A Short Break

8:34 PM

Hello! I'm just hopping on the blog real quick to let you all know that I will be taking a short break from posting every Sunday. I thought a lot about this and decided that I needed a little vacation from blogging. I've loved blogging and still love it, but after doing it for two and a half years, I'm beginning to feel the need for a quick break. My philosophy is that it's always better to give yourself a break before you get totally burned out.

When I first made this blog, I couldn't even sleep at night because of how many ideas I had!! I really want to find that excitement again, and I want to prevent blogging from becoming a chore for me. Plus, I'm just really busy, what with school during the week and work on the weekends. And now I have to clean and cook for myself too... so I think that cutting this out temporarily will be good for me. But I'm hoping to come back refreshed and excited to come up with new posts again!

I haven't yet decided exactly when I will start posting again, but during my break, feel free to rifle through all the archived posts! After all, there are 147 of them to go through! (Find them in the column on the left, under "Check out past posts!")

October TBR

7:50 PM

I'm back with another TBR! If you missed my September TBR, you can check it out here. I really enjoyed writing that one, so I decided to do it again for the month of October!

Last month I actually stuck with my TBR pretty well! I read all of the books I listed except Once and for All by Sarah Dessen. Instead, I read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Go Set a Watchman was on my TBR, and after reading that one, I was dying to read To Kill a Mockingbird. I would never have imagined reading To Kill a Mockingbird for fun five years ago when I was forced to read it, but this time, I loved every page! It was such a good book. I couldn't even reconcile this fascinating, gripping story with the dull one that I had read all those years ago. I think I was just at a better age for really understanding all the nuances of the book.

Tomato Day + Shopping Local

7:47 PM

Today I wanted to share about one of my favorite days of summer 2017: Tomato Day at my favorite local plant nursery. Every year, this nursery hosts a major tomato tasting. They gather almost a hundred varieties of tomatoes and invite people to the farm to sample them, as well as shop at the numerous booths selling handmade goods. (We bought a delicious local honey made from pollen from orange blossoms!!) This was my first year attending Tomato Day, but I'm planning to make it a new yearly tradition!

My Second Quilt

7:00 PM

I know what you're thinking... a second quilt?? Well, after I finished my first quilt, I had such a strong desire to make another one, so I decided to just go for it. I did no planning ahead of time and didn't even think about the colors. I just improvised as I went along.

Apartment Update

2:04 PM

On September 1st, my apartment lease officially started and I got to see my apartment for the first time! It was so crazy. For so long, my life was the same. And now it's changing so much! I feel like I'm being pushed into adulthood. For all you older adults out there, I know what you're thinking -- kids these days think they're so old when they're really not. I know I'm not old. What I mean is that I'm doing so many things that, to be honest, I don't feel 100% ready for: college, living on my own, having a job, paying a PG&E bill, cooking for myself. Having this apartment is just another one of those things.

That being said, I am excited about this. I don't want to sound negative. This is going to be a super exciting year for me. I am looking forward to a lot of things to come. I'm ecstatic about having a kitchen again (I missed it last year!). Also, I get to decorate my new room!! So far, it has been even more fun planning out my apartment room than my dorm room mainly because all the furniture is my own. My dorm room came furnished, so it didn't feel quite like my own. Granted, all of my furniture is from friends or the thrift store, but still. 

DIY Blanket Ladder

10:28 AM

This project was unlike anything I had ever done before! Before this, I had never gone to Home Depot by myself, never bought lumber, never used a drill, never used a power sander, never stained wood... the list goes on and on! I learned so much doing this project and had such a great time with my dad working on it. We spent an entire Sunday afternoon working on it together in the backyard. It was definitely one of my favorite days of the summer.

I have always admired blanket ladders. They are such a fun way to display blankets and quilts (especially quilts!!). But they are surprisingly expensive!! I've seen them cost anywhere from $50 to $200! But this DIY version cost me about $15 and was so fun to make. Plus you get to customize it by choosing your own dimensions and your own stain.

My September TBR

7:39 PM

It's officially September!! I've started moving into my new apartment (update coming soon!), school is starting at the end of the month, and fall will be here before we know it (September 22nd is officially the first day!). We are also two-thirds through 2017! Eight months down, four to go.

In celebration of a new month, I thought I'd do something new on the blog today (which I kinda want to start doing at the beginning of every month from now on!) -- share my monthly TBR!

What is a TBR, you ask? TBR stands for To Be Read. It's the list of books that you have on-deck, ones that you plan to read in the near future. Since I have been enjoying a renewed love of reading this year (and am well on my way to reaching my 2017 goal of reading 52 books!), I thought it'd be fun to show you what I'm planning to read this month. There are five books on this list, so it is possible that I won't get to them all. It is also possible that I will become intrigued by another book and abandon the plan completely. But that's all okay! It's as much fun for me to talk about books I want to read as it is for me to talk about books that I have already read.

DIY Fabric Bins

11:15 AM

This Friday I'll be getting the keys to my very first apartment! I am so excited!!! I am really looking forward to decorating it, especially my room! Ever since my friends and I signed the lease (seven months ago!!!), I've been dreaming about how to fill the space. Altogether the apartment is 1,572 square feet. So much room! (It's technically a townhouse, not an apartment.)

And, of course, this also means that I've been sewing up a storm! I wanted to share my latest little project that I've been working on for the apartment. I'm not entirely sure what to call them. Fabric baskets? Fabric storage containers? The tutorial I used called them fabric bins, so let's go with that.

My First Quilt

8:00 AM

I did it!!! I have just completed my very first quilt. And I am in love with it! I am so so pleased with how it turned out! I started working on it on July 21st, went on vacation for a week, then came back and finished it on August 17th. All the hard work was so worth it, and makes the finished product all the more special in the end.

This quilt is a treasure that I will have for the rest of my life. That being said, it was made to be used. I'm not going to try to preserve it in any way. I'll bring it outside, I'll let the cat sit on it, I'll let my future kids crawl on it, I'll bring it on roadtrips. It will soak in my life as I live it, and it will be with me all the way through. No matter how worn and ragged it gets, I'll keep it forever.

I absolutely love the colors I chose. It was such a hard decision, but it turned out so nice! And I think the dark blue border around the edge makes it look so professional and finished.

The pattern I used was Elise Joy's triangle quilt. I used 100% cotton fabrics from Joann's and Mountain Mist 100% polyester quilt batting.

At the very end, I used dark blue embroidery thread to add my initials and the year. It was such a fun finishing touch! Right when I pulled my needle through the last bit of my signature, my audiobook ended! It was such a funny coincidence.

I know that this quilt will not be the last one that I make in my life, but it will always be extra special to me because it was my first. Thank you for following along with me on this quilt-making journey!

A Garden Update

8:00 AM

It is definitely time for another garden update! If you didn't catch my first one, you can check it out here. I looked back on it just before writing this post and WOW my plants were tiny. The above picture is a shot of my beans. They have grown so much. I am so glad I decided to plant beans this year because they have produced really well. I have beans coming out of my ears -- which is exactly what I wanted to happen! 


6:00 PM

During the last week of July, my family and I traveled up to Washington to visit the beautiful Olympic National Park. I always share a few photos here on the blog from trips that I take, but for this one, I have something extra cool to share.

As you all probably know, I think Elise Joy is a genius! I get so many good ideas and endless inspiration from her. It is through her that I first heard about this amazing app called 1 Second Everyday. (Yes, I know it costs money, but it's worth it!) Basically, you record a series of 1-second video clips throughout a year or throughout a trip and the app puts it all together for you in a short, concise video. I tried it out for this trip and I love the result! Each video clip really brings me back to that moment. If you scroll alllll the way down to the bottom of this post, you will find the video there. But first, a few photos!

DIY Canvas Quote

8:00 AM

This project reminded me a lot of that rainbow scratch paper I used to draw on as a kid. Like this one on Amazon. It starts off as a black sheet of paper, but as you scratch away at it with a little wooden dowel, all the rainbow colors start peeking through. This project is basically the grown-up version of rainbow scratch paper. It was inspired by this post on Elise Joy's blog. And I must say that I love how it turned out! Also, it felt like a fitting project to do after the end of my 100 Day Project, which was all about quotes and lettering.

I Finished the 100 Day Project!

8:00 AM

I did it!!!! I have completed one hundred days of hand-lettering! Wow wow wow! To celebrate the completion of my 100 Day Project, I made another one of my hand-lettered quotes into a free printable! You can download it here.

Isn't this quote so true? As I get older and accumulate more years to look back on, I only relate to this quote more and more. For one of the first times in my life, I am finally old enough to be able to look back and reflect on how I've changed over the years, and I can even guess at the things in my life that have caused those changes. I don't really know how to describe this, but it feels like I've finally been "conscious" long enough to do so. I know I was technically conscious as a kid, but it was a different sort of consciousness. The first entire decade of my life provides no "scope for reflection", as Anne Shirley might say.

Elise Joy (a blogger that I totally love!) recently inspired me to sit down and make a five-year plan. Who do I want to be in five years? What do I want to do? It was actually quite exciting to think about it. I mean, five years ago, I was only fourteen years old!! And five years from now, I'll be twenty-four!! I'll be done with college! Just think of all the things that are going to happen between now and then. What kind of twenty-four-year-old will I be? What kind of twenty-four-year-old do I want to be? What kind of life do I want to have? What kind of friends? What kind of job?

See? It's fascinating to dream about the future. And analyze the past. Looking at the person you were and dreaming about the person you want to be. Those are things only the years can tell you.

The Perfect Summer Smoothie

8:00 AM

I have discovered a new favorite smoothie ingredient: grated ginger! I know it may sound strange, but trust me, it tastes amazing in smoothies!! In addition to freshly grated ginger, this smoothie also has strawberries, mangoes, and peaches, making it the ultimate summer smoothie. It's also got chia seeds and flaxseed meal in it, both of which are super healthy -- and, even better, you can't even taste them!

Protip: if you're worried about using up fresh ginger before it goes bad, just freeze it! If you need to grate some for a recipe, set it out on the counter for 5-10 minutes, grate however much you need, pop it back in the freezer, and you're good to go!

Recent Reads

8:00 AM

I love an excuse to talk about books, and this blog is the perfect excuse! As you probably know, I'm trying to read 52 books this year -- one for every week of the year -- and somehow, I'm still on track with my goal! Week 27 is ending today, and I've read 28 books so far. I am currently reading The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan. I've been reading Riordan's books since I was in 6th grade. His Percy Jackson series will always be one of my favorites. That series is largely responsible for helping me develop my love of reading, which, believe it or not, was nonexistent until around 9th grade. So, even though Riordan's books are below my reading level now, I still faithfully try to read his new books (which he cranks out like crazy!).

Now onto books I've already read!

Bullet Journal Update

8:00 AM

Is it really July 2nd? I can't believe we're halfway through 2017, but since we are, I thought it'd be fitting to share an update on my bullet journal! I started it in January (check out this post!) using the Leuchtturm 1917 notebook I got for Christmas. This is my very first bullet journal, but it definitely won't be my last, because I am loving it so far! I was worried that I wouldn't be able to keep up with it, but I've made it halfway through the year with no problems! It is so fun! You can make it as fancy or as simple as you want, depending on how much time you have to spend on it. I just love how its 100% customizable.

DIY Soy Candles

8:00 AM

I've wanted to try candle-making for what feels like ages! I love candles and making my own sounded so fun! But for some reason, it felt daunting. I didn't know what type of wick to buy or what kind of wax to get. But this last week, I was determined to figure it out. And as it so happens, it wasn't even that complicated! You really only need three or four supplies.

A Catch-Up

4:07 PM

It's officially summer break! I feel like I was the last student on Earth to get out of school (that's the quarter system for you), but now I'm ready to enjoy a long, relaxing summer.

It has been a crazy last few days for me, so I decided to write a quick catch-up post. My last catch-up post was in December, so its time for another one! Besides, I love writing these because they are so unstructured and I can talk about whatever I want, whether it all relates or not!

Last Thursday, I moved out of the dorms!! I never really thought past the first year of college, and now I have moved out of the dorms and have been promoted to the status of sophomore. Wow! The moving-out process was pretty intense. It was so insanely crowded and there was virtually no parking. We had to carry all of my stuff from my dorm down to the parking lot in 100° heat. (To be honest, I actually only took one load down to the car. My dad did most of the hard work! That one load was enough to make my arms sore the next day though, so I don't know how he did it!)

My 2017 Vegetable Garden

4:00 PM

Is June really almost halfway over??? That's crazy. I am nearly done with my first year of college -- just two more finals to take, and then I'll be free until the end of September! This summer is going to be such great fun!

This year I decided to plant a little vegetable garden! I used to garden every summer, but I took a break from it because it was starting to feel more like a chore to me. But I recently read two books that got me inspired to get back into gardening again. The first one was The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball. This one is an autobiography written by a woman who moved from a New York apartment to a farm with her husband. Actually, it wasn't even really a farm when they moved there. They basically built it from the ground-up. I thought her story was fascinating and, though I would never do something that crazy, she did inspire me to start a modest backyard garden.

Ceramics Update!

9:08 AM

A few weeks ago, I shared a 100 Day Project update. Today I thought I'd talk about my other current creative project -- ceramics! In this post, I mentioned that I was going to take a ceramics class this quarter. Now, the quarter is just about over and I have had so so so much fun with ceramics! It has been such an exciting new experience! I loved it so much that I'm planning to continue with ceramics, either over the summer or during fall quarter. I haven't decided yet. What I have decided is that I haven't had enough of it! I feel like I have officially gotten the hang of it now -- the wedging, the wheel-throwing, the carving, the glazing. I actually can't decide which step of the process is my favorite. I love it all! It is such a meditative, relaxing, rewarding hobby.

Printable 100 Day Project Quote

2:06 PM

Hello! Happy Sunday! Can you believe that today is the last Sunday in May?? June is right around the corner, and I am so looking forward to summer! The weather has been warming up around here, which I am also very happy about. Maybe that's what prompted me to paint these summery flowers!

I love making printables for the blog, so I thought, why not make my 100 Day Project quotes into printables? Plus, this gives me the best of both worlds: I can hang up my art on my wall, using tape or pushpins, but still keep the original safe in my sketchbook. I'm thinking about doing this for a few more of my favorites, so keep an eye out for more printables in the future!

You can download the printable quote here. As always, I recommend cardstock, but any paper is fine!

Follow along with my 100 Day Project here!

100 Day Project Update!

10:37 AM

Here we are, at day 48 of the 100 Day Project!! You know what that means: I'm almost halfway done! If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out this previous post. Basically, I decided to participate in the 100 Day Project this year. I chose hand lettering as my challenge. (My hashtag is #100DaysofHandLetteringbyTrina, if you want to see all of the days so far.)

Since I am practically halfway done, I thought I'd share a little update here on the blog and talk about some of my favorite supplies that I've been using these past 48 days!

Quilt Inspiration

1:47 PM

This year I made a few of what I decided to call "Bullet Point Resolutions". They are little, random things that I want to make sure to do this year that don't really have anything to do with my main resolution. For example, a few of my bullet point resolutions are drinking more water and reading more and exercising.

Also on that list is starting a quilt! Even though we're already in the fifth month of 2017 and I have yet to get a good start on this one, I still fully intend to do it. And, besides, I have made a little progress. I bought my batting, for example, and practiced quilting techniques with some smaller projects. I'm planning to complete the bulk of my quilt this summer.

The main thing I've done in preparation is search for inspiration. Since making a quilt is going to be a relatively big project in terms of money and time commitment, I want to be sure that I am happy with the result. For me, the hardest part in this process is going to be making the decisions. I'm okay with the cutting and the sewing, but its picking out the fabric and choosing the pattern that are the most daunting steps to me. To help in this process, I have collected a few images of quilts that I like so that I can start to get a feel for what I want mine to look like. I thought I'd share some of my inspiration here. (I've included sources to all of the quilts below!)

I Made My Own Cheese!

4:33 PM

My mind has been blown! Who knew you could make your own cheese? Or that it would be easy? This was seriously one of the highlights of my spring break. I know it probably sounds lame that I got so excited about making cheese of all things, but I found the whole process fascinating. I love making things and I love science, and this combined the two (with a very tasty result to boot!).

I have wanted to purchase this DIY cheese kit from Urban Cheesecraft on Etsy for ages, and I finally decided to do it during spring break. I got her smallest kit, Farmers' Cheese, to start with. I was very impressed. Her packaging was adorable, her instructions were clear, and her shipping was super fast! (She shipped my package the day after I ordered it!)

What's farmers' cheese? Well, according to the little booklet in my kit, it's a simple cheese that comes together in under an hour and does not require any aging. It is a flexible cheese and can turn out smooth like ricotta or firm like paneer, depending on how you make it. Farmers have made it for years as a creative use for extra milk.

My Favorite Trader Joe's Products

5:30 PM

Trader Joe's has something of a cult following... and I am unashamedly a part of that cult. There is just something about Trader Joe's. Is it the ambiance? The cute packaging? The fun signage? Probably a combination of all of those things. Plus, they have some one-of-a-kind food. I mean, Inner Peas? Besides being one of my favorite snacks of all time, it is also a brilliantly punny name for a product.

Maybe I am letting myself become too obsessed with a grocery store, but Trader Joe's seems like more than just a grocery store. It has so much character, its more like a cute coffee shop than a Safeway. Now that I think about it, it seems wrong that it should even be in the same category as Safeway, that cold warehouse of blindingly-bright lights and freezing refrigerator aisles and cranky cashiers and gossip magazines at the checkout. Getting groceries at Trader Joe's is actually enjoyable.

For this post I decided to round up a handful of my favorite Trader Joe's products and share them on the blog! I do have to say, however, that there is so much of Trader Joe's that I haven't had the chance to check out yet simply because I eat all my meals at the dining commons and don't have to regularly cook for myself. So my favorites mostly consist of snacks and desserts and tea, but those are some of the best things in life anyway, right? Besides, next year I'll be moving into my first apartment and, for the first time in my life, will have to learn how to feed myself, which I'm actually kind of looking forward to. So I'll provide an updated version of this post after I start making meals for myself on a daily basis in order to share all of my new findings.

My 19th Year Scrapbook

7:00 AM

When I turned 18, I thought it would be a perfect time to start documenting my life year-by-year. I had the desire to start a scrapbook, and combining that with the fact that I was entering my very first year of adulthood and would soon be undergoing a major life change (college), the time was ripe to start recording my memories.

Because I celebrated my 19th birthday in March, and thus began my 20th year of life, it was time to start wrapping up my 19th Year Scrapbook. During spring break, I printed out my final batch of photos and filled up the last few pages. I put so much time into this scrapbook (literally hours and hours and hours), so I thought I'd share a few photos of some of my favorite pages here.

Dream Living Room with Arhaus

8:05 AM

Happy Easter! Today I have a very special post to share with you! For this post, I collaborated with Arhaus on their Dream Living Room project. When they asked me to put together a dream living room, I jumped on the opportunity! It sounded like such a fun blog post to put together and will be a perfect source of inspiration when I move into my first apartment this fall!

Arhaus has a lovely line of products that you can check out either on their website or at one of their store locations, if you're in the U.S. (I'm planning to check out their store in Walnut Creek next time I'm there!) Their blog, Pinterest, and Instagram are also great places to find inspiration.

This post was the perfect excuse to window shop online for a couple hours and dream about how I want to decorate my apartment. I didn't plan anything ahead of time, but chose items as I went along and just went with whatever I gravitated towards the most. And I think it actually came together very nicely! I've only ever decorated my bedroom and dorm room, so it was really fun to branch out and try my hand at a living room.

The very first thing I picked out was the couch, since it was probably going to be the biggest item and would make for a great centerpiece for the room. I decided to go with a gray, sectional sofa from Arhaus because I thought it would look super fun with a bunch of colorful throw pillows! For the pillows, I gravitated towards pink colors, which coordinated well with the gray couch. My strategy was to pick two patterned pillows and two solid pillows. The two solid pillows helped bring everything together, and the two patterned pillows added some texture and color.

For decor, I chose a geometric, brass terrarium for the coffee table to house some cute succulents and also picked out a white ceramic vase to hold cut flowers, since succulents and freshly-cut flowers are two of my favorite things! I also found wall art on Urban Outfitters that coordinated perfectly with the pink pillows.

Another thing I wanted to be sure to incorporate into my dream living room was blankets! I love the look of blanket ladders, so I chose one from World Market, as well as a coral-pink throw to put on it. I would definitely include some quilts on the other rungs, both vintage and handmade. The two wire baskets would also be great for storing either more blankets or some reading material.

I also chose two bookcases from Arhaus to fill the space. Even if I don't have a book collection big enough to fill them both completely (yet!), it would be really fun to fill up the gaps with little knick-knacks (and maybe more plants!).

I hope you found some inspiration from my dream living room!! It was so fun to put together. I've linked everything I picked out below in case you want to check anything out for yourself.

Have a very happy Easter!!

From Arhaus
Gray Sectional Sofa // Telegraph Wide Bookcase // White Square Pillow // Vittoria Large Vase // Thia Black-And-White Rug // Palmer Bookcase

From Urban Outfitters
Fringe Bolster Pillow // Dreamy Houses Art Print // Printed Yarn Pillow 

From World Market
Wire Baskets // Blanket Ladder // Coffee Table // Geo Woven Throw

From Target
Brass and Glass Terrarium

Printable Carrot Cake Recipe

8:37 PM

This carrot cake is so delicious!!! I'm a sucker for carrot cake in general (and cream cheese frosting for that matter!) and this recipe makes one of the best carrot cakes I've had. Thanks to the carrots, it always comes out super moist (I know people hate that word, but in terms of cake I think it's okay!) and the crushed pineapple gives it some extra sweetness. Plus, you can totally justify seconds since it has carrots in it. (That makes it healthy, right??)

I love this recipe so much that I've actually posted it on my blog before, all the way back in June 2015. You can read that post here. It includes a video of me making the recipe. (It's so embarrassing but I'm determined not to delete any of my old posts! So... enjoy that.) The recipe itself comes from the book Teens Cook Dessert, which I got for a couple dollars at a garage sale a few years back. Score!

Anyway, Easter is coming up and I thought I'd make a simple printable of my very favorite carrot cake recipe, since carrot cake is a classic Easter dessert. You can find the printable by clicking here!

Hope you had a marvelous weekend! See you on Easter Sunday!

My 100 Day Project

7:00 AM

This year, for the first time ever, I have decided to take part in the 100 Day Project!! The 100 Day Project was started by artist Elle Luna in an effort to encourage people to pursue their creative passion everyday. The 100 Day Project is pretty simple: you just choose something creative to do every day for 100 days, preferably something that takes ten minutes and is not too involved. Elle Luna has set up a website dedicated to the 100 Day Project where she describes it in better detail. You can read her article on the 100 Day Project here if you're interested.

Ceramics Inspiration

7:00 AM

Guess what?? I get to take a ceramics class next quarter!! I'm super excited!! I'm definitely expecting a steep learning curve (those kick wheels look intimidating!), but I think it's going to be lots of fun once I get the hang of it, and it's something completely new that I've never tried before! And since I'm moving out of the dorms and into an apartment next year, it will be so fun to have some handmade dishes to fill the shelves!

The first thing I do when I'm feeling creatively inspired is, of course, make a Pinterest board! I started a ceramics board a few weeks ago and have been loving all of the gorgeous ceramics out there! I thought I'd make this little collage of inspiration to share here. My absolute favorite piece in this collage has to be that little planter guy (top left). He's so adorable! I cannot get over him. Looking back on this collage, I also found that I am really into gold accents. I'm not sure if I'll have access to gold paint as part of this class, but if I do, I'm definitely going to add it to basically everything.

Two projects that would be fun to start out with are those ring dishes (bottom left) or some tea bag rests. They're practical and look pretty simple to make (whether they actually are or not is a different story!).

I've tried to tag as many sources as I could below, so feel free to check them out! You can even buy some of the ceramics pictured above (I've typed those in bold), so if you love ceramics, but want to skip the DIY bit, there you go!

Sources (from top to bottom, left to right)
planter (??) // ring dishes // mixing bowls // pink and gold plates // light blue-green mugs // green and white mugs // dark blue mugs // black and white mugs with gold handles (??) // navy and coral mugs // large mixing bowl // cactus ring dish

Recent Reads

7:31 PM

So I was planning to write another catch-up post (like this one), where I talk about what I've been reading, listening to, watching, eating, etc., and I practically wrote the entire thing, but as I neared the end, I started to realize how much of it was about books. So, as I struggled to come with anything interesting that I've been doing lately besides reading books, I decided to just start over, admit my life is boring, and give in to the temptation to write a whole post solely about books. Also, since I'm in the midst of finals week, I didn't have too much time to put into this post, so I had to settle for this picture I took last summer, when I was reading The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, which is still one of my all-time favorite books, by the way.

I never before realized just how much I liked reading until this year. I mean, I knew I liked reading, but suddenly I'm super into it. I always thought I was a slow reader, but that's just because I didn't read enough. I think it's mostly because high school was way more stressful for me than college (go figure). Now that I have more mental energy, it's easier to find enough focus to read instead of mindlessly watch TV. So I'm trying to take advantage of this relatively less stressful season in my life to read as much as possible. Whenever I go to the library or Barnes and Noble, I always tell myself, "You need to read more! Look at all these books there are to read!!" After all, my to-read list on Goodreads has 72 books on it... So now I'm making an effort to read as much as possible so I can get to as many as I can!

Banana Berry Smoothie

6:27 PM

Spring is in the air! The weather this week has been so incredibly nice, even reaching the lower 70s for the first time in ages! I went to a wedding yesterday and the day was so gorgeous!! The past few days have made me realize just how much I've missed the nice weather!

Just as tea is more enjoyable in the winter, smoothies are so much better in the spring and summer. So this morning, I whipped up this smoothie to celebrate these early spring days!

This smoothie has a secret ingredient that I've actually never tried before in a smoothie: green tea! Who would have guessed? Green tea is so good for you, so its a great alternative to adding plain water as your smoothie base. It has loads of antioxidants and nutrients. A quick Google search will tell you all you need to know and more if you want to read up on the benefits of green tea in detail.

In addition to green tea, this smoothie has a whole banana, mixed berries, and chia seeds! So basically it's really good for you, and it tastes good! (That's probably thanks to the maple syrup, but life is all about a balance!)

Banana Berry Smoothie with Green Tea

  • 2/3 cup green tea*
  • 1/3 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2/3 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy in a Mason jar with a fun straw! Makes about 2 servings.

*I used my favorite green tea, Kirkland Matcha Blend Green Tea from Costco. After brewing 2/3 cups, I added an ice cube to cool it down a bit before adding it to the blender.