Monthly Archives: May 2012

Adventures in Cooking… my quick and simple breakfast smoothie

May 27, 2012 // by admin // Blog, food // 1 Comment

It’s been a while since I’ve been cooking regularly. Honestly, it’s been a while since I’ve gotten on my home computer more than once a week, too (it explains the lack of blogging lately). In last week, I’ve gotten back on track with my breakfast smoothies and without any greens in the house, I had to figure out another basic recipe that I enjoyed. So, on Tuesday, I made a chocolate chia protein smoothie, which I’ve now been making variations of for the last 6 days.

I’m all about simple, especially when I’m going to be “cooking” it at 6:30 in the morning. I made some basic chia gel (2 tablespoons chia seeds mixed into 1 to 1 1/2 cups water) the night before and left it in the fridge to thicken overnight – overnight is not required, you could make it 15-20 minutes before you want to use it too. The basic recipe was extremely simple – 1 cup water or almond milk, the chia gel, and 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder (I’ve been using Vega One – it’s plant-based). I tried this on a whim and was pleasantly surprised at how well the chia gel helped to thicken the smoothie. So in the upcoming days, I’ve continued to play with this base recipe, adding fruits that I have in my refrigerator. This morning’s breakfast smoothie was

1 cup water
chia gel
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 small banana
1 small peach

It was easy to make, tastes pretty good, and is filling. I’m happy to be back to my breakfast smoothies. I can drink them while i get ready for work or bring them to the office. And they are so fast to make. This week, I’ll start adding some greens to these, too (since i’ve made it to the grocery store).

What’s your favorite quick and simple breakfast?

My favorite thing about gray days…

May 26, 2012 // by admin // Blog, creativity, Photography // No Comments

Over the last month, DC has seen it’s fair share of gray days. And although too many gray days can bring my spirits down, there are things about them that do raise my spirits. A few years ago, when I started to learn more about photography, I learned that some of the best natural color saturation comes on an overcast day. I had never really thought about it before, but on beautiful sunny days, without some of the right tools, colors can be extremely washed out by the sunlight (which is why dawn and dusk are the best times to take pictures – the light isn’t so direct). So on all these gray days, I’ve been looking at what the city has to offer and took these photos to thoroughly enjoy the color saturation.

DC has been doing some beautiful landscaping on the city streets.

more of the beautiful colors

loving the red

some more of the beautiful pink flowers around DC... i think pink is the "in" color for flowers this year.

my ultimate favorite... pink, raindrops, and lots of beautiful color

With the help of my smartphone, I’ve been taking these pictures and there are many more, but these are some of my favorites. They are bright spots on gray days and for as much as I don’t love so many gray days, I look forward to being able to take more of these every opportunity that I get.

What’s your favorite thing about gray days?

A Yogini’s Knitting Corner

May 6, 2012 // by admin // Blog, creativity, knitting, meditation, self-care // No Comments

In the midst of everything that’s been going on in my life and my lack of time on my personal computer, I’ve found the time for creative playtime. And most of this creative playtime has been used to learn some new techniques in knitting, as I embark on making some new projects. At our last knitting get together, Eve taught cabling 101 to Melissa based on the project she was working on. And a couple months back, I met with Valerie for an accessory consultation (since I’ll be making her some arm warmers). I finally came up with a design for those and I’ve spent time this last couple weeks, working on a prototype (and it’s mate) and learning some new techniques for them.

the prototype arm/wrist warmer

This is the prototype for those arm warmers, with a cable down the outside and an actual thumb gusset.

my first attempt at magic looping and cabling - a cute wrist cuff

I also wanted to learn how to magic loop (a technique that enables you to use a long circular cable to knit small rounds). So I took my learning is stages, I first did this wrist cuff where I played with magic loop and took my first shot at cabling.

Then I started the bigger project, the prototype arm warmer, whose mate is currently in process (with no pattern, making the mate has been a little tricky). I envisioned the end game and then played it by ear. I ribbed it a bit, then began to work the cable into the pattern, and eventually (after watching several how-to videos on YouTube), I started to work the thumb gusset. It was really satisfying to be able to create the design and to incorporate these new techniques with a new method of knitting in the round.

close-up fo the cable and ribbing

my first attempt at making a real thumb - pretty happy about this gusset

Valerie’s arm warmers will be about 2 inches longer, but they will look similar to this and I’m thinking I will be using a similar pattern (once I write it down) for the arm warmers for a couple of my cousins for Christmas.

my progress on the prototype's mate

I have had so much fun designing these and learning the new techniques. Now, to get the motivation to wrap up the other outstanding projects I have, so I can spend a lot more time playing with them and then be able to start some new projects for myself.

Creative playtime is so much. I encourage you to have some sometime soon.