Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Green Monster Smoothie

Sounds good right? Maybe not to some, but I promise it's absolutely delicious.

My smoothie following a 10:30 yoga date last night.

Well over a year ago now I came across a blog called Swell Little Life. Ange was a new mom to Chloe and was determined to live a healthier lifestyle after the birth of her daughter. It's been very rewarding to follow what she has going on in her life. A personal trainer studying to become a holistic nutritionist, at the end of 2010 Ange started Health & Swellbeing. This is one of my top blogs to read daily.

Ange started the Swellbeing Project January 1st and I've really enjoyed following along. I've adopted quite a few new healthy habits and have kept up on my exercising this month. Yoga has been doing me well. One of my favorite posts was the Green Monster Smoothie. Boy, is it a treat after a workout!

Green Monster Smoothie

1 cup almond milk
2 cups spinach
1 tbsp hemp protein
1 tbsp rice protein
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp chia seeds
1 frozen banana
1/2 c frozen berries

In a blender combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.

I like using frozen blueberries for my smoothie. My banana is frozen in a sandwich bag for easy use, but before throwing in the freezer, mash between your fingers.

For easiest blending I add in this order; almond milk, all powders and chia seeds, banana, blueberries, and spinach on top. Then blend away!

Ange suggests drinking this smoothie within an hour of your workout. She has a post daily including a video talking about the new challenge for each day. She's adorable and they're so fun to watch. I've learned so much and look forward to the rest of the month! Please check her out!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vegan Moroccan Spiced Spaghetti Squash

Fridays are days that I spend with my mom after she gets off work. I've been a slacker and really need to add more family time to my life. We planned a yoga & vegan dinner date this last Friday. It was totally fun.

When I decided I wanted to start incorporating more vegan meals in to my diet, spaghetti squash was the first thing to come to mind that I hadn't tried yet. I don't quite know how I stumbled upon this recipe, but I do know I found it one late night at work. I promise, even if you swear you need meat, you'll love this.

Vegan Moroccan Spiced Spaghetti Squash
Recipe via Eat Drink Better - Serves 4

1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) spaghetti squash
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt (or to taste)
3 tablespoons golden raisins
Half of a 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds (either discard or save to roast later). Brush the inside of the squash with a tablespoon of olive oil. Roast the halves face-down on a baking pan or sheet for 30-40 minutes, until the flesh of the squash is fork-tender and has separated into spaghetti-like strands.

While the squash cooks, heat the remaining oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Stir in spices, salt, raisins, and chickpeas and remove from heat.

When the squash is done, remove from oven and let it sit for five minutes, or until it’s cool enough to handle. Using a fork, scrape the squash flesh out of its skin into a bowl, separating the strands as you go. Toss the squash with the spiced oil mixture and cilantro. Serve warm, over quinoa or sautéed winter greens if you like.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Baby Love: Little Riley

I'm happy to share a couple photos of the baby!

Our nephew Riley was born January 10, 2011 at 9:52pm. He weighed in at 8lbs 9oz and 20 inches long.

We think he's just amazing. I was so thankful to snag a few photos from his other auntie until we can make it down to see him on Thursday.

I'm crazy with anticipation, I feel like a kid on Christmas day. I love learning new levels of love as I get older. Riley is sure to teach me just that <3

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New babies are the best :)

We are so happy to announce we are a first time Aunt & Uncle!

Welcome to the world baby Riley!  
We are so proud and love you so much already.

No pictures to share just yet. Sadly we are stuck working and wont get to see our nephew until Thursday. I absolutely can't wait!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

5 for 2011


These are my objectives for the year. I want to become a better person and enrich my life.

Eat vegan all day, one day a week. And then two and three and... My intention is quite the opposite of why most people eat vegan. I'll be the first to admit I love meat. I have on the other hand mentioned my dairy allergy. Vegan recipes are amazing. No dairy! If eating vegan wasn't good, vegans wouldn't exist. I need less dairy and more vegetables in my life. Incorporating vegan recipes will do just that.

Choose happiness. It's a choice. It truly is. I've lived so much of my life anxious, stressed and just plan angry. Why in the world did I waste so much time on all of that. I'm going to make a concious decision to choose happiness each and every day when I wake up.

Enjoy our boat more. We live in a beautiful place. We need to use what we have around us, because one day we might not live here anymore. We need to get out on that boat and explore the Puget Sound.

Quality over quantity. I think everyone likes to have friends. Lots of them. But I don't want a bunch of people to hang out with, I want a few people who I can spend time with. Share life with. Confide in. I want meaningful and lasting adult friendships. Whether that's in a coworker, a long time friend or even a family member. I want to be the best friend I can be to those who want the same thing.

Cherish my husband. I often neglect all of the wonderful things my husband does for us on a daily basis. He works hard and makes life pretty damn good. I want to take the time in our busy life, to spend quality time with him and truly thank him for all of the wonderful things he's done for us.

I'm very excited about this year. They just keep getting better and better. Good luck to everyone with their resolutions. I'm looking to sharing 2011 with all of you.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Last year & this year.


The first week of the year had to be a super busy one.

I had just enough time to think about last year & this year. I made some pretty lofty resolutions last year and I didn't accomplish a single one fully.

Like running. I just couldn't stick with it. I love it more than I can express, but it's a mind game getting out there and actually doing it. It's completely rewarding, just hard. The hardest part is starting again because I know how much it's going to hurt, how slow I'll be, how slow progress will seem to come. I made a mileage goal and didn't make it.

Or cooking. Of the five I set, this was the most realized of them all. I wanted to learn a new recipe every week all year. I don't think I learned 52 new recipes, but pretty darn close. I only have just under 40 shared on the blog, but there were a lot I just never got around to posting. So I don't feel so bad about this one.

Cleaning. To be better at it. My chore chart sucked. It didn't happen. Better luck this time I guess ;)

Shopping and less of it. I was great for a couple of months. But then it all started again. Mostly with thrift store junk. But I had some pretty cute DIY projects.

Home improvements were another area that actually came along nicely. Though I've posted no pictures (horrible, I know), the kitchen and dining room were overhauled and just beautiful. We had the great flood of the basement and that's still a work in progress. You're awesome insurance company!

This year I've made some pretty fun goals that I either do or I don't. And if I do, I succeed. I'll be back to share those later.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Greenbank Holiday Market

My first craft fair was a pretty cool experience. For someone who was rather shy growing up, sure had no problem standing around for 7 hours with a ton of other people selling things I made by hand.

It was a long day, but so worth it. I worked the night before and didn't get off until 7:00 that morning. By the time I made it home, I had been up for 26 hours. Can you say tired?

Here is my partner, Alison. She went in on the booth with me and made tons of stuff to sell too.

Here are the washcloth sets we made out of cotton yarn. Mine are the sets on the right packaged with black string.

Here's my little corner of the table. I went simple with my stuff. When we found out we'd only have one day to sell (we were scheduled for the wrong weekend), I made less than I would have for two days. It gave me a chance to concentrate on my quality of work.

We picked up frames from the dollar store and I used the tea stained tags to make price signs. They are so dang cute!

Baskets from the dollar store and old Starbucks cups made great display pieces.

Some of my very first cozies. They keep getting better and better every one I make. They were a huge hit!

Here's Alison's end of the table. She had tons of cute hair bows, scarves in all sizes and washcloths. She was a VERY busy girl!

It was a lot of fun and we're looking to do another fair in the next couple of months. I've been busy with custom orders which I love. I got a lot of great stuff finished up for Christmas. For something I used as busy work in September, I still absolutely love it and I'm looking forward to continuing my little business.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

DIY: Tea is for Tags.

The last minute touches for the craft fair was probably the best part. After working my little fingers to the bone creating some of the cutest stuff, stuff I loved, it was nice to get to be creative in a different way.

Gather up a 9x13 glass baking dish, a few tea bags (the darker the better), note cards or card stock (I used 2x3 lined note cards), and 1 very hot pot of water.

The Stash Vanilla nut Creme Tea even gave the tags a light vanilla scent. It was a cute touch.

Open the tea bags and place them in the dish. Pour the hot water over the top filling almost to the top.

Let the tea steep for at least 5 minutes. You want the tea water nice and dark.

Place the note cards in to the tea. I tossed in a couple at a time and pushed each one to the bottom making sure it was completely submerged. If you throw in stacks they stick together and wont completely stain on each side.

Here are 100 tags soaking. I let them soak for about 30 minutes. Vary time based on how dark you'd like them.

I took them out and laid them on a towel. I folded the towel over and blotted the excess water off. You could also use paper towels.

Double use here, I used my cooling racks for cookies to lay out the cards. Overlapping is ok, they'll dry in a few hours. I let them be and they were completely dry by the next morning!

Pretty vintage looking cards. If they curl, you can leave them or iron them flat if you like. I used a silver sharpie to write out the tags, punched holes and attached them to my scarves with string!

Fun and easy! Enjoy!