Wednesday, May 14, 2014

high·light (hī′līt′) n. 1. An area or a spot in a drawing, painting, or photograph that is strongly illuminated. 2. An especially significant or interesting detail or event.

My highlight in May (at least at this point in the month) has been spending time at the beach and in the ocean. Last weekend I was able to spend two long days at the beach, on a towel, in a bathing suit, with a picnic and play in the water with a boggie board. It was totally amazing and simple and easy. Boggie boarding made me nostalgic, where nearly every summer day as a kid was spent at the beach. It also made me realize that you should never give up (or forget about) old hobbies, activities, sports, and things you love. In the past year I have spent a good amount of time at the beach and in the water but bringing my boogie board out sure spiced things up! Plus yoga on the beach is way more fun, maybe just the hot sun and sound of crashing waves.

Yogi wanna be on the beach

The highlight of this week has been, well first off, the Bay Area has had beautiful hot weather and I have nearly 3 hours of sunshine after work, basically I am a much happier camper. I discovered a new brand of coconut water INVO, as I have been trying to "love" coconut water for several years now and finally fell in love with a this new brand to me, the cute bottle also helped sell me (my sister just text me saying it is apparently sold at Costco).

Cute little bottle of delicious INVO Coconut Water
For those of you who have made it this far you are awesome. I want to share a Ted Talk that I found interesting. If you have 20 extra minutes today or this evening or even next week listen to this Ted Talk about body language and how it shapes who you are. When I interviewed for the job I currently hold I stood outside in the parking lot before the interview for about 15 minutes with my hands in the air and feet spread wide, a confident pose. I did an excellent job in the interview and was offered the job. So much neat research is being done, it is amazing to get a glimpse of some of it and see how if could be incorporated into your life.

Papaya I had too much fun opening this evening..isn't it a beauty!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

MAYFLOWER and all the little things

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day living in the Bay Area, temperatures reached the upper 80's, I had a picnic in the grass during my lunch hour, and then spent the evening wandering through my quaint neighborhood in North Berkeley. After grabbing a Popsicle at a small market (it was the only thing I could comprehend eating on such a warm evening) I made it to the Berkley Rose Garden where nearly all the rose bushes were in bloom. The few photos I snapped on my iphone don't do it justice! It made me happy seeing couples and groups of friends and families enjoying their dinner at the garden.

Below are a two neat TED Talks I enjoyed listening to this past month. I did myself a huge favor by 'liking' TED talks on facebook a few months back. Each day when I look at my news feed I am updated with the latest and greatest TED talks. I am always able to find a talk to fit my time frame, TED talks range from less than 5 minutes to over a half hour.

1. How To Make Stress Your Friend
2. How to Spot a Liar

May's motto... It really is the little things in life. Heres to May flowers and continuing to pray for showers.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Simple and The Sweet

Spring has arrived, bringing us blossoms, dresses, and sandals and the delightful urge to begin planning summer camping and beach days. No big plans for Easter this year, just hoping for a relaxing weekend in the sun with lots of sleep and good coffee.

But back to Monday...keeping me excited about life on this fresh Monday evening is stuffing Easter eggs with jelly beans and sour grapefruits and melon gummies. I plan to deliver these simple and sweet gifts to my coworkers Friday to remind everyone spring has sprung!

1/2 jelly beans & 1/2 Sour Gummies
Jars stocked with spring colored candy

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Last week I made double chocolate banana bread, the most delicious banana bread in the entire universe. All my gratitude and blessings to Smitten Kitchen for once again introducing me to a recipe that I now can never live without. The combination of chocolate chips and cocoa powder are to die for. I also liked that this recipe called for melted butter instead of oil. Enjoy

My Tips for Double Chocolate Banana Bread:

1. Follow the recipe with patience and always lick the bowl
2. Skip the nutmeg
3. Cut the loaf into halves after it has cooled and after you have tasted your double chocolate banana breads deliciousness, wrap up one half in tin foil and deliver to a friend, coworker or neighbor.

p.s. If for some crazy reason this isn't looking like the banana bread you NEED to bake this week, maybe one of these three variations will suit you better, I highly doubt it. Enjoy

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Gnome Home

A Gnome Home situated perfectly at the base of a Cedar tree.

There once was a Gnome
He had the cutest little home
Where know one could ever find him

He kept to himself
Came out to get the mail
And to say hi to the neighborhood snail

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A picnic in the park

 January 4th, the first Saturday of the new year, was well spend at Tilden Park with Local Butcher Shop sandi's and Oscar Blues Pilsner. The weather was absolutely amazing and after a short hike we spread out a blanket for an afternoon picnic. Nothing beats relaxing in the sun and catching up with best friends.

A New Year

I love celebrating New Years staying up late, drinking champagne, being with friends and family, reflecting on the previous year, accomplishments, changes, relationships, views, places I have visited, I love it all.

Some of the rituals I incorporated into my new years this year included burning small pieces of paper with words representing things you want to leave behind for the new year, such as judgement or bad habits. I was lucky to do this at the Cheese Board Collective's annual New Years Eve party with a few of my closest friends and many others who are apart of the collective.

New Years Day began with a hangover, delicious home brewed coffee and playing around in the kitchen perfecting a black eyed pea chili recipe. To say the least, the chili turned out amazing.

New Years Day Black Eyed Chili:

2-3 cups black eyed peas - soaked overnight
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
6-7 cloves garlic roughly chopped
1tbsp cayenne pepper
2tbsp oregano
1tbsp chili powder
2tbsp cumin
2-3 Cans diced tomatoes (I was lucky enough to use some that had been freshly canned this summer!)
1 small can of tomato paste

Put the black eyed peas into a large pot with a little water and olive oil and place on low heat. Make sure the peas have been soaked over night and feel hydrated (the alternative is using 2-3 can of black eyed peas). Add in the other beans, the tomatoes and the garlic. Make sure the heat is at a low simmer. Add the spices, mix and keep on low heat for 1 hour, mixing every 15-20 minutes. Taste often and add spices to taste, and any additional salt and pepper desired. I ended up throwing a big bag of fresh spinach in at the end because we can always use more leafy greens in our diet! Since I was feeling easy (not lazy), a mixing up a Trader Joes Corn Bread premix did the trick in completing my lucky New Years Day Dinner - yum!