Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Spa Diet

Disclaimer: this is amateur hour - I'm not a nutritionist, dietitian, trainer, etc. 
just a food blogger with time on her hands 

Although this isn't my health and food blog, and this is an idea that is still in the very beginning stages of development,  I have been taking mental notes for a while know on what I've come to think of as "The Spa Diet".

It's more a lifestyle than a diet, focusing on eating clean and exercising regularly - all with the mindset that you are treating yourself. 

When I think of a spa, I think of "me time" and everything being fresh and clean and relaxing while giving a sense of renewal and energy. In practical, everyday application, this would translate into eating healthy, fresh food, exercising everyday without feeling like you're dying, and pampering yourself in little ways. To take it one step further...

 imagine waking up in a clean bedroom with the morning light pouring in through the window. You make a big breakfast for yourself while Alexi Murdoch and Damien Rice plays in the background. Egg white omelette with all the fixings, whole wheat toast, steaming coffee or tea, fresh fruit...
...Get ready for the day, sip on a refreshing glass of water. Get things done, be productive. Make a healthy lunch - a big yummy salad, something full of energy before you go to the gym. Pack your gym bag, throw a clementine in there for an extra boost, load your favorite songs onto your ipod, run a couple miles, work your abs and your arms with those non-initimidating five-pound weights. Get home, shower, light your favorite candle, feel clean and refreshed, make yourself a smoothie....

and, of course, give yourself a little bit of time in your day to sit down and blog your heart out

It could go on and on... and honestly, that sounds like the life to me. 

Cutie Tuesday

A day late, but yesterday I  actually happened to be at home and got new pictures of ze dogs 
(because I don't have 100+ on my computer already). 

Winner of Cutie Tuesday: Maddie 
for keeping me warm on an unusually cold morning in Los Angeles

. . . 
a scorned Pico

Without going into details, I got to go home for less than a day - got in Monday night and left Tuesday around 6pm. Quick trip, but it was nice to see my family and sleep in my bed for a night.

Monday, January 28, 2013

ManCrush Monday

Another Monday. I woke up in Dallas, and now I am sitting at home on my couch watching the Bachelor (roller derby? really?) in Los Angeles. Only to leave tomorrow afternoon to head back to school. 

Pictured above: new coffee table tray | Target

Not really a ManCrush*, just an excuse to talk about the Bachelor:
Des: Soulmate
Ashley: Wife
Tierra: Really? And stop snorting
Leslie H: At least she got the shopping spree

*My boyfriend is the only one I have a crush on :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Statement of Confusion

For many moons now, I have been in dismay at my inability to pinpoint exactly how other bloggers do it. By "it" I mean all of it. Photo collages, words on pictures, new sources, new topics. Does everyone walk around being followed by a DSLR? Does everyone have amazing photo editors?

I mean, I know how I do it - through agonizingly slow and old photoshop programs... and I get the desired results... but there must be a better way.

A few guesses I've come up with:
1. People on PCs have better photo editors than a Mac's sorry iPhoto
2. Picasa? I'm not sure exactly what they do on Picasa but I'm guessing it's involved.
3. Polyvore. I know I'm on to to something here

Am I close?

Don't get me wrong. I am thoroughly content with my own words-on-pictures art. I just can't imagine everyone in the blogosphere/pinterestland uses photoshop. Or maybe they do. 

back when I was slaving over Adobe Illustrator to make these

 Is Adobe ever involved in the process? Paint? Preview?
The suspense is killing me.
lacing up my Nikes at this very moment

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I'll Pencil You In

It's the start of a new semester and I have that same excitement that I'm sure most people experience when getting a fresh start. That same one that quickly dwindles and turns into a constant and dull dread of the 1 hour and 20 minute class and of staying up until 3 am doing the homework that was assigned a week prior. Can't wait :)

For now, though, the excitement is still present and in full force. I ordered my books online (thank you, parents), got a brand spankin' new planner (I don't know why it wouldn't be new...), and a new set of fine-liner pens. Really and truly, few things excite me more than new school supplies.

Rearing to go, I woke up early to copy my syllabi into my planner... and got to see that with only two classes written down, I have all my assignments and tests on the same days. Spring semester 2013, you are too good to me.
Paper Source | 2013 Large Saffian Robin's Egg Blue Datebook

My life, my joy, my pride.

And in the spirit of snapping pictures of inanimate objects in my living room, these are my all-time favorite coasters (that keep my white coffee table looking beautiful). My roommate brought them back one day, and they have been part of the family ever since.
Anthropologie | Celestial Coaster Set

Monday, January 21, 2013

We're Not in Kansas Anymore

But I was in Kansas last week - visiting my boyfriend and his family after being apart for the dreariest four weeks of my entire life. Okay, I exaggerate - being abroad for four months was a little bit more difficult. The point is that I missed my Andrew dearly and was overjoyed to be reunited with him.

he'd look at me like this
and i'd look back like this

and then he'd sip his drink to calm his excited nerves
and then I'd do something to get his attention again

and back and forth and back and forth

Besides gazing into each others eyes for hours on end...

- we went to the Exploratarium (Andrew insists on calling it by it's given name: The Exploration Place)

- we took lil Frankie for a walk

- and witnessed the miracle that is Andrew's famous chili

In addition to those three momentous occasions, I got to visit with his family a ton (which I always love) and eat my weight in the most delicious food Wichita had to offer. 

and thennn we packed up and readied ourselves for the long trek down to Dallas to start school
and thennnnnnnn we drove down to Dallas
and then and then and then we got back and went out to celebrate my best friend's 21st

I fell down the stairs while sitting on my foot and now it looks like it took a trip through a paper shredder

Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Did Someone Say "Coffee"?

1 shot of espresso
1 cup of vanilla almond milk microwaved for 1 minute 40 seconds 
1 dash of cinnamon
whisk milk until frothy
pour over espresso

That's how I take my morning coffee. It's the same every single day, but somehow it always tastes better when I'm at home in California.

can you tell I got my camera back from the shop?

It's my last morning at home and I'm savoring every last minute. Major plans? Walking my dogs chihuahuas, doing all my laundry, packing, cleaning my room, and other productive things...

I really do love the box of an apartment that I live in in Texas, but nothing beats being at home. Especially home in California, where 'cold' means anything slightly below 60 and I wake up to a bright and sunny (and fully furnished) kitchen every morning. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Separation Anxiety

I brought my baby rebel into the shop yesterday to get it cleaned and I walked away from the store feeling sorry for leaving it alone and with strangers. #bloggerproblems? #addictedtoT2i? I acknowledge it's probably not the greatest sign that I have trouble being without my camera for an extended period of time, but I thought that I would dedicate this post to all the great times we've had together.

Paris September 2012
Venice 2012
on the job at an all-school event
Easter 2012 in Wichita with the boyfrand
ah yes, we've had some good times together, my baby Rebel and I, and we'll have even better times once it's back from the shop and good as new. And I bought it a present for it's homecoming.

Here's hoping I'm getting all my emotional attachments out of the way because the way I write about my chihuahuas and camera (an inanimate object), I can only cringe to think about what will happen about once I have real human children to write about.... But that won't be for a long long while, so I have time to get this all out of my system.

Pinterest: Approved - Vegan Sweet Potato Burger

Not that I'm a strict vegan, or a vegan at all, or even a vegetarian, but I will gladly eat anything vegan as I have watched one too many vegan/vegetarian agendized documentaries. This one, to be exact, was the one that did it.

This is a story of your typical late-night pin that comes to fruition 6 months later. The original recipe was created by the LunchBoxBunch, and hers looks much better than mine.

Great recipe! Probably not something I'll make very often, as I'm not the biggest sandwich person, but this is a wonderful chicken sandwich substitute. Don't let the "burger" part fool you. Do not expect this to taste anything like a burger (I don't know why you would, but now you've been forewarned). 
- I baked one and I think it turned out better than the ones cooked with oil
- Halving the recipe, I still made 5-6 patties
- I seasoned with a dash of garlic powder, cinnamon, & chili powder

Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers
makes 7-8 large patties

2 cans cannellini white beans, drained
1 large sweet potato, baked/peeled/mashed (about 2 cups)
2 Tbsp tahini
2 tsp maple or agave syrup
1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning OR Cajun seasoning (or another fave spice!)
1/4 cup wheat flour
optional: additional seasoning (whatever you have on hand - I used a few dashes cayenne, black pepper and a scoop of nutritional yeast)
salt to taste if needed

plentiful Panko crumbs
safflower oil for pan

burgers: avocado, Dijon mustard, grain buns, romaine, onion, olive oil, pepper


1. Bake sweet potato. Peel, place in large mixing bowl.
2. Add drained beans to mixing bowl. Mash beans and potato together.
3. Mash in seasoning, flour and any additional seasoning. Your mixture will be quite soft and moist. But you should be able to form a patty. Add more flour or a scoop of breadcrumbs - or dry rice to thicken the mixture if needed.
4. Heat 1 Tbsp safflower oil in a pan over high heat.
5. Form a patty from mixture and coat in Panko crumbs. Thick coating. Then drop the patty in the pan. Repeat until the pan is filled. Cook until browned on both sides. You could also bake. If baking, use less Panko.
6. Transfer cooked patties to paper towel. Cool for a few minutes.
7. Serve on toasted bun with lotsa toppings.

Note: yes this patty does fall kind of apart as you eat it. But that is OK because it tastes yummy. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Cutie Tuesday and What I Wore to Evade Jury Duty

important note: I did not really evade jury duty 

This morning I was called in to jury duty and this entire week leading up to it, I wasn't necessarily filled with the expected dread. But when my alarm sounded this morning at 5:50, I realized why it is that people aren't usually keen on receiving their summons in the mail. Yet I still had that little bit of excitement in the back of my mind that was eager to serve my civil duty by sitting on a jury. Which was quickly squandered by sitting on the freeway for 20 minutes only to move five miles. I understand you, rest of America, I am not a fan of jury duty.

Ok, I can't really say I don't like jury duty because I postponed mine due to the fact that I'm a student, but I do hate getting to jury duty.

I understand you, rest of America, I am not a fan of getting to jury duty.*

This morning (while still a little excited and curious about JD) I had no idea what to wear. It wasn't until I loaded the pictures onto my computer that I noticed (1) I must have subconsciously been feeling really patriotic and (2) it's the same outfit as the only other time I've included a picture of myself. I do own other clothes and I do wear other clothes, but today I wore the same clothes.

and a model pose for good measure
pants: H&M//striped shirt: Nordstrom//sweater: H&M//shoes: Steve Madden
(and yes, I am wearing shoes)

Cutie Tuesday Winner: Maddie

because she was the only one that let me pick her up today  
Pico was too busy chewing his bone and licking his leg
congratulations little lady

how does she manage to look like a victim in every single picture?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Meet the Great Grandparents

I had the pleasure of babysitting Luke this weekend while his parents and my parents were attending a wedding. OOOH we had a ball. We sat on the bed and chatted for a bit, then I fed him, then he head-butted me in the face, then I put him to sleep, then I changed him, then I swaddled him, back to sleep, cry, call my mom, feed? no, let him sleep....

It quickly turned into a very confused aunt and a very uncomfortable Luke who needed to get out his one-hundred and first burp. (Not my fault, there was no way I could possibly know how gassy this kid could be)

Sunday morning: Luke's mom came to pick him up and cousin Lisa came over for coffee but mostly to meet her second cousin (?). Love at first sight.

don't let the trout face deceive you. Luke has found his new best friend in Lisa

Then it was off to my grandparents' house for Luke's first meeting of his great grandparentals. 

Their first great grandson after ten children and 30 something grandchildren. Lots of love in the room.

Mary, sorry for introducing your child to internet stardom at such an early age, but he is cute and photogenic and has killer facial expressions and I have a camera and a blog. It was inevitable.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Daydreaming Cure

Wether it's the holiday season coming to an end, or an unusual case of SAD -- seeing as how it's 70 degrees and sunny outside in the middle of this winter season -- but this past week has felt like a huge ball of "let's stress Becca out" has been chucked at my face.

I exaggerate, but there were a couple stress-inducing things that have been brought to my attention this week and I don't think it's a coincidence that my knee-to-face kicks have improved ten-thousand-fold in my self-defense classes.

My creative super original solution? Daydreaming of when I'll go back to Paris with my boyf and all these petty things will have no matter in my important/successful/perfect life. (The 20 Office episodes I've been watching and Lean Cuisines I've been eating haven't hurt either. And yes, I do mean 20 episodes AND 20 Lean Cuisines.)

photos from February 2008

special thank you to cousin Lisa for living in Paris and hosting us for two weeks