In the Laptop Market

I have a computer question!

So my laptop…is junk. I’ve been using the same HP Pavilion laptop for the last 4 years, aka the duration of my university career, and the old geezer is suffering. It can hardly handle running anything, especially multiple programs at a time. And being the ultimate multitasker that I am, I always have at least 5-10 tabs and 3-5 programs running at a time. Yeah, not wise for a computer that can hardly handle running two. But whatever. I suffer the consequences by waiting two minutes for one thing to load and having it freeze on me daily. Plus it has near zero battery life so it’s useless to bring to class. Or anywhere for that matter.

I’m pretty ready for something new.

So: What kind of laptop do you have? Give me the deats! Is it old, new, fast, slow? What do you like/dislike about  it?

And more precisely: Do you have a Mac? How do you feel about Macs versus PCs?
I’ve always been a PC gal but I’m very seriously and mostly leaning towards a Mac. In any given class, out of all the laptops I see being used, I’d say 75-90% of them are Macs. That speaks volumes to me. I want the power!

So please give me your laptop deats! It would be a huge help.

 

And so this isn’t all techy-related word garble, here are some foods that have been rocking my taste buds lately.

My new Greek Yogurt discoveries all over the place.

Such as mixing it in with oats to harden into oat-like past overnight

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Or as a fruit topper.

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Finishing up the last bits of my jar of coconut butter. I have a feeling it’s going to be a while before I buy another jar of that edible white gold. Though I may have to attempt the homemade version next!

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A little bit of Wheat Berry and Bean Salad without the wheat berries.

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A sad attempt at Lauren’s Gluten Free Coconut Muffins that turned into muffin crumbles. This was NOT the fault of the recipe but entirely my own since I didn’t have several of the ingredients on hand and decided to mess around with a bunch of substitutes. Clearly that didn’t work so well. I recommend trying the original recipe though since these were thumbs up in the flavour department. But they probably stay together better if you don’t make sad substitutes. Sorry for making a mess of your recipe, Lauren! Hah whoops.

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Chocolate Vitatops with plain yogurt and strawberries. I’m almost out of these too. One lonely one left. I may need another Costco stock-up trip soon.

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Miscellaneous Veggie Platters

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The orange stuff on the bread = McLaren’s Imperial Sharp Cheddar. Apparently it’s a Canadian thing but my gosh is it ever good. One of my favourite breakfasts years ago used to be a toasted english muffin with imperial cheddar on top. Ugh now I’m seriously craving one.

Egg and fruit plates are always a nice way to start the morning. Microwaved egg whites with ketchup + grapefruit slices + orange slices + hot tea + Martha Steward mag. I feel like I’m a 40 year old woman based on this picture.

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And last but FAR from least… Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Dessert Hummus. If you haven’t made this yet, get out your food processor RIGHT NOW. I made half the recipe, didn’t even add chocolate chips and only used half the amount of maple syrup and this was still to die for. Holy Moly.

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I’m going to leave it at that since I’m now starving and in desperate need of some breakfast!

Please don’t forget to give me some laptop info! Happy Wednesday!

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If we took a Holiday, took some time to Celebrate

I handed in my last take-home exam at 10:00 AM this morning and I am DONE! And I am excited. And wiped. And packed full of sugar.
HELLO HOLIDAYS

And hello POPCHIPS!

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Most exciting knock at the door all week. Thank you! So pumped.

 

I did manage to get a small dose of holiday spirit before exams were over. Saturday night Ugly Christmas Sweater Party? Don’t mind if I do.

Even though I may have had an exam the next morning at 9am. Yes, a Sunday morning exam. Didn’t know that existed? Neither did I until my exam schedule said so. But don’t worry folks! I studied plenty beforehand. And no I did not drink. A late night out before an exam is one thing but writing an exam hung over? NO thank you.

And it IS possible to have a fun time despite being likely the only sober character in a house of drunken holiday hooligans.

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Even when they’re rocking tight sweaters and mad Christmas bling

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On the food front…

Not going to lie, I haven’t been getting nearly enough of this lately:

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I blame it on the holiday spirit alongside the spiritless Grinch that is Exam Time.

But I have been getting plenty of this:

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hersheypretz
(Definitely not my images. I wish!– weheartit’s x2 + google’s)

However I’ve squeezed in a nutrient or two (albeit not many green ones) here and there:

Microwaved sweet potato + hummus, cottage cheese, salsa

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Dippy egg, toasted english muffin, ketchup

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and obligatory coffee.

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Honey Mustard Butternut Squash – do it up! + zucchini slices

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And today I got to have my first COSTCO trip in a couple months now?! I have had NO time to make the adventure to one of my all-time favourite shopping quarters and today, first day of holidays, was the day.

A nice big leafy plate is always necessitated after a trip to Costco, which brought the spinach, tomatoes and hummus to the plate. I also ate plenty of Naan bread and popchips along with this.

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I don’t know what I would do without Costco double packs of my absolute favourite hummus. Actually, I’ve been living without it for at least a month now and it’s been troubling to say the least.

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I have never tried a hummus comparable to Fontaine Sante.

Umm… can I also talk for a second about THIS…

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First NEW Larabar sighting alert! I had not seen these anywhere yet. Then again, I’ve hardly left the house this whole last half of fall term…but whatever. I found a box of the new Larabars. These holidays are starting out well!

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I also got some of my Christmas shopping out of the way which is a relief. Hadn’t had a chance to do that yet either. I don’t know how some of you balance all of the stuff you have on your plates, I accomplish nothing outside of school work when the term gets busy.

 

To keep my raving sweet tooth satisfied without the mad chocolate high that I keep getting from all the goodies and sweets that seem to never stop rolling in this month, I’ve tried baking a few slightly healthier goodies to keep on hand.

It hasn’t worked, but they tasted pretty good anyway.

I made Elise’s Pumpkin Banana Bread only halved and with a bunch of changes because of what I had on hand.
My changes: I had no coconut oil or stevia baking blend so I added 1 T creamed coconut, 1/4 cup FF vanilla yogurt and 2.5 T agave to the mix, and carob chips on top of half instead.

Elise’s is likely a lot better but this turned out a-okay to me. I’d make it again.

I also baked it in a square pan, not a loaf pan. It’s flat and lovely.

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I also de-bittered Alex’s Grain-Free Bitter Chocolate Cake for One. I’m definitely not 100% dark accustomed…yet. Someday! Though it might take a little while to wean my taste buds off of all the sugar after this holiday.

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I had no squash puree so I used fat free sour cream…working with what I’ve got! Sweetened up a bit with sugar free eggnog syrup (Bad idea. I don’t love this syrup), and a packet of stevia (this helped). Plus milk chocolate chips. What can I say.
This was good though! I think I could almost handle the full bitter version (maybe with just one packet of stevia…) mixed into yogurt or even oatmeal or something. Future experiments to come…

 

But first, sleep time.

Only THREE DAYS left until CHRISTMAS. I hope you’ve all got your shopping done, your cookies baked, and your Santa hats on.

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Falalalala…

Happy Holidays!

Tetley Giveaway Winner

Hi Guys!

tea(weheartit)

Just a quick note to announce the winner of the Tetley Colour Therapy Giveaway:

Comment #17

winner

Congrats Jennifer!

Please email me your address and I’ll send that out to you asap :)

 

And for a little visual fun, foods on the menu lately include:

A salad or two.

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Tortilla pizza.

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Vast amounts of homemade hummus.

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Oats warm

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And oats cold.

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Plenty of skin-“tanning” orange foods

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And a hunky dory amount of cereal.

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I have just about finished a take home exam that is due tomorrow and I think I’m now about ready to call it an early night :)

Journey Through the Eats

Alright. Because I have an abundance of food photos from the past little while that I have yet to use, and because that’s about all I have to offer right now, here’s a nice little journey through some of the stuff I’ve been eating this month.

And by the way, 99% of what I eat right now is speedy so if you need to know what to eat in a jif, welcome to my appetite. :)

 

Spinach is about the most convenient green I can get. Giant bowls of it with a bit of dressing and you’re good to go. By the way, the big containers of Fontaine Sante Taboulé at Costco = delicioso

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I really like that tabbouli…

 

Spinach steamed in the micro for 30 seconds is equally as convenient. And even better topped with pasta, preferably if your mother makes it if you’re pressed for time but I know we’re not all quite so spoiled.

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Or you could top it with a mixture of pasta sauce and hummus for a pimped out pasta sauce without the pasta.

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You could even side it with some Vegan Red Lentil Dal. I was missing a couple spices so I did a quick Google search to figure out what might work as a substitute:

For the 1 tsp cumin – I used 1 tsp chili powder
For the 1 tbsp coriander – I used 1 tbsp dried parsley

I have no idea if these subs were valid or not but the dish did taste a bit overspiced so I’m thinking the cumin and coriander are pretty key, especially since I think they’re pretty regular players in Indian cuisine? Either way it didn’t turn out too badly but I think I’ll have to give it another go once I have the proper spices on hand.

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I’ve just started topping some of my salads with plain mustard and I LIKE it. That and random freezer leftovers but that’s nothing new.

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Those random Deep Dish Veggie Tart leftovers are the way to go.

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Tuna is a good protein-packed speedster.

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As are egg beaters mixed with laughing cow, salsa and spinach atop toasted a english muffin. I used to eat this like…every day? Not surprisingly I got sick of it and I hardly eat them anymore but when I do… thumbs UP.

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Roasted vegetable salads aren’t quite as quick (I’m impatient so the 20ish minutes it takes to roast the veggies feels like an eternity sometimes!) but they’re easy peasy:
Spinach topped with roasted broccoli, brussel sprouts and carrots coated in dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar before roasting, all topped with roasted red pepper dip and cottage cheese.

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And by the way…sauerkraut? Any fans? I just tried it for the first time this week. It’s okay… I’m not a huge salty food fan (please ignore the cottage cheese above), or I guess more precisely olive fan, and this was kind of reminiscent of shredded olives? I have a lot left though, what do I use it for?

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I’m no food saint though. Despite all these veggies I’ve definitely been consuming even more breads and sugar. Doh. FYI – bread rarely gets photographed but it’s abundant in my everyday eating…usually in the form of a giant hunk ripped off a slice and shoved into my mouth while prepping other foods. No one wants to see that spectacle.

But I guarantee you do want to see the spectacle of the other sweeties of my eaties.

I’m a little miffed about my lack of hot breakfasts lately. The temperatures are dipping but hot oats are still only an occasional breakfast guest.

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I’m still more into the cold breakfast thing right now.

Maybe not this cold though. This smoothie was the first I’ve had probably since summer. I need to bring them back more though, I miss them. Just as long as I have coffee to pair them with. This baddie>spinach, almond milk, water, stevia, vanilla protein powder, frozen banana, ice, the gums.

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I brought back the smoothie once more for dinner. Vanilla protein powder frozen berry smoothie (with mucho gums and ice) in a near empty whipped peanut butter jar with big chunks of chilled roasted squash stirred in. I crave interesting things in the heated midst of intense essay writing.

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So when I said cold breakfasts, I was thinking more along the lines of cold cereal. Or more specifically, in this case, crumbled Granola Plank in almond milk (which, by the way, I wasn’t impressed with. It just tasted like a stale rice krispie square to me).

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I save the real deal cereal bowls for dinner. Sometimes dinner cereal is the way to go, especially when you have a hungry yet queasy stomach. This was perfect – Puffed rice, Shreddies, frozen berries, banana, almond milk and a hefty sprinkling of chocolate Amazing Grass powder.

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And when you’re always looking for quick grab foods, those freezer baking stashes never fail. Avocado Banana Muffin bottom topped with puree of baked sweet potato blended with a splash of almond milk, SF maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg.

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All that baking I did in my last post… mostly gone now. Despite stashing it in the freezer. Gotta love convenience.

 

I have about a million words to write for papers in the next two weeks so I better get cracking. Our prof in one of my classes just gave us a week extension on our final paper though which is a huge help. I love awesome profs.

Usually in the heat of the term I’m really good at isolating myself from humanity and work work working until I get everything done but for some reason this year things just keep cropping up and pulling me out of the house. What is this social life business?! I can’t handle it!

How do you balance a social life with school/work/the like? Tips, tricks, tools and savvy advice?
Google Calendar is one of my sanity tools :) So is quickly jotting down daily schedules/to-do lists. I do one of these every night before bed for the next day, and then check off what I actually accomplished before writing the next one that night. It doesn’t matter if I don’t get everything done, it just helps keep my brain organized.