grandma muffins

muffins

The other day I made the most delicious banana bran muffins as a study snack. I know, I sound like an absolute grandma, but they were so tasty and I couldn’t resist trying to make comfort food a little bit healthier (ok, truth is I had some wheat bran sitting around that I literally hadn’t touched since I made a variation on my quinoa granola and I had a few ancient bananas that were minutes away from rotting, so I thought I might as well whip something up while I was thinking about it). The recipe I followed was super easy and the muffins came out so moist and fluffy. Did I tell myself I’d only have one and share the rest then end up eating five in the same day? Yes, but seeing how fast my housemates finished the rest, I will definitely be doubling (or tripling) the recipe during the next go around!

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients: (makes 12)

- 1/2 cup butter, softened

- 1/2 cup sugar

- 3 ripe bananas, mashed

- 1/4 cup milk

- 1 tsp vanilla extract

- 2 eggs

- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

- 1/2 cup wheat bran

- 1 tsp baking powder

- 1 tsp baking soda

- 1/4 tsp salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease muffin pan. In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar together until fluffy. Then add bananas, vanilla and eggs. Mix well. Finally, stir in flour, bran, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Pour batter into muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes then test with a toothpick to see if centers are baked through yet. If toothpick does not come out clean, bake for another 5 minutes. Remove muffins from oven and let cool in pan. Then transfer from pan to wire cooling rack to cool completely. Lastly, dig in!!

weekend woohoo

weekend

Where do I even begin about this weekend? First off, Union College won its first ever Frozen Four men’s hockey national championship title on Saturday! It was unbelievable. Union knows how to celebrate, but the energy of this weekend was just beyond. Did the students get some bad press with a few “riots” and the like? Maybe. But no one can deny the sheer awesomeness of two thousand ecstatic students and a community totally rallying behind an underdog victory. On top of the historic win, my weekend was made even more wonderful by friends, family, and the weather. The Boy‘s younger brother visited campus (potential Union Class of 2018 student) as did my little sister and her BF. Everyone got along so well and we had so many great adventures. Plus, the weather was gorgeous! The temps in upstate NY recently have supposedly been in the 60s, but it feels so much warmer than that. The entire Union College campus is coming out of hibernation, and spring and the students have finally sprung!

Did you have a wonderful weekend??

frozen four

FrozenFour

For what ever reason, this week went by really fast. Yesterday Union College’s Men’s Ice Hockey team beat Boston College 5 to 4 during a Frozen Four semifinal match in Philadelphia. Not only was I beyond thrilled (recall, I transferred to Union from BC), but the game was actually insane. Union’s shots were incredible (my personal favorite being a miss then pass-back goal) and victory seemed up in the air even through the last two minutes when BC was playing with six offenders and no goalie and scored with legitimately three seconds left on the clock. Nevertheless, we won and are scheduled to go up against Minnesota in the championship game on Saturday. I am so excited for this weekend and have my fingers crossed for a perfect senior year treat!

movie spectrum

This past weekend I saw three very different movies. I saw an action film, a family film, and an indie film. Here’s what I thought about my movies from all over the spectrum:

captain

Action Film: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The new Captain America movie was really excellent. Having missed the first one and having never seen The Avengers (I guess you could say I’m a little behind…), I was expecting to be totally lost with this film, but the story held up on its own very well (and it helped that The Boy gave me a 15-minute recap of the previous movies on our way to the theater). I was fully able to appreciate this 136 minute long flick and would definitely recommend seeing it in IMAX 3D, despite the hefty cost. Plus, the previews gave me countless movies to add to my future to-see list!

muppets

Family Film: Muppets Most Wanted

I saw this movie with my parents and a theater full of 8-and-under-year-olds and totally admit to laughing out loud multiple times. The plot involved an evil Russian Kermit look-alike and the references to Siberia and Russian culture were absolutely hilarious. I appreciated that this film had humor aimed at the adults in the audience, but it was never cynical or subtly profane like some movies like to do. I wouldn’t say that this is a movie that you must see in theaters, but it should definitely be added to your list of light-hearted and entertaining flicks reserved for those rainy day blues.

her

Indie Film: Her

Where do I begin with Her? Probably the best way to describe this movie is to call it “intriguing” or maybe “disturbing,” depending on how you feel. Basically a film about a man in future L.A. falling in love with his personal assistant operating system, the plot definitely raises some questions about the future of man’s interaction with technology and what exactly makes humans human. That being said, I thought the film could have delved into those questions with more depth. Instead audience members got more depressing, Sundance moments and a few uncomfortable human-on-computer love scenes that left almost nothing up to the imagination. Would I recommend seeing the movie? Certainly! Despite its shortcomings and it’s very indie indie-ness, it raised some good questions as the world becomes more and more technologically devoted.

chris evans

just in case reading about that last movie made you sad, here’s a photo of Captain America (Chris Evans) to brighten your mood…

Check out my other movie reviews:

The Wolf of Wall Street, Lone Survivor, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit | Julie and JuliaThe Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, American Hustle |  About TimeGravity |  The Great Gatsby |  Skyfall The Hunger GamesExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close

red, white, and blue

kco

Is there anything better than the smell in the air as the seasons change from winter to spring? This is my absolute favorite time of the year. New grass is sprinkled with morning dew, flower buds are just beginning to pop up, and the sun is miraculously still in the sky even after dinner (and dessert!). Perhaps one of the things I am looking forward to most this spring is spending time running outdoors. I have always found jogging to be a great way for me to clear my head and I definitely get a lot more out of it being able to run around neighborhoods and bike trails rather than being stuck staring at the same gym wall while on a treadmill. And what better way to celebrate outdoor exercise than sporting some red, white, and blue for our beautiful country? My favorite short company, Krass & Co., has come out with a new line of women’s shorts and these patriotic pairs are to die for! Save 20% at checkout with the code “Usave” and treat yourself to a pair (or two!!).

rwb1

Krass & Co. “Sam’s Shorts” – $39.95

rwb2Krass & Co. “America Shorts” – $40.00

Happy running!!

(P.S. For more about Krass & Co. see here, here, and here!)

live well

livewell

As a part of my last college “hoorah” before entering the real world I am trying to really do what’s best for me and my health (because I know I might not have time for those kinds of luxuries come graduation…). One part of this campaign is to try to drink more water. I already drink a ton of water (a good habit I picked up during my freshman year of college. Also, fun fact: I didn’t like fruit until my freshman year of college either — guess it wasn’t all bad!), but I wanted to pay extra attention to the amount I was drinking and make sure that I was drinking enough water each and every day. My solution was to buy a very lovely Union College Nalgene water bottle. My goal is to drink at least two 32oz bottles of water each day. Any more is bonus. I’ve read that you are supposed to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water each day, so this is about right for me. Of course, if you are exercising you should expect to drink more. I’ve also found that I drink a lot more if I have seltzer water on hand. And increased hydration is supposed to have so many wonderful health benefits: your immune system is stronger, your skin is clearer, and you are less sluggish, just to name a few. So, who else wants to take the water challenge with me?

twin apt

love this inspirational wall next to the computer desk -- a great DIY idea and very lululemon, no?

love this inspirational wall next to the computer desk — a great DIY idea and very lululemon, no?

Last week my sister decided to agree to do Teach for America for two years after she graduates this June. Her ultimate life goal is to obtain a PhD in theoretical physics and pursue a career in academia, but when faced with the option of either diving into graduate school right away or taking a few years to give back and learn in a real-world setting, she chose the latter. I am so, so proud of her! Not only will she be nobly (and I think quite successfully) helping disadvantaged students, but she will be doing so in the best city in the world WITH ME! I can’t even express how excited I am to have Julia down in New York with me for two years. When I signed my job contract in the fall I did so knowing full well that my twin city plans might ultimately fall through and, to be honest, for quite a while it looked like they were going to do just that! But now the fates have favored us yet again and its seems that maddening and majestic Manhattan will continue to be our twin thing. I, of course, can’t help but already brainstorm ideas for our apartment… I know searching for something within our just-out-of-school budgets will be a pain, but a girl can dream!

these windows are just fantastic -- definitely a charming little feature that we could find in older apartments

these windows are just fantastic — definitely a charming little feature that we could find in older apartments

realistically, rooms will not be so much "rooms" as they are "spaces." this artful closet-made-wall-art next to a super comfy bed is a practical idea for a studio space

realistically, rooms will not be so much “rooms” as they are “spaces.” this artful closet-made-wall-art next to a super comfy bed is a practical idea for a studio space