Monday, Monday.  What’s shakin’ friends?  Are you back at school after winter break?  I feel for you if you are!  Or maybe you’re back at the grind work?  I have had a busy day with errands, phone calls, going to a great yoga class, and of course, taking care of Skylar, my first priority!

I also have been doing “homework” and studying for my Yoga Teacher Credential at the 500 Hour Level as I mentioned before.  No biggie, just a decade in the making this “little project” of mine.  I truly love yoga, and am brushing up on my Sanskirt, my chanting, my Yoga Sutras, and some of the less physical and more intellectual and thought-provoking aspects of yoga.  And of course, I’ve been brushing up on my balls.  Lots of Balls.

Vegan Peanut Butter Vanilla Balls

I’m so thrilled you enjoyed my Vegan Peanut Butter Vanilla Balls from yesterday!  Or in my case, Vegan Sunflower Seed Butter Vanilla Balls!  Cuz I love making things with sunflower seed butter!  Thank you for writing to me to tell me how much you loved them, and are excited to give them a whirl!!!  That makes me soooo happy!!!!  Please send pics/links if you try them!

And I’m happy that you have a sense of humor and could appreciate my Ball Jokes and One-Liners like…

Greasy Balls

Close up of Vegan Peanut Butter Vanilla Balls

Or maybe Don’t Freeze your Balls Off!  (these just came out of the freezer)

Frozen Vegan Peanut Butter Vanilla Balls

If you missed any of my jokes or to see some of the funny ones people wrote in with, or of course, to get the recipe, go check that post out!

And I also talked on a serious note about living in the present, not the past or the future, and it seems that resonated with lots of you, so thanks for sharing your thoughts and your experiences with me!

Moving along…
It seems that lately I’ve been popular!  Wish someone would have told the cool girls in high school that.  I wasn’t that popular back then.  But hey, I’ll take it now!  A couple weeks ago I got an Award, the Beautiful Blogger Award
Beautiful Blogger Award

And just recently, Julie Lynn (Fayinagirl) of GlutenFreeVeganFam
Awarded me the Happy 101 Award!


Happy 101 Award

And so did my good friend Shannon Marie of RawDorable
And so did my good friend Nicole The Fitness Freak

To accept this award, I need to list 10 things that make me happy and try to do at least one of them today. Then, I get a chance to bestow this honor on 10 of my fellow bloggers, so here we go.

10 Things That Make Me Happy

1. Spending time with Skylar & Scott, something I’ll definitely get a chance to do today.
Woman and child hugging in front of water feature
Young girl standing in front of bushes in swim suit

2. Doing Yoga, something I’ll definitely did today.
3. Reading Blogs so I can keep up with my friends’ lives, events, and fun stuff by reading their blogs.  But of course, I am doing this today. 
4. Traveling to warm sunny places.

White sandy beach with people and boats in water

5. Making Raw Balls Like…

my High Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

High Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

my Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Fudge Balls

 Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Fudge Balls

my High Raw Vegan Gingerbread Cookie Dough Balls

High Raw Vegan Gingerbread Cookie Dough Balls

my Vegan Sugar Cookie Dough Balls

Vegan Sugar Cookie Dough Balls

I love making all these balls not only because I love being creative and developing my own recipes which is fulfilling, rewarding, relaxing, and fun for me, but because I love desserts and sweet treats!!!!

6. Drinking Coffee or Espresso Drinks!
My Vegan Carmel Macchiato
7. Being in warm, sunny weather and at the beach, even better!

Young girl playing in sand

8. Being a Mother and reliving holidays like Christmasthrough my Child’s Eyes

Woman and child hugging and smiling in living room
Woman and young girl smiling and hugging
Woman and child hugging and smiling
Woman and child waving

9. Watching mindless tv shows like the Real Housewives of Orange County and The Girls Next Door.  Unfortunately, I spend about 15 minutes per week watching TV.  Seriously, I need to get off my computer!

10. All the Wonderful Friends I have made and gained through blogging make me really happy!
Happy 101 Awared
I love you guys and blogging has been such a wonderful gift and such a great thing that I’ve gained; not just for the knowledge about food & recipes (actually that’s totally secondary), but more importantly I thank blogging for the relationships I have built and formed with my fellow bloggers!  You All Inspire Me and Thank You for Being You!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you sooo much, again, to the 3 Ladies Who Awarded me:

And since I cannot possibly pick recipients because as you just read, I love you all the same, so I nominate everyone!!!  Go ahead and post this award to your blog and the Ten Things that Make you Happy!  Write to me to tell me if you did it so I can go read your list!

Recapping a couple quick eats around here before I go…
Raw Veggie Salad: Kale, mixed greens, Cukes, Brock, & Cauli

Raw Vegetable Salad

dressed with my Vegan Slaw Dressing and cracked black pepper

Raw Vegetable Salad topped with Vegan Slaw Dressing

I made Scott a mixed greens salad with carrots & cukes and my Vegan “Cesar” Creamy Tahini Dressing

Salad with Vegan "Cesar" Creamy Tahini Dressing

And then added some TJ’s chicken strips and wrapped it up for him in one of those Mission Brand Whole Wheat Carb Balance Wraps that have a ridic amount of fiber in them (awesome!)  The dinner wasn’t brain surgery or anything, but he enjoyed it!

Wrap with side salad

Dessert was Juicy Balls Vegan Peanut Butter Vanilla Balls

Vegan Peanut Butter Vanilla Balls

Yoga Today is a Side Crane, aka Parsva Bakasana.

For those of you who are regular readers, you know I’m a yoga teacher and have been since 2001.  I am frequently asked how to do this pose.

The easiest explanation I can offer is:
Squat down with your feet close together.
Then point your knees all the way to one direction, let’s say the right hand side.
Make a table with your arms, and lean forward and up onto the back of your arms.
The pose is much more about center of gravity and weight distribution than it is about strength.  Core strength, in this pose and in all of yoga, is fundamental, but once that’s established, just try to find the Sweet Spot, so you can lift your crane off the ground.  Hopefully that explanation helps a bit!


Ditch the Plastic – Stop the Disposable Bottle Insanity!  (Naomi just posted her cute new bottle she won so I know she’s on board!)

Pura HMN BottleEvery second (yes, second!)people in the United States use 1,500 plastic water bottles.  Each time a bottle is manufactured, it uses up valuable natural resources, is trucked to its destination using fossil fuels, and then is promptly disposed of.  A hefty 38 billion of these bottles will wind up in our landfills, taking more than 500 years to decompose. 
The plastic water bottle craze has taken off, thanks to serious marketing and poor regulation.  You may not be getting what you pay for with bottled water, as many “natural” water brands are no purer than tap water, yet cost a whole lot more. 
Drinking water (or other beverages) from plastic may not be the healthiest option either.  A 2009 study of PET plastics (the kind used to make water bottles) found that they may leach hormone-disrupting chemicals into the water. 
This month, resolve to do away with plastic beverage bottles.  The market is full of healthier, more durable options that are stylish, lightweight, safe, recyclable, and reusable. 

(This Tip is from Holistic Moms Network)

Previously, I’ve posted about some of the things that I do to help the environment and also health-ify and green-up our life such as: I recycle everything I possibly can.  We have been on board with re-usable drinking bottles for about 4 years from both Klean Kanteen

Klean Kanteen Bottles

Water just tastes awesome from this bottle! Alot better than it does from BPA-laden plastic bottles that end up in landfills anyway!

Inside bottle
Klean Kanteen logo on bottle

…and our Sigg bottles.

Three Sigg bottles

Other green practices for us include:
I use cloth grocery bags, and at least once a week not driving anywhere and walking where I need to go in order to reduce my carbon footprint.  I cloth diapered for half Skylar’s diaper days as to not put 500 years into the landfill for each plastic diaper thrown away.  I re-use plastic baggies and save all my containers from nut butters, jelly, hummus, etc and re-use them for food storage or for car snacks.  I use nontoxic and eco friendly cleaning products when possible.  I am vegan, and although it’s largely for health reasons, that choice also reduces my carbon footprint.   

What would you like to do more of? Composting, a graywater system, and using solar power are a few for me.  What about you? What do you do that’s Green or Eco-Friendly now?  Can’t wait to hear your reply!

Stay Tuned For a few Product Reviews…

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