7 things I’m Lovin’ Lately

Happy Sunday! Hope you’re enjoying yours thus far, and hope this “falling back” has given you more time to relax! I honestly didn’t even remember that we fell back an hour last night until a few hours ago….wooops. Shows you how much I pay attention to the clock on lazy Sundays 🙂 

Here’s 7 things I’m lovin this week: 

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1. Fall scented Candles. I’m a sucker for all candles, really. Specifically ones that make my apartment smell like I just made a batch of homemade cookies! I’m really diggin’ the pumpkin spice candles! They make every room so cozy! 

2. Great Lakes Christmas Ale. It’s baaaaaack! This ale is by far my favorite beer, probably like, ever. It really tastes like Christmas in a bottle. 

3. EOS Lip Balm. I just love this! I love that its in a round little ball, and it makes my lips sooo soft! It comes in a bunch of different colors/flavors. Definitely my new favorite.

4. Justin’s Almond Butter. GAAAH. Words cant even express how much I love this stuff. I love topping my oatmeal with it, making almond butter & banana sandwiches, and topping a banana with it. So yummy! Obsessed. I need to try the other flavors! 

5. This Desktop Wallpaper. I found this beauty here: http://sunshine-bloggers.blogspot.com/2013/10/wallpaper-hello-october-2013.html. I love turning on my computer and being greeted by such a fun wallpaper!

6. Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer. I love coffee. I love pumpkin. I LOVE PUMPKIN COFFEE.

7. Nike Training App. This app is amazing. It gives you workouts to complete, shows videos and times you as you’re doing it. It’s the best, especially on mindless days where you don’t feel like making up your own workout! 

{Skinny} Banana Blueberry Chocolate Chip Bread

I. Love. Bread. 

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No really, if I had to choose 5 foods to live on for the rest of my life, it’d be towards the very tippy top of that list. What’s better than a piece of warm, gooey bread? Especially when it’s lower calorie! This bread is amazing. I feel like when I put fruit in anything I make, it automatically makes it healthy, but this recipe has a few swaps that make it healthier than your standard homemade or store bought bread, and it tastes just as delicious!

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What you’ll need:

  •  2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 bananas
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/3 cup pecans (or whatever nut you like, this is optional I just like a little crunch in my bread)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • tbsp of vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • dark chocolate chips

mix together & bake for 40-50 minutes at 350˚

And viola! Beautiful, delicious bread!

Skinny {Olive Garden} Chicken Gnocchi Soup

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You know when you eat something reallllllly good? And for the whole entire week you can’t get your mind off that one thing? Welp. I had a baaad case of that. My boyfriend & I went out to dinner at Olive Garden on Tuesday and he ordered Chicken Gnocchi Soup with his meal, and naturally I stole a few, errr maybe 5, bites (mostly of the gnocchi, yum!) I’ve been dreaming of this soup ever since! So, thanks to good ol’ Pinterest (so obsessed. It’s a problem) I found a great copycop recipe that is healthier than the original recipe. Happy day!

I’m not much of a pasta fan. Every once in a while I’ll crave it, but other than that I could probably give it up altogether. (Don’t worry, I dont even have an ounce of Italian in my blood.) HOWEVER, I absolutely adore gnocchi. It’s something I just recently discovered existed a few years ago. Isnt is weird that some people are SO familiar with some foods that other people haven’t even tried/heard of? My friend and I were having a conversation about her favorite childhood meals, and one of hers was Stromboli. I found this so funny because I didn’t try my first Stromboli until I was in my 20’s! But it was totally a staple in her childhood. So funny!

This soup is delicious & really wasn’t hard to make at all.

Here’s what you’ll need:

3 -4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups half-and-half
1 stalk celery, diced
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 carrot, shredded
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper
16 ounces potato gnocchi

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1. Saute the onion, celery, garlic, carrot in oil over medium heat until onion is translucent.
2. Add chicken, chicken stock, half and half, salt and pepper, thyme. Heat to boiling, then add gnocchi. Gently boil for 4 minutes, then turn down to a simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add spinach and cook for another 1-2 minutes until spinach is wilted.
4. (Heat to boiling and add cornstarch dissolved in 1-2 Tbsp water at this point if you want a thicker soup.).
5. Ladle into bowls and serve!

Sunday Roundup!

Happy Sunday, friends! Hope your weekend is going well! 

This weekend i came home to visit my dad for his birthday! Some relaxing time at home with the family is exactly what I needed. Ice cream cake + pumpkin coffee + my puppy Moe makes for a pretttty wonderful Friday 🙂

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One happy birthday boy! IMG_7555

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Have you guys seen these?! My dad got a Keurig for his birthday and we’ve all been obsessed with it since. He bought 18 pumpkin spice K-cups, and I think I maaaay be responsible for the majority of them being gone already! GIMME ALL THE PUNKIN!

 

I didn’t have many crazy plans this weekend and i was toootally okay with that.

Saturday started off with a shhhweaty workout at my favorite LA fitness gym. I was feeling a little A.D.D. so i played musical machines!  I jumped from machine to machine, doing 10-15 minutes on each before switching to the next. I started with a warmup mile run on the treadmill, followed by 15 minutes on the stairmaster and 15 minutes on the elliptical alternating between resistance 10 and 12 every few minutes (while watching the miley cyrus story on MTV. While I wouldn’t have watched this outside the gym, Im not even gonna lie, it really kept my attention and made my workout fly by. Ha!)

IMG_7554 I followed my 30ish minutes of random cardio with strength training circuits. I started with this wonderful workout I found online. I love it! It was fun, challenging, and kept me going. I felt it heavy on the abs, but I liked that about it! This is definitely a workout i will do on off-days from the gym.

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Last night I had a great time catching up with my college roommate, eating pizza & drinking wine. Although I am sad I didn’t have a wild halloween party to dress up for, this is definitely my ideal chill saturday night 🙂

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Today I decided to try out a few recipes i have been meaning to try for awhile!

PESTO HUMMUS

Just to let you know, I am addicted to hummus. No, like…really addicted. I have 2 tubs of it (usually family sized) in my fridge at all times. Like, no matter what. I put it on everything, including just eating it by the spoonful. This recipe will be eaten the same way! I love pesto, I love hummus, why not mix the 2? It turned out wonderfully! Simple, 3 ingredients, cant go wrong!

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All you need is:
• 1 can chickpeas
• 2 tbsp pesto
• 1/4 cup tahini sauce

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ALMOND BUTTER

I recently discovered Justin’s almond butter and my life hasn’t been the same since. I have always been a huge peanut butter lover, but holy cow — almond butter!? Does it get any better than that? I think not.

I tried my own by simply roasting 2 cups of raw almonds (I seasoned them a bit with cinnamon & salt first) for 10 minutes then placing in a food processor.

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I had to split the recipe in half and do it twice because my processor is small, but it all worked out! Once the almonds were starting to get grainy and more liquidy (is that a word?!) I added honey & cinnamon.IMG_7583IMG_7585 IMG_7593 IMG_7598

Mixed it all up for about 10-15 more minutes and voila! Almond butter! It is sososos delicious, and i cannot believe how easy it was! I want to try different variations of flavors next.

Now time to finish up some laundry and make my journey back to my apartment to get ready for this week. Have a great, lazy Sunday!

Blueberry & Banana Oat Muffins

IMG_7129 Happy Sunday! Today for food prep Sunday I made these delicious, simple, healthy muffins! IMG_7104

First, slice bananas IMG_7105

Add blueberriesIMG_7106

Add oatsIMG_7107

Add Baking soda IMG_7108

Mix all togetherIMG_7109

 

In a separate bowl, mix yogurt & applesauce (and milk & vanilla not shown)

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Lay down dry ingredientsIMG_7112

Layer with we ingredients and mix IMG_7114

Preheat oven to 350, and bake for 30 mins! IMG_7115

 

Ta-da! Delicious, easy muffins for breakfast all week 🙂

Recipe here

Pumpkin Everything, please // weekly roundup!

Happy Sunday, ya’ll! Tonight as I sit in bed, sippin’ my hot chocolate, with the aroma of cinnamon and vanilla candles around me, I feel quite accomplished and satisfied!

Today I woke up all ambitious about my plans for the day. I don’t know why, but as I laid in bed this morning scrolling through Instagram (don’t act like you don’t do it. No, but really, I have a problem. Like, a bad addiction), I decided I really wanted to rearrange my room. Im the kind of person who hates change, except when moving furniture/new furniture/decor is involved. So, that happened. Living alone is fine and all, until you need heavy lifting help.

Despite my built-in-heavy-lifting/using my butt to push furniture around my room today, I dragged myself to the gym for a real workout. The gym on Sundays is like, a bar on Monday night. Completely empty and weird. But, I like it. (I also like bars on Mondays). I wanted to switch my workout up a little, but not get TOO crazy (remember, I don’t like change?) so I went upstairs to the cardio theater and ran 2 miles. In the dark. While watching “Employee of the Month.” I actually reallllllly like this movie, for whatever reason. Dane Cook is hilarious. And Jessica Simpson is a terrible actress. Good combination for a giggle.

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The cardio theater is cool and all, the only down fall is, ha, well, I thought I was going to fall the entire time. I used my handy dandy cell phone light to get myself situated ON the treadmill, and the entire time kept looking down to make sure I wasn’t about to fly off the back of it. Near death experience, really. I live my life on the edge (hahaaa, I’m not even trying to make these puns they just keep happening!) IMG_7050

Anyway, so it’s September. Which means it’s Fall… okay, not really. BUT its not Summer anymore (hallelujah). Annnd the weather is cooling off a bit. But most importantly, Starbucks has pumpkin spice lattes, bars are serving pumpkin beer on tap, and the grocery stores have pumpkin yogurt, cream cheese, coffee creamer, and lots of other goodies. OBSESSED. SO OBSESSED.

Today I purchased:

• Pumpkin Yogurt & Apple Crisp Yogurt… CAN YOU BELIEVE THESE FLAVORS EXIST? HOLY COW I AM SO HAPPY

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• Pumpkin spice cream cheese… holy punnnkin’. I was eating it with my finger the second I walked in my door. What? no I wasn’t…thats…gross…….(yes i was.)

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Things Im loving this week:

• THIS SMOOTHIE, MAH GAH. From Cup O Joe. It is a Vanilla, honey, banana smoothie and it is SOOO good! Ive had like 3 in the last 2 weeks and Im really not sorry about it.

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• Foodles. Because I am a child. And if loving Disney til forever is wrong, I don’t want to be right. Also, these are delicious and a quick, fast snack. I maaaay have finished it on my way home from the store….

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• Victorias Secret workout clothes. I just recently bought these running capris and this top, and I love them! So comfy and just darn wonderful.

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• Breadless Sammiches. (Or unwiches as Jimmy John calls them.) Or Lettuce Tacos…Basically putting things I would normally put on a sammich, into a romaine leaf. I dont always have the time to chop up veggies for a salad, so this is essentially like eating a salad just in a different form. I even put cottage cheese in one for a post work-out snack. Delicious, easy, and fun to eat!

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• Fall things 🙂 Sorry for the selfie, but I was really excited to bust out my scarf and sperrys this week!

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More pumpkin talk…. I made pumpkin overnight oats. Here’s the recipe:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 pumpkin yogurt
  • a dash of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 1 tbps chia seeds

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So excited to nom this bad boy in the morning!

Now, its time for hot chocolate, a movie, and bed! IMG_7063