Let’s Talk About These Cinnamon Sugar Donuts…

“Donuts. Is there anything they can’t do?”- Matt Groening

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Fun fact: I have a very unhealthy obsession with donuts. Sadly, they’re not the healthiest food in the world, who would’ve known! I’ve been searching around for a yummy, healthier donut recipe that could compete with the unhealthy donuts and that could make me forget about my one true love; apple fritters. So far, I haven’t been able to find a healthy version of an apple fritter, but I did find these gluten free cinnamon sugar donuts that I made vegan, and let me tell you, they have changed my life.

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(shout out to Kristina of Love & Zest for this wonderful recipe!)

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What you’ll need for this recipe is;

  • Butter (I used Earth Balance vegan butter)
  •  Maple Syrup
  • Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Vanilla Almond Milk (I didn’t have unsweetened but it turned out just fine!)
  • Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Cinnamon

First off, your going to preheat your oven to 425 degrees and spray your donut pan, then set it aside because you’ll use it later. To start this off the batter , you’re going to melt 4 tablespoons of your butter in a large bowl, then combine the maple syrup and vanilla into it. Once that is well mixed, beat your egg in, then add the baking powder, salt and almond milk. I would recommend using a whisk to stir this in to get rid of the clumps because the baking soda WILL leave some clumps, but they’ll eventually whisk away. Next, add your flour, stir until it is completely combined, and you have your batter! I added about a teaspoon of cinnamon, simply because I love cinnamon, but that’s definitely optional. Spoon your batter into your donut pans, filling them almost to the top because I learned that they don’t rise very much, then pop those bad boys into the oven for 10 minutes. Once those are done, place them to the side and start working on the cinnamon sugar coating. The recipe calls for 1/3 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, but as I started to coat the donuts, I noticed that there was a little too much cinnamon (surprising, I know). I would recommend keeping the 1/3 cup of sugar, but starting with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and adding more if its needed. Once the donuts are cooled, place your cinnamon sugar mixture in a plastic bag along with a donut and shake it all up until the donut is well coated. Repeat this step until they’re all done, and bam! You have yummy, gluten free, cinnamon sugar donuts!

These cinnamon sugar donuts are everything I would want and more in a healthier version of a donut. They’re fluffy, they have amazing flavor, and they’re is absolutely no guilt when you eat them! I absolutely recommend giving these a try. Not only are they delicious, but they were insanely easy.

 

Let’s Talk About My Photography…

Photography is such a beautiful way to show others how you view the world through your own eyes. I do it because it allows me to express my creative mind in a unique way Now, I in no way claim to be the world’s best photographer, I don’t claim to even be that great at photography, it’s just something that I find relaxing and comforting. I haven’t mastered anything yet, I still require LOADS of help when it comes to editing photos, settings, and everything in between, but here are some photos that I and the people who have helped me have been able to come up with.

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Mukilteo, Washington. Edited by my lovely girlfriend. (Most are)
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San Francisco, California.
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Mukilteo, Washington.
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Seattle, Washington.
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Beaverton, Oregon.
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San Francisco, California.
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San Francisco, California.
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Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Las Vegas, Nevada.
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San Francisco, California.
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Napa, California.

While I still have a long way to go, I love learning about this hobby and learning about new ways to express myself through it. I hope that everyone who sees these enjoys them and they bring a little bit of happiness to their day!

Let’s Talk About Being Stuck In a Rut…

“But there was a difference between being stuck and choosing to stay. Between being found and finding yourself.” ― Martina Boone

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As humans, we have a habit of trying to plan exactly how our life should turn out. We don’t just set goals for ourselves, we plan and we plan and we plan until we have an unrealistic expectation in our head, this end goal that we work so hard for, and when it doesn’t end up turning out exactly the way that it was expected to, we beat ourselves up over it because we it didn’t go as planned. In life, sometimes things just happen. Sometimes things happen at the worst times, things that we couldn’t have planned for, and sometimes these things completely throw off  the balance of our lives leaving us with absolutely no idea what do. In these situations, we have a choice. We can either sit and dwell on the fact that things didn’t go our way, or we can fight back and make the most of what life has handed to us.

As I’ve said before, I’m someone who loves health. I get up at 6 O’clock in the morning, go to the gym, eat a healthy breakfast, and then go on with the rest of my day. I do this because the healthy lifestyle and going to the gym is what calms my anxiety. Since I’ve been starting the day off with a workout, I’ve noticed that my anxiety is so much more tolerable and I’m able to be my carefree self throughout the day. A few days ago, this took a slight turn when I was running on the treadmill and I strained my ankle. Since this incident, I haven’t been able to walk properly, I’ve been in pretty intense pain, and I haven’t been able to do my workouts. Yes, I can do a workout without my legs, but being someone who loves cardio and feels the happiest when she’s running or getting a real sweat on, it just isn’t the same for me. I’m lucky enough to not have done any serious damage, and I’ll be back on my feet soon enough, but I didn’t realize how hard being stuck would hit me.

The past few days have been full of me questioning “why did I have to get hurt?” “why is the universe against me?” which was all fine and dandy for a second, until I realized that dwelling on the fact that I’m hurt and that I can’t do what I normally do isn’t going to do me any good. Life is what I make of it and if I sit on this couch crying and acting like my entire world is going to end until I get better, I’m just going to be miserable. I realized that I need to focus on the good that’s surrounding me. I have such a loving family that is constantly giving me support and helping me feel comfortable, I have such a loving girlfriend who has been checking up on me and making sure I’m mentally stable throughout the last few days, I’m able to write this, to get my creative juices flowing and my emotions out in a way that makes me feel the happiest, and as cliché as it sounds, I have a roof over my head, food on the table, and clothes on my back. The universe is not against me. This is just a small bump in the road, a little learning lesson that will give me the opportunity to grow.

In the midst of this slightly depressing week, the small revelation of “my life is not as bad as I’m making it out to be” was what I needed in order to get my life back on track. If you’re ever stuck in a rut, or you feel like you’ve hit this bump in the road and you don’t know why the universe would do this to you, take a step back, look around you, and try took look for the positive because I promise, the light will shine through the darkness.

Let’s Talk About My Current Favorite Songs…

“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”
― Bob Marley.

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Music is the best way for me to unwind from a stressful day, to pump up and get hyped for my workout, to channel my happiness, or let out all of my emotions when I’m feeling down. While my music taste constantly changes, and I always have to be on the hunt for new songs, these are the ones that I have been absolutely loving lately:

  • Blood Bank by Bon Iver
  • Roslyn by Bon Iver and St. Vincent
  • Holocene by Bon Iver
  • Like To Be You by Shawn Mendes ft Julia Michaels
  • Why by Shawn Mendes
  • Fallin’ All In You by Shawn Mendes
  • Why by Sabrina Carpenter
  • Dive by Ed Sheeran
  • Barcelona by Ed Sheeran
  • Drive by Oh Wonder
  • Without You by Oh Wonder
  • Body Gold by Oh Wonder
  • Cherry Wine- Live by Hozier
  • From Eden by Hozier
  • Like Real People Do by Hozier
  • Everytime by Boy Pablo
  • Ready/Problems by Boy Pablo
  • You’ve Got a Woman by Whitney
  • You Were My Girl by Palmas
  • I Want To Know (Your Love) by Palmas
  • Gooey by Glass Animals
  • Already Gone by Sleeping At Last
  • Saturn by Sleeping At Last
  • Anchor by Novo Amor
  • Promise by Ben Howard
  • Love It If We Made It by The 1975

These are my current song obsessions, but I’m open to all different types of music and would love to branch out a bit, so I would highly appreciate song suggestions!

Let’s Talk About Coming Out…

“When all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.”–Barack Obama

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Hello world, family, extended family, and anyone who is currently reading this post, while I love to keep my blog light-hearted and fun, and this definitely will not be a drag, this topic is a bit more serious than usual. I grew up in a very interesting family, and by interesting I mean that I have multiple siblings who classify themselves within the LGBTQ+ community. Growing up, it was such a normal thing in my household, that when I would hear negative talk outside of my house, at school, or on the news, I was shocked. I never understood why being apart of the LGBTQ+ community was seen as so “wrong”. I didn’t understand why people were so against those who are gay, transgender, bisexual, asexual, etc. That’s why it was hard for me. It wasn’t because of my family. I knew that they would understand, I knew that they would support me, love me, accept me. It was because of the world around me.

That’s why it took me until freshman year to utter the words to ANYONE: I’m bisexual.

Surprise! I’m bisexual!

I figured this out when I was in sixth grade, and let me tell you, it was absolutely terrifying. I remember sitting in class and thinking the girl across from me was the prettiest person I had ever seen, and it wasn’t just “oh, wow, she’s so pretty,” no, it was more of “wHat Do I Do sHe’S sO pReTty sToP looking At hER.” This brought on a lot of confusion because in sixth grade, although I had grown up in a very open household that was full of the LGBTQ+ community, I didn’t really know what being bisexual meant. I didn’t know that it was possible for a person to be able feel a connection to both genders. With that being said, I brushed it off until Freshman year. (That wasn’t easy, by the way, it popped up in my head a lot).

Freshman year was when I became friends with this girl who was on the soccer team, and yes, it liked her. At the time, neither of us were open and ready to be ourselves, but now we are both happy, open, and proud. But these feelings were what ensured that I am bisexual, and that it was time for me to tell my mom, and this is how that went:

Me: “I have something to tell you…”

Mom: “What it is?”

Me: “I like boys…and girls…”

Mom: “Okay, want a cheeze-it?” *Hands me cheeze-itz box*

It was just so casual, and it made me wish that everything and every coming out story for everyone could be that casual. Next came my dad, which was also really calm and easy, then my siblings, easy, and then now, this. Most of my extended family doesn’t know, until this moment if they’re reading this. Sorry for not telling you sooner. And also sorry for not telling you that I have a girlfriend. She’s real cute and if you’d like a picture of her you have my number, hopefully.

I’m going to leave all of you with this; coming out is probably the scariest thing in the entire world, whether you have a supportive family or not. My immediate family is immensely supportive and I couldn’t ask for more, but the world outside these doors is not as supportive. One day, it will all get better. One day, we will all be able to respect one another. One day, you will be able to come out and be yourself. One day, there will be equality and harmony in our world.

 

 

Let’s Talk About These Apple Cinnamon Muffins…

“It’s all about a balancing act between time, temperature and ingredients: That’s the art of baking.” Peter Reinhart

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As the end of July approaches, my cravings for all things cinnamon, pumpkin, caramel heighten. When I saw these Apple Cinnamon Muffins made Healthier that have a cinnamon streusel on top, you already know I jumped on the opportunity to make them.

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(Shout out to Erin of Texanerin Baking for this amazing recipe!)

This recipe calls for numerous ingredients, which I’ll list off now!

For the muffins:

  • Whole Wheat Flour, Whole Spelt Flour, or Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (I used Whole Wheat Flour)
  • Baking Powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Allspice (I didn’t have allspice so I made some using 1/4 teaspoon of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon)
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • An Egg
  • Honey
  • Olive Oil or Canola Oil (I used olive oil)
  • Plain Yogurt or Buttermilk (I used plain greek yogurt)
  • 1 Cup of Chopped Apples (This ended up being 1 apple)

For the streusel:

  • Whole spelt, whole wheat pastry, or whole wheat flour
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown Sugar
  • Melted Butter (I used vegan butter)

The first few steps of this recipe are pretty simple, ya pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees, line your muffin tin with, what she says to be 8 liners, but I ended up only having enough batter for 7 muffins, and then things get a little different. You have to then whisk your egg well, then add your honey, olive oil, and vanilla. This will look very weird, like Erin says in her instructions, but just keep mixing until everything is well combined and trust me, it’s all going to fall into place. To this, add your yogurt or buttermilk and once that is well combined, add your dry mixture. Be sure to not over mix in this step because you still have to mix in the apples, which will completely combine the mixture.

After you’ve folded the chopped apples into the mixture, it’s time to make the yummiest streusel. This part is super simple, basically you just combine the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour, mix, mix, mix, and it’s done! Pour your batter into the liners, sprinkle some streusel on top, pop them into the oven for about 16 minutes, and let them cool for about 5 minutes before indulging!

These were probably the best muffins I have had in the LONGEST time and if you’re someone like me who tries to push Fall and misses those Autumn spices, these are perfect for you!

 

 

Let’s Take a Peek At My Back to School Lookbook…

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Great Wave shirt: PacSun, Checkered Pants: PacSun, Shoes: Vans

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Green and Black plaid overall dress: Tilly’s, Mock neck shirt: Forever 21, Shoes: Black Booties from Asos

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Orange and Black patterned romper: Forever 21, Shoes: Black Booties from Asos

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Mock Neck Tank: Forever 21, Plaid Pants: Brandy Melville, Shoes: Vans

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Brown jacket: Urban Outfitters, Turtle neck: Forever 21, Jeans: Hollister, Shoes: Black Booties from Asos

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Striped top: Tilly’s, Button down skirt: Tilly’s, shoes: Burgundy Vans

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Red top: Forever 21, Checkered pants: PacSun, Shoes: Black Booties from Asos

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Grey hoodie: H&M, Leggings: Nike, Shoes: Vans

Let’s Talk About Yoga…

     “Yoga is the art work of awareness on the canvas of body, mind, and soul.” -Amit Ray

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At the age of six, a woman my mom worked with asked me if I wanted to join her cheerleading team, promising it would be full of good times and high energy performances. Me being the young, optimistic adolescent I was of course jumped at the opportunity and joined right away. The beginning of my cheerleading career was of course fun and games, but as the years went on, it got more and more competitive. The girls became more unkind with age, the topic of social class and money was top priority, and the only way to be relevant is if you were apart of that group. It wasn’t until my freshman year of high school that I had my revelation. This isn’t the life I want for myself.

I didn’t have my spiritual awakening until the summer before my junior year. This is when I realized that I was almost letting myself go; I wasn’t eating the healthiest, I wasn’t exercising anymore, and I didn’t have my usual hunger for life. Realizing this, I knew that it was time for a lifestyle change. I had heard through the grapevine that yoga was a beneficial way to relieve stress and become one with themselves, which of course led to me giving it a try. Turns out, this was the best decision I could have made for myself, my body, and my life.

I’ve always been an artistic person, as well as athletic, and the fact that I am able to practice an art form that allows me to get a lil sweat in makes me feel like the luckiest person in the world.  The practice of yoga is one of the few things in my life that is one hundred percent just for me. I do not do yoga for anyone else, I do not practice to please anyone, I practice in order to gain self-confidence, self-love, and self-respect. The amount of freedom I feel when I light my candles at 8 P.M. when the sun is going down and I can just be myself while I do my practice is an indescribable feeling.  It’s a never-ending learning experience, seeing that I know that I will never be a master of yoga. I will forever be learning more about the art form, I will forever be learning new poses, new breathing techniques, and new ways to love myself.

I’m going to leave things off with this; if you are searching for new ways to start off a healthy lifestyle or if you are having a hard time with your self-confidence, give yoga a try. It is not for everyone and I cannot guarantee that you’ll fall in love with it like I did, but at least you can say you tried.

 

 

Let’s Talk About My Morning Routine…

Summer is usually the time for most teenagers to catch up on their much needed rest, but let’s start off by saying that I’m not like not like most teenagers.

My mornings start off at 6:30 A.M. when the calming sounds of Oh Wonder play through my phone, waking me up from my usual eight hour slumber. After getting out of bed, I’ll normally go through a series of three minute stretches that starts with a pike stretch and ends with the lotus (which, by the way, took me about a year to learn how to do). Once my morning stretches are complete, my workout clothes are thrown on, the hydro flask is filled, the sunflower backpack is prepared, and I head out the door to my community gym.

I’m one of those rare species that actually enjoys using the elliptical. Every time I say that to anyone, I get a series of strange looks followed up by an “absolutely not”. When I get to the gym, the first thing I do is turn on inspirational videos (ex: how to stop comparing yourself to others, how to be confident, etc,) because it allows me to get into the right head space, then it’s time to use the elliptical for about twenty-five to thirty minutes. Once that is complete, I use the bike for thirty, then it’s weights, legs, and then it’s time to go home!

Getting home from the gym is probably the most peaceful feeling because it’s usually around 7:50, I’m able to open all of the windows, light some candles, and just be. Making breakfast, my go to being egg whites, mushrooms, whole wheat toast with vegan butter, and a cup of cinnamon coffee with coconut milk creamer, with music on allows me to wind down from the gym and clear my head for a bit. After breakfast then comes my shower, but I’ll spare the details.

After my shower is usually the time I like to sit down with my laptop and start to write for my blog. I’ll either have music or a video playing in the background, being that I’m not one to work in silence, and write my new post for the day, which then concludes my morning routine!

 

 

Let’s Talk About the Power Of Music…

What is music to me?

Music is the peace you feel while walking through a field of flowers listening to smooth piano classics.

It’s the everlasting childhood glee you feel when you’ve stepped foot onto Disneyland territory and the sound of the Esplanade music fills your ears.

It’s the overwhelming comfort you feel when you’re curled up with a cup of coffee on the nightstand, a book on your lap, the pitter patter of rain ricocheting off the window, and your favorite acoustic indie songs softly playing through the speakers.

It’s the devastation you feel as you constantly re-read the final “it’s over” text with the lyrics of every break up song Beyoncé has ever written playing in your head.

It’s the pride you feel watching the youngest soul in your family take their first piano lesson and play Mary Had a Little Lamb successfully.

It’s the anxiety you feel as you slow dance with your first love at the senior prom, the cheesiest of love songs playing in the background.

It’s the euphoria you feel as the DJ at your wedding plays the first dance song, and you realize your life is forever changed for the better.

It’s the confidence you feel when you hear a positive, upbeat song and you realize; I am a badass.

And it’s the feeling your heart gets when you hear a song for the first time and you know, you just know that this is your new anthem.

Music is the expression of life. It is what allows people to feel and express the emotions that they other wise don’t know how to express. They are not just words, it is not just music, it is deep seeded emotions and feelings that are being bloomed and brought into the real world.