Art Crawlin’ & Quatro de Mayo {MIMM}

Happy Monday!

Despite the start of exam week it is a very happy Monday because it is my last Monday in college! Graduation is slowly becoming more real, and I am simultaneously getting more excited and terrified by the second.

(Thanks for hosting Katie!)

This weekend my friends and I attempted to live it up one last time while we’re all in town for the weekend! Unfortunately, the weather was not super cooperative, but we didn’t let that stop us too much 🙂

Marvelous is… The farmer’s market is finally over! Just in time for me to leave… whomp, whomp. Luckily I have multiple farmer’s markets at home that are pretty sweet, one of them is even open 7 days a week. I’m very produce spoiled but that is what happens when you live in the capital of a agriculture-heavy state. Lots of delicious produce!

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Biggest rabbit I’ve ever seen, seriously it was larger than any cat I’ve ever owned.

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I only ended up purchasing some apples (which are not nearly as good as they were in the fall, that season is more than over) and some farm fresh eggs, I have missed those suckers and they are sooo much better than store bought. I always buy them from a booth with this sweet old man because he always seems so grateful for the business and I love knowing the chickens are treated nicely. Happy chickens makes for tastier eggs.

Marvelous is… Art Crawlin’!

Dinner before hand at a new Asian restaurant: Taste Grill

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I had the avocado roll, which was good but not different from any other mid-priced Asian restaurant.

Free wine samples! With a side of “you don’t look old enough”. It’s getting old quick.

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The cutest puppy I’ve seen in a while. I seriously considered just running off with him.

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Modern dance in an art gallery. I’m in heaven.

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Fro yo to round out the night.

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Reeses peanut butter and chocolate yogurt with chocolate, Oreos and Reeses. I was craving chocolate and peanut butter in a bad way.

Marvelous is… Quatro de Mayo! Cinco de Mayo happened a day earlier over here. Something about having to teach a Sunday evening Pilates class and a 9AM finance exam made me think Sunday night drink was a poor choice. Something about wanting to graduate and not get fired, silly things like that.

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Dinner at Black Cat Burrito to keep with the fiesta theme. Tortilla-less burrito with black beans, rice, mushrooms, broccoli and tomatillo sauce, with their delicious coleslaw on the side of course. Hit the spot. I’m sure going to miss these burritos.

Marvelous is… Milk (Stout) and cookies! With a side of Joy Ride. Somehow my friends and I have made a tradition of watching Joy Ride every year on reading day. I can’t say it’s my favorite tradition, because if you’ve ever seen Joy Ride you know it’s a terrible movie, but cookies and beer make everything better.

I made these cookies and they came out quite tasty, even my gluten eating friends liked them. Then I washed them down with a beer, so much for gluten-free.

Marvelous is… Nostalgic college slideshows. My friend put one together of all of us (with some pretty hilarious photoshopped pictures) I’m going to miss everyone!

Marvelous is… My finance exam is DONE. It was my hardest exam so fingers crossed that I did okay! Only 2 projects, 1 speech, and 2 exams stand between me and summer. I. Can. Do. This. Can you tell I’m ready for summer?

Marvelous is… My family gets here on Saturday, which means tasty dinners out and extra pack help. Oh and quality family time of course.

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Marvelous is… Breakfast plans with the roomie for tomorrow morning. I have a two day break before my next exam and will be doing my best to not spend the whole time studying.

Marvelous is… My first run in a couple weeks! My foot is still a little sore but it is feeling much better. I only did 15 short minutes today but it felt good to run again. The elliptical is starting to drive me crazy.

What made your Monday marvelous?

Any exciting summer plans?

How did you celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

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No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls {WIAW}

Hellllloooooo blog world. I’ve missed you guys lots!

I’ve been having my own little exam freak out/stress fest over here but it’s all okay because I only have one last exam this afternoon and then I am DONE. Hallelujah.

But enough about exam yuckiness, we need to catch up on life. First of all, it’s Wednesday and you know what that means!

(Thanks Jenn for hosting!)

As a bonus I actually have a healthy holiday recipe for you guys! But first I’m going to make you sit through the terrible phone pictures of my weekend and the crazy things I’ve eaten lately, because I’m nice like that.

First off, the weekend!

Friday night my roommates and some friends went Art Crawlin’. The first Friday of every month the galleries around town open for the public to enjoy. It is a big hit in this college town because there are lots of free snacks and wine. Who can turn down free booze?

Also, I’m on the art committee for Appalachian’s literary arts magazine and our fall release party was the same night, which are the only pictures I got. Oh well.

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I’m glad this girl photo-bombed my picture of the Christmas tree. Anyway, there was lots of good music (including a band covering The Lumineers, I’m a fan!) and delicious coffee because it was held at a coffeehouse, all and all it was one very fun and art-filled night. And it really made me want to go paint something again.

Saturday morning I work up early to volunteer with a local Girls on the Run 5K

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I ended up helping out with the water station. Man little girls can chug some water. It was really fun to help out with an amazing organization like Girls on the Run! I love what they do! And props to those girls for running, you couldn’t pay me enough to run a 5K when I was their age!

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I realize that’s impossible to read, but after volunteering with the 5K I was inspired to go out on my own run. The weather was perfect (60 degrees in Boone in December say whattttt) so I decided to do 5 miles on the greenway. I’ve never run on the greenway before, minus a couple races that have been there, and it was such a nice change of pace from the treadmill, and surprisingly flat. I used the Nike+ app on my iPod to track mileage because I don’t have a GPS. It seemed pretty accurate and so far I’ve like it, I’ll have to try it out again soon.

Saturday night my friends and I went out to dinner at Black Cat. We are big Black Cat fans if you couldn’t tell by the fact that we go there almost every weekend. So. Dang. Good.

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This is one sorry excuse for a picture, but it’s what you get. I had a build your own burrito with black beans, rice, spinach, mushrooms and mango salsa. Plus some extra sriracha on top because my obsession with the stuff is back full force.

After dinner we had a DESSERT POTLUCK. That is my kind of potluck.

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Go ahead and multiply this plate by like 5 or 6, this was just round one. Going clockwise starting with the dark looking balls I had no-bake chocolate peanut butter balls (recipe below! And better pictures, promise), pumpkin crisp (recipe coming soon!), part of a white chocolate candy cane cookie and butter kuka cheesecake, and some un-pictured chocolate pie which didn’t appear until a little later on.

So worth the sugar hangover I woke up with on Sunday. However, the sugar hangover I woke up with on Monday because all the dessert leftovers are sitting in my fridge was not worth it. Stress + lots of cake in the fridge = bad news. Here’s a better equation:

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Friends +

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games (telephone pictionary to be exact) +

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Holiday wine glasses your friend’s sweet mom gave to + Egg nog and wine =

One fabulous night.

Such a good way to end the semester!

And since this is a WIAW post, here’s some eats:

I’m getting ready to go home for a month long Christmas break so I’ve been in fridge clean out mode, which has resulted in some pretty interesting meals:

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Fage was on sale at the grocery store for $0.70, whatttt. I added a little coconut too.

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Fridge clean out meal #1 tofu, broccoli, mixed up with a smashed avocado and some Bragg’s liquid aminos, it’s was surprisingly good but still a little weird.

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Fridge clean out meal #2, this is when I started getting a little desperate, tofu, purple potato, avocado, liquid aminos and sriracha. It tasted better than it looks and sounds but that might have been because I smothered it in Bragg’s.

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Fridge clean out meal #3, this was before things got too desperate, spaghetti squash and left over chili.

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Wine was very necessary after 15 hours in front of my laptop. I wish I was exaggerating.

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And some gluten-free Trader Joe’s pizza, which tasted like pure heaven. I think the only gluten-filled food I really miss (besides cookies) is pizza. I’m not a huge pizza eater but I definitely get a big craving for it every so often. Thank you Joe the Trader for have a tasty and cheap gluten free pizza.

And now for the recipe, because I’ve made you guys wait long enough

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

(Gluten-free, Vegan, No added sugar)
Inspired by Katie’s No-Bake PB Cookies

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Ingredients

  • 1 package Sunsweet dates (or equal amount, I think the package was about 24 small/medium dates)
  • 1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (dairy free will work to make these vegan)

Directions:

  1. In a food processor combine the dates and peanut butter until the dates are broken down and the mixture is starting to stick together
  2. Add in the cocoa powder and coconut oil and process again, I find adding a little bit of water helps the mixture stay tacky if the cocoa powder dries it out a little.
  3. Add in the chocolate chips, pulsing a few times just to incorporate the chocolate chips into the “batter”
  4. Roll into 1″ balls (or bigger if desired)
  5. (Optional) Place the balls on a pan or plate and leave in the refrigerator until ready to serve. My kitchen was really warm due to the baking fest that was taking place so I put them in the fridge so the chocolate chips wouldn’t melt, it’s not necessary if you’re not having a melting issue though.

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And it’s okay if you eat half the plate because they’re healthy 🙂

Long Time No See

It feels like it’s been forever since I’ve blogged! In reality I guess it’s just been the weekend, but my blog reading has been minimal and I’ve missed the blogging world! It’s the week before exams over here so life is really stressful right now and things are a little overwhelming. I haven’t had much time to breathe much less blog but I miss you guys so bear with me until next week when things will be a little more back to normal.

My Monday has been surprisingly marvelous. The list of things I have due before I go home for Christmas makes me want to cry a little, so needless to say I’m in serious need of some marvelousness in my life, but I think everyone does this time of year.

Thanks Katie for putting this together and making me realize my day is much better than I realized!

The marvelous things in my life:

  • Christmas parades!

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    Clydesdales!

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    Santa!

    I’m a little kid and I LOVE parades. I went to the Boone Christmas parade Saturday morning and even though it is tiny compared to the one back home but I still loved it. I got lots of candy, and the guy next to me had a Great Dane that I got to pet during the parade and we talked about running. Best way ever to spend the morning? I think so.

  • The Gobbler 5k
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    I’ve got a recap coming your way soon, but it was a fun race with gluten-free blackberry cobbler at the finish line. Why does every race not have that? I ran this race last year and it was my first ever race, and I loved reflecting on how far my running has come in the past year. And then that afternoon I came back to my apartment and did 2 more miles, yay mileage!
  • Salad bars
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    It has been too long since I’ve hit up a salad bar. I had this Saturday afternoon during the final meeting/critique for the literary art magazine on campus (which has been so fun to be a part of)! Whew Saturday was busy. 5k, parade, meeting, homework, movie – busy but so fun (if you ignore that homework part)
  • Lots and lots of cookies!

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    Not-so-healthy

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    Healthy

    Friday I volunteered at a campus event for the multicultural center, I was stationed at the cookie decorating booth. AKA the best booth. Unfortunately I didn’t plan well and did not eat dinner before going, ate too many cookies and had my tummy tell me just how un-marvelous that was. At least they were tasty, and (kinda) beautifully decorated!

    Saturday night I needed a break from homework before my head imploded so I baked up some healthy cookies, they definitely taste healthy but I ate the entire batch in two days so they are still pretty tasty.

  • Finding new delicious snacks
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    I whipped up this yogurt mess yesterday and it was super tasty so I need to share. Plain greek yogurt + pumpkin + peanut butter + shredded coconut + craisins + pumpkin pie spice. Hit the spot and made good study fuel.

  • Groceries!
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    My kitchen situation was looking pretty sad so I was happy to finally get to the grocery store! This isn’t everything, but I got two big bags of groceries for $40 and my kitchen is fully stocked with lots of healthy things. Healthy food makes me a happy lady.
  • The opportunity to do something selfless – I’m about to let my crazy cat lady flag fly but when I was leaving the grocery store last night I saw a stray cat in the parking lot scavenging for food. I felt really bad that I had nothing to get the cat (homeless animals make me real sad) then I realized duh, I’m at a grocery store. I stopped the car and ran inside for some cat food. It took two trips because I didn’t realize they don’t take cash after 10pm but I finally got a can of food for the poor little guy. He was gone by the time I got the food but I left the can in the bushes and I hope finds it.

    I’ve been feeling really selfish and wrapped up in my own life since I’ve been so busy and stressed so it felt really good to be able to do something for someone else (even if that someone else is a cat). Also, I was telling my boyfriend about what I did and he told me I have a such a big heart. That’s the best compliment someone’s ever given me. I feel like I’ve really accomplished something when someone tells me that, it makes me feel, well, Marvelous.

  • A blog shout out – remember Thursday when I was thankful for getting accepted into App State’s Artistic Rebuttal Book Project? Well the creator of the project, Amy Scheidegger saw my blog post and featured it on her blog! I could not wipe the smile off my face when I saw it!
  • A letter from my Elf!
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    One of our Elf For Health challenges was to send a handwritten letter so someone. We decided to exchange letters and my letter was sitting in the mail box when I got home today. Not only did she send me a letter, but a mixed CD, a pancake recipe and a packet of buckwheat flour to use in the recipe because she saw I was gluten-free, all in a really pretty pink envelope. I’m completely blown away by Mojgan‘s generosity! This letter completely made my day and I’m so thankful I got paired with such an awesome elf!
  • Getting to blog! I seriously hate that blogging has had to take such a backseat lately because I truly enjoy blogging and getting to interact with all you wonderful people! I’m glad I found some time to fit some blogging today because it was much needed and such a great escape/stress reliever, hopefully I won’t disappear again this week (I have lots of posts I owe you guys including the Pilates one I missed on Friday) but school work has to come first because I need to do it to graduate or something silly like that.

It’s back to studying/homework for me, lots of fun is in store over here tonight. Only 9 more days until Christmas break!

What made your Monday Marvelous?

Any fun Christmas plans?

What did you do this weekend?

Any other college students stressing over exams like I am?

Dead Week

It’s been a while. Things have been more than a little crazy lately.

Welcome to Dead Week. That final week before exams where summer is within reach, but you have 2934852039485 projects due before you can get there. So close, yet so far away.

At least I finished that beast of research paper. Just 1 paper, 1 group project, 1 presentation and 4 exams to go. Get ready.

The weather was beautiful here this weekend. Which figures, because the weather is only nice when I have a mound of work to keep me inside. I did get outside on Saturday and enjoyed the weather some.

Saturday morning I went for a 5 mile run, it was long and hot but I made it. It was 55 degrees when I started running and 65 when I finished, I was not dressed appropriately for that and sweating up a storm. I feel sorry for the pedestrians I ran past, hopefully I didn’t sweat on them, but I can’t confidently say that I didn’t.

Working on that 10K, it will happen. Soon.

I got sun burnt. Time to buy some sunscreen.

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But only on one arm. With a sweet farmers tan line, and pale elbow crease from where my arm was bent while running. I thought it didn’t look that bad, then I went to the gym in a tank top, I thought wrong. The joys of pasty white skin, you get the most awkward tan lines ever.

Post sun burn, my friend and I drove to Moses Cone so I could take some graduation pictures for her. We took a short walk on one of the trails and then headed for frozen yogurt. Highlight of my weekend. I’m an old lady and always get the tart flavor. Boring, but I don’t care.

Then I spent the rest of the night working on my 20-page paper. Gross.

Sunday was also spent on homework, and not teaching Pilates because no one came. Oh well. Speaking of Pilates, I got my first paycheck today, exciting stuff. Less exciting was that it was for less than $20 but I’m okay with that.

I also went grocery shopping and picked up lots of produce.

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One horribly blurry picture of black beans, kale, avocado and zucchini, green foods are my favorite. Along ones you can microwave.

Speaking of microwaves and dorm food, I only have 10 days left in this dorm and then its goodbye dorm-life forever! To say I’m a little excited about that is an understatement. I’m so excited to have a kitchen and my own room, with a door.

Time to get back to studying.