Friday, May 28, 2010


Go to Chocolate Covered Katie for a chance to win the following!
One big jar of Artisana Organic Coconut Oil, One big jar of Artisana Organic Coconut Butter, and one small jar of Artisana Organic Cacao Bliss! Yum! I want some!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Palm Springs and Old Town Temecula

For mother's day weekend, Aaron and I went to Palm Springs for the night to see his mom and grandma for mothers day. We also visited with some distant relatives of mine that happened to be in town at the same time. I forgot to take any pictures of my relatives! We didn't take too many pictures in Palm Springs either. Oh well. We were just enjoying ourselves.

On the way up, we stopped for what we hoped would be a quick lunch in the little downtown area of Temecula. I had only been to the wine tasting area and was pleasantly surprised at how cute Temecula was. However, it was a gorgeous Saturday, the day before Mother's day, and it was PACKED! I would like to go back when we aren't in a rush and when it wasn't so packed. It is about an hour from us, so might be nice in Aaron's hot rod.

We came across this place and tried to order there. But after waiting in line for 20 minutes not once, but twice, we did not stay, no my friends, we did not stay. DO NOT go to this place. They are disorganized, run out of stuff and forget to tell you until you and your dog have been waiting for 20 minutes, they have poor staff, it is a complete mess. Don't let the cute exterior fool you!

After wasting almost an hour of our lives at this place, we found another cute place, Temecula Valley Cheese Company

This place was very cute and empty, so we order our cheese paninis to go. Well, they were great, but it also took FOREVER! Here is Aaron getting frustrated:

But we made it to Palm Springs in good time and all was well. We stayed at the Ace Hotel which I am sorry I didn't take more pictures of. This place is a total trip. It's basically a big pool party...kind of like a Vegas pool but much more laid back and accessible. Ace Hotel They also allow dogs, so we had Pdog (aka Peroni) by the pool and in our room. They had music playing everywhere and it was a pretty groovy place. They have lots of seventies touches and you kind of feel like you are in a time warp. They have macramé everywhere, weird kitschy details everywhere....very eclectic.  

We sat at the pool for a while once we checked in and then Aaron's mom and grandma made their way over for an early dinner. You can see our cool room in the background. They make the rooms look like beach tents or cabanas. It's super cheap too...only about $110 a night for a king room.

Isn't Aaron's Grandma cute?


She always tells us she was a scrapper when she was young. I can't imagine Grandma being a scraper! 

Aaron's mom, Renae:

We ate at the hotel in their diner area. I had a great veggie dish with polenta and mushrooms. It was awesome. 

After dinner at 4:30, Aaron and I did something I never do... took a NAP! It was fantastic. Totally relaxing and just what I wanted to do to unwind. After our nap we wandered around the pool and made some new friends. The pool was open until 2 but we called it a night at 11. 

Here is Aaron having a phenomenal time!

And our new friend Anthony:

It was a fun trip to Palm Springs. I would highly recommend the ACE to people looking to party and sit by the pool, not so much as a relaxing place. (Dad, you would hate it.)

On Sunday we spent some time with my cousins and checked out the place where Renae works. We also poked around some old shops in Palm Springs...lots of retro house wares. 

Palm Springs is like it's own little world. 

The next time we are out there I want to check out the Salton Sea and Salvation Mountain

Random Wednesday...

Hi Friends,

I woke up this morning thinking it was Saturday, or at the very least, Friday. It's one of those weeks that seems to be dragging. I think it is because all I have been doing at work this week is making phone call ....after phone call....after phone call.... with NO sight of a return or an end to it. As I have mentioned, I work in staffing and the job market is tough right now for job seekers...even tougher for me...someone that companies see as an extra cost. I am getting pretty frustrated and REALLY want the economy to get better.

 On a brighter note, last weekend I went to a RAW FOODS event! It was a lecture and food demonstration put on by Meredith Gnau. Check out her Blog. Meredith teaches at my studio but her classes are during the day when I am at work so I never have met her before. She was very sweet and not preachy...she just shared the information she has. We got along pretty well...she even has a pug!!!! She is also trying to find resources to go to a vegan culinary if you know of any scholarships, etc, let me know.

The event was at my yoga studio and the lighting was horrible and Meredith was working with limited resources, so this picture wasn't great, but you get the idea. Most of what Meredith talked about was review to me but it was all good to remind ourselves of how to take care of our health with a high raw diet. I can't go completely raw, but incorporating raw foods into our diets is a great idea.

The recipes were amazing too:
She made carrot and apple salad with walnuts and raisins and coconut, massaged kale salad, veggie "fajitas" which were AWESOME, Pad Thai, zucchini "noodles", and two kinds of cookies. Everything was wonderful and easy to make. 

I think the "fajitas" were my favorite, so here is the recipe (with Meredith's permission, of course). 

Raw Veggie Fajitas
3 Large Portabellos
3 Bell Peppers, preferably different colors
1 Medium Sweet White Onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c olive oil
2 tbsp Chilli powder
2 tbsp Cumin
Cayenne to taste
Tamari (soy sauce) to taste
Fresh Chopped Cilantro to Garnish

Slice Veggies (like in fajitas) and toss with all ingredients except cilantro. Really "massage" the ingredients into the veggies so they start to break down a little bit. You can let it sit so the flavors meld or eat it right away. Great with some avocados and green salsa. (it would also be great with tortillas, but then it wouldn't be RAW!) 

This dish was wonderful. It has so much flavor and I think a big plate of it would be really filling, especially with the mushrooms. 

I was really happy to enjoy Meredith's event. Check out her blog, she has great recipes and ideas.

Later that night, I tried to make Aaron happy with a steak. I am sure Meredith would be horrified. 

On the side I made a huge salad, slow cooked beans, and freshly baked bread that I made from Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day. Here is a picture:
We also had some "Loco" zin from Aaron's friend (it was a birthday gift for Aaron). It was a nice Sunday.

Yesterday I was feeling pretty bummed out, so I bought Aaron and me some cupcakes (actually I had a free coupon). These are NOT VEGAN, not healthy, but...they did the trick. Nothing like a sweet treat to cheer you up!

This one is chocolate with vanilla icing:

This one is red velvet:

This one is lemon!

Do you know what else cheers me up besides sweets? PUGS! Particularly pug mutts, like mine.

Isn't he cute? 

Happy Humpday, love buckets. 

Friday, May 14, 2010

Online Shopping

Hi Friends,

Busy, busy, busy week. I am exhausted and very happy that it's Friday. I have a relaxing weekend, yoga, walks, hopefully I will get in some reading and beach time, I am attending an art show is Cardiff and on Sunday I am attending a raw food seminar at my yoga studio!

I just wanted to share a couple of websites I am currently in love with. I love online shopping, you can get great deals, find more variety of whatever it is you are looking for, get free gifts, etc.

Here are some of my favorites:

Jessica's Biscuit The most amazing cookbook site I have ever seen. They have thousands of titles, new and old, and are typically 50-60% cheaper than anywhere else. If you spend $50, you get free shipping AND a free magazine subscription. I literally have about 50 books in my wish list.

Stash Tea I just found this one and it is TROUBLE. Stash has amazing teas but I find the flavors available in the stores are really limited. This website has hundreds if not thousands of different kinds of tea. They also have incredibly cute tea pots, cups, filters, presses, etc. I signed up for their newsletter and they sent me a 10% off coupon, so I bought some tea, a single pot for work, and a single cup with an infuser. I also got free shipping somehow.

Oriental Art Supply Great art products!

Badger Balm These products are USDA organic and amazing. I love the way they smell. I have just used the balms, but may look to some of their other products too. I have Yoga Balm, Sore Muscle Balm, Moisturizing Balm, Bali Balm...and I have a few free ones coming in the mail because I sent them a note about how much I like their products. You can find some of the stuff at the store but they have much more variety on their website.

Woot I haven't bought anything here for a while but each day they have one thing for really cheap and sell it until it's gone. They also have Wine Woot and some other Woots. It's fun.

Stone Lantern I haven't purchased anything here, but they have awesome Japanese gardening equipment and Ikebana supplies.

Ziji Is another Japanese product site. I ordered a couple of things off there a year ago and it is very reasonably priced.

Powell's Best bookstore, hands down. The actual store in Portland is amazing... a must if you visit. But the website is really good too and they offer both new and used books. They also offer free shipping for purchases of $50 or more and have great variety and prices. I will NEVER order from Barnes and Noble or Amazon again. I would much rather support an independent business like this one.

I also love Aldo, Banana Republic, and Victoria's Secret. But we don't need to talk about that!

Happy Friday, Love Bugs!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Yoga Pose May

Hi Yogis,

Tina from Carrots N Cake invited me and 128 other bloggers to be involved in "yoga pose may". Each day different people were assigned to do a different pose and blog about it.

I was very excited when I realized I could take part but saddened when I figured out what my pose would be...HAPPY BABY!!!! AHHHH This is not an appealing looking pose and certainly could not look very lady like photographed. Legs spread in the air...on the web! OH MY!

For me the joy of "happy baby" pose is that it releases any remaining stress in my hips and mind at the end of practice...and everyone else in class is likely tired and has their eyes closed. They are not looking at me doing this ugly posture with my legs in the air! But, it's a lovely pose to practice none the less and I am honored to take part in anything related to Tina's great blog.

So this morning before a 6 am yoga class, my good friend Annie worked her magic and took some pictures of me. Hopefully you enjoy! (Thanks Annie, and thanks for sharing a yoga practice with me this morning! What a great way to start the day.)

This is one of my feet, way up in the air!

And here are both of my feet.....

And here I am, exposing myself and my "happy baby" pose to the whole world:

This is a very relaxing pose, jokes aside (Annie told me one of her yoga instructors called it "happy husband pose"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), and I like to do it before going to bed if I am stressed or need to wind down.

I hope that you all go out and practice yoga and find some joy in some of the other poses as well. 

Namaste, my friends!

PS, keep me in your thoughts today... I am interviewing with a non profit organization for a Board of Directors position. The organization does all kinds of environmental and humanitarian good, so I REALLY want it! 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Breakfast Pie and Roasted Beets...

The other day I made this potato pie for breakfast:

I used a handful of Trader Joe's Potato Wedges and warmed them in the oven. You could use plain potatoes and just slice them up and cook them in the oven or even boil them. 

1.5 cups cooked potatoes
4 eggs, 2 egg whites
3/4 cup soy milk
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup soy cream cheese
1/2 cup various grated cheeses
2 Leeks, sliced and cleaned
2-3 Tablespoons fresh herbs (I used oregano, thyme and rosemary)
Salt and Pepper

Spray a 9 inch spring form pay with non stick spray.

Saute the leeks slowly over low heat until soft and sweet.
Preheat oven to 350.
In a blender or food processor, blend the eggs, cream cheese and milk. 
Add the flour and half the potatoes. Mix.
Add the herbs and half the grated cheese. Leave some herbs chunky for texture.

Layer the remaining potato slices and the leeks in the spring form pan.
Pour over the egg mixture and top with the remaining grated cheese.

Bake the pie for about 20 minutes until it is set. Let cook slightly and top eat or top with salsa like we did!


I always get beets in my CSA packages and have tried and tried to cook them. Yuck. Well I tried again and I think they came out ok. These beets were so pretty when I cut into them. They were pink and white striped! 

I roasted them on a small baking sheet covered with foil at 425 for about 40 minutes. 
Then I let them cool and peeled them. 
Then I cut them into bite sized wedges and mixed with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. I let them sit for about an hour. 
We made a salad with mixed lettuces, the beets, goat cheese...yum! It was pretty good.

We also had some sardine pasta. It did not taste fishy at all and sardines are REALLY good for you. I just melted some into some simple tomato sauce with capers and parsley. 

It was fun to make a dinner with ingredients I never really liked before...and to have the dinner turn out well!

Happy cooking!


There is a pug rescue mission in San Diego and they had a little pug party at the fair grounds for a benefit. We took Peroni by, even though he is not a full pug. It was a silly little event but we were happy to pay $10 for an hour of fun and to support the rescue mission. There were pugs EVERYWHERE. 

We got Peroni a sweater like this, but his is green. I think it's so cute!

Pugs sniffing butt....

Pugs in Pink....

Pugs panting....

Pugs and Peroni...


We also had them trim Peroni's nails and he freaked out, naturally. 

Some people are really into their pugs! 


An Incredible Nursery....

Aaron and I stumbled across this nursery in Encinitas. It's tucked away into a neighborhood and if you didn't go in, you would never realize how incredible it is!

Check it out:

Barrels and Branches

Here are some pictures. I bought a big black pot for my pepper plant and also went back the next day for a couple of succulents.

These are pre made vegetable gardens you can buy! I thought that was VERY cool. 

They had all kinds of homemade pottery, which I am a sucker for. Last year I took a pottery class which I really liked, but it's just not a very practical craft. You need a kiln, etc.

This place was so cool. It felt more like a secret garden than a nursery. It was so pretty and natural too! Nothing like yucky Home Depot. 

I guess they are going to have some food and wine events too. There were all kinds of decks and sitting areas, so I can only imagine that would be great.