Friends + Fruit + Favorites, Oh My

Like Jamie over at The Celebrating Momma, I believe that you should do a little celebrating every day…not just when Friday rolls around. Although Friday usually does bring some pretty fun times. 🙂 My favorite day of the week is actually Thursday because it’s full of anticipation of good times ahead and everyone is usually still super productive. Even ABC jumped on board with their super amazing TV shows. #TGIT

Anyways, Jamie’s post this week really spoke to me. I was feeling all kinds of anxious and overwhelmed about certain decisions in my life and I kept going back to God asking…what are you doing? Why aren’t things happening? Where are you going with this? Why isn’t it happening MY WAY?

I was sort of asking the right questions. But I wanted to be in the driver’s seat of life, and I am not. I should have been saying…show me what I can do here. Let things happen in your time. Here are my fears…you will make them right. I trust you.

Instead of beating myself up for not trusting the Lord earlier, I’m going to celebrate my favorite moments. 🙂

– ONE –

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It could be argued that my favorite food is peanut butter, but is that really even a food? 😉 Come summer, I am all about the fruit. Put pineapple and strawberries in the same container and I am in HEAVEN. The juices mix together and taste so fresh and delicious! Last weekend, my mom and I made these fruit kabobs for me to take to the Kenny Chesney tailgate. Tailgates are also my favorite because they usually include chips and buffalo chicken dip, but I’m that friend that shows up with fruit kabobs and a vegetable tray and turkey burgers. Yes, yes I did.

– TWO –

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On the note of Kenny Chesney, these are my favorite people. A big group of us tailgated for a few hours before the concert…eating, drinking, playing corn hole and Kan Jam…there was also laying in the grass (as seen above) and ten people in my Jeep Patriot at one point. Ha! It was HOT and sunny last Saturday but there were scattered torrential downpours. Not scattered showers. It would go from sunny to literally WATCHING the clouds roll in…and then it would pour for a solid ten minutes…and then it would get sunny again. An adventure for sure. 😉

– THREE –

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If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen me geeking out about my succulents the other night. I found these little beauties at Trader Joe’s the other day and I was SO HAPPY because from what I have heard, they are pretty low maintenance…as in, I don’t need to water them 24/7 for them to survive. If this is inaccurate, please don’t burst my bubble. Hahaha

Fresh flowers in my apartment is my favorite, but I don’t like how quickly they wilt and die. Hopefully I have better luck with these plants!

– FOUR –

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National Running Day. Need I say more? Running is my favorite. If running isn’t your jam, today is National Donut Day. Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts are giving out free donuts. You’re welcome. 🙂

– FIVE –

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Throwback pictures are my favorite. Do you have the Timehop app on your phone? You can link it to your social media accounts and every day, you can see what you posted on that exact day in previous years! I love checking it out every morning. 🙂 This picture was taken five years ago…I can hardly believe it. My little brothers are both 6’5″ so seeing Jake (my youngest brother) looking this little makes me feel all the feelings! Ha!

I remember this was during the last week of school…you know, those days when you don’t want to go because everything of importance is over?? My mom is a teacher so she went to work but I was allowed to stay home because I was a senior and we LITERALLY had nothing to do except practice for graduation! Somehow, the baby of the family convinced my mom he should also be allowed to skip school. I guarantee when I was eleven years old this never would have happened. #babychildproblems But since I was essentially “babysitting” and my friend and I wanted to make plans, we took this cutie to the Pittsburgh Zoo. Our other brother was hanging out with his friends on this day…but we had so much fun at the zoo and we took so many pictures! I hope my brothers both love hanging out with me as much as I love hanging out with them. 🙂

– SIX –

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Last weekend, my dad, my brother, and I went to brunch at Eat ‘N Park. It’s definitely one of my favorite restaurants! I love their omelettes, their salad bar, and of course, their Smiley cookies. I guess you could call this a chain restaurant because there are several locations…but it’s kind of a Pittsburgh thing! Randi will know what I’m talking about. 😉

When you’re a kid, this restaurant is the best because you get a FREE Smiley cookie after you’re done eating. Me and my brother Alex definitely tried to pretend Jake was a “kid” for a lot longer than he actually was so we could get free cookies! Recently, I bought a Smiley mug (in Pittsburgh colors, of course) so I can represent my favorite place while I’m at school…but last weekend, I discovered Eat ‘N Park now makes K cups and my day was made. I might have to go back and stock up! I don’t usually like black coffee, but this is so good with just a little bit of Splenda!

– SEVEN –

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One of the first Pinterest snacks that I pinned many moons ago was a such a success that now my mom and I have the recipe memorized. Energy balls are my favorite. Energy balls that aren’t rolled into balls yet are just plain dangerous.

– EIGHT –

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Summer gives me a lot of time to shop. This is not a positive. One positive thing is my tank top from Target was on clearance…so that makes it all okay, right?! Jake is super into brand name clothing. I like nice clothes. I don’t really care where they’re from as long as they’re pretty and they make me look good. Ha! Anyways, when I was in Atlantic City recently, I went to the True Religion store to browse around for him. While my mom and I were sending him pictures of clothes in the store (yes, we were those people), the sales woman was accosting me because all the shorts and pants were $50 off for Memorial Day.

Well. True Religion clothing is expensive and even at $50 off, I am not spending that much on shorts. It’s just not enough fabric to be worth it. Ha! So this woman convinced me that I needed to try on these jeans and really all I wanted to was go shop at the boutique next door. But I tried the beloved jeans on, and as Sheaffer would say, “they’re like buttah.” My new favorite.

Tell me about your week!!!

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Linking up with these lovely ladies. If you’re a blogger, join us in sharing your five favorite things from this week!

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AndreaNarciErika

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, friends! This week has been both long and short. Long because I am counting down the days until NEXT Friday when I can drive home for Spring Break. Short because we didn’t have school Thursday or Friday. 🙂 I do enjoy living in a place where everyone is afraid of snow. Though in their defense, we got 7 inches of snow! Baltimore and DC both got 9 inches so it’s been a big mess everywhere. I finally ventured out to go to the grocery store today but it’s been a nice few days of relaxing and catching up on work before midterms next week!

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Linking up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci to share some of my favorite things! Blog one of your favorites and join us 🙂

March means spring, right? In our dreams! I’m pretty sure most of the country is still covered in white. I can’t be too upset when the view of The National Mall is this pretty, though. One of my favorite places looking beautiful before the latest storm hit!

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The local news station was sharing a bunch of images posted by viewers and when I clicked on someone’s Instagram, I found this image from earlier in the week. This picture was taken from a plane that was about to land and I just think it is so majestic. Yes, I said majestic. Go with it.

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My view is not quite as spectacular. When it’s not so foggy and white out, I actually have a really pretty view of UMD’s campus! But for the past few days, it has looked like this. The sun knew we needed a little happiness so it’s actually shining today! Next week it is supposed to be in the fifties. I tell you, weather is crazy. I have noticed that people love to talk about the weather and either get excited or complain depending on the forecast, but what’s going to happen is going to happen regardless of if I check the weather so typically I don’t discuss these matters. 😉 Although, that is how I get myself into situations like the one I found myself in last Sunday: pulling my hoodie tight around my face as I “ice skated” home from the gym because there was freezing rain and ice. #yougetwhatyouget

One of my favorite ways to get inspired in the kitchen is to play around on Pinterest. Earlier this week, I mentioned that I felt like I kept making the same thing over and over and over. SO, last night when the fridge was looking barren and it was my turn to cook for my roommate and I, I made these Italian chicken sausage and feta cheese stuffed peppers.

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I was very proud. I sort of followed one recipe and I sort of followed another…so does that make me a real chef? Because I basically made this up on my own?! 😉

The first recipe [here] called for goat cheese. I very often half listen to recipes and add or omit whatever ingredients I do or do not have. Hahaha #creativeflair But lucky for me, while I was contemplating whether or not I could substitute goat cheese for feta cheese (which is what I had on hand), I found this recipe [here]. They turned out SO good! The only time consuming part was cleaning out the peppers. I am also not known for my patience, so it took some skill to cut the peppers without cutting myself. Fun story: last week I used the handle of a knife as a spoon. Which means I was holding the blade. Because you see, I only needed to stir something for a second, so no big deal, right?

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Can I blame the blonde hair?

It’s no secret that I love to work out, so it should come as no surprise that my favorite Friday activity for the last few weeks has been checking out new studios around the Maryland/DC/Virginia area. My friend Kristen and I tried our luck at [solidcore], which is a strength workout completely done on one machine called a megaformer. To say it was difficult would be an understatement. I have never felt more uncoordinated and the guy next to me was just whipping out the lunges and crunches like it was no big deal! So after that interesting experience, the following week we went to Soul Cycle, which is known for being a really popular cycling studio in NYC. There are two around here now, one in Maryland and one in DC, and I was really excited to go because I am certified to teach cycling classes, so I really love taking other people’s classes! I get new ideas and I get re-inspired. Plus sometimes it’s nice to not be in charge of your workout and have someone else tell you what to do! The guy who taught our class was literally INSANE! Crazy energetic, great music, just all around motivating and fun. So we are sticking with what we know and going back to Soul Cycle tonight. Yay for Friday fun!

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While we’re on the topic of things that make me feel good (like working out), something that makes me feel GREAT is when my jeans fit exactly how I want them to. Which is what happened this morning (or should I say afternoon) when I finally got dressed. A favorite moment for sure. I even found myself out and about today thinking, I hate pulling my jeans up. Why didn’t I wear a belt? But this is no reason to complain so I quickly told myself to shut up. 🙂

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HA! Ecard, I win.

I have been playing around with the idea of “flexible dieting”. Basically it means that I am paying attention to how much protein, fat, and carbs I eat. I have a calorie goal for the whole day, but honestly I haven’t met it yet. I am not used to eating this much! I spent a lot of time in college counting calories and eating tiny portions so this idea of “more food, more weight lost” is still very strange to me. But the jeans fit so I’LL TAKE IT!

Finally.

Finally.

The good stuff.

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So I understand that your eyes are probably drawn to “no sugar added”. BUT PEOPLE. This is my new favorite ice cream. First of all, I do not believe in sugar free desserts. That’s just wrong. You are eating dessert, so enjoy the sugar! When I see things like sugar free brownies or sugar free fudge, my brain just wants to know why. I understand that some people actually need to pay attention to their sugar intake, I’m just saying, if you’re trying to watch what you eat and you decided to indulge in dessert, just go all the way. Just do it. Be Nike. Eat all the damn sugar! 🙂

ANYWAYS, the reason I am over the moon about this ice cream is because it’s not completely free of sugar. It’s sweetened with Splenda and it is so so tasty. I don’t eat a ton of ice cream (I’m a salty person) so my ice cream taste buds might be different than yours, but I really liked this!  So my suggestion to you is to go to your local grocery store and buy the happiness.

Happy weekend everyone 🙂

– Is it still a winter wonderland in your area?!

– What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?