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Healthy Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies

Happy Saturday! Have a great day πŸ™‚

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Yesterday morning did not feel like a Friday. I’ve been off all week since Monday was a holiday and I was off of work. Did anyone else feel that way or was it just me? For breakfast I made toast and topped it with peanut butter and chia seeds. If you don’t have chia seeds, I recommended grabbing a bag! I add them to smoothies, overnight oats and top toast with it. They’re a great source of protein.


I always have a yogurt around 3 as an afternoon snack at work. A week ago, I found a new flavor at the store for fall – apple cinnamon. Since it was new I figured I’d give it a try. Unfortunately I wasn’t a fan. The flavor was okay but it tastes like straight cinnamon yogurt and I didn’t get any apple out of it.


Alex’s uncle is visiting this weekend so I got home from work and made a dessert. When our friend Sarah came over the other week, she brought a healthy dessert with her. I wanted to give it a try. We didn’t tell anyone what was in it until after they tasted it. Alex’s dad was completely shocked when I said chick peas were the main ingredient. It looks like we have a new go-to dessert recipe! It’s super easy too but I recommend a food processor for mixing. My blender is a nitro ninja (which I love!) but it didn’t mash al of the chick peas perfectly.

Healthy Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Blondies

*This recipe is fromΒ Joy Food SunshineΒ and I modified it to fit the ingredients I have in my cabinets.

What you’ll need

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8″ or 9″ glass baking dish and set aside.
  • Put all ingredients except chocolate chips into a blender or food processor.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Add chocolate chips and mix by hand.
  • Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread evenly.
  • Sprinkle a few more chocolate chips and sea salt on top.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes until edges start to pull away from the sides, top is set and slightly golden brown.
  • Let cool at least 15 minutes then enjoy!

 

Question of the day: Do you like any fall flavored foods? Such as pumpkin spice Cheerios or apple cinnamon yogurt.

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Friday Night Barbecue

Happy Saturday! I hope you have something fun on the agenda for today. Alex and I are meeting friends for dinner tonight and I can’t wait to catch up with them. Have a great day πŸ™‚ (P.S I apologize for the lack of pictures in today’s post!)

After work I went to a nail salon to get a gift certificate for someone’s birthday. As work was ending I started thinking about getting my nails done because “Treat Yo Self”! The salon was packed! Every nail tech was working on someone so I decided against it. 

I got home and hung out for a bit and watched a little tv. Yesterday was one of those days while my head was just mush after work for whatever reason. We had a barbecue to go to so I didn’t feel too bad for being a couch potato a bit after work. 

The barbecue was fun! Unfortunately I didn’t think to take pictures when the sun was out. The backyard didn’t have a ton of lights so when the sun went down it was pretty dark. I had a cheese burger and salad for dinner. It was tasty. 

Apparently I got it by a bunch of bugs 😦 I felt like I was itching the whole night. Maybe it was in my head for part of it but there are definitely some actual bites on me. When we got home, I read my book on the couch. I’m over halfway through “Big Little Lies” and am loving it. I highly recommend it to anyone. 

Question of the day: What did you do on your Friday?

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Friday

Happy Saturday! I’m excited because Alex and I are taking a trip to the beach today. After a rainy and gross Friday, I’m ready to spend a day by the water.

 

Work was interesting in that an oven used in order to test products in heat broke. Our maintenance man came to my office to tell me. Luckily the second oven we have has adjustable shelves. Currently there are 17 tests happening so if I wasn’t able to put everything in one oven, everything would be set back weeks. Besides, that work went on as normal which is good.

Once home, I had some cheese and crackers. Random fact but Alex and I have cheese and crackers as a snack almost everyday. I read on the couch before bed. I finished “Pretty Baby” and really enjoyed it! While looking for a playlist on Spotify I found thisΒ one and it has so many good songs from when I was growing up.


Dinner was leftover chicken from Monday night plus roasted broccoli and potatoes. If I was given the option to eat a roasted potato everyday I would happily say yes. I just love them! After dinner, we decided to keep the music going and had a drink on our porch since the rain cleared. Bartender Alex was very excited to use the barcart he made!

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When we came back inside, I finished this blog post and then we watched the rest ofΒ “Life As We Know It” Β before going to bed.

 

I’m in the car driving to the beach now and hope you all have a great Saturday!

 

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Long Weekend Project

Hi everyone! I hope you are a enjoying the long weekend.

Saturday morning started off with a 3 mile run. It rained overnight so it was humid all day. Alex’s mom and sister invited me to tag along to the farmers market. They picked me up and less than 2 minutes later we got a flat tire. Alex had to come change it. Luckily we were still able to go to the farmers market. I got some really fresh vegetables plus cider doughnuts (Alex’s request).

Once we got home I ate lunch and got ready to go to the grocery store. We were about to head out the door when Alex’s mom called to say the spare was vibrating. Poor Alex had to fix the tire again, in the rain this time!


Before we left, he let it slip what he was building for my birthday (July 3rd). Since I found out, I skipped food shopping and helped him build instead. I had been talking about a bar cart for a while so he was sweet enough to build it for me. I’m so excited to see the finished product and get it into the apartment. I’ll be sure to share pictures!


Alex’s parents invited us over for a little cookout since a family friend (with a son Alex’s age) were coming over. We ran back to change out of sweaty work clothes before heading over for some burgers. His friend Ajay came back to our apartment for a bit. Since he lives in New York we don’t see him as much so it’s nice to catch up when he’s in town.

 

We’re back working on the bar cart today. I still have to food shop so this Sunday is going to be a busy one. But it’s a shortened work week which is always exciting. Have a great day!

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Dear Rutgers

My little brother texted me today to say that my diploma arrived in the mail. I feel like this is the definite end to my undergraduate years. I thought I would write down my feelings for the past four years of my life as a way to sum it all up.

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Dear Rutgers,

The past four years have been interesting to say the least. You have allowed me to grow as a person through different challenges and joys. I would not be where I am today or the person I am today if I did not chose to spend four years of my life there.

During freshman year I met some amazing people that made the transition from high school to college fun and interesting. Whether it was pregaming to “We Can’t Stop” or “Gas Pedal” or going to my Physic TA’s offices hours every single week, I made it through a year of being completely away from my family, friends, and home. I was always so excited to go back to Chicago because I started to feel like I was home at Rutgers. It was this year that taught me I do not have to be near family to feel at home. Home is the people you surround yourself with.

I was so excited to come back for sophomore year. I was finally going to take specific engineering classes instead of the general ones. That fall semester was the one that introduced to Packaging Engineering and I have not looked back since. Since that first class, I was intrigued with packaging and ended up switching my major within weeks of school starting. With all of the amazing opportunities packaging offered, I never thought I would meet some of the amazing people I did. When people I considered to be my “best friends” ended up turning on me, I was able to turn to my friends in packaging who were there to pick me up when I needed it. These were the people I would the rest of my college career with.

Junior year was were I felt like an “adult” by moving off campus. It was the first time I had to cook for myself for all of my meals and when I and my own apartment (even if I had 7 other roommates). This was the year I really delved into packaging. The summer leading up to and throughout the entire year I got to have my first real world experience of being a packaging engineer. I was able to work at Shiseido, a cosmetics company in Central New Jersey. I learned so much from all of the coworkers and ended up with enough makeup for years lol. Shiseido gave me the confidence to know that I would succeed in packaging.

I was also picked to work on a case study project that took me to Las Vegas. Although we did not win, placing in third place was a nice way to have all of the hard work rewarded. Las Vegas is also where The Pope Squad (I name my packaging friends and I came up with) started and I don’t think junior year would have had has many laughs without those 4 other girls.

Senior year started on a crazy note. I was working full time and taking classes two nights a week in order to be a full time student. With all of that going on, I somehow managed to meet Alex who is The One and has brightened my days ever since. I lived in a house with 7 roommates again and although some were huge pains in the butt, I lived with Sarah who has become one of my best and closest friends. Without the two of them, I truly don’t know how I would have managed the past year.

Senior year also gave me the opportunity to travel. I was lucky enough to be one of 7 students picked to go to France for a week to work on a project with French students. Without this opportunity, I would not have been able to visit Paris and Switzerland with my friend Maggie (from the Pope Squad!) The was an amazing time and I am forever grateful.

So Rutgers, it appears our time together is through. I don’t know how I will feel come fall once I see younger students going back to school. I don’t think I’ll miss any exams or projects but I will miss you. I’ll miss the campus with the mix of 251 years of history and new modern buildings. I’ll miss every amazing opportunity I was given. I’ll miss the way you (and God) brought people into my life and took them out of my life when I no longer needed them. At the time I may not have understood, but now I see it was leading me to where and who I am today.

Thank you for showing me how strong of I person I am by allowing my 18 year old self to grow into a 21 year old with a full time job and more hopes and dreams now than when I was a little girl playing dress up.

I’m sure I will be back soon but I know it won’t be the same.

Love,

Maureen