6-month Blog Anniversary! pumpkin & peanut butter: from A-Z

Happy half-birthday pumpkin & peanut butter!!!

 

Today marks the official 6-month anniversary of this little blog that I’ve come to love so much. I cannot believe it’s been six months already. It feels like just yesterday I was taking the plunge and pressing publish on my first post. Just looking at that post makes me realize how much has changed for this little blog just over the past few months. Let’s evaluate:

  • I’ve fallen in love with photography and learned some important basics along the way, while also attempting my best effort at food styling (definitely still in progress, people).
  • I’ve {virtually} met so many incredible bloggers and learned a lot from their inspirational blogs and advice.
  • I’ve published a variety of photos on Finding Vegan, Tastespotting, Pot Luck by oh my veggies, and Food Gawker (oh, you impossible site, you)— something I never thought I’d be able to do.
  • I’ve connected with hundreds of followers and readers who have shared their kind words and inspired me to explore my creative side, more than I ever have before.
  • I bought broke down and bought my Canon Rebel  t5 and it changed my life! I’m not kidding!
  • I switched my blog over from wordpress.com to a self-hosted site (Blue Host) and completely redesigned my website.

Wow, what a crazy six months! But it wouldn’t have ever happened if it weren’t for all my fantastic followers and readers. Thank you for all your support and kind words. You guys are seriously the BEST!

 

Now, onto the star of today’s post: pumpkin & peanut butter from A-Z. I definitely can NOT take credit for this idea. I was inspired to try this from An Aspiring Heroine, back a few months ago. What a cool way to share a little more about yourself and your favorites things, while connecting with your readers! As soon as I read her post, I knew I had to try it on pumpkin & peanut butter. And this 6-month anniversary seemed like as good of time as any to share a little bit more about myself and my background.

 

a-z1

A is for avocado. Oh, you little green ball of creamy goodness! I use avocado almost daily— in dressings, in sauces, in smoothies, in salads, you name it. Avocado is so delicious on it’s own, but it also makes a great substitute for things like mayonnaise, butter, oil, and cheese. Check out my Creamy Avocado Pasta for an amazing avocado dish!

B is for bold roast coffee. I don’t like to think of myself as a coffee snob…. but I really like my coffee. Maybe it was that year that I worked at Starbucks back in grad school that sparked this coffee snob lover in me, but I adore those darker roasts like Cafe Verona or Sumatra. I don’t think I could get through a day without it!

C is for chocolate. Ohh chocolate, you make everything better! Especially dark chocolate— like I’m talking 85% cacao. I swear I eat it every… single… night. It’s healthy, right?! Oh, and I go crazy over this Vegan Chocolate Cake {to live for}.

D is for Durham. So most of you know that I recently moved to Durham, NC with my boyfriend while he attends law school. We moved here from the DC area, so it was a HUGE change for us, especially when you think about the size and culture of those two cities. Durham’s definitely a cool town full of hipsters and local hotspots, and you can’t beat the quality of life down here, but there’s still a part of me that longing for that big city again. Maybe in a few years…

E is for Europe. Back during my sophomore year of college, my sister and I backpacked Europe after my semester abroad in London and it is, to this day, one of the most memorable months of my life. The culture, the food, the people, the sights— I get the travel itch just thinking about it! We did it REAL backpacking style too. Like we wore the same 6 outfits everyday for a month, slept in hostels, and hopped from train to train all across Europe. It was incredible!

F is for family. I feel so lucky to have this on my A-Z. I think family is one of those things we begin to fully appreciate when we reach adulthood. Looking back, I grew up in such a loving and supportive family, and I know that’s made a huge impact on who I am today. I am truly blessed to have the family that I do. 

 

a-z 2

G is for grocery shopping. Am I the only one who thoroughly enjoys grocery shopping? It’s become my Saturday morning ritual and I strangely love it. Trader Joe’s, Wegman’s, Whole Foods— I just can’t get enough of you guys.

H is for high school sweethearts. I’m not sure if I’ve shared this before, but my boyfriend and I are actually high school sweethearts! We grew up right down the street from each other and started dating our senior year of high school. Who knew, 8 years later, we’d be here together? He is truly my best friend, my rock, and my other half.

I is for Italy. I know you’d never guess it by looking at me, but my dad’s side of the family is very Italian. I got the chance to visit Italy for a few weeks back in college and I never wanted to leave! The food, the scenery, the wine— I’m dying to go back asap!

J is for June. I was born in the month of June, so that must be why I love summer so much! I am definitely a warm weather kind of girl… which is strange, because I grew up in Upstate New York where warm just isn’t part of their vocabulary. I live for bright sunshine and 80 degree days!

K is for keeping warm. You know those people that are always cold… like even when the heat is turned up to 72 degrees? Yep, that’s me! As much as I love having four seasons, summer is by far my favorite time of the year. A little warmth and sunshine is all I need to bring a little happiness into my day. Or a trip to the Caribbean 🙂

 

a-z3

L is for London. As I said earlier, I studied abroad in London during my sophomore year of college and I can’t put into words how life changing it was. I met some of my best friends (to this day) while living there, taught in a British primary school, and lived like a local for six glorious months. I miss London every. single. day and cannot wait to go back.

M is for musicals. Back in middle school and high school, I began taking an interest in musical theater (both participating in it and see shows). Being that I was a dancer, musical theater was such a natural way to continue my passion, while also incorporating my love of music. By the end of high school, I had performed in over 10 musicals and took any chance I could get to see shows that came to our area. I still love seeing shows today— my recent favorite being, Once the Musical.

N is for nanas… short for bananas. Yeah I really stretched it on this one. Coming up with something for every letter is harder than you think! Back to bananas… I adore them! I eat a banana (or two) every day, usually with my oatmeal for breakfast. My favorite way to eat bananas— smothered in peanut butter of course! Or in this amazingly Creamy Superfood Berry Smoothie.

O is for oatmeal. Overnight oats with cinnamon, bananas, and slivered almonds. That’s my breakfast of choice every day and it keeps me full while I’m chasing after all my little first graders all morning! I also LOVE to use oatmeal in muffins, like these Cinnamon Applesauce Oat Muffins.

P is for peanut butter. Yeah, I don’t really have to elaborate on this one, especially since this blog is called pumpkin & peanut butter, but I will anyways because it’s amazing. I am a peanut butter fein! I would eat peanut butter with every meal if I could and never get sick of it. I’ve even had to put myself on a peanut butter detox because I can plow through a jar in a mere few days. Gross, I know. But I’m addicted.

 

a-z3

Q is for quiet. I’ve always been a pretty quiet person, especially in my adolescence. I’ve definitely come out of my shell a lot since then, but I still consider myself an introvert. As much as I love hanging out with close friends and going out, I also really love my alone time and quiet nights in with my boyfriend. Call me a grandma, but I’ve got no shame!

R is for red wine. Back when I was in grad school, I lived with my aunt for the year and became an unofficial wino. She and I both share a love of red wine, so put us both together and we had a grand old time. If Starbucks is the cause of my coffee snob-ness, she is the cause of my wine snob-ness. Thanks Aunt Sue 🙂

S is for spinning. Since we moved to North Carolina, I’ve gotten really into indoor cycling! I had taken a few spinning classes here and there, but never found an instructor that I really liked until we started here at my current gym. It’s definitely the most intense work out I’ve ever done, but I strangely look forward to those classes and always feel great afterwards.

T is for teacher. Most of you already know that I am an elementary school teacher by day! Sometimes when I read other blogs, I don’t ever picture that blogger working a real job, too. I’m not sure why— maybe it’s because so many bloggers put so much work into their sites and you think that’s all that they do. But yes, I work everyday just like the best of them! And nothing beats those summers off 🙂

U is for University of Pittsburgh. I completed both my undergrad and graduate degree at Pitt and loved my college experience. I made some of my best friends there, fell in love with the city, and tailgated A LOT of football games during my time there. Go Panthers!

 

a-z4

V is for vegetarian. For the past few years, I’ve been a {mostly} vegetarian, only eating fish about once a week (so I guess I’m a pescetarian) and meat once in a very great while. I’m definitely not super strict about it— I focus more on eating whole foods and healthy ingredients, while giving my body what it needs. I cook a lot of vegan dishes as well, since my boyfriend is mostly daily-free, and I’ve been loving experimenting with this kind of cooking, as you can see on this blog!

W is for Washington DC. When I graduated from college, I started my first job right outside DC and absolutely fell in love with the city! My boyfriend lived in the U Street area for a while, so I spent my weekends walking through Logan Circle, hanging out at Meridian Hill Park, and experiencing the cultural life that this city has to offer. 

X is for eXercise. I know, another stretch, but X was a really hard letter to come up with! Over the past few years, I come to really love exercise and realized how important it is in my life. Back in my early college years, I used to go weeks without going to the gym, but now I feel weird if it’s been 5 days. It’s become such an essential part of my week and really does leave me energized, de-stressed, and with a clear mind.

Y is for yoga. Yoga has been in and out of my life for roughly 5 years. I started doing yoga my junior year of college when I fell in love with this hot yoga studio right near campus. I spent my summer going multiple days a week and felt absolutely great! But since then, time has gotten the best of me and I’ve let yoga become just a once in a while thing. My goal is to get myself into a yoga routine this year and really focus on my practice. I know it’s what my body truly needs, especially to balance out the cardio I do.

Z is for Zumba. I’ve been a dancer ever since I was in elementary school. I competed my way through high school and continued teaching dance and taking class in college (even though I didn’t major in it), but it was really hard to find dancing opportunities once I graduated. Zumba has been my life-savor! It’s such a fun way for me to get my exercise in and fulfill my desire to keep dancing now that I’m in the real world. I’m definitely very picky about my instructors, but once I find a good one, I’m hooked and loving life!

 

Again, thanks to all my readers out there for keeping me excited about blogging for six wonderful months! Hope you learned something new about me and maybe even felt sparked to write a similar post, just like I once did (yes, I’m talking to all you fellow bloggers out there!)

pumpkinandpb

Hi, I’m Liz and this is my food blog where I share my love of healthy foods and whole ingredients. You will find mostly vegetarian dishes, plenty of sweets, and lots of love from this little kitchen in Durham, North Carolina!

4 Comments

  1. Happy blogaversary! I’ve been blogging almost exactly 6 months, too, and while it feels like I’ve been doing it forever, I kind of can’t believe it’s already been a whole 6 months. And what a fun anniversary post 🙂

    • That’s so cool you’re at about the same “age” as me hehe! I feel the exact same way— I feel like I’ve been doing it a while because so much has changed already, but it’s also flown by, probably because it’s been so fun! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. Congratulations on six months of blogging! I’m so glad that you liked the ABC’s format, and I loved reading yours. I’m so jealous of your experience in Europe (I’ve only been to a handful of countries, but I loved every moment!), and it’s always nice to hear from other high school sweethearts. 🙂

    • Awww thanks! I was so inspired after reading yours— such a cool idea! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

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