Monday, July 30, 2012

Twenty Four Years

Today my parents celebrated 24 years of marriage. When we were younger, they used to always take us with them for their anniversary dinners, and the tradition was picked up again this year. We enjoyed a perfect dinner at Island Prime, with the best view of the SD skyline.
My siblings and I presented them with a card thanking them for teaching us how to lead, how to love, and how to live.
We are the luckiest.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

the change

whoops, no, not menopause.

the blog name. the whole blog has felt a little tired to me lately, and if anyone has been regularly checking in, they would have noticed I've been switching the layout/template every few days. Nothing has felt right. I finally decided on this one for its simplicity (it is, after all, the 'simple' template). In white, because I want the words, the pictures—my life—to be the focal point. Enough of the flowery crap, the distracting colors and prints. I want to get rid of anything and everything superfluous. (Except language. I love me some superfluous language). But the distractions no longer suit me. Not only on the blog, but in day to day living. I am in the process of recommitting myself to.... well, to myself, if I'm being honest.

I have been too afraid to start projects, work toward goals, because I'm afraid of how behind I am. Isn't that the silliest thing you've ever heard? It is actually nonsensical. But fear was holding me back, and I was losing myself in things that didn't really matter. My growth had been stunted, my inner person taken over by metaphorical weeds; my soul had become dusty and unexplored. I felt ugly on the inside. Not living up to my full potential.

I needed to reteach myself my loveliness. How to be lovely, in all the ways. The phrase comes from this poem, which is kind of wonderful and kind of weird. But from it I gained wisdom that is redirecting my life.

I started working out two and a half weeks ago. I'm following a workout calendar, which has me target a different muscle group 5 days a week, cardio on Saturdays, and rest on Sundays. I haven't missed a day. Even though I was too busy to work out on Saturday, I made that my rest day and did cardio on Sunday. I made it work. I am determined. Finally, I am determined. And I am already seeing a difference. But mostly, I'm feeling the difference. I wake up with more energy, and my muscles aren't stiff (just sore from the previous day's workout!). I am stronger. I see the definition and in my workouts I am consistently gaining endurance. It's the best I can remember my body feeling, at least since I was dancing. It's honestly amazing. And I am so proud of myself. To have a legitimate reason to be proud of myself is the best feeling. It's so gratifying. I worked for it, earned it.

That has been the biggest change, but I'm also really lighting a fire under my ass as far as the Moscow reading goes. I'm getting it done! Little by little.

And I'm cooking a lot. Creating meals and really eating clean as often as I can.

I know I owe it to myself to be the best that I can be.
And I already feel lovelier.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Raw Vegan Cheesecake

FOR ONCE, this is not a Joy the Baker inspired cooking post. 
It is, however, Blogilates inspired. 
I made this today and I'm already putting it on the blog. Woofreakinghoo.

Since it is vegan, there's no cheese in this cheesecake. And since it is raw there is no cooking or heat (except melting the coconut oil). I took copious pictures. Let's get into it. 

I started with the crust:

1/2 cup dates

2 cups walnuts

Throw 'em in a food processor 

Pour the resulting crumbliness (technical term) into your pan!

Press it all down reeeeal good like:
VoilĂ ! Crust.

OK, Cheesy time!

Soak 3 cups of RAW cashews overnight:

Drain them, and throw them in a food processor with:

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup organic agave syrup

3/4 cup coconut oil

PAUSE. It has to be melted. 
Grab yourself a pan, fill it halfway with water, put it on medium heat.
Put 3/4 cup coconut oil in a glass bowl, then stick the bowl in the pan.


After! (steamy)

Pour that oil in the food processor, and also add a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

You're ready to process! (make it nice and smooth)
Here's what you get:
(unsure why this picture is vertical. don't know how to rotate).

Pour that delectable mixture into your pan, and spread it evenly:

Stick that baby in the freezer, for a minimum of 3 hours.

When you're just about ready to take it out, whip up some sauce!
I did a (frozen) berry combo.

Totally eyeballed the amount. Probably around a cup.

1/4 cup agave

(There are also 4 dates in there!!)

Then blend it all together!

I put my berry sauce in a ziploc so I could drizzle it on the cheesecake with precision.


Drizzle on the sauce, and EAT!

What's the verdict?
SO good. It's so good. It really is similar to cheesecake, but you feel a lot less disgusting after you eat this. It's just a CLEAN taste. Again, it's RAW. We only used natural foods (minus the vanilla extract and agave, which are basically natural but had to be processed in some way) so you don't get any weird processed/chemical or refined sugar aftertaste. 
The thing you should know, though, is that it's still highly caloric. Both the crust and the filling are nut based, and we all know that nuts = calories and fat. But it's the good kind of fat, and they also have a lot of protein. So while you probably shouldn't be eating more than a piece of this at a time, don't worry too much about the calories. They aren't the be-all and end-all of nutrition.
(also there have been studies showing that a handful of cashews have a similar effect as a dose of Prozac, so this is a HAPPY cheesecake!)

Bottom line... MAKE THIS. And serve it to all your friends who think eating raw vegan makes yumminess impossible. They are wrong.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Another 365

Day 184 7.1.12
WHOA. Startin' July with my face in your face.

Day 185 7.2.12
Kelly came over and we created.
These are little (cookie dough) bites of HEAVEN. From Joy the Baker, obvi.

Day 186 7.3.12
Kelly was still here the next morning, so we created more.
Cinnamon bread.

Day 187 7.4.12
Oh, Mother. Makin' a Fourth of July spread to die for.

Day 188 7.5.12
Carryin' the patriotism to the next morning with my breakfast.

Day 189 7.6.12
A simply delightful picnic with Cortnie in Balboa Park.
One of my favorite summer afternoons.

Day 190 7.7.12
This is a close-up of my shell mirror that faces my bed.
Handmade by my mom.
This picture is ridiculously shitty, but that mirror is a work of art.

Day 191 7.8.12
Caprese salad at Nicky Rotten's after family tennis.

Day 192 7.9.12
Playing with my grandparents' russian dolls

Day 193 7.10.12
Homemade hummus

Day 194 7.11.12
Included in a birthday package from Danielle. 
It's on my nails now.
I'm obsessed.

Day 195 7.12.12
Kids whipping their hair.
My sister and her friend worked with them for a couple weeks to put on a recital of sorts.

Day 196 7.13.12
Marissa's birthday dinner at The Marble Room downtown.
Comic Con goers EVERYWHERE.

Day 197 7.14.12
Went for a run for the first time in.... oh, ever.

Day 198 7.15.12
Danae's going away dinner.
natalie being cute.

Day 199 7.16.12
I just..don't get some people.

Day 200 7.17.12
This is a great face for day 200. Girls night at Danae's.

Day 201 7.18.12
The day I FINALLY got my phone back. After 30 days.
This is a view from the Coronado bridge as I was coming home. Sometimes it really hits me that I live in paradise.

Day 202 7.19.12
I made (a vegan) dinner and it looked like the picture in the recipe book.
Felt very profesh.

Day 203 7.20.12
A huge prayer for Colorado and a simple meal for my dad and me.
I love appetizers as dinner. It feels naughty. <-what?

Also I severely missed Instagram.
That's real.

Where Has My Life Gone (365)

I know. I KNOW. I haven't posted 365 pictures since June 11. Who am I? I am the worst. I'm gonna take you through to the end of June and then do another post with July thus far. This should be interesting.

Day 165 6.12.12
I made black bean burgers.

Day 166 6.13.12
Peewee watermelon!
Jk it's a weird form of cucumber, but I was giddy all night because of this.

Day 167 6.14.12
Vegan veggie quesadillas. Guys they were so good. I should buy almond cheese again.

Day 168 6.15.12 
The day before my phone went byebye.

Day 169 6.16.12
Walking home from work.

Day 170 6.17.12
Father's Day. Lucky.

Day 171 6.18.12
LOVE the ads at the Village Theater. Vintage.
Saw Rock of Ages. Highly enjoyed the cheese factor.

Day 172 6.19.12
My sister does a great little dance for us in the midst of cooking dinner.
PLL Tuesdays.

Day 173 6.20.12
No comment.

Day 174 6.21.12
Tennis with dad.

Day 175 6.22.12
Sunrise photo shoot with the ever-fabulous Cortnie Dee. For the love of all things holy, book her! 

Day 176 6.23.12
Color coordination in the bedroom.

Day 177 6.24.12
Oh just the best mac ever, made by my mother of course.

Day 178 6.25.12
Don't even. I know. Gross.

Day 179 6.26.12
BEN from Love in the Wild.
Guilty pleasures are beautiful. Literally.

Day 180 6.27.12
lalala another screenshot. SO exemplary of my feelings, though. Slideshow issues always.

Day 181 6.28.12
Birthday lunch the day before my birthday to accomodate LIFE.
French cuisine. I chose it because it was fancy.
Ended up maybe regretting it a little bit because there were literally 3 vegetarian choices and I could have gotten away with picking a vegan place on my birthday if I wanted to!
But this cheese plate was fantastic.

Day 182 6.29.12
I turn 20 and throw a party. Posted about this already

Day 183 6.30.12
Danae takes me to see Wicked!
I like it but, for the second time, am not blown away.
What's up with that??

OK. June done. It was a fast month. But what does that mean?
On to July.