Thursday, September 8, 2011

Guilt-free Pumpkin Mini Muffins

I haven't updated in awhile, but this just might make it worth it.

Life has been pretty hectic lately. What with wedding planning, keeping up with school work, and kicking my workouts up a gear in preparation for engagement photos next month, I've been pretty busy. 

This afternoon however, I managed to find a glimmer of free time and instead of taking a nap, I decided to make some delicious fall-inspired pumpkin muffins. 

Tuesday Starbucks brought back the Pumpkin Spice Latte and it has been filling my dreams ever since. Since I'm not keen on blowing 220 calories on a drink, I decided why not just do one better, Muffins! Now these aren't my Mom's amazing pumpkin muffins but they are still pretty darn delicious. The best part? They're guilt free! These puppies are packed with fiber, protein, and are low-fat, great for a pre-workout snack!

Healthy Mini Pumpkin Muffins
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup Splenda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl mix together applesauce, pumpkin, and eggs until smooth. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Do not over mix! Spoon batter into mini muffin tins and sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.  BON APETIT!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Birthday Celebration

As if this week wasn't perfect enough, my birthday was yesterday! Although turning 24 is less than monumental, a few great friends helped me celebrate another special day with dinner and of course, cake!




Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Engagement Story

Day three of my 30 Day Challenge is very special to me. Today the challenge called for a photo of clouds. Kansas has a very picturesque skyline and I was excited to visit my favorite type of clouds; those which hang over the beautiful Konza Prairie at sunrise.
Unbeknownst to me, these weren't to be just regular clouds. These are the clouds that greeted David and I at sunrise yesterday morning when David got down on one knee and PROPOSED!
The story:
David and I have taken a sunrise walk on the Konza before and it was nothing out of the ordinary when he suggested that we get up early and experience the Konza on Saturday morning to unwind before school would start on Monday. Last week had been a stressful week and David kept reassuring me that Saturday morning I would feel rejuvenated to start a new semester after watching the sunrise, and I believed him. The night before the early morning hike, David suggested that I wear something nice since we were going to our favorite restaurant for breakfast afterwards. I thought this was strange since I was waking up at 5:45 a.m. for us to drive out to the prairie but obliged anyway. On the drive there, David played a few of "Our" songs and I still didn't think anything of it. When we arrived we started walking towards the main portion of the Konza trail. If you have been to Konza before, you know that you walk through a wooded area before the trail breaks out into the picturesque Flint Hills setting. The best view from the entire trail is near the beginning when you climb a tall set of limestone stairs to the top of a huge hill. 
As David and I walked towards the big hill, I heard music. David made a comment about how beautiful it would be to practice in the hills and again, I believed him and thought nothing of it! As we got closer I realized that the song being played was one of my favorite songs, "Edelweiss". I still couldn't recognize the instrument or the player, but simply thought it was coincidence. As we got closer to the top of the stairs however, I asked David if he had planned this, and he said no. Steps away from the top of the hill I recognized the player as his Tuba professor, Dr. Maxwell. When we got to the top of the hill, David picked up his guitar from a case that was sitting there and began playing a different song, a song he had written for me. It sounds silly now, but I still had no idea whether or not I was about to be proposed to. I took in the song as much as I could, but my mind was racing and I was shaking like a leaf! The song ended with David on one knee, asking me to marry him. I don't know how I managed to keep my composure but I said yes and he slipped on the most beautiful, delicate ring which had belonged to his Great-Grandmother! It wasn't until after we had thanked Dr. Maxwell and continued walking that I teared up and we took this picture. A perfect sunrise for a fairy tale engagement! After we completed the trail we went back to town and had breakfast at The Chef and I haven't been able to stop smiling since! 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

30 Day Challenge: Day two

Day two of the 30 Day Challenge : Something you wore.

Ugh, this one is definitely my least favorite one! I am definitely not a fashionista and I hardly ever style my outfits beyond throwing garments over my head and slipping on appropriate shoes.
As we have had a scorcher of a summer, and because I haven't been employed, I have been less than inspired to dress up. In fact, this summer I have rarely left the comfort of my Nike Tempo shorts and white v-neck tees. I mean, usually I'm either working on research at home or going to the gym, I just don't see the point in trying.

Last night was one of those fluke 'going out' nights when a slob like me remembers that shorts and a tee are not appropriate nightlife attire (bummer).
Luckily, before moving to my new apartment, I had cleaned out my closet and found the dress I wore the night of my 21st birthday. The dress is actually a very loud dress for me, as I tend to gravitate towards solid colors, but it got a lot of compliments last night and comes with great memories of my 21st, which (to my horror) was THREE years ago. I purchased this bad boy on a clearance rack in Dillard's juniors section, I think it was around $15.
In case you're wondering, yes I took this photo at Drinxx. Drinxx is probably the most trashy err, classy bar in town! I'm still not sure why our night took us there but either way, here's the dress! Zero accessories, sans glasses, and sporting 2 year old Merona sandals. Phew, Day two is over, look at those thunder thighs!