Category Archives: school
…I’M A COLLEGE GRADUATE!
remember the big fat paper i was dreading? sat down yesterday and pumped out 12 pages in 4.5 hours. solid concentration. soliiiid. how happy am i? well, happy might not be the right adjective to describe it. i am thrilled. elated. blissful. all the synonyms of happy times fifteen. sigh. truthfully it has yet to really sink in. i think it will come next semester when everyone else zips up their backpacks again and i suddenly find myself with much, much quieter week days. i’ll cross that bridge when i get to it.
but i cannot believe my academic career is over (for now). college whizzed by in 3.5 years. three and a half years! i want to say that’s pretty major, especially considering the budget cuts.
so, are you wondering what i am going to do now? well, good question. i’m wondering, too. work is definitely in my future. lots of it. i am going to continue barista-ing at starbucks for the time being until life pulls me in another direction. culinary school and completing my first 200 hour yoga certification course are also floating on my horizon.
really, though, i am just excited to settle back into a routine. it’s been a second or two since my last post so allow me to fill you in on what i’ve been doing: stressing out. and loving life, of course. but school has caused me to feel a lot of anxiety. it has disrupted my work out and eating routine which, as you know, i am pretty uncomfortable with at the moment. i’m working on it, i promise.
i’ve also been listening very carefully to my body. if i want to run, i run. if i want to do yoga, i do yoga. if i want to sit on my butt and watch a movie or read, i do it. i am actively working to judge myself less and allow myself to live more instead of structuring my life around work outs. working out is important to me because health is important to me, but i cannot allow it to take over my life like it did this past year. i learned my lesson.
i’ve also been rock climbing. a lot a lot. i am in love with rocks. and climbing them. i bought real shoes (for a hefty price) and it was so worth it. i am having so much fun challenging myself and it reminds me so much of yoga! so many similar principles: controlled movements, breath to movement, core strength, balancing, quieting the negative chatter (and chatter in general) of the mind. i love love love it.
i’ve been running some, too. and loving every second of it. i feel such a difference in my runs and my endurance simply based off the fact that i refuel now. and do so properly. my runs, once again, bring me the happiness i initially found in them.
i’ve also been hanging out with k a lot. like…a lot. pretty damn happy, you guys. it’s been a long time coming (this union and this happiness). i finally feel ready and able to fully share myself with another person because i have reached that level of comfort (finally) with myself to just be okay. and to just be. we’re still unlabeled and i like it just fine this way. no need to rush.
anyway, enough about me. how are all of you? how are finals, if you have them? how is life in general? i promise to be a better blogger now that i, you know, actually have time and everything.
well, i’m off. spending the day in the east bay babysitting my two year old cousin. i’m excited to see him but i am more excited about the beautiful weather (that i don’t really get to enjoy…). it’s cold, but it’s sunny! have a great saturday.
beatles song of the day: she came in through the bathroom window (abbey road)
why? because i love this song. and because i’ve been playing abbey road non-stop lately…
iiiiii CAN’T WAIT! frustrated with dumb test but i got this.
still grey outside. BOO. but my grey mood seems to have lifted some. hooray! my appetite returned at the end of the day yesterday and dinner was this little invention: farmer’s market collard greens, graham marsala/cayenne pepper spiced brown letils, and farmer’s ROASTED BEETS!!! i wanted something warm and comforting. this literally HIT THE SPOT.
what you’ll need:
1 cup brown lentils
one small beet
three large-ish collard green leaves
one small shallot
one large garlic clove (or less depending on how much you like! omit if you hate garlic.
you might be crazy though.)
2 T olive oil
1 T earth balance
2 t graham marsala
1 t cayenne (i luuurve me some hot hot heat kidlettes!)
what you’ll need to do:
preheat oven to 400. wrap beet in foil and roast for about 45 minutes to an hour. should be fork tender. (i’m not going to lie. i was so hungry and i am SO impatient i totally didn’t let it bake all the way through. still delicious but not as delicious as it could of been for sure!)
rise off lentils. bring 2 cups of water to boil. add lentils, graham marsala and cayenne. boil for 2-3 minutes before turning heat to low, covering the pot and letting it simmer for about twenty minutes or until lentils are tender.
meanwhile prepare the collard greens! (original recipe from sweet beet and green!)
chop into this strips. mince the shallot and the garlic. heat 2 T of olive oil and 1 T earth balance in a saute pan over medium heat. once heated add garlic and shallot. cook for about three minutes, or until the shallots are soft. add collard greens. cook until bright green and slightly soft/wilted.
pretty, no? pretty tasty too! this was seriously delicious. the best part? LEFT OVERRRS! which promptly went into my lunch today. simple salad of romaine, sweet potato, and left over lentils! topped off with 2 T of my vegan garlic cream saaauce.
you may be asking yourself, “zoe, do you ALWAYS eat salad out of giant aluminum mixing bowls?” to which i’ll reply “yes, why yes i do!” because i always make mondo salads
not pictured: one too many spoonfuls of trader joe’s sunflower seed butter. i’m officially down to almond butter now! i’ve been working my way through my nut butters. i had a ridiculous amount. actually, come to think of it i still have some pumpkin butter left over…hm…i think i feel a baking idea coming along…
anyway, just an fyi: the sweet potatoes i use are SMALL, folks. lemme show you:
i have reaaally small hands! (i’m 5′ 1″, remember that!) a friend in high school actually called me baby hands. thanks, kevin!
i’m about to take off for the gym. my knee feels better but i’m still laying off running. i think i’m going to tackle an epic spin session. i really enjoy the bike. i feel a new hobby coming on…i might end up doing yoga later tonight too. something gentle to stretch everything out. we’ll see. but for now i’m going to BIKE TO SCHOOL! my friend victoria is going to france for three weeks (lucky girl!) and was nice enough to let me borrow her bike!
(notice the pink bike. the pink yoga mat. my pink purse. pink overloaaad!)
i am pretty sure i shouldn’t of eaten all the sunflower butter because now it’s just kinda chillin in my stomach. whateverrr. i’ve been really hungry for some reason today! listening to zee body
when i get back home today i will OFFICIALLY BE ON SUMMER VACATION! lots of things to report on later. for now, have a good day kidlettes!
good mid-day everyone. hope it’s all kinds of good vibes for you today.
unfortunately for me i’m still rocking the funky vibes. i’m straight up in the middle of downtown funky town right now. although the remainder of yesterday went well (25 minute
ass-kicking stair stepping workout plus some weights, a baaaadass lunch (homemade hummus, baked sweet potato, alfalfa sprouts, cucumbers, pepitas on an open leaf of romaine lettuce!!!), and hot yoga, hanging out with friends later, baking vegan goodies) i went to sleep in the arms of mr. funk himself.
woke up to more grey skies and rain. my left knee hurts. i tweaked it in yoga yesterday…i’m frustrated with myself. i lazed in bed for a little before realizing this icky feeling in the back of my throat and how desperately i needed water. one huge glass didn’t cut it. i downed two more. i waited on hunger but hunger never came. so i forced myself to eat because i knew i needed to. lucky i did, though, cause i ate one special breakfast: banana oats in my almost empty jar of MARANATHA DARK CHOCOLATE ALMOND SPREAD!!!!!
topped with some unsweetened coconut. if you haven’t guessed yet, i think coconut makes everything better.
i completely finished my shakespeare paper following breakfast. SO happy to be done. i’m officially finished with my junior year of college tomorrow after 6:40. where time disappears to will always baffle me. i feel like i JUST graduated high school like…yesterday. i’m still kind of in shock that in a couple of months, i’m turning 21. that age always felt a million days away. dang.
anywho, currently lounging around the house in yoga pants, uggs, and a sweatshirt. just finished a cup of yummy tea.
in zee cup: vanilla roobis with a splash of almond milk. i don’t sweeten my teas. but i like slash of almond milk just fine the other great part about having a roommate who works at starbucks? free tea. yeeees.
i don’t really plan on leaving the house for the rest of the day. the rain turns me into a slug. i am not working out so as to rest my knee. i’m not complaining, either. my body needs it. i’m not being fair to it. i think i’m starting to get sick. so i can’t think of anything better than sitting on the couch all day. i might write something or other…in kind of a prosy-mood.
it may not look like much but dang, kidlettes — stuff’s delicious. the sauce really makes the dish. plus the (farmer’s market!) beet. i am crazy for beets. i’ve loved them ruby red gems since i was a kid. i love them pickled. i love them roasted. i love them raw. I. LOVE. BEETS.
ahem…all right, moving on. the sauce (originally from sweet beet and green):
1 head of garlic
about half a block of silken tofu
1/4 cup olive oil
roast the garlic for 30 minutes at 400 degrees in a loose pouch of foil. when it’s done, throw everything into a blender until smooth. toss zucchini and beets with sauce. top with pepitas. DEVOUR. pat belly in satisfaction.
it makes quite a bit so i have left overs. ain’t complaining. i’ve made the pasta dish the sauce accompanies on sweet beet and green and i can tell you it’s DELICIOUS. i totally recommend it.
after dinner i ate an apple with some almond butter. then friends came over. then i got inspired to bake. then these happened:
sweet potato & chai spiced vegan cookies
what you need:
(preheat oven to 375!)
1/2 cup of coconut flour
1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
1/4 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 T chai spiced latte (this is really random but it’s from trader joes. if you don’t have it, it’s totally fine. just throw in some cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, vanilla)
1 T ground flax plus 3 T cold water (let sit for ten minutes. it congeals. this = your egg!
2 T agave
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 canola oil (i’m sure grapeseed would work here fine, too)
1/2 t vanilla
one small sweet potato (about 1/3 of a cup’s worth. maybe a little bit more. i forgot to measure, sorry!)
combine all dry ingredients. combine all wet ingredients. pour half dry ingredients into wet. combine. pour in rest of dry. combine. line a baking sheet with foil. make little balls (press down. these don’t expand. stiiiill working on making crispy cookies…). pop into oven for ten minutes. cool. ENJOY.
they are not very sweet. but the sweet potato and chai combo add a very subtle sweetness everyone at my house (three friends plus candace) said they really enjoyed. they didn’t last more than 20 minutes so i guess they liked them! the texture was the best part. a bit cakey but moist and dense with a crack-ly outside. vegan baking rocks. and this had no butter, no eggs, and no refined sugars. i try to make healthy-ish stuff. this one seemed to be a winner though next time, i think i’m going to tweak it a little. i’ll let you know when and if i do!
sorry there are no pictures of them! not too many people know i blog and i’m still a little self conscious about it. so i just kinda didn’t take pictures…my bad…
anywhoooos imma go now. i feel that writing bug taking over…enjoy the rest of your day!
what do you like to do when it rains? am i the only one who never wants to leave the house? not really a big rain fan…
…about where i put my brain. sometimes it goes on vacation without telling me. more on that in a bit.
first things first. last night’s (EPIC) dinner! i was craving quinoa (i’ve been on a QUICK) and decided to make some black bean, quinoa mushroom burgers!
what you’re gonna need:
1/2 cup of black beans (i use canned but do as you wish!)
about six mushrooms (i used crimini)
a handful of spinach
one close of garlic
what you’re gonna do:
i cooked 1/4 cup of quinoa in 2/3 cup of water with a splash of olive oil for about tenish minutes. while the quinoa is cooking, prepare the spinach and mushrooms!
heat a large-ish skillet with olive oil. add minced garlic and shallot and let simmer on medium-low. meanwhile, the mushroom into small cubes. add mushrooms, salt, pepper and peprika (however much YOU’D like ) and sautee for a few minutes. then add the spinach! continue to sautee until spinach is pretty wilted. remove from heat.
open and drain can of black means. measure out a half cup. mash in bowl. add cooked quinoa and veggies. miiiiix.
here’s where i ran into an issue. first i tried heating them in the skillet. but they didn’t hold together. so i tried baking them in the oven. they STILL didn’t hold together. i got frustrated and i was STARVING so i just said eff it and plopped the failed burgers into a bowl. the upside: they tasted GREAT! i squirted a bit of trader joe’s organic ketchup on it and all the baking added a nice crisp outer edge.
on the side i roasted some veggies (cauliflower, zucchini, brussel sprouts (i LOVE sprouts. if i could marry them i might.)
it was quite tasty.
next order of business: TODAY!
i woke up at seven to run before class. i was in bed before 11 last night. CRAZY. that never happens, especially as of late. bad habit i think. anywho, i was so pumped to run this morning ALL i dreamed about was…running! haha how ridiculous. does this ever happen to anyone else?
at seven my alarm went off. i laid out my running gear the night before so i could jump out of bed and into it. which i did. in thirteen minutes i was dressed and had already drank a freshly made juice (half a cucumber, three small carrots, a nub of ginger)! dank, ginger’s powerful kids. whoops. after that and a small bite of peanut butter i was off! my legs felt good today. i was running quicker than usual. i’m getting better at breathing and i can feel my endurance level rising. schweet!
the run was somewhere in between 6 and 7 miles. i’ve never had the opportunity to measure the distance and i don’t own a garmin
because i am a poor college student. but it took me just over an hour. for the last three miles i had a painful cramp develop in my right chest area. it SUCKED. but i ran through it and tried to breathe a lot. oxygen is good for them muscles folks!
unfortunately i was a little pressed for time when i got back. class started at 10 and i still needed to eat breakfast, shower, get ready, walk to school, print out my paper. so i hurried through my shower and getting ready. last night i planned a breakfast of glorious cinnamon puffins with half a nanner and some honey. it was happily consumed. i ended up with an extra half serving of puffins though. glad i did because i was HUNGRY by the end of class. not much staying power, huh?
today was my LAST class of the semester for my short story fiction writing class! it was fun and my first workshopping class. yeaaaah i dug it. it pushed my creativity and got me out of a faaaat stretch of writer’s block. any other writer’s out there? did you like the workshop environment? i’m not sure it’s my favorite because i don’t think you really need to be taught how to write. that takes away the creativity and individualism sometimes. but i like it for the feedback aspect.
after class candace picked me up and we went to get a vaccuum. our old one broke WAY too long ago. we bought this awesome pink one and deep cleaned our house. it’s so fresh and so clean clean now. thaaaank the universe — it was getting a little questionable.
i cleaned my room, too! i have a floor again! i’m terribly unorganized.
but we cleaned the house for reasons outside of cleanliness: we’re throwing a rager toniiiight! since candace and three of our other friends are leaving for the summer, we’re throwing them a going away party. a BIG one. i will most definitely be reporting back on that later.
okay so back to my brain. can someone tell me why i have NEVER MADE MY OWN NUT BUTTER!?!?! uhhh cheaper? easier? YOU control what goes in? me likeyyy. yuh! the idea came from sarah over at the smart kitchen. she posted this drool worthy post on NUTBUTTERS! so i got curious and broke out my good ol’ cuisinart. BEST BIRTHDAY GIFT EVER, by the way. i love my parents.
i threw into the processor well over a cup of raw almonds, two T of flax seed, and a glug or two of trader joe’s pure maple syrup. and away it spun. and spun. and spun. IT TOOK FOREVER. and my poor food processor got HOT HOT HOT and SMOKED. weird. but it was TOTALLY worth it. i may have added a bit too much flax but it tasted goooood. it’s now currently in an old trader joe’s almond jar (i keep all my glass jars! useful things to have!) in the fridge. yeees. tomorrow’s breakfast will be good good gooood.
i’ve got a lot to do before zee par-tay. expect some pictures
have a good one kidlettes!
it’s been a good day kidlettes! woke up ready for a deliiiicious breakfast and my SECOND TO LAST DAY OF SHORT STORY FICTION WRITING! schweeeetness! after drinking a glass of warm water with some lemon juice i made some ultra yummy chocolate protein oats. by the way. if you didn’t know….I LOVE CHOCOLATE. like seriously LOVE. i love dark, milk, carob, raw cacao. i love brownies. i love those types of chocolate cake that are literally just a thick triangle of solid chocolate. if i could eat chocolate all day everyday, i think i just might
anyway, back to zee oats. in the bowl:
1/3 cup oats
2 T oat bran (i use bob’s red mill!)
1 T chocolate hemp powder (trader joe’s brand!)
1 T raw cacao (i decided i like this better than a scoop of carob. it adds a richer chocolate flavor )
half a cup of almond milk
half a cup of water
half a nanner
splash of vanilla
it was deeeeeelicious and EXACTLY what i wanted!
topped with unsweetened flaked coconut, cinnamon, and a small blob of trader joe’s unsalted crunchy almond butter. OBSESSION. usually i put a blob of maranatha’s dark chocolate almond spread at the bottom of the bowl. (so. um. i’m a breakfast repeat offender, guilty as charged.) this time i switched it up a little. it melts into the oats PERFECTLY and tastes all kinds of awesome. so i layered the bottom of the bowl with a few scoops of oatmeal, then placed the blob down, and then poured the rest of the oatmeal over it. more borderline sinful eating occurred.
i don’t understand how people don’t like chocolate. seriously. it’s like…a foreign disease to me. i can’t live without it haha.
anywho walked to school today because the sun was shiiiiinin’ and the weird rain clouds from yesterday vanished (not that i’m complaining.). class was pleasant. passed quickly. headed to the gym after class! i decided to do a bit of a “cardio sandwhich” or, really, in this case a “cardio layer dip.” i started with ten minutes on the stair master. then spun for twenty minutes. (whenever i bike i sweat like a beast. does this happen to anyone else? it’s straight bananas how much i sweat!) and then i ran for ten minutes (a little over a mile). it was a good session. i stretched it out, did some abs, some weight lifting stuff for my legs and then peaced outta there cause i was HUNGRY!
in the bowl:
a mix of spinach and romaine lettuce
a small sweet potato
alfalfa sprouts (anyone else feel like a horse when they eat these?)
broccoli (which i added after i took the picture, oooof course! whoops!)
and some leftover dressing from last night’s quinoa dish!
it was SO. GOOD. that dressing is great and the contrast with the sweet potatoes was just perfectooo. loved. super filling.
i packed a great dinner for my class (which is annoyingly 5-8, RIGHT during dinner hours!) which i unfortunately did not document. too busy rushing. BUT it consisted of cauliflower “rice” (simply place some cauliflower into a food processor and pulse a couple of times to make “rice”!) on top of a bed of arugala. i used the rest of the dressing from last night (can you tell i’m obsessed????) as a dressing. it turned out really well!
on the side was the BEST part, though. you all know angela’s nut butter parsnip fries? if you don’t YOU SHOULD! seriously. i don’t know WHY i put these off for SO long! sadly i didn’t have any parsnips. so i used carrots and brussel sprouts! they were…indescribably heavenly. liiike…HOLY CRAP THESE WERE GOOD! i might make them all. the. time. i’ve been craving almond butter and peanut butter all day too. totally fit the bill.
class sucked. but it was the LAST ONE OF THE YEAR!! officially done with screen writing. i’m happy. it is for sure not my creative writing niche. not my favorite. after class though a friend of mine came over and i made some vegan chocolate chip cookies (refined sugar free!) that i should really call little cakes. any tips on how to get a more crumbly, crisp cookie when making vegan cookies? i usually always just experiment and throw things together. they tasted good enough for me though
so today was good. up until about a half hour ago. when i went to drive my friend home, i patted my pocket to see if i had my keys. my pocket jingled. i walked out the door, sans cell phone. only after getting back home did i realize that i did NOT have my keys. what jingled was a bunch of loose coins. UH. OH. no phone? candace asleep (she sleeps like a ROCK.)? so i drove to my friends house to use his phone. FAIL. no answer. i came back and did the impossible: JUMPED OVER MY SPIDER INFESTED FENCE INTO THE BACK GARDEN so i could knock on candace’s window! i did it really quick so i wouldn’t have to think about it. but still…i HATE spiders. ugh.
finally inside though. thank the universe! dang. now it’s 12 and i for sure still have homework to do. what’s procrastionation again?