Time off from med school is hard to come by so this last weekend was spent soaking in as much time with my husband, relaxing, seeing our families, and getting things ready for Christmas.
Following a lovely exam on Wednesday morning and brunch with my favorite soon-to-be-doc ladies it was Christmas-galore at our house. Outside the lights were hung, inside the tree was trimmed and even Ollie joined in on the festivities. Later in the evening J and I even went on a date and saw Catching Fire in the theaters (movies never happen around these parts). We spent Thanksgiving up north with J's mom's side of the family complete with so much laughing, maybe a bit too much wine and some fantastic conversation. A little bit of Black Friday shopping (without any fighting) followed by a Nuggets game (and win) and Friday turned out fantastic as well. Med school always seems to poke it's pesky head up and my exam on Monday was calling which meant some good study time was in order before the weekend was up. Throw in a bunch of holiday coffees, a bit of Netflix watching and some holiday crafting too. End with a birthday celebration downtown at a Brazilian steakhouse and more meat than you could possibly shove down and I'd chalk up Thanksgiving weekend to be pretty dang wonderful.
Inspired by a med-school friend of mine, I've been getting in on the green-smoothie trend and actually really enjoying it. The first one I made was not very good, I admit. But after a few different rounds, adjusting the ingredients to my likings and acquiring my taste buds I've found what works for me and am loving the idea of getting in so many servings of fruits and vegetables before the day's even half over!
The Green Drink
2 cups baby spinach
1/2 to 1 cup baby kale
1/4 to 1/2 medium sized cucumber, pealed and cubed
1 to 2 T ground chia seeds
1 medium size apple, cubed
~1/2 cup water, to desired consistency
1 medium sized banana, sliced
1 medium sized pear, cubed
1 cup frozen or fresh berries
1 cup pineapple, cubed
Other dark greens like chard, etc
Fresh ginger, parsley or cilantro to taste
The best thing about these smoothies is the variability of what to include based on the seasonal fruits. When I first started making these, summer berries were just at their end so my first few had strawberries/blueberries galore. Now that it's fall and the pears are heavenly, they've been making an appearance almost every day.
My only suggestion is to blend the water and "greens" alone in the blender until really smooth. My first attempt ended up being chunky due to the fact that I just threw it all together at once. After the greens are blended feel free to add in anything and everything that you enjoy. The flavor combinations are endless. I typically make mine the night before, store it in an empty jar and place it in the fridge over night. This makes it super cold for when I enjoy it for breakfast but using frozen fruit or even ice cubes instead of water will have the same effect if you make one to drink right away.
I also guarantee that if you have a silly vegetarian pup like I do that this will consistently be the scene when you turn around from chopping fruits and veggies on the counter. Sometimes I indulge him with his own mini-smoothie in his belly with bites of my produce.
These drinks might appear gross (as I've had J and classmates comment that they look like pesto, algae and pond water) but I assure you that they are quite delicious. Plus, they're packed full of nutrients and help you right along your way to the recommended 4 1/2 cups of fruits and veggies each day!
It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Sangria so when it was decided that my med school friends and I were going to have an early Halloween party this past weekend I knew I wanted to create a delicious beverage for us to enjoy as we let off some steam.
While the summer Sangria was a huge hit, the fruit for it isn't in season anymore so I needed to change things up. Enter this Fall Honeycrisp Sangria!
It would have been wonderful for me to have taken a picture of the final product but that was just asking too much. I'm just happy I was able to pull something tasty together as well as a DIY costume after a morning full of exams. Trust me when I say the drink looks very festive with all the fruit as the final product.
Honeycrisp Apple Sangria Recipe from here (with a few changes)
Prep Time: 15 min || Cook Time: 4 hours (or overnight)
5 honeycrips apples, cored and cubed
1 orange, quartered
2 lemons, sliced into rounds
1 lime, sliced into rounds
2 cinnamon sticks
1/3 cup orange blossom honey
a pinch of ground nutmeg & ginger
1 cup peach schnapps
2 750 ml bottles of Chardonnay
2 L club soda
Cut up fruit and place in large container with wine, peach schnapps, honey, spices and cinnamon sticks. Stir and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours. Add in club soda right before you're ready to start drinking. Serve in sugar rimmed glasses over ice.
In keeping with my drink of choice, it seems like I'm going to have to find a winter Sangria for the holidays now. I'm thinking something with cranberries and pomegranate? Maybe using champagne to give it a bit of bubbly?
October lived up to what I thought it would be. My left eye has never twitched more in my entire life and I was faced with some lovely middle-school like acne that was just oh, so fun. Ahh the benefits of excess stress.
Thankfully there have been a few moments that were worth documenting although every single one of them was taken with my iPhone because let's be honest, the real camera isn't coming out much lately. I'm just thankful I captured more than just white board, mind-map, nerves & arteries images because really, school kicked my rear over the last 30 days.
The Great Pumpkin (aka my mom) made a festive visit // sweet puppy cuddles // my two loves // post-exam Angry Orchard
the first REAL snow of the season // adult bevis in buckets // new, extra healthy green smoothie breakfast
breaking the rules and studying in bed // the worlds most complicated Bucks order // naps and more naps (he just follows me around as I study)
study break with chocolate chips // J's newest obsession and a tasty machine // caffeine!!! // an empty, dark locker room because I was at school way too early
my favorite office buddy // yep, more caffeine // scenes from our very first Halloween party on my first free weekend all month
Here's to the end of hell-month October and getting into a new groove in November.
October will undoubtedly be one of my more stressful and busy months for school with the addition of a new project I have to work on, on top of everything else. So things might be even quieter around here (if that's even still possible given the silence already). Before I depart into the madness, here's a quick glimpse into what's been going on around these parts lately.
nights out with med school friends on a free weekend // bottles of wine, laughs and a ridiculous board game // absolutely enormous pumpkins // a fabulous breakfast date with my husband
A.M. puppy cuddles, smiles and yawns // new HomeGoods art for the living room // our first dusting of snow // a warm study spot on an "eventful" Friday night
J's new smoker, in our living room, ready for some meat // headed to anatomy lab on a Saturday // sweet pup who likes to watch bunnies in the cul-de-sac // loving my free Shutterfly mousepad with so many fabulous memories
oil changes as an excuse to get out of the house // his first successful smoking endeavor // freshly painted fall fingers and toes // a bit of Starbucks and some Broncos orange to finish off the weekend
Updating instagram is typically much easier for me so if you want to see what I'm up to follow me there. Otherwise, here's to hoping I sail into November alive, smarter and with all my hair!
J decided to take me to last week's Monday Night Football game
and it was the first NFL game I have never been to.
He's been to a handful of games both in CO and CA but would always go with his buddies. It came up after the last time he went that I had stillnever been and to my pleasant surprise he decided to take me to this game!
I've never been a die-hard football fan but have always enjoyed watching the games and rooting for the Navy and Orange. Plus it was such a different experience actually being at the game as opposed to just watching it on TV. We got to see the skydivers enter the stadium, got to enjoy a few cold beers and had many high-fives with the excited crowd around our seats.
The weather was perfect that night, our seats were along the 45 yard-line even though they were high up and the best of all was the company of my husband without worrying about all the studying I should have been doing.
Who knows when I'll get the chance to go to another game thanks to the crazy month of October I have coming up but I am so glad I finally got to my first NFL game and enjoyed a night of freedom when I could.
Plus it doesn't hurt that they killed the Raiders ;-)