Movin’ on Over

I moved!

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Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

After such a mellow and relaxing weekend at home, it wasn’t easy to jump back into the grind. (At this point, I have to mention that the “K” key on my keyboard is broken and requires pushing harder than average. The letter “K” is in more things than you’d think.)

The cats sure were happy to have us home though:

Snuggling on the couch

Investigating the snowboard

I was happy to see them too! I forget how much I miss their cuddly love when I am away. Christmas will be even harder with being gone 10 days, but they will be in good hands.

I also got back to cooking this week. Life has been hectic and we’ve been eating out a lot and relying on frozen leftovers/hastily thrown together meals. My least favorite part about that is the lack of fresh produce in my diet during those weeks. So this week is heavy on fresh fruit and veg and low on the carbs.

Tonight I made Angela’s Cinnamon Spice Sweet Potato Chickpea Salad.

It was flippin’ amazing. I have never used coconut oil and I am now in love with it.

Ingredients
(for 2 – 4 servings)

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 cups chickpeas
  • 1 tsp. salt

Method
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Cube sweet potatoes. Chop onion. Toss sweet potatoes,  onion, and chickpeas with 1 tbsp coconut oil and 1 tsp salt. Spread onto baking sheet with parchment paper and bake 35 – 40 minutes. When done baking, put in large bowl and mix in remainder of the coconut oil. Season with more salt as desired.

I served with steamed broccoli. It won approval.

Yum!

Squash and more chickpeas on the menu later this week. Tomorrow, I will experiment with fake bacon! Delicious!

Happy ThanksLiving!

Stole the wonderful title from Queer Vegan Runner.

Today, I am thankful for….

….my wonderful, chaotic, crazy, awesome family.

…Alex, my incredible partner who has supported me this year through everything and is supporting me over my adventures in the next year.

…my amazing, inspiring friends who have taught me more than I ever thought I could learn and continue showing me new and better ways to look at the world.

…the ability to walk outside safely, as a woman, but also just as a citizen.

…having the opportunity to live in San Francisco and explore the culinary delights and culture.

…my body and my health, which allows me to do all the things I want to do.

…Google Reader, which has changed my blog reading life.

…tea, which warms my insides.

…the cats, whose support is unwavering.

…getting to watch my nieces and nephews grow up.

…all the places I haven’t been that I get to explore.

…the incredible books I’ve read and those that I look forward to reading.

This list could go on forever, but these are some of my favorites.

My dad shared a story at dinner tonight about being thankful for all the good things, but also the problems in your life. He apparently had a very wise friend back in the day and when he would call to complain, “I got into a fender bender today,” the friend would say “Be thankful you have a car.” “My boss did something ridiculous today,” the response was “be thankful you have a job.” “My family is really aggravating me,” the response is “be thankful you have people that care about you.”

I think this is a great example at the way to look at life. All of my family shared great reasons they were thankful today and what their goals are for 2010. I don’t think I could ask for a better family.

And to my family of friends that are out and about celebrating today, I love all of you and am thankful for you.

To everyone that reads this blog that I haven’t met – you have changed my life. Your comments always make me smile.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Great Expectations

Expectations can be killer, mostly because reality measures up. For a great, and hilarious, post about “Expectations vs. Reality”, check out Hyperbole and a Half here.

The problem with expectations about people is rarely do expectations, whether they be high or low, let you meet people where they are. You usually end up over or under estimating people or getting hurt or defensive or angry and making some one else hurt or defensive or angry.

But in thinking about this more, the real problem is not having expectations, but holding on to them. Having expectations is normal, I don’t think the majority of us can go through life without having some, but you have to be able to let them go whether they’re met or not. And you can’t let them validate or invalidate how you feel about the value or yourself or the other person. This is hard. It takes practice.

I am terrible at it. I’m working on it.

And the best things happen when you let go. Like I had  a baking day with myself to make a bunch of different cookies just to see how they turned out (we all know I’m a terrible baker). And you know what? They turned out great!

Or when I let go of the expectation that my table had to be perfect when I had friends over…..

3 different dish sets.

A few biodegrable plastic knives.

A lawn chair for a seat.

And instead of worrying about it, I served great food and had a great time.

“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” -Dalai Lama

Let go of your great expectations, and you might find something even better. You might not, but at least you won’t be carrying around negative energy either!

 

9 Sweaters

In my writing workshop yesterday, we did an exercise based on this poem.

The assignment was to write different ways of looking at the same thing.

This is my stab at it.

I.

A cardigan lying haphazardly on the arm chair,
a discarded relic of the workday.

II.

Cashmere against her skin
a reminder
of all that is right with the world

III.

Pulled tight against the rushing wind.
My sweater is too thin and I am cold.

IV.

A v-neck in coral. Casual but not sloppy.
Perfect for her first date
with her future husband.

V.

Cableknit hangs from her thin frame
as she waits for the bus,
her breath coming in tufts.

VI.

The must wool scratched his face as he hugged her.
Grandma’s house was weird.

VII.

Color coordinated, floating
on padded hangers.
A sweater emporium in my closet.

VIII.

Over the top characters in over the top sweaters.
A Christmas tradition.

IX.

Paired with a pipe, his argyle vest
assures students
he is sufficiently intellectual.

Back from the Break Room

I had to take a break the last week and a half or so from the blog – with three separate jobs going on, I was getting a little overwhelmed with getting everything done. Not to mention, I have to plan everything so I’m already working on holiday shopping and feeling behind! Yes, I realize it’s November 9.

I think part of the problem was that I was trying really hard to be a certain type of blogger – and that clearly isn’t going to work. I’m going to write what I want – it will be food/health/holistic living related for the most part – and go from there. I’m not going to try and conform to some arbitrary standards. (I could use this advice in my every day life as well).

With my job winding down, I am hoping to have more time to do the things I want and stop forcing myself to do EVERYTHING. It’s all about priorities!

I was discussing with a friend the other day life goals, so I thought I’d post them here. Some of them are concrete, others are things I think I might like to do some day.

  • Run a marathon (this one may be in the works….)
  • Attend a yoga retreat
  • Find a yoga style and delve deep
  • Write creatively more often; stick with pieces and revise them until they are great
  • Yoga teacher training
  • Personal training certification
  • Holistic nutrition degree
  • Understand the settings on my digital camera and use them correctly

These change depending on the day, so it’ll be a fun journey figuring out which ones stick and which ones don’t.

Off to do more gift planning!

 

Fall, Friends, Fun

Over the weekend we went over to our friends’ Dave and Nicole’s house for dinner. They are always such fabulous hosts and make such delicious food.  I am just now realizing that I don’t think we’ve ever cooked a full meal for them! This will have to change. Hanging out with them is always so relaxing and fun, plus they are big foodies like us so we get to chat about all things food related.

Nicole and I met in college when we both volunteered for the same organization. Funnily enough, Alex and Nicole lived in the dorms together! I suppose Cal Poly really isn’t that big, but I still think it’s pretty random – and I love dissecting random things and finding reason in them. :D

Dave is clearly emphatically emphasizing something!

This is their adorable dog, Georgia. They have cat too, but she was scared of us and didn’t come out! Georgia was excited to see us because we brought her a bag of treats. Newman’s Own Peanut Butter flavor! I was overwhelmed at the pet store; there were FIVE aisles of dog treats. And some people are very deliberate about what they feed their pets, so I didn’t want to get something too crazy. But apparently Georgia loves Newman’s Own but hadn’t had the peanut butter – so she got a new flavor!

Pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere! These pumpkin plants are so cute.

Lovely fall centerpiece.

So cute!

Silvery pumpkins! There were so many adorable pumpkin things, I was insanely excited.

Enjoying a Harvest Moon. And yes, that’s the Giants game on in the background. AND YES THEY CLINCHED IT. Let’s see if they can do it again!! I hope they win at home this time!!

Quesedillas in preparation! Apple and arugula…mmmmm.

I got him to actually smile!

Finished quesedillas with mustard dipping sauce.

Feta, sweet potato and watercress salad. To die for!

The CUTEST PUMPKIN DISHES EVER. And inside them, pumpkin bread pudding with toffee sauce on top. Damn. It was delicious. And I am not a huge bread pudding fan.

And then the night ended perfectly with the Giants going to the World Series and the four of us mocking newscasters for another hour and a half. I couldn’t ask for a better night!