Banana Oat Cake [Amigo’s 2nd Birthday]

I like to talk food around here on Wednesdays, do I not? Well, today I’m sharing a very different kind of recipe. The kind of recipe you will want to share with your favorite four-legged friend.

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The recipe only includes ingredients that are considered “people food”, so I suppose you could try a taste, too. 😉 Our family has a Golden Retriever and my brother, Alex, has a Staffordshire Pitbull Terrier named Amigo. Yesterday, he turned 2! My mom and I looked to our friend Pinterest for dog cake inspiration. We have had lots of success with dog treats and dog cakes in the past…on my Timehop yesterday, there was a picture of Amigo celebrating his 1st birthday.

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If you’ve never baked a cake for your pup, you should give it a try! I guarantee you have all of the ingredients you need in your kitchen already.

Find the original recipe here.

Ingredients

Cake

2 bananas, mashed
4 tbsp honey
1 egg
1 cup water
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup peanut butter
1 can chicken broth

Toppings

Dog treats of choice
Peanut butter (for icing)

*Note: your dog cannot eat this in one sitting. The original recipe says it serves 24, and I don’t know about your dog, but mine doesn’t have 24 friends. 🙂

 Directions

Cook time = 1 hour @ 350*F.

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Preheat your oven to 350*F. Mash bananas and add to oats and honey mixture.

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Add peanut butter and flour to the mix and continue combining the ingredients.

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It should look something like this! Where the original recipe called for 2 cups of water, my mom decided we should add 1 cup of water and 1 can of chicken broth…for flavor. I was all for taste testing this cake until we added chicken broth. I’m sure the dogs loved the extra “flavor”…but I don’t know what I think about banana peanut butter oatmeal with chicken broth. 🙂

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Grease baking pans of your choice. You could choose one deeper dish or two smaller ones, as we did. We just had to use the hearts. 🙂

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Bake until your cake passes the toothpick test! When the toothpick comes out clean, your cake has baked all the way through. Transfer to a cooling rack and use peanut butter as your icing.

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We lined the edge with peanut butter and mini Milk Bones and then layered the two cakes!

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Then of course, you can choose to write your dog’s name on the cake and add candles. We did both. 🙂

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You should probably also sing “Happy Birthday” (and yes, Amigo is sitting on a chair)…

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…and let your dog have the first piece of cake, as is birthday custom.

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Then, he can share with his friends. 🙂 And he or she better have a lot of dog friends because you will have LOTS of leftover cake!

Obviously, we like birthdays around here. Jake (my youngest brother) joked that his birthday cake wasn’t even this nice. He was joking…and in my mom’s defense, he requested chocolate chip cookie cake, so it’s hard to make that fancy haha! Besides Amigo’s fancy fancy cake, he was spoiled with peanut butter toast for breakfast, lots of tennis ball throwing in the backyard, and presents that included a squeaky toy, which comes in second on his list of favorite toys (tennis balls take first).

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This was actually funny. The second piece of toast was for Colby and I was taking a video when we had the dogs come over to eat their breakfast. Amigo must have breathed at just the right moment because he looks like he is blowing out the candle in the video! Haha

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And here was our evening game of tennis balls. The dogs got a tennis ball gun for Christmas one year and it was the best present ever…for everyone in the family. The neon green object that I am holding is the gun. You point it at the ground and just grab the tennis ball in the very end of the gun, then pull back on the trigger and it shoots across the yard. Those tennis balls get some serious air and the dogs get so much exercise! Amigo actually really loves chasing the ball and bringing it back to you. Colby really likes getting the ball just so that Amigo can’t have it and then he never brings it back. Worst Golden Retriever ever. Hahaha

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It was getting dark, but here’s an action shot of them chasing the ball I just shot! The orange orb in the middle of this picture is the tennis ball. 😉

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Amigo turned 2, but his presents make him look like he turned 72, because he got Hip & Joint treats along with a bone and a squeaky toy. Reason: he sits like a frog 100% of the time.

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Usually, Amigo looks like this…dropping tennis balls on your lap and giving you puppy eyes so you play with him. But last night after we played in the backyard, he looked like this! We could not stop laughing at his face. He NEVER looks like this! He needed water and a nap ASAP. 🙂 Also, check out his frog legs. Haha!

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He has grown so much!

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Happy Birthday, Baby Migo. 🙂 We love you!!!

***

So now that you’ve seen me be a crazy dog aunt, tell me…are you a crazy dog person, too?!

Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats

When I make dessert, I like to give it to friends and family.

You might be thinking, Oh, that’s so sweet of her!

But truthfully, it’s for my own good. If I didn’t give it away, I would likely eat all of it myself. And I only have one other roommate, so I’m not exactly baking for an army at any given time. 😉

One of my favorite desserts and/or snacks is a Rice Krispy treat. When I was in elementary school, the brand actually made snack size peanut butter Rice Krispy treats with a layer of chocolate on the bottom. I am proud to say that was my breakfast many mornings before school. Ha! I haven’t seen that flavor in stores for years, so naturally when I saw Mix and Match Mama post this recipe for Peanut Butter Rice Krispies, I was excited and intrigued! I knew this would be the next dessert I whipped up.

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It all started with this jar of peanut butter last weekend. If I was already going to add peanut butter to my recipe, why not make it an even more delicious peanut butter?! I don’t know about you, but I LOVE peanut butter and salted caramel speaks to me. Have you ever had Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate? Go get one, then come back and finish reading this post. 🙂

Ingredients

Note: I followed the Original Rice Krispies Recipe found here.

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6 cups Rice Krispies
10 oz marshmallows
3 T butter
1 cup peanut butter of choice

Directions
1. Melt 3 T of butter in a large pot.
2. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.
3. Remove from heat and add Rice Krispies. Stir until well coated.
4. Add 1 cup peanut butter. Stir until mixture is smooth.

Note: I recommend adding the peanut butter to the marshmallow mixture and THEN adding the Rice Krispies last. That is what I will do next time I bake these treats!

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I was on the phone with my aunt while I was making these treats so I’m just going to go ahead and tell you that yours will look different because a) I never removed the mixture from the heat and b) I added Rice Krispies before I added marshmallows. I WILL tell you that regardless of the mistakes you make while baking, your treats will be absolutely delicious. 🙂

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Press your mix into a 9×13 baking pan…or if you are me, press your mix into a large Tupperware container and a smaller square container. My friend recently moved to the area so these treats were her and her roommate’s housewarming gift. I didn’t tell her the mistakes I made in baking and she LOVED them!
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And I would like to take a moment of silence for the Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Rice Krispy treats that still exist in my kitchen. I haven’t demolished them and it’s been five whole days. Willpower, I tell ya. 😉

Happy baking!

Are you a peanut butter lover like myself?

What did you eat for breakfast as a kid?

Mashed Cauliflower Sweet Potatoes

Today is FLYING by! I can’t wait to get back into my regular schedule where my posts magically appear at 7 AM. 🙂 This is being typed in real time as I stand at my kitchen counter and watch my bed get assembled by the furniture company. I also went to work today with no makeup on because I can’t find my makeup bag. And they say moving is fun. 😉

I like to talk about what I’m eating on Wednesdays and I like to share a new recipe because 1) I love reading new recipes and 2) It forces me to get creative in the kitchen. If you’ve read this blog for more than five minutes, you know I am the self-proclaimed “five ingredients or less” queen of the kitchen. I am also the self-proclaimed “quick and easy” queen of the kitchen. This is partly because I don’t have the pantry of a professional chef and partly because I usually wait until I am hungry to start cooking. And nobody wants to cook when they are STARVING.

So today, I am sharing mashed cauliflower sweet potatoes with you. I am the kind of person who is fine eating chicken, vegetables, and a sweet potato for dinner. It might sound plain to you, but I love all of those things and cook them up pretty quickly. So in an effort to branch out of my comfort zone, while still eating my favorite foods of sweet potatoes and vegetables, Pinterest helped me find this recipe (follow me here). Isn’t it pretty?!

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Just kidding. Mine looked like this. But it was just as tasty. 🙂

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Find the original recipe here.

Ingredients

1 medium sized sweet potato
1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
Splash of milk
Garlic powder (to taste)
Salt and pepper (to taste)

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Directions

– Chop your sweet potato (and cauliflower, if needed) into bite sized pieces.
– Boil sweet potato and cauliflower in one inch of water on medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until tender with a fork.

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– Drain your vegetables and move them to a medium sized bowl.

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– Mash the vegetables. Add Greek yogurt, milk, and spices.

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– Serve with your main dish of choice! I chose chicken because I am predictable. 😉

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I made MANY modifications to this recipe. First, I was cooking for one, so I changed the measurements a great deal. Again, to see the original recipe, click here. I also used garlic salt in place of garlic powder and salt…mostly because I didn’t have garlic powder in my pantry. The nutrition facts on this dish were great! I entered the ingredients into MyFitnessPal and found that it was 119 calories, 0.3 g of fat, 24 g of carbs, and 4.2 g of protein for the entire serving! It was delicious and I will definitely be making this side dish again.

Time for honesty hour: I was so excited to find chopped cauliflower at the grocery store because that means less work for me in the kitchen! But then while I was trying to open the bag, this happened.

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Picture yourself cooking with a five-year-old who has no attention span and creates a mess. That’s me. Hahaha! I try to clean as I go, but then things like this happen. I was honestly picking the tiny pieces out of the burners on my stove BY HAND! So share with me: are you a master chef or are you a little bit disastrous like me? I would love to know! 🙂

Happy cooking!

Previous cauliflower recipes:
Vanilla Pound Cake

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

We’re baking on the blog today. And my favorite part of baking is licking the spoon. 🙂
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The next best thing besides licking the spoon is the flavor combination of chocolate and peanut butter. And the next best thing after that is a peanut butter cup that is only 25 calories. Nope, not too good to be true! It also follows my personal kitchen rule of 5 ingredients or less. 😉

Find the original recipe here.

Ingredients

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Chocolate Layer
1/4 c unsweetened almond milk (or skim milk) –> Cashew milk worked well here too!
1/4 c plain low fat Greek yogurt
1/4 c + 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T baking Stevia (or 2 T sweetener of choice)

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Peanut Butter Layer
1/4 c peanut flour (or PB2)
1/4 c + 1 T water
1 T baking Stevia

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Directions

1. Locate two small bowls. Combine ingredients for the chocolate layer in one bowl and combine ingredients for the peanut butter layer in the second bowl.

2. Mix each bowl until ingredients are well combined. The consistency should creamy.
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3. Fill a mini muffin tin with muffin/cupcake liners. I only had the larger size, so I cut parchment paper to fit in the smaller sections of the muffin tin. Pour 1 teaspoon of chocolate on the bottom, 1 teaspoon of peanut butter in the middle, and 1 teaspoon of chocolate on the top.

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Or if you’re like me, don’t measure your ingredients and just pour chocolate/peanut butter/chocolate until the wrapper is full. 😉

4. Freeze for 1-2 hours.

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These peanut butter cups must be stored in the freezer, so take one out about 5-10 minutes before you want to eat it so it can thaw a bit!

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Enjoy! 🙂

Vanilla Pound Cake

When is the last time you ate cauliflower for dessert?

No?

Just me?

Well, your answer to that question is about to change because I have a recipe for you that is filled with totally random, yet nutritious ingredients! And you will be able to say that you ate and enjoyed cauliflower for dessert. 😉 This weekend, I was craving something sweet, and while I can’t say I have ever eaten pound cake in the past, Pinterest came to the rescue here. I wasn’t sure how the combination of these ingredients would turn out, but aren’t the Pinterest “fails” just as much fun as the Pinterest successes?! I think so! Ultimately, this Vanilla Pound Cake was easy to make, required few ingredients (my kitchen rule of thumb!) and tasted delicious!

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Original recipe here.

Ingredients

1/2 cup steamed cauliflower
1/2 cup egg whites
1 cup vanilla protein powder
2 eggs
4 drops vanilla extract
Cinnamon (to taste)

How To

First, preheat your oven to 325*. Steam your cauliflower (I used the microwave) and get your electric mixer or blender ready to go!

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Combine eggs, egg whites, and vanilla in a bowl. Add steamed cauliflower, then add protein powder. Finally, drop in some vanilla extract and cinnamon!

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I used my hand mixer and it worked really well! One thing to note: the “batter” is very thin in consistency at this stage of cooking. I kept checking the recipe to make sure I didn’t forget anything, but I didn’t, and you didn’t either! It is just very thin. Grease your bread pan (I used Coconut Spray Oil) and set your timer for 30 to 40 minutes.

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At the 30 minute mark, start checking your pound cake. The top should be slightly browned and the consistency should be much more firm to the touch.

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I was able to slice this loaf into 8 pieces, and using MyFitnessPal, I found that each piece of pound cake was about 75 calories! I ate it plain, but you could add honey for a touch of sweetness, too. Word to the wonderers: you cannot taste the cauliflower. 😉

Enjoy!

– Do you like cauliflower?

– Have you ever tasted pound cake?

What I’ve Been Eating Wednesday V

Are you cooking or eating out tonight?! I have been doing a little bit of both recently, which is always lots of fun for me because I get to meet up with friends and eat food that I didn’t have to cook, but it’s always a little sad for my bank account. 😉 Not that I am eating luxurious five star meals over here…I wish!

Last week, I ate this flatbread pizza for dinner three times. Because it was that good.

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Super easy to throw together! Read about it HERE.

I’ve also been busy recreating Panera Bread’s Strawberry Chicken Poppyseed salad, which is evident by how little salad dressing I have left in the bottle. 😉

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I was so excited to find this dressing at Target! I made a few minor modifications so the Kylie version of this salad includes spinach, grilled chicken, strawberries, pineapple, feta cheese, and dressing. My mom would skip the feta cheese but I think you should try it my way first!

Then there was the moment this past weekend where I tried Mango Bubble Tea. It has been at least 95* in D.C. for two weeks and it is SO humid…I was thirsty and desperate as my friend and I were walking to our cars from church and lunch, so I thought trying something new would be fun! We stopped in Capital Teas and I had such high hopes…

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…but three sips later, I said no thank you. Actually, scratch that. Four sips. I was in traffic and thought maybe my taste buds were wrong the first three times. 😉 If you’re unfamiliar, bubble tea is a tea base mixed with fruit or milk and chewy tapioca balls. I thought my flavor (mango) plus almond milk (my favorite milk) would for sure be a winner! I just wasn’t a fan of the tapioca balls. And my bubble tea didn’t have that “foamy” or “smoothie-like” consistency that so many people mention! It truly was like iced tea with tapioca balls. So strange. Have you tried this?!

And now I want to share the easiest recipe with you! I really outdid myself this time…my mom and I agree that five ingredients or less is the way to go. This time, I only used two ingredients. 🙂 I started cooking on Sunday night with every intention of making turkey burgers, but I found a recipe on the back of the package and changed gears right away!

Taco Turkey Meatballs

1 package Ground Turkey
1 packet Taco Seasoning

Preheat oven to 350*.
Cook until meatballs are 165*F in temperature or until crisp.

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I mixed the ground turkey with a package of taco seasoning with a spatula. Then, I used a cookie scoop to make the meatballs. I am not a fan of touching raw meat so the spatula and cookie scoop were so helpful here. I will also spare you a picture of the raw meat in the bowl and on the tray because that freaks me out, too. I’m such a legitimate chef. 😉 But I am a legitimate blogger because I really did take pictures of those steps…they are just so gross looking. Ha! The package’s cook time said cook until the meatballs are 165*F in temperature or until they are crisp. I do not have a kitchen thermometer, so I baked the meatballs for 10 minutes, flipped them over, and then cooked them for 10 more minutes. That worked, at least in my oven!

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So, how do they taste? SPICY! I ate them with salsa and guacamole. The perfect dipping sauces!

Enjoy 🙂

What are you eating this Wednesday?!

Friday Favorites

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 Linking up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci for Friday Favorites!

This makes me laugh…

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Teaching PiYo is a definite favorite of mine! A few weeks ago, I taught at an event called “Get Pumped, Get Sculpted, Get Shaking”, which showcased some of the new routines and classes offered at the gym this semester. There were almost 60 people in the room and I had to teach on that little stage! I swear up close it looked like a ping pong table. I didn’t fall off, luckily;)

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                        Photo credit UMD CRS 2015

One of my favorite views this week…

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What is better than sunshine at 7 AM in the middle of winter? #thelittlethings

On Wednesday, I got my favorite email of all time…I HAD MAIL!

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Just slightly obsessed with peanut butter and jelly. And I don’t care who knows it. Thanks Mom:)

Later that night, I met up with my favorite group of people and we ran the National Mall aka the best running spot in D.C. in my opinion. It’s always so pretty and always makes me feel so lucky to live here!

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#somuchreflection #runnerproblems #ihatemyglasses

I LOVE THESE PEOPLE but the only thing I see when I look at this picture is my glasses. I do not like them but I was too lazy to put contacts in yesterday. That is quite ironic because I wore glasses from the age of 7 until approximately July of last summer. I have had contacts for less than a year and I already think I look so strange without them! You can hardly see me because of all my pretty friends, so it’s okay;)

After our run (which was actually pretty fast even though we had such a large group!), we ate dinner at Qdoba and talked about our word of the week: patience. And I got a parking ticket for $100. Thank you District of Columbia. That part was not so fun, but between running with my friends and talking to my best friend from home on the phone for two hours (no, your eyes did not deceive you), Wednesday was pretty darn good!

On the note of patience…this verse came up in my quiet time this week and I just love it. I am working my way through Jesus Calling and some verses stick with me more than others! This one is one that I thought about for a few days so it’s definitely a favorite. I am not so good at memorizing Bible verses but this is a good one!

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I am constantly writing, highlighting, or pinning quotes. I love how they seem to explain everything perfectly sometimes! So, thanks to Pinterest, I found this gem. I was reminded there is a difference between being patient and being passive!

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Read the blog post here!

Thursday started off on the most amazing note ever…snow delay!

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Read: no morning responsibilities. Aka: sleep in, eat breakfast in bed, and love. my. life. Our delay started as “university opening at 11 AM” and changed to “university opening at 12:30 PM”. I say if it’s afternoon we should just skip the whole day;)

My favorite day of the week is not Friday or Saturday or Sunday. It’s Thursday. In middle school, my friends and I declared it “Feel Good Thursday” and we even had a theme song.

We were silly teenage girls;)

Anyway, years later, I still have a love affair with Thursday. Which is odd because my schedule is usually still packed full and BUSY! But there is just something happy and exciting about knowing that the weekend is right around the corner. I liken it to the anticipation and cheerfulness that everyone feels right before Christmas Eve. Seriously. Such a little detail, but it will always be the best day of the week. 🙂

In food news…because don’t I always have food news…my roommate decided to be adventurous and cook eggplant parmesan. My favorite foods all in the same dish. Vegetables, cheese, sauce…the very best dinner.

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This weekend, I will be spending all of my time at the gym for the Southeast Collegiate Fitness Expo. That’s a mouthful;) I have to go because the University of Maryland is hosting the expo and since I’m a fitness instructor, I have to help represent our school well. 🙂 But I actually can’t wait to go to all the seminars! Healthy living, nutrition, fitness…it’s going to be so fun! #gymnerd

Happy Friday, friends!

What are you doing this weekend?!