Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Soul-Walks and Muffins

Ah, the humble apple. However shall I use thy crispness, juiciness, and sweetness? In muffins, perhaps?......

But first! Story time.

Sooooooo you remember my spiel about that craptastic less than satisfactory week I had?  Reversed!
The weather was absolutely gorgeous today (edited in: my posts are normally 1 day delayed). Spring in winter is not normally my forte, but man - it felt fantastic outside.

 I wasn't planning on it, but I could not resist a short walk. About halfway through, my legs were aching for a run, but running in jeans and a pair of Toms didn't seem terribly appealing. But walking will forever be my activity of choice. :)
This is a little sappy, but that was one of the best walks I've had. Seriously. Outside for me is normally a place for me to cool off, meditate, contemplate, and talk to God - I'm deep like that.
In all seriousness, I felt so....healthy. Like - so full of energy and life and motivation that I craved during the early stages of recovery. For those 30 minutes, I felt 100% completely and totally healthy.
I thought about how blessed I am in more ways I can count, and the way God has opened doors for me and answered prayers. I have such a zeal and optimism that I don't think I've ever felt before - it's different from motivation to recover and stuff like that; it's deeper.
I can feel my purpose unfolding, and it makes me so excited and anticipatory for the future. God works in mysterious ways, and I'm enjoying the period of life that I'm in. Through all the struggles and hardships of life - I'm enjoying it, and thankful for it.

During my little sabbatical, I was super excited to make a new recipe I found. It combines two of my most favoritest foods: oatmeal and apples.

Moist, full of whole grain and appley goodness, these muffins are SO DELICIOUS. They have whole ingredients, and are super easy to make. I'm pretty sure that one of my other recipes is also for muffins....but rsdfoksadfjwoefjaopsjf[psdf I love muffins. Who doesn't?

 Apple Oatmeal Muffins
adapted from Cookie and Kate

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (I used an Ezekial mix we had in the freezer)
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp ginger
1 cup natural applesauce
1/2 cup raw sugar (I used Sucanat)
1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 small Gala apples, chopped


1. Preheat oven to 375* and line muffin tin with muffin cups (or grease with spray)

2. Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl

3. Combine the rest of the ingredients except the apples in a medium bowl.
4. Make a well in the dry ingredients, and mix in the wet until just combined.
5. Fold in the apples
Lookit all those apples.....
6. Fill in the muffin cups about 3/4 of the way.

7. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

8. Enjoy!

These are soooooooooo gooooood. So so so good. Served warm with peanut butter, or crumbled on top of greek yogurt....the apple chunks make it that much better.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

don't forget self-care. really.

*Note: This was written on Friday, and not posted until Sunday*

Three day school week...holla!
Whew. This is definitely a much much needed break for me. I actually walked out the door before my sister told me no schools were open. Thanks Reibs. God knows how to bless with the little things!
Does it really look unsafe to drive out there??
After a week of being gloriously unproductive (plus occasional boredom...) this week, albeit short, has been nerve-frying.
Brain = kaput.
Basically my week round-up consists of hibernation, studying, essay, more studying, tests, quizzes, did I mention studying yet?, a less than satisfactory visit with my therapist*, sleep deprivation, and a charming mental breakdown.
All on epic proportions. Yeah.
You see why self-care is so important? I tend to forget that until it's a wee bit too late. Therefore the end of the week was committed to squeezing in some things that I actually enjoy.

One can only guzzle so many caffeinated beverages, friends.


Ah, the bike. Are you supposed to love it or hate it?
Also, getting in some yummy eats always helps. Fueling + regulating sleep patterns = muy bueno! My snack at night either gives me super-energy or knocks me out. Yesterday happened to be the latter.
I made pumpkin baked oatmeal on Monday - so good. Reibs likes it too! Yay for fast food. :)
YAY for pomegranate season. Another thing to go on the list of reasons for why I love winter. Something about them makes me feel so fresh and energetic.
I cracked open some Christmas Blend we've had for a month...mmmmm. I'm on my third cup - yeah, it's one of those days. I'm pretty sure this helped me trek through my AP test (which I had to take at home).
And the last of my dark chocolate peppermint bark. :'( Sniff sniff.
I am really looking forward to this weekend. I've got a fancy shmancy sweet 16 to go to (Dress! Heels! Woo!), sleep to catch up on, and some overall relaxation!
Have a wonderful weekend week!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

6 Ingredient Pasta

I was planning on joining the WIAW partay, but alas, I can't find half of the pictures I took this week!
With returning to school and getting back to my normal dosage of studying and note taking, last night I found myself in serious need of some brain food.
I contemplated a bowl of cereal (carbs! yum!) or my go-to easy dinner- stir fry - but after a bountiful Whole Foods trip Mom and I took this weekend I decided to get a little adventurous.

 After scrolling through Pinterest, I found a little tidbit that looked fresh, flavorful, elegant, and that would totally hit the spot.
This took me literally 15 minutes to make, and as a nutritional powerhouse, I'd say this vegetarian dinner is a definite win!! Light yet filling, fresh, and scrumptious - brain food indeed.
6 Ingredient Pasta (Serves 1)
adapted from theKitchn
2 oz dry pasta (I used Whole Wheat Fettucine)
1-2 tbsp pesto
1/2 cup edamame (fresh or frozen/dethawed)
4-6 oz baby spinach
1 tbsp toasted almonds
Squirt of fresh lemon juice
1. Cook pasta according to directions or until al dente
2. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water
3. In a bowl, toss pesto and spinach with pasta; some spinach will wilt
4. Stir in edamame
5. Garnish with toasted almonds & squirt with lemon juice
I have to say - the star of the dish was definitely the pesto. The brand I used was made with parmesan cheese and almonds - also, the squirt of lemon amped up all the flavors! Explosion of the taste buds.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Resolutions 2013

I admit, I'm a little behind with all the holiday posting. Better late than never!
Let's talk resolutions. There are a lot of opinions about making resolutions, and I have to say, I actually really like them. I love making goals and achieving them - hello, to-do/check lists!
Therefore, January is one of my favorite months - not only for the cold, wintery weather, but the spirit of new beginnings and fresh starts.
I think that the most important thing about creating resolutions is making them realistic, achievable, and uplifting.
It took quite a bit of thinking for me this year to come up with my resolutions and goals. The past two years have been completely, totally centered around all things recovery. I have had hardly any goals but to "recover."
This is certainly not a bad thing, and definitely necessary for the majority of the time, but now I think it's time to move on and make recovery just one part of my life. I'm tired of it being in the spotlight. To make goals realistic/achievable, I think they need to be more like small changes every day to make part of your lifestyle. Also, changing the tone and message of resolutions makes them more uplifting, therefore more motivating, therefore more realistic. (Observe: "This year, I want to be healthy for me, so that........." rather than "This year, I want to be thinner so that I can look prettier because.....")
Hence, my main resolutions:
1. More for God
The Bible clearly states in many chapters and verses that the more you focus on God, the happier you are. That's just the way God created us. If we invest solely in Him, then there is nothing else to desire. We have His love.

examples: Study His Word, devote more time to rejoicing and thanking Him, etc.
2. Do things I've never tried before

examples: rock climbing, trying sushi (okay, I have done this, but it's been forever)

3. Get my Pinterest things done

I've got an extensive list of recipes to be cooked/baked and crafts to be completed - I can't wait!

I think that these are perfectly reasonable and achievable resolutions and goals - I'm pumped to get started!!!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Koi Fish in the Pond

Hey, hey! Happy 2013!
Sorry for being MIA for a couple of days - I've been spending some time with the grandparents, plus there's a cold circulating around the house. Yuck. I feel much more improved than a few days ago, I'm just a little hoarse, but I'm pretty sure that I gave Rebekah my cold. :( Sorry!
Cough drops and tea have been our best friends.
 Rebekah's homemade tea bags!!
I'm so sad that the holidays are coming to an end!! A lot of people that I've talked to are mostly relieved that the stress of the holidays is ending, but I miss all the excitement and spirit. And I didn't even get to watch "Barbie in the Nutcracker"! Couldn't Christmas just last a little longer?

 Speaking of Christmas spirit, we had some late gift-giving when we got to Grammy and Papa's house. More extending of the holiday season!

 Received: Kindle. Verdict: Obsessed. How is it that most of my books purchased were featured on Oprah's Book Club?

(Reibs also got a Kindle, and Jonathan got a new sweatshirt and some money. He is officially richer than me.)

The rest of the week has been pretty mellow - I love it. My mom recently told me that I'm the child who deals well with "quietness." As in, sometimes I much prefer entertaining me, myself, and I (see: drawing, reading, painting, cleaning, baking, etc etc. Not much socializing going on there!). Introverts, unite.

I also just love spending time down here (see: South Georgia). We spend a lot of time outside, reading, and playing games. Two hour run-through of Apples to Apples? I think yes.

Plus, I do believe I have received my coffee-addiction genes from my mom's side of the family. Nobody understands like Grammy! Although Dad is a close tie.....

 Indeed, it was 4:06 p.m. when I brewed that coffee. It was decaf!

Grammy is an incredible painter, and yesterday she pulled out her watercolor paints and brushes for me to use - something I haven't done in a looonngg time. I have acrylic and oil paints at home, but I never feel comfortable with them - I just don't enjoy them as much as graphite and charcoal. There's something about the technique of blending and layering the colors that I'm just too impatient to perfect.

But watercolors? By far one of my favorite mediums. Watercolor makes me happy.
Paint ALL the things!