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a happy weekend:)

Okay, so I’m off work AGAIN tomorrow.  I just got the call that we are taking another snow day tomorrow because the roads are still not clear.  This has turned into a 5 day weekend…crazy!  It’s not that I mind having another day to stay at home and not have to commute, but I’ve got my classes on a planned schedule, and this is really cramping my style!   I’m going to have to spend a few hours tomorrow working and rescheduling some things.  I’ve got my fingers crossed that we’ll be back in session on Tuesday.  As of today we’ve exceeded our built in snow days so we’ll be adding on a day in May.  Blah.  O’well, I’m just going to try to enjoy being home and get ahead a little bit with planning.  I know I can’t complain about having a day off work!

Anyway!  These last couple of days have been so nice!  Jon and I have just been workin’ away on projects around the house.

First this:

This picture doesn’t even do it justice.  I’m a little embarrassed to post the before pic because it was so bad.  It feels so good to have that task done finally!

Then this:

What can we say?  We love quirkiness;)

We’ve been needing curtains for our bedroom since we moved in last May.  A few months ago we were at Wall’s Bargain Center and it just so happend that they had gotten a shipment of Anthropologie items in.  We scored several things including this cool fabric.  I knew immediately that I wanted to use it to make curtains for our bedroom.  I’m so glad we finally made them, and we’re really happy with the outcome!  What do you think?

And because I mentioned in a post about 3 weeks ago that we got a new bed and pictures were coming…

I also made a little blanket for my friend whose baby shower is next weekend.  It’s a tag blanket, and the baby can chew/suck on the ribbons.  I promise that moms really use these – any moms out there who’ve heard of a tag blanket??

Now for a list of tasty highlights from the last couple of days -

I made tofu for the first time!  It turned out okay, but was a little tough.  I need to find a different recipe to make the next batch.  My problem is that most recipes I find for tofu marinade include high sodium sauces, which I try to steer clear of.  Any ideas out there of low sodium sauces/marinades to use with tofu?  Also, do you marinate your tofu before or after you cook it?  My recipe said to marinate after cooking, but that just seemed weird to me.  Here’s what I did for this meal:

  • sauteed brussels, broccoli, mushrooms and zucchini
  • added in some asian sesame salad dressing found in the fridge
  • heated up some pre-made brown rice
  • cut tofu into one inch slices and pressed between towels with books on top for one hour
  • threw the tofu into the pan with the veggies and pressed it with a spatula until brown on both sides
  • added the rice and a little more sauce and mixed it all together and heated through
  • garnished with sliced almonds

Overall this meal was really good, but I definitely need to work on my tofu making skills (or lack thereof:)!

Next highlight was dessert!

Banana soft serve with vegan chocolate chips/carob chips.  Banana soft serve has floated around the blog world for a long time.  I’m not sure who the original credit really goes to, but please let me know if you have any idea!

Breakfast this morning was oats of course!

I added:

  • sliced banana
  • dollop of soy raspberry yogurt
  • almond butter
  • sprinkle of Kashi Go Lean cereal – Kashi is my husband’s favorite cereal.  I thought a small bit would complement my oats quite well – and I was right!

And last…today’s lunch.  I had cooked up a batch of whole wheat couscous, but hadn’t yet figured out what to do with it.  So, I ravaged the fridge and just threw in some things I had on hand.

  • leftover steamed green beans
  • steamed spinach
  • chick peas
  • black beans
  • corn
  • tiny bit of salsa
  • seasonings

This was pretty tasty.  I love throwing together grain and veggie concoctions!  I’ve been doing different variations for a long time, and you really can’t go wrong.  If you make up the grain ahead of time and have veggies on hand, it’s super fast too!

What do you do for a quick go to meal?  Sometimes I let myself get a little too hungry, and I just want something fast and easy, but healthy/vegan of course.  I’d love to get some ideas from you guys!

Well, I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I’m so excited that January is over, and February is raring to go:)

Oh, and tonight is the last chance to order Jay Robb Protein powder and get 10% off from Heather’s site.  I just ordered mine, and I’m so excited to try it.  I’ve been looking for a good protein powder.

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let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Hi all!  How’s it going?  We have had a pretty low key but fun day around here.  We got up fairly early this morning because Jon had a conference call for work, and neither one of us could go back to sleep!  So we did a short ab workout to start the day off.  It was so peaceful to be at home because it just snowed…and snowed…and snowed.  I think we ended up getting about an inch of ice yesterday and about 4 or so inches of snow today.  I just loved watching it out the window as we worked!  Totally the highlight of my day.

This was our first time to get snowed in since moving into our house.
Aside from the couple of hours of work I did for school, we spent the rest of the day cleaning up our guest room and doing some more decorating around the house.  I love working on projects together…it feels so good to get things done and see what we can accomplish.

For some reason, I can’t get my iPhone to email the before and after pics, so I’ll post ‘em tomorrow.  I’m actually kind of embarrassed to post the before picture.  Ever since Christmas, our guest room has just become the catch all, and recently it has gotten out of control!  We finally took care of it though, and I feel so much better.  So, feel free to give us a ring of you’re swinging through good ‘ole Oklahoma ‘cause we’ve got you covered!  I definitely wouldn’t recommend swinging though anytime soon, though, because you might not make it out☺

Shall we move on to today’s eats?  For breakfast, I had a nice and toasty bowl of oats.

“Gee, wonder how I can get my paws on some of mom’s oats?”


1/3 cup oats
¾ cup water
spoonful of soy yogurt
½ scoop chias
2 tbsp sliced almonds
sprinkle of granola

Because breakfast was not until about 9am, I didn’t eat again until lunch, at which point I had my favorite monster salad.  This salad was so huge, and good to the very last bite.

2 big handfuls of organic field greens
2 artichoke hearts, chopped
¼ cup black beans, rinsed
¼ cup chick peas, rinsed
¼ cup corn (no salt/no sugar added)
chopped baby carrots
¼ avocado, chopped
a few tbsp balsamic vinegar

This held me over for several hours.  I cannot get over this salad – it’s so filling and so tasty…I could definitely eat it several times a week for lunch, and sometimes I do!

A few hours later, I had a snack of the rest of my soy yogurt from breakfast (about ½ cup) with more almonds.
That’s it for meals – nothing too terribly exciting today.  I haven’t even mentioned dinner because it was one of our comfort food staples, which we probably eat a little too often – spinach enchiladas.  Dessert was a pear, sprinkled with cinnamon, and a teeny tiny bit of soy dream ice cream on the side.  Yum!


One question I want to ask you all before I sign off for the night is how you feel about the price of healthy food.  I have become addicted to certain “health” foods, namely chia seeds, amazing grass, almond butter etc., and they are majorly depleting our budget.  I’ve decided I’m going to have to start cutting back on some of these items, but it’s so hard now that I’m used to having them.  I figured up the other day that my green monster costs me around $4 a pop!  Crazy, I know.

Have you had any struggles with affording certain foods that are a part of your healthy lifestyle?  I know that I can eat healthy without buying “specialty foods,” and trust me, I love simple, clean food such as produce.  But I just love the fun of trying new foods and having foods on hand that I know are really an investment in my health.  I really do think of it as an investment, however, it’s got to end somewhere.  Thoughts?  Suggestions?  The more time I spend in the blog world, the more it seems that maybe I’m the only one with this problem, but I know that can’t be true…right?  I’d love to hear your insight☺

I hope everyone has a truly amazing start to the weekend!

“I love that man that can smile in trouble, can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.” – Thomas Paine

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home sweet home

Hi lovely blogging friends!  Today has been quite a lazy day for me, but I did get to spend some fun time reading blogs that I don’t always get to read because of lack of time.  We had a big ice storm here today, and it’s supposed to last until tomorrow.  I’m off work tomorrow as well so I’m looking forward to a four day weekend!  Of course I’ll have to put in some hours working on planning, but that is SO much better than having to commute and be at school all day.  Yea!  There is something about being “snowed in” that I like – at least for a period of time.  Especially if it’s with my favorite person.  We aren’t absolutely sure that he’ll be off tomorrow, but we’re thinking he probably will.  Fingers crossed!

Anyway, so being home today was especially nice on the food front because I didn’t have to eat transportable things.  Yea!  Unfortunately Jon took the camera to his office today, so my pictures from early in the day were taken with my iPhone.

I was up, showered, made up and about to walk out the door this morning before we found out that school was closed.  And, Jon had already made my green monster.  Usually if I’m home for breakfast I like to eat something “chewable,” if you will.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my gm’s.  But, since I have them every weekeday, I just like to mix it up if I’m home.  Since he had already it, though, I went ahead and had it for breakfast as soon as we got back from the gym.  It was nice to go to the gym in the morning.  I’m really a morning workout person, but our gym opens at the same time that I have to leave for work, so I usually have to go in the afternoon.  It was a really refreshing way to start the day!

By a couple of hours after my monster, I was already ready for a snack!  I think my body isn’t used to burning so much fuel first thing in the morning, and it wanted food ALL day, which was fine by me:)  My snack was a brown rice cake with a smear of AB and half a sliced banana.   This is one of my absolute favorite snack…I love the crunchiness of the rice cake combined with the irresistible mix of nut butter and banana.  Oh yeah.  With a side of Mandarin Orange Spice tea made in the Keurig.

A few hours later Jon got home and we threw together some lunch.  I had this tasty pita filled with all kinds of goodness:)

After lunch,  I seriously laid down and took a two hour nap.  I usually have a hard time taking naps because I just can’t relax, but we just got a new comforter and between that and the sound of the rain and ice outside, I was lulled to sleep quite easily.  It felt so good to just rest.

As soon as I woke up, my body was telling me it was time to eat…again!  So, I had some O’soy vanilla yogurt with a sprinkle of Kashi U walnut and black currant cereal.  I love the combination of yogurt and cereal…you just can’t beat it. This Kashi U is awesome tasting, and the ingredients aren’t too bad either.  There are few cereals that I really feel good about eating, and this is definitely one of them.  It even comes packaged in a recycled box;)

The following is from the Kashi website:

The tasty combination of toasted Seven Whole Grain flakes, tangy black currants, crunchy walnuts, and acai oat clusters is packed full of nutrition:

  • Cardio Nourishment – 350mg ALA omega 3 from walnuts and 100% of vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid
  • Immunity Boost – 50% of your daily value for vitamins A, C and E as well as zinc and antioxidant super fruits black currant and acai
  • Strengthen Support – More calcium & vitamin D than half a glass of milk* plus zinc to support bone health
  • Thrive Inside – 7g of fiber and prebiotics to help the good bacteria grow
  • Mental Sustenance – Over half of the daily recommended amount of whole grains

And now for din din.  I decided to try something new that I’d seen other people do before – a portabello mushroom burger.  So, I threw a giant portabello mushroom cap in some evoo and grilled it with some garlic powder, red pepper and balsamic vinegar.  I also tossed in some brussels and steamed some green beans in the microwave for a side.

I also added:

  • hummus (round two!)
  • pickes
  • onion
  • tomato
  • spring mix

If you haven’t tried this before, you must!  The balsamic and seasonings soaked into the mushroom and made it so juicy and flavorful!  Interesting fact about me: until about a couple of months ago, you couldn’t pay me to touch any kind of mushroom.  Then, suddenly I just started craving them.  Random, I know.  I’ve been eating them on everything, though!

A couple of hours later, I topped off dinner with a small piece of Averie’s vegan peanut buttter chocolate chip protein bars that I made a few nights ago.  These bars are seriously to die for.  They are the best vegan dessert I’ve ever made by far!  I just have trouble stopping at just one;)

So, that’s a wrap on my day.  I think we may watch this week’s precursor for Lost season 6 that we DVR’d the other night.  We cannot wait until next Tuesday!  Any other Lost lovers out there?

Have a fantastic night everyone!

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about me…

If you happen to stumble by my humble little blog today, take a second to check out my long overdue “about” page.  I’m still working on my food philosophy – progress, people…progress:)
Hope you’re having a fantastic evening!  I’m hoping and praying for the snow storm that’s predicted for Thursday and Friday to cancel school so I can stay home and work blog all day.  Fingers crossed;)

Oh, and I promise the vegan blondie recipe is still on its way!  And because I can’t stand the thought of a post without a pic, here is another of Olive – for your viewing pleasure:)  How can you not love that sweet face??

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“hot and ready!”

I seriously cannot believe the weekend is almost over.  Let’s face it, no weekend lasts very long, but this one has seemed to go by ultra fast!

I spent many hours over the weekend working on lesson plans for school.  Jon is in his busiest season at work so we went up to his office yesterday and today to work.  I really enjoy what I do for the most part, but there’s a limit.  I start to get antsy and want to forget about work and just do something for fun…like cook, blog and eat!  We’re also in the process of revamping our bedroom, so we worked on that quite a bit as well.  Either way, updating my little blog got pushed to the wayside Friday and yesterday, so this is a little catch up post!!

Thursday night we did a variation of one of our absolute favorite meals:

Veggie Pita Pizzas

I used:

Joseph’s Protein and flax pitas (for crust)
organic marinara
sprinkle of veggie shreds
chopped onions
chopped bell peppers
chopped mushrooms
organic baby spinach

Just throw everything on the pita (LOAD on the veggies!) in whatever order suits your fancy, and whalaa! That’s what I call “hot and ready!”

Next up:  I have to say that I made the most amazing bowl of oatmeal yet on Saturday morning for breakfast.

In this bowl of oatmeal goodness went:

1/3 cup oats
3/4 cup water
1 scoop (a little over a tbsp) of chia seeds
1/2 a sliced banana
1/2 tbsp almond butter
a generous sprinkle of granola
a few carob chips

This concoction was probably a little higher in calories than I would usually aim for.  While I don’t count calories anymore, I do still try to be mindful when using higher calorie foods.  It was worth every gooey bite, though, and I would will do it all over again next Saturday.  Saturday is really the only day that I’m home long enough in the morning to fix breakfast.  I’m usually running out the door with my green monster in tow;)

Another A-mazing treat I had for the first time this weekend was a Starbuck’s Awake Tea Latte made with soy and no sweetener.  I’d been wanting to try one of these for awhile, but always would forget as I’d hurry to get my usual soy latte.  I do think it is my new favorite drink, though.  I asked what all goes in it before I ordered and learned that it contains Tazo Awake tea, steamed milk, water, and sweetener (which I skipped of course).  This drink doesn’t even need the sweetener.  Starbucks uses vanilla soy milk, so just that little bit of sweetness is all it needs.  It was delish!  And I will definitely be ordering it again in the future.  Try it if you get the chance!

I’m not sure what’s in store for din din tonight, but if all goes as planned, there will be a trial run of vegan blondies afterwards.  Recipe and review to come!!

Hope everyone has a great start to the week!!

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