MIM(last summer)M

Le sigh….today marks the beginning of my last week of summer vacation…made even worse by the fact that this is my last summer vacation as a child in the public school system. Yep. 7 more days until I am a senior -where did the time go?!? Oh well, at least this weekend was a really good one!! (Also go visit Katie to see the marvelousness of blogworld!!)

I’ve been making the most of my last few lazy mornings, lounging in jammies with a large mug of hot drink and blog reading…photo-204Granted its still at 8 in the morning (early for the average teenager, but I am not the average teenager. I wake up at 7:15 onmyown)On the morning that this was taken, I discovered a new favorite blog…The Oatmeal Artist   .I swear, even though I’ve been on a smoothie bowl kick lately due to the lovely heat of Sacramento summers, the second it cools down I am making every single one of her recipes!photo-205Unfortunately I also have been forced to actually write the first essay I’ve written since, oh, May. Ha I’m meeting up with a friend today to finish our summer homework together.photo-207But back to the marvelous! I am finally getting my driving hours in! On Friday my daddy picked me up and I drove 2 hours north for lunch, then another hour up to a pretty dam, then back home -longest drive of my life!! But I didn’t kill anybody! Whoo!!!! This picture is just because I find it extremely humorous how small I am. The seat has to go all the way forward and up and upright for me to drive, and I often forget to put it back afterwards. AKA nobody can sit (slash get in the car) there after me 🙂photo-206Marvelous is finally finding heart shaped sunglasses!!! I’ve been on the search for them for months, and I finally found them -as the last, super discounted pair at Delia’s for $3!photo-208Also marvelous? Coming home to big packages addressed to me!! Something is in store for you guys soon!!!photo-213Chocolate cake, just because!! Well, my older sister and her boyfriend are doing the 21-day vegan kickstart, and 2 weeks in they miss dessert. So we had them over for lunch and a baking day (Since I am the head baker in the family, I gladly took Brie under my wing 😉 ) Its funny, after being vegan for so long the little tricks I take for granted, such as a flax egg or avocado mousse, that are simply magic to a new vegan! Afterwards we watched Vegucated with them, and then discussed human rights and equality etc. Its funny because we grew up in a very conservative family, yet all 3 of us kids are becoming more liberal and activist-y. Its fun! hahaphoto-211Speaking of activism, I forced persuaded my mom to buy reusable straws and they came!! We got some normal, and some with little spoons on the end! I love them!! I also went clothes shopping at a consignment store and today we are going to Target and I’m planning on getting another trash bin for compost 🙂 I’ve been in save-the-earth mode since YEA Camp haha! On a slightly related note, yard sales rule. I got a table, pretty bowl, and ice cream dish for $1.25!photo-210This stuff. Have you tried this? Its bomb.com !! Haha but really, it tastes awesome, plus its not chock full of sugar and twenty thousand ingredients like most iced coffees, its literally espresso, almond milk (almonds, water), and sugar, and the stats are not bad -like 10 grams of sugar which is no more than you would find in most sweetened plant milks! I made ice cream with it.photo-212Yesterday was raw-some (Bahaha I’m punny…) We went to a Sac vegan chef challenge planning meeting at Maria‘s house and she made some raw wraps and raw brownies (and I also ate too much watermelon…again) while we mapped this year’s challenge out (its gonna be good this year!!), then we all went to a raw restaurant called The Green Boheme for dinner for Jed’s (team veg captain) birthday – my mom and I shared the tortilla soup and raw enchiladas -delishphoto-209The birthday boy and his raw ice cream sandwich (with a not raw candle 😉 ) Happy Birthday Jed!!So that was my weekend, and now I’m off to make the most of my last week of summer vacation as a child…I know I’m being dramatic but I am a dramatic person haha!!
And don’t forget to enter the Journey Bar Giveaway!!!!!!!! You have 2 more days!!!!!!

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Hey Hey YEA Camp!!!!

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Hey everyone!! No I didn’t drop off the face of the earth -I was at camp! Youth Empowered Action Camp to be exact! You may recall my mentioning of it here a little while ago -well I made it and I have seriously been changed forever. This past week was filled with laughter, tears, learning, change making, and bonds that will last for the rest of my life. The gratitude I have for this past week is beyond words, and if I were to relay everything that has happened this would go down in history as the longest post ever -so I will just try to capture as much of it as I can for you all.

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This journal is filled with 50 pages of information, reflections, skills, quotes, things I want to do and books I want to read. And it doesn’t even begin to cover this week.

Let me explain YEA Camp. It is a camp designed for young people who want to change the world! Every single person there is passionate about making a difference -whether it be environmental activism, animal rights, LGBTQ equality, racism, bullying, human trafficking and so much more. We learn the skills we need to take our passions (Issues of Importance – IOI) and put them into action! It is an activist camp-but don’t think I’m about to go get myself arrested. We learned what activism truly means :finding a cause to be passionate about and actively working to make a difference.

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Just a few of the things we did at camp…;)

It took place in the Santa Cruz mountains and it was absolutely beautiful

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Each day was absolutely packed with activities – workshops, hikes, games, journaling

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I wrote a poem, inspired by the beautiful environment I was surrounded by:

Joy in my heart

beating

flowing through my veins

radiates!

inside out

to my feet

pointing and dancing

floating and leaping

the earth between my toes

connected.

to my hands

grasping, clapping

feeling

water cascades between fingertips

peaceful.

and, at last

at first

at once

to my mouth

shouts!

sings!

praises of life and love

proclaiming to all to see

to hear

then silence

a quiet joy

at one

with nature

my neighboors

myself.

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(this was the least busy day…)

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I can’t even describe to you how much I have learned and grown from this camp. I went expecting to learn about how to make a difference but I would never have imagined that my life would be changed. The love and commitment from everyone (all 28 campers and 13 staff) was so immense. We shared our goals, our accomplishments, our pains and secrets and laughs and friendships. I have become closer to these wonderful people -whom I did not know two weeks ago- than some people I have known my entire life!  Everyone did nothing but build each other up – supporting and hugging and helping each other to grow!

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I came to camp passionate about animal rights/ veganism and the environment -but I have grown to be passionate about so much more. Every single issue that people had – I want to help them make a difference. There were no age or gender barriers, no discrimination for what people thought or believed or who they were. This camp was so open and accepting and loving that I can’t wait to make this world a better place -Everyone is inherently good -this camp taught me that.

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We all wrote messages to each other on posters, much like a yearbook. Mine is now hanging in my room so I can see it every day.

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Every issue -every person and every story – is connected.

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We wrote a song! (you can listen here!! )

We made a video that I will post once its on Youtube!
And we had a lot of random dance parties 😉

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Even in the kitchen during dinner….

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We created a mandala of our perfect world -the one that we will create- full of acceptance and peace

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This week meant so much to me. Not only do I feel empowered to make a difference and appreciate so many new issues (and suddenly become more aware of our consumption -it took 5 minutes before I could let my mom put plastic straws and paper plates in our cart the other day-never again!) but I have gained so much confidence! I opened up to forty people about my struggles. I allowed myself foods (still vegan) I haven’t eaten in years. I felt truly and honestly beautiful and now I can finally allow that light that I have been hiding shine out into the world. Not only am I going to be so much more active in the issues that I care about but I have been inspired to take all that this week gave to me and I am going to share it with my community. I decided to start the first ever YEA club at my school -empowering even more students to make a difference.

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What the other campers are planning to do is incredible! They are raising funds to start a school in a third world country, petitioning to have their schools do meatless mondays, compostable lunch trays, and anti bullying programs. They are leafletting and tabling and teaching and advocating and creating their own environmental policies. One girl is planning on starting her own non profit Cow Sanctuary, and is now raising funds to save her first cow so she can learn how to take care of the beautiful creatures (You can like her FB page and learn about it here!!). Another girl has been selling cookies to raise money for donating to stop human trafficking (FB Page) and has only $300 to go before she reaches her goal of $2,000! And that is just a small portion of everything that these amazing kids are doing!

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My desire to advocate has turned from an idea to a tangible reality. I don’t want to make a difference. I WILL make a difference. I wish I could express to you everything that we did, the empowerment I received, the way I have changed, but my heart is too full to put it into words. All I can say (and keep saying) is that this week was a turning point for me. Life changing. I can do anything.

I really hope that everyone gets the chance that I did to make a difference! This was the 5th year of the camp, and there is one in California, Oregon, and Massachusetts. Go check out their  website and Facebook page to learn more, and click here for more pictures from this week!!!

MIMM: Hot Hot Hot!!!

Happy Monday!!!First of all, I want to give a BIG HUGE CONGRATS to Katie, the lovely diva who hosts this marvelous party, and her beautiful baby boy, Rocco. What a wonderful gift to be given! I wish the whole family the best! 😀This past weekend has been a marvelous one!!With one exception…photo-2Heat. Wave. uuuuggghhhhh. It was all weird, cold and rainy exactly one week ago, and by Wednesday the temperatures were scorching again! This is day 4 of 105+  heat, and its funny because we can’t wait for 9pm, when it reaches a nice, cool 90 haha!photo-180Of course, warm evenings are made all the more enjoyable when outside, and we finally got lights up on our gazebo!! Its so nice to just relax and stare at the lights like a moth enjoy the pretty lights!!photo-177Luckily it doesn’t start heating up until about 9 am, so its finally gotten me back in the habit of early morning runs! Wake up, grab a nut butter stuffed date and off I go! There is no better time to run than first thing in the morning, the air is still (relatively) crisp, scented with dew and sprinklers, and the only sounds are the birds singing, and your feet hitting the pavement in tune with the earth’s heartbeat (like that? Can I be a poet like you now TGITO?? 😉 )photo-3Basically. Otherwise its too hot.photo-172And when I come back from the early morning runs, I have time (and motivation) to make fancier breakfasts!! This morning I made my mom and I blueberry cornmeal pancakes topped with fresh farmers market peaches! So good!Speaking of running, didn’t I ever tell you guys???photo-179I am officially signed up to run my first ever Half Marathon this October!! Whoo!! I’m sooo excited!! I’ve been wanting to run a half before I graduate basically since I discovered I actually liked running freshman year, and its finally happening! This is such a great testimonial to myself too, that I am finally in a place where I can run and be stronger, not weaker, from it. Its a symbol of the test I’ve had in high school, and that I can conquer anything I put my mind to. I am stronger than I gave myself credit for for so long, and I can tackle mountains (well, hills, but San Fransisco is crazy hilly so if you add them up, its a mountain. kapeesh?)photo-178Also Marvelous are Starbucks dates….with myself. But hey, if it motivates me to do my summer reading (I’d so much rather read books of my own choosing…). I heard from Amanda that if you order Starbucks cappuccinos dry, you get them perfectly foamy (my favorite part). She was right! Soy cappuccino, decaf and dry-I drank the coffee part and then added a dash of cinnamon to my cup of foam. Lets just say that I was that weirdo in the corner reading and eating foam with a coffee stirrer. #foamobsession #sorrynotsorry 😉photo-174Marvelous still are farmers market hauls -especially at the end of the day so everything is even cheaper! We got that gigantic bag of peaches for only $2, and they are super ripe-almost jam like. I have to cook with them before they go bad!! We also found a beautiful head of crisp romaine, chinese spinach (its so pretty! Purple and green!), a pomegranate balsamic grill sauce, and fresh, handmade vegan ravioli! I’ve never had fresh pasta so I’m excited.photo-173A marvelous, refreshing,  and simple salad for dinner (squash on the side) of Farmers Market romaine and tomatoes, plus cucumber, celery, red onion, avocado, tempeh, chickpeas, and a honey mustard dressing and lemon pepper (post photo). I’ve never had a crisper salad than one fresh from the farmers market that morning!photo-176And perhaps most marvelous of all? Its girls week! My stepdad is with his dad and cousin in Washington state this week, visiting museums and baseball parks, so my mom and I have had the house to ourself. Its officially Chocolate and Chickflicks week around here! Perfect for my newfound obsession with chocolate avocado mousse and Friends reruns. So with cool morning runs filled with deep thoughts, farmers market runs, and daily chocolate, life could not get any marvelous-er 😉Have you been caught in a heatwave this week?Whats your marvelous today?

A Green Life and Enchilada Casserole


When I was in Southern California visiting colleges, my views on what I wanted to do with my future took kind of a radical turn.

See, for a while now I’ve been saying I wanted to major in psychology and minor in nutritional science (or double major). I said I wanted to work in a recovery facility for girls with eating disorders, because I remembered how much more relatable and helpful those therapists were who admitted they had struggled in the past as well -it was like I could trust them more.

But I started to question myself once I visited my first college (UC Santa Barbara). I realized I have a love for the Earth. I want to learn more about it, to love it, to save it. My favorite class junior year was by far AP Envrionmental Science. I loved learning everything I did in that class, and I felt so empowered learning how much my diet helps the earth, and how much more I can do to help it. Being on a campus that was so environmentally friendly, spending a week by the ocean, being surrounded by hippies,  I realized that I don’t want to be a psychologist, sitting in an office, listening to other people’s problems (not that I don’t think they are wonderful!). I realized what I really want is to help people. To make a difference.

I got to thinking whether it was really me who wanted to work in a recovery facility, or if that was another outlet of the disorder that has plagued me. Yes, I wanted to help people, but is that the best way? Or is that simply me trying to find another outlet to let the obsession with food continue? While I love learning about nutrition, and disorders of the mind are interesting to me, is that really the best option for me to move forward from this stage in my life, to move forward from the hyper focus on food and lifestyle? Or is that me deciding, subconsciously, that I am not quite ready to let go? I am not saying that dietitians and psychologists are disordered, or that they are holding themselves back and settling. I am in awe of each and every professional for their passion to help people! They have helped me! They are incredible, and I will always be interested in those subjects. What I am saying, though, is that I realized I don’t want to spend the rest of my life focused on the same thing as my past, or be surrounded by clients that could potentially be a trigger for me, should I encounter a tough time in the future. After the final college I visited, I realized that I don’t want to focus on nutrition and health for the rest of my life, I want to spend my life making a difference in a bigger way. (After I decided this, I went and got some vegan ice cream. A large, since I decided not to focus anymore 😉 )

I want to major in environmental studies, maybe minor in sociology. I want to learn how to save the earth, I want to teach other people how they can do the same. I want to move forward in my life, to do something, to be out there, making changes, making my voice –MY voice, not any lingering disorder -heard.

After I decided this, I discovered the most amazing opportunity. It’s called Youth Empowered Action Camp (YEA), and it is a week long summer camp for youth aged 12-17 who want to make a difference in the world, whether it be animal rights, the environment, social justice, what have you. They help you develop leadership skills, knowledge, confidence and community. They help you discover your passion, and then develop a plan to make it happen. You are set up with an adult mentor to help guide you after the camp in making a difference, and are set up with local and national organizations focused on the same issues you are passionate about so that you can become an integral part of the movement. This is a program that has turned out youth with unlimited futures, making changes at their schools, speaking at public events, starting their own businesses (Ever heard of Clara’s Cakes?), and getting involved with organizations like Stop Child Trafficking Now and Compassion Over Killing. Oh, and the camp is vegan and eco friendly too. This was seriously like a break-in-the-clouds, I-absolutley-have-to-do-this moment for me, and I found out about it the last possible summer I could have. I am 17, so it is my last chance, I found out about it 3 weeks before the camp, and I managed to squeeze in and secure the last spot in the camp. I am going -I am doing this. I am changing my life -I am about to make a difference. Go check out their website here: www.yeacamp.org

And….shameless plug, if you want to help me out a bit, I could use a little help getting there 🙂 >donation site (big thanks if you want to help me:) )

Now, what does all of this have to do with enchiladas???

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Well, like myself, these enchiladas have undergone quite a bit of change…and they are green -like the environment.

That was a painful transition.

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We have been making these enchiladas (well, cheater enchiladas) for many years now, and they have evolved right along with us. Originally, you see, they were fish enchiladas with cream cheese. Instead of black beans and mushrooms, the filling was made with potatoes, onions, asparagus and mahi mahi. Instead of spreading each tortilla with refried beans, it was with cream cheese. So why in the world would I be giving you a recipe for fishy, cheesy enchiladas?

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When we went dairy free, we switched the cream cheese for tofutti. Then we went vegan. so we just switched the fish for yummy beans and mushrooms! The more we moved toward whole foods, we changed over to refried beans instead of cheese, and other brands of enchilada sauce (some of them have chicken stock and corn syrup solids-how about no) -and discovered green salsa works in a pinch!

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These are really customizable! I love them with asparagus (thats our original recipe) diced into discs, but any green veggie you have on hand works! Broccoli, zucchini, nopales (cactus), anything! Also, if you aren’t a wimp like me like spicy foods, use a medium or spicy sauce!! My sister and I are just to scandinavian to appreciate spicy (thats also why these aren’t traditional rolled enchiladas, we just aren’t that authentic haha!), so my mom has always made these mild for us! All the flavor, none of the burn! And if you really, really want to, make them the way we used to with Mahi Mahi and cream cheese -just spread each tortilla on both sides with cream cheese before layering into casserole.

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So you see, sometimes things change -diets, life paths, majors, ideas…But all that means is a chance to make something good and turn it even better!

Green Enchilada Casserole

or Green Enchilasagna, as I like to call it. But my mom said that was silly.

vegan, serves 9-12. Feel free to change to fit your diet preferences, or try it like it is!!

Filling:

  • 5-6 small/medium yukon gold potatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 7-8 mushrooms (or 2-4 portabellas), diced
  • 1 4 oz can diced mild green chiles
  • 2 small/medium zucchinis or 1 bunch asparagus, diced
  • 1/2  16 oz package frozen spinach (about 8 oz)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-1.5 C. green enchilada sauce or green salsa (till it tastes good to you!)

Enchilada layers:

  • filling
  • 5-6 large whole grain tortillas (brown rice, teff, Ezekial, corn, etc.)
  • 1-2 cans vegetarian refried beans
  • 2-3 C. green enchilada sauce or green salsa (depending on how thick/thin you spread it)
  • non dairy cheese (optional)

Gather your ingredients

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Preheat oven to 400.

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Wash and chop your potatoes into bite sized bits and steam them

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Dice your onion and garlic and sautee them with a little veggie broth, water, or oil until the onion is translucent. Add your mushroom and continue to cook until they are all brown and fragrant and delicious. 🙂

Add your zucchini (or asparagus), then your beans, spinach, and peppers. Once the zucchini is somewhat cooked, add the steamed potatoes and enchilada sauce. Mix it all together (and whaddya get?! haha sorry)

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Now comes the fun part! In a large casserole dish, spread a layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom and sides. Add a layer of tortillas.

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Spread a layer of refried beans on the tortillas

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Then a layer of filling (about 1/2), followed by another layer of sauce, tortillas, beans…

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Repeat:)

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After your second filling layer, top with tortillas and spread the top with more sauce. Add some nondairy cheese if you would like!

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My stepdad likes the cheese, I don’t care for it.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, broiling for a few minutes at the end if you would like. We were in a rush and didn’t have time

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Also, my mom added more cheese, as you can see. I dealt. These would also be delicious with a dollop of guacamole to serve, but I was all out of avocados (the horror!!!)

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These are, without a doubt, my favorite dinner recipe. Its something we’ve been making for ages, and I watched my mom make them so many times that I didn’t even ask her for the recipe before I made it myself. They are so easy and simple to make, and incredibly delicious.

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like a fine wine like soup ( 😉 ), these babies get better with age! I’ve always thought they taste even better the next day (Yay leftovers!!), and even cold! They are delicious any way you slice ’em!

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Enjoy!!

What did/do you want to do when you grow up?

What are some dinners that have evolved through the years?

Resurfacing for Air

Hi!! Im coming to say hello and update you on the past two weeks or so before I go back into the depths of a busy busy month, gotta love weekends!!

Thus far this April…

First off we have my Junior Prom!

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I think this was my favorite night ever. I *heart* dressing up!!

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All the single ladies!! We didn’t have dates so we dressed up like princesses (Ariel, Anastasia, and Jasmine) and then proceeded to be Charlie’s Angels. Makes sense right? I love these girls…

 

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Afterwards we went to Mel’s Diner, at like 11:00. When you are tired after prom, you are easily amused. Curly fries match my hair. (ps ps!! I actually ate some!!! Whooo!! regular are better but still, fear food win!)

 

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Don’t take yourself too seriously. Its more fun that way 😉

 

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My dinner on prom night (well its a food blog, what did you expect?) We went to a fancy Mexican restaurant, and these were some kind of baked taco things that reminded me of fajitas in stew form. All I had to do was get the vegetarian and ask for no cheese, it was delicious!!! Not even spicy wooo!

I have actually done some cooking, believe it or not!! Not really my recipes though, but labor intensive yes!

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These Red Lentil Cauliflower Burgers on homemade Spelt Buns made for an amazing, from scratch dinner one night (I used yeast for the first time ever!!!)

 

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Another night I made this Buffalo Pizza, which I only got one slice through before the spicy-ness defeated me. My mom was in heaven though! (granted she puts cayenne in her coffee)

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Aaannnddd I made spaghetti with lemon pepper asparagus. Yummm 🙂

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Tiny nut butter or strawberry on steroids?? Either way it was a delicious combination!! Sarah is a genius 🙂

 

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I made my banana muffins again, but this time I used less banana and added a zucchini for banana-zucchini nut muffins. Delicious.

In non food news, My musical opened on Thursday!!! We are doing Bye Bye Birdie and having a blast!!

 

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Telephone Hour

 

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The photographer sat on the ground so that I would look tall (okay, normal) in a picture haha

 

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CONRAD BIRDIE!!! AHHHHH!!!!

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And Cookie. Because she doesn’t want us to do our work haha:)

And I shall leave you with that!! One more week and then I can rest! I have Dance Team Auditions (wish me luck!) and another weekend of shows! Bye for now!!

What have you been up to lately??