Saturday, January 31, 2015

Cinnamon Apple Chips

Apples are one of my favorite fruits. There are so many different types of apples and there is just so much you can do with apples! Have you been to Panera and had the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad? SO GOOD! The first time I had that salad I became hooked on apple chips. 

Apple chips are my form of candy (for those who don't know I cannot stand candy), but they're healthy! I eat apple chips by themselves, but I really love them in salads. The best part is they are ridiculously easy to make! All you need is an apple and a mandolin slicer (I got this one from Bed, Bath and Beyond for $9.99 and used a 20% off coupon). If you are able to cut an apple really thin with just a knife then go for it, but do not chop off any fingers. The only downside to making apple chips is they take awhile to bake, however it is well worth the wait!

Cinnamon Apple Chips
  • 1 apple of choice, I used a red delicious
  • sprinkle of cinnamon, you don't have to use cinnamon but it is SO good on apple chips
  • mandolin slicer

Preheat over to 200 degrees and line a baking sheet with tin foil, parchment paper or a baking mat.

Using the thinnest attachment for the mandolin slicer, slice the apple into thin chips. 

Place apple slices on baking sheeting. One apple should be able to fit onto a single baking sheet. It is ok to overlap the apples slightly as they will shrink.

Sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon over all the apple chips.

Bake at 200 degrees (F) for 1.5 hours, flip the apple chips to the other side- you can sprinkle more cinnamon too if you choose- and bake for an additional one hours and fifteen minutes. Check after time is up- if the apples are not completely dry bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Turn the oven off, but leave the apple chips in the oven until the oven is completely cool- do not crack the oven open! Allow it to cool with the door closed. It will help get the apple chips crunchy. 

Store in an airtight container for up to a week, they will NOT last that long I assure you!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Can't Stop Won't Stop

Do you ever get obsessed with something and want to have it for every meal? Normally I like variety in what I eat, but recently I have been on a salad kick. Strange, yes because most people I know crave sweets, but I crave vegetables. What can I say? I like my veggies.

I have consumed so many salads in the past few weeks that I wouldn't be surprised if I turned into a salad! Part of the reason is I'm lazy and they are incredibly easy to make. I have been suffering from major insomnia recently (thanks lupus!) and salads require so little effort to make- aka I walk to my fridge throw a little bit of everything into a bowl and BAM lunch or dinner. The other part is they're just so dang good! 

For awhile I was stuck on turkey breast salads, now it's literally whatever is in my fridge. The last time I went home my mom made her delicious roasted turkey breast. I got to take leftovers back to school. I had enough meat for a weeks worth of salads! The above salad has 2 cups organic romaine lettuce, 3 cherry tomatoes sliced, 2 small sweet peppers diced, 1/8 heaping cup avocado chunks, 2 teaspoons roasted pepitas, 1 teaspoon low sugar dried cranberries, 2 teaspoons crumbled feta cheese and leftover shredded turkey breast. IT WAS SO GOOD! 

Besides being strangely obsessed with salad I got the best surprise last week! Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE SURPRISES. I love being surprised and I love surprising people, it's just so exciting! Anyway, there was a knock on the door and I knew it couldn't be for me because I wasn't expecting anything, but sure enough there was the UPS man with a big box for me! I was so excited, it was like Christmas! I eagerly ripped open the box to find the sweetest surprise- a box full of delicious granola from San Franola Granola!

I was so touched by their sweet gesture and of course one cannot receive food without sampling it! As always it was on par and full of nutty goodness- literally it is so addicting I cannot stop eating it! I was so excited they gave me single serving packets too. I have an upcoming trip and had just been telling my brother I didn't know what kind of snack I was going to pack because so little food can get through TSA. Now I have the perfect solution! If I was forced to pick I'd probably say the California raisin or the cinnamon almond are my favorite, but they are all equally yummy!

If you're not familiar with San Franola Granola you need to check them out! Their granola is high in protein- 10 grams per serving!, high fiber, low sugar, grain free and non GMO. I've yet to find a granola that tops San Franola Granola. There are no strange and hard to pronounce ingredients so you can be sure you're fueling your body with the best!

I made a yummy parfait later on to munch on while studying and of course had to include granola! It's 1/2 cup Dannon light and fit vanilla greek yogurt, 1/4 cup fresh blueberries, 1 peeled and sliced kiwi and a small handful of San Franola toasted chia granola. It was the BOMB! Perfect combo of sweet and crunchy, but still totally healthy!

What is your favorite way to eat granola?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cashew Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry

Disclaimer: I had full intentions of making a crockpot meal this week. In fact, I had all the ingredients and everything ready, but I may have gotten a wee bit carried away this weekend cooking...

I had the recipe all planned out for this weeks crockpot meal, I had bought all the ingredients and was ready to get to work in the kitchen creating another yummy meal, but Saturday night I had planned to have stir fry. I haven't had stir fry in forever and it sounded so good. Originally I only planned to make enough for two to three meals, but somehow that turned into enough for six meals. I like lots of vegetables in my stir fry what can I say? 

I like Chinese food, but I much prefer to make my own at home for two reasons: 1. I like to add way more vegetables to dishes than what is typically in them and 2. I can control the amount of sodium in dishes. Chinese food is normally LOADED with sodium and I cannot stand food that is really salty. This stir fry is DELICIOUS and I think it's the best I've ever made!

And I have to take a moment to brag about the nutrition facts. It has 1/3 of the sodium that take out stir fry does, its much lower in carbs and fat and it has a fraction of the calories- I'm talking 263 calories for a single serving! There are no crazy ingredients and it doesn't taste "healthy" (my dad always says that). Forget take out, homemade is the way to go!

Cashew Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
  • 1 red, 1 orange and 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 small broccoli crown, cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 cup sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
  • 1 medium carrot (from bulk section), diced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1/2 cup roasted and unsalted cashews
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 6 tablespoons GF low sodium teriyaki sauce, divided
  • 2 teaspoons GF low sodium soy sauce

Spray a large skillet or a wok with nonstick cook spray and heat to medium heat. 

Place 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in skillet and allow it to warm. 

When oil is warm place cut up chicken in oil and allow it cook through. Make sure to flip chicken pieces so it will cook evenly. The chicken is done with the juices run clear. 

Transfer chicken to a plate and cover plate with tinfoil to keep chicken warm. 

*I prepared the brown rice while the chicken was cooking. You can use previously prepared brown rice or make it up simultaneous, but I recommend making it while the chicken cooks and setting aside.

Add the second tablespoon of sesame oil to pan, allow it to warm and then add in all the vegetables: bell pepper slices, broccoli, onion, snap peas, carrot and mushrooms. 

Continually stir the vegetables until they begin to lightly brown. Due to sheer volume of vegetables it will take awhile for vegetables to cook. 

When vegetables are beginning to brown add 2 teaspoons soy sauce and 4 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce to the pan.

Stir the vegetables to coat everything evenly with sauce, then reduce the heat of the burner to a lower setting. 

When the vegetables are evenly coated in sauce add the chicken and the prepared rice into the skillet. 

Stir everything together and add in the remaining 2 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce, stirring until everything is evenly coated. 

Add the cashews into the skillet and stir to distribute them throughout pan. 

Allow the chicken and rice to absorb the sauces flavor and be warmed up, so continually stir the vegetables. Keep the heat a lower setting to prevent anything from burning. 

Once the chicken is warmed remove from burner and serve! 

Store leftovers in airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer for later use. 

MACROS: 26C/11F/15P
Nutrition information (one serving= 1 cup):
Nutrition Facts
Servings 6.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 263
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11 g17 %
Saturated Fat 2 g10 %
Monounsaturated Fat 4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 22 mg7 %
Sodium 440 mg18 %
Potassium 532 mg15 %
Total Carbohydrate 26 g9 %
Dietary Fiber 3 g13 %
Sugars 10 g
Protein 15 g30 %
Vitamin A41 %
Vitamin C233 %
Calcium5 %
Iron10 %

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Quick, Easy and Healthy Dinner

I am finally starting to feel better, but I am still taking it easy on my body. I did a light workout this morning- mostly cardio and ab work. Sadly I still get tired easily and out of breath quickly, but it felt good to be back at the gym doing something. I can't wait to start lifting again. For dinner this week I have been enjoying my mom's delicious chicken noodle soup, but I wanted to share a yummy dinner from last week. 

Dinner time is a relative term for me because I have late classes some nights, so I don't get dinner until late. On those nights when I don't have any crockpot leftovers to heat up or I feel like having something different I want to have something that will cook quickly. My go to is salmon, veggie/potato mix and salad.

I am a salmon addict! It's ok though because it is so good for you. Full of protein, good fatty acids and omega 3's. Typically I will lightly brush a 4oz salmon fillet with olive oil and sprinkle on seafood seasoning- I like Costco's seafood seasoning (yes it is GF, but always check labels). Bake at 400 for 20 minutes and check. The inside should be a light pink and the salmon should flake apart easily, that's how you know it's done.

The mixed veggies and sliced potatoes are my secret weapon. Ok, not really but when I don't have any roasted vegetables on hand meijer has a great mix of frozen veggies and potato slices that is not in any sauce. The mix has red and yellow bell peppers, onion, zucchini, summer squash and sliced potatoes. It's an easy mix to make at home, but the frozen version is great for busy nights. Just microwave according to instructions and BAM done. 

No meal (minus breakfast) is ever complete without a salad. I almost always have a big salad mix that I have created in the fridge, which is great for grab and go meals. This salad is about 1.5 cups spring mix lettuce, 3 cherry tomatoes sliced, 1 slice red onion, 1 teaspoon feta cheese and 1 tablespoon slivered almonds. 

Including oven preheating and cook time dinner was ready in less than 30 minutes. This would be an easy meal to double or triple the amount of salmon cooked to serve more people and you can even double or triple the salad size while the salmon cooks without adding more time on to make the meal. Don't say you don't have time to eat healthy, cut 30 minutes out of TV watching or internet surfing to make a healthy meal. Eating healthy is not rocket science and not crazily time consuming, I promise you CAN do it!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mom's Chicken Noodle Soup

Good gravy is it Monday already? What happened to the weekend? This weekend was not one of my favorites, despite having a long weekend because of MLK Day. Saturday morning at 6 am I was at the ER, which was surprisingly empty. I had the entire place to myself, so if you injure yourself try to do it early in the morning service is much prompter when no one is there. 

Since I have been sick food has had no appeal to me. I've basically lived off egg and pepper scramble and gluten free strawberry and blueberry muffins for the past number of days. My mom being the awesome mother she is made me a giant pot of her famous chicken noodle soup to take back to school. Despite just laying around the house all weekend and sleeping I still don't feel 100% and I definitely do not feel like cooking, so I will be having my mom's yummy chicken noodle soup for dinner this week. She was even awesome enough to write down the recipe for me to share! It's very basic, but it is significantly healthier than any canned soup, you can throw in basically anything you want and somehow it always tastes better when my mom makes it :)

Mom's Chicken Noodle Soup
  • 4 cups organic low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 or 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 2 cups uncooked (GF) noodles
  • OPTIONAL: 1 cup sliced celery 

In a large pot heat broth, carrots and raw chicken (and celery if including) to boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.

In a separate pot cook noodles according to package instructions. 

Cut up chicken and return it to pot with broth and carrots.

When noodles are done cooking drain water.

Add drained noodles to pot with cut up chicken, carrots and broth. Simmer until warm. 

I topped mine with a pinch of basil and garlic salt. Add in whatever seasonings you like, but plain chicken noodle soup is great for an upset stomach. 

MACROS: 22C/2F/17P
Nutrition Info (1 serving= 1 cup):
Calories: 173
Carbs: 22 grams
Fat: 2 grams
Protein: 17 grams
Sodium: 343 mg
Sugar: 3 grams

Sunday, January 18, 2015


I found this workout in my camera roll from awhile back, but it's a goodie so I wanted to share. This is an easy workout to do at home, when you're short on time or just need to get the blood flowing. I start using the heaviest weights I possibly can and decrease the weights by 2.5 pounds on each circuit if I need to. You could do the reverse and increase weights with each set too.

Recently, I have been loving the stair master. It gets the legs and booty working! I climbed 206 flights of stairs two days after Christmas- gotta burn off those Christmas calories! I spend the majority of my time on strength training, but I like to balance it with cardio. Currently I am limited with not being allowed to run, but the stair master, elliptical and bike are all good options too.

I haven't been able to workout since Friday because I have the flu, but I cannot wait to get back to the gym! I feel icky not working out, but I know my body needs to rest. I hope you are having a great Sunday! What are some of your favorite workouts?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Egg and Pepper Scramble

If this post makes no sense at all I apologize. I have the flu, despite getting the flu shot, am running and fever and am currently still in my pajamas (I never stay in my PJ's). I am determined to do some catching up on the blog this weekend.

Whenever I get sick I have to force myself to eat. Somehow when my temperature is above 100F nothing sounds appetizing. Instead of just skipping dinner last night, which I knew wouldn't be good, I whipped up two scrambled eggs (good for the tummy) and threw in about 1/4 cup red and orange sliced peppers. I cracked the eggs and mixed the bell peppers in with the uncooked eggs. I wanted the bell peppers to be warm too. I cooked both over a medium heat and stirred often. I also sprinkled them with some freshly ground pepper while they were cooking. 

Trying to please my mother I also had two gluten free strawberry and blueberry muffins (only 51 calories a muffin!). Those are gentle on the stomach too and paired well with the eggs. The muffins are really moist and taste like cake. I highly recommend them!

Thankfully I have a good nurse who provides a lot of puppy kisses to make me feel better. I am going to get working on typing up some more recipes to post, so have a great weekend! 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Mediterranean Salad

I apologize for being MIA this week. Classes have kept me busy, I have been working an internship and I have been sicker than a dog. I have a back log of homework, emails and recipes to work on. I appreciate you guys being so patient in the mean time. 

I eat a lot of salads and I love experimenting with different combinations. This is one of my favorite salads to make. Normally I would add in grilled or baked chicken, but I didn't have any so for added protein I added in a hard boiled egg. You could substitute grilled or baked chicken or salmon. Olives would be really good thrown in too. 

Mediterranean Salad
  • 2 cups organic spring mix lettuce
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/8 heaping cup avocado chunks
  • 2 teaspoons feta cheese 
  • 2 teaspoons low sugar dried cranberries 
  • 1 purple onion sliced, I sliced from top to bottom
  • 1 hard boiled egg

This salad is also really easy to pack in tupperware for the days when I eat out of tupperware on campus. Normally I pair the salad with an apple or a few clementine tangerines. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday Seven

Happy Monday! I am sorry to report I do not have a new crockpot meal for you this week. I have not been feeling good- I got a bug after Christmas and can't seem to shake it, plus I found enough leftover crockpot vegetable soup in my freezer for the week (yay!). 

Instead of sharing a recipe with you, which I promise to get back to, I wanted to share seven thoughts I've had this past week.

1. I never thought this day would ever come, but the thought of peanut butter actually makes me nauseous :0 I know. For whatever reason with the bug I have food has just lost is appeal and makes my stomach flip-flop. I've eaten a lot of rice cakes in the past few days.

2. Yoplait Greek 100 whips vanilla cupcake flavor does not taste like a cupcake. Granted I haven't had a cupcake since I was probably in elementary school, but save your money and buy regular greek yogurt. The whipped greek is no where near as creamy as regular greek yogurt and honestly I couldn't tell the difference between greek whipped and regular whipped yogurt. 

3. Electric blankets are a godsend. I'm cheap, but I'm also a college student, so for the longest time I refused to turn heat on in the apartment (it's electric heat and ridiculously expensive). Even now that it's freezing outside I have the heat on the lowest setting at night and the electric blanket cranked up. I never want to leave my bed when it's on.

4. Shopping frustrates me (and then gets me grumpy). Since I've worked retail shopping has just annoyed me. I love grocery shopping, but clothes shopping not so much. I really need a new bathing suit, but everything is so crazily printed it makes my eyes hurt.

5. I found two healthy chocolate chip pumpkin pie pancakes in the freezer yesterday. I heated them up and ate them plain for dinner yesterday with some fruit. I swear my freezer is like a treasure chest of finding leftovers I didn't know I had.

6. I miss my puppy. I have a ton of pictures of Cora from when I was home over break, but I've restrained myself from uploading them. I didn't want to overwhelm you with cuteness, but really...I MEAN LOOK AT THAT CUTENESS! 

7. Finally, tell the people in your life how much you love them. With all of the craziness going on in the world take a moment and tell the people you care about how much they mean to you. Life is a gift and I thank God for every day he grants me. Never take a moment for granted. Put down your phone and soak up time that can't be replaced with loved ones. One day those moments will mean more to you than whatever you were doing on your phone. 

Have a wonderful week! 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Vanilla Espresso Overnight Oats

I FINALLY GOT MY HANDS ON IT!! I'm talking about Wild Friends Vanilla Espresso Almond Butter aka the best almond butter EVER! I could not find it anywhere so I gave in and ordered it online. It's a decision I do not regret at all. I went through the first jar in a week flat, whoops haha.

An empty jar automatically equates overnight oats in my books. These overnight oats were spot on! I was worried about the flavor when I was making it because I was literally going out on a limb, but it turned out so yummy! I am NOT a coffee lover by any means, tastes like dirt, so I was surprised I liked these oats. Maybe the pair of almond butter, vanilla and coffee are a match made in nutty heaven ;)

Vanilla Espresso Overnight Oats
  • 1 mostly empty vanilla espresso almond butter jar, I had a little less than a tablespoon left
  • 1/2 cup GF oats, rolled, steel cut or old fashioned all work
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon instant decaffeinated coffee
  • drop of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup fresh (or frozen) blueberries

Place the oats, almond milk, coffee and vanilla extract in the almond butter jar. 

Close and seal the lid and shake until all ingredients are combined. You can add blueberries in before shaking or in the morning it really does not matter. If you ad frozen blueberries in before shaking your oats will come out blue- they still taste delicious though!

Refrigerate overnight to all flavors to soak up.

Overnight oats make a great healthy grab and go breakfast! And really if you have not tried vanilla espresso almond butter from Wild Friends you are missing out! I ordered a whole pack :) 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2015: New Year, New Goals

I know it's already into the New Year, but better late than never! I am not a New Year's resolution kind of gal. I don't believe in them simply because they are generally set up for failure. Now don't think I am some crazy pessimist. I know there are people who do stick to their resolutions and get awesome results (and I'm thrilled for them!). However, over 80% of people don't stick to their resolutions. That's a lot of failed resolutions.

When I started my initial journey to get healthy it was not a New Year's resolutions. I made a lifestyle change. I did not try some crazy diet or pills or anything that's advertised on TV. Cutting out all sugar, suddenly going gluten free (as a fad NOT for medical reasons), etc. is a recipe for a giant disaster. A lifestyle change, with smaller changes that lead to big changes is much better and not set up for disaster. For me the process of getting to a place of health and happiness has been long, but I have learned and continue to learn and that is honestly what I love the most. 

In honor of the new year I decided to make a few goals for myself. They're not resolutions. These are small changes I am making (and have been implementing) to improve my life: 

1. Be grateful for everything. There are so many things I take for granted every day that I don't even think about. My prayer is that God would open my eyes and allow me to fully see and understand how blessed I am.

2. Give more. "To whom much is given much will be required" Luke 12:48. Giving is contagious. It doesn't have to be money it can be time or talents, but I want to make a greater effort this year to give to other more in any way I can.

3. Love everyone more. It is easy to love the people who love me in return; it's not so easy to love the people who I don't think are deserving of love. However, God clearly calls us to love the "unlovable." This will definitely be one of the most challenging goals for myself, but I pray I can demonstrate God's to everyone.

4. Find the good in EVERY situation and stop complaining. It's easy to grumble and complain when things are not going my way, but life is not easy. Personally I find that when I am impatient or in an unpleasant situation I tend to be complain about it. I want to change that. God is in control of all things and I need to trust him and put a shoe in my mouth.

5. Be more patient. This includes when I am in traffic (even when the car in front of me is going 15 miles per hour under the speed limit *cough cough*)...

6. Love my body. This has been a constant struggle for me for a long time. I won't go into it now, but I definitely have days when I am insecure. I need to appreciate my body for what it is and what it can do. Yes there are certain limitations I have because of lupus, but what the body can do continually amazes me.

7. Stop stressing so much. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. God is in control, now stop stressing about it.

8. Disconnect from media. I am as guilty as the next person as being media obsessed. Recently I have been turning off my phone and laptop by 8:00 pm at the latest to get away from media. It's actually incredibly relaxing getting away from a screen. I have been spending more time soaking in God's word. 

9. Finally spend more time with God. I think I am the poster child for ADD. I just get side tracked so easily...shiny object...just kidding. Sitting and praying is hard for me to do. I have a hard time quieting my mind. I have started praying when I do my cardio workouts (before I do strength training). There is something about focusing on God instead of stair climbing, or biking, or the elliptical that makes the time FLY by. But I want to spend more time with God throughout my day, not just during my workout. 

Those are a few of the little goals I have made for myself for this year. What are some of the goals you have made for 2015?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Crockpot Turkey Chili

Happy Monday and welcome back to Crockpot Monday! It's the first Crockpot Monday of 2015, hard to believe I know. I am very excited to back crockpoting, especially now that is freezing cold and there is snow on the ground. I was more than happy with the warmer than normal and snowless December (is it June yet?). Sadly the winter semester started for me today, but at least I had a warm meal to come back to.

I have a confession to make- I have never had chili before. WHAT?!? Crazy I know. My dad is an insanely picky eater, so growing up my mom kept our meals very plain, thus I never had chili. Awhile back Sam from Love Live Balance posted an incredibly delicious looking crockpot turkey chili recipe. I tweaked a few things about the recipe and used less chili powder because I'm a chili newbie and didn't want to set my mouth on fire, but it's all about personal preference. It's safe to say after devouring a bowl of chili, which was perfect because it's FREEZING outside, I will most definitely be making chili again in the future!

Crockpot Turkey Chili 
  • 1.6 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 15 oz. organic dark red kidney beans
  • 15 oz. organic pinto beans
  • 15 oz. chili beans with sauce- I chose mild sauce
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 3 oz. water- I filled the tomato paste can 1/2 way
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 6 tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • pinch of ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1.5 teaspoons chili powder- use more or less to your preference 

Place diced onion and ground turkey in the crockpot.

Drain and rinse the dark red kidney beans and pinto beans and add them into the crockpot.

Add in chili beans without draining them. 

Add in tomato paste, water, tomatoes and seasonings. 

Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or low for 10 hours. Stir the chili before serving. 

Keep leftovers in a container in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze for later use. 

Nutrition Information (1 serving is 1 cup, makes about 9 servings):
Calories: 288
Carbs: 30 grams
Fat: 7 grams
Fiber: 9 grams
Protein: 26 grams
Sodium: 356 mg
Sugar: 5 grams

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2014 In Review

I know it's already four days into 2015, but I wanted to take a minute to reflect on 2014. 2014 was an incredible year and largely what made my year so incredible is all of YOU, my readers. Words cannot begin to express how thankful I am for each and every one of you. The comments, emails, sharing my recipes, pins, etc. literally flood my heart with so much joy and thankfulness! Thank you so much for venturing on this crazy journey with me. Here are some of my favorite moments from 2014: 

January: So. Much. Granola. The chocolate cherry and Nutella granola is my mom's favorite but she won't let me make it for her because she devours the entire batch in like four days. My favorite is the basic healthy homemade granola. Homemade is ALWAYS better than the store bought stuff. Let's not forget the homemade healthy cinnamon rolls.

February: All dolled up for a formal dance on campus with one of my best friends. Only she can make my hair look that good curly and it stays curly! 

March: Rediscovered my love of all things oatmeal. And shout out to the those who doubted the combo of greek yogurt and oatmeal, but tried it and got hooked- I wouldn't lead you astray! 

April: I am a breakfast food addict. Blueberries and pancakes are so hard to resist, but put together one of the best combos. 

May: I shot my first stand up as a reporter (ok I was just the intern, but still!!) Now I just pray no one ever finds that footage when I am applying for jobs...

June: You guys gave me the BEST birthday month EVER! I was featured on Simply Taralynn (my favorite blog), which was seriously such an amazing gift in itself! Birthday celebrations are always in order, so I celebrated with a healthy banana split. And I tried Quest Bars for the first time, thus this healthy cookie dough parfait happened. 

July: Fireworks are one of my favorite things <3

August: I ran my first 5K since being diagnosed with lupus (you can read about that here) and I ate THE BEST SALAD EVER, no joke. I'm craving it just thinking about it. 

September: Dinosaur sprinkles make everything better, including college. Ok, so do my mom's no bake energy balls

October: Literally one of my favorite baking months because PUMPKIN EVERYTHING! October was full of this pumpkin bread and crockpot turkey meatballs. I also got the wonderful joy of experiencing my first flat tire on one of the coldest days of the year. Thank the Lord for AAA! 

November: Summer is by far my favorite season, but nothings beats a gorgeous fall drive (this the beginning of the month before we got pooped on with a ton of snow).

December: I survived the semester (barely). Statistics almost killed me, but I fought hard! Christmas break was filled with so. much. food. The new s'mores Quest Bar and the absolute best desert ever- healthy no bake peanut butter pie among the deliciousness. Fat pants anyone? Basically I ate, spent a lot amount of time at the gym and spoiled my dog. I cannot resist a face like that!

Thank you for making 2014 such a memorable year! I had so much fun cooking, baking and sharing bits of my life with you. I cannot wait to see everything 2015 has in store! And of course I can't wait to share lots of yummy recipes with you, Happy 2015!