PUMPKIN OAT MUFFINS (no sugar added!)

I've always loved fall. I think it's because I'm a November baby, but every year when October rolls around I get SO EXCITED for pumpkin flavored anything. I love a good PSL and am always looking forward to pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving. (This year my birthday actually falls on Thanksgiving and all I want is one pie just for me - stay tuned!)

These pumpkin muffins are so easy and so yummy. They're the perfect mid-morning snack at work since they can travel easily. Plus, they are made with all natural ingredients and no added sugar! Talk about a pumpkin-flavored win.


Royal Wedding, Party of One

Does anyone have that one thing in their life that started out as sort of a joke and turned into a real obsession? That's my relationship with the Royal Family.

What started out as a gag-purchase of a coffee (or tea?) mug commemorating the engagement of William and Kate turned into stalking out the coffee shop where they first met...

In St. Andrews, Scotland. I also have a picture of the bathroom, because coffe, ya know? 😉
...an early morning watching their wedding before school, two more mug purchases after Prince George and Princess Charlotte were born (Prince Louis is in the plan - but you have to wait at least a year for the cute birthday portraits)...

 
...freaking out over royal horses at Balmoral and buying chocolates shaped like crowns for the Queen's diamond jubilee, and weeping on my couch at 5 a.m. when Harry and Meghan turned a wedding into a real-life fairytale moment.

LOL at the shorts and tights - how 2012 of me!
Yep. I'm that person.

ANYWAY. Like 29 million other Americans, I set my alarm for bright and early on Saturday morning, made some mini waffles, drank a bottle of champagne, and watched as the British Monarchy welcomed a divorced, half-black American into their family (complete with a sermon referencing slavery, the civil rights movements, African spirituals, and a gospel choir).


Let's break it down.

Layered Skillet Fajita Nachos

So far in 2018 I've been cooking a lot more than usual! I've turned eating out into a social activity instead of going to the drive-thru and ordering pizza on the reg.

I love Super Bowl Sunday because I love the excuse to pig out on junk food/order takeout, but this year I forced myself to cook instead. I was craving Mexican food so I threw a bunch ofingredients into a cast-iron skillet, baked it, and voila! These layered fajita nachos were born.

 

OK, not quite, but they were so easy to make and tasted (almost) like the real deal from a restaurant!

1 Smoothie + 2 Shakes

I love smoothies and protein shakes. I love making them in the winter when I tend not to eat as many fruits and vegetables as I should (give me allll the cheesy bread), but I love them in the summer by the pool, too.

I've been drinking more and more smoothies recently because it's the only meal prep I can actually get behind. I love just dumping things in my Magic Bullet and having something healthy to sip on during slow afternoons at work! Plus, unlike meal prepping veggies/meats/rices/etc, smoothies don't get soggy! You double (or triple!) any of these suggested recipes and save them for 3-4 days. Definitely a win-win!

 

P.S.: For your reference, I'm referring to a blended drink with fruit when I say smoothie, and no fruit when I say shake! Enjoy.

VEGETERIAN STUFFED BELL PEPPER

I've been trying to cook more exciting recipes in 2018. So far, so good. I ended up buying the Tone It Up nutrition guide to try and get my health in check and get inspiration for new recipes. It definitely worked and I have been loving what I've been eating! (Not to mention I feel better and I have more energy!)
  

So far, this recipe is by far my favorite. I've adapted it a little from the original recipe, but the idea is the same. It's simple to make and full of nutritious, whole foods. It's vegeterian, but could easily be made with meat (switch veggie patty mix for ground turkey) or vegan (just don't add cheese!).