Friday, February 17

Fun Finds Friday #137

  • This bag is for kids, but I'd totally rock it.
  • I made this salad last weekend and - WOAH! SO GOOD.
  • I am feeling so much kimono love lately.
  • This look exudes comfort! I wish there were a Prana store on the east coast.

  • I want to build/live in an Earthship sooooo bad. Been telling Shawn that for years!
  • Must make this.
  • On making friends; lowering your expectations and putting yourself out there.
  • Ain't nobody got time for assholes. (Yes, thank you for all three thoughts, Anthony Bourdain!)
  • The busy person's guide to reducing stress.

Happy Friday!!!!

Friday, February 10

Tuscan White Bean Soup

I've been really into making soups lately- they're quick, simple, and you really don't need more than a few veggies and some water to make a delicious soup. Plus, they warm your belly, you get a large yield, and they're super easy to reheat later! One of the bakeries I used to work at had four rotating soups each day, and one of my favorites was a Tuscan White Bean Soup. I've been trying to get Shawn and I to eat less meat lately, so I thought it would be fun to recreate one of my favorite veggie soups!

This one is great because you probably have most of the ingredients on hand already. (I always have carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in the fridge, and I stock up on beans when they're on sale.) To make it vegetarian, just swap the chicken broth for veggie broth - I just don't like store-bought veggie broth because it's often too carrot-heavy.

Tuscan White Bean Soup

recipe makes approximately 3 quarts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, small dice
  • 3 carrots, small dice
  • 4 stalks celery, small dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-1/2 quarts chicken broth
  • 3 cups swiss chard or kale, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil and add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic, cooking until the vegetables have softened and the onion starts to appear translucent. Add the tomatoes, beans, and broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and add the swiss chard and all the spices. Adjust spices to taste. Once the swiss chard has wilted, the soup is ready to eat! Top with grated parmesan cheese and serve with bread, if you'd like.

This soup keeps well for about a week when stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Or, pour it into a large ziplock bag and freeze it flat for easy storage and quick defrosting.

Friday, January 27

Netflix Lately

As much as I try to fight it, winter is a time for being lazy and retreating into the deepest corners of the couch. We have been watching a lot of Netflix lately. There have been a few things I've really enjoyed, and a few things that are just worth mentioning, so I thought I'd share them with you. Make some chocolate chip cookies, grab a tasty beverage, and settle in for an evening (or four).

Blue Jay - Grab a box of tissues and your coziest blanket before starting this one- it's a tearjerker. Shot entirely in black and white, it follows two high school sweethearts who run into each other later in life, and their story slowly unfolds. This movie is the definition of heartbreaking. Real life: I ugly-cried, and had to pause the movie because my nose was so stuffy that I couldn't breathe. I felt physically sad for two days after watching this. So worth it though.

Blind Date - A french film about an uncanny relationship between neighbors. Super cute. We got some good laughs. The subtitles aren't terrible, so that's a plus.

Hard Candy - Ellen Page plays a sixteen year old girl determined to take down a pedophile. This got way more intense than Shawn and I expected. This definitely isn't a movie with a happy ending. (Pun intended...)

Penelope - A modern fairy tale; Christina Ricci plays an aristocratic girl cursed with a pig's nose, looking for true love to break the curse. We needed something-light hearted after watching Hard Candy, and this definitely fit the bill.

The Beaver - Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Jennifer Lawrence, Anton Yelchin (the kid from Charlie Bartlett), and a beaver hand puppet. That pretty much sums it up. All in all, not a terrible movie- it actually starts a pretty solid dialogue about depression.

Nightcrawler - Jake Gyllenhaal plays a f*cking weirdo in this one. He's really freaking good at that.

Minimalism - A documentary about (you guessed it) minimalism. Definitely worth a watch though, if that's a concept you've been thinking about or actively working towards.

Black Mirror - This series is a bunch of stand-alone episodes that act as commentary about how we interact with modern-day technology and where that might lead us. Brilliant. And scary (in the holy-shit-that's-not-terribly-far-off sense). I've been recommending this to everyone lately.

A Series of Unfortunate Events - We've only actually watched the first episode of this so far. But I love Neil Patrick Harris, and I wish Patrick Warburton would narrate everything, all the time. I'm not actually familiar with the books, but I really like the way this is filmed.

Other shows I've been catching up on: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and New Girl - SO GOOD.

What have you been watching lately?

Wednesday, January 25

Intentions for 2017

I've been thinking all month long about what I want my intentions to be for this year, with the intention (haha - get it?) of sharing them here with all of you. But the deeper we get into January, the more I've been stressing out about getting this posted before the end of month (because doesn't everyone make their intentions at the beginning of the month, and if I wait til the end of the month, I may as well wait til the end of the year... and then none of these other posts I have planned for this year will ever pan out and I'll never get half of the shit on my to-do list crossed off and I'll be a failure at living any sort of a productive life and AGHHHH!) I have to remind myself to calm the f*ck down and just sit down and write sometimes. There is a serious disconnect between my brain and my fingers most of the time. The problem is that the times when I have the most brilliant revelations and thoughts, are always when I am not in a place to write any of it down. So by the time I get there, everything is already lost in translation. Does that makes sense? Do other bloggers/writers/crazy people have this problem? I don't know. Anyways, enough rambling; let's get to the bulk of the post here: my intentions for 2017.

I struggled with whether or not to make actual concrete goals this year like I have in the past or whether to live this year with certain concepts in mind like I did last year. Then I came to the realization that I can do both! I can pick an intention, and apply it to my goals. They may sound like the same thing, but I don't believe that they are. Intentions seem to leave room for freedom whereas goals tend to be more concrete and determined. I think each have their place in our lives. What my yoga practice has taught me though is that living life with intentions and constantly working towards those intentions leads to a powerful and more fulfilling existence. And that we may very well be working on certain intentions forever - it's part of the practice, it's part of life!

My intention last year was mindfulness, and I really only dipped my toes in. This year, I'm hoping to apply it to more areas of my life. I'm actually working on a Mindfulness Series for the blog! It's something I thought up after having a few ideas for posts that were all mindfulness-based and it occurred to me that I have the opportunity to turn it into a series. So keep your eyes peeled for that. I'm hoping to do one post a month, or so. We'll see how it all pans out.

As far as more concrete goals go, I do have a few this year. They're pretty loose, yet attainable. I'm generally pretty terrible with these sorts of things, so I'm giving myself space to breathe. They're also very much related to being more mindful. Most of these are actually going to be broken down further in the mindfulness series, so if I'm a little vague here, don't worry - we'll delve further into these later on!

+ Unplug
As much as I try and mostly succeed at not being sucked in by my phone and the tv, the computer is a whole different story. I can easily sit in front of the screen, browsing and reading, and next thing I know a few hours have gone by and I haven't done anything to really nourish myself. Then there are those days when I realize I haven't touched the computer even once all day, my phone is no where to be found, and the tv has yet to have been turned on that day... I love those days! I want more of those days. I'd like to spend more time reading books, coloring pages, sketching things, writing with a physical pen... really doing things that feed the soul. Ideally, I'd love to unplug completely for one day a week. Realistically, I'd love to do it at least one day a month. Hopefully I can land somewhere between the two.

+ Teach yoga
I'll be a certified yoga teacher by this time next month! I should be able to teach at least one class a week at the studio where I've been doing my training, but I'd also like to explore other options and really see where it takes me. I'm actually planning on sending out some feelers over the weekend; I have a few places in mind. Teaching will hopefully help me implement a more regular home practice in my life too, since I'll need to work on sequences for classes. I've already noticed a difference in my everyday life, in the sense that I view every conversation and occurrence as a possible theme for classes. Bring it on!

+ Meditate
I never meditated until last year when it was introduced to me during yoga teacher training. It's a really great thing to be doing, and I don't do it nearly enough. I was on a roll for a while, meditating every morning, and really starting to see the benefits of it spreading into the rest of my day. Then I switched jobs and subsequently started waking up at 3am for work, and my meditation was the first thing to go out the window. So the meditation doesn't happen as often as I would like because I really do like meditating first thing in the morning. I need to form a new routine and stick to it.

+ Save money
I used to be pretty good with my money, but it seems that over the years my concept of spending and saving responsibly has gotten a little loose. (I think it goes hand in hand with "well, I'm making more money now, so it's fine, I can buy this.") I'd really like to tighten my finances back up this year! I've been talking to other people about methods they use for saving, and I've got lots of good ideas about it now. I need to sit down and come up with a realistic budget. This is a huge thing for me. Like, real adulting right here!

+ Shop less
This was also a goal last year, but I made it way too concrete and failed miserably. Well, I failed at limiting myself, but I succeeded at being more thoughtful about my shopping habits. In fact, in doing so, I actually changed my shopping habits! So this year, I'd like to continue... not by limiting myself to a specific amount, but by continuing to browse less and purchase more intentionally. (This also goes hand in hand with saving money...) Something I'd also really like to focus on this year is buying more ethically and sustainably.

+ Post more often
Last year I ended up posting the least amount I've posted since 2012. I'm not setting myself up for anything specific here... I feel like every year I say "I'm going to post more recipes!" and every year I come up short. I'm not really concerned with what the content will be specifically, I just know I'd like to post more content in general. I'm hoping that doing a Mindfulness Series will inspire me to bring more insightful content to the blog, even outside of the series. And yes, I would like to post more recipes, especially since I've been cooking so much more! Ideally I'd love to be posting 2-3 times a week, but honestly, that's probably still a stretch for me. But if I can do it, while still keeping the content organic and not rushed, I'd like to!

+ Have more dance parties
I threw this one in for fun. And I'm not talking actual parties here... I want more of that feel good, move like no-one's watching, ridiculously exaggerated kinda dancing we all do on our own time. I think we all need more solo dance parties! (That's my campaign, and I'm sticking to it.) More dance parties a la Hugh Grant in Love Actually. I mean seriously, who doesn't feel good after a quick dance session? Also, I don't know about you, but I'm more likely to clean the apartment when there's dance music playing. Just sayin'.

Did you set intentions/goals this year? Got any pointers for how to stay on point?

* Intention cards are from here.


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