WIAW – Yogurt on Toast

When it comes to breakfast, I’m a bit of a creature of habit. I rotate between oatmeal variations (baked, regular or overnight) & toast with allll the toppings.

Lately, sprouted wheat toast or a TJ’s English muffin has been hitting the spot! I top 1/2 with peanut butter/banana/cinnamon, and the other 1/2 with nonfat plain Greek yogurt and berries.

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I switch it up by adding hemp seeds, chia seeds, sliced almonds, or broiled Quest bar chunks. So delicious!

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What a steal! Thanks, Sprouts FM.

Sunday morning’s toast went un-photographed as I scarfed it down in the car, in a hurry to get across town. Oopsie! ; )

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Drinking Socially + Staying in Shape

In college, I was never a big drinker. Okay, fall semester of freshman year I got it out of my system – sorry, Mom.

Halloween of freshman year. I was a "lumberjack"

Halloween of freshman year. I was a “lumberjack..” good one.

I’d have a few drinks here and there, but more often than not, I’d be willing to be the designated driver. And even more often than that, I’d be content to stay in with my girlfriends and watch movies. What? Ithaca’s cold!

After college, I was the same way – a marg or glass of wine occasionally. To be honest, I was stingy with my “calories.” Drinking’s not super important to me, so I’d rather indulge on a dessert. Plus, drinking was a logistical challenge – how was I going to get home?

my 21st birthday.. so many free drinks! :')

my 21st birthday.. so many free drinks! :’)

Since moving to Austin, drinking socially has become more frequent in my life. A Happy Hour with coworkers, drinks with new friends, and going (alllll) out on the weekends are all top ways to get to know people.

At school & home, I had a core friend group that wouldn’t mind laying low on the weekends. But here, I’m way more apt to be a “yes girl.” Going out on Friday? I’m there! Roommate bonding over giant margaritas? Obviously.

Now, I don’t want to make excuses. I know that I don’t even have to order a drink when I go out. But honestly? I spent a long time holding myself back.

Here in Austin, there are TONS of bars, and therefore, tons of opportunities to be social. I don’t condone drinking and I’m certainly not a fan of how I feel on a morning after too many drinks. But I moved down here to step out of my comfort zone, right? Is it weird that I kind of don’t regret that?

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So I guess this all circles back to the theme of balance. When I do decide to drink, I like to choose vodka & club soda — a “light” mixed drink, if you will. Plus I actually like the taste.

But I’m still figuring it all out …. can you be a social drinker without derailing your healthy lifestyle? If you drink every weekend, will you inevitably pack on the pounds? I’m not really sure, and I’m kind of afraid to find out.

I’d Love to Hear Your Thoughts-

  • Are/were you a social drinker in college? What about now?
  • Do you think you can be a social drinker and still stay in shape? (Tips are appreciated!)

Body Pump 92 Review {A Student’s Perspective}

When I first learned about Body Pump in 2012 from Julie @ PBFingers, I knew it was something I wanted to try. I love group fitness classes that hold me accountable and get me out of my comfort zone.

Coincidentally, my gym at Ithaca started offering the class in January of 2013, and I was immediately sold. My friend Sophie and I would attend class together twice a week, and I loved what the strength training added to my routine.

Since then, I’ve been a regular Body Pumper for the last two years. I feel like I’ve seen a ton of new releases, but every once in a while a teacher throws a curveball and plays an old song or a new-to-me track. I love it!

The newest Body Pump release has got to be one of my favorites. Other bloggers like Running4Cupcakes and A Lady Goes West review the class as an instructor, but I thought I’d add my perspective as a student.

I’d love to hear your thoughts as well — have you ever tried Body Pump?  Have you done the new release? Let me know!

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Sunshine, Shopping + So Much Kombucha

My long weekend definitely measured up to standards. Texas weather was absolutely beautiful this weekend – in the upper 60s and mid-70s. Being a northern girl, the sunshine most certainly did not go unappreciated by me.

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On Saturday, some Ithaca College girls and I decided to get together and check out Ramen Tatsu-Ya, which is arguably Austin’s most ‘famous’ ramen restaurant. It’s funny – before moving here, I didn’t even know ramen restaurants were a thing. I’m picturing the $0.79 Maruchan ramen packets you see at the grocery store.

Ramen Tatsu-ya Austin

The ramen was a total game changer. After waiting in a line around the building for about 30 minutes, we were seated in the tiny hole-in-the-wall restaurant and were seated. I totally drained my bowl.. a creamy, salty, noodley bowl of flavor. The soft boiled egg was the best part!

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Long Weekend Ahead — Friday Faves

We made it to Friday, guys. I wasn’t sure I was going to. ; ) Long weekend, I’m so ready for you!

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Today I’m sharing some of my Friday Favorites.. things I’ve been loving this week. It’s the simple things, right?!

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Barney’s ‘Bare’ Almond Butter, which I won in a giveaway from my girl Brittany @ Freckled Nettles. I finished off the jar  yesterday with these amazing overnight oats, but I miss it already! </3 I’m thinking a trip to the store is needed ASAP…


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My Pennsylvania state necklace. I see so many Texas shaped ones, so I got my own! I love that I can wear a little piece of home at all times.


IMG_4484New makeup from Sephora & Birchbox. After Christmas, I stocked up on some new makeup – Urban Decay eyeliner, Laura Mercier concealer, Coastal Scents eyeshadow, and an Anastasia eyebrow pencil (sounds creepy but this is CLUTCH!). A lot of the time, the high end stuff is worth the investment.


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Oatmega protein bars. Have you guys heard of Oatmega? They’re based here in Austin, and their bars have an awesome nutritional profile — 14g of grass-fed whey protein, 7g of fiber, and only 5g of sugar per bar! Brownie is my favorite flavor, but the chocolate mint is very Thin Mint-esque if that’s your thang.



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Coffee by the fire at a local hangout. That’s what it’s all about! : ) I particularly love this place because they sell beer, coffee and tacos. Um, can’t beat that! I’m typically drinking my Americano while everyone else has a beer, and I love I can do that!


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This quote. I can apply it to my career, my fitness goals, even my personal relationships. Love it!

Your Turn-

  • Would you wear a necklace with your state on it?
  • What’s your favorite nut butter or makeup product of the moment? : )

WIAW: The Taco That Stole the Show

Happy, Happy Wednesday! I sure do love it when the weekend comes back into sight.

Does anyone else have a long weekend coming up for MLK Day? I’m planning on driving out to the San Marcos Outlets – I’m on the hunt for a new pair of Nikes.

And although it’s still 4 months away, I was super excited about yesterday’s Dave Matthews Band tour dates announcement … kicking off the summer tour in Austin. I can’t waaaait!

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Speaking of Austin things… does anyone else struggle when deciding where to eat? Like, there are so many amazing restaurants in Austin that I still want to try. But some days, I’m not gonna lie… I just want Chipotle, Whole Foods or Panera! What’s a girl to do?!

For ‘What I Ate Wednesday,’ I’m sharing one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and a snack from this week that took the spotlight. I resisted Chipotle for now, but it’s been a pretty even split of cooked-by-me vs. something I bought. I’ll take it!

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Thinking Out Loud: Coconut Milk, Cheap Produce & the Chinese Buffet

Though I’ve been a fan forever, this is my first time joining the Thinking Out Loud party! It’s hosted by Amanda @ Running With Spoons, and is a perfect little almost-the-weekend brain dump. It speaks for itself! 🙂

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1. Produce is so cheap in Texas. I just bought avocados, blackberries, apples and bananas for $3.65! I love love love Sprouts Farmers Market for this reason. Do you have Sprouts near you?

2. Cold isn’t really cold here. But you won’t hear me complaining! It hit 25 degrees last night, which is very cold for Texas. However, I’m used to sub-zero temperatures, so I’ll take this ‘cold’ any day!

3. It’s amazing what just 1 week of getting back on track will do. Like Kay said, getting back on track after New Year’s was less about “New Year, New Me!” and more about, “oh my God my body needs nutrients.” After a week of solid exercise, meal planning, and zero alcohol on the weekend, I already feel so much better.

4. Sometimes you just need to get your Chinese buffet on. My brother has been pestering me to go for months now, and last night I finally gave in. I forgot to take photos! But the buffet nearby had a pretty decent selection of sushi, spring rolls, pho, vermicelli, salads, salmon, and your classic battered-and-sauce-covered chicken dishes.

5. Kalamata olives were a great investment. Always a pleasure, Trader Joe.

6. “Ice Cream Meetings” are a thing, I guess? Someone asked me to go to a lunch meeting yesterday, but I already had one scheduled. So what did we do instead? Went for ice cream at 2:30 PM. Not questioning it!!

7. Because peppermint mocha lattes are so darn pricy … I’m pretty proud of this snag! : ) Another Sprouts purchase, baby!

Mint Chocolate Coconut Milk on clearance

Mint Chocolate Coconut Milk on clearance

Woohoo! It’s so freeing to just get my thoughts out there with no real structure or anything. Just what I needed today.

Your Turn-

  • What’s the best deal you’ve found lately at the grocery store?
  • Is it cold where you are? How are you surviving it?!
  • Ever been to an ice cream meeting? Some would do coffee, but I guess we’re non-traditional here. ; )

‘Step It Up’ Superfood Salad

Let’s be honest. There are only so many days in a row that you can eat salad for lunch.

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A typical lunchtime salad – base of lettuce, carrot, tomato, cucumber & celery.

Don’t get me wrong, I love bringing salads to work. I use it as an opportunity to get a ton of veggies in. I also like to get creative with different proteins (lentils, hard boiled eggs, hemp seeds, veggie burgers), fats (avocados, nuts, dressings) and root veggies (sweet potatoes, brussels, squash), etc. I can prep 5 of them on Sunday night and not have to think about a thing during the week, which is key.

However, if I’m going to go into this new year with a cleaned up diet, I need a lunch I’m going to be excited to eat. So in an effort to step it up and create a healthy lunch I’d look forward to, I made a new salad variation.

step it up superfood salad

I didn’t measure much, so I don’t have a recipe. But I’ll share the ingredients in case anyone gets inspired 🙂

  • quinoa (cooked with 1:1 low sodium vegetable broth & water)
  • chopped cooked sweet potato
  • baby kale
  • spiralized zucchini
  • shredded carrots
  • diced red onion
  • homemade dressing (orange juice, olive oil, cinnamon, chili powder, lime powder, salt, pepper)
  • ideas to mix it up for the week — kalamata olives, avocado, walnuts, dried cranberries, cilantro

I know this isn’t the most creative thing in the world, but I’m happy I branched out of my regular salad routine for the week. All I needed was a little motivation & imagination. It paid off!

Your Turn-

  • What are your lunches typically like?
  • What’s your favorite way to make a salad interesting?

My Goals & Intentions for 2015

In the New Year, some people get really gung ho about improving themselves. Some are kind of nay-sayers. I like to think I fall somewhere in between.

I don’t feel that I’m “resolving” to make any major changes. However, I do like to use the New Year as a chance to set some intentions for myself — just as you can do on any Monday, or any 1st of the month, or heck .. any day, ever.

So this year, I’ve set some goals & intentions for 2015. Things I want to work on, try, explore. Here’s what made the list:

  • Maintain my healthy lifestyle. I can’t even blame it all on the holidays… I definitely let myself slip a little and am looking forward to getting back into a healthy, balanced routine.
  • Put my phone away in the car. So guilty! But now I’m doubly motivated to stay off my phone in the car, since Austin is a hands-free city as of January 1st. Notttt trying to get a $500 fine!
  • Do more crafts. And be an expert crafter by next Christmas, so I can make something really great for everyone’s presents.
  • Explore Austin more. I’ve lived in Austin for about 8 months now, and have a bunch of favorite spots. However, there is still so much of the city I still need to discover.

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  • Re-do my resume & network. I like my full time job, but I don’t want to become complacent with my professional development.
  • Volunteer. I’d love to find an initiative in Austin that I’m really passionate about, and get involved on the weekends.

As cheesy as it is, I’m looking forward to some new adventures in 2015!

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To my readers & new blog friends — thank you for following along with me in 2014. It’s been so lovely getting to know all of you & learning from you. Here’s to a happy, healthy 2015 for all of you!