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Woah, bad blogger.

Oh my goodness gracious I’m sorry I haven’t posted in so long!

As soon as I got back from Destin with my family I had a day to pack the rest of my things and come up to Amherst.

Then I had a day or two to pack MY WHOLE APARTMENT and move. It was one long day and just happened to be the very same day that a tornado ripped through Springfield, MA which is pretty close to where I live. Talk about scary, right?

Then it took us about a week to be able to get an appointment with Comcast to come set up the internet and cable. What a pain in the butt. Needless to say, I got a LOT of reading done.

Then after that I went to the Jersey shore (insert fist pumping, or GTL joke here) for TWO whole weeks and got back and got situated and have been so busy living and catching up with friends and doing work that blogging was put on the back burner.

Other notable updates:

I acquired a bike to give my knees a rest.

Im in love

 

Witnessed a redbull cliff diving competition in boston.

Sickest thing ever.

Made foccacia.

Holy. Yum. Want. It. Now.

Encountered the smallest turtle I’ve ever seen on a run.

Hand is there for size reference. Obvs. How adorable is that little guy?

I’ll start posting regularly again now. I apologize for my absence!

Catch you guys soon!

 

When you’re super busy what gets put on the back burner? For Some people its exercise, or cooking delicious food or making time for family and friends, but for me, its the blogging. I feel like I can always come back to it when I have time and the other things are far more important! :)

 

I’m baaaaack!

Holy moly my last 5 days have been a whirlwind!

I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to post or comment, but I was reading! The internet was horrible in the condo where we stayed and it took my computer FOREVER to load posts, so I didn’t even make an attempt at posting or uploading pictures.

Things I did while I was away:

Beach lounged

Beach walks

Morning runs

Ate cookie dough cereal

Craved AB sandwiches on white bread with the crusts cut off –all day long (for real, I’m pretty sure I ate 6 of these in three days)

Ate mountains of frozen yogurt

Outlet mall shopping- J. Crew hollaaaa

Went crabbing (unsuccessful)

Frolicked in the waves

Kayaked

Paddle boarded- SO MUCH FUN

Mini golfed

It was pretty action packed!

We got back to Lexington last night, and I woke up early this morning to catch a flight back to Amherst. I was so relieved that my flight was on time and I arrived in Hartford safely.

BUT THEN, I got to my car and it was dead. Traveling never goes smoothly for me. When I realized that my car was dead, I sat on the floor of the parking garage and meditated so I didn’t lose my mind. (Really, I know thats gross, but desperate times call for desperate measures)

Then, I went back inside, and tracked down someone who could jump start me and made it back home! YAY!

Then I immediately laced up my sneaks for a 6.5 mile stress relief run. Although it is 90* here right now(and my apartment doesn’t have air conditioning), it was superb.

 

I’m really sorry this post is boring and has no pictures. My internet is being funny, and everything is taking super long.

I move tomorrow, so hopefully all of that goes smoothly– but I’ll let you know! :)

 

 

What is the BEST vacation you have ever taken?  A few years ago my family went to Maui and it was GORGEOUS. I ate my weight in pineapple every day and drank pina coladas and cliff jumped into the ocean. Perfection!

How do you calm yourself down in stressful situations?  Obviously, I sit on the nasty ground and meditate. But hey, it works! :)

Snack attack smack down.

Whaddup foolios?!

My morning has been supah hectic.  I planned to wake up earlier than normal to squeeze a workout in before we left for Destin, but my alarm went off and I just didn’t feel like it. Since I’m not one to “force” myself to workout I decided I’ll just take a nice cruise around the city later on this evening. What better way to see a place than to run around it?

After sleeping through my alarm, I woke up this morning to my mom asking me where my suitcase was.

Oh… I haven’t packed yet…

So I hopped up and threw some clothes and bathing suits and running shoes in a suitcase and called it a day. Im quite possible the worst packer in the universe. I always have WAY too much stuff.

Right now I’m chowin’ on breakfast:

Recycled picture, same breakfast.. even same mug.. weird.

A heaping half cup of oats (sometimes a half cup just isn’t enough)

1.5c Almond Milk

1 large banana (only lame-os use half of a banana)

cashews on top

Nice and filling for a day of travel.

But what happens when I get a snack attack? (Because I’ll be real with you.. there is no such meal that can fill me up for 4 hours, let alone a day of travel.)

Well, truth be told I was packing snacks last night while I should have been packing clothing. Priorities people, priorities. Among my cornucopia of snacks were:

Larabars

Cashew cookie (duh) and Cookie dough!

Cashews

The last of my cashews... :(

Almonds

Bananas galore

Hey we've got 5 people. I can't risk running out.

Granola

A bag of oats

Bulk bin oats. Reduce your waste!! :)

A shelf stable carton of almond milk

Live. Saver.

An entire loaf of bread  (carb monster…)

Just act like its normal, ya dig?

A jar of AB (again, act like its normal)

Freeze dried strawbs/bloobs

Crunchy and tart! So good.

All together now:

I love snackin.

I wish cheese could be shelf stable.. I mean real cheese. Not cheese that comes in a squirt can. But I did used to love that stuff! I’d write my name on Wheat Thins and then demolish them. Thats as close to art as I ever got. ;)

I’m sure that on top of all this, I’ll throw some extra last minute snacks into the mix.

I’m going to try my best to keep up with bloggin/commenting while I’m away! It’ll be tough, but I love doing it, so I’ll try my best.

Do you pack a ton of snacks when you go on trips? I kind of have to because its hard for a vegetarian to eat on the road. But that doesn’t bother me because I LOVE this kind of food!

Do you eat differently when you’re on vacay? Normally I do. I tend to indulge more. Hey its a vacation. You’re basically obligated to indulge. ;)

Have you ever eaten squirt can cheese? I used to love it! No shame.

Let your freak flag fly.

I slept in till 8 this morning! Something must be wrong with me..

But after I moseyed down stairs and had a leisurely and boring breakfast, I learned that I was awarded by this lovely lady (go check out her blog, shes hilarious) with this:

An award for little old me? I’m so excited to do this! Okay so here are the rulezzzz:

1. SMILE!

2. Write 3 things you love about your looks.

3. Write 3 things you appreciate about your personality.

4. Write about something you find beautiful in others.

5. Award as many people as you know and let them know they’re beautiful!

1. SMILE!

Kidding, kidding

2. Three things:

a. My smile! Its huge!

2. My luscious locks:

3. My big brown eyes!

Well thats not creepy or anything...

2. Three things you love about your personality.

1. I’m not afraid to let my freak flag fly.

Yes. This is the SECOND picture of my milking a fake cow.

2. I’m outgoing!

3. I love  challenging myself.

'Jumping' at a challenge.... so not funny..

Another jumping at a challenge again!

4. I find honestly and genuine kindness beautiful in others. As well as people who aren’t afraid to be themselves, weirdness and all. :)

5. I tag EVERYONE who is reading this because you’re all beautiful! Plus saying things you like about yourself is fun. And a majah confidence boost. :)

I hope you all have a wonderful day! :)

Tell the 3 things you LOVE about yourself! Or more! :)

Spontaneity– the way to be.

I am spontaneous.

I love impromptu road trips, adventures, unnecessary detours, getting lost on purpose, exploring the unknown at odd times for no other reason other than to do it, making decisions on a whim..

There's that time I decided to dye my hair red... And got a red scalp with it. My big red curly fro shockingly resembled bozo the clown. It was awesome.

I adopted Igor on a whim. How could I say no to that face?!

Thats a picture of a fake T-rex and a sign that says "Dinosaur World"... My family wouldn't stop.. In hindsight, I'm thankful.

Well thank goodness this is the case.

My family is horrible at planning.  Excuse me.  I meant we don’t plan.  Since we all have such different schedules and live so far away from one another, we find it hard to spend any time together let alone get away for a vacay.  So, if we all happen to have a free minute, we just get up and go.

This morning, after breakfasting, my mom told me that were were going to Destin for a little get away this Friday. It’s currently Wednesday. This is a completely normal occurrence.

Keep in mind that I’m making the trek back to Massachusetts either Monday or Tuesday to move everything out of my apartment and into another. Yeah.. I have quite a busy week ahead of me.

Just goin with the flow.

Ps I bought the ugliest tomatoes yesterday (on a whim go figure) and I regret judging them by their appearance for the past few years. You know which ones I’m talking about…

A face only a mother could love..

Have a great day!

Have you ever tried the ugly tomatoes?!

Are you a planner or are you spontaneous?

Does being spontaneous make you uncomfortable?

Fake it till you make it: cookie dough edition.

I woke up this morning to my Igor (my cat) sitting on my face and I just knew it would be a great day!

Breakfast was the usual banana oatmeal + a coffee heart.

I'm so boring. fo reeeelzzz

Mid munching, the bowl started cracking menacingly.. My mom then informed me that it was a salad bowl and not supposed to have hot things in it. Who makes a bowl thats sole purpose is to carry lettuce. Get real. I scarfed fast enough that there wasn’t a casualty. :)

Then I got my sweat on with a 5 mile loop around town. I was hoping the clouds would squeeze out some rain because it was supa humid again, but no such luck.

Lunched on an avocado sammie + greek yog+cashews.

Hate having to put grape tomatoes on a sandwich. Delicious nonetheless.

Then I picked my baby bro-zo up from school and made him tag along to the fresh market with me while I looked like this:

Yeah thats Chuck Norris. Don't get used to having my "fashion" pictures on here.. I just wanted to embarrass myself a little bit today.

THEN I came home and made something that was incredible. Chocolate Covered Katie\’s cookie dough dip. Holy yum.

Obviously I added cocoa powder in.

If you make this, which I highly recommend you do, do not omit the nut butter. Thats what makes it outstanding.

Skeptical? It even passed the baby broski test!  And 14 year old boys are supah picky. (I told him it was brownie batter. He believed me.)

Okay so hes not really a baby.. but he'll always be my baby bro. :)

Trust me. Just make it. I ate it with a spoon rather than as dip. :)

I hope you’re having a wonderful day!

Whats your favorite kind of dip? Mine is hummus. It goes on ANYTHING!

Would you try cookie dough dip? I thought it sounded odd with the chickpeas but it totally works!

Whats the last recipe you tried?

6 confessions and 1 fact

Confession:  I’m a fashion-least-a.

Most days I resemble something along the lines of this:

Yep. Shorts and a T + some Chaco lovin'

And this is as about as good as it gets for day to day wear:

Obviously I live in Chacos. And shorts.

Confession: Me using the “word” fashion-least-a makes me not funny. Alright, that wasn’t a confession that was just a fact.

Confession: I dip bananas into the community yogurt container when I want some lazy snackage. Sorry family.

Confession: I want to like iced tea, but its just not the same as coffee.

Florida Orange Rooibos- $3.00 worth of mediocrity.

Confession: Today I put cocoa powder into my coffee as it was brewing. (Genius, right?!)….

Then I tried to convince myself that it tasted spectacular. But really it tasted like regular coffee. Boo.

Confession: I’ve read all of the Harry Potter books multiple times…. Nerd alert! (Wizards>Vampires)

Confession: When I’m at my parents house and my little broski is yelling about how he wants chicken nugs for dinner I make him these:

Meatless chick'n, pleeezeee

He wonders why my mom and I giggle as he’s eating, but has yet to notice. (I’ve done this like 5 times.)

It felt really good to get all of that off of my chest :)

What does your typical day to day wear consist of?  

Any confessions you want to get off of your chest?  Hopefully my little bro-zo doesn’t read this post… :)

Rainforest alliance

So the other day, I was tooting my own horn about the “Rainforest Alliance Certified” coffee that I purchased at Whole Foods.

how could I say no to that adorbs froggy?

But to be honest, I had no idea what that meant. It could have been about as relevant as having “all natural” plastered across a product.  And that seal was the ONLY reason I bought it. I had my favorite coffee (Mocha Java- just as magnificent as it sounds) in my hand and saw that tiny seal, put it down and picked up the other bag hoping I wasn’t being duped by a marketing scheme.

Then when I got home, I did a little internet perusing to figure out what it meant, and this is what I found. (Majorly paraphrased this BTW)

1. Social and envornmental management system: basically, the farm needs to be efficiently and effectively run and that they must be evaluated to prove that fact.

2. Ecosystem conservation: the farms protect natural ecosystems as well as do things to help ones that have been harmed.

3. Wildlife protection: The farms protect natural areas that contain food for animals, as well as any habitats for reproduction and raising offspring.

4. Water conservation: They conserve water and monitor their waste water.

5. Fair treatment and good working conditions for workers: They do not discriminate, and pay equal to or above minimum wage. If housing is provided, it must be in good condition. They have access to medical services and any children living there have access to education.

6. Occupational and health safety: workers receive safety training to reduce the number of accidents and the farms provide the necessary equipment to prevent injuries.

7. Community relations:  they are good neighbors and contribute to local economic development.

8. Integrated crop management: It is encouraged that the farms do not use chemicals that have proven to harm people or the enviornment. The farms record the quantities of chemicals they use and work to lessen or eliminate their use. They also follow the country’s (where their farm is located )laws about the use of chemicals.

9. Soil management and conservation: The farms must prevent or control erosion or reduce the loss of nutrients and lessing the impact on bodies of water that are near. They use specialized fertilizer, and crop rotation, as little pesticide as necessary and Never cut forests.

10. Integrated waste management :  The farms must be neat and orderly and reduce the amount of waste they produce by recycling and reusing. Where they put their waste and the transportation they use to take the waste away must be as environmentally friendly as possible.

If youre interested, you can read the standards in full here.

I was not at all impressed with these standards. These are very basic things that ALL farms should be complying to. Farming responsibly could have such a positive impact on the environment, but its more expensive and takes more effort. More effort means more time, and time is money, honey.

It makes me wonder about the big name farm (Driscolls) where these babies came from:

And about the no name farm where these came from:

I know people make a big deal about purchasing ethically raised animal products (and I think thats great!), but what about responsibly farmed produce? At least with animal products they stick it right on the package. With fruits and veg, were really just buying it all blind.

Have a splendid day! :)

How do you feel about the standards that a farm must meet to become “Rainforest Alliance Certified”?

Do you think this will change the way you see produce? If it does, what are you going to do about it? For me, I’m going to make more of an effort to buy locally sourced and fair trade produce.

Herbaceous barley: hot or cold.

I heard Giada de Laurentis use the word herbaceous once and have been wanting to use it ever since. Haha :) But its the perfect word to describe my lunch and dinner.

Post breakfasting, I cooked some barley and put it in the fridge to chill out while I went for a short jog around my parents gorgeous neighborhood. My legs felt like cinderblocks, and it was so humid that you could have cut the air with a knife. Perfect.

When I got back I picked some fresh herbs from my garden:

Basil and thyme. Don't worry, I washed them first. :)

Then chopped some veg action including a whole tomato, some cucumber and some red pepper, then largely diced some homemade seitan (yum), and threw it all into the bowl with the cold barley + the herbs that I finely chopped.

Exquisite!

I topped it with some parmesan cheese and a hunk of avocado. Chewy from the barley and seitan, crunchy and fresh from the veg and creamy from the avocado. A bowl full of texture.

I loved this lunch so much that I used barley again for dinner.

It was gross and rainy out so I decided I wanted something hot, steamy and comforting. Enter roasted vegetable barley risotto.

Risotto is one of my favorite foods ever. Its SO versatile! Generally its made with arborio rice, but I swapped in barley to up the fiber/ protein and it worked like a charm.

Oh. Yes.

How did I do it?

Step one:  I chopped and roasted a big portabello mushroom cap and a zucchini in the oven on 400* for 30 minutes (You can use any veg that tickles your fancy).

Step 2:  Meanwhile I cooked 1/3 cup of barley on the stove using the directions on the package but added a little extra water (I used about 1+1/3 cup).

Step 3:  When the barley was tender, I threw the roasted veg in + some homemade seitan for some extra protein (substitute baked tofu, or even chicken) and then I added some parmesan cheese, maybe 2-3 tablespoons? Threw in some fresh thyme and oregano from my garden and called it dinner.

It deserved a close up. Excuse the lighting.

You will be seeing this again. I wish I had asparagus because it would have been phenomenal roasted and tossed in as well.

Since my oven is still hot, I might as well bake some cookies right? :)

Have you ever had risotto? What would you or did you put in it?

Whats your favorite type of cookie?  I’m a boring old chocolate chip girl. Or chocolate chocolate chip. But lets be real, I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like.

Carb monster Grandma.

Gardening.

Maybe its for Grandmas with their straw hats and pink gardening gloves. Maybe it sounds miserable to you. Maybe its a lot of work. Maybe getting dirt all over yourself isn’t appealing to the normal 21 year old.

But it holds a special place in my heart. I can remember being 6 and sitting in the dirt in my moms garden, snapping peas right off of the plant and munching them and pulling her baby carrots out of the ground, wiping the dirt off of them and eating them.

Gross? Probably. Best carrots I’ve ever eaten and peas I’ve ever eaten? Certainly.

Its SO rewarding to eat something that you have worked hard to grow and have it taste phenomenal.

I walked outside this morning to check water my garden (which is still semi pathetic right now and still in progress) and saw this:

Baby tomatoes! AHHHH!  Yes, I squealed. Don’t judge me.

A closer look

I’m mostly growing herbs: Cilantro, Basil, Thyme, Oregano, and Lavender (honey lavender biscotti anyone?)

Thyme. So versatile.

Basil. Hellooo pesto.

but since I eat multiple tomatoes every day, I decided to try my hand at them.

I cannot wait till they are big red and juicy! Holy yum.

This morning I woke up STARVING. Yes even despite yesterdays epic snackage, so I made a MONSTER bowl of oats. Were talking 3/4 of a cup here people. I love carbs.

I use 1/2 cup generaly speaking (none of this 1/3 cup business) but todays monster bowl was 3/4 cup. Carb monster.

Along with a giant mug of rainforest alliance certified coffee.

Yes that mug has paw prints on it. Were big University of Kentucky Wildcats fans around these parts. :)

And now I’ll leave you with a gem I found on the internet. What you don’t google search your blogs name just to see what pops up? :)  (DO IT!)

Have a great day and be kind to yourself and others!

Do you like to garden?

Whats your favorite herb?  Im going to have to go with basil. So fragrant.