Step By Step Recipes {beef mushroom potato stew}

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Is it Friday already? Damn this week flew by. I joined the “trulycommited”-challenge by Truly Jess this month, which is Instagram-based though she became popular due to her YouTube-channel, and I already forgot to shoot the third picture. But nevermind, if you consider the goals I set for myself, I did pretty good yesterday: I spent the whole afternoon writing on my master thesis and took care of my soul by watching our favorite series with Jay in the evening. I am sorry guys, but that also means that blogging will be reduced to about four times per week, since I need the extra time to focus on my priorities for the next three months. I bet you’ll understand. Life needs to come first sometimes and four posts are still quite a lot.

But enough talk done, I promised a recipe and though I’ll save the Butternut Chard Soup for another post, I have a seasonal stew for you, that Jay loved (probably due to the fact that it is one of the first meals I made in weeks that doesn’t include pumpkin):

Beef Mushroom Potato Stew

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yields 5 portions

  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 shallots
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • dash of salt
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound beef for stew
  • dash of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups potatoes, cubed
  • 2 cubes vegetable stock
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups mushrooms
  • 2 cups dark leafy greens (I used chard, but spinach or kale would also work great)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp chili *optional

onions garlic and carrot1. Cut up the shallots, garlic and grate the carrot.

2. Preheat the pan with one tablespoon of olive oil. Place the cut up vegetables inside and turn the heat on medium. Season with a dash of salt and fry for 5 minutes while constantly stirring.

fried garlic onion and carrot3. When done, transfer the fried vegetables to a bowl and fill one tablespoon of olive oil in the pan for…

fry the beef

3.  the beef. Place the cubes of beef in the pan, turn the heat on high and fry until they are browned from all sites.

1 cup red potatoes

4. Cut the potatoes in cubes, place in a big pot on the stove.

fill with broth

5. Transfer the beef and the fried vegetables into the pot, don’t forget the juice from the beef. Fill with water until everything is just covered. Turn the heat on medium low.

vino6. Measure a cup of dry red wine and add to the pot, as well as the vegetable stock. Close the lid and let simmer for 45 minutes.

pour yourself a glas6. Pour yourself a glas of red wine while waiting.

mushrooms

chard

7. Slice the mushrooms and chop your greens. Add them to the pot and let simmer for 5 more minutes without the lid.

herbs and spices8. Add your thyme (and chili if you use it), and salt and pepper to taste. Eat while still hot and save the remaining for the next day.
IMG_1560Seriously this dish tastes a lot better the next day when all of the juices and spices could pervade. It takes some time to make the stew but not a lot of effort. So this would be a great meal to make if you have to answer some mails or comment on a few blog posts, while the beef is simmering. Don’t cut the simmer-time since otherwise your meat will not turn out as soft as it should. And that’s what stew is all about, right? Soft cubes of beef melting in your mouth.

IMG_1365This warming dish contains seasonal vegetables and I enjoyed using the more firm young red potatoes, but you could definitely use a soft-cooking variation to thicken the broth up a bit. Sweet potatoes would also work great if you are not a fan of their white fleshed fella. But keep in mind – a white potato is nothing processed, it’s not the same as white rice versus the whole grain variety, it’s still a healthy carbohydrate especially if you don’t peel the skin off. Hope you enjoy a warm stew for lunch or dinner, while fall weather is all cold and rainy, as much as I do!

IMG_1559Have a beautiful weekend and stay tuned for my vegan soup recipe from this weeks WIAW and a delicious, easy to make trail mix for healthy study snacking. I’ll probably make a whole healthy-snacks-sum up with it.

Any healthy snack suggestions I should mention?

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What I Ate Wednesday {getting back into the groove}

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Happy Wednesday foodie friends. It’s time for our business as usual: food talk! Yesterday was an amazingly productive day after weeks of not being sure if my topic would be accepted and afterwards missing my usual groove. Funny thing is: when life goes as it should, somehow healthy eating comes naturally for me. Looking back on yesterdays eats I had an exemplary day and didn’t go crazy on the snacks (which is mostly happening out of frustration). But I guess after treating me to delicious eats and lots of treats over the days at my aunt, my body just balanced it out.

I started my day with a strong coffee and my weight routine. After various workout-free days I thought hitting the gym first thing in the morning would start my day on a good note – and it surely did. Nice thing about getting up early? I was back home with a few groceries at 9:30.paleo breakfast bakeBreakfast was a delicious mug cake made of coconut and almond flour, an egg, coconut milk, coconut oil, nana, carrot and cinnamon. Of course it needed to be topped of generously with almond butter and maple syrup. Swoon…

Afterwards I did the dishes, started cleaning the flat, did some laundry and wrote a few mails, before working on a new recipe for lunch.butternut chard soup

Butternut chard soup with smoked tofu was the result. Do you know anything more comforting than a bowl of hot soup on a cold fall day? My aunt and I had homemade fish soup everyday for lunch. I will attempt making the soup myself soon and share the recipe with you. While you are waiting: the recipe for yesterdays soup will be up tomorrow.

chocolate buttonsAfterwards I enjoyed 3 of my homemade dark chocolate buttons for dessert. This is one of my recipes which I make over and over again, since it satisfies my craving for chocolate pralinés but with a heap of healthy fats and no processed sugar.almond pumpkin seed snack

My afternoon was spent meeting a friend at Starbucks for coffee and writing on my Master thesis. I brought a handful of almonds and some pumpkin seeds with me for snacking…frappuccinoand ordered a medium sized coffee frappuccino. Without thinking straight I went with the light variety and regreted it minutes after: not only was the sweetness of the artificial sweetener unbearable, I also had pretty bad headaches after. Lesson learned: never again light.
salad and chickenFor a quick and easy dinner I bought half a rotisserie chicken on my way home and made myself a huge green salad with cherry tomatoes and grated gran padano cheese. My favorite parts are the chicken thigh and the wing, so those needed to be eaten first. I freed the remaining chicken from skin and bones and stored it in the fridge for later.apple

Soothing my apple-craving with a huge organic apple as dessert, the day faded away with me passing out in front of the TV. Let’s hope this was the start of a productive week ahead – I plan to write 10 pages of my thesis until Sunday, let’s see how this will work out.

Thanks to Jenn our Wednesday is all about sharing our love for food. So hop over to Peas & Crayons and check out all of the other amazing WIAW posts!

Do you find healthy eating easier when everything else in your life goes well? What is your favorite fall lunch meal? Do you like to study in coffee shops?

A Marvelous Short Trip {part two}

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So, as promised yesterday, here comes the second picture bomb from my short trip. Saturday was beautiful and sunny here in Germany, thus my aunt and I took the opportunity to go for a long walk in the English Garden, which is a huge local park. fall walkI brought my new canon and took over 100 pictures on this walk. Though my aunt is usually the one posing in front of every cam (she is really great in taking beautiful pictures and has heaps of captured memories from every year of her life) she took over and had fun taking pictures of me.

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aunt and dog Her lovely dog is 14 years old by the way. He is like a family member and it is so sad to notice the signs of aging: he is completely deaf now and searches the whole flat for my aunt every time she leaves the room.

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IMG_1093 I proofed my climbing-skills on this low hanging tree, after my aunt dared me to, which reminded me of an old childhood-video my mom showed me recently. 2 year old me playing at a fountain, my mom filming and telling me to not go near the water. Cut. A few minutes later my aunt is filming me calling “go, play in the water!”. End of the story: me soaking wet, my mom telling me off and my aunt cracking up.
ballerinas The walk was amazing and exactly what I searched for with this short trip: a break from worrying what I’ll be facing over the next months. My master thesis, moving, the semester abroad, job search, moving again, who knows where…

The culmination of the trip was Sunday evening. My aunt took me out to a Lebanese restaurant.
IMG_1167 We decided to order a variety of starters and share one main course since we always tend to gorge on the starters and have no hunger left afterwards. Our 4 starters were: hummus with lamb cubes and almonds, tabbouleh …
IMG_1172 eggplant puree (my favorite) and meatballs with a falafel-like crust and herb-yogurt-dip.
IMG_1175 For the main course we went with the roasted lamb, spiced spinach and safran sauce.
IMG_1178 The meat was perfect. And we enjoyed our walk back home and the night-walk with the dog after stuffing our faces with these delicacies. It is always sad to leave, but since my aunt and I are pro’s when it comes to turn musings into reality I am sure that we’ll be on an exciting trip again soon.

A Marvelous Short Trip {part one}

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Happy Monday, lovelies. I just got back home from a few beautiful days with my aunt, hence the late post. And since I have a huge bunch of pictures to share, I decided to make two posts out of my trip and thus you have to come back tomorrow to see the second part.oatmeal with peach

Marvelous was starting our day with eggy oats and the last peaches of the season. My aunt always asks me to make oatmeal for breakfast when I am around and I am happily doing so, since it’s the best breakfast in the world.

walking the dog

Marvelous was walking the dog and talking for hours. We had a few golden September days and enjoyed the sunshine.

rumpsteak

lamb filetthe secret dessert

Marvelous was eating out in my aunts favorite Greek restaurant. I had the roast beef with a side of vegetables and my aunt had the lamb filet with the same side dish. And the specialty of the house is the dessert which always follows the meal unquestioned: a fluffy kind of greek yogurt / mascarpone mix (the ingredients are a secret, so it’s just my assumption) topped with honey. Bliss.

juicing celeriac

vegetables for juice

Marvelous was my aunts fancy juicer and us spending half an hour juicing everything in the fridge from apples to wheat grass.

juice and watermelon

green juice

One liter of green goodness was our reward. My aunt also had some watermelon, which wasn’t sweet enough for my taste – the season is definitely over.

almond butter love banana and almond butter

So I went with half a banana topped with almond butter instead. But we didn’t just feast on vitamins, but also had our fair share of treats:

macaroon cake

Marvelous was getting macaroons from the French patisserie around the corner and enjoying cake on the antique market we hit on Sunday. Bargaining makes a girl hungry.
spirulina face maskBy the way: looking like Shrek every evening was pretty marvelous, too. For gorgeous skin glow my aunt recommends making a mask out of spirulina powder and water. The stuff smells… kind of funny… but I’ll stick to it for 10 days and afterwards I’ll report back.

More weekend fun comes tomorrow. Have a great start of the week!

Health Ninja Weekly {39/13}

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Is it the end of the week already? I hate how days pass by when you are on vacation and these last 3 days were running like an Ethiopian Olympic Games contestant.

{my posts}

Marvelous Weekend {photography workshop and cupcakes}

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This weeks first post dealt with my favorite part of the week: the weekend. The last one was especially marvelous due to a great family come together at my brothers birthday, a heap of cupcakes and a photography workshop where I learned how to take pictures manually.

What I Ate Wednesdays {confessions}

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This Tuesday eats where accompanied by a series of confessions, an insight into how I am more or less successful working on my master thesis and what Lou contributes to that.

 

I Am Going On A Short Trip

Just a quick note on my sudden weekend plans. I took off to my aunts and a “low-post” weekend.

Banookies {healthy yet delicious chocolate chip cookies}

banookies
My favorite healthy snack recipe, whipped up in no time and with ingredients you most likely already have at hand. If the study-snack-monster hit you, you don’t have to grab sweets but can quickly make a batch of these.

Plus: this one was my first recipe which was accepted on foodgawker!

foodgawker

{favorite reads}

How To Look Like A “Famous Celebrity” In A Big Action Movie – Nerd Fitness

Nerd Fitness alone is a blog worth visiting. I love their geeky humor and could spend days being entertained by just scrolling through their archives. This kind of sociocritical, ironic post made it’s way to my heart this week.

The Importance Of A Morning Routine – Cat Food Is Good For You

Cat’s blog is refreshing different for a health food blog. She covers a broad variety of topics and her cute illustrations make me smile. In this weeks post about the importance of morning routines she interviewed a few of her health-idols and inspires us to create a great start of the day for ourselves.

Why I Find It Important To Invest In Myself, First And Always – The Good Life

To stick with the topic, I found this article on The Good Life pretty helpful in developing a part of your morning routine which starts your day on a positive and self-loving note.

Circuit That Controls Overeating Found In Brain – Huffpost Healthy Living

This here is for the science geeks among us. Nice to be on track with the newest research, even though we all know that it will probably change be replaced as quick as it appeared.

Let My Girls Be Hermiones, Rather Than Pansy Parkinsons – Mangoes & Miles

Beth re-discovered this beautiful post by J.K. Rowling on fat talk and body issues. I love it, since this is exactly how I feel when I think about having a daughter some day.

22 Tips to be more Awesome from FLBlogCon 2013 – Run To The Finish

And to end the round up: some tips on blogging. Who doesn’t like that? Btw: I think we are all pretty awesome already!

{nice finds}

The Daily Hiit – 5 Day Challenge

Bodyrock/The Daily Hiit are coming up with a lot of beginners challenges recently. So if you want to start out with short high intensity workouts, this is a great way to go. You don’t need more than 15 minutes a day and the best: it’s totally free.

Recite

recite

Ever wondered where all this cool quote frames on pinterest, instagram, tumblr and so came from? Thanks to Carly I know it now.

Have you seen my fall inspirations board on pinterest yet?

glad for octobers

Now that October is rolling around it’s quite sunny and beautiful around these parts.

{best eats}

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I had various fantastic eats while I stayed at my aunts. For now I’ll just share this picture of macaroons with you, which I got in a French patisserie on our walk this morning, but check back tomorrow for a weekend recap with more of our eats and deeds. I am off to work on my thesis and later we plan to go on a flea market with antique goods only.

Banookies {healthy yet delicious chocolate chip cookies}

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Happy first day of the weekend! After my decision to go on a spontaneous short trip, I packed my bags in half an hour and hit the road yesterday afternoon. Luckily it’s just a 3 hour drive, thus I arrived at my aunt’s by dinner time and had a good night of sleep. It is unbelievable how much better I sleep in total silence. My own bedroom window is opening towards a highly frequented road and even at 3 am at night I still hear some cars passing by. Rested and relaxed I am ready to share the promised recipe with you and afterwards hit the books for a few hours before spending the afternoon shopping with my aunt. Sweet life.

Remember how I dedicated a love-post (oh, right, I think we should make this a term since love letters are a seldom thing nowadays) to Banookies last November? These little nutrient-powerhouses are my go to, when it comes to healthy snacking. Especially in times of exam preparation or thesis writing they can be real life savers. And the best about them? They are extremely versatile and never failed me. Here comes the recipe for the batch I showed you in this weeks WIAW:

Banookiesbanookies

yields 10 cookies

dry ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (place in your mixer to make flour)
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

wet ingredients:

  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 T avocado *opt or use 1 additional T oil/butter
  • 1 T coconut oil (or butter)
  • 1 T agave syrup (or honey)
  • 1 egg (or flax egg for vegan version)

fold in:

  • generous handful dark chocolate chips

I will soon try to make a paleo version of this recipe by using 1/4 cup coconut flour instead of the oats. But you could also try my crispy & chewy paleo chocolate chip cookies.

IMG_0858cPreheat the oven to 350 F (180° C).

Mix all of your dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Take a second bowl and mash your banana and avocado. Melt the coconut oil (butter) in your microwave and stir into the mash. Add agave and (flax) egg, whisk until evenly incorporated. Add wet ingredients to dry and fold in the chocolate chips.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place one heaped teaspoon of dough on the paper and press slightly down. Proceed with the remaining dough and place in the oven. Bake for about 10 minutes.IMG_0888cThese cookies will be chewy and just slightly sweet. If you have more of a sweet tooth you can add an extra tablespoon agave. But I prefer them as they are, with a cup of hot steaming tea and sometimes, if I am especially fancy, I spread some of my favorite nut butter on top.

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If you are not much of a morning person, these work also as a healthy but sweet breakfast alternative to be enjoyed next to your coffee. The Italians traditionally have just a few cookies or other small pastries with coffee for breakfast. While I wouldn’t recommend spiking your blood sugar early morning by indulging in sweets (I usually save my cappuccino and croissant breakfast for Sunday mornings), you can guilt free enjoy a banookie, or two, or three…

What I Ate Wednesday {confessions}

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Happy Wednesday foodies! It is our day to celebrate the love of food and healthy (and not so healthy) eating, to share food related stories and throw in some not so food related stuff to keep things interesting. Thanks again to the amazing Jenn for hosting this party for the bazillionst time!jeans blouseI was so happy that turning the ISO setting up (thanks photography workshop) made it possible to share today’s fall outfit with you, since I am truly in love with this jeans blouse. I’ve been searching for one in a light color, which closes in the chest region without being totally loose everywhere else. It’s still a bit loose but I like it this way. Enough outfit-talk, lets get started with my little set of confessions!

Confession No. 1: For What I Ate “Wednesday” I share my Tuesday eats with you every week. But since nearly everyone does it, we should probably consider renaming it.
oatmeal with apple sauceConfession No. 2 : Breakfast was eaten around 11 yesterday, since I wasn’t hungry early morning and went to the library for my research without eating anything before. Unnecessary to mention that my tummy was killing me by the time I made it back home.crisp bread with cherry jamConfession No. 2: I had post-breakfast “dessert” in form of an agave sweetened milk coffee and a crisp bread with creme cheese and cherry jam. healthy banana oatmeal cookiesConfession No. 3: Instead of lunch I baked a batch of banookies (recipe will be up tomorrow, just a quick sneak peek) and snacked on three of them and a few almonds throughout the afternoon.writing on master thesisConfession No. 4: I can’t study in the library. Researching on papers and books is all right, but when it comes to reading and writing it’s way to quiet for my taste. I am doing better with a bit of distraction:kitten playing gif

Lou getting cray with her catnip-pillow for example.

three colored catOr attacking me for taking pictures of her playing. She probably thought they weren’t too flattering.

Confession No. 5: I was too lazy to go to the gym and did my workout at home instead… and I must say that it was pretty nice to save close to an hour of time for the drive there and back and switching between gym machines or even waiting for one. I am lucky that I have a lot of equipment (read: stationary bike, skipping rope, barbell, dumbbells, pullup bar) at home and can easily transfer my workout if I want to save some time.chinese steamed eggConfession No. 6: I got wanderlust when dinner time came around and decided to have a chinese style meal. A quick microwave steamed egg with fried hoisin cabbage and brown rice it was. I should really start cooking Asian food more often again: it is healthy yet so satisfying.IMG_0937Confession No. 7: I put the grocery shopping off for as long as possible, but after dinner I really had to hit the store. And I couldn’t resist the dark chocolate covered biscuits, the sea salted pumpkin seeds and the ginger-elderberry tea. Plus, of course I had to have them all for a post-dinner dessert. Second dessert in a day and lunch being dessert in a way, too. Totally fine by me.

In other news: the PSL is available in German Starbucks since Monday. And confession No. 8: I totally persuaded Sina to meet me there for coffee today, so that I can finally taste and tell what all the fuss is about!starbucks-pumpkin-spice-latteHave you already had your PLS fix this September? Somehing to confess this Wednesday? Feel free to let it all out! Can be quite liberating. What are your favorite everyday desserts?

Marvelous Weekend {photography workshop and cupcakes}

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Happy Monday! Was your weekend as marvelous as mine? Let’s just forget about the Sick-Sunday-Afternoon part. Seems like I do really have an alcohol intolerance. Going to let it check by my doctor soon and then I’ll tell you more about it. Thus far: it’s not pretty and makes three glasses of red wine no fun whatsoever.cupcakesOther than that I spend my Friday evening and most of Saturday baking up a storm of cupcakes for my brothers birthday party. Since my mom isn’t a big baking fan and prefers to make a huge roast or something like that, I am on baking duty and most of the time also on vegetarian cooking duty, since some of my cousins and their girl/boyfriends are vegan or vegetarian. This time I went with another one of Sally’s cupcake recipes, since those never failed me: Fudge Brownie Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting were easily vegan-ized by using some egg-replacement, plant-based whipping cream and a shortening that truly tastes like butter (I can just recommend Alsan, if you are from Germany).cupcakesFor the second batch I got inspired by my fall inspiration board on Pinterest, where I linked up a recipe for Cheesecake Cupcakes with Pumpkin Pie Frosting. These were the bomb! My total favorite. The only thing you have to be aware of when making these: they take a lot of time since you have to bake a pumpkin pie for the frosting and let it completely cool down. My Pumpkin Pie Frosting turned out too sweet and I added some whipped cream to lighten it up – amazing, can just recommend doing that. After having a lot of frosting leftovers I decided to make another half batch. The Pumpkin Pie Frosting was more of a pie anyways, so I just made more graham-cracker-crust, baked it for 3 minutes, mixed 1/2 cup of flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder into the pumpkin pie frosting, filled the forms with them, baked for about 20 minutes and finally finished them of with the leftover peanut butter frosting. As always nobody could tell the difference between the vegan and the non-vegan cupcakes and most of them were gone before dinner was even on the table. On Sunday I had to get up early to drive 90 minutes to my photography workshop. The ex-girlfriend of my brother stayed this January at my place for her internship and as a thank-you gift she gave me an “adventure gift coupon” which I could redeem for various activities offered by the organisation: one of it was a DSLR-technique-workshop. Since I planned purchasing a DSLR for months I saved this coupon.

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And oh was it worth waiting! I learned how to take pictures in the dark by playing with ISO-setting, exposure time and aperture setting.

IMG_0711We also learned when to use the flash and when to just play with the settings to get the results you wish…IMG_0714and that there is no one-fits-it-all setting since a) it depends on the situation and b) on what you want to achieve.IMG_0750When the curtains were opened I once again noticed that no matter how good your technique is, pictures look best when taken in daylight.IMG_0760Even though I had a headache during those 3.5 hours I sucked all the information in and after making it to the election office (big election day in Germany yesterday, in case you didn’t know) and finally my flat, I passed out for the remaining afternoon… I finally felt better at around 9 pm and decided to give my new technical-skills a try: IMG_0773With only my small bedside-IKEA-lamp as light source I managed to take a few darn cute pictures of Lou – no flash used.IMG_0775 All right, this wasn’t only my achievement: props to Lou’s posing. She really loves the attention. Now I need to find the e-book on food photography everyone’s been talking about.

Do you use a DSLR? Did you ever join a photography workshop or how did you learn using it? Any recommendations on how to take prettier food pictures?

Health Ninja Weekly {38/13}

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Just a quick post today, guys. Since my tummy is really upset with me and I spend most of my afternoon either in the bathroom or in my bed – not pretty. I hope you don’t blame me if I spare myself some words and do a quick link-up instead.

My Posts

Basil Zucchini Risotto {playing with picmonkey}

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What I Ate Wednesday {fall food prep}

apple saue

Over The Day Workout {get moving while studying}

over the day workout

All The Pumpkins {the guide to our fall favorite}

kabocha

Favorite Reads

The Shocking Truth About Fat Burning Foods – Fat Loss Ninja

The Crazy Sexy Guide To Organic Foods – Kris Carr

A Life Post – can you stay for dinner?

The Habits Of Supremely Happy People – Huffington Post

How To Be Optimistic About Everything – The Greatist

Nice Finds

The Rockstar Roadmap Video Series – Robyn Youkilis

Coffitivity – thanks to Amanda now I got coffee shop sounds for studying

you’re welcome 😉

Favorite Eats

Cheesecake Cupcakes with Pumpkin Pie Frosting