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… 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… 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.

party

The rednecks.

dale

NASCAR-themed temporary tattoos may have been involved.

champagne

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.

hellokitty

Try not to be too jealous.

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

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hike2

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.

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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:

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

Plus a few other party foods:

brownies

Gluten-free brownies. AND my favorite part:

float

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!

engaged

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

Marvelous is… 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.

model

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… 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… 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 🙂

Health-ified Pumpkin Pie, A Halloween Party & Snowicane Sandy!

Isn’t it a little backwards that a hurricane causes record-breaking snow in October? I think so. We got around 6 inches, but I won’t complain too much because I did get the day off school! We’re pretty used to snow and rarely ever get snow days so it was a nice treat, I spent all day in my PJs, hanging out with my neighbors and not doing school work. Until I remembered that I have a Management exam tomorrow. Whoops.

I hope everyone in the northeast is okay though! The weather reports from New York/New Jersey are crazy!

Saturday my roommates and I hosted a Halloween party at our apartment. We had lots of food, lots of fun and lots of people in our tiny apartment. Halloween party success!

Some of the food! We went potluck style. I made my mixed bean and sweet potato chili and a health-ified pumpkin pie, which people actually ate! The recipe is coming at the bottom of the post!

Other foods included hot dog mummies (turkey, beef and kosher, quite the spread), meatballs, brownies, meat chili, tortilla chips, white chocolate covered nut butters (which were dangerously good – I ate wayyy too many of those, sorry tummy), halloween candy (of course), Oreo cool whip cake (also dangerously good), Papa John’s pizza (hey, we are college kids) and of course some pumpkin beer.

The party was costume optional, but we still had some good ones.

I was a Chiquita banana!

We also had a ghost, Peter Pan, Sandy from Grease, something creepy, a taco (my favorite!), Daphne and Fred (who’s a little hidden)

We all had a fun time and ate way too much food. A perfect night.

Health-ified Pumpkin Pie

(Gluten-free, vegan option)

Ingredients:

  • 10 small/medium dates
  • 1 cup roasted almonds
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 tbs water
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 block silken tofu
  • 1/4 cup honey (or agave for a vegan option, other sweeteners would probably work as well, but I can’t vouch for that)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

For the Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a food processor until dates and almonds are broken down
  3. Slowly add in water until mixture begins to stick together, adding more or less as needed
  4. Using a spatula press into a pie tin (or a round cake pan if you are a college student with an under-equipped apartment kitchen, not that I know anything about that)
  5. Bake for 10 minutes

For the Filling

  1. Combine the final 5 ingredients into a food processor
  2. Process until smooth
  3. Pour mixture onto crust, smoothing with a spatula
  4. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes, or until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.

As a warning, this pie wasn’t meant to taste exactly like a typical pumpkin pie. It definitely tastes healthy, but is delicious in it’s own right. It’s still a tasty treat, just don’t expect it to taste exactly like a conventional pumpkin pie.

What are you going to be for Halloween?

Does it snow much where you live?