Sunday, December 18, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
"Strangely enough, my imagination works best when I am sitting alone in a large assemblage, when the tumult and noise require a substratum of will if the imagination is to hold to its object; without this environment it bleeds to death in he exhausting embrace of an infinite idea." -Søren Kierkegaard
I stumbled across this quote by danish philosopher and granddaddy of existentialism, Søren Kierkegaard, in the book Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit, and couldn't help but feel an absolute sense of agreement. In college I always loved doing my work in a bustling coffee-shop (side note, why can't I find any place as cool as Stella's in DC?), and even now I've got Pandora cranking out the tunes all day as I work to liven up the office ambiance. To me, there's something about the struggle to stay on task when so much is happening that allows me to focus in a way a quiet room never could. As Søren explained in his journals, you can focus on what you're actually doing as you block out the layers of distraction rather than focusing on being isolated from the distraction.
Of course, I know plenty of folks who tell me they need polar opposite conditions to get anything done (the boyfriend for one). In fact, sometimes I can't help but think perhaps there's something wrong with my choice of work environment... is it because I can't handle the quiet? Do I have a need for continuous distraction because I watched too much TV as a kid? It's secretly nice to know my need for a bit of chaos isn't solely a result of growing up in an era of over-stimulation - something tells me that Kierkegaard's quiet, 19th century Copenhagen upbringing didn't over-saturate him with Sesame Street.
"This very moment there is an organ-grinder down the street playing and singing -- it is wonderful, it is the accidental and insignificant things in life which are significant." How perfect a sentiment for the start of the weekend. Now go out and see how many significantly insignificant things you can experience.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
"Let's become more creative, more loving, and more joyful in our work, care more for the earth and each other, and reinvent work as the joy it is meant to be - as the expression of our heart's purpose." - Will Tuttle, PhD
Now get out there and kick some ass.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
I enjoy dabbling with raw food recipes that preserve each and every enzyme naturally found in tasty fruits and veggies. Delicious and nutritious to the extreme! But sometimes raw food recipes can be even more intimidating than their cooked counterparts if for no other reason than most of us didn't grow up creating these culinary delights, so it's a bit unfamiliar. For example, I thought for the longest time that those crunchy and addictive kale chips I'd get at raw food restaurants were beyond my reach. There's no way I could recreate that signature flavor or incredible crispiness on my own, I would think... so I never tried.
Well, a few weeks ago I decided to pull out my trusty Excalibur dehydrator (ok, who am I kidding, this thing is huge and doesn't fit in any of our cabinets so technically it required no pulling out, only plugging in) and give homemade kale chips a go. A few hours later, and my world was forever changed. It is the easiest this you could possibly make and so freaking good! So I thought I'd share this remarkably easy, 3 step technique for making incredible kale chips on your own.
1. First, rinse a giant leafy bunch of kale. Tear the leaves from the tough stem, and toss into a salad spinner for a quick ride.
2. Next, transfer the leaves into a large bowl a handful at a time, spritzing each pile with just a little extra virgin olive oil (I recommend using a Misto sprayer). Then, once you've got your bowl filled with kale, add a few shakes of soy sauce and toss the leaves to distribute that liquid flavor!
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Please pardon the terrible photo quality (the camera on my phone has lost its ability to focus) but I spotted this festive doorway, cascading with pumpkins and gourds of every stripe, and had to document it for longevity. What a great idea! They did such a good job finding just the right spot of every last pumpkin and gourd. I'm a huge fan of the mini pumpkin myself. We have a little guy keeping us company as a kitchen table centerpiece - and if you get a couple in different shades they just as colorful as flowers, but WAY less expensive and last for months.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Well this week when I head to the store I'm picking up a couple more of these "fancy" bottles and I can't wait until I need to use them. So what makes these little pouches so special? Why am I oh so in love with them? Let me count the ways:
- They're made from soft but sturdy silicone that is super easy to squeeze.
- They balance on their caps so you don't have to shake the bottle to get your liquid out.
- A large opening allows for easy filling and no spilling.
- A no-spill nozzle ensures your goop doesn't leak and the cap doesn't get all gunked up.
- The flip open cap is incredibly easy to open.
- The 2 oz. version I purchased has a built in suction cup that really does stay put and allows for single-handed dispensing.
- There is a built in ring you can adjust to show what the contents of your container are.
Have I sold you? The brand that makes these little tubes of joy is called Humangear and the tubes I am a total convert to are called GoToobs! A definite must for any frequent travelers out there. Plus they come in three sizes.
Monday, October 3, 2011
Carrot cake lovers rejoice - there really is a nutritious and delicious carrot-cake-inspired breakfast option, all thanks to the amazing Angela of Oh She Glows. Seriously, you need to make this tomorrow. No excuses. It is so yummy and filling and will keep you energized all morning long. The recipe is below, but you should definitely go check it out on Angela's site for the gorgeous photos on Oh She Glows.
While I suppose any chai tea is nice to wash down the delicious oatmeal with, my favorite has to be Teavana's Maharaja Chai Oolong Tea. As I may have said before, the flavors are so intense and complex, and you get the sweetness without having to add anything but water (a much healthier alternative to boxed chai tea mixes which contain major amounts of sugar). This blend is so good it'll instantly warm you from the inside out.
And now on to the recipe...
Carrot Cake Oatmeal from Oh She Glows
- 1/2 cup regular oats
- 1 cup almond milk (or soy, rice, etc)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 large carrot, finely grated (1 heaping cup)
- 2 tbsp coconut milk cream (use the cream off the top of the full-fat can only)
- 1/2-1 tsp ground cinnamon, to taste
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8th tsp ground nutmeg
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp crushed walnuts, divided
- 1 tbsp coconut milk cream + 1/2 tsp pure maple syrup (to drizzle on top)
- Shredded coconut, for garnish
- Cinnamon, for garnish
- Raisins, for garnish
Directions: Finely grate the large carrot to yield 1 heaping cup of grated carrots. Note that you want to use the fine grate, not the large one so the carrot shreds are very small.
In a medium sized pot over medium heat, add your almond milk, lemon juice, and coconut milk cream. Stir well. Add in your spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger) and salt. Stir again until mixed.
Stir in your grated carrots and oats. Adjust heat if necessary or bring heat to low if it starts to boil. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently. When the mixture has thickened up, stir in the vanilla extract, 1 tbsp crushed walnuts, and 2 tbsp of maple syrup. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl.
Top with 1 tbsp of crushed walnuts and 1 tsp of shredded coconut. Prepare your coconut milk cream + maple syrup mixture and drizzle it over top. Sprinkle with cinnamon for garnish.
Serves 1 large portion or 2 small portions.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Thinly sliced, tossed with shaved carrots and sliced grape tomatoes, and mixed with Annie's Goddess Dressing - green cabbage has a delicious mellow flavor with just a bit of bite and a great crunchy texture without being at all watery. Self's Nutrition Data site also tells me that "It is also a good source of Thiamin, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate and Manganese." Woohoo! Cabbage for all!
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Ooh la la! Dreamy nude hues with a little something special.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Sunday, July 3, 2011
- When you move, unpack the kitchen first. With a functioning kitchen, you can fix meals and snacks and save tons of money by not having to eat out constantly during the week or so it takes to properly unpack everything else. Learn from our mistake; moving your stuff around all day makes you very hungry, and we spent way too much on sub-par sandwiches and salads from random restaurants in our new 'hood. You'll eat much healthier too.
- While everyone looks for something different when choosing a new abode, there's a lot to be said for location. We opted to pay a bit more to live in a spot that puts us just a few blocks from the metro, multiple grocery stores, the farmers market, a darling tea shoppe, a second hand bookstore, a yoga studio... pretty much everything a girl could need, and I couldn't be happier with our new home. I've removed the stress of having to drive from my life and my legs are feeling happy and strong from all the walking, it's a win-win!
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Big happenings around these parts. My boyfriend and I are moving to Washington DC in just one month and there seems to be endless work to do. First things first - finding a place to live! I'll be jetting down tomorrow to apartment hunt and lay the groundwork for my upcoming job search. For now, here's a few fun things from around the web...
Maharaja Chai Oolong tea from Teavana (the flavors are so intense and full of depth), and it turns out they have a great website with tons of helpful tea information. Check out their Types of Tea guide and this great How Tea is Made visual complete with instructions for how to brew the perfect cup depending on type.
Did you get up early to watch the royal wedding? I only saw a bit of the recap coverage on TV but thought both Kate and Pippa's dresses were gorgeous.
Speaking of weddings, did you know that J.Crew has a wedding shop? Their relaxed, feminine dresses are simple perfection.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
The thing is... with this type of "realistic" outlook, you're not actually gaining anything. Not getting your hopes up? I see it more as not allowing yourself to feel hope. Not overstating what we are capable of? How about not allowing yourself to be pushed and expand and discover what you ARE capable of? Not overwhelming yourself with "unlikely" possibilities? Try never giving yourself the opportunity to explore whichever path in life you decide is best for you. And the bit about being more motivated to work harder because you know the challenges you will face? This sounds a lot like doubting yourself from the start and perhaps creating more difficult circumstances for yourself than those which truly exist.
So today, I'm channeling some incredible optimism and I'm going to let it keep on flowing. Believe in the future, in our abilities, in possibilities, and the knowledge that whatever comes your way you will be able to handle. You have nothing to lose by greeting each new day with a smile, and so much to gain. Sometimes, especially if I'm in a foul mood, I've been known to say "life isn't all rainbows and unicorns". Well, sometimes it is all rainbows and unicorns, and with an optimistic outlook you are well positioned to recognize and enjoy all the brightness, color, love, opportunities, and divine synchronicities that each day brings.
Friday, April 8, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Saturday, April 2, 2011
What's that? You're looking for an easy, inexpensive, delicious, healthy breakfast? Well, my sweet, you've come to the right place. I've been making this awesome oatmeal every weekend lately and it's the perfect combination of tasty heartiness to power you through a morning of errands. The recipe is crafted out of items you're likely to already have lurking in the pantry, all of which are quite inexpensive when you realize just how many breakfasts you can squeeze out of one tube of Irish Steel Cut Quick Cook oats (say that five times fast) - I like the Country Choice Organic kind which works out to be $.20/serving or less. On to the recipe...
3/4 Cup water
1/4 Cup Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats
Granny Smith Apple
Small Handful of Raisins
3-4 Dashes of Cinnamon
Drizzle of Maple Syrup
Bring the water to a boil in a small pot, and stir in the oats. Reduce heat to medium-low so that the oats can simmer, covered, for 5-7 minutes. A word to the wise - opt for a longer cooking time and lower heat.. I can't tell you how many times I've let the oats boil over and that will really kill your early morning meditative state. While you wait, cube 1/2 of the apple and eat the other half (or get a little crazy and cube the whole thing!). Toss apple cubes in your favorite cereal bowl, and top with raisins, cinnamon, and maple syrup. When your oats have finished cooking, pour them right over top of your fruity mixture and mix well. Makes 1 serving.
This breakfast is totally filling and so much better for you than prepackaged oatmeal packets, as handy as they may be. On a seemingly unrelated yet completely related note - do you have any odd habits that bring you great joy? The top of my list includes finding spelling or grammatical errors in print. I found this little gem on the back of the oatmeal canister I used to make the breakfast above...
What can I say - it's the little things in life.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
I just finished an absolute gem of a book called Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss. I'm not especially interested in science and knew nothing about the Curies before reading this book, but nevertheless I highly recommend it. Part work of art, part picture book for adults, every page was a joy to linger over. If you're looking for a hard hitting biography with loads of intimate details or a truly scientific primer, this is not the book for you. If, however, you appreciate creative expression, want to read something completely unlike other biographies out there, and treasure the books in your personal library - then I urge you to pick up this book.
Through it's picture book format, you'll learn a lot about the Curie's research on radiation, their discoveries of radium and polonium, and the effects of radiation on the human body (given the heartbreaking recent events in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami that cut power to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant causing increased radiation levels in the area - it is an interesting time to have read this book). You'll also learn much about the Curie's personal lives and the tabloid-worthy affairs of Marie - it's juicy! Even the typeface used throughout the book was created by the author an has a very interesting history (explained at the very end of the book), and the book itself glows in the dark (an homage to radium)! This is one piece of literary work that really has it all. Just check out some of these pages: