Weekend in Photos

Good afternoon, blog land!

I am currently coming to you in between coffee jitters. For some reason I’ve been craving hot (and iced) coffee lately, even though it gives me stomachaches and makes me tweak out. I generally drink tea, but I love the taste of coffee. I also just love having a hot drink with me in the morning…it was 45 degrees outside when I woke up this morning! So I had 2 cups of coffee and have switched to decaf so I don’t completely crash before lunchtime 😉

On to the weekend!

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I took a short (not even half) day at work on Friday and started it off right – got a pumpkin latte from Peets (actually probably better than S*bucks if you ask me!), bought a pumpkin, and since they don’t have pumpkin kombucha I settled for the also very fall-like cranberry flavor. It wasn’t my favorite, but it’s good to add another flavor into my not-very-expansive kombucha repertoire.

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I took the short day at work because my dad and I decided to go to the Bay Area to hang out with my grandma, as it was the 1st anniversary of my Papa’s death. Some of you may remember my Papa passing suddenly last year (see that post here) and that my dad and I went to be with family that day. I baked pumpkin bread for everyone who was mourning with us that day, and decided to keep up the tradition this year, roasting up the pumpkin I bought that morning and making it into pumpkin bread (it totally stuck in the pan, so Grandma and I went at it with a fork! 😀 )

I also made us a simple little ravioli & tomato sauce dinner. I had a great time catching up with my grandma, and especially enjoyed our obligatory Happy Hour where we talked about life and boys while watching her favorite Westerns on TV 🙂

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My dad and I made it back that evening, so I called it an early night. I woke up well-rested, knowing I wanted to run at least 5.5 miles…after 3, I was feeling fantastic and decided to go for it- I ran another 10k! I also beat my race time by a whopping 3 minutes — I attribute this to the fact that I a) have been keeping up with my long runs and b) ran on my regular completely flat running path. Afterwards, I went to the Farmer’s Market for and picked up just a couple of things. (Flowers, brussels sprouts, greens, and my favorite salsa)

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After my run, I refueled by making a smoothie with my new NINJA ULTIMA BLENDER!!! Thanks to Becky, who tagged me in an Instagram contest at the Healthy Living Summit, I won this beaut! It created probably one of the smoothest smoothies I’ve ever made, and the single serve cups are awesome. I loaded it up with frozen bananas, plain greek yogurt, a spoonful of peanut butter, chocolate protein powder, and some almond milk.

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Not so smooth…. was my phone falling out of my pocket while biking on Saturday night. No insurance + no AppleCare = looks like Katie’s gonna be payin at least $140 to get it fixed! Anyone have an old AT&T iPhone they don’t need? 😉

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After less than 5 hours of sleep, I woke up bright and early on Sunday morning (7:30am!) stressed out about life and my phone and couldn’t get back to sleep. So I did the only thing I was sure would make me feel better – went to the gym and watched Food Network! I was the only one at the gym at 9:30am on Sunday morning…. quelle surprise 😉

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I had a few hours to kill before our first Sunday dodgeball game of the season, so I did some food prep! Not much, but it is enough to keep me eating clean for at least a few days. I thawed a chicken breast, made roasted tomato salsa (also with my new Ninja!), chopped up veggies for stir frying throughout the week (um, shredding brussels sprouts with a mandolin is amazing!), and made a pot of brown rice. Easy peasy!

I’m pretty proud of myself for exercising a fair amount of moderation and working out both days this weekend, especially after the debauchery of last weekend. To be honest, I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress at work and in some aspects of my personal life, so it’s nice to know that there’s something I can control that makes me feel good!

What’s your favorite smoothie combo?

Any advice on the shattered iPhone screen?

Did you food prep this week?

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

So, fall is definitely here.

And with it comes fall decorations, lots of the color orange, and pumpkin beer, apparently.

No more biking in the rain (yet), but it is definitely wet and dreary outside…at least, for the time being. It’s forecast to be back up near 80 degrees this weekend; what the what?!

As you all know, I’ve been making buckets of pumpkin stuff in my ongoing effort to like pumpkin-flavored things more. I didn’t mean to post so many in a row, it’s just that I didn’t have time to edit the pictures of my other recent (non-pumpkin) recipes…so more pumpkin it is! (You’ll just have to wait a little longer for my apple and butternut squash recipes…. ;-))

These were actually my first experiment with pumpkin of the season a few weeks back, and I was surprised that they didn’t have very much pumpkin taste in them…They really take on the flavor of whichever spices you add. My mom doesn’t like nutmeg, so I omitted nutmeg and added ginger instead. I was wary of adding too much of a clovey flavor, so I added less. Tweak it to your liking!

I should also add that they aren’t completely healthy, what with 1/2 cup oil and a whole cup of sugar added. I really wanted to add some kind of delicious streusel topping, but I stopped myself at sprinkling a bit of brown sugar on top because I was planning on eating these for breakfasts and didn’t want to give myself an early morning sugar rush 🙂

I would love to hear any tips you all have for lightening up recipes! One that I use often is replacing eggs with Greek yogurt. It acts as a binder AND keeps baked goods moist! (hate that wordddd)

Pumpkin Spice Muffins
makes about 1 dozen

1 1/2 cups flour (I used 1 cup all purpose and 1/2 cup whole wheat)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup oil (I used canola)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
brown sugar, for topping

Adapted from Simply Recipes’ Pumpkin Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, water, and spices together. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda together. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients just until combined. Fold in the nuts.

Line muffin tin with liners. Fill each until 2/3 full. Sprinkle a bit of brown sugar on the top before putting in the oven. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. These tasted the best when warm (muffins tend to dry out a bit as they cool down), but they lasted in an airtight container for a whole week!

Notes: adjust spices to your liking (most pumpkin recipes also include nutmeg). I didn’t have ground cloves, so I sort of infused the canola oil with whole cloves instead. Adjust water as needed — I didn’t add as much because my homemade pumpkin puree was pretty watery.