Category Archives: holiday

I’m here! Welcome back!

I got a message from Erin from Vegan & the City asking WHERE AM I?! Well, I’m here.

I’ll start the post with a picture, so maybe I can lure you in, to keep reading!

I got a MacBook! YIPPPEEEEEE!!!!! I’m in lust!

I set my background to an autumn theme, because Halloween is my favorite holiday!!! I always look forward to the potential season-change (in FL? oh, how I miss Portland!), and festive up-coming holidays! I just don’t really know what I’m going to do on the 31st, or what I’ll dress like, but it’s fun to play and think about!

I also made a big ol’ bowl of stovetop oats with: 5-grain hot cereal, a red banana, soymilk, cinnamon, brown sugar, some walnuts & crunchy pb… hmm, I suppose that’s all. VERY filling. I love red bananas! I tried one at work one day and even though I’m not a banana-mama, I enjoy a good red banana! Why has it taken me this long to put a banana in my oats? I also like the stove-top method because it seems more filling and hearty than zapping it in the microwave, with a packet of instant oats!

My sister is playing Christmas music! Ever since the Halloween decorations went up, she’s been in Christmas-mode! haha, crazy, mixed-up middle child.

Well, I started school.

School started mid-August for me, along with many other kid-o’s. I’m taking a full load: 16 credits/5 classes + a lab. I’m excited about some, but mostly I’m excited to be back in school, bettering my future. I’ve been out of school for almost 2 years, I think, and I’m glad to be exercising my mind again and being busy. I’ve really been enjoying my Comp I Honors class, because the topic of the whole class is: Nature, Environment & Self. We’ve read Into the Wild and other nature/landscape articles and pieces of writing. We’re even going to take a field trip sometime this semester, how fun!  I’m also taking: Honors Public Speaking, Anatomy + Physiology Lecture and Lab, College Algebra and American National Gov’t, which is nice with all the Presidential Election excitement going on.  When I can’t follow everything going on, it’s a nice class to catch up on what’s happening, politically! I’m looking forward to voting on Nov. 4- everyone else with me?!

Anyway, I go to 2 classes Mon-Thurs from 9:30-12:15, night class on Mon & Wed from 5:30-6:45 and only my loooonnngg lab Friday mornings from 8:10-10:50! Then, I’m home free.  I’ve just been working about 1 weeknight per week, and Saturdays, which is good for my schedule. 

So after my Lab this morning, I made my oats, because after classes, even though it’s high-noon in FL, I crave 2 things: PB&J and oats. I’ve also been on a serious cooking kick the past few months, but, with no showing-off on my abandoned blog, I’ve reverted to making sammiches and quick-meals, which I enjoy just as much, without the appreciation of slaving over a good, home-cooked meal. Oh well!

Oh, P.S., Jasper learned to bark and finds any opportunity to hear himself. It’s cute because he’s cute!

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Filed under dogs, grub, holiday, school, work

*Boom!* *Bang!* *Ooh, Ahh!*

Catchin’ up…

Guess what came in the mail, ya’ll?! Veganomicon!!!! Yes, I’ve read it, and re-read it again and again. I love it. I’m so pumped to cook from it! This week I’m working mostly nights, but I’m dog-sitting down by the beach again this week, so I’m going to cook on my days off (Wed. + Thurs.) and invite my parents over to enjoy the scenery and food! Aren’t I sweet?! Ha!

My Independance Day was nice. I went for a bike ride in the A.M, had lunch in the car to go thrifting, then my parents, sister and I went to an early Rays baseball game and spontaneously kept driving afterward to see some fireworks. We got there just in time for them to go off and we just stood and watched, then got ice cream and went home. Very nice, except my dogs were spooked! Poor things…

Here’s a quick, late lunch: The last of my cranberry + stuffing Tofurkey slices, hummus, chipotle mustard, cabbage, tomato and cucumber on honey wheat bread… and Honest Tea. I loved this flavor!
lunch

Annnnd, here is a picture of our view of the fireworks… how Florida is this?!
fireworks

Which fireworks are your favorites? I love how they are kind of weeping-willows and silently, beautifully come in and drift out! Here’s us… who’s that creepy guy in the background?!
4th

Oh, it’s just my dad. Ha! Look how hot and lovely we all look…

Anyway, I deposited 2 nice little (little? hmm…) checks in the bank yesterday. Yeah, cha-ching! I’m working 2 full days today and tomorrow, then relaxing time. I’m planning to go on some bike rides and cook on my time off. Perhaps I’ll make some bootleg Lara Bars, too!

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Filed under books, grub, holiday, shopping, summer, work

…waiting…

STILL, for my Veganomicon cookbook! My other one came in just over a week, and it’s nearing 2 and a half, and I’m worried about it! I ordered it via Amazon.comand still have the virtual reciept, so I feel like I have a back-up if it doesn’t work out, but I’m keeping my hopes up about it! I haven’t tried any recipes from VwaV but I’ve looked through and I think I’ve made a mental note about a few… #1 is the curried tempeh & mango salad sammiches! I love tempeh, and a good sammich… and mango, so this sounds right up my ally! Whenever I buy dried fruit, I go for the dried mango strips (not really the pieces, though), but I have branched out lately with apricots and dates. Apricots are becoming a ravin-fave too! Also, I’ve never made scones, or had them for that matter, so maybe their hazelnut scones are worth trying?

The other night I made dinner for my family. I love doing this, and I just had an itch to do it because I felt like I wouldn’t have a nice, home-cooked mealfor a few days, or really until maybe Friday because I’m working a lot of nights this week, sooo I busted out my recipes and my sister helped me decide on Spicy Peanut Stew from Vegetarian Times. I served it over wheat berries, which I love, and you must try, if you haven’t. They are kind of circular and look a bit like barley, but darker (reddish?), and when you eat them, it seems like you can pop them in your mouth! Great! No picture, sorry dolls! There’s a picture on Veg. Times, and it actually came out pretty well (and very spicy!). It would be even better, with those veggies, in the fall.

In reading posts about optimism from my beautiful fellow bloggers (i.e. Jenna & Emma), I was actually thinking of life and how lucky I am yesterday. The sun was shining, after being hidden for maybe 5 days in a row, and I was out for a little fresh air stroll, when I walked passed a girl’s house, who would have been my age, had it not been for a horsing-around-car-accident that took her life. I walked passed, thinking of how she was not alive and how lucky I was to be alive and that I should actually live everyday of my life! Not merely exist. Live for me, and live for all those who have unfortunately lost their lives. I have been close to that, too, so I am so very appreciative of all I have. And I’m learning to celebrate who I am and am becoming! I’m the youngest of three girls, so sometimes growing up it seemed like I got the “leftovers”- in clothes and hand-me-downs, as well as energy, care, and emotion. Not really. I’ve been very fortunate in all the love that has been shown to me! Not just from family, but feeling it from everyone that’s known me. Wow. Not everyone is like this. At work, I hear people complaining about wanting time off, being bored, blah-blah-blah… I’ve been out of work for maybe 7 months and have since learned to appreciate and handle “down-time” and “me-time” and when I’m with someone to be with them in mind and body. People respect that when you’re with them, whether they realize it or not! To treat others as they really are important and matter, and to interact with them in order to gain something from them in life (whether material, internal, emotional, etc.) is wonderful! So, respect each other and love one another. Nothing in life is ever accomplished by loafing around, or complaining. We are dealt things in life because we must learn from them, and because we can handle them! Smile! Laugh! Care! Appreciate! Love! Always work on yourself, because that’s the best kind of work that can be done, and it’s ever-lasting! Not only is happiness contagious, but it’s excellent for your health!

Have a great week, and I mean this in my heart 🙂

P.S. Happy 24th Birthday to my oldest sister! I have to work tonight, so while the rest of the family goes out to dinner at a Bar-B-Que place (*phew* too bad for me, missing all that meatiness), I’m taking her out to get Mexican for lunch… her favorite, although I’m glad for it, too 🙂

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Filed under books, grub, holiday, optimism, summer, work

A Thanksgiving sammich

Who knew I could love Thanksgiving food again?! I picked up that cranberry & stuffing Tofurkey the other day and made this:

 Tofurkey

It’s 4 slices of Tofurkey, cranberry sauce, cream cheese and green and yellow beans in between honey-wheat bread! Oh. My. Gosh. Delicious! I had to hurry and enjoy it before going to work, though.

Monday night I did an abs & core class at the gym and Tuesday I was loving that I wasn’t sore… like, oh yah, who’s tough?! But Wednesday, I woke up, barely able to lift myself out of bed I was soo tight! HA! I guess I need to keep practicing those core moves…

I finally tried Greek yogurt. It was Oikos brand, vanilla flavor. 15 g. of protein- wow! It was a bit tart, and very thick and creamy! I had maybe a dozen or more strawberries, sliced, and walnuts with it… and coffee, for a little snackeroonie. I ate it with my favorite spoon.

 Greek yogurt

Last night my dad and I went to get Indian food. Whenever it’s just me and him, we almost always go out for Thai, which I love! But I’ve been mentioning trying something new for our past few dates, so I went online and found a few different menus for him to look at and choose which might be okay for him. Aren’t I sweet?! Ha! I got Chana Masala and my dad got the Beef Curry, which is unlike a Thai curry because it was mostly just beef in a tomato base, whereas in Thai, it’s chock-full of veggies and no tomatoes, really! We also shared some basmati rice and garlic naan, which was fabulous! My dad was sweating from the spices and was dying for water, making *slurrrrrp* noises with his straw to get some attention for a re-fill! Nice one!

I’ve also got to rave about the PB&J Dipped Clif Mojo bar I bought the other day… YUM! I giggled when I ate it, because it tasted so much like a grape PB&J sammich- great! I’m usually not one for those yogurt-covered granola bars, but this one was like a grape-flavored chewy bar, with a layer of PB on the bottom. If you dare, try one yourself!

I got a watch at Target yesterday. My Nike Pronto watch stopped working when I went swimming in the Atlantic Ocean a few weeks ago, and it wasn’t a battery problem, and the warranty is up! That was like a $60 watch… and you all know how I am with loving my sales! Anyway, this one is sort of sporty: gray with lime green accents- very spiffy! It wasn’t even on sale, but still maybe $9.99! hehe

Today I go to work and I’ll be doing half cashiering/half customer service training, to mix things up!

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Filed under exercise, grub, holiday, shopping, work

Catching up: Portland, Father’s Day…

It’s been too long!

My sister and I made a trip to Portland last week… oh, how I miss thee! We “roughed” it and stayed in a Hostel, which was my 2nd time, and always such a great experience. First of all, it’s inexpensive and you get to hear some pretty cool stories from interesting people from all over the place! We packed as much as we could into a few days, but the highlights were: hiking, going to the Rose Garden (it’s the City of Roses!), visited my old place of business, went to many, many cafes, stocked up on stuff from Trader Joe’s since we don’t have one in FL, and, yes- went shopping. I love, and have forgotten about, the no-tax policy! Yay! The roses and scenery and foliage were beautiful everywhere you looked, and it smelled so great! It’s weird that it was June and it seemed like things were JUST now blooming… also, the weather was divine! It rained/was cloudy a bit the 1st day or 2, but then cleared up, the sun was shining, and it was about 70! Cool, with no humidity! We tried to take it back with us, but were unsuccessful in the FL heat and humidity… here are some pictures:

 

^ some of my favorite roses we saw… they are very “antique”-looking, don’t you think?

^ my sister (fellow travel companion) at a cafe with her beautiful white chocolate mocha latte

 < giant gopher-style squirrel at the garden! Look how close I was… and I didn’t have anything to feed him, either!

 And some delicious favorites, from Trader Joe’s: the chocolate-covered almonds were sweet AND salty, and the mango had a big kick of spice! They make my mouth wild!

When we got back, we took my dad out to breakfast for Father’s Day! I have 2 older sisters… isn’t he one lucky guy?! That night, we also held a Father’s Day dinner with our family, my grandparents and my dad’s sister, at our house. My grandpa (still!) plays the trumpet in a band, on a boat every Sunday, and my dad has always played, coached, and loved basketball, sooo… I made them each their own cakes! Okay, it is nothing like Jenna‘s beautiful cakes, but I think everyone enjoyed them, for what they were! Here they are:

That’s all for now… have a great rest of the week 🙂

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Filed under holiday, summer, travel