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And the Zucchini Obsession Continues…

It’s totally normal to celebrate the end of a test by buying 5 pounds of zucchini, right?

This time I didn’t even try to get a smaller bag because I’m confident I’ll go through it!

Today, I’m going to catch up on all the delicious (often zucchini-based) meals I’ve been eating, and also talk about a little fitness!

The fall weather has me craving longer distances, running-wise. My foot (post stress fracture a year ago) is starting to feel really solid. My tendonitis is feeling better….although it seems to have been replaced by my old plantar fasciitis….

Anyways, I think I’m going to slowly and carefully start building a little more distance. Maybe do another half, if everything feels good. Not soon, I’d be shooting for the spring or even next fall. But for now, I would love to do a 10k! I’m a faster human than I was before when I was doing more runs. So I’m going to play around with it, and see what happens! I miss my Sunday morning long run tradition! I actually don’t think I’ve really run more than 3 miles since last November, when my foot got pretty sore for a while after a 5 mile run. So we shall see!

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Otherwise, I’ve been doing basically all Crossfit lately. I need to get back to spin classes, and yoga. While Chloe was here, I didn’t run at all (just walked a ton!) in an effort to get my plantar fasciitis to feel better. It’s not bad, but I’m trying to really take care of it!

So let’s go through, shall we?

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I finally made zucchini lasagna! It tasted great, but presentation left a little to be desired.

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I had 2 layers of zucchini noodles, with a ricotta-parmesean-+1 egg in the middle, with tons of pasta sauce, and topped with mozzarella. I froze most of it for when things get crazy (or I get lazy).

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Pumpkin smoothie! I genuinely thought this was going to be disgusting, but it was actually delicious! I blended up half a packet of Flapjacked vanilla smoothie mix, half a frozen banana, half a cup of milk, half a cup of canned pumpkin that I had leftover, plus tons of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Yum!

In other zucchini news, once I bought another large batch of zucchini, I invested in a more legit spiralizer and it was the best decision. 100% worth it, and I love it.

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SO I’ve been making tons of zoodles.

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This was a great combo: parmesan, mozzarella, chicken, garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.

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And then there’s the classic marinara. Similar to spaghetti squash, in my opinion the key is to get the squash tasting good before you put sauce on. I used various seasoning blends and salt and pepper.

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I’ve also been into non-green green smoothies lately. Mango juice, frozen berries, and spinach.

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When Chloe was here, I got a few Trader Joe’s salads because cooking with her was hard, and she was time consuming, and I had to run home in the middle of the day and shove food in my face while entertaining her. This one is my favorite. I used to eat it a lot in undergrad, especially when I was sick because it doesn’t have anything I’m allergic to. Broccoli slaw, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, kale, chicken. YUM.

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More healthy pumpkin bread from the freezer. I think I’m going to make more soon because I have a lot of ripe bananas.

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My go-to BBQ chicken salad has been making a comeback! Dressing is just salt, pepper, olive oil, and lime. Then I tossed together corn, tomato, and lettuce, and topped it with BBQ chicken, cheese, and guacamole. A break from zucchini—what??

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I love the pumpkin yogurt-fig-sunbutter combo. Plus a peach. The peaches are good, but I can tell they’re reaching the end of the season. Apples season is coming, my friends!

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I went to the weekend farmer’s market, and they had a gluten free bakery that comes to our market back home! The best part is I already know what things I’m not allergic to. Naturally, I had to pick up a flour less chocolate torte.

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I did my Wednesday night farmer’s market thing as well and of course picked up a tamale. This week was chicken! I had some of my favorite fall harvest salsa on the side, plus a salad tossed with Bolthouse cilantro ranch.

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Dessert of chocolate Halo Top and fancy caramel sauce.

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I ate the same breakfast, lunch, and dinner Saturday and Sunday without even realizing it! For my lunches, I had my favorite salad. I admit this is super weird, but I like it and it’s quick and easy. Lettuce, American chess,e deli turkey, chopped with scissors, and then dressed with guacamole and topped with ketchup.

Dinners were a zucchini scramble with reduced fat alouette. I realized that it is going to expire extremely soon, so I repeated the meal Sunday.

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Served with a peach one night and GF cinnamon raisin toast the next.

Here are a couple of other fun (seasonal!) things from this weekend:

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I found this pumpkin wheat beer and of course had to try it! Sipped while cuddling with the cat on the couch and streaming Stanford-UCLA football. Fall feels like football season, and I hadn’t caught a game yet. It was a good one! We came out on top! It made me nostalgic for my alma mater for sure though!

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My Starbucks fall drink of choice: decaf cappuccino with one pump pumpkin spice.

And FINALLY. FINALLY, I made zucchini bread. After buying probably 20 pounds of zucchini over the past month and a half. I made pumpkin-zucchini chocolate chip bread, so it’s also seasonably appropriate! I love this recipe: just 1/3c honey as the sweetener!

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Check back in next time for more zucchini adventures. I probably have at least 3 pounds left! I’m trying some different things this week. I’m thinking teriyaki stir-fry, Mexican style, and pad thai!

Full Day of Eating: First Day of Fall!

Hello friends! It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

It’s been a WILD week. I have a TON of pup adventures to share, but for now, I have a test tomorrow so I’m just going to bust out a quick fall day of eating as a little study break.

Rina even has her fall look going on with the pumpkin-colored bow:

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(It should be noted that she has since forgiven me for said full week of pup adventures…)

Pre-Workout:

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You know it. I love this flavor of Cheerio in general, and was eating them way into the new year this year thanks to ordering a few boxes at the end of the season.

Workout: I wasn’t feeling the Crossfit WOD. Plus I’ve been doing CF a lot lately and wanted something a little different. I’m still doing my squat program, and with the influx of undergrads to campus this weekend, I figured going early on a weekday morning to the campus gym to try and get a squat rack would be wise.

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Breakfast:

Pumpkin spice Siggi’s+sunbutter+figs. Mango on the side.

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Lunch:

I had a 3 hour gap around lunch time and was SO tired. I debated napping, but I really needed to study so I went the caffeine route. I got a small black tea, and only drank half of it but got the buzz I needed! (I’m super caffeine sensitive.)

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My actual meal was a fig and goat cheese salad with deli turkey, plus BBQ rice cakes.

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Snack:

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Dinner:

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I made a salad with dried cranberries, parmesan, roasted sweet potato, and a balsamic drizzle. On the side, I had Trader Joe’s BBQ pulled chicken.

Dessert:

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And study snack:

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Another study snack may happen later on as well.

Back to the books I go!

California Food Adventures

I’m currently in California. I may be 400 miles from home still, but there is something comforting about being back in my home state.

It’s always weird to me traveling and then coming back. I always imagine a ton of different realities for myself. What if I was living there? What would my life be like? This trip was definitely some of that—I was really close to a college I got recruited to for softball for undergrad. I even went on an overnight recruiting visit there! (Which I had totally forgotten I had gone on until my mom reminded me!)

My layover was in the Dallas Fort Worth airport, and I actually found some good options. I got a caprese salad with chicken, artichoke hearts, olives, and fresh mozzarella.

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Dinner in SoCal was really exciting though. I was looking at nearby places and discovered one of my favorite East Coast chains was 10 minutes away! Le Pain Quotidien. I went there twice on my trip to DC for the Cherry Blossom race.

I got the grilled chicken and mozzarella tartine on gluten free bread. Their GF bread is really great and seedy. Lots of texture.

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Man, I missed California food. And dessert? OMG. Best thing I’ve eaten in a REALLY long time. I have had essentially no non-packaged GF baked cookies since coming to St. Louis. But there was a pie place in SoCal, I Like Pie, that offers a daily GF option.

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Honestly, I didn’t have very high expectations for this (I was expecting it to be dry) but it was insane. It was a mini cherry pie.

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I brought it to the hotel to eat during baseball and was still really full from dinner, but couldn’t stop eating it. It was so buttery and moist, with delicious cherry filling. The crumb top was of course amazing as well.

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I went to bed with a VERY full but satisfied belly!

Monday morning I went for a run first thing. Well, technically I waited around for it to get light out first. The neighborhood of my hotel was borderline sketchy, and safety first!

You know you’re in SoCal when…

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Scenes from my run:

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Afterwards I sat down for a hotel breakfast. For some reason egg sounded good, so I had some egg substance with a mini blueberry chobani and honey nut Cheerios. How much nut is actually honey nut Cheeries? It says it contains “natural almond flavor.” I guess we’ll find out haha.

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For lunch, I picked up some chicken vegetable soup the previous night at Le Pain Quotidien, which came with more of their delicious GF bread.

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You better believe I did my research for dinner as well, and it did not disappoint. I went to Last Drop Cafe in downtown Claremont. I got the vegan sandwich on GF bread. The sandwich had all kinds of delicious veggies and dressing, but of course what won me over was the avocado.

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Even better? It came with a cookie, and they offer a daily GF cookie option. This was a pumpkin snickerdoodle (!!!) which was the perfect way to celebrate Halloween! OMG so freaking good.

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To continue the Halloween celebration through food, since the cookie was small, I decided to get some froyo—pumpkin froyo!

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With some white chocolate raspberry and chocolate. Topped with mini m&ms and some hot fudge.

I love cute little downtowns:

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I was a little sad to spend my favorite holiday alone in a hotel room, so I tried to quell the feelings with some chocolate from the hotel. And then food network holiday cake competitions which made me want more chocolate, so a Luna bar would have to stand in for a chocolate gingerbread haunted house.

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This was my Tuesday morning:

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Yayyy for 6am flights! I actually woke up before my alarm. Go me? I guess 3:55am pacific time=5:55am central time which=late for Crossfit.

Apparently getting to my gate super early is becoming a habit for me…plenty of time for breakfast though! I had a bar that I brought, and supplanted with “fruit.”

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Lunch in Dallas was also good. I found a Southwest salad (with avocado!) plus part of a GF brownie. Yum!

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I made it back to St. Louis in time for Crossfit.

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Sidenote: I don’t understand St. Louis weather. It was 85 degrees when I got back. How is it over 20 degrees colder in SoCal than Missouri in November?? And how can it be 40 one day and 80 the next??

At Crossfit we did 1 rep max sumo deadlifts, and I fit 220 pounds. It was probably the slowest deadlift I’ve ever done but I got it up! For the WOD we did Annie with some push ups added in. Annie is 50-40-30-20-10 of double unders and sit ups. My double unders have seriously gotten so much better over the past year.

And how I’m blogging with the kitties and baseball 🙂 I can’t believe I’m only in St. Louis for 2.5 more weeks though!

Where is your favorite area to eat?

WIAW: #Bootlife Nostalgia

Today on the way to teaching spin at my undergrad campus, I listened to an album that I listened to a lot last spring. Immediately it took me back to all my boot workouts: grinding it out on the bike, learning new leg machines, endless dumbbell presses. I actually miss the boot in some strange way. Obviously, it’s nice not having a broken foot. But many good times were had in my boot. While wearing a giant boot with a broken foot was painful and made it hard to get around, I didn’t let it hold me back from doing anything I wanted to do and from enjoying my senior year. And not going to lie, I definitely felt super tough doing some of the things I did in a boot. I tried to make the most of it and have fun with it. Protip: if you go out and don’t want people to step on your broken foot, lighting up your boot works fabulously. The big silver lining of #bootlife was that I spent 2 months working on pull ups like a mad woman, and now I’m busting them out in workouts like it’s no big deal. (I did 50 kipping pull ups on Monday in sets of 5 the whole way!) Being optimistic is who I am; I may be sarcastic and pessimistic about humanity, but on a case by case basis I always look for the bright side.

But again, I think a lot of the good times that were had in the boot were because of the awesome people I was with. I’m missing my college friends like crazy now, and while I’m excited for a new opportunity in a new city, I’m sad I won’t see them every day. I think it’s finally getting real that I won’t be going back to Stanford this fall.

Sigh.

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(Featuring: Boot goes to the beach, boot goes win tasting in Napa, boot goes to the Giant’s game, boot goes to senior nights, boot goes to a Stanford baseball game, boot ‘graduates” from my sorority, and boot does murph.)

After that absurdly long introduction, let’s get into WIAW, shall we? Thanks as always to Jenn for starting the fun all those years ago.

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For breakfast, I had a few crackers alongside a smoothie bowl. I recently bought Quest salted caramel protein powder, and so far I don’t hate it. I want to try it in waffles/pancakes at some point though!

In the blender went 1.33 bananas, milk, cocoa powder, and protein powder. I topped it with some KIND Raspberry granola.

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I taught a noon spin class on campus. It was a class I made when I had a broken foot, and it was fun to actually be able to do the full class for real (I couldn’t stand before).

I had some business to attend to on campus, so I packed a lunch because I knew I would be hungry post-spin. I had a Trader Joe’s chicken, goat cheese, and beet salad, and a few crackers.

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When I got back, I had snack part 1: a farmer’s market peach that was absolutely delicious.

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Snack part 2 was a new purchase: a Flapjacked muffin. I saw these the other day and actually am not allergic to anything in them, so I was excited to try them out! Plus, given my physical activity for the day I knew I wanted plenty of protein, and these pack 20g in.

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I overcooked it a tiny bit. When I originally took it out, it seemed too soft still so I added a few extra seconds and apparently that was too much. It was good though! The cinnamon chips were a good touch!

Before dinner, I attended a spin class. Normally I would never double up spin, but since it’s my last week and I had one spin credit left to a local studio, I wanted to go to one of my favorite teacher’s classes. It was a fun one! I always like her music.

For dinner, we had roasted corn and spaghetti squash mac and cheese.I haven’t had mac and cheese in forever so I was excited!

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I love the idea of using spaghetti squash. Honestly, I’m not a huge pasta person. I’m all about the sauce! And who doesn’t love sneaking in extra veggies? This may be my favorite way to eat spaghetti squash thus far!

For dessert, I had my final 2 leftover grad cupcakes: chocolate with caramel frosting, and caramel with chocolate frosting.

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A little while later, I had another snack. Because, hello, 2 spin classes, I needed the calories! Another thing I was super excited to try? Pumpkin spice cheerios! We finally found them! Yes, they are good. And I’m ready to dive headfirst into pumpkin. I was crazy into pumpkin a couple of years ago, but less recently. I think I’m due for another year of being crazy into pumpkin. And clearly I’m starting off strong with 2 pumpkin items in one day!

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I also had a few milk chocolate chips to cap it off.

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Have you had any pumpkin yet? What’s you favorite fall food?

I love pumpkin bread!

Day in the Life Fall 2015

Hello! I’ve been wanting to do another day in the life post for a little while now, but I was too crazy busy to even document things. Now that midterms are over, I’ve had a little more time to breathe! Today actually ended up being a much lore key day than normal-let’s dive in!

5:45am: Wake up. My alarm isn’t for 20 minutes. I probably need more sleep but eh. Get out of bed 10 minutes later.

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Start getting ready for Crossfit. Pre-Crossfit snack is Vanilla Cherry Bread from my freezer supply.

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Plus gummy vitamins (of various types-I’m not overdosing!)

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6:40: Leave for Crossfit which starts at 7.

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It’s quite nippy out this morning. I’m not ready for those 30 degree mornings in the gym…

The workout today was a sprint workout that knocked us all out. Every 9 minutes we did the following: 150m sprint, 3 power cleans (for me-snatches for everyone else), 5 burpee box jumps, and 15 calorie row. We did this 5 times through. I finished each round between 3-3:20, so there was rest but man. The good news is that I did the heaviest cleans since my shoulder (85#) and it was no problem at all!

8:20ish-arrive back at the house. Crossfit ran a bit late today.

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Pull some Halloween decorations from my car. How cute is this?

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Then-breakfast. Here’s a look at the house fridge:

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I grab a bite of leftover risotto because it’s delicious (several other bites occurred throughout the day) and because #carbs.

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The main post-workout replenishment was fate yogurt with pumpkin butter. Perfect combo of protein+carbs.

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8:45: Shower and get ready for the day.

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Yes, I have pumpkin spice chapstick, and yes it’s fantastic.

9:15: Leave for my fake class. What’s that? When I dropped my Tues/Thurs 9am I decided to spend that time camped out at a coffeeshop or otherwise being productive. Usually I work on Microbio, but today was some reading for my Native American Literature class. Sidenote-this is clearly not a literary blog because #biomajor, but I want to post about this book at some point. Sometimes I’ll get decaf coffee, but I’m starting to come off my acid-reducer stomach meds and don’t think I need the acidity. Instead I bring the other half of my bottle of Kevita.

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I spent 50 minutes there. And since this is DITL here’s my outfit. It’s kind of a big deal that I’m wearing jeans because I almost never do-I hate biking in them-but I was feeling them today.

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10:25-Leave for first real class of the day.

10:30-11:50 Exercise Physiology. Today is gluconeogenesis and hormones for blood glucose control (which are actually one of my favorite things in all of bio-besides cows of course).

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When I come out, I see that the leaves have turned more since Tuesday!

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12: Lunch back at the house. Today I have cabbage stuffed with ground chicken, a couple of potatoes, and salad with pears. Plus avocado!

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12:40-1:45 Lunch is finished but I spend time talking to my friend who ended up coming for lunch. That was my main nap time but oh well.

1:45-2:45 Eat a Luna bar, finish up some reading, and take a 25 minute power nap. My naps are necessary before my next class because it’s just that time of day. Grab another bite of risotto and a few chocolate covered raisins on the way out.

3-4:20: Native American Literature Class

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4:30-5 Watch part of an episode of Grey’s Anatomy (I just started season 6). I’m supposed to carve pumpkins with my dorm and a friend, but no word from her yet.

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5:00: Give up on my friend and go down to carve a pumpkin. She eventually comes. I love the smell of pumpkin-officially fall!

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6:00: Dinnertime! I had vegetarian meatloaf, mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, and glazed carrots.

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Plus the insides of a key lime freezer pie, which was pretty melty.

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7:00: I stayed with my friend until she finished her pumpkin, and then took one for the team to light our pumpkins in true college fashion for a picture. I stuck my phone inside the pumpkin. Worth it.

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7:15: It’s been a long week, so I decide it’s finally time to watch Back to the Future II. (Because 2015-so weird!)

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9:15-9:35: Start this blog post!

Then a meeting with my RA, most likely followed by some reading for my classes!

What did you do today?