Hi Friends! I am glad it’s Thursday, how about you?  That just means we’re one day away from the weekend!  And for me, Scott will be coming home Friday from his business trip which is a very good thing!  My agenda is still open for this weekend, but I am sure I will have no problem filling it in.  Any plans on tap for you yet?

I went to the grocery store today and saw this Vanilla Extract.  An 8 oz bottle of real vanilla extract, a “boutique” gourment brand no less, for $12.99.

Bottle of Rodelle Gourmet Vanilla Extract
Bottom of bottle of extract saying gluten free
Bottle of extract showing 8 fl oz
For those of you who cook and go through vanilla like I do, you know this was a great deal!  I got the one and only bottle on the shelf or I would have stocked up!
And then a Pet Peeve Happened:  The guy that was bagging my produce, threw my vine-ripe tomatoes into my cloth bag and when I got home, all the tomatoes were off the stem & vine.  
Hand holding vine of tomatoes
Tomatoes off vine
Hand holding vine of tomatoes in front of tomatoes on countertop
Grr.   I like to watch them ripen, on the stem, on my countertop, plus I think vine-ripe taste better.  Otherwise I would save money and buy non-vine tomatoes.  Just one of those grocery store peeves.  At the price of nearly a buck a tomato, it ticks me off.

Wasn’t ticked off for long, because in the mail, I hit the Hemp Jackpot!  Thanks so much to Living Harvest Foods and Tempt Brand for sending me a stash of hemp.

Tempt Products on countertop


Super Cute Hemp Bag
Hemp Bag with statement on back


And this t-shirt is So Soft I want a blanket made from this!  
Tempt bag and t-shirt
Back of t-shirt with statement
 I actually have a hemp bath towel that I’ve had for 4 years and I use it daily, and it’s still going strong!
Three containers of tempt hempmilk
Vegan, Brown Rice
Hemp Protein Vegan, Brown Rice
Container saying 22g of protein per serving
Supplement Facts on container
I haven’t tried it yet.  Truth be told, I’m a little weary because I am not a huge Protein Powder girl as I’ve explained here, and I don’t like anything that’s gritty or too dirty “earthy” tasting, but I will give this a whirl and report back.


Vegan & Dairy Free, of course

Tempt Hemp Milk Ice Cream
Ingredients on back of Tempt Hemp Milk Ice Cream
Scott loves mint chocolate chip ice cream, and he’s much more of an ice cream fan than I am.  I mean, ice cream is where it’s at for him whereas for me, it’s more cookies, cakes, baked goods, unbaked treats.   Anyway, he has had this ice cream once before and he’s still raving about it.  He said it’s the best mint chocolate chip ice cream, ever.  Dairy-free, vegan, hemp-based, not withstanding.  He preferred Tempt’s Mint Chocolate Chip to Ben & Jerry’s, HaagenDaaz, you name it, he chose Tempt.  How’s that for product endorsement when a formerly meat and potatoes guy enjoys Raw Taco Nut “Meat” and Hemp Milk Ice Cream.  Times, they are a changin’!
Nutrition Facts on container of Tempt Hemp Milk Ice Cream

Only complaint:  Who gets four servings out of a single pint of ice cream?  No one in this house…haha!

Thanks Living Harvest & Tempt!  If anyone wants answers to some Hemp FAQ’s, check out their site.
Oh, and they didn’t really send ice cream in the mail. They sent me a few coupons for the ice cream. 
Ice cream container full of coupons
 Skylar has been loving playing with the Ice Cream container.   It’s part of her ever-growing play food collection.  As well as her ever-growing book collection.  
Young girl sitting on floor opening gift
 Note the Pride Parade Rainbow beads in her room from this past weekend
Woman squatting next to young girl at Gay Pride Parade
Woman in bikini top at Gay Pride Parade smiling
More Pride Parade Pics
 Skylar chooses to “lounge” around in her pink heelsGirly much?
Young girl looking at book on floorYoung girl holding book up in air in front of face
Young girl looking at A Book of Fairy Tales
Young girl holding book and smiling
The girl loves to read.  At age 3, I’ll take it! Thanks Grandma & Grandpa for the book!

In honor of all that hemp, here’s a recent Hemp-Based Recipe I created:
“Spicy Doritos” Cheezy Dip

Ingredients for "Spicy Doritos" Cheezy Dip in blender
I use hemp & sunflower seeds but you can mix-n-match your seeds or incorporate almonds or cashews, too.  Whatever you have on hand will most likely work fine.  Hemp seeds are pricey so I stretch them by using half of them and half of something else. 
"Spicy Doritos" Cheezy Dip in container
Close up of "Spicy Doritos" Cheezy Dip
I love dipping everything from chips to raw veggies in it!
Two large red peppers
Head of broccoli
 Pea Pod dipped in "Spicy Doritos" Cheezy Dip

And if you’d like to read a little more about Hemp which has had quite a place lately on my blog I am now realizing:
1. If you missed my post on Medical Marijuana and other thoughts, Click Here.

 Pot leaf

2. And here was the day I ventured into a Marijuana Dispensary.   Read on, and you’ll see why.

From Yesterday…
It was great to hear what your passions are and what things you love spending your precious free time doing.  Everything from to passionate about Pilates to passionate about TV it was great reading everyone’s passions, interests, and hobbies!  And, we are all clearly passionate about blogging or we wouldn’t do this timesuck every day labor of love every day. 

I got a few good suggestions for health and beauty products you love.  Thanks for chiming in on those.   

Four bottles of body spray on countertop
You know I am a body spray junkie!

Gym & Weights Today – Recap Yesterday’s Discussion about a Home Gym.   I mentioned I am contemplating a home gym.  There are pros and cons.  Most notably, for me, it’s not the money.    I don’t want to sound “like that” because we’re not rolling in dough by any means but for me, physical fitness is a such a core, central tenet in my life, that if I really want to do something fitness-related, I don’t skimp on it because I know I will use it and benefit from it. 

As Amber said and I couldn’t agree more with her,

“I would love to have a home gym someday. Oh, to be able to work out without grunty, sweaty, leering guys all around…sometimes I feel like I’d get more out of my workout if I were in the gym all alone!”

Thanks to Madeline and Rachel and who suggested that I check gyms that are closing in the area to score some good deals on used gym equipment.  And thanks to everyone who suggested Craigslist but in other cities, not just San Diego.  Between San Diego, Orange County, and L.A., yeah, I think I can probably find some gym equipment.  hah!

The major consideration for me was coming with finding space to put it.  I hate looking at clutter and visual chaos.  Ugly, clunky gym equipment qualifies as that, for sure!  I don’t know where to put it other than my garage.  I can’t put it in the master or Skylar’s room, and the other bedroom is Scott’s office/guest room and is tiny and couldn’t fit gym equipment in it.  So, it really would have to be the garage. Since there are no basements in California, all of our extra boxes, suitcases, and stuff that most people throw in their basement into storage, well, what little storage stuff we do have is in our garage, so guess what I did….  

I re-arranged our garage!  It’s a long/narrow garage and so we park in front/back of each other rather than side-by-side.  All our stuff is in the only logical place for gym equipment.

Garage full of storage items
Widow view in garage full of storage items


Garage after being rearranged


I moved all our stuff to the other side of the garage in order to free up the only usable space for a gym machine
Storage items moved so fitness equipment could fit
1 dresser, a 4-shelf loaded bookshelf, 4 end tables, 1 desk, suitcases, boxes, patio furniture, a rocking chair, you name it, I moved it all.    And threw some crap out in the process!
This is where my Home Gym Machine will Go!
Empty space in garage for home gym
 Not tons of space, but enough, I am hoping!  I’ll be working out below the tankless hot water heater.  Maybe it will keep me warm in the winter…haha!

Omg.  3 Hours.  Physical Labor.  I am one strong bitch, that’s all I can say.  haha!  Who needs a man…do it yourself ladies!  All while preventing Skylar from running into the street and singing songs as I am grunting and wrestling with a 200 lb bookshelf!

Now I just have to find the right equipment!  I have seen a few things on Craigslist that may work, so we shall we!  I will keep you all posted how my Home Gym Plans pan out!  

Dessert: Raw Vegan Peanut Butter (or Sunflower Seed Butter) Vanilla Balls

If you like Peanut Butter, Sunflower Seed Butter, Almond Butter, and let’s face it, what food blogger or blog reader doens’t love some nut butter, then you need to make these.  
5 Minutes, No-Bake, Super Fast & Easy
Raw Vegan Peanut Butter Vanilla Balls
Close up of Raw Vegan Peanut Butter Vanilla Balls


1.  Have you ever tried any Hemp Products?  If so, which ones?
I prefer hemp milk to almond milk or to most other plant-based “milks”.  As I said, Scott loves hemp milk ice cream and I love hemp-based clothes and home furnishings like blankets, towels, and sheets.  Soft, yet very durable, and sustainable.  Feel free to let me in on any other hemp you’ve tried to…haha!  Or check this post for everyone’s revelations.

2. Do you have any grocery store pet peeves?
A few of mine:
Bagging my produce in too few bags.  Cloth bags are meant to be filled and when the are under-filled, I find my things get more beat up.
Selling questionable produce.  Some grocery stores really need to weed through things that are going to go rotten or really over-ripe or expired better! 
Tossing my produce around on the conveyor belt like my pears and apricots are hockey pucks.  Be careful!  I always wonder if the person who’s roughing up my nectarines would do that to the food they’re buying with their money?
What are your grocery store pet peeves?

3. I  said something yesterday that I wanted to build on.  It was this statement:  
No one’s “perfect” and I hate looking at choices as Perfect and Everything Else.  They are all just choices.  From food to body spray to using SplendaWho cares!  If anyone has time in their day to worry about what someone else eats, puts on their body, uses in their coffee, or cleans their floors with, they really need to follow me around for a day so I can give them some things to do to take their mind off what everyone else is doing…haha

My Question Today is…
Do you find it easy to forget about the rest of the world and just do your own thing?  Or are you easily influenced by others like to see what everyone else is eating, doing, saying, etc and then you change based on what they’re doing? 

I guess food blogs, blogs in general, the internet as a whole is an interesting phenomenon because it is interesting to a point for me to see what someone else eats or buys, says or does in everything from their food to workouts to their relationships, but ultimately I find I don’t care what they are doing or eating or how they’re working out and just want to do my own thing! 

I realize, though, that I march to my own drummer and don’t care what anyone else does because I am going to make my own choices; some of them jive with mainstream thought, and some don’t.  I have always lived my life marching to my own beat and have known early on in life that my role is Leader.

There are some people who are Leaders, and some who are Followers.  Trust me, I’d many times rather just fall into line, follow along with the program at hand, but I can’t help myself and have to do my own thing.   And in the meantime, it’s nice to observe others, learn, ponder, be exposed to new things, but I definitely have my head screwed on straight and my choices and values are rock solid and looking, viewing, watching what others do is nice, but it’s not going to change who I am at my core.
3. Are you more of a leader or a follower?

4. Do you find that reading blogs changes who you are?  Are you influenced by everything from the latest Superfood like Gogi Berries or Maca to buzzwords like Intuitive Eating to working out using the HIIT method because everyone’s doing it or have to have the latest pair of Lululemon yoga pants even though you can’t really afford them because “everyone else has them”?

5. How resolute are you in your own convictions and beliefs?  No right or wrong answers here and no badges of honor for being on one side of the spectrum or another since both places have their strengths and challenges.

Thanks everyone for being such great readers and friends!  I hope you have a super day!

Stay Tuned For A Give Away…

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