Senin, 30 Juli 2012

Monday


Our weekend...

Reading to my girl. She is really into the book thing right now and I couldn't be more pleased.


Yesterday we went to this wild indoor play area called Go Krazy Kids.  It is located near my 'rents and they later came to watch Violet play too.  She had a great time, making me chase her around.  I lost count of how many times we went up-and-down the same slides.  It was fun though and I really enjoyed the time we shared, just the two of us.

We climbed this wall about a thousand times!

Krazy Kids funhouse mirror.  Freaky!


Later yesterday afternoon at home: coloring in her pony book, dressed as a princess.

Jumat, 27 Juli 2012

Friday

My week of tarts continue... they are that good.

Friday lunch tart: topped with tomatoes, sweet onion and asparagus.  SO GOOD!

I am planning my next major meal and it looks like it could be a creamy tomato soup.... details to come. Mmmm.  And a new dessert treat as well.

In other news:

1. I am fostering a kitty friend right now.  I decided that it would be a great way to serve the animal shelter I volunteer for and would help me to feel more purposeful at home (especially when Violet is not there).  His name is Winter.  He does not like it at our apartment.  He seems pretty pissed off about it actually. But... I will try to love him much more and see what happens.  Maybe he will warm up?  (I hope).  Violet has renamed him, Moe. 


To read more about Moe and the kitty shelter, please follow HERE.

2. Although my diet is going super awesome, I still can't seem to exercise.  I want to but I am in such a rut right now.  I actually want to do something new, like running.  I think about it a lot, especially after work when I am sitting watching movies.

3. My current obsession besides pinterest is COOKING.  I am having so much success and fun in the kitchen!  It feels like a great weight off my shoulders because being responsible for all of my meals is a tough job.  It can be overwhelming at times but I am totally pulling it off and doing very well at it too.

4. The preschool hassle with Violet has improved slightly.  By that I mean, sometimes she gives me days-at-a-time that are less stressful.  She doesn't beg me as much or cry as bad.  It makes my days SO MUCH better when this happens.  Not to say I don't still miss her dearly, because nothing helps that feeling.  I long for her no matter what kind of morning we have.  But days when she doesn't cling so tight at drop-off definitely seem easier.

Kamis, 26 Juli 2012

Thursday


Last night...

Violet:  Mommy, my friend's name is June.  She has the same Hello Kitty blankie as me.

Me: Oh yeah?  That's cool.  I really like the name June.

Violet:  But you don't like it as much as my name, right?

Me:  No way.  Violet is my most favorite name.

Violet:  But what if you hatched another baby, would you still like my name the best?

Me: Yes of course I would.  But I am not going to hatch another baby ever.  You are my only baby.

Violet:  Good. I want my name to be your favorite.

Me:  It is.  I promise.

Violet:  Good.  Daddy says that it is his too.

Reading Kittens! Kittens! Kittens! to me last night.

Rabu, 25 Juli 2012

Wednesday

My work lunch: Tarts with broccoli, tomato and sweet onion.


Mmmm... Mmmm.


Marinated + dried tomatoes and broccoli shown here were used to top my yummy tart.

Wednesday

When she helps me juice, she eats all my apple. :)

Senin, 23 Juli 2012

Monday



This past Saturday Violet visited the NE Aquarium with her Daddy.  He has a membership and they go quite often.  They both love it there.




Yesterday Violet and I kept it pretty low key.

I wanted to take her somewhere super deluxe special, somewhere memory-making.  But that did not happen.  I just don't have the funds for it right now.  Everything costs so much money.  Food and gas and rent and utilities.  It is neverending and I don't make any money (and never will quite frankly).  It is really frustrating!  I want to do more but have so much less.

Sigh. 

Anyway we did have fun near home despite all financial set backs.  We visited the park and then, the public pool as she loves to swim.






And a quickie park video: she is getting SO BRAVE on the monkey bars!



Jumat, 20 Juli 2012

Kamis, 19 Juli 2012

Thursday



I pretty much exist for the hours that I get to spend with Violet now.  They seem so far and few between because of my work + our parental-divided schedule.  I would give anything to see her more, to go back to our old life when I was with her every day... but things change I guess.  And we will adapt or change again.

Last night was one of my nights with her!  And we played ponies just like I promised we would.  She is totally into the My Little Pony thing right now:




Rabu, 18 Juli 2012

Wednesday


Wednesday

Last night I recreated a delicious treat from the Urban Poser.  She has some seriously yummy food ideas and I love them. 

I made her carrot cake ball recipe.  I was a little weary of it at first because I had some ingredient "issues" (raisins were cold and too hard to chop + the mix seemed too dry to me + I ran out of chocolate sauce near the end) but as it turns out, they are great!

A heavenly dessert treat at work AND it is healthy to boot!


Here is the recipe straight from her blog:


RAW Carrot Cake Balls (Dipped in RAW chocolate)

Grain Free/Gluten Free/Dairy Free/Vegan/RAW



 Ingredients:

2 Large carrots, peeled (about 1/2 a pound)

 1 large tart apple, peeled and cored

 1 1/4 cups dried shredded coconut

 1/2 cup chopped up raisins
 
3/4 cups finely chopped (with a few larger chunks) pecans or walnuts

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger (or fresh grated ginger to taste)

1/4 tsp nutmeg
 
pinch of salt
 
3 Tbls RAW honey (palm sugar or agave for vegan)
 
3 Tbls RAW nut butter (almond, pecan, walnut, cashew)

 Juice from half a lime

Raw cocoa nibs for decoration

1/4 cup coconut oil

 2 Tbls raw honey

1/2 tsp vanilla

7 Tbls of raw cocoa (add another half Tbls for making a drizzle)

Directions:

Finely grate the carrots and apple, by hand or w/a food processor. Then press out as much juice as possible by using a fine sieve or strainer. Alternately, you can use a nut milk bag or cheese cloth to squeeze out the juice. Originally, I used my juicer for this recipe and they turned out pretty great. However, I have found that there is MUCH more flavor to the cake ball when I make the pulp by hand.
 
Add the rest of the ingredients, except the cocoa nibs to the carrot/apple pulp. Mix well.

Roll the dough into balls (about 1 Tbls worth of dough)

Chill the cake balls in the freezer for about 30 min.

While the cake balls are chilling prepare the chocolate...

Room temperature unrefined coconut oil (it's liquid point is around 76 degrees). In a small bowl, combine the liquefied coconut oil, vanilla, honey and cocoa. Whisk together until the chocolate is well combined, with no lumps. I like to let the chocolate rest for about 15 min or so to let the cocoa absorb well into the oil. Depending on the size of your cake balls and the amount you end up with in the end, you may need to double the dipping chocolate recipe. This amount is usually enough for about one dozen 2 inch round cake balls. Be sure to let the excess drip off before removing from the skewer.

Using a wood skewer or dipping fork, dip the frozen cake balls into the chocolate. Allow the chocolate to harden while you hold the stick (it will harden pretty fast), sprinkle a few cocoa nibs or nuts on the top of the cake ball before the top hardens.

Tip: it's common for the chocolate to crack slightly as it hardens. This can be reduced if you leave some space at the bottom of the cake ball without chocolate. That is often where the crack starts. However, if a crack does happen, it is VERY easy to cover it up when you drizzle the chocolate over it later. So don't stress out about that. Can't have chocolate? Don't worry. Just roll the cakes balls in shredded dried coconut or crushed nuts before chilling them.

For the chocolate drizzle, make the same chocolate recipe as above, but add 1/2-1 Tbls more of raw cocoa. This will make it a bit thicker. Using a spoon or a 'candy making' squeeze bottle (get it at any craft store) drizzle the chocolate in thin lines over the cake ball.

Cake balls should be kept in the freezer for best results. Take them out about 5 min before serving. They should be fine for up to 15 min before starting to soften too much. At that point, the coconut oil will become liquid (at around 76 degrees) and the chocolate will begin to melt.

I have also kept them in the fridge, producing a much softer cake ball. They taste great this way, the only downside is they DO melt in your hand as well as in your mouth.


Wednesday

My workin' girl lunch yesterday was a yummy wrap with marinated veggies, cashew/lime spread and avocado:




I have been preparing a new meal for the past two days and it involved a lot of steps, patience and time.  Many items needed to be dehydrated.  I read recently that a dehydrator could actually be called a "flavor enhancer" and I believe this to be true as well.  With several components of my meal I was simply trying to concentrate flavor within the food rather than to dry it.

I used three main components to recreate Addicted to Veggies' tart recipe.  I made the tart according to the directions found here.   They came out fantastic.  I will be using this recipe again and again, I can already tell.  Simple, delicious, pretty easy to make and quite versatile.   I can't wait to try different toppings and cheeses with this tart.  The possibilities are endless.

I next took a basic cheese recipe from the book Raw Food/Real World.  It was to be served wet and cold in the original recipe but I dehydrated it to really give it an ultra cheesy flavor and crumbly texture.  It came out perfect!  I wish that I had made more now because I will definitely be eating it up before too long.

My final component included marinated sweet onion, cherry tomatoes and scallions.  I put them in the fridge overnight to soften with some salt, pepper and olive oil.  The next day I dehydrated them.  They also came out very yummy.

Here is my finished lunch:




Selasa, 17 Juli 2012

Tuesday


This morning Violet was so cute.  She found a giant slug on the walkway behind my apartment.  She really wanted to trap it and make it a pet.  Luckily though, I talked her out of it and she set it free.

Here seen actually touching the thing.  Yikes!



Before we found the slug, she asked if she could paint her toenails.  I wanted to say NO but I let her do it.  She loves that kind of stuff and I don't mind the mess and really, if it makes her happy its all good.

What a big girl she is now. She actually did a pretty good job too!


I haven't been to see my little neice Baby A in quite some time.  Shame on me, I know.  Life has kind of gotten in the way lately.  My sister sent me a super cute picture of her the other day though:



She is getting so big too!  What a beautiful, little angel.


Senin, 16 Juli 2012

Monday


Violet was away this weekend and it made me pretty sad.  I missed her dearly.  Good news though, she had a great time.  She is so funny and fun and has such a sparkle, everyone wants to spend time with her.  I guess I have to share sometimes.

Here seen with a new toy set my 'rents bought at her visit.

Grammy breakfast: fruit salad. That's my girl.

Catching salamanders with Grampy.


While Violet was away, I spent some time in the kitchen trying out a couple of new recipes.

The first one was not good.  I tried to make a pesto sauce for warmed cauliflower and sweet peas, found on the amazing site, Addicted to Veggies.   I used WAY too much garlic and it was gross.  I should know by now that I need to use less garlic than called for in recipes as a rule.  This particular time, I used a little too much (by accident) and ruined everything.

I threw the pesto mess away, sadly, as I knew I would not eat it.  It always kills me to waste food like that too considering how much it costs to prepare such things from scratch.

I have been meaning to make a lot of the recipes featured on Addicted to Veggies for some time now.  A lot of them require "staple" ingredients, like certain sauces.  Raw vegan sour cream is one of them.  So I whipped up a batch and was pleasantly suprised how easy and great the finished cream came out.  I will now use this staple to create other sauces, spreads and breads.  Next on my list, Tarts!

My ATV Sour Cream.  It came out really great.

Jumat, 13 Juli 2012

Friday

An Update:


Diet: AWESOME.
Exercise: Nada.
Violet: Good.
Work: Good.
Obsession: My PinterestIt's killing me.
Music: Dan Auerbach's solo. It is really good.
In Search Of: Local Farmer's Markets. Now that my tastebuds are back in the game, I want tastier items, meaning as fresh as possible.  I can now tell the difference every time.



I have been drinking green juice, making almost everything I eat (with the exception of emmy's granola and brad's kale chips), drinking tons of water and not sabotaging my body at all (no sleeping pills!).  I feel a bunch better and I owe it myself for sticking with it.  I want to eat fast food when things get rough or if I am out + super hungry, but I don't.  I want to take something to help me sleep -especially lately with so many sleepless nights - but I keep straight.  I want to feel good.  I want to be healthy.  And I am working hard to keep it all together.

I guess I kind of forgot how EXPENSIVE it is to eat this well.  I mean, no, I didn't really forget but I guess I didn't want to face the harsh reality of my weekly food expenses again.  Thankfully I have had some help here and there.  I missed a day of work this week which is huge.  My first thought was, how will I eat next month?  I can try my frugal best and scale back if need be.  Scaling back when eating almost 100% homecooked is HARD.  I have to go to the grocery store all the time.  I need this or that and it is always fresh.  My food has to be consumed pretty quick.  I spend so much money, more than I want to and I don't like it.  I know it is money well spent and of course, I could be spending it on things that are demonstrably unhealthy (like candy and coffee) but it still stings when all is said and spent.

I admit that there are ways to preserve my meals (or ingredients) and ultimately to save lots of money.  I also admit that I am not particularly savvy when it comes to these methods.  The best thing I do right now in terms of saving money is to meal plan ahead.

I find what works for me and I stick with it.  I plan a main meal -fajitas for instance- with several components to it and work around that meal by purchasing many mono meals/snacks like bananas, apples or berries.  I have a system of sorts and it seems to be working.

Friday




Pool time.

Kamis, 12 Juli 2012

Thursday


The Life and Times of Little Miss Violet:

Lunch with Momma at the park.

"Cheeeeese!"

This is her new standard pose when I take pictures. Head-to-the-side.

"Watch me, Momma!" As she jumps.

At the public pool.

Mommy and Violet. (and Hello K.)

Winding down after a busy day.

Reading me a Critter Book story.

Helping me juice this morning!

Again, reading to me, this time as I prepared our lunches for the day today.

Leaving for school time.

Watering what still remains of our porch garden.