Sunday, June 30, 2013

Goodwill GOLD (and yes, thrift shopping ROCKS)

Lately I've been tight on money (oh wait, that's pretty much always!), and Goodwill has become my new "shopping mall".  Yah, it takes some time to sift through everything, and it sometimes smells a little funny, and sometimes there are screaming children.  

BUT there's air-conditioning. 

AND you can find some pretty awesome stuff there for really really cheap. 

Case in point - this dress. 

How flippin' cute is that??  
It fits me perfectly (well maybe a teensy snug, but who cares?), and I found it on the rack for $10.  Not too shabby. 

I also found these shoes... 

Steve Madden strappy sandal heels (ridiculously comfortable for heels too, by the way). 
Only $7. 

Yah, that's a pretty successful shopping day if you ask me!  

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Delicious Gluten-Free Vegan Brown Rice Salad

My little sister is going to be staying with me for a few days while she's transitioning between apartments, and she happens to have a gluten allergy, AND be lactose intolerant. 

So I decided to whip up a few things that would accommodate her dietary needs that I would also enjoy, so today I made this! 

I changed the recipe up a little bit to fit my needs (example: dried cherries were like $10 more / pound than raisins, so I went with that - also I didn't want to buy a whole container of miso paste for one recipe, so I just omitted it).  Feel free to do the same with whatever you have at home - this seems like a pretty darn flexible recipe, that's delicious to boot!  

It's also a great recipe to make ahead since it gets better as it sits in the fridge (all the flavors can meld more).  And even better, if you have some leftover rice just add a few more ingredients and you have this awesome salad!  Woohoo!

Brown Rice Salad with Peas, Raisins, and Walnuts
Adapted from recipe
Vegan / Gluten-Free
Serves 6-8

1 cup brown rice (or 2 cups already cooked leftover rice)
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 apple, diced into small pieces
1/4 cup raisins
1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
2 stalks green onion, finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley (I used the curly kind), optional

For the dressing:
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon agave syrup
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Cook the brown rice in about two cups of simmering water until tender.  Fluff and cool to room temperature.

Combine the peas, apple, raisins, walnuts, onions, and cooled rice in a large bowl. Combine dressing ingredients in a small jar or tupperware container and shake well to combine. Stir the dressing into the rice mix until all the ingredients are coated.  If you have time, allow rice to rest for at least eight hours or overnight for flavors to come together.

This would be AWESOME to bring to a picnic too - it stores well, and would be super yummy straight out of the cooler.  


Friday, June 28, 2013

Pie time!

Lately I've been helping out in the bakery with some pie making!  And I've been loving it.  :)

We've been making full-sized pies, hand pies, rolling out dough, making the filling - all those goodies!  It can get repetitive sometimes (try making 65 blueberry hand pies sometime!), but I really have been having a great time.  And it helps that I have a super rad teacher guiding me along!  Leanne is awesome, and she makes the most delicious pies ever.

PLUS it's helped me get over my fear of making pie dough - definitely the most difficult part to get right when it comes to pies.  It's such a science, but I feel a lot more confident now that I've been forced to work on it myself!

I'll be going back to my regular job at the storefront starting Sunday, but I hope to be back there again soon.  I really liked the change of pace, and working with food directly.

Anyway, it has inspired me to start making my own pies at home!  Kinda funny that I'd do something all day at work - and still want to do it when I clock out.  Ha!  Weird how that happens, huh? I must like what I'm doing or something. :)

All Images via Pinterest.  

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Maine - let's GO!

Lately I've been kind of obsessed with the idea of going to a small coastal town in Maine... 

I don't know why, but it's just always been in my head.  The idea of being in a small port town, talking with locals, enjoying locally caught fare (we certainly don't have much seafood in Colorado), and just soaking in all of the beautiful scenery. 

Doesn't it just look lovely?  I'd love to go sometime when the seasons are changing, and when the air is just beginning to get crisp.  Maybe stay in a bed & breakfast, and walk out to the beach every morning in a snuggly sweater, and eat lobster with LOTS of butter every night! 

Sounds pretty magnificent to me!  Anybody want to join me? :) 

All images via Pinterest. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summertime Book Club

Last weekend we met up for Book Club! 

We held it at Bernie's house this time (Katy's mom), and she had us out on her lovely & comfortable patio.  It was a beautiful morning in the shade - we drank mimosas, and just gabbed & gabbed.  

Katy made this AMAZING homemade dip too (on top of the cucumber slices - with the smoked salmon piece - yum!) - she said she made it by blending together garlic scapes with cream cheese, and some other spices!  It was SO good, and I'm going to definitely have to give it a try!  

This month we're going to read American Gods by Neil Gaiman.  I've been wanting to read this book for a while now (this was my pick), and I hope it's as good as I have heard.  Neil Gaiman also wrote "Stardust" and "Coraline" if you've ever heard of those - but this is an adult novel, and considered a masterpiece.  Which probably means I won't understand it.  HA!  

Anyway, hope you are enjoying your summer so far!  Happy reading! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Morning at home

Lately I've been trying to get up early, and enjoy some morning time at home!

I love the way the light comes streaming through my kitchen window every day... it always helps wake me up!

Today I got up at 5:30am and went for a walk.  I really wish I could do that every day!  It was so quiet outside (at least for downtown Denver), the birds were singing, and it was still cool outside - even though we're supposed to hit 94 degrees out there today.  When I got to the park, the sunlight was still filtering through the trees... it was just gorgeous.

Afterwards I made some breakfast, got my things together (which means just dumping out my purse everywhere and reassembling), and left.  But I love those quiet mornings sometimes!

What is your routine like in the mornings?  Do you like to sleep in / get up early?
I do love having a sleep-in day every now & then, but boy, getting up early definitely has it's benefits too!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

I'm still here!

Hi my beautiful followers...
Sorry it's been so long since I've stopped by!  I have had a LOT of changes going on lately, and have been using most of my time to enjoy the lovely Spring weather, and work towards going back to school in the fall!

Yep, this is the last few months of freedom & relaxation before I start school for a second time.  I am SO excited though.

I'm going back to school for nutrition, so I'll basically be getting a second bachelor's degree since my first degree was in photography (a completely unrelated field...for now). ;)  I start with a year of culinary school then move into the nutrition program!!  I seriously can't wait, and I start classes in September.

So until then, I'm gonna stop by more often.  At least it will get me to start taking pictures again. :)

Hope you've all been having a wonderful last few months!
I missed you.