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a little of this, a little of that

Happy Wednesday night!  I always enjoy Wednesday nights because it means the week is over halfway through, and we’re sprinting towards Friday!

Tonight I received my very first lesson from Jon about how to take care of the admin side of his business.  One of my goals for our future is for me to take care of the all the admin side, so he’ll be more freed up to design.  It may be surprising, but I’m really excited about it!  I love having my own “gigs,” but there is nothing I love more than being with him, so doing business together totally floats my boat!

I’ve really been trying to clear my head lately.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve got some decisions that I’m trying to work through, and it’s starting to really wear on me.  I often have a hard time “shutting down.”  The more I try to not think about something, the more I think about it!  I just need a break, I think, so I can step away and try to see things from a new perspective.  Any ideas on how to just relax and clear your mind of stress?

I had some seriously great eats today.  It all started off with the usual GM (almond milk+spinach+Amazing Grass+1/2 banana+chia seeds+ice).  Today was Pita Pit day at school, so I had my usual whole wheat pita with babaganoush, spinach, onion, bell pepper, mushroom, sprouts, pineapple, tomoto and hotsauce.  Unfortunately they were out of avocado, so no healthy fats for me.  Bah!  It was tasty nevertheless.

Confession:  I don’t take pictures of my food when I eat lunch at school.  For one, I never take my camera, but also I haven’t told my coworkers about CSM.  I’ve considered telling them, but I just kind of want to keep my private life a little bit separate.  Do your coworkers read your blog?  Do you feel weird about them reading about the personal side of your life?

On to dinner. Close

Closer.

Closest:)

Look familiar?  Yes, that’s right.  It’s the same exact meal from last night.  Creative?  No.  Delicious? Most definitely!  I couldn’t resist having it a second time.  We’re not talking about leftovers either, people…a total remake…with the addition of chia seeds.

And dessert

Three little dried apricots.

I made it to the gym today to continue my pledge.  I did a quick 2 miles on the treadmill followed by weights.  I focused on arms today because my legs are so sore from yesterday!  Then I finished up with another 1 mile on the treadmill.  It was a pretty energizing workout, and I felt really focused.  Yea!

Hope you all have a great night!

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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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a “re-epiphany”

First things first, people.  As I mentioned yesterday, I made Averie’s Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Protein Bars.  They are TO DIE FOR.  So good!  They are gooey and soft, and for me the bitterness of the carob is the perfect compliment to the sweetness of the dried cranberries.  All of the flavors mix together in just the right way.  Her recipe is pretty flexible, so lemme tell you what I put in them.

- one ripe banana
- 1.5 cup oats
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup carob chips
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup natural pb

- 1 scoop of the only protein powder (soy) I had on hand
- 3 tbsp sliced almonds
- 2 tbsp milled flaxseed – Walmart didn’t have whole flaxseeds.  I think whole would do much better.
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1.5 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

I mixed it up just like Averie suggested.  If you notice, I omitted the coconut, which may have made my bars more gooey – not that that’s a bad thing!  I certainly have not skipped a beat in slicing off a piece each night;)  Definitely try these out if you’re looking for a healthy, vegan sweet treat!

Today I had an epiphany.  Funny thing is, this isn’t the first time I’ve had this epiphany.  I’ve realized, though, that sometimes in my life I have to learn things over and over.  Bad habits tend to come back randomly, and I have to relearn my new, good habits.  Here’s the story:

Usually when I come home from work, I run in the house, change clothes as fast as possible and race to the gym.  I like to get my workout in and get back home before Jon’s been home from work for too long.  Today, as I was driving home I was realizing that my body…and mind, for that matter…were just not feeling a workout.  Now, for me there is a difference between just not wanting to get on the treadmill or weights and me really needing a rest day.  I could feel it in my bones muscles, and I knew that I needed to take a day off.  Plus, I was completely mentally drained.  This week has just been extra busy and strenuous, and I haven’t given myself a chance to recoup.  So, I was going back and forth in my mind between two things: burn calories and get a good cardio workout in OR give myself a mental and physical break.

I started feeling guilty at the thought of not going to the gym.  I was telling myself that I needed to go to the gym no matter what because I needed to burn those calories.  Then Jon called.  He was headed home early from work and would be home any second.  Talk about making a hard situation harder for me.  Now I wanted to stay home to be with him, really wanted to rest, but the guilt was warring inside my head.  I haven’t done this to myself in a long time.  I honestly thought I was past the point of feeling guilty over working out and focusing way more on calorie burning than mental, emotional and relational (when I’m feeling guilty it affects my entire attitude, even toward Jon) health.

So, to make an already long story a little shorter, Jon coaxed me into staying home and resting, but not without a lot of whining and “bad mood” from me.  Because of him, I went to lie down for a bit.  I started thinking about the whole situation with a little more clarity.

Our physical health is not more important than our mental or emotional health.  Sometimes I make the mistake of putting more emphasis on my physical health because it’s outwardly evident.  If I gain five pounds, other people will notice and my jeans won’t fit quite as well, however, if I completely exhaust myself, other people don’t have to know.  It’s a lot easier to ignore.  So, I decided I’m making a commitment to start focusing equally on each area of my life.  I’m always striving to find that balance, and while I did have a setback today, I also took several steps toward becoming more balanced.

Do you ever have trouble finding balance between everything that is important in your life?  Do you often feel that you don’t have time to take care of every part of your life?  How do you try to maintain balance?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Well, it’s about time for me to skidaddle (sp?:) to bed.  Jon is trying to coerce me into staying up late with him, but I’m not sure how long I’m going to make it!  See you tomorrow for a review of the homemade vegan black bean burgers we made tonight.  Good night!

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goodbye wednesday…helloooo thursday!

Happy Wednesday night everyone!  I, for one, am so glad Wednesday is over.  It’s my least favorite day of the week, and today it went so slowwww.  That is, it went slow until I got home and had a million things I wanted to do.  Of course!

I didn’t get to go to the gym today because I had a hair appointment at 4.  So, I had to race home from school just to make it ten minutes late.  Honestly, I just haven’t felt very good today.  I’m not really sure why, but by the time I got home, I was starving and just really needed some comfort food.  Enter vegetarian quesadillas made by the hubs and Averie’s Raw Vegan Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding.

The quesadillas consisted of a protein pita (more on this in a sec), veggie shreds cheese, and bell peppers and onion.  Simple and comforting.  Not the most nutrient dense meal I’ve ever had, but hey, sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.  And it was tasty.

While I’m on the subject, I want to put a plug in for these awesome pitas I discovered on the shelf at Walmart (believe it or not). Now, I have to say I usually like to buy things with a few less ingredients, but overall these are pretty clean.  They are Joseph’s brand flax, oat bran, and whole wheat flour.  They are a great source of Omega 3s and are “super soft!” – as stated on the package:)  These boast 60 calories, 8 carbs, 4 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein.  I seriously love them, and every time I go to Walmart I fear that they’ll be gone.  Does this happen to you guys?  I’ll just discover or start loving something, and the next time I go POOF it’s gone.  Either way, check ‘em out if you get the chance.

Well, I’m off to have a bit of down time before I go to bed.  Tonight has been extra busy because I had to do some work on school stuff.  Need more time!  Need more time!

Have a fantastic night!  Oh, and more to come tomorrow on Averie’s pudding  plus our new bed that should be arriving!  Stay tuned…

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