Sunday, January 31, 2010


I took Heather's idea and chopped up some collard greens tonight for smoothies. I plan on using unfiltered apple juice, peaches/blueberries/pineapple (whichever one i feel at the moment), hemp protein powder, and a drizzle of maple syrup. I'm not sure how I feel about greens in smoothies yet, but many of you say it's good, so .... I shall try.

Today I will make another recipe from the Ayurvedic cookbook, a soup. Going to try and create a weekly menu plan again. Haven't done that in a long while.

Finished my taxes yesterday and got a nice refund, which I will put mostly into the savings. I'm looking on freecycle for a sewing table, but if i need to buy one i can. i would prefer more antique/vintage looking than anything else. anyone have suggestions?

Today will be spent with a friend, possibly, in the snow, then a cozy dinner, then to bed, to bed, early! School tomorrow. I do feel much more restored than the out-of-sorts that I've been feeling lately. And in one month, it will be much better outside ... at least in this part of the world!



Saturday, January 30, 2010

oh. my. HUMMUS.

I just can't stop cooking out of this book: (the modern ayurvedic cookbook)

recipe follows food porn picture.

seriously. make two batches. immediately.

3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. chopped green chilies (i used mild, from a can), or 1/4 green Serrano chili pepper, or more to taste
1 tbsp. fresh cilantro leaves (or 1 tsp. dried, which is what i had)
2 cups chickpeas, cooked or canned
2 tbsp tahini (my arteries are clogged with tahini, lately ... it's my newest crave)
juice of one lemon, or 2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt, or to taste

In a blender or food processor, pulse garlic until chopped. Add the green chili and cilantro and pulse. Add all remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

i say, serve topped with your leftover whole garbanzo beans! very pretty! and may i also recommend my new favorite cracker: Ryvita sesame rye (they have other flavors, too) crispbread. They are vegan and VERY sturdy, even under a heavy hummus spread!

bon appetit!


here's what it looks like here in Louisville this morning:

it's really, really nice to be snowed in. i might go take a short snowy walk to mail my rent check ... my day will be spent making soup, doing homework, and maybe sneaking in a little knitting or guitar playing. a friend is having a housewarming party tonight, so i may venture out to that. hmmm maybe save the soup for tomorrow and bake for the party? we shall see ....

hope your weekend is lovely, whether it's winter or summer where you live.


Friday, January 29, 2010

just a friday night at home

tonight i got to play with some new "toys" and indulge in some cooking of amazing indian food.

i did laundry, cleaned house a bit, cooked, now sitting here with a bowl of kiwi, blueberries, and pineapple. gonna watch a movie before bed.

i am thinking that i could use some sewing tips for the beginner, but maybe i should wait until i have a table. any ideas on the best type of table to use? how about the chair? i don't want anything too modern/officey but i do want functional ...

the recipe i made is from the ayurvedic cookbook pictured here.

Quick and Easy Red Masoor Dal

1 cup dried red lentils (no soaking required)
3 cups water
1 tsp sea salt
pinch of hing (aka asofetida)
3 slices fresh ginger
1 fresh green chili, slit at end (i used a red one, it was all i could find)
1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
1 tsp tomato puree (optional ... um yeah what's THIS? i omitted it)
1/2 cup onions, minced
1/4 tsp turmeric
juice of 1/2 a lemon (that's 1 tbsp of lemon juice from a jar)
1/2 tsp gur or maple syrup
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (for garnish ... left this out)

In a large pot, combine all ingredients except turmeric, lemon juice, gur/syrup, and cilantro. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer. Skim off froth with a slotted spoon. Add turmeric, stir, and cook until done, about 20 minutes. You may add more water if dal seems too dry. Add lemon juice and gur/syrup, and stir to dissolve. Garnish with cilantro.

I served this with jasmine rice that had fenugreek seeds and curry powder mixed in. it was deeeeelish! :-)

one of the best sights ever ... look at those blue flames! :-)

hope you all have a nice weekend, filled with warmth, love ... and, in my case, SNOW!

credit card extra $$ jar

here's the view from my two bedroom dressers: (sorry heather it needs a frame!!)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

saving, penny by penny.

i am thinking of my future children today, and how i'd just *so* much like to be home with them, watching them grow, letting them explore, helping them learn. i'm starting to want nothing more for my future than to build a peaceful, frugal, beautiful, handmade (to borrow a soulemama phrase lol) home.

i felt terrible after my trip to whole foods today, where i spent $90 AFTER putting this and that and the third can of such and such away. but then i realized i haven't shopped there in weeks, opting instead to eat from my stockpile and hit the local markets. and that i probably won't need to go back there until next payday a month from now. i really do try to stay away .. .it is expensive, and it's a bit of a drive from everything else. but i got in a trip to joann's for some knitting stuff in the same journey ... and it was, i realized, basic stuff that added up the bill: tahini, olive oil, henna (sorry i just can't do grays yet at the ripe age of 30! and henna lasts FOREVER once you do it). i will get two recipes out of my purchases from my new ayurvedic cookbook, a lentil dal and a lentil soup. i'm sure some of that will be frozen for lunches. i love having hot, homemade food at school. lunch is my biggest, most filling, most important meal of my day so i have to do it *just* right.

then i went to get lightbulbs, thank you cards, and a birthday card at target. while there, i overheard one woman ran into another she knew, and said, "i come here to grocery shop and end up buying all this other stuff! haha!" i realized that i used to say this, too. and in that same instant i realized that laugh-off/denial of purchasing for mere basic necessity is what's so very wrong with us. i didn't judge her, but i let her comment sink a little further into my soul than it ever had before.

in the past week, i've turned down my brain's lovely ideas for a quick sandwich, an extra can of pineapple, etc. etc. i did go out to dinner last night... a lovely vegan meal at a local mediterranean restaurant. i was starving after two yoga classes and still 25 minutes from home. i had packed already from home breakfast, lunch, and afterschool snack. enough's enough. ... okay. i also spent $2 on mini loaves at a local bakery because i need to bake again. haven't gotten back into that swing yet. considered saving the equivalent of what i spent on these things. i might, but i also took into consideration there was good reason for me to spend this money. it wasn't a frivolous night out.

we are supposed to get some snow tomrorow night, so i thought renting a movie might be nice. so i got ONE instead of the three or four i usually get. much cheaper, and it will keep me away from the blue screen and into a book, or some knitting. nothing wrong with that.

it's fun to have this new mantra -- I AM a saver -- almost powerful-feeling, in a very empowering kind of way. it's not part of me yet, but i'm liking the territory, the question that comes more naturally all the time, "how can i save here?" it's working, albeit slowly. just today, $200 went into the ING automatic from my checking account. i'm hoping it will do so each successive payday until summer when i am unpaid. it won't be much, but it will be the most i've ever saved .... well, EVER. hello, thirties. hello future. hello security blanket, however small.

recent raw foods lunch on my trip to chicago ... let me say that almond pate was where it's AT!! :-)

"the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

hoping for a snow day tomorrow. to stay home ALL the delicious day. sounds good, doesn't it? but if not ... well ... it'll be laundry at the 'mat followed by a movie and just hangin' out in the p.j.'s. ahhhhhhhh.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


dinners have been simple lately .... I AM a saver!!! ... but all the same, simply delicious. tonight's fare: whole wheat spaghetti noodles, cooked al dente with seared sesame-crusted tofu, steamed edamame and stir-fried button and baby bella mushrooms topped with a nice generous tahini drizzle. some tamari was mixed in with the mushrooms. filling, healthy, and delicious (and easy) on a winter's day.

winter is wearing on me. i need sunshine, and spring, and hours on my outdoor porch. for now, i'll hunker down with montessori homework and playing around on my sewing machine. i haven't done any of this yet ... i've been brooding over certain things and pondering over others and spending lots of time on the yoga mat. can't complain about the yoga mat time ... it's transforming my life continually.

my cousin, wearing (and LOVING, yay!!) the farrow rib scarf i knit him for Christmas

i seem to be in an anti-reading phase lately. i hate it. free cable/the internet are ridiculous distractions. i hate that i'm sucked in too much by them.

i just uploaded 666 (cryptic lol) pictures onto my computer, so i'm stocked up for a while. still, i need to take it easy.

i'm sorry my blogs don't seem to have a point lately. my focuses are kind of all over the place. they seemed so unified on jan. 1. rhythm is a hard song to play in my life right now with all this school/teaching requirements/travel/emotional upheaval (guy stuff....oy....). type b's aren't built for it. i need an entire winter of nesting. maybe next one?

we are supposed to get snow here at the end of the week. i'm seriously praying for some QT snowed in, a snow day or a snow day and a half off from school.

sense a theme here? yeah there is one:: home. where my heart truly is right now. I need inward focus. I need one-on-ones with good friends.

have been taking some long walks in my favorite park again when the weather permits. thank goodness, my how i've missed my walking. i want to factor some local easy day hikes in there, too. i can't wait to smell the spring mud and feel more rejuvenated again. the seasons have certainly had their way with me this winter thus far.

now, for that cuppa and book ...... so desperately needed.

stay warm out there, cold clime friends. the days ARE getting longer, by a minute or more each day.

can't wait to learn to grow something edible, and keep it alive. i watch my compost pile but it doesn't seem to rot much, just stink. i don't stir it. i have faith it will do its thing all on its own, just will take more time. i'm okay with that. i know all about needing more time.

sending as much peace as my energies can currently muster .... your way. be well out there. keep inspiring me. I AM a saver!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

a sort-of simple sunday.

drinking my morning brew (coffee lol) and talking to you ....

It's so nice to find the right moment to come back here and chat a little bit. It's really been too long, but we all need bloggie breaks. I'd like to say I have a goal of posting once a week, but I'm just not sure I can hold to that right now. It's a busy time ... I'm nearing the end of my Montessori training, and possibly the beginning (well, next year) of yoga teacher training. The latter means I have lots more things to accomplish before my exams in June, and preparing a classroom for the fall. I'm excited about it, inspired, but also have been feeling overwhelmed with everything that all involves. My plan is to "keep it simple" buy not bogging myself down in too many commitments outside the home. I have this dual-personality that likes both to immerse myself in the community around me AND be a homebody. But right now I need to turn the focus inward ... hence I have been inviting people to me! Just tonight I've planned a vegetarian/vegan potluck supper for anyone interested. Just a few hours of conversation and good food before bed.

I'm feeling pretty positive about the year ahead. I don't have expectations for it, just want to flow with the moment as much as possible rather than be carried away by the tide. I'm settled (finally) into a great apartment. I would like to slowly begin setting up a sewing room. Going to keep my eyes open for a great table ... paint some door panels (turquoise! inspired by all those great craft rooms out there i see in this color) ... and, of course, actually PLAY with the sewing machine. Any sewers out there have advice on how to begin actually making things? Do I just look up simple patterns and go from there? About all I know is how to thread the bobbin and play with the different types of stitches ....

I need to keep myself away from blue screens as much as possible. I find that it drains my vital energies and keeps me away from more constructive, meditative pursuits such as reading and knitting. I don't like having free cable because TV is so easy to suck you in. ... and I'm on Facebook a bit too much. So this is a work in progress.

Last night i made some delicious vegan jelly coconut bars from the kripalu cookbook. it was good to bake again. i was having some sadness about lots of things yesterday, the product i think of an overactive mind and too many days of rain. there was some pretty thunderstorming last night, though, and a cozy night on my screened-in porch ... imagine, a rare 60 degree day in January! I also had a bad headache, so I did my legs up the wall pose (chased by one advil), which virtually eliminated it.

I'd like to eliminate dairy completely from my diet. It will make me feel cleaner through and through ... i don't necessarily need this "vegan" label ... it's a difficult standard to hold oneself to ... i just want to eat as cleanly and as close to the earth as possible. It's cheese I'm talking about, of course. I haven't had eggs in a long time (i know this isn't dairy) either, and I'm really not missing them ....

Thanks for reading through my random thoughts and musings. I promise to get better about pictures .... my blog will probably be much simpler in coming months than the picturefest it has been, but i'm hoping it will also be richer, full of life's good busy-ness and creativity. maybe I'll spotlight one thing each week that I've been up to. .. a glimpse, a snapshot, if you will.

oh, the money thing. i've switched my mindset over about 90 percent. I AM A SAVER NOW. this is a new mantra i tell myself frequently. one look at my student loan statement and one BIG thought about my future ... kids, homeschooling, etc.... and I realize how very important it is to plant the seeds for frugal living now. I walk through my spacious apartment and realize how very much more I can give away, how very much more I just *don't need.* I think about the earthquake victims in Haiti and it puts my life in a much different perspective than the "race" we all sometimes find ourselves caught up in. It makes me want to learn how to mend those holes in my socks, without just tossing them and buying new ones at Target. It makes me want to learn how to knit my own socks. To turn that pair of jeans with the hole in a bad place into a denim skirt.

so, back to the money ... well, i now have an online ING account that I've set up to automatically receive a certain (fairly large) amount on my payday each month. ALL of my babysitting money is going into it, too. ALL of my tax refund (less money for a sewing machine table...) is going into it.

I'm having thoughts about working for Educators without Borders. It's comprised of Montessori teachers who bring Dr. Montessori's methods to places that don't have "classrooms" per se. Some days, I think I'd like nothing more than to live with vitually no possessions and provide for the poorest of the poor children of the world. How very fulfilling ... challenging ... growth-inducing ... that would be. It's just something I toss around in my mind.

So is mama-hood. I feel it on the horizon. It excites me. It inspires me in those money goals. oh, also speaking of, I'm taking Rhonda's (and Dave Ramsey's apparently) advice on snowball-effect paying down my credit card debt. I have a small Mason jar on my dresser that all my spare dollar bills and change goes into for my lowest balance card, plus the minimum payment. Most of my debt is from recent traveling and some Christmas spending/donations. When I pay this debt off I want to remain debt-free ....

... When I have enough in my savings account, I want to earmark some of it for an emergency fund. I have never done this. I like the feeling of security I get just thinking about it.

I am blessed to have: healthy parents and grandparents, five amazing best friends, a creative fire that i can share with others when i craft things, a beautiful home, gorgeous sweaters from the goodwill (i can't stand buying new because when i think about where/how they're made, and the effect that that production has on people/children....), a job i love, an amazing yoga practice, healthy, organic, plant-based food, three sweet cats. That's just some of what makes me so fortunate.

Today my plans include: a short walk, cooking for my potluck tonight, calling my best friend, and a few necessary errands.

I hope you've been having a beautiful weekend. My only plans for the coming week: doing as much yoga as possible, playing with the sewing machine, knitting, writing a letter to my friend in Afghanistan, doing laundry, attending a friend's housewarming party, oh, and mayyyyybe a day hike depending on weather (which is supposed to turn cold again, boo) .....

sending you peace,


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

a quick one

Still here ... just back to Kentucky but a couple of days ago. Good to be home. Settling in. Sorry for the prolonged conspicuous absence....all is well, just not the time I'd like for a real update, introspective and full of new year's intentions and all. a bit more traveling left to do yet, for school. hoping for a happy march of nesting .....

for now,

cooking tons of vegetables, including spaghetti squash

knitting a small pile of hats

practicing the different types of seams on the sewing machine

getting on the yoga mat very regularly

planning near-future cozy dinners at home and at sweet small places in town

Also I have come on to ask that you please help the victims of the Haitian earthquake. Most of us can afford $10 for this devastating catastrophe ... no? Remember how much you have and how little they do, now. Some people can be poor and happy, but can anyone not have basic needs at a time like this? Open your hearts and give or do what you can to help. I recommend Save the Children ......

i hope you are entering the new year with peace and light in your hearts.