Pumpkin muffins and other lovely things

If you know me at all, you probably know I would have to say summer is my least favorite season. I just don’t particularly enjoy sweating for seven straight months here in Texas. I’m much more a fall and winter girl, and this is a major reason why I’m seriously considering moving north after college. Saturday we finally welcomed the first real cool front of the season, and my coffee shop study space was flooded with Texans breaking out the boots and sweaters and coming in for a hot pumpkin spice latte like it was actually COLD (maybe only 60 degrees). It’s been absolutely gorgeous, and I can finally get the sense that fall is in the air.

My mom got to come visit me for a quick trip, mainly to attend the Phil Wickham concert with me and a few of my friends.  IT WAS AMAZING.  We were on the FRONT row, and I could have touched him if I wanted.  If you don’t know Phil, he has the voice of an angel and is such a powerful vocalist and worship leader.  His songs never fail to usher in God’s presence and speak deeply to hearts. It was a refreshing night of music, and I’m so glad my mom could experience it with me.

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Another super study Saturday at Common Grounds was had with my friend Jenna, who is a focused pre-med student with never-ending homework like myself. We know how to make studying fun, though, and always find ourselves taking breaks to just laugh at our lives or remind ourselves of an encouraging Bible verse sometimes. She is always such an encouragement to me, and I try to be a source of support for her, too. I’m so blessed by her friendship, especially because we’re both passionate followers of God that just happen to also want to be doctors. It’s so cool how we can relate to each other so well on our paths to follow God’s calling on our lives in joy amidst the stressed and competitive atmosphere of other Baylor pre-health students.

Of course with the drop in temperature, the first thing my mind went to was my obsession with fall baking, specifically pumpkin-flavored anything. After a long day, nothing beats the therapeutic process of making a batch of warm and good-for-the-soul pumpkin muffins.  When I do bake, I always am a fan of lightening up the traditional recipes, but without sacrificing any flavor.  I used The Slender Student’s (a fellow Texan college-aged blogger with tons of healthy recipes – check her out!) recipe, but I used Truvia baking blend (use half of the listed amount for sweetener or sugar in any recipe) and added 2 oz finely chopped 76% dark chocolate instead of the chips for even more chocolate-y goodness throughout.  They have NO butter and NO sugar (except for the small amount in the chocolate), but I promise they still perfectly sum up the flavors and cravings of fall in one bite.
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