Wednesday, July 31, 2013

zucchini chips

...for snacktime.  i picked up a couple of zucchini last week at the grocer, and over the next few days, watched them sit in our fridge until they were within an inch of their lives.  finally, not wanting to lose them, i followed  this pin  and made squash chips in our dehydrator.  dehydrating is something i've watched the husband do forever {homemade beef jerky}, but never actually tried myself.  to any fellow dehydrator-phobes {just me?  bueller?}, it is super easy.  thinly slice whatever you're drying, season well, spread out, leave overnight, and eat.  tasty and crunchy, i've been enjoying these during my daily 3pm munch time. 

that said, potato chips they are not.  pringles shouldn't be nervous quite yet.

also, be aware that cleaning said dehydrator is a project in itself.  it makes you feel like instead of veggies, you should be drying something a little more decadent.  dehydrated  cupcakes, ftw.

Friday, July 26, 2013

say om


...for zen {or at least the aspiration of such}.  i tend to let anxiety and what-ifs get the best of me too often, and it's gotten to the point where falling asleep is seriously hampered by the monkey chatter in my mind.  so for the past few weeks, the husband and i have been meditating each night before bed.  we set the timer for ten minutes, situate ourselves on pillows and go.  and by go, i mean stop and pay mindful attention.  
i'll admit, most nights the monkey chatter wins.  i haven't quite found that place of peacefulness where the only thing i'm focused on is inhaling and exhaling.  in fact, i feel like julia roberts throughout the pray section of eat, pray, love when she's trying to do her hour long 4 am meditating in india.  trying being the operative word.
i'd like to build a regular meditation habit, even if it takes awhile to enter the zen zone.  it is super relaxing, though.  especially when i lie on the floor like i'm taking a nap.  i think buddha was more of a criss cross applesauce meditator.  but to each his om, er  own. 


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

coconut pistachio snoball cookie bites

...for yummy snacks.  i'm always looking for ways to use up some of our random fridge and pantry ingredients.  you know the buy something for one recipe and then it just sits there taking up space indefinitely.  chinese five spice powder, i'm looking at you.  {two full containers, and i can't use more than a teaspoon at a time}.

moving on. 

i've had leftover unsweetened coconut flakes for months now, but i couldn't figure out a good use up for them.  i was tinkering around last weekend when i decided to play with a "cookie" recipe i'd pinned many moons ago.  i made two variations, and was able to use the coconut flakes in batch #2.  these are not so much cookies, as little dough bites.  fragile, but worth it for ease of making.  the only bad part about them is the stomach ache which follows eating too many at once.  trust me.

peanut butter cookie bites {slightly adapted from}
1 egg
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sweetener {i used splenda, but you could use sugar, honey, agave, etc.}

mix all ingredients together then roll into fifteen or so 1 inch thick dough balls
bake in 350* oven for ten to twelve minutes
check for doneness with a toothpick and then let cool for ten minutes 

and if you're feeling fancy {do it.  totally worth the extra step}
pistachio coconut cookie bites
same recipe as above, except substitute pistachio butter {grind two cups pistachios in the food processor for several minutes to make one cup butter} for peanut butter
after rolling into dough balls and before baking, roll the balls around in a few tablespoons of unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
coconut flakes will become toasted and delicious in the oven, as well as make the bites look pretty

both of these treats are yummy, as well as low carb, gluten free, paleo friendly {pb is not paleo, but you could use almond butter}, and can be refrigerated or frozen for several days.

get snacking!

Friday, July 19, 2013

v for victory

...for this little guy i found chillaxing at the garden store the other day.  at first i was confused about why a frog needed to be making a political statement.  it seemed ill fitting.

but then my husband shared that he gives the same peace sign when merging into traffic during his commute.  and i thought what a weirdo how refreshing that must be for other drivers on the freeway.

to each his own {ribbit}.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

sunday afternoon on the island...

...for nature's own abstract art.  to me, this one looks very much like an overhead of  monet's water lillies series.  or squinting slightly, it might be a drippy pollock.  or even a pointellist seurat {with ladies holding umbrellas and picnic baskets waiting just outside the frame}.

but actually, it's just a pretty scene from an outdoor garden.  tall grasses and purple white flowers all mixed up.

and its slight confusion is lovely to me. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

diy happy thoughts decorative wall prints

hello gorgeous and everything is sunshine

...for good thoughts.  i made these cuties a couple of weeks ago and actually hung them in a timely manner {read... craftermath is still very much happening} in our master bathroom.  i liked the idea of seeing them first thing in the morning and last in the evening.  some very unexpected family stress happened soon after i made these, and while it seems trivial to rely on silly mantras, i like their happy energy. 

the best part is, these are totally easy and cost me a grand total of $1.98.  woot to the hoot.

diy happy thoughts decorative wall prints
materials:  two inexpensive frames of any size {i used 8" x 10"s from dollar tree}
light colored book pages, construction paper and/or scrapbook paper for background*
sharpie and colored pencils
glue or double sided tape
ruler and pencil

1.  choose a happy thought as your main text for each print.  a two or three word phrase is ideal here, the shorter the better.  pinterest is a good spot for inspiration.  everything is sunshine is an inside joke my husband and i share, taken from an epic wheel of fortune puzzle solving failure.  yes, we're 80 years old.
2.  decide what paper you're using for the background and plan your layout.  i like the raw edges of the book pages, but that's just me.  line up your paper in your frames to check before beginning your lettering.
3.  choose a letter style for your text and go to town.  i looked up some fun fonts on pinterest, but ultimately stayed simple.  those with nicer handwriting than i {most everyone} can go as fancy as desired.  maybe not too fancy though, or you might not be able to read them easily.  i used the ruler to make sure my letters were straight, but i free handed the actual text.  you could use stencils to make these look pro.
4.  before framing, test run everything and then adjust for color, placement, etc.  i found i  needed to go back and darken my bottom lines on both pieces to make them brighter.
5.  you're done!  frame it up, hang it up, and admire your handiwork! 

* no books were harmed in the making of this diy.  i have several discard books from my school library, but you could certainly sub newspaper or even old maps.

not too shabby for an hour's work.  these could obviously be whatever size you want, and they could be on a canvas as well.  a ton of possibilities. 

happy crafting!

Friday, July 12, 2013

cycle of musings

...for weekend biking.  now that the husband's bike is all ship shape thanks to his dad, we can finally cycle around the wilds of orange county.  or our own neighborhood.  some of those teenagers look pretty unruly to me.

here are some observations from our most recent ride:

this is great!  we are totally doing this every weekend.
i wish my helmet had a visor.  at least it's pink. 
padded bike shorts would be awesome right now.
our neighbor girl has cute shoes.
that park has a tunnel?  cool.
my booty hurts and my forehead is pretty sweaty.
ian, slow down.
i should have brought snacks.  
back home?  woot!

tour de france, it's only a matter of time.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

catch me if you can

...for theatre {again}.  last week i was so busy rambling waxing poetic about the segerstrom center that i forgot to talk about the actual reason for our visit, catch me if you can.  i had seen the tom and leo movie version ages ago and wondered how in the world it could be turned into a musical.  i have to say that i was pleasantly surprised, enough to put away my skeptical face by the second musical number.  the lead character had an amazing voice {and was nice to look at}, and the dance numbers were all fabulous.  those girls had some serious cardio endurance.  the coolest part was the on stage orchestra, seated at the top of a large ramp that served as a dancing platform.

i could have done without the oldies next to me noisily unwrapping their hard candies, but that's par for the course on saturday afternoons.

Monday, July 8, 2013

bird brains

...for birds in cahoots.  we caught these two gazing out from atop our kitchen window last weekend.  i can only imagine that their eyes were on the hummingbird feeder. 

sweet sugar syrup in a bright attractive package?  game on.

Friday, July 5, 2013

smooth moves

...for three beverage mornings.  green tea has been in my life {and on my blog} for many years now, but this summer i am embracing the smoothie breakfast.  now that i've learned how to clean our blender* without accidentally cutting myself**, smoothies and i are besties.

my current favorite mix:
several ice cubes, 1 cup halved strawberries, big handful spinach, 1 scoop vegan protein powder, 1 tablespoon flax seed, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 cup non dairy milk, 1/4 cup water, optional stevia to taste

smush everything into blender: ice on the bottom, then dry ingredients, then liquids poured over top.  mix until smooth.  pour into large cups and enjoy, preferably through a fun straw.

sometimes, i get too excited and overdo my liquids.  a two smoothie morning is a happy morning.

*  after pouring out your smoothie, fill the blender a little under halfway with water and dishsoap.  let it run for a bit, then rinse.  easy peasy.
** true story.  those blades on the bottom are not a joke, kids.     

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

the saturday matinee

...for great theatre practically in my back yard.  oh, segerstrom center, how i love thee.  even though i don't really understand why you changed your name from the perfectly acceptable orange county performing arts center, and i also resent your overpriced parking garage that takes a half hour to exit from after each show.  we have a history, we do.  over the years, i've seen many* shows here.  most were amazing; all were technically impressive; a few were not my taste.  but there's just something about getting fancied up, packing an extra sweater for the inevitably freezing air conditioning, and discussing how great the show is with random strangers in line for the restroom at intermission.

last year, i bought season tickets for my mom and i, and it was money well spent.  i feel very grown up as a patron of the arts.... a patron who packs flip flops because we park a quarter mile away at south coast plaza to avoid said parking garage.

* in no particular order, and i could be missing a few:
lion king, rent, cats, radio city music hall rockettes, jersey boys, wicked, fly me to the moon, catch me if you can, the prince and the pauper {with my third graders}   

Monday, July 1, 2013

#80s movies rock

...for dual purpose landscape design.  this outdoor garden not only fills up space, but it also allows for what could be a really awesome game of labrynth.  to me, the man to the left is staring at the rest of his family and strategizing how to best get over there.

"hmmmm.... i can see them, yes.  but should i go left?  right?  cut through center?  what if they make a break for it while i'm still standing here?"

it's like david bowie should pop out any minute.  you have thirteen hours in which to solve the labyrinth, before your baby brother becomes one of us... forever.