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thursday thoughts

I realized something this afternoon.

I had just gotten home from school and sat down on the couch to try and decompress for a few.  I hopped on one of my favorite blogs only to see that she was doing a giveaway for a maternity dress saying, “you should enter if you’re pregnant or trying.”  Before I could even contemplate it for five seconds, I found myself closing the window, thinking “well that’s not for me.”

Quickly approaching is my greatest chance ever (thus far) of becoming pregnant (49% to be exact).  And yet I realized today that I don’t truly believe it can or will happen.  Cuddled up with a blanket and Olive, comments I’ve made recently and thoughts I’ve had started swimming through my mind.  Why am I not believing this can happen for me?

I’ve been attempting to get up as many mornings as possible and do a yoga workout (I use an awesome app called Pocket Yoga).  This morning – for the first time – I took my time in savasana to really envision the next 4-6 weeks.  I envisioned every bit of the process and the outcome.  Laying on my back, staring up at the dark ceiling, I pictured myself joyfully declaring “it worked!”  and allowed myself to soak up the inexplicable elation that would consume me if I had the privilege of making such an announcement.  In an effort to protect myself from disappointment, I usually don’t allow myself to go there.  But deep inside I feel it’s important to believe that it can happen.  That it will happen.  And I want to believe it.    How can I make let myself believe it?

For the past 17 months I’ve carefully teetered on the line between protecting myself from disappointment and allowing hope to course through me.  But this is it, you know?  Not that this is my absolute last chance ever, but we’re pulling out all the stops.  I guess I’m just so scared to let myself go.  And yet I’m scared not to.

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I’ve got a lot on my mind tonight.  Today when I got to work, there was an impromptu staff meeting called.  We all gathered in the library with our principal to learn that one of our students passed away last night.  It was a completely random and unexpected incident, and to say that everyone was in shock would be a major understatement.  It was a sophomore football player, and the fact that my class roster shows nothing but sophomores made it an even more difficult day.  Seeing the kids confused and hurting really hit me hard.  First, it made me want to hug every one of my students today and tell them how much I care about them, and second, it made me feel compelled to try and keep a good perspective about everything that’s going on.  I really am thankful because as painfully difficult as infertility is, it’s the worst thing I’ve had to deal with in my adult life, and I know that is a serious blessing.

Heavy stuff tonight.
On a lighter note –  I just finished an amazing vegan chocolate chip cookie from Oklahoma City’s very own…..Whole Foods, which opened it’s doors for the first time last night!

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cupcakes in the house

I’m feeling better since yesterday – I think it helped to get everything down on paper.  It’s funny how that is always the way it works.  It was also encouraging to hear that not everyone is content in their current career.  I wouldn’t wish that on any of you guys, but of course it feels good to hear that I’m not the only one.  So, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

I realized yesterday that we have exactly one month until we have to move out of our house – eeek!  I’m going to have to get going on all the packing.  I have too many memories of being up until 3am the night before a move, so I’m going to try my best to not let that happen this time.

Yesterday was my busy day of the week – full of tutoring and then yoga in the evening.  I truly think it may have been my best yoga class yet.  It definitely was my biggest class, and I got some really nice feedback afterwards.  I haven’t been able to tell my students about the move yet because my boss wanted me to wait a little while, and it’s really hard to carry on with them as usual, knowing that I won’t be there in a month.  I feel like I’ve built a lot into that class, and I’m getting really sad to have to leave it.  I really hope I can find another yoga position in OKC sooner rather than later!

Continuing with my focus on eating more fresh/raw fruits and veggies (ala Kris Carr) than I have been, I had the most epic salad yesterday for lunch – I can’t wait to share it.  Usually in the winter salads just don’t sound that good to me, but I could eat this salad no matter what the weather is like…it was that delicious.  I made a new tahini based dressing, which really was the star of the show.

But what am I doing talking salads right now?  We’re supposed to be talking cupcakes!

I made these cupcakes for our Sunday school party last Friday night, and as I mentioned before they were a big hit!  No one suspected they were vegan, and when I saw a couple people go back for number two, I knew I had done something right.

I found this recipe in my Vegan with a Vengeance cookbook (you really must check it out!), but you can also find it online here.

Lemon Gem Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar – I used organic cane sugar
  • 1 cup rice milk – I used almond milk, but I think these would turn out fluffier with rice milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

Icing

  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup almond/soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • Enough water to achieve desired consistency

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 12 muffin tins with papers or grease them
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, mix together the oil, sugar, milk, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest
  • While mixing, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, combining thoroughly
  • Get a good taste of the delicious lemony batter. mmmm
  • Pour batter into muffin tins, filling them about 3/4 of the way full
  • Bake for about 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the cupcakes spring back when you touch them.
  • Allow cupcakes to cool completely before icing them.

Icing

  • Whisk the Earth Balance until it reaches a fluffy consistency.  Add in the almond/soy milk and lemon juice and stir.  The mixture will look a bit odd, but don’t fear!  Begin mixing in the powdered sugar until it is all well combined and smooth.  Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

The ingredients aren’t necessarily healthy as there is plenty of sugar (though I used organic cane sugar), but they are vegan and delicious!  So, they’re more of an occasional treat – but it’s so awesome that vegan baked goods can taste this good.  Further proof that you can be vegan and still eat all kinds of delicious food!

And they’re pretty easy to make, too!

First, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.

Use the small section of a grater to get your lemon zest.

Then mix the oil, sugar, almond milk, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest in a mixing bowl.  Pour the dry ingredients into the wet, and mix thorougly.

Pretty batter!

After your batter is mixed well, fill 12 muffin tins a little over 3/4 of the way full.  These cupcakes don’t rise very much, so you’ll want to really fill them up!

I went back and added more to some of mine

Bake until they spring back when you touch them and a toothpick comes out clean!

In the meantime, mix together the Earth Balance, soy/almond milk, lemon juice and powdered sugar, adding water until you get your desired consistency.  Place the icing in the fridge until ready to use so that it can harden up a bit.

Allow cupcakes to cool completely before using the icing.  It really is more of a glaze and will run right off the sides if the cupcake is warm at all.

And there you have it – animal free and unbelievable tasty!  I will definitely be making these again in the future.

Today I’m playing catch up on some stuff around the house, and then I have a hair appointment this afternoon before tutoring.  I’m still contemplating whether to let her cut my hair again or have her just trim my bangs and try to grow it out.  I’m so torn about it, but right now I’m leaning toward growing it out.  I can always go back and get it cut if I change my mind, but I think I’ll feel disappointed if I let her cut it all off.  You never know what I’m going to do when I get in that chair though:)

Hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!

If you could only have one dessert for the rest of your life, what would it be?? Mine would either be chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing or peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream – yum!

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bad day better

Busy busy day!  Wednesdays are always a little crazy, and today was no different.  I woke up in a bit of a down mood – not sure why.  Maybe lack of sleep as of late?  Either way, I booked it to the gym and lifted weights and worked on some ab exercises for about 45 minutes, and by the time I got home I was feeling a little better. I had planned on getting in a little cardio as well, but the treadmills were all full, and I was under a major time crunch, so I decided to skip it for today!

I spent the afternoon tutoring on campus and then rushed to teach my yoga class at 5:30.  Yoga was refreshing today.  I was really needing it after sitting all afternoon.  A deep ache had worked itself into my shoulders and neck, and almost all I could think about during my last tutoring session was working it out on my mat.

I have to say, the only negative so far about teaching classes is the lack of feedback.  Occasionally one of my students will tell me they enjoyed class on their way out the door, but for the most part I feel like I have no clue what they’re thinking!  I feel like I leave class a lot of weeks thinking the worst – maybe they didn’t like the poses we did, maybe my voice is annoying.  Was my cueing off?  Will they all decide not to come next week? Ahhhh!

It’s enough to make a girl crazy!

Must. Work. On. Positivity.

Anyway!  So as promised yesterday, I have a fun new recipe for ya’ll.  You’re sure to love this!

“Jack of All Trades” Chickpea Patties
adapted from Eat Drink and Be Vegan

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cooked broccoli, chopped
  • a pinch of salt
  • a pinch of black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper
  • 2 cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 3/4 tsp dried thyme
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups cooked bulgur
  • 3/4 cup quick oats

Directions

  • Add 1 tsp olive oil to a skillet over medium heat.  Toss in onion, cabbage, broccoli, salt, pepper, ground red pepper and saute until vegetables are tender.
  • Meanwhile, add warm chickpeas (if they’re warm, they’ll process more easily), garlic, Worcestershire sauce, tamari, thyme and salt to food processor and puree until smooth.
  • Add in sauteed veggies and process again until smooth.
  • Add 1 cup bulgur to processor and puree until incorporated into the chickpea mixture.
  • Transfer contents of food processor into a large bowl.  Add remaining 1 cup cooked bulgur and stir until combined.
  • Place mixture in the refrigerator and let set for at least 1/2 hour. I allowed mine to set overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a baking sheet.
  • Remove from fridge and shape mixture into patties.  Shape some of the mixture into “chickpea balls” if you so desire:)  I highly recommend it:)
  • Place patties on baking sheet and allow to bake for 20 minutes.  Flip patties and allow to cook for another 20 minutes.
  • If making balls, cook for 20 minutes and then turn them before cooking another 10 minutes.

see how well they hold together?

There are hundreds of things you could do with these patties.  They hold together really well, so you could eat them burger style.  You could also just eat them with a fork dipped in barbecue sauce or ketchup.  Or use them as a salad topper!

These were delicious in my opinion.  Crispy on the outside, moist on the inside.  And best of all, they were husband approved! Hands down my favorite “veggie burger” I’ve ever made.  And the balls were delicious too…and fun to eat:)

And of course you must have a side of chips/fries!

This little meal was well worth the wait.  I’ll definitely be making this again in the future!

So here’s to a bad day ending better.  Hope you all had a wonderful Wednesday!  Like I always say, it’s all downhill from here.

And now I’ll leave you with this.  Just because I can’t resist:)

G’night!

What do you do to make a bad day better?

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i’m back

It was a wonderful weekend, despite how busy and crazy it was.  I made new friends, learned proper technique on tons of yoga poses as well as a plethora of other yoga topics, and after my community service I’ll officially receive my certificate as a YogaFit yoga instructor.

Honestly, I didn’t take one picture all weekend.   I know, right?  I don’t even know what to do with myself right now.  No pictures?!  My days were so full on Saturday and Sunday I honestly didn’t have time to even think about the camera.

Friday night Jon and I arrived in Dallas around 11pm and knowing that I had to wake up at 6 the next morning, I hit the sack soon after.  Saturday morning I left around 7:20, drove to the gym where my training was being held, and didn’t get back home until 6:30pm.  Jon and I celebrated my first day of training by making a quick trek through Ikea and then hitting up some Mexican food for dinner.   I was just so exhausted by that point that my camera didn’t even make it into the restaurant, so no food pics:(

By the time we got back to my sister’s apartment, I was so exhausted I literally collapsed for the night.  Sunday was essentially the same story, except instead of hitting up Ikea and Mexican food, we hit the road for the 4 hour drive home, arriving home last night around 10pm.

Today has definitely been kind of tough getting back on schedule because I’ve just been so tired!  As soon as I woke up this morning I knew I needed to energize myself with the most energy filled breakfast I could think of.

one green apple, 1 small beet, 1/2 lime, 2 stalks celery, 1 organic carrot

plus a piece of ginger about the size of my thumb:)

Don’t worry, I didn’t just eat all this raw.  I juiced it of course!

However, I somehow forgot to take a picture of my juice…doh!  I told you my brain is still not quite functioning properly after the crazy weekend.  Take it from me, though, it was beautiful and tasty!

I also had an orange on the side for a little vitamin c and fiber:)

And a little later I snacked on my favorite Larabar of all time before heading out for tutoring.

I’m off to get some yoga in, but later I’ll be doing a recap of my YogaFit training weekend and sharing what I think about the company and their training seminar.

Hope you all had a great weekend! 

What was the best thing you did/the best thing that happened to you all weekend?  Big or small! Mine was honestly getting to reunite with the husband after an entire day apart on Saturday:)

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roadtrip time

The snacks are packed, Olive’s loaded up, and the husband and I are off for a fun and eventful weekend!  When I come back, I’ll officially be trained to teach yoga.  Hooray!!

Thanks for all the well wishes over my first class…you guys are way too sweet:)

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

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