Monday, March 28, 2011

Book Club & Weekend Meals


Last weekend we had our book club meeting, which just happened to be on one of our newest member's birthdays (Robyn)! I made vegan peanut butter cups for the occasion, and she blew out the candles. Fun!

The book we read was called "Into Thick Air: Biking into the Bellybutton of 6 Continents" by Jim Malusa. Since I didn't get my book until WAY later than I expected, I didn't get to read very much...only a chapter! I suck!

I'm very excited about the next book we drew from the pot though - our first Sci-Fi! It's called "Grass" by Sheri Tepper. It sounds very interesting, and I wish my silly book would get here in time so that I could start diving in!

The vegan peanut butter cups turned out SO YUMMY, and they were ridiculously easy to make. These were yet another treasure I found in my How it All Vegan cookbook. If I haven't stressed it enough - this cookbook is my absolute favorite!!

Nikki and her ever-growing baby belly! She's the cutest preggers girl ever, I'm tellin' ya. She just told us a couple of weeks ago that it's going to be a boy, and the name that they're going with is "Nico Matteo" which I think is utterly adorable. So Italian!

Just this past weekend, I went to the grocery store with my little sis, and stocked up on healthy supplies for the week. My first attempt was breakfast! I got oats from the bulk section of Whole Foods, because apparently the non-instant version of oatmeal is much better for you than the pre-packaged "Just Add Hot Water" version.

It was a little mushy, and a different texture than the instant stuff, but I think I could get used to it....

.... adding some almond milk, a 1/2 tsp of maple syrup, and a mound of sliced bananas helped too!

To top it off, I made myself some fresh-squeezed OJ/Grapefruit juice. I had both citrus fruits leftover in my fridge, and wasn't sure if I was going to actually eat them anytime soon. So I squished the heck out of them, and made myself a VERY yummy juice. I don't usually like grapefruit juice by itself, but the combination with the orange juice cut back on the tartness significantly.

After the grocery store I made my lunch.... just look at this GORGEOUS purple potato!! I baked it in the morning when I was making breakfast so that it'd be ready to go for me when I got home. It came in my organic produce veggie box I ordered a couple of weeks ago, so it was time I ate it.

I whipped up my quick version of my vegan gravy (I posted about it here) - but I just threw some onions in a small pot, added some nutritional yeast (pictured), some flour, some sage, almond milk, and a couple of squirts of Bragg's. It turned out a little thinner than I would've liked, but my pan was too small to keep adding to! :)

Then I fried up some lovely green asparagus. I know it may sound wrong to FRY up veggies, but I only used the spray oil, so calm down. ;) Also steaming things is just a pain in the butt for me. I've never found a steamer big enough, and it just takes too long if you ask me. Maybe I'm just making excuses because I prefer fried.

While the asparagus was cooking, I peeled up a Tangelo orange. They are SO delicious right now, and I enjoyed the sweet balance to a savory / salty meal!

Next I dumped the gravy over my baked potato. As you can see, it was a bit runny as I mentioned. I didn't really mind it at all though!

Just when the asparagus was almost done cooking I threw in some mushrooms, and added some seasonings. Then I dumped everything on top of the potato!

I haven't had a cup of coffee in a while, so I treated myself to one along with my very colorful meal! It was really yummy, and I ate all of it while watching a couple of episodes of "Reno 911" (yes, I re-rented one of the seasons from the library) - I love that show!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bridesmaid Dresses - CHECK

Well, we finally got the Bridesmaid's dresses picked out & ordered for Katy's wedding! Woohoo!

Here are some pics of me trying them on. The actual color of the dress is the same as the one pictured on the far left. It's really pretty and shimmery - it's called "Copper", but it's like a pale greenish / gold. Hard to explain, but really lovely!

I liked the style I have on in the middle photo a lot, but it turns out that dress doesn't come in the right color. Oh, well!

Sasha ordered the dress she's in (on the far left), and I really loved Molly in the same dress (far right). The middle pic isn't available in the copper color either, but I think all of us were okay with that. It wasn't one of our favorites!

Sasha's little boy, Cayden, came along for the try-on session. He's the cutest little bugger EVER! He was so happy the whole time - kicking around, making cutesy baby noises, and giggling. Katy couldn't resist taking a video of him too....

After we realized how many dresses we tried on that we could NOT order in the right color (yeah, the salesgirl kind of sucked.... why would you not double check on that first?) we found some options online that we kind of liked even better!

I have learned something new about bridesmaid dresses though.... they purposefully make them so that they do not fit you properly! The bust hung out, leaving a gaping space, they were all ridiculously long - it was as if they sabotaged them on purpose so that you'd have to get it tailored to fit you! BALONEY! And I wear a size 14 in bridesmaid dresses. 14!!! I wear a size 10, tops! I just hate that the second you tack "Bridal" onto anything, the price goes skyrocketing, as does the size.

Whew! Done with that rant. ;)

So here is the one that Geneva, Jess, and Molly ordered. I think it's really lovely, and will look great on all of them.

This is the one that Sasha ordered. She looked great in it, so I would've done the same! :)

And this is the one I ordered. I like the twist in the front, the strapless top, and the sweetheart neckline. I think it'll show off my hourglass shape well.... even though I'll be in a friggin' size 14. ;)

Dress photos from Mori Lee - at this website.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ohhhh golly gee whiz - I want a scooter so bad!

After I had my first taste of scooter-riding during my New Orleans trip, I have not been able to get the thought of owning my very own scooter out of my head.

I thought I'd be able to get one with my tax return money, but after a LOT of frivolous spending during the holidays & on my vacation, I had to be responsible and use it toward paying off my debt....

But ohhhhh good heavens! I want one so bad!! In the words of Wayne (from Wayne's World) - "It WILL be mine! Oh yes, it WILL be mine!"

Sigh! SOMEDAY!! ;)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Messenger Bag & Salsa

You guys must be thinking "Gosh, Beth has gone bonkers! What's with these posts lately?" - but that's okay. I'm all about the random posts the last few days, and here's yet another! :)

The other day I was on the Clymb website (kind of a deal-of-the-day site for people who like to bike, rock climb, camp, snowboard/ski, etc), because I saw that they had messenger bags up there. My current bag is on it's last leg, but I guess that's what you get when you buy a bag made out of old billboards. Sure, its green - but not built to last! Then I came across this beauty of a bag! This isn't the color that I got (I couldn't find mine on their site), but this is the style. The TimBuk2 Classic Messenger Bag (in size large). It's so magical, and I LOVE it! I rode my bike into work today for the first time since last fall, and it hugged my back just the way a bag should. Mine is silver grey and turquoise, and it holds all of my belongings perfectly, is waterproof, and very heavy-duty. They normally go for around $120-ish, but I got this puppy for $45 off the Clymb site! AWESOME!

Then last night after tap class, my derby buddy Cat A Combs and I went to the grocery store to pick up some grub. I was looking for some good salsa, and came across this gem. Raspberry Chipotle Salsa.....whaaaa??? I quickly plopped it in my cart so that I couldn't change my mind. It sweet and smoky and OH so good!! You can check out more of Mrs. Renfero's awesome salsas here!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Body Combat, Boy Dinner, Trivia

Weird title, huh? ;)
Well, that's pretty much what my Tuesday night was all about!

First I went to Balanced Life Systems, where trainer Josh Franks kicked my ass!! OK, not literally, but with an awesome workout. It was their Body Combat class - kinda like kickboxing. Lots of kicking, lots of punching, lunges, bouncing on the balls of your feet.... holy workout batman! I worked up one hell of a sweat - it was AWESOME!

Apparently I have a lot of aggression to get out too. Gosh, I thought derby did that for me already! I was wailing on my imaginary partner - I think I would've beat the shit outta somebody if they had actually been real. What made me feel really good about myself was that the girl next to me (who was much thinner than me, that looked like she had more muscle than me too) had to stop near the end and take a break! I just kept on pushing through - it felt soooo good!

After that I headed to my fella's place where he cooked up a ridiculously yummy (VEGAN) dinner! He totally made it up too, which is even more awesome. This dude is a keeper, I'm tellin' ya.

First he fried up some "sausage" meatballs...

... then he simmered them in Madras sauce with veggies & lentils and served everything up over some brown rice. It was really delicious, and a wonderful post-workout meal! Filled me right up.

But the night was not over yet!
We then headed to Freshcraft for Geeks Who Drink Trivia night. Our team name was "Hey! There are SKITTLES in there!" - of my suggestion. It's from The Hangover, and that line cracks me up every time. The night was ridiculously fun, and we got 2nd place!! Well, we had to fight for it....

....OK, I did! They had a dance-off for the 2 teams that were in 2nd place. And I went nuts. This picture doesn't do it justice (why do I look like I'm demonstrating a very suggestive act?) - but there are videos that were taken. Those may be posted soon, as I have no shame.

And I managed to accomplish all of that with only drinking 1 glass of red wine. I was pretty darn proud of myself!

Hope you all had a great Tuesday night too! See, you don't need to wait for the weekend to have fun. :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

30 things I've learned in 30 years

Today is my 30th birthday - CRAZY!!
I've learned a lot so far in this crazy life o' mine, but here's a short list. 30 things I've learned in 30 years...

1. Significant others are great, but your friends are significant too! Don't forget them when you fall in love.

2. Before you go to bed, wash off the reminder you wrote on your hand earlier that day. Otherwise you'll wake up with it all over your face.

3. I can’t ever pull off being a blonde. But I can rock the shit out of any other hair color!

4. Sunscreen is a very good thing.

5. Texting is not communicating. And I suck at it.

6. Roller Derby is the best sport on the planet.

7. Never say the words "I'm sorry" or “I love you” unless you truly mean it.

8. Forgiveness is a good thing. Grudges don’t hurt anybody but you.

9. When you try on clothes at a store, hang them back up when you're done. It only takes a second, and the sales people will love you for it.

10. Never be afraid to try something new! It could change your life.
(me trying my first oyster in New Orleans!)

11. Verify with your friends if there's a hike to the campsite from where you park, and pack accordingly.

12. Always say "please" and "thank you".

13. Treat anyone in the service industry with respect.

14. If you think "I'm going to barf if I do that next shot", you probably will.

15. On that same note, the hangover cure: Saltine Crackers + Sprite.

16. Be good to your family.

17. Smile a bunch. People seem to like people who smile.

18. Look up at the sky every now and then. The general population seems to only look at what is right in front of them. Check out what you're missing.

19. If you put love into your cooking, it will spread to those you share it with.

20. Send somebody flowers. It'll make their day - I guarantee it.

21. Wear whatever the heck you want. If you think it looks great, that's all that matters.

22. Remember this: Even though Taco Bell sounds like a good idea at the time, it won't feel like a good idea in the morning.

23. Be honest.

24. Money isn't everything, but it's good to have a plan with it. On the same subject, don't use credit cards. They are the fruits of the devil. And I need to learn how to take my own advice.

25. Someone is up there. And they listen.

26. Eat healthy and happily. We all know fruits and vegetables are good for you, but what would life be without pizza every now & then?

27. Give good hugs.

28. Follow through on your commitments. Nobody likes a flake.

29. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes before you make a decision. It may change you for the better.

30. Sometimes you just gotta do what your heart tells you to do. Even if that means wearing rainbow booty shorts, knee-high socks, and a fanny pack.

Here's to another year!! :)

Most photos from the rest are my own.