Birthday Edition {WIAW}

Hey guys, I had a wonderful 22nd birthday yesterday! I woke up this morning with a serious sugar hangover, so you know it was a good one ūüôā

But before we get to the food, let’s see how I did on my 21 before 22 list.

01 // Paint my fingernails.¬†Half check. I started painting my fingernails one day and got through one hand before I decided I didn’t like the color. I was planning on repainting both hands a better color later on, but‚Ķ that didn’t happen. I’m a terrible girly girl. I’m hoping to actually paint them soon, because this one-hand chipped nail polish look is not so cute.

02 // Run a 5K.¬†Nope. I’ve run 5Ks on the treadmill so I can pretend that counts but I didn’t actually run in the race. BUT Appalachian is host a color run on the 27th that I’m planning to participate in for some race redemption.

03 // Make a REAL dinner. ¬†CHECK. Double check. I made lots of homemade dinners over the past two weeks, even if I’m short on time, I’ve found making a real dinner at the end of the day is a great way to unwind, if I can hold off my hunger for that long.


04 // Studio yoga.¬†Fail. I didn’t even make it to a class on campus. Sorry muscles for leaving you all tight and knotted up.

05// Start a new book.¬†CHECKish. I just bought a new e-book today Effortless. It’s a moderately trashy romance novel, but that’s okay. I started reading Thoughtless, the first book in the series when it was just a story on Fiction Press so it’s kinda cool to see it in real life book form.

06 // Bake something.  CHECK. Hello birthday cake.


07 // Drink a shot of espresso.¬†Didn’t happen, one day it will though.

08 // Spontaneous mid day coffee.¬†¬†CHECK. I waited until my birthday to get it, but that’s okay, birthday coffees are extra tasty.


09 // Design something for the blog.¬†Nope. I started something but I haven’t had the inspiration to finish. I’m going to keep working on it though.

10 // Buy a new vegetable.¬†Kinda? I didn’t buy a new vegetable, but I bought some eggplant after not eating any in a long time and I’ve incorporated it into lots of meals, that kinda counts right?

roasted eggplant and sweet potato

11 // Juice it up.¬†I didn’t break out my own juicer, but I did buy one from Earth Fare the other day. It was very beet-ilicious and now my pee is hot pink? TMI? Maybe, but oh so true.


12 // Break out the DSLR. CHECK. Thanks to a few hikes!

glen burney trail waterfall blowing rock nc


13 // Grandfather Mountain dollar days.¬†Not yet, but I’ve got plans to go with some friends in two weekends!

14 // Clean my room.¬† Bam. Now to work on keeping it clean…

15 // Best Body Bootcamp.  CHECK. And loving every single workout.

16 // Kick this tendonitis.¬† CHECKish. I still have a little soreness, but I finished a 6 mile run today with almost no pain so I’m thinking it’s almost gone!

17 // Random act of kindness for a stranger.  CHECK. I left $5 for a stranger on a table in the campus coffee shop. Hopefully someone found it and enjoyed a much needed coffee or snack.



18 // Watch a Disney movie.¬†an unintentional CHECK. I was hoping to watch something along the lines of the Lion King, but that didn’t happen because I couldn’t manage to sit still long enough. But I did watch the better part of the Hanna Montana Movie one afternoon on TV. Don’t you judge.

19 // Buy a new candle.¬†CHECK. Now I just need a holder for it‚Ķ didn’t think about that one.

20 // Get organized.¬†My homework to do list could use a little attention but I spent one weekend deep cleaning my apartment kitchen, straightening up the living room and organizing my room. See mom and dad, I do know how to clean ūüôā

21 // Have Fun.  One big fat CHECK.

14 out of 21, I’ll take it.

Now for the food!


(Thanks Jenn!)


Birthday fro-yo! Peanut butter, cake batter and brownie batter yogurt with cheesecake bits, cookie dough chunks, sprinkles, dark chocolate, oreos, Reeses, peanut butter sauce and sprinkles. Don’t be fooled though, this bowl was pretty gross. The brownie batter flavor was gross (I know how is that possible? So disappointing!), the peanut butter flavor wasn’t frozen (I don’t even know how that works) and the cake batter flavor wasn’t bad, just a little too sweet for my taste buds. Luckily I had some un-pictured fro yo redemption in the form of tart yogurt with strawberries and blueberries. That’s what I get for trying to be fancy, I should just stick to the basics, at least I know they’re delicious.


Just kidding! I didn’t eat this cake, but how creepy does it look? It’s supposed to be a puppy but it just scares me.


TACO TUESDAY. Boone Saloon does $1.25 tacos every Tuesday, this was my first time going to taco Tuesday but I will be back! I had three delicious veggie tacos and a pint of beer for $7, can’t beat that!

My roommate and I split a hard apple cider while watching the most recent Twilight movie (stop judging me). It was a delicious choice, I was looking for something a little lighter than beer and this hit the spot.

And some where in there I polished off a bag of gluten-free ginger snap cookies my friend bought me for my birthday. I have zero control around those things. ZERO.


This isn’t from yesterday, but I had this delicious meal Saturday at Mellow Mushroom and I couldn’t not mention it. Stuffed portobello mushrooms with feta and mozzarella cheese, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, served over spring mix and drizzled with balsamic. So. Good.

What’s your favorite birthday treat?¬†I think frozen yogurt/ice cream is a birthday necessity

What’s the last delicious thing you ate?

Soft or hard shell tacos?

Rednecks & Kitty Cats {MIMM}

Before we get to the marvelous in my Monday, I have to take a minute to address something that is not-so-marvelous.

My heart goes out to all the people that were hurt or otherwise impacted by what happened today in Boston. Although what happened today was horrible, I have to say it’s pretty¬†marvelous¬†to see the running community come together to support one another at a time like this.

(Happy birthday Katie!)

Marvelous is‚Ķ¬†My 22nd birthday is tomorrow! Actually it’s in 1.5 hours, I came in to the world bright and early at 12:30 AM.

Marvelous is‚Ķ¬†Joint birthday parties! My friend’s birthday is Friday so we had a joint party over the weekend. The theme? Rednecks and cats. No joke, we are a creative bunch.


The rednecks.


NASCAR-themed temporary tattoos may have been involved.


Along with prop 40s you couldn’t convince any of us to drink. We try to keep it classy.

Cats were not well represented because cat apparel does not exist after Halloween, I did rock some Hello Kitty rings.


Try not to be too jealous.

Marvelous is… beautiful weather and weekend hikes. A very muddy, but fun 5 miles.



I wish I had taken more pictures, but I was worried about my camera landing in a pile of mud, which isn’t really ideal.

We did the Boone Fork Trail Loop, which is right off the Blue Ridge Parkway, the trail is the perfect combination of beautiful views, uphill climbs and creek hopping. My buns were on FIRE by the end, so worth it though.

Marvelous is… birthday cake.



I used Betty Crocker’s gluten-free yellow cake mix for the base, and because we all know I can’t just leave things be, I added a 1/4 cup of peanut butter to the mix which was a very delicious choice. The frosting is just Cool Whip with cocoa powder and cinnamon mixed in. Easy, cheap, and trans-fat free. I can get behind that.

I made my own, which my friends thought was really sad I made my own cake (they did offer to make one for me, I’m just stubborn), but since I love to bake I actually really enjoyed it. Lame? Maybe, but I got to lick the bowl which was more than worth it.

And the gluten-filled cake for the gluten-eaters:


My friend did a pretty impressive job on the decoration! I definitely scraped off the cat so I could eat it myself ūüôā

Plus a few other party foods:


Gluten-free brownies. AND my favorite part:


Beer floats. Well, A beer float, no one else was feeling quite so adventurous but you better believe I went there. The combo was actually pretty tasty.

Marvelous is… Engagements!


These two got engaged on Saturday! I’m so excited for them! Plus the ring really offsets her new dragon tattoo.

Marvelous is‚Ķ Sunday school cookouts! We got together at our small groups leader’s house and had a delicious lunch. The carnivores had barbecue chicken sandwiches, but they were nice enough to cook up a few veggie burgers for me and the other vegetarian in the group. I didn’t take any pictures but it was a good time!

Marvelous is… look-a-like clay figurines. The couple that leads our small group has a very artsy 10 year old daughter and she made us all figurines that look like us.


That little girls is seriously talented! My figurine is only about 1.5″ tall and the detail is pretty awesome. I’m adding it to the collection of drawing she’s made for me over the past few Sundays!

Marvelous is‚Ķ¬†Best Body Bootcamp Phase Two! I’m already sore from today’s workout! I’m already looking forward to the rest of the week’s workouts!

Marvelous is‚Ķ¬†5 days until the Tar Heel 10-miler! Eep! I’m both super nervous and super excited!

What made your Monday Marvelous?

Are you a fan of themed parties? What’s the most ridiculous theme party you’ve ever been to?

What’s your favorite flavor of cake?¬†I’m not sure that there’s a flavor of cake I don’t like, but red velvet and carrot cake are pretty high up there! Peanut butter and chocolate is always a winner too ūüôā

21 Things to do Before 22

Ha. I’m a poet.

So my 22nd birthday is in approximately 2.5 weeks, and I thought I’d come up with a list of 21 things to do to round out my 21st year of life.

And… since I only have 16 days, I’m sticking with small things that will make each day a little more awesome leading up to my birthday. Not to mention final exams are only a month away and I’m trying to avoid being completely consumed with the crazy end of year projects professors love to assigns. Like the lovely 10 page paper due on Wednesday that I may or may not (letsbehonest not) have started.

01 // Paint my fingernails.¬†Seems silly but it has been a shameful amount of time since these fingernails have seen a drop of polish, which is too bad because it’s fun to have crazy colored nails.


02 // Run a 5K.¬†There’s a cheap one the weekend before my birthday that a couple of my friends are running, should be a good time!

03 // Make a REAL dinner.¬†My dinners lately consist of frozen vegetables heated in a pan along with 2 fried eggs. Gets the job done but it’s not real exciting. I want to take a few extra minutes and actually plan a real meal. Bonus: leftovers.

I’m thinking this amazing looking bowl of goodness created by Elizabeth at Mackin’ Cheese¬†will be made.

04 // Studio yoga.¬†I’ve always wanted to take a yoga class at a studio instead of a gym, budget permitting, I want to take a studio class. If not, the yoga instructors on campus are awesome and I don’t mind taking class there!

05// Start a new book. Pleasure reading is not easy to do in college but I want to at least start a new book soon, if I make the effort to start it, odds are I will finish it eventually. Book recommendations are welcome!

06 // Bake something. I think some birthday cupcakes will be in order.

gluten free chocolate cupcakes

07 // Drink a shot of espresso.¬†Straight. It might sound weird but this is something I’ve always wanted to do. I actually I’ve always wanted to throw back a shot of espresso like a shot of alcohol (I feel like that is a weird thing to want to do, but I have some strange desire to) but then I realized that espresso is hot and that might not be a smart choice.

Such a beautiful sight.

08 // Spontaneous mid day coffee.¬†Those just make the week better don’t they?

09 // Design something for the blog. I have some ideas, I just need to spend some time with good old Adobe Illustrator.

10 // Buy a new vegetable. And try cooking with it, I get it in serious food ruts and nothing switches things up like figuring out how to cook something new. I also love a good excuse to explore the produce department at Earth Fare.

11 // Juice it up. I got a juicer for Christmas and I have used it a grand total of one time. Cleaning it out intimidates me, but I need to suck it up and enjoy some pretty veggie-filled juice.

homemade beet carrot apple ginger juice


12 // Break out the DSLR. I need a good excuse to bust out the DSLR to take pictures of something other than food.

13 // Grandfather Mountain dollar days. Assuming the weather decides actually act like spring, I want to go to Grandfather Mountain because during the month of April admission is only $2 for students, versus the usual $18, aka perfect time to go. I went for the first time last year and had a great time, time to go back! This would also help out with #12.

14 // Clean my room. Okay, not a fun activity but it needs to happen. A clean room makes me happy, just not the process of actually cleaning it.

15 // Best Body Bootcamp.¬†I won a free entry for Tina‘s Best Body Bootcamp via a giveaway on Clare‘s blog. It starts tomorrow and I’m really excited. It’s basically going to force me to do strength training which I need, I’ve been seriously slacking in that department.

best body bootcamp

16 // Kick this tendonitis.¬†I finally got my butt to the doctor about the pain behind my knee. The doctor thinks it’s probably tendonitis (of the Biceps Femoris tendon, if you’re nerdy like me and want to know the specific one). Thursday and Friday I went to the injury clinic and had some Electric Muscle Stimulation done to my hamstring. Things feel much better but it still hurts when I run, get better tendon!

17 // Random act of kindness for a stranger. Making other people feel better makes me feel better.

18 // Watch a Disney movie.¬†Because I’m 21 going on 8.

19 // Buy a new candle.¬†I love candles but I have lit one in way too long. Something about candle light is the most relaxing thing ever, and I need more of it in my life. This one will have to be on the down low though because my apartment complex doesn’t allow candles (lame right?).

20 // Get organized.¬†This goes along with #14. My life is pretty much semi-organized chaos. Some days I get away with it, some days I’m running around my apartment with a minute to catch the bus trying to figure out where I put my student ID. Not a good habit.

21 // Have Fun.¬†Not sweating the small stuff and living in the moment. That’s what’s important in life.

What’s something you want to do before your next birthday?¬†

Happy Easter!

Happy Birthday Lauren!

Happy Birthday Lauren!

Happy Birthday 22nd to my roommate Lauren!
She’s puts up with my quirkiness and is somehow still my friend. So happy birthday old lady, (kidding‚Ķ kinda).

P.S. She has a blog if you want to read! And she’s an english major so it’s more well written than mine (:

Foodie Pen Pals and a Weekend at Home

It’s October 1st! Holy cow, when did that happen? I’m pretty sure September just started two days ago, I guess the calendar didn’t get the memo.

October 1st means it’s time for the September Foodie Pen Pal reveal!

My (amazing!) package this month came from Amanda!


So. Many. Bars.

I know whole foods are better for you, but I have an unnatural love for snack bars. I would eat them for all three meals if I could get away with it. Needless to say, I was very excited when I opened my package! And it had all my favorites: KIND, Larabar (the apple pie one made great 5K fuel!) and Pure, and some new ones I haven’t tried like Raw Revolution and Earnest Eats. Which is a shame because they were both incredibly delicious!

The fruit leather was great too, I used to eat them all the time as a kid and they brought me right back to my childhood!

She also left included a sweet note. I thought it was so nice she thought about me being a student! The snacks were perfect for a pick-me-up in between classes and really saved my butt on days I was running late and didn’t have time to pack a bigger snack.

Thanks Amanda! And a big thanks to Lindsay for organizing the whole thing!

If you want to see what I sent my Foodie Pen Pal, go checkout Elizabeth’s post over at The Young Retiree!

Scenes from the Weekend:

This Saturday was my Dad’s birthday so I headed home for some quality family time and birthday celebration.

Friday night my boyfriend and I grabbed dinner at Qdoba. I got a naked burrito with black beans, rice, pico, lettuce and a freaking half cup of guacamole. I think this should be the new precedent for guacamole serving sizes. Thank you Qdoba.

My cat Sam is looking extra handsome with that scarf.

“Lea get this crap off me!”


Saturday afternoon we had a tasty birthday lunch at Yuri‘s. I ordered the Vegetable Maki roll, avocado, cucumber and pickled vegetables. Yummy. It’s been too long since I’ve had sushi.


Saturday night my parents went out to a concert for my dad’s birthday so I was on my own for dinner. I scrounged together to ingredients for a veggie omelet. I’m pretty horrible at making omelets. My pan was too small and I had a flipping fail. Whoops.

I rocked out an at-home workout too. At-home workouts are usually not my favorite because I have zero motivation and the couch is much more appealing, but I actually got a good one in this time. I completed¬†ZWOW #33, I’ve never done a ZWOW workout before, but I loved how quick, yet intense it was and that I could do it all in my living room with no equipment, I’m definitely a fan. I finished that up with the first three rounds of Julie‘s 10 to 6 workout. Julie has the best circuit workouts, I always check her blog when I need a good at-home workout!

I followed my workouts up with Big Boss Brewery‘s Harvest Time Pumpkin Ale. It was very fall-ish and incredibly tasty. I also love that Big Boss is local to Raleigh! Bonus. I’m loving being 21 this fall, pumpkin beer is so good!


What’s your favorite thing about fall?

Do you like sushi? I love sushi, but I feel like vegetarian sushi isn’t that adventurous of a food (:








Happy Birthday!

To Jeremy!

circa 2010

He’s my best friend, my boyfriend and I love him more than words can describe.

circa 2009

It’s crazy to think that when we met I was a little 14 year old high school freshman and he was the cute 16 year old junior with a mohawk.. 7 years (and a 5.5 year relationship) later and I still haven’t gotten sick of him.

Here’s to many more birthdays and memories together.

Happy 23rd birthday! Old man.

Birthday Baking

What do you bake someone for their birthday when they don’t like cake? Birthday cookies.

Tomorrow is my boyfriend’s birthday. He’s turning 23 in case you couldn’t tell.


It was a pretty good birthday. Very low key, which I’m more than okay with (but I’ll be partying it up this weekend!).

I started the morning with a 4.25 mile run. It was a hard one but a good one, it felt good to start the day with a good sweat. It was a beautiful morning so I ran outside too, I definitely enjoyed that.

Post-run I got in a good 20 minutes of stretching and foam rolling to workout my poor muscles.

Speaking of stretching, it’s the first day of the Stretch for Seven Challenge! So far I’m off to a good start, I’ve been trying to be really mindful of stretching and it’s felt so good. My muscles are happy campers now!

I ate a delicious lunch at Earth Fare


Salad with mixed greens, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, alfalfa sprouts, and carrots, kale (cooked with soy sauce I think) and sesame seeds, roasted vegetables and chipotle barbecue tofu. Very tasty.

I browsed some stores downtown.


I found this hippie yoga store. I love it and I want my future house to look like it.

There may have been a fro-yo run at some point too.

My parents sent me a package today with a cake in it! They also popped a bunch of popcorn in our air popper to use instead of packing peanuts, which are much messier but much tastier. My friend Jessi was also sweet enough to bake me some gluten-free cupcakes.¬†There is so much sugar sitting in my dorm room right now, I’m scared I’m going to get diabetes just sitting here.

I had dinner with a small group of friends at Black Cat, always a favorite. No pictures (again, I’m terrible at this) but I got the “Satay it to Me Softly” burrito, which had tofu, broccoli, carrots, caramelized onions, cheese and rice topped with a thai peanut sauce. It was wonderful, my stomach is going to hate me in the morning though. Thanks gluten. Still worth it.

Speaking of gluten…


I ordered my first legal drink, it was very tasty, I’m definitely a Magic Hat fan.

I still don’t feel like I should be old enough to buy alcohol, but it’s kinda fun.

It’s My 21st Birthday!

Time to go get drunk. Just kidding. Kind of.