Things that matter Thursday

Before I talk about important things, I just wanted to say that if you are what you eat, I will shortly be turning into a microwave protein muffin (click for recipe).

chocolate covered banana microwave muffin gnc puredge

Since I’ve been gone for so long, I haven’t had a chance to share some important things in my life!

This glass sculpture thing, custom made with my cat’s ashes.

snickers paper weight

A lot of you know my cat passed (<– don’t click that link if you don’t like reading sad stories) back in August. Obviously I took it very hard, as she was my buddy since I was 7 years old. My awesome parents had this little glass sculpture, containing some of Snickers’ ashes, made for me (about the size of a baseball). The colors are the colors of her eyes, so whenever I look at it, it reminds me of her (in a good way).

Edited- The talented man behind the glass ball is Hugh from Big Island Glass.

This nutcracker.

49 nutcracker

I know it looks like a simple and obnoxious football fan nutcracker, but to me it means so much more.

Back in high school my grandmother passed suddenly, 2 weeks before my graduation. Her health had been slowly declining, but it all hit us like a ton of bricks. She was a HUGE fan of the SF 49er’s (and Giant’s), thus my family was too.

Fast forward to very late 2013- my grandpa gave all of the grandchildren some money that was “from Grandma.” Normally I would immediately put that money into savings (or investments). However, my dad told my sister and I that we could put it into savings, but also think about buying 1 thing that reminds us of our grandmother. I immediately thought of a 49er nutcracker because every Christmas since I can remember, my grandma would give me a nutcracker.

This gingerbread house.

gingerbread house

My favorite part of the holidays is the family time! This year at Thanksgiving, my aunt bought 2 gingerbread house kits and had all the cousins compete against each other (boys against girls). So. Fun. (Except the boys won…)

cousins thanksgiving gingerbread house

And lastly (this one is more of an exciting announcement)

nuun ambassador

I was picked as a Nuunbassador! SOOOOOOOOOO excited! I LOVE this brand and it’s something I use on a very regular basis. I not only use Nuun for running purposes, but ANYTIME I feel dehydrated!

Share something that matters to you!

Do you ever make gingerbread houses?

Do you have anything that reminds you of a loved one?

Chocolate Covered Banana Protein Microwave Muffin (gluten free) with GNC PUREDGE

I promised y’all yesterday that I would share my new favorite protein-packed recipe! It’s super easy, delicious, filling, healthy, and gluten free!

As we are super close to the holidays, all those annoying/delicious treats are everywhere! And most of you know, I have a MAJOR sweet-tooth. This microwave muffin satisfied that craving (and it’s not really sweet!), and gave me a protein-filled, healthy breakfast. Kyle thought it looked like poo, but he also doesn’t like delicious things like broccoli, spaghetti squash, and brussels sprouts ;)

chocolate covered banana microwave muffin

Now I know some of you (who really know me) are thinking, she doesn’t really like chocolate! You’re right! That being said, chocolate is kind of growing on me with age, but I still much prefer non-chocolate items (e.g. vanilla) over chocolate.

However, I recently was sent the Natural Chocolate GNC PUREDGE Complete Protein and it is great! If you haven’t heard about their PUREDGE protein, it’s whole-food based and delivers 20g protein and 1 full serving of fruits and vegetables per serving! It’s meant for active adults who are on-the-go and need a little extra help getting their essential nutrients!

It’s gluten-free, contains no preservatives, and no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners. It’s designed to support muscle health while supplying daily nutritional needs!

gnc puredge protein

Right now, I’m trying to heal my wonky knee, hip/ass issues (in different legs) but as soon as I start training for my next half marathon, I cannot wait to try the GNC PUREDGE Daily Energy and Complete Amino!

I also got to try the 2 GNC PUREDGE protein bars too. I was running late to work on 2 different days and grabbed them as I rushed out the door. I think I liked the Banana Nut Bread more than the Peanut Butter Cookie Dough- but keep in mind I don’t like peanut butter flavored things.

gnc puredge protein bar

On to the SUPER easy recipe!

Mash your ripe banana with a fork. It will look super appetizing like baby vomit.

banana chia pudding

Add 1 scoop of protein powder, coconut flour, egg, cinnamon, baking powder, and almond extract. Mix well and microwave for 2-3 minutes!

2014-12-16 21.31.28

Okay, starting to get the poo reference…but I promise it tastes yummy! Almost like a slightly chocolate flavored banana bread :)

chocolate covered banana microwave muffin gnc puredge

Chocolate Covered Banana Protein Microwave Muffin (Gluten free)

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 scoop, Natural Chocolate GNC PUREDGE Complete Protein
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 egg (or 2 egg whites)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • splash of almond extract


Mash banana in a microwave safe mug. Add and mix in the rest of the ingredients until combined. The consistency should be such that you could pour the “batter” out of the mug (still thick though). If it is too thick, add a teaspoon of almond milk (or other milk) at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Microwave for 2.5-3 minutes (will depend on your microwave). Once cooked, you should be able to invert the mug and the muffin should slide out. Eat as is or cover with your favorite nut butter!

Thanks to GNC for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

Do you use protein powder?

What would you make with the chocolate protein powder?

Have you ever made a microwave muffin?

Peanut butter flavored things- yes or no?

ALL the Parties

Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes! You guys are the best! I can’t wait to have some down time this weekend and catch up on all your blogs! I’ve missed so much!

I didn’t get to tell you guys about this, but back in November when my sister was home for Thanksgiving break, I threw her a surprise 21st birthday party!

Annie Surprise 21st Bday 3

She turned 21 the Saturday before she came home, so I told her I was going to take her to dinner and to get a drink. I had her close high school friends (and Kyle + his siblings) hide at the restaurant before we arrived. Actually, my parents were there too just to see her shocked face, and then they left because that would be weird.

Annie Surprise 21st Bday 2

So much fun to surprise her, but we both learned that we are allergic to tequila (just going to leave it at that)…we really are related ;)

That same weekend, Kyle and I cut down our first Christmas tree together!! One of the awesome things about THIS holiday season is that we are having so many firsts! The first time Kyle wanted to saw off my head, followed by our first make-up ;)

first christmas treefirst christmas tree

Here is our tree in our new living room. Please ignore all the painters’ tape and primer ;)

first christmas tree

BTW I named him Liam Neeson because I thought he was Taken. ba dum tsss. (we left our tree for a minute to go look at another tree, and when we were returning to go back to Liam I couldn’t see him)

I just love coming home every day and immediately turning on those lights. We’ll decorate it this weekend (have to collect all our ornaments from our parents’!).

Something that got me even MORE excited for the holidays was my company holiday party this past weekend! It was a masquerade ball theme (masks weren’t mandatory but encouraged) and held at a vineyard! They had tons of food, magicians, a photo booth, dancing, and a casino area.

The location- photo was taken from their website cause I think I would have pissed off the valet if I stopped all the cars “to take a photo for my blog”

Here we are in one of the halls at the start of the party!

And one of the photobooth photos :)

holiday party

I didn’t actually take that many photos there because we were too busy chatting with friends and playing blackjack ;) but it was a fun night!

After that, Kyle and I drove to my BFF Shanna’s house for her holiday party (don’t worry, I was the incredibly sober driver- my superhero name? I had no interest in alcohol after tequila went in and out of the same end). We didn’t want to stay long because I went to bed at 5AM because of finals (and then got up at 8AM). We stayed just long enough to say hi to everyone, give Shanna her Christmas present (I’m taking her to Cirque du Soleil!), and to take this awesome photo.

shanna holiday party

{Instagram} If you can’t read Kyle’s frame, it says, “Go home you’re drunk.” Which he was ;)

PS stay tuned for my super easy chocolate covered banana protein microwave muffin recipe. Super easy, gluten free, and yummy!

chocolate covered banana microwave muffin

Have you ever thrown a surprise party or received one? I’ve done/had both :)

Do you cut your own tree?

Do you get a holiday party at work? Kyle’s is lame and they throw it during regular business hours and don’t invite family. Boo.