happy thanksgiving: {pumpkin muffin recipe}

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Today I am thankful for so many things.

My family, friends, pets, health, etc. etc. etc. … the list could go on forever! I am literally SO blessed.

Post Turkey Trot!!!

I am SUPER thankful for…. ALL of you guys!!! To show you how thankful I am… I have a delicious, healthy, protein packed recipe for you!!!!!

Pumpkin Oat Flax Muffins

1 can pumpkin
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup oats
1/4 cup ground flax seed
2 tbsp chia seeds
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
2 eggs
2 tbsp almond milk
6 oz 0% plain greek yogurt

*To make this into more of a dessert, add dark chocolate chips.

**Serve warm with a spread of almond butter, yum!!

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Then, mix all wet ingredients and add in dry ones. Next, bake for 15 to 20 minutes. This recipe makes 12 muffins. Serve warm.

wiaw: {chicken florentine bowtie pasta}

Hey ya’ll!

Wow…. this week at home is already completely flying by!! Before I jump into yesterday’s eats for WIAW… I have to tell ya… I ate a LOT more than what is pictured in this post. I kinda forgot throughout the day to take pictures but I ate plenty of handfuls of wheat thins, chocolate chips, etc. It was just one of those days, ya know?! My stomach was way off and I barely ate anything on Monday so yesterday I was like a ravenous little pig HAHA.

I DID manage to take picture of my 3 main meals, so here ya go! As always, thanks Jenn for hosting!

wiaw

***

Breakfast:

Almond butter french toast + side of fruit!

Lunch:

My grandmother took my sisters and I to a new restraunt! I ordered a grilled shrimp po-boy with a side of cole slaw. I ended up taking the bread off because it ruined the sandwich.

Dinner:

Before my mom left for work yesterday, she asked me to make chicken florentine bowtie pasta for dinner. It was delicious. Head on over to Picky Palate for the full recipe!

The only changes I made were less mozarella cheese and only 1 cup of the cooking creme. An easy peasy weeknight dinner!

***

Have a great, yummy, healthy, happy Wednesday!!!!!

wiaw: {my weekend at home eats + p’s birthday dinner}

Hi friends!

So you guys may remember that I went home this weekend!! It was amazing 🙂

This What I Ate Wednesdayis a little different than the usual… it is a little bit of my at home eats mixed in with P’s birthday dinner. I am SO proud of the dinner that I dedicated an entire post to it.

{Thanks Jenn for hosting this!}

wiaw

A quick weekend recap (sorry for the lack of food pictures… who am I?!):

Thursday night I met this little crazy person at the airport and we got to Jackson around 11 pm. P was coming to pick us up and Rebecca came with him to surprise us 🙂 We got home and I got to hang out with my favorite person (okay animal) ever for a little while and stayed up catching up with the fam.

Friday morning P and I went with my family to watch Becca perform in the pep rally! Is she really a senior?!?! We joined my grandparents for lunch at my favorite Keifers and then went on a 2 mile run with Gumbo!

We went to dinner with his parents and then to the football game to watch Rollins crown the new queen… CONGRATULATIONS LUCY!! Lucy has been one of Rebecca’s best friends for forever and we could not have been more excited for her on this special night!

Saturday I had breakfast with my bestie at Broad Street and then mom and I went dress shopping with my cousin who is also on the homecoming court at her high school in a few months!!

I spent the rest of the day cooking and preparing for P’s birthday dinner with my family.

Let’s talk about about this dinner. What was on the menu?!

1. Grilled salmon for me, mom and dad. I marinated the salmon in a baby drop of olive oil, salt and pepper. That’s it. It was amazing! P grilled (yes, he had to help with his birthday dinner haha) them for about 5-7 minutes. They turned out perfectly!

2. Filets for P, Becca and Ro. I used this recipe for the steaks and they turned out FANTASTIC. Full of flavor. I marinated them all day in some kind of special meat sauce and worchistier. They were perfect!

3. Grilled shrimp. Marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, lemon pepper and garlic salt. Grilled for about 2 minutes on each side.

4. Asparagus with roasted pine nuts. Dizzled in olive oil and roasted at about 400 degrees with a sprink;e

5. Mushroom quinoa. I used this recipe: Mushroom Quinoa Risotto. It was fanastic! I like having a carby side with dinner and quinoa is the only grain that is a complete source of protein and a really healthy complex carb. Healthy and delicious? I’ll take it!

4. Fresh Market french bread.

5. Salad with asiago cracked pepper dressing.

6. Chocolate fudge pie.

opening his gifts!

Modeling his new hat.

Sunday was a rainy, lazy day and I did not get out of my pjs until I was forced to go to the airport 😦

Diva HATES the rain

Did I mention we got fro yos the size of our head and I ate all of mine and all of his? It was a neat moment.

It was a perfect weekend at home. I was getting real homesick for my family and this was just what I needed! See you guys later this week!!!!

Have a YUMMY, FAB Wednesday!

Question: What are you eating today/ lately?!

So Much Going On: {Let’s Catch Up}

Hey guys!!

How are you?! Ah so much happening over here lately… let’s do a quick little catch up shall we?!

This past weekend I was in Charlotte, North Carolina for my cousin Jody’s wedding! We had an absolute blast. I saw so many people from home and it was great to catch up with everyone. Such a family filled weekend with lots of love, laughs and tons of fun.

A few pictures!!:

The beautiful bride!!

Dinner Friday night… Lots of laughs 🙂

Speaking of family, my little Rollins headed to Chapman University Monday. She is moving in today. I can not believe it. Were we not just 3 years old yesterday?

I had my “last first day of class” yesterday. What?! When did I get to be almost 22 and a senior? I never EVER thought my last first day of class would come.

First day!!

I also shadowed my first tour of SMU yesterday! I am an ambassador this year, and before I can set out to give my own tours, I have to shadow a couple of times. It was so much fun and it is a job that I am definitely looking very forward to. I love my school and have a lot of pride in it so I am excited to share that with other people.

goob

Last night I had a dinner date with my godmother Kate at Zoe’s to catch up. I will never get sick of this place. Parker doesn’t know it yet, but one day he will open a Zoe’s in my backyard where ever we live ;).

If you want a few little reads, my first article for the semester in the Health and Fitness section was published in The Daily Campus yesterday. The cutest pilates teacher, Rachel contributed it. My blog post for today on The Fit Mustang is about healthy snacks to take to class! Would love your feedback if you want to check them out?!

  1. How to avoid gaining weight in college (Freshman 15… or Freshman 40 for me anyone?!!!)
  2. Healthy Snack for Class

We are still getting settled in our room at the Kappa house and as soon as it is done I will definitely post some pics for you guys. I am so happy to be living in the house again this year! I absolutely love it and there is always somebody to hang out with.

Well… are you sick of hearing about my life yet?

I think I am off to do a little run?! Maybe?! I think it is raining so I may just stay here curled up reading blogs.

I hope you guys have a happy Tuesday! See you tomorrow 🙂

Too Many Emotions + A Guest Post

Hii!!

So, I guess if you read my blog you already know I am a crazy person and my mind runs ninety to nothing. This morning I woke up FULL of emotions. I am sad. I am happy. I am excited. I am overjoyed. I am CRAZY.

Right now I am sitting in the airport and I am bored.

What’s my deal?

1. I am PUMPED that I have a guest post on the CUTEST Natalie’s blog, That Foodie Girl. My very first one! Check it out!

2. I am sad I am not going to Healthy Living Summit this year with some of my new blogger friends. But I am so excited they get to go and blog all about their experience and what they have learned. I WILL be there next year.

3. I am excited, happy, DYING that I have gotten to see my friends! I am sad and throwing a pity party that I have to leave them again, but I can not wait for my cousin’s wedding!! It is going to be a blast.

Photo courtesy of Mal!

4. I am grossed out because I have eaten too much and drank too much in the past 48 hours and feel like a puffy balloon. I am so happy that I got to finally eat my Texas Mexican and other favorites… so this is really a catch 22.

Elizabeth’s red velevet birthday cake X 2 !!

5. P got home today and I will not see him 😦 I am actually dying. BUT so happy he will get time with his parents and Gumbo before heading back to school! Let the countdown begin for when I go see him Labor Day!!!!!!

Absolutely none of these are worth being emotional about. I am just nuts!!!

I think that’s all. I went for a short run earlier because running fixing everyone’s problems, right?!! I hope the endorphins kick in shortly.

I am off to read a million magazines (sorry Dad, yes I bought a lot) and enjoy the dark chocolate + skinny vanilla latte waiting for me for desert.

Airport Lunch

HAPPY FRIDAY!! Have a healthy, yummy, fantastic weekend 🙂

MIMM: {“Thank You God for Another Day”}

Hello there!

Today has been crazy and I am just now getting around to doing a post! How was your weekend?! I hope it was absolutely fantastic. Mine was filled with much needed time with my bestie and her family, too much food, lots of relaxing and sunshine!

Since today is MIMM, let’s talk about all the marvelousness going on right now. Thanks Katie for hosting this!

1. Obviously, our weekend at the Lake!! Thanks again KP for inviting me 🙂 I even proved to myself I can in fact still wake board… it has been almost 2 years!!

We had the BEST time catching up and I loved spending time with her parents and nephews. Growing up, Katie and I spent every waking moment together and when we get together… nothing really changes. Her Granny and Grandaddy came to the lake too and when I tell you they are so precious, words can not even explain it.

Saturday night we set out for the famous “Sunset Cruise.”As soon as we pulled out onto the lake and were staring at the most gorgeous sunset,  her grandfather said, “Thank you God for another day.” I will never, ever forget that moment. It is something I need to remember every single day. Talk about marvelous?!

2. I will be reunited with my best friends in 48 HOURS!!!! FORTY EIGHT HOURS!!! I am counting down every single second, minute, hour.

3. I am kind of sad to leave home because this little break between my internship and school has been fantastic. BUT I am reuniting with my family this weekend in North Carolina for my cousin, Jody’s wedding! I am so excited to see everyone and I know it will be a great week.

4. My sweet Daddy took Rollins and I shopping today. He absolutely INSISTED that we go. I got a ton of new outfits and a new pair of boots!! He is the BEST!!

New Boots!!

5. This picture is my family in a nutshell. Gosh I am going to miss them so much. We had our last family dinner together tonight before we all leave :(. It was so weird.

{This is my mom in this picture.. I know we look identical.}

6. My goals for Best Body Bootcamp this week are:

  1. Enjoy time with my friends and family!!!!!
  2. Fit in normal work outs when possible but not stress about it too much with moving in, etc!!
  3. Thank God for every day. For all of my blessings, my friends, my family, my animals and Parker. I do not deserve anything He has given me and continues to provide.

I think that is about it for now… Lots of marvelousness going on around here!

Hope you all had a MARVELOUS Monday!!

My Weekly Setup: {Enjoy Home}

Hey friends!!

Thank you guys for all your sweet words from yesterday’s post. It really is SO nice being home with my family!

Speaking of being at home.. as promised yesterday, I have My Weekly Setup to share with you guys.

My 2 main goals for this week are:

1. Try some new fun recipes for my family and I while I am home.

2. Sleep.

Those goals seem easy enough, right?!

As far as exercise and eats go for this week, I am just going to play everything by ear and do what I am feeling that day. I am going to enjoy being home for the next week and a half and not stress too much about it. I have a few fun lunch and dinner dates set up with people I have been dying to catch up with! And then this weekend I am going with my best friend since forever to her lake house… I have not been in FOREVER!!!! Needless to say, I am not going to put working out and strict clean eats over all these people I love and adore and never get to see.

Fitness:

I am still loving Best Body Bootcamp! I can not believe I am already on Week 3. Tina has done a FANTASTIC job with this and I LOVE the facebook group. It is so encouraging and quite hysterical some days.

Workouts I hope to get in:

1. 5/5 Intervals + Core–> DONE! I did this yesterday. I was NOT feeling a workout but once I started walking, I got in the groove and did a sweaty interval walking workout ended with a ton of stretch and foam rolling!

2. Workout A (upper/lower body) + Circuit Intervals

3. Workout B (upper/lower body) + Circuit Intervals

4. Progressive Intervals + Core

5. Workout C (Full Body) + 20-30 min steady state cardio

6. YOGA!!!

I may switch these up and play around with them…. but for now that is what I am hoping to accomplish!!

Eats:

Like I said, I am home and have fun dates planned, people to see and things to do! I am NOT going to stress over this. I want to try some new fun healthy recipes for the fam, and I am also going to enjoy myself while I am here. I am just going to stick to my regular eats and habits!

Positive thoughts for the week:

Questions: What are YOUR goals for this week?! 

MIMM: {Home Sweet Home}

Hey friends!

Happy Monday 🙂 I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Did anyone do anything fun?!

Let’s jump right into what is Marvelous In My Monday shall we?! As always, thanks Katie for hosting this!

1.  Spending time with my sister!

Rollins flew to DC to ride home with me and let me tell ya a 15.5 hour car ride is a great way to catch up on life 😉

I took her to my favorite place to eat in Georgetown on Thursday night, Peacock Cafe and we went back to T Sweets for more ice cream.

Cheeseburger for Ro

Grilled shrimp ceaser for me

Peanut butter oreo swirl fro yo with oreos and reeses toppings for me and Coffee Oreo ice cream for Ro

Friday morning I got up bright and early to go for my last run on my favorite route. I am really going to miss this.

We hit up Dean and Deluca for iced coffees, loaded the car, made a pit stop at Trader Joe’s for some of my favorite things and hit the road.

We ended up stopping a little outside of Knoxville (a little over halfway) and stayed in a great little hotel. Saturday morning we were up and ready to go again!

Around the time we were almost to Birmingham, we were starving and I was in much need of caffeine. Starbucks to the rescue!

Rollins talked me into getting the egg sandwich and said she loves it. P if you are reading this: I have found a fast food (is starbucks fast food?!) breakfast that I could eat every single day for the rest of my entire life. I honestly do not mind fast food if I am on the road with no other option (preferably Subway or Chick-fil-a) but if there is one thing I HATE it is fast food breakfast and this drives my boyfriend crazy. I have no idea why he thinks I am such a diva 😉

2. Dinner with my parents.

Corona Light with lime… much needed!

We went to my dad’s favorite, Papitos. He loves it. And this picture sums him up perfectly.

3. Sunday morning pancakes.

Have you guys tried these Kodiak Cakes? I am in love with them. They are literally just oats and wholewheat flour… they really can not get much healthier and it is nice if your not in the mood to whip up your own batter. Of course I doctored them up with a little cinnamon, vanilla and chia. Courtney always slices bananas in hers so I gave that a try as well. Topped with Justins honey peanut butter and tons of syrup this was an awesome little way to start the day. And my daddy liked them too!

4. Keifer’s with the fam.

If you are from Jackson, need I say more? If you are not from Jackson… well you should make a trip here JUST to eat at Keifer’s. I got a grilled chicken wrap with the famous feta and honey mustard sauce on the side. Heaven.

5. Hanging out with my cousin.

Cooking with Aunt Anne 101. We made banana bread and I taught her how to make a green muffin. We added some chocolate chips into hers which Aunt Anne just might be doing in hers from now on 🙂

6. My mom’s fridge.

Since I am poor, when I grocery shop for myself I have to be very specific about what I buy. I love being home and having all kinds of fruit and already grilled chicken to eat whenever I get hungry. Different kinds of ice cream bars, etc. etc. You get my point.

7. Sleeping.

I have nothing to do but catch up on sleep and hang with my family! I could not be happier.

8. Cuddling with Emma 24/7 all day everyday.

I love being home with my best little buddy and taking her on walks and getting plenty of quality snuggle time in.

9. Stay tuned for My Weekly Setup tomorrow!!!!!

10. Have the MOST marvelous, happy, healthy YUMMY MONDAY ever!

Happy Birthday Becca Boo

Happy Birthday to my beautiful little sister!!

I can NOT believe you are 18. Time has completely flown by! You are going to be a senior?! WHAT!!

Even though you are a crazy CAT lover….

I am so, so proud of you and the person you have grown into.

I know God has some incredible things planned for you.

And I can not wait to see what He has in store for you!

You are just as beautiful on the inside as you are on the out.

Which is kind of hard to imagine since you are so gorgeous!

Picture by Jenny McNeill

Never stop being yourself.

You love people and care for others more than I could ever imagine doing.

Always remember I am here for you and love you no matter what.

I am so proud to be your big sister!!

I am the MOST proud of your heart <3.

Thank you for being an inspiration to me. You make me want to be a better person 🙂

You are the BEST little sister anyone could ever ask for!! (And Rollins too.. when she is in a good mood ;))

I love you more than you will ever know!

MIMM {Weekend with My Grandparents and Happy Bday RO!!}

Hey friends!!

Long time no talk 🙂 Sorry I was gone for so long… as soon as Grandmama and Granddaddy came into town I decided to use the weekend as a mini vacation so I took a break from blogging! It was nice to unplug for a few days but boy oh boy I have missed you guys!! And I know I have a ton of blog reading to catch up on today.

Let’s jump right into Marvelous in My Monday. I have LOTS to tell ya! As always, thanks to the beautiful Katie for hosting this!

1. I had such a MARVELOUS week with my grandparents!!

They were in DC for 5 days and it was amazing.The first 2 days their sweet friends from New York were in DC and it was so much fun getting to know them! We had dinner at my favorite Peacock Cafe on Wednesday night. I decided not to pull out my camera at dinner and snap picture of my food since I was just meeting their friends.

Thursday night I met them after work and we went to dinner with their friend’s family at a resturaunt called Old Europe. It was definitely the most different and unique place I have ever been to eat but it was a fun experience. Our waiters were so cute and the food was delicious. (It was a German place and I ordered salmon… I know, I know… but I do not know if Schnitzel is really up my alley!!).

Friday we went to Mount Vernon.

This was something I have never done before and it was awesome. I could have spent days there. I loved the house and the view. I told my grandmother that I certainly would not mind drinking my coffee and having breakfast on the porch at this house every morning while looking out on the Potomac River.

I was in love with all of the colors in the house (we could not take pictures). I had no idea bright colors were so in style. AND I had no idea Martha Washington was such a cook and hostess. I loved the Cooking with Martha Washington exhibit in museum that was all about how much she loved to cook for her family… they even had little brochures with some of her favorite recipes. I think Martha and I would have been great friends and bonded over a love of food 🙂

Overall, it was a great experience and I am so happy we went.

This little extravaganza took up most of the day and we met back up for dinner at Sequoia a really nice restaurant on the Georgetown waterfront.

I had heard some great things about this place and I am so happy we went. I decided to stray from the usual order of red wine and started with the Berry Sangria.

Perfectly refreshing and I want to re-create this ASAP. We also had an appetizer of fried oysters which were really good. I hate raw oysters but love them any other way.


For dinner, Grandmama and I ordered the Rockfish with veggies and Grandaddy had the pan seared pepper corn tuna. I had never heard of Rockfish but it is a light flaky white fish. It had a great taste and the sauce was some kind of lobster cream sauce.Oh my gosh, so good. I forgot to take a picture of the bread but I definitely annihilated the basket while dipping it into my cream sauce. For desert we had the key lime pie.

AMAZING!! It was one of the best dinners with the best company I have had in a long time!

Saturday morning we started at the National Cathedral. It was really, really beautiful. We ended up doing a tour which I am so glad we did because otherwise I would have missedthe significance of what everything stood for. And our tour guide was an expert on the place so he had lots to tell us.

While I was there I saw this banner that really stood out to me: “My House shall be called the House of Prayer for all People.”

I know I do not talk much about my faith on my blog even though it is a huge part of my life…I never want to come off pushy and I am usually very private about it. But this really resonated with me and I wanted to share it. A church should be a place where any and ALL people feel welcomed because ultimately it is not our house, it is Gods. I think sometimes we tend to get so caught up in “church” that we forget the reason for being there… and I really thought this summed up what the first and foremost priority of a church should be perfectly.

After our tour we headed to Tyson’s Corner, a mall I have heard a TON about! We had lunch in the little Neiman’s Cafe as soon as we got there. I forget how much I love these dang popovers with strawberry butter. Don’t worry, I had 2 🙂 (I am sure you did not expect any less…) and then had the grilled chicken wrap on wheat that came with a side of fruit and salad. I ate every last bite. Sorry I was haaannnggrryyy.

Grandmama and I walked around for a little while and while we did not have much luck, it was fun just looking! She got the cutest pair of royal blue little jeans… I hope one day I look as good as her in skinny jeans… or just as good as her period. I made her try on this Burberry coat for fun… How CUTE!!

After our shopping trip, I think Grandaddy needed a drink. We headed to the rooftop of the W Hotel and had a drink. It looks out over the White House and all of the monuments/ museums… you can definitely see everything form up here.

View from the roof!

It was a little too sunny and hot so we went next door to the little bar at the hotel Willard. It was perfect! We ordered appetizers (crabcake sliders, spinach and artichoke dip, and margarita pizza) which were so filling it turned into dinner. I left stuffed. Again.

Bar at the Willard

Sunday morning we had planned to go to church but found out there was no air conditioning in the church, and it was way too hot outside so we went and walked around neat the White House instead. We ended up stopping in the visitor center and watching a movie on the White House. I am honestly so happy we did this… we got to see every room in the White House and it gave a description of each room and its meaning. Grandmama and Grandaddy said it was better than the actual tour they had a few years ago.

We headed to Old Ebbitt Grille for brunch/ lunch. It is right by the White House and has been a very happening little place for many years. I was kinda in the mood for something plain since I had eaten SO many rich things over the course of 5 days… so I stuck with the grilled chicken sandwhich (sans the bun) and fruit.

We still had a few hours to kill before they had to be at the airport so we went to the National Portrait Gallery. It was SO beautiful and we did not even get to see half of it… but I am glad we did it and I want to go back!! I could look at art work for days.

I was so sad to see them go. We had SUCH a FUN weekend! It was amazing to get to spend one on one time with them and I am so happy they came. I will always remember it as one of the best weekends. I am a lucky girl to have two sets of such incredible grandparents. I went to bed last night feeling very happy and very blessed.

2. Happy Birthday Ro Ro!!!!!!! I am so so so proud of you and I love you so much. I can not believe you are 19!!!! I am excited to see where life takes you… I know you have a very exciting journey in store 🙂 See more about just how much I love my sister in this post.

Yesterday Rollins posted this about my mom on facebook and I wanted to share it with you guys because this could not be more true. I can not tell you how lucky we are to have the best MAMA in the entire world!! (And Dad too of course!).

Here is the link to the video.. this girl has a phenomonal story: Raising an Olympian – GABBY DOUGLAS

3. I have even more to tell you guys but I am sure you are sick of reading already… I will see you tomorrow!

Have a MARVELOUS, happy, healthy, yummy Monday!!

Question: Did anyone have any fun meals or workouts this weekend?!!!!!!!!