real gem! Smoothies are my favorite for the summer when it’s hot and ick out and I just want to refresh and relax! Perfect fuel for after a workout, and they cool you down as a bonus^

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^this is a pumpkin cinnabon smoothie I made, pretty much by accident. But it tasted like a pumpkin cinnamon roll…I mean, I had to share!^

Pumpkin Cinnamon Smoothie- serves 1

2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

-1 tsp cinnamon

-1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use Sunwarrior’s vegan/raw vanilla powder)

-2 T pumpkin puree (just plain nothing added!)

-1 T ground flaxseed

-1/4 ice cubes

-Blend this up and enjoy it immediately!

Happy Thursday….tomorrow is Friday ! 

my blog.

while cruising Pinterest this weekend I stumbled upon this lovely website- Tagxedo. It’s a cool website where you can enter the words you want and have them formed into {basically} any shape with whatever colors you would like! And all for free. You can also enter in a website/twitter name/etc and the site will take the words you use most and form your shape!

I love this kind of stuff that seems like crafting but requires minimal artistic creativity on my part. So I made one of my blog so far…

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It’s fun to see which words I use the most! healthy, summer, family… I’m pretty happy with those front runners!

Happy Humpday! Head over to Tagxedo and make your own!