Thursday, May 21, 2015

Summer Goals

Hey everyone! I hope you have all been having a good week. I'm so excited because the warmer weather is finally here which means that summer is on the horizon. For most people that means they can relax more but for me… it is my busy season. My busy season is on the heels of a difficult winter that was full of stress at work (thanks to an album company) and really rough weather. I decided that I really wanted to sit down and think about ways to enjoy my free time this summer which I anticipate will be a healthy mix of relaxation and exploration. I figured I'd pop on here and share what I came up with!

First, I can't wait to partake in tons of summer produce. I had a crappy winter nutrition wise and relied way too much on comforting processed food. Summer is the best time to get back on track and I have decided that I will embark on a Raw Til 4 lifestyle MOST days. I would love to make it every day but I'm going to be realistic in that I know there are days where it won't be feasible but I'm hoping for at least 5-6 days a week. My intentions are to have a raw fruit breakfast (fruit salads, huge bowls of watermelon, smoothies, juices, etc.), a large salad or veggie pasta for lunch and a sensible, whole foods cooked dinner. I think it seems very doable!

My second goal is to really explore Long Island more. Our local newspaper (Newsday) puts out a book every year called the "Fun Book" and it lists EVERYTHING that is going on here on Long Island including concerts, parks, museums, local hot spots, restaurants, etc. We received ours a few weeks ago and I finally was able to go through it and found a ton of things to do! They mostly included parks and preserves, museums (geology museum, what?!) and street fairs and I'm excited to start exploring Long Island again! I'll definitely keep you posted and show you all of the cool things I find!

Third and probably expected is that I am going to continue making my jewelry and I am going to have a jewelry party to show off my pieces and hopefully sell some! I've sold quite a few already and I'm really excited about it. The four above are a few of my most recent pieces and I really love the way these came out.

It has been a really long time since I've had a consistent workout routine and I've made the excuse that it is because of my totally messed up neck and shoulder. The reality is that I should be exercising to strengthen them and I'm sure yoga will help stretch and get everything back to where they are supposed to be. This is why working on my fitness is my next summer goal. I bought a stability ball and medicine ball, I have a yoga mat, jump rope and hand weights so I will be able to do a ton of workouts at home before and/or after work. I am looking forward to this one and I'm hoping that working out will help me sleep as well.

Lately I have been very in touch with my imagination and desire to create things and make art and I have been trying to indulge it more. This summer I would really like to work on some art and express my creativity. This will certainly include DIY projects and I would also like to try painting so we will see how that all works out!

Finally, I will be spending a lot of time with Delilah and my family but that is a given, not a goal ;)

What are your plans for the summer? Do you have any suggestions for me?

Have a great end of your week! 

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Few Meals

Hey everyone! I hope you are all doing well. As I mentioned in my last post I am trying to be more mindful of photographing meals. I've done a not so great job I guess but I do have a few meals to share at least. Here are just a few things I ate over the past few days.

I made several of these yummy plates for lunch throughout the week. This particular one had cucumber, carrots, dolmas, hummus and sun dried tomatoes. There were some Everything Crackers from Trader Joe's on the side. This is definitely one of my favorite meals, it is so good and a perfect meal to throw together if you don't have a lot of time.

OK, so I don't know if this is a NY thing or not but this glorious breakfast was a bialy with tofu scallion cream cheese. Do people outside of NY know what bialys are and/or have them? If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can read about what it is here. I couldn't even begin to explain. These are so good and whenever my family gets bagels there are always a few of these in the bag too.

The weather is warming up which means iced coffee time! I limit myself to having it a few times a week rather than every day but it is so tasty.

Cauliflower tacos!! I actually edited this post to add these since I JUST made them and had to share! I used the breading method in Blissful Basil's  Cauliflower Taco Recipe and just used panko breadcrumbs instead of oats. As you can see I added a lot of veggies on top of mine and used some Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream as well. There is some perfectly ripe avocado hidden under all of it as well.

Just so you can see the avocado. This was so good you guys!

My Dad's birthday was on Saturday so we all went out for dinner on Sunday. We went out for Mediterranean food and it was so good.

I started off with this plate of deliciousness. The salad was called Shepherd's Salad and was tomato, cucumber, parsley and onion (which I ate around) dressed in olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. This salad is one of my favorite salads ever, it is so simple and flavorful. I also had some hummus and bread straight from the oven. I followed this up by more salad and some unpictured falafel... There was too much craziness at the table and I was entertaining Delilah so the follow up didn't happen but I assure you it was delicious.

Here is Delilah chowing down on an orange slice after the meal. She is getting so big, it is so crazy! She is so funny too :)

Things have been busy otherwise with work and trying to get some more jewelry made. I made about 16 more pendants today so I'm getting a nice stock together :) I'll show you some more pictures of those in the near future.

I hope you all had a nice weekend!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Grocery Haul & Then Some

Hey everyone! So like I mentioned in my Orlando Wrap Up Post, I'm making a conscious effort to try and blog some more. I FINALLY got to the grocery store and took a pic of my haul as well as a few other random food pics.

Before I get to that I just wanted to say I hope you all had a lovely Mother's Day! I know a lot of you guys are wonderful Moms to human and/or fur children and I hope you all had a lovely day. I had a really nice day with my family. My mom and I started off the day with pedicures and then went to my brother's house for a BBQ later in the day. The weather was perfect and we had a great time! And I found out I'm babysitting the fur babies in June so I'm excited about that!

I know it has been a while since you've seen a picture of Delilah and the pups so I snapped one yesterday. Delilah had just gotten out of her bath and was cuddled up with Tyler and TJ and it was too cute to pass up! I love all of them so much!

OK now on to the haul. I stopped at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's and combined the hauls.

First up is the produce. In the top left corner is a head of cauliflower (to make cauliflower tacos!), two heads of Boston lettuce (my fav for lettuce wraps), carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado and strawberries.

As you can see I splurged quite a bit in this haul. I had a random craving for a Tofurkey Sandwich so I got Tofurkey, Mediterranean Hummus from Trader Joe's (my favorite store hummus ever), Maple Water (I just thought it looked interesting), Beyond Meat Beast Burger (which I tried for the BBQ yesterday and it was ok... not really worth the price though so I'll save the other one for the next BBQ and will pass on them in the future - unless they are on sale), Tofutti Better than Sour Cream, Trader Joe's Everything Crackers (the BEST with hummus), Cocomels (I finally treated myself to them! Still can't find the chocolate covered ones), stuffed grape leaves, corn tortillas and in the box was General Tso's Seitan (also just OK).

I also finally got myself some Scallion Tofu Cream Cheese from Bagel Boss! This stuff is so good, I'm glad I finally splurged on it... I guess in the future I'll just mix up my own.

Sooooooooo.... My mom found PRETZEL BAGELS at the grocery store!!! OMG you guys. Soft pretzels and bagels are pretty much two of my favorite things ever so to combine them is pretty much my ideal meal. I spread on some scallion tofutti and enjoyed this for brunch today.

I'm trying to prepare in advance these days so I put together this bowl of fruit to bring to work for breakfast  and it is basically just watermelon and strawberries. I'm looking forward to it though... I love spring and summer produce so much!

And that's all I have for today. I'm really planning on taking pics of more of my food again so I hope to keep you posted on all of it. I've also been working really hard on my jewelry and some DIY stuff and I'm excited to share it with you as well! I have a few pieces of jewelry to show you as a preview :)

This is a faux-druzy ring that I love! I have four different colors - pink (pictured above), blue, green and a champagne/gold. I love my makeup brush mandrels as well ;)

On the left is a Faux Druzy Filigree Floral Pendant (available in the four colors listed above) and on the right is my favorite Glass Pendant I've made so far. It is a gorgeous coral and silver pendant and is perfect for the summer!

Some more glass pendants! Just a drop in the bucket, I'm planning on making a ton of these for a Jewelry Party I hope to have in June. I have also made glass rings like these as well.

That's all I have for you today! I hope you all had a great weekend and that your week is starting off well. See you soon!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Orlando Vacation!

Hey everyone! I'm sorry I didn't do my monthly favorites post this month but I was in Florida on vacation through last night (May 5) and didn't have time to put it together before I left! I did try my best to at least take a few pictures of my trip so I could show you all what I've been up to on my vacation and here I am to share them! I had an amazing trip and was able to spend a lot of quality time with my best friend :) We had a good balance of relaxing and going out and enjoying the gorgeous weather and everything Orlando has to offer.

Without further ado, here is the recap!

So first I thought I would take a picture of the view out of my bedroom window so you could see how pretty it was. I couldn't open the screen so sorry about that!

The weather was so amazing and I would open the window overnight for an amazing breeze while I slept. I would wake up much earlier than my friend but I had this adorable guy keeping me company every morning!

A curious little guy :) And so handsome!

Shen asked for a lizard picture and I was happy to oblige! I made sure to get the crazy blue sky and palm tree in the picture as well ;)

We had a very mellow day on Saturday and then Sunday was very busy! We started off by going to brunch (more on that below!) and then went to the Orlando Farmer's Market at Lake Eola. I LOVE this market, it is HUGE and there are so many different vendors! After we stroll through the market we always take a walk around the lake as well. 

This is the view of the Farmers Market from across the lake. I really love this market, they have so many amazing and talented vendors! If I had more space to pack things I would have purchased quite a few things! Probably better for my wallet that I didn't.

This is just a pretty view of Downtown Orlando from the lake. Look at how blue the sky it! They day was PERFECT. It was literally 82 degrees with crystal clear blue skies every single day of my trip.

Here is a closer shot of the fountain. So beautiful.

Later that day we went to Universal Citywalk to walk around and to do something different than what we always do. It was so much fun! We didn't go into the park but we perused the shops and again soaked up the beautiful weather. I had to get the obligatory Universal globe picture since it was right in front of me :)

On Monday we did some shopping and once again, it's probably a good thing that I didn't have enough space to bring things home because my poor wallet would have suffered ;)

I did remember to take pictures of some of the food we ate! We had quite a few meals at home as well as a few restaurant meals. I didn't photograph everything but I did photograph a few of the meals.

This is a terrible picture of an absolutely DELICIOUS meal. I really highly recommend trying this one, it is so good! This is Pasta with Creamy Sun Dried Tomato and Mushroom Sauce and I highly recommend trying it! So amazing.

I knew I wanted to pick up a watermelon and made sure to do so when we went to Trader Joe's to go shopping for food for the weekend. This was a really great watermelon and was a really refreshing snack when we came home from being outside in the hot sun.

As I mentioned above, we went to brunch at Ethos Vegan Kitchen before heading over to the farmers market and I enjoyed this glorious plate of beige vegan deliciousness. This is the Breakfast Burrito and it has potatoes, tofu scramble, faux sausage and is smothered in an amazing gravy. I couldn't finish it but oh man did I enjoy every bite I could get in.

Keeping up with tradition from previous visits we found ourselves at Loving Hut for lunch one day. As always it was incredible. We both had the exact same meal. We started off with the small wonton soup which is pictured above. It was a bit more cilantro-y than I remember it being in the past but it was still pretty tasty.

We also both enjoyed the "Combo #1" which includes yellow rice, a summer roll, tofu in mushroom sauce and a steamed cabbage and carrot salad kind of thing (which is amazing!). It was such a delicious meal and I get it pretty much every time but it's just too good.

Finally, here is the sunset out of the airplane window yesterday as we were taking off. It was really pretty so I decided to capture it :)

So there you have it! I feel recharged and refreshed but also like it went too quickly! It was amazing to catch up with my best friend and I miss him already!

I'm going to try really hard to get some more food posts up in the coming weeks! I've pinned a ton of new recipes that I really want to try and I will try really hard to get on here and share the results with you. Truthfully after spending 8 hours at work editing pictures and staring at a computer makes it really difficult for me to feel motivated to stare at a computer and edit pictures when I come home but I'm going to try to make an extra effort to get more posts on here.

I hope you are all doing well!