Hi Friends!  Wow this weekend flew by for me.  When I say that, I truly mean it.  It feels like a second ago it was Friday night and bam, it’s Sunday night and the weekend’s gone.  Where did the time go?  Well, I spent time with Scott and Skylar, we went on some nice walks together, I did some errand running, got a couple lifting sessions in, went to work (yes, I started a part-time job on the weekends to make some extra cash because it ain’t cheap living in Southern California).


This afternoon I got together with an old friend of mine, Diana.  It’s funny, we were going to meet at Starbucks, and there are literally two Starbucks within 2 city blocks of me.  I was at this one and took a self-portrait

Starbucks storefront
Woman sitting at Starbucks

Until we realized that Diana was at This Starbucks, so I boogied over there!

Outside of Starbucks

I met Diana about seven years ago (2003) in Maya Tulum, Mexico on an ashtanga yoga retreat.  At the time, neither of us were living in California.  She is from London and I was living in Myrtle Beach.  In 2004, we both moved to California!  And we have kept in touch ever since.  She was in San Diego for the weekend Scuba Diving.  Lucky for me, Diana never seems to mind driving down to San Diego to escape the hubbub of LA and I definitely get the better end of that stick!

Two women standing in front of Starbucks
Woman sitting at table with phone and coffee

It was phenomenal catching up on life, boyfriends, jobs, kids, yoga, houses, you name it, we covered a lot of ground in a couple hours.  We hadn’t seen each other in nearly a year; since right before I moved to Phoenix in September, and we can always pick up where we left off.  I love this girl and can’t wait til we see each other again!

Two women standing together outside of Starbucks
The guy that took our picture gave us no warning.  At all.  We both look drunk.  Promise we weren’t.  But that would have been fun!

I had to get home because my Craigslist ad for Kombucha Scoby Mushrooms and Kombucha has been popular!

Kombucha Scoby Mushrooms
My ad is working! The mushrooms are flying out of the jar like hot cakes.  
I actually am growing more, on purpose.

Interestingly, I’ve sold a couple mushrooms and half gallons to guys.  

Jarred Kombucha in refrigerator
Overhead glass of Kombucha

Note to the Single Girls: Guys who want to brew their own kombucha and need Scoby Mushrooms appear to be total hotties.   I’ve had a real parade of cuties through my kitchen this weekend.  Just sayin’, if you need a date, brew some booch and run an ad.  You may get lucky in more ways than one.

From My Last Post….
So glad that you liked my Very Blueberry GF Vegan Muffins

Very Blueberry GF Vegan Muffins in muffin tin
Close up of one muffin
One muffin on plate
The ones with double blueberries that sort of turned everything blue but tasted great anyway!

It was almost universal and I pretty much expected this from food bloggers and food blog readers: None of you really follow recipes that well; most of you adapt things with what you have on hand, and I am the same way.

And, no one likes to throw food out and will go to almost any length to “save” it.  Oh I love you all since I am cheap I am the same way and hate to waste anything!

And thank you to everyone who wished me well on my Blogiversary and for everyone who encouraged me to write a Reflections Post.   As Aimee and Ela said, I already do a fair amount of reflecting in the daily course of blogging, but yes, it may be nice to reflect and discuss some of the things I’ve learned, observed, experienced, and the changes I have feltIt’s so deep; all of it, so I haven’t really put pen to paper so to speak, but one day I hope to surprise you and just have a reflections post up.  It would have been too neat and tidy to have had that coincide perfectly with my 1 Year Mark.  It will probably happen on day 427 of my blog, give or take.  haha!

I will say I am tremendously grateful for my readers, friends, and support from everyone who encourages me to keep going.  Most days, I wonder what I am doing and I wonder what is the purpose to this blog?  Then I read a hundred comments of people telling me they “love my blog” and you all write these awesome things to me and I am reminded that I guess my sharing really is helping people, so I keep going.  Not to mention, I blog for connections with others, and for relationshipsFood is totally secondary on my blog; life in all it’s glory and imperfections and beauty is first.  That’s what I like to share about!

Moving On….
I received some Oh Wow Vegan Friendly Lip Balm.  No wax, petroleum or fillers.

Oh Wow Vegan Friendly Lip Balm
Back of Oh Wow Vegan Friendly Lip Balm package
Oh Wow Vegan Friendly Lip Balm in small purse packagingOverhead of Oh Wow Vegan Friendly Lip Balm packaging
 Possibly the cutest packaging I’ve seen in ages!   Skylar was fighting me for this!
Hand holding Oh Wow Vegan Friendly Lip Balm package

 

Check out the Stash!   Their Flavors smell amazing!
Oh Wow Vegan Friendly Lip Balm in various flavors
Close up of Limp Balm in various flavors
Strawberry & Cotton Candy were sent for Skylar, and for me: Vanilla, Peppermint, Chocolate, Mint Chocolate

The Mint Chocolate was the first one I opened and it smells divine.  It doesn’t really “taste”, although I wish it did because I’d like to eat it…haha!  It also has a nice mint tingle on my lips.   Mmmm, good!

Hand holding a Mint Chocolate Lip Balm
Oh Wow Vegan Friendly Lip Balm business card
Thanks Oh Wow!

 Skylar loved her Cotton Candy Lip Balm!

Young girl smiling in blue zip up sweatshirt
Young girl standing with a big smile
 
 She told me this was her “Scary Monster Face”
Young girl doing a scary monster face
 I have seen scary faces, and trust me honey, you’re not scary!

Dessert:  I just made a double batch of Vegan Chocolate Softserve
Averie’s Vegan Chocolate Chocolate Softserve
3 Previously Frozen & Chunked Bananas (freeze in chunks)
1/4 c water or Nut Milk
1/2 c Cocoa Powder (use more if you can still “taste” the bananas and don’t want to)
1/2 c white sugar (you can also reduce, omit, use lucama powder, stevia, agave, maple, etc.  If using a liquid sweeter, do not add any other liquids to the recipe, i.e. water or nutmilk)

Optional: 1/2 c Chocolate Chips (or more if you prefer.  Or try carob chips, cocoa nibs, white chocolate chips, sprinkles, etc.)
1+ Tsp Vanilla Extract
1+ Tsp Coffee Extract

Combine all Ingredients In Blending Device except chocolate chips if using

Frozen banana chunks
Previously Frozen Banana Chunks 

Combine everything except the Chocolate Chips 

Vegan Chocolate Chocolate Softserve ingredients minus chocolate chips
Vegan Chocolate Chocolate Softserve ingredients in blender
Side view of Vegan Chocolate Chocolate Softserve ingredients

Blend, and Voila, Chocolate Softserve!  

Vegan Chocolate Chocolate Softserve blended and portioned into bowls
Close up of Vegan Chocolate Chocolate Softserve in bowl
These are all going into the freezer to save for later.  Pre-portioned desserts that are ready to go.  They freeze and thaw back out just fine. 

Tip: It is hard to mask the flavor of bananas, totally.  However, don’t be shy about adding cocoa powder and sugar.  That is what’s going to do the masking trickI may or may not add more than I write in my recipes.  haha!  I add things, in abundance, however, you may not like that so these recipes are written for the masses, but in my own kitchen, I am not shy with cocoa powder or sugar and add liberally.  So there you have it.  That’s how you mask the flavor of bananas.

Vegan Chocolate Chocolate Softserve in bowl

Check out my Dairy-Free Sundaes with the Vegan Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Coffee Softserve I’ve made int he past, too. 

Vegan Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Coffee Softserve with various toppings in bowl
Close up of Vegan Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Coffee Softserve in bowl

 

Gym & Weights Workout Today From This Tab: Day 5 – Shoulders/Triceps/Biceps

My Home Gym & Bowflex came in super handy this weekend.  Not chasing to the gym was great because I was so pressed for time all weekend.

Bowlflex in home gym
Side view of Bowflex
Hand holding blue weight
   The Garage Home Gym it was all weekend!

Tip of the Day: My TofuXpress Tofu Press Give Away!

Tofu Press
Have fun everyone!  Thanks TofuXpress!

 

***The contest ends on Wednesday, August 4, 2010***

 

Click Here to Enter!

Questions
1.  Best Thing You Ate or Did All Weekend?
This is hard because it was an action-packed awesome weekend for me, but seeing Diana and catching up was fabulous!

2. Do you “need” something on your lips?
I am a total Lip Balm Addict!  From the time I was 5 years old, I have needed some sort of lip balm at all times.   My first lip balm as a little girl was Cherry-Flavored Chapstick.  I may or may not literally have eaten it as a kid.  Oh well, we all ate our chapstick, right?  Over the years I have used every kind of lip balm…Chapstick, Carmex, Blistex, Burt’s Bees, Coconut Oil straight outta the jar, and some more specialty/holistic/vegan type brands.  I am excited to have a Vegan, non-petroleum great smelling stash to replace my current Carmex in a Tube addiciton.  I have them in every room, in every purse, gym bag, car, nook and cranny.  I said I am addicted to lip balm!  
Do you use Lip Balm?  What’s your Top Brand?

3.  Did you have nice weather for the weekend?  Did you do anything outside?
It was really nice here, I can’t complain!  It has felt like an unusually cool summer here.  I have ran my A/C one time, for two hours, all summer.   And I live in a 4 story house and it’s not even hot way upstairs!  The coastal air and proximity helps, but it’s been on the cool side.  This weekend was high 70s, sunny, breezy, lovely!   And I walked with the fam and sat outside with Diana.  Can’t beat it!

4.  I’ve posted in the past about Saying No and Not Over-Committing  and one’s self and Not Over-Extending.  Saying No when it is the best choice for me at that time has been a lifetime in the making and does not come naturally.  Many times, it seems easier to just say yes.  However, in the long run, saying yes then stresses me out!  Oh sure I can bring a dessert, I can watch your kid, I will volunteer my time, I can answer this email question, I can tackle this household project, I can add to my plate another errand or chore…it goes on and on. 

Sometimes, many times actually, Saying No preserves our sanity, helps keep our spirit and soul bouyant, and our mind less stressed, and our energy more focused rather than spinning if a sea of what next, who needs me now, what’s the next thing I have to “get done” on my list. 

Many of however carry guilt, a sense of obligation to others if we don’t Say Yes to that which they are asking of us.  I am trying to get over this, to release some of the guilt I feel when I can’t help, can’t give any more of my self, my time, or my energy. But it’s a work in progress; this is my work.  To respect my limitations and only hope that others don’t think less of me and can understand. 

Do you Say Yes when you really Ought to Say No?  Why do you do this?  Are you working on it?  

Have a Great Monday & Week Everyone!!

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