Better With Sprinkles

The Colourful Side to Healthy Living.


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WIAW: Eating in Real Life.

Good morning and happy Wednesday!

Which of course, means What I Ate Wednesday. We all enjoy our little bits of foodie voyeurism, don’t we? Winking smile

So for today’s post, I’m recapping my eats from this past Saturday. I was at a conference the vast majority of the day. I left the house at 8:45 in the morning, got home at 5:30 to rest for about 10 minutes before heading back out to the dinner/social. I ate breakfast at home, but my lunch, snacks and dinner were provided for.

Of course, a few years ago I would have driven myself nuts with anxiety over what my food options were going to be and peppering myself with questions. Were there going to be healthy options? Would I be able to resist the unhealthy ones? What snacks should I pack in case the food options didn’t meet my criteria?

But nowadays, I realized…I just don’t care. In fact, one of the organizers told me a few weeks ago what the food options were going to be, but I forgot. Completely forgot, because it didn’t matter to me. When it came time for meals, I looked over my options, picked what sounded good, and ate it. And that sort of freedom is pretty fabulous.

So, on with it!

Breakfast

My usual ACV mix and a quick breakfast before I left the house.

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One of my coconut-dipped baked banana donuts that I baked last week, and two fried eggs. Easy and delicious.

The conference was being held at the school, which was definitely convenient. This was actually the first one ever, put together by two school friends of mine. It wasn’t too big (about 20 presenters) but it was a success. They did a fabulous job putting it together!

My volunteer role for the day was running the Twitter account. Basically, being the official “Tweeter” (I need a fancier title though…Social Media Executive? Twitter Hostess? PR Manager? Something along those lines). Running an ‘official’ Twitter account is pretty fun…it makes me want to be more active on my blog twitter account.

And I was part of a group presentation, so I got some experience in that way. Note: I am such an awkward presenter.

I have absolutely no idea why my legs are crossed like that. My friend Zoey told me I looked like some sort of pretty flamingo. I suppose that’ a compliment, of sorts? Smile with tongue out

Another shot:

Apparently, I don’t know what to do with my arms either. So.awkward.

But moving on…

Lunch

Lunch was catered by a local deli, so that meant sandwiches, pasta salad, and egg salad.

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I went for two half sandwiches: roast beef and cheese (I think it was swiss?) on marble rye and salmon salad with cucumbers on what I believe is ciabatta. I also took a small scoop of pasta salad, because I’m always excited to see an oil-based pasta salad as opposed to a mayo based. Pretty tasty!

Exciting moment of the conference: over lunch, we got to see speeches from the Brantford Mayor, the local MPP (Member of Provincial Parliament) and MP (Member of Parliament at the Federal level).

Pretty cool stuff!

There were more presentations before breaking for afternoon snack.

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Apple and chocolate – gotta have balance, right? Winking smile And…I went back for a third chocolate. Of course.

There were more presentations before closing with the keynote speaker, one of the professors at Laurier. I have to say, I think what I love most about my program is the ridiculous amount of topics that you can cover, and they’re all so interesting to me. For example, my focus is on media representations (of crime and government, for the most part), but others in criminology focus on global issues, political issues, stigma, homelessness, mental illness, white collar crime and corruption, criminal law, cybercrime, sexism, Aboriginal issues…there are so many things to look at. Ahh, love.

Dinner

I headed home to rest my feet for a few minutes and pick up the boyfriend before heading to the Hawk and Bell (a pub in Brantford that just opened) for a buffet dinner and social. Dinner options were salad, garlic bread, perogies, vegetarian penne, chicken parmesan, and butter chicken with basmati rice. A good variety, clearly!

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(excuse the poor restaurant lighting)

I went for salad with balsamic, perogies, and butter chicken. Umm, that butter chicken might be some of the best I’ve ever had. From what I understand, the family that owns that restaurant is Indian and that was an old family recipe. It used shredded chicken instead of the usual chunks of chicken breast that I usually see in butter chicken, which was delicious.

Apparently, conferences made me hungry because I went back for seconds on the butter chicken.

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Amazing.

I was definitely tired after my day, so we didn’t stay at the social to long. We headed home, where I promptly collapsed on the couch and turned on a movie Smile

11:00 pm munchies:

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Graham cracker with peanut butter. Did the trick.

So the conference and eats there made me realize how normal my relationship with food feels. Generally, people don’t worry about what food is going to be served when they have a lunch or a conference (of course, different story for allergies or necessary dietary restrictions, but you get my point). They show up, they eat what’s there, and they move on. No concern about whether or not the options were healthy enough or met any sort of criteria…they just eat it. I love feeling that sense of normalcy around what I eat!

And still plugging away at papers today, but I’m almost done my final coursework paper. Light at the end of the tunnel!

Enjoy your day!

<— If you did/are doing post secondary education, what’s your degree in?

<— What was your favourite class in school? Interestingly enough, I think my favourite course that I ever took was the Greek Mythology course I took in my fourth year of undergrad. It was such an interesting course.

<— Do you get anxious if you’re at an event and don’t know what the food options are going to be?

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MIMM: End-of-Semester Celebrations.

Hello there! I hope you’ve got some marvelous in your Monday morning Smile

Of course, it’s time for the most positive linkup I know. Thank you to the wonderful Diva herself for hosting!

So, I don’t have classes anymore. Which means that I didn’t have to get up to an alarm this morning. That in itself is pretty wonderful Open-mouthed smile

But for today’s #MIMM, I wanted to discuss my day last Friday, which included a visit from my best friend, a trip in a limo, a nice dinner, and a dance party. Pretty awesome.

But first, this new-to-me breakfast I made Friday morning.

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I decided to try one of those ‘paleo’ pancake recipes out of sheer curiosity. So this was 2 eggs, a mashed banana, and a tablespoon of almond flour turned into a pancake, topped with peanut butter (see? I couldn’t do paleo even if I wanted to) and blueberry jam.

Eh. It was ok. It tasted really ‘eggy’ to me – probably not something I’ll be making again anytime soon.

But I digress…

Friday night was the Graduate Students’ Association Year End Banquet, held at my university’s main campus in Waterloo, Ontario (I attend a satellite about 45 minutes away). The GSA graciously offered to send a limo for those of us who wanted to attend, which was awesome.

(source)

Eric would be working and wouldn’t be able to make the limo pick-up, so I extended the invitation to Laura. She’s been my best friend since high school, which we figured out has been almost 10 years. Which then made us feel old. She was able to come up, which was fabulous! Plus she brought her boyfriend up to keep Eric company when he got home from work, so it was an ‘everbody-wins’ sort of situation Smile with tongue out

We got ourselves prettied up and headed downtown to meet the…limo?

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So…that’s a short bus. But it’s a limo. I had to laugh when I saw it! Of course, the inside was done up like a regular limo (lights, leather seats, tables, wine glasses, etc.) but the outside was kind of funny. It got us there in one piece, which I suppose was the important thing Smile with tongue out

We arrived at the Waterloo just in time for awards and a champagne toast. Of course, my immediate attention went here:

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I kind of live for chocolate fountains. They’re just so pretty! Especially when I can dip marshmallows in them Open-mouthed smile

After the toast we made our way upstairs to the reception, where the theme was “tulips”. So cute for Spring!

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My lovely date and myself!

Of course, we stopped at the bar.

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Apparently, I enjoyed my Tom Collins the week before so much that I wanted another one. The only issue was that they didn’t add simple syrup, so it was so sour! Apparently, it didn’t bug me too much because I had two throughout the night (between that and the wine, don’t be surprised that the pictures got kinda blurry…)

Passed apps!

Passed Apps

  1. cocktail shrimp on a prettily-sliced cucumber. That is freakin’ cute.
  2. Some sort of chicken alfredo flatbread and a crab cake.
  3. Bruschetta. Forever, it will be my favourite bread-based appetizer.

And of course, I enjoyed the company!

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Ok, going to sidetrack for a moment. I was really freakin’ bright that night! My original plan was to stick to a simple black dress since my shoes were so attention-grabbing, but I decided to go big.

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Or in this case, go blue. For someone who normally dresses almost entirely in neutrals, I’m pretty proud of myself Smile with tongue out

Dinner time! We were asked ahead of time whether we wanted the chicken, the roast or the vegetarian option – I went with chicken.

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I asked for “one small extra scoop of veggies” and the server gave me a massive helping. Can’t go wrong with extra greens, right? I was actually really happy with this meal – the chicken had a nice flavour, and the mashed potatoes were awesome.

We happened to choose a table at the back, which meant I had this 2 feet away from me all night:

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Which made it entirely too easy to reach behind me and snag desserts and bits of candy all night Smile with tongue out

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A macaroon with a bit of crushed mint on top. Umm, whoever came up with that idea is absolutely brilliant.

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So…this thing was shiny. And purple. But it was entirely edible – in fact, it tasted like a Lindt milk chocolate truffle. I had a couple of these throughout the night, despite the fact that they left me covered in sparkles.

After chatting for a bit, the dance floor opened up. And that was literally the last two hours of the evening: dancing for a while, getting tired and sitting down for a few minutes, and then getting back up to dance again.

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I love me a good dance party Open-mouthed smile

Thanks again to my beautiful date!

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We piled back in the limo for the ride home, where the driver was nice enough to drop us off right at my front door. I was in the door at 12:30 and passed out by 12:45. My nineteen year old self would be a tad ashamed Smile with tongue out

Definitely a great way to celebrate the end of classes. Although, I still have papers to work on. Basically, what my plan is today.

Have a good one!

<— If you wear colourful or bright shoes, do you try to keep everything else neutral?

<— What’s a ‘late night’ for you? If I make it all the way to midnight, I’m usually pretty impressed with myself.


47 Comments

WIAW: Money Rules.

Hello there!

Yup…it’s (What I Ate) Wednesday! Thanks as always, goes to Jenn for hosting. Today’s post is from yesterday – I was on-the-go pretty much all day, so there were some quick-but-fabulous  meals and snacks. And a lot of greens stuffed in a lunch – so yay following the theme!

Because I had so much going on yesterday, I had to hit the gym when it opened right at 8 am (yes, student gym means it opens at 8 on weekdays. Noon on weekends. lame). My ACV mix (ACV, lemon juice, water, stevia) when I woke up and a quick snack before I left:

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I had a few of the pumpkin protein bars I made a while back stashed in the freezer, so I heated up two of those and added some coconut Oikos on top. I stand by what I said when I made the bars – they’re tasty, but not sweet enough.

After the gym was unpictured watermelon BCAAs, followed by an “Oh-crap-I-have-to-leave-in-10-minutes” breakfast.

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Oatmeal, egg + egg whites and blueberry jam. Definitely nothing new there. A word to the wise – in a desperate bid to make your eggs cook faster, don’t crank up the heat. Half of those whites did not make it out of the pan. Yup…I’m impatient.

Lunch

I had a long but successful meeting with my Thesis supervisor, followed by a lunch meeting at The Piston Broke. It’s a gastropub close to the school that I’ve been multiple times – it’s good!

I was feeling something leafy, so I went with the chevre salad with chicken.

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Spinach, arugula, mandarin orange segments, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds tossed in a maple vinaigrette and topped with chicken and goat cheese. The chicken was on the dry side, but everything else was delicious. And it reminded me that I need more goat cheese in my life – chevre is amazing.

Followed by two of little mints that come with the cheque – I love those.

Snack

I had a 6 pm presentation last night, so I had a quick snack around 5:30 to tide me over.

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Baby carrots and hummus. It’s a classic.

So that presentation?

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Gail is a Canadian financial writer and TV personality who helps people manage their money. She has a show called “Till Debt Do Us Part”, which I’ve seen a handful of times. So when Laurier was hosting her for a free presentation, I decided to go – you can never learn too much about money, right?

I don’t think I’m bad with it – I usually do ok with savings. But I know I could probably stand to improve a little bit. The main takeaways I got from her presentation:

  • people tend to be irresponsible with credit cards. Do not put more on credit than you can afford to pay off at the end of the month.
  • Pay off your mortgage, your car, your debt, and put away money for retirement. Then you can start buying all the status symbol-y things, if that’s how you want to spend your money. (fancy cars, designer clothes, etc.)
  • start saving for retirement. Like ASAP. If you start in your 20’s, you only have to put away 6% of your earnings, versus 3 times that if you start in your 40’s.
  • Have an emergency fund – about 6 months worth of rent and groceries.
  • Don’t expect to have everything at once – buy a house, have a wedding, and have a baby. You’re going to live a long time; it’s ok to space it out a bit.
  • Keep track of your spending. Keep a notebook and keep track of everything penny you spend, and every penny you earn.

A lot of what she said was common sense, but I did learn some things. And as a presenter – she is hilarious. I have this thing where I absolutely love hearing people swear unexpectedly…whether it’s an older person, a super-polite friend, or my Russian professor. It just cracks me up so much. And she had quite the mouth on her, which kept me giggling the whole presentation.

Her presentation made me realize that I need to focus a little bit more on my ‘emergency fund’ a little bit more, and that I need to keep better track of my finances. Might have to start an Excel spreadsheet or something!

Dinner

I channeled Amanda for my late dinner:

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Yogurt bowl! Coconut Oikos, a sliced banana, sliced fig, Fibre 1, the last of my Dark Chocolate and Red Berries Granola, and almond butter. So good.

And of course, even brinner needs dessert.

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A graham cracker with Bee’s Knees peanut butter and dark chocolate. And that may have been followed by another spoonful of peanut butter out of the jar Smile with tongue out I like the Bee’s Knee’s flavour, but I have to say – Cinnamon Raisin is still the best!

Have a lovely Wednesday!

<— Do you think you’re good with money?

<— What’s the tastiest thing you’ve eaten lately?