Humbled by Fame: A How-To Guide

Whoa. This weekend has been so much fun and it has everything to do with my mild internet fame. My mom and I want to thank everyone for reading and sharing and for the overwhelming support of my latest post, which you can read here if you have no idea what I’m talking about: http://givememycrownalready.com/2015/09/19/dear-joy-behar-a-thank-you-from-a-nurses-child/.

Nurses are awesome, especially my mom and I’m so happy that so many are agreeing!

Here’s all of the wonderful things that have happened to me since I experienced the instant rush of success:

  1. I was offered my own TV show deal
  2. Chris Evans proposed
  3. Amy Poehler and I are best friends
  4. I lost 30 pounds by increasing my daily calorie allowance
  5. I made delicious pumpkin waffles

Okay, so only one of those things happened. Any guesses as to which??

Yes! You are exactly right. We’ll be married next summer and all of you are invited!

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Psh, wishful thinking. Plus, that ring would have been a whole lot bigger had it been real. Reality is more like:

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Still pretty delicious.

This weekend was fun with or without Chris Evans. On Friday, I got my day started with a dumbbell strength workout, worked, then headed to my aunt and cousin’s nail party. I got some Jamberry’s picked out based solely on my mom’s choosing all of the holiday options they have available. They were cute though so I won’t complain.

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Clearly I’ve mastered the pout.

On Saturday, I worked through the morning, but ate this yummy oatmeal to fuel me through it.

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After helping cover up the pool for the season- it’s now fall!- I had this for lunch. I’m big on waffles and eggs these days and I don’t care for which meal I eat them!

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I wrote my now famous blog post, then met my friend Katie in the city. We went to a Greek festival for dinner and ate yummy gyros and baklava before meeting another friend at a Gatsby-type themed bar.

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Sunday morning started with some grocery shopping. My mom and I met my Aunt Stacy and cousin Erin for lunch. Blackened salmon salad for the win!

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After, we all scooted over for a Paint Nite afternoon. I can totally see why people love painting, and I also love to draw, but I never know what to create without someone telling and showing me how. I have a lot to work on when it comes to painting, but I don’t think it looks half bad.

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Glowing from our newfound fame.

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It was so beautiful out yesterday and by the time I got home, my legs were itching for a run outside! I headed down to the track to run on a consistent flat surface and I felt s-t-r-o-n-g. The intention was to go 4 miles, but by the time I reached my third, I knew I was in a good place, so I kept pushing. By the end, I got to 6.4 miles (had I realized at that point I was .1 away from 6.5, I would have gone for it, but oh well). I think I honestly could have run longer had it not been dark out, but also my legs were chafing! I can’t wait to run with pants on instead of shorts because it soothes things so much better!

I watched bits and pieces of the Emmys. My goal is to one day host and I think I could do a better job than Andy Samberg who felt choppy. I suspect we got spoiled by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey so many times. Maybe within the next few years, I’ll be receiving an award for my own show and hosting, and you can say you knew me when!

Just Call Me Pumpkin Girl

At some point during my kitchen cooking adventures, someone will tell me that I need to use separate bowls and adhere to strict instructions while carefully measuring and mixing ingredients. I’ve found that throwing everything into a bowl from dry to wet and whacking it around until the mixture is smooth and batter-like creates some tasty concoctions. And until that doesn’t work for me, I’ll stick to it.

Maybe one day when I’m not hungry and lazy, I’ll try different techniques and see what the hype’s about. I’m also not making anything uber fancy so…

Ooh! But pumpkin waffles!

I knew I wanted waffles before my eyes even fluttered open. I also knew I had an open can of pumpkin waiting in the fridge. It’s with true satisfaction that I know it’s safe for me to eat apples again (my allergies go from spring to late summer). I also wanted to follow my own recipe, so I didn’t turn to Pinterest or Google in my time of need. I just ran with what I know. Sometimes, that’s the best strategy.

I might not be too selective when it comes to order of ingredients, but I am careful about measuring. First came a fourth of a cup of whole wheat flour. I dropped in two tablespoons of oats, a half teaspoon of baking powder, and a hearty shake of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Two tablespoons of pumpkin followed, as well as half of a mashed banana with a splash of vanilla. With a fourth of a cup of almond milk and an egg, I had my mixture. I stirred everything up into this orange-tinted mix.

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Once my waffle iron was heated and waffle was cooking, I chopped up an apple and started to assemble my meal. Here’s how the waffles turned out. Based on the amount of ingredients and appetite of the eater, this recipe is meant to serve one. I have a shallow waffle maker.

I really wish I could incorporate smell on my blog because these waffles wafted with deliciousness! And look how nice they look. I’d take these waffles home to meet mom and dad.

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A little crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside.

I topped these bad boys with the chopped apple, a tablespoon of chopped walnuts, and a handful of blueberries. Maple syrup sweetened everything up. A steaming cup of pumpkin spice coffee wasn’t bad either.

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I’m kind of proud of myself on this one. I liked my French toast, a lot, but a little more effort and creativity went into making these waffles. It didn’t take too much time at all however. I would say, and I must emphasize how terrible I am at estimating time (my brother-in-law calls my sister a time optimist because she always thinks she has more than she does and we like to lovingly mock her for it, but the truth is I’m the same way), but these waffles went from the bowl to my stomach in about twenty minutes time.

I also used zilch on the sugar. Yes, maple syrup sweetened things up in the long run, but TRUST ME when I tell you of the powers of banana. They sweeten any and everything. Applesauce works wonders too. The best part, they don’t necessarily taste banana or apple-like, unless of course you want them too in which case you can elevate the banana taste. Try not to use sugar or especially sugar substitutes in baking, especially a meal, if you can. A combination of cinnamon, banana, and vanilla hold magical powers. I tell ya!

Meals from yesterday also included a lunch of leftovers: grilled swordfish, cauliflower au gratin, broccoli, and a few nachos.

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And a huge salad for dinner with the sweetest tomatoes from my garden!

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What a well fed girl I’ve been!

Pumpkin French Toast!

I promised pumpkin spice French toast was in your future. I delivered.

While grocery shopping on Sunday, I discovered stocked shelves of cans of pumpkin. We’re mid-way thru September and it was chilly yesterday, I think it’s time we embraced the pumpkin!

First step was to heat the pan. This “special” pan is meant for paninis, but it makes awesome French toast. I gathered all of my ingredients into a pretty picture for your eyes only.

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Into the bowl went an egg- the yolk adds nice texture and ties everything together- a quarter cup of almond milk, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a dash of vanilla, and a quarter cup of pumpkin- it’s a vegetable! All swirled together, we get this autumn-inspired, colorful concoction.

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The spoon promptly fell victim to the mixture and I had to fish it out. Even if I make things look slick and smooth, I promise it’s not. And 9 out of 10 times, I will share this with you. Silly = better blogging.

I dipped my bread of choice- whole wheat sour dough- into the mixture, pressing it down and absorbing the goodness. Here they are after grilled up on one side.

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Notice the batter clinging to the side. My flipping skills need some work.

While the toast grilled, I took to chopping up some fresh fruit. Strawberries, blueberries, and banana add a nice patriotic touch. Just call me international, what with French toast and an American fruit salad. Okay, that’s a stretch.

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So pretty! Except, when topped with peanut butter and jelly, it grows even prettier. I mean delicious. Food can’t be pretty, silly! Well, actually, yes it can.

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Some might say I have too much time on my hands to do this. I’m just doing a service for you.

Pumpkin French Toast:

This recipe serves one, but can be easily adapted to feed your brood.

Ingredients: egg, milk of choice, vanilla extract, cinnamon, pumpkin, bread

  1. Pre-heat pan on stove-top
  2. Crack 1 egg into large bowl
  3. Pour 1/4 cup of milk
  4. Sprinkle generous amount of cinnamon
  5. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  6. Scoop 1/4 cup of pumpkin
  7. Combine ingredients
  8. Soak bread
  9. Grill bread
  10. Top with goodness
  11. Eat!

I’m not one to usually type up recipe cards such as shown above. It doesn’t include much detail, but the French toast doesn’t take much work. It may look and taste fancy and gourmet, but the prep is null and it really is a nutritious twist on a classic. Enjoy!

Sunday Productivity and Catch Up

Trauma left over from my school years means that I will always see Sundays as being that of productivity. Not that it’s such a bad thing because it means I get necessary chores done, such as laundry, cleaning, food prepping, etc. Rainy Sundays always inspire an extra edge to such productivity.

We start where we lead off, which to my best estimation, is Thursday morning! A homemade, whole grain waffle and a cup of Greek yogurt got things flowing. Notice the beauty of the chopped strawberries and banana!

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My workout for Thursday included a few strength circuits using kettle bells and medicine balls, as well as a lap swim. It had been about two weeks since I swam laps due to the pool closing down for cleaning, but I felt strong! Had I more time, I would have attempted a mile and a half, but I stuck with my mile and felt wonderful.

Lunch was a heaping bowl of salad with leftover steak, veggies, and beans, with ranch and barbecue sauce drizzled on top. I also had leftover rice for a boost of carbs.

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Dinner included these red pepper infused ravioli that I jazzed up with sundried tomato chicken meatballs, red pepper, and zucchini. I wasn’t much feeling marinara, so I added a pat of butter and cheese on top for extra flavoring.

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Friday morning, I was up early to fit in a workout. I cannot tell you how much I adore morning workouts (once I’m fully awake and moving), but I also cannot tell you how hard it is to get up when you don’t have to. My workout consisted of dumbbell and plyometric circuit training. I was drenched in sweat and reaping the benefits of endorphins as I left the gym to start the rest of the day.

Oh, but look what I was met with on my way home from the gym! I told you turkeys roamed this area. They usually come in hordes, but this guy was on his own. Don’t worry, I came to a complete stop to 1. let him cross and 2. take this picture.

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This egg sandwich topped with egg, chicken sausage, provolone, and jalapeños was a perfect recovery breakfast. Banana, strawberries, and blueberries complemented the flavors well.

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Lunch happened while I was at work, so we ordered out. I selected this delicious chicken kebob greek salad that hit the spot. It was full of perfectly seasoned and moist grilled chicken, fresh veggies, and the added yumminess of feta and greek dressing.

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I was in a weird mood on Friday when it came for dinner as all I wanted was French toast. I used some multigrain cinnamon raisin bread and topped the pieces with peanut butter and jelly and paired the delicacy with a banana. My French toast recipe just consists of an egg, almond milk, cinnamon, and a splash of vanilla. In the fall (SOON!), I add pumpkin to the batter for perfection on a plate.

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Saturday was a busy day. I woke up before the sun to get to work, but not before enjoying a peanut butter toast breakfast.

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Kind of looks exactly like my French toast dinner, but I can promise it was not even close to as fancy.

After work, I booked it home for a quick lunch of leftover ravioli before heading off to my hair appointment. No, I won’t debut my new hair quite yet because I haven’t showered yet- still haven’t ran today- so I will premiere it tomorrow!

With my hair all fresh and blonde(r), which by the way, has just forced people into calling me a red-head more frequently, I met my cousins to go to the One Direction concert. Woo! I thought I would know more songs, but the concert was mostly their new stuff. We still had a blast despite some drizzling. It was a fun cousin bonding time!

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Oh, crap. I just realized I inadvertently premiered my hair after saying I wouldn’t yet. Okay, it was rainy and a little humid so my hair was frizzled. Don’t judge the cut (or blondness) just yet.

I woke up this morning to my mom calling me to go grocery shopping, but the most exciting part was that she had already made me poached eggs. I’m quite spoiled like that.

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While shopping, I picked up some cans of pumpkin (woo!) and this baby pumpkin for my desk that I named Spike. Spike is a character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer which I explained to my mom and she assumed he was a pumpkin…Fangs to come.

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Lunch was a simple greek yogurt and an english muffin with peanut butter as I’m preparing for my run. I’ll have some sort of veggie dish for my recovery fuel after.

With a load of laundry in the mix, some reading already done, and these legs ready to take off, I’m having myself a great Sunday.

Cheers to yours!

Attack of the Snake-Worm

As I was wandering around campus today in search of iced coffee because for some awful twist of fate, it’s HOT HOT HOT in October. Everyone knows that October is not supposed to be hot or cold. It’s supposed to be cool, so that you can survive wearing a cozy sweater and high boots during the day and at night pull on the sweatshirt and yoga pants, get yourself a warm cup of tea, and curl up with a good book  homework. But since it does happen to be warm and despite my princess-like narcissism, I cannot in fact control the weather, I was in hot pursuit of an iced coffee. And there’s a Dunkin Donuts on campus, so really it was almost as though I had to do it.

As I was speed-walking over before class, I almost stepped on what could only be described as either a gigantic worm or a very tiny snake. Don’t be fooled. Even a small snake, is a vicious snake. Perhaps even more so because it’s so small you can’t even see it coming. 

Good thing my natural instinct is to always look down when I’m walking, so as to avoid any awkward eye contact or hesitant wave, and I caught the snake-worm in my sight before I stepped down on it, wearing a flip flop. Snake-worm juice could have sprayed on top of my toes…

Since I was in a sort of rush, I was walking at a fast clip, and in a difficult feat of natural athleticism, I was able to twist myself out of the way, almost fall over into the grass, but still run away from the snake-worm pretty quickly. I only screamed once as I didn’t want the snake-worm to hear my fear.

Fear that would have been justified because when I was about to step down on it, the snake-worm flounced its body up in the air and made a hissing noise at me. I’ll admit the hissing noise might now be a product of my imagination, however, looking back I do remember some sort of squealing coming from the snake-worm, so I will stand by it. 

For future reference, if you find yourself about to step down on a snake-worm, just let it win the sidewalk and continue walking on the grass. You have to respect an animal that small who can physically lift itself up towards you without the use of arms, legs, or even a head really. I mean a worm (probably a snake) is literally just a tube of goo. Props, snake-worm.

Then, I was across the street from the Dunkins and kind of running because I was afraid the snake-worm was chasing me when a butterfly flew into my face. I actually can’t be sure that it was a butterfly and not for instance, a small bird, (it was probably a bird) because it hit me in the cheek and I only had a side view of it. So hard, I might add, that I think it left a small wing-mark on my face and blinded me from seeing its true identity of a bird. I can’t be sure though because I wasn’t about to stop anyone to one, admit that a small bird flew into my face and two, ask if said face was red.

By the time I got to Dunkins, I was so traumatized that I ordered two munchkins to go along with my iced coffee because I pretty much deserved it after getting attacked by a snake-worm and bird. Pumpkin and chocolate.

Dear Eve, Yes That Eve: I Feel Your Plight, Girl

Though it would be funny just to leave you hanging and unaware of what my blog title means today, it is seriously relevant to my current problems.

If you know me, then you probably know about my FORMER allergy to pitted fruit and the entirety of spring. Well, I was magically healed about a year or so ago, I don’t know why or how, I’m just glad I was fine.

And even this spring, I was totally fine. Some itchy eyes and runny nose, but not deathly!

That is, until a week ago when I started having difficulty breathing during an outside workout. We thought it was just because the air was so humid and the allergies seem to be raging for a lot of people. My mom suspected it could have been the apple I had just eaten, but I denied it.

And for the record, I had an apple later that night and was totally fine. Except for, um, the next day when I kind of couldn’t breathe all that well right after I ate an apple and I was home alone and couldn’t find any benadryl so I had to call my neighbor who basically saved my life. So now I’m banned from apples at least for a few weeks unless I take an allergy pill every day, which I always forget. And I have to be supervised by my mom. I’m almost 23 years old and just because I’m back in Kindergarten (more on that in a moment), doesn’t mean I’m five years old again.

My mom by the apples after banishing me to the corner of the grocery store. Forbidden, but oh so good. I LOVE APPLES.

So, like I said, I’m back in Kindergarten working as a teacher’s assistant and it’s pretty much amazing. Though it appears I might need to pay really close attention to the lesson on scissors because I cut myself today making my lunch for tomorrow.

For the record, I’m giving you my pointy finger, not the middle. I swear. At least for these purposes.

Don’t ask questions.

I’m kind of bummed though because Fall kicks off the baking season and I can’t make them anything! Like when I made these delicious Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Pecan Pumpkin muffins made with whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt, and flaxseed, and NO butter or oil. They were deliciously moist and healthy!

I’m a good baker(ess?)

This weekend, I had to get a new Yoga mat because someone (below) has taken a liking to it after I was using it in my room and won’t let me put it away. He bats at it if it’s rolled up and even ripped it a little with his claws so he can be assured I’d have to get my own! The problem is, he’s very sneaky so I can turn around at any moment and he’s just sitting there, on my mat, staring at me. I mean, I love you Bandit, but you need to stop acting like an assassin. I already gave you the Yoga mat.

Bandit creeping, creeping real good.

But guess what this means………

I GOT A PINK YOGA MAT!!!

See? Bandit just loves reading my blog and wanted me to get my heart’s desire.

Bandit does Yoga too.

Sorry for all the pictures. OH AND JK ROWLING’S NEW BOOK COMES OUT THIS MONTH!!!!!!!