Better With Sprinkles

The Colourful Side to Healthy Living.


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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.


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WIAW: No Measuring Required.

Good morning! Once again, we’ve reached the middle of the week. Which means:

WIAW. Of course!

Breakfast

Breakfast yesterday was a two-parter.

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One part savoury:

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(Two eggs + a pour of egg whites)

And one one part sweet:

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A mix of All Bran, Leapin’ Lemurs, and blueberries with almond coconut milk.

While I was putting this breakfast together, I couldn’t help but think about my relationship with these little buggers:

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The measuring cups. A few months ago, I was counting macros/protein grams again, so I was breaking out the measuring cups. Especially with cereals, oatmeal and dairy. Even though I got off macro counting (it’s ridiculous and there’s no reason for me to do it) I was still habitually using them. A couple of weeks ago, I thought about why I was doing that, and I realized that I didn’t have an answer – because there was absolutely no good reason. I know it’s pretty typical in the HLB community (for some individuals, anyways) to count macros, carbs, all that stuff. But in ‘the real world’…that stuff doesn’t really happen. I mean, I don’t know too many people who break out the measuring cups for their cereal in the morning. I certainly don’t need to either.

So, the last couple of weeks those cups have been staying right in the drawer. And it feels much better that way Open-mouthed smile

Pre/Post Workout

Today felt like a gym day. More specifically, legs day.

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So the BCAAs were broken out before and after. Mmm, watermelon.

Lunch

I decided to go the snack plate route.

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Shredded chicken, baby carrots, bell pepper strips, hummus, pretzels, and feta. One of those I-don’t-know-what-I-want-so-I’ll-have-everything sort of lunches. Kind of the best ones to have Smile with tongue out

And as a palate cleanser:

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A Kiss, Hawaiian style Smile with tongue out

A little while after lunch, I made my way to class, where I had a presentation to deliver. So, I wore my presentation shoes:

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So, I bought these shoes when I was in the first year of my undergrad. I got them on a fantastic sale – I think they were about $20. Ever since, I have deemed them my lucky presentation shoes. I’ve worn them to 98% of school-related presentations in the last…oh…six years? I guess I consider them to be a good luck charm.

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At least they’re a pretty good luck charm Smile with tongue out

A Cinnamon Pecan Simply Bar was inhaled on my way to class:

Which apparently was not enough food for the afternoon, because I got home from school ready to chew my arm off.

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But I settled for a spoonful of almond butter and some baby carrots:

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Good enough to tide me over until dinner!

Dinner by the way, was interesting:

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I made the squash and perogie stew from the March issue of Food Network magazine. The combination was a little odd so I didn’t know what to expect: the main ingredients were turkey sausage, cremini mushrooms, coleslaw mix, butternut squash and frozen perogies. It actually turned out really good though! I can’t even remember the last time I had perogies – I’m happy there’s leftovers Open-mouthed smile

And after an evening of cuddling with the boy and watching Mad Men (I can’t even. I love that show. But do you know what I’m not loving? All the sideburns) I had a bedtime snack while typing this up:

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A deep chocolate vitatop with Bee’s Knees peanut butter. Ending the day on a good note.

And today…I have one more presentation! Gotta love the last week of classes.

Have a good one!

<— Do you use measuring cups/spoons on a regular basis?

<— Are you superstitious? Do you have a lucky charm of some sort?


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WIAW: Crazy for Sangria…and Cute Babies.

Good morning and happy Wednesday!

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Which, of course, translates to happy WIAW Smile

So I already covered Saturday and Sunday of my long weekend, but I held onto Friday just for WIAW purposes. Friday was family Easter at my parents. Basically, it was a typical family holiday for me: lots of food and lots of people (I think we ended up with 21 in total…yup, it’s getting to be a pretty big family).

Pre Workout

Because we were going to head to London around noon, I headed to the gym first thing. I wasn’t too hungry when I woke up, so I just had my watermelon BCAA’s and a handful of grapes before a back workout followed by 20 minutes of easy elliptical.

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And of course, wanted breakfast as soon as I got home.

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Eggy oats with jam. Shock surprise, right?

In the early afternoon, Eric and I headed to my parents with my Easter contribution in tow. The contributions for the main meal are split up depending on whose hosting (the host family makes the turkey/main dish, my other aunts bring the sides), but my uncle, my cousin and myself are always in charge of dessert. Yes – there’s three of them.

What I decided to make this year:

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Easter cupcakes!

I used my go-to chocolate cake recipe (Betty Crocker recipe…it’s delicious) and made a peppermint buttercream icing. I added green food colouring and used a star tip to make ‘grass’, which I then topped with toasted coconut ‘nests’ and mini eggs. I do not consider myself much a decorator AT ALL, but I’m definitely learning!

I was pretty hungry again by the time we got to my parents, so I attacked the appetizer table:

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The cheese and crackers tray. My great uncle brings this to every get together, right down to the brand of crackers (Wheat Thins and Vegetable Thins) and the black tray. I helped myself to a few crackers and pieces of cheese.

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I have absolutely no idea what this is, but it was some sort of phyllo pastry stuffed with spinach and feta. Whatever it is, it was good! And is making me think that I need some more feta in my life…

There was also a shrimp ring that I went to town on. Unfortunately, so did everyone else so it escaped pictures.

Then, my mom pointed me in the direction of her homemade sangria.

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I’m not a huge red wine fan, but I will make a definite exception for sangria. Especially my mom’s – hers is fantastic. I love the addition of fruit too – oranges, strawberries, and peaches. This glass times maybe…4 or 5 spread throughout the afternoon? Yup, I’m a fan.

Family time!

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And then my cousin arrived with her seven-week-old baby.

It can be said that I am baby-crazy. Although I’m nowhere near the point in my life where I would be ready to have one myself (I’m 23 and still in school. No thanks) I absolutely melt whenever one is brought in my vicinity. And baby Liam just happens to be an absolute cutie:

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Oh god. I die. Those little overalls. And baby socks – I swear, baby socks are the cutest thing ever. And just to add to the heart-meltingness of the situation:

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Eric looks pretty cute holding a baby! Smile with tongue out

Side note: I was actually tempted to text my dad a picture of a positive pregnancy test for April Fools. But considering how I act around babies, he would probably believe it. And then he might have a heart attack.

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Or maybe not. Smile with tongue out

Ok, I’m done with baby pictures now.

Dinner:

The peeps that come out at every Easter family gathering:

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Nobody actually eats the peeps, so most of them actually end up being thrown out. But my grandmother (who passed away when I was 10) used to bring them every year. So my aunt continues that tradition – it’s a nice touch! I kind of wish I had rescued a couple to bring home so I could make Peeps s’mores. That would have been pretty awesome.

Pinot Grigio to start:

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And a deviled egg.

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These things are like currency at my family dinners. Everyone adores them, and they’re the first thing to go. So when you sit down, you grab one ASAP. And that’s a pickle in the bottom corner there.

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My dinner: stuffing, mashed potatoes and turkey with gravy, ham with applesauce, steamed baby carrots and garlic green beans. Plate cleared.

And then dessert:

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Yup…my family does dessert well. This plate was split between Eric and myself, which meant that he ate a few bites of everything and I ate the rest Open-mouthed smile

We’ve got my cupcake, a chocolate lava cake, and Oreo cheesecake. It was all fabulous, but obviously, mine won out. Smile with tongue out

The rest of the night was spent digesting, playing card games, and more playing with the baby. And a Game of Thrones rerun we randomly found on TV – good way to end a holiday, methinks.

Today I’m back at class – I got an impromptu cancellation yesterday, so I ended up with a five day weekend. Definitely not complaining about that one.

Have a good day!

<— For family holidays, is there a certain course/dish you’re responsible for?

<— What are some of your family’s Easter traditions? The Peeps is my favourite.