Archive for March 2012

Weekend Adventures - The Quiet Times

Some weekends are meant to be a gift to yourself - a time to wind down and take in the life that usually flies by. This past weekend I can truly say was great for my soul. During my 10 miler I conjured up ideas, dwelled on the future, and thought about topics I usually tuck into the deep recesses of my mind. It's easy to fall into the routine of daily life, to not give yourself a need "me time." So this weekend was dedicated to myself - to think, to work, and to just be. 

It is in these quiet times, these rare moments, that mean the most to me.

It's walking through our beautiful neighborhood, taking in this gift of early Spring and cherishing it.  
It's finding a treasure hidden under a pile of rubbish at a thrift store.
It's sporting bright red New Balance sunglasses b/c they make me smile.
It's watching our small seedlings grow each day. 
It's running slowly and not caring.
It's staying happy and kind.
It's being myself. 

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Raw Banana Coconut & Chia Seed Parfait

Today marks the start of the third week of my detox, a week devoted to eating only raw vegan foods. 
For those who aren't familiar with what a raw food is, it is basically what is sounds like - unheated and unprocessed food, food in it's simplest form. I've been nervous for this week since this is a realm of cooking I've never touched before. But I like a challenge and knowing how good this is for my body, my aim is to create some amazing meals that both satisfy and are appealing to anyone.  

Aside from practicing with forms of raw salads like my Trio Greens, I also dabbled in the dessert arena.
The inspiration for this parfait came from two different recipes, The Chalkboard & Heaven on Earth.
Not only was this dessert incredibly easy to make, but the best parfait I've ever ate...sorry Mom! 

1 1/2 - 2 cans of coconut meat
1/4 cup of coconut oil, warmed
3 tablespoons of coconut milk (optional)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
 2 tablespoons of agave
2 frozen bananas
1 fresh banana
1/8 cup of chia seeds

The night or a couple hours before you want to make this dessert, cover chia seeds with water in a 
bowl - it will turn into a funky looking gel. Then make the "whipped cream" by blending the coconut meat,
 oil, milk, vanilla, and agave together. Set aside and rinse your blender. Blend the frozen bananas until you have a mixture that looks like ice cream (which this is great to eat on it's own). 

Grab your cup of choice and put however much blended frozen bananas you like in the bottom. 
Then just a couple tablespoons of the chia gel, followed by the coconut whipped cream. Slice
your fresh bananas on top! 

Wish me good luck... I have a feeling this might be almost as hard as giving up coffee! 

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Odds 'n Ends

Just a quick post to keep ya'll updated on my latest projects! 
I keep finding unique pieces for the house that need refinishing or reupholstering, so I've been in full force 
this past week in an attempt to get through some of them. Here are two of the most recent items in the 
works. I purchased an old ottoman from an estate sale that was in desperate need of reupholstering, so
the left photo is what I've done thus far. All that is left is adding more stuffing, sewing one more piece 
of cording, and then I get to bust out the staple gun! After the ottoman is completed, I'll sand these little 
side tables my mom found for us and then they'll get a nice coat of paint.   

It's been beyond beautiful outside with temperatures in the 80's this week - making it hard to stay inside 
and work on these projects, but I'm hoping to get these babies done before the weekend. 
Then onto working outside in the backyard! Feels like summer already. :)

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Raw Trio Greens Salad

Since Spring has decided to come early to Michigan, I can't help but feel the effects. The time of renewal has started. It is this season when my energy peaks back up in the mornings, where my race training comes alive, and when I start seeking out new projects and endeavors. About a week ago I (and 25 others) started a detox with Margaux Drake, a certified raw food chef, master naturalist/gardener, iron athlete & ultra marathoner!

There are many reasons why someone would do a detox. For me, it was about eliminating all processed foods (I'm kinda addicted to french fries), caffeine, and alcohol... and to start anew. For four weeks, I'm not touching any of those. As I gear towards running the Riverbank and a half marathon this year, I wanted my training to kick off with a clean, energized me! So far... the lack of coffee and tea has been extremely difficult. I never realized how addicted I was to both. For about 5 days I had terrible headaches, exhausted beyond belief, and really irritable. Once Tuesday rolled around I was a completely different person. Happy, energized, and raring to go! 

Margaux has been demoing loads of amazing foods to eat. Whereas, I already eat mostly how she suggests all "detoxees" should eat, I do not incorporate that many raw food dishes into my meals. From Rawk Your World Taco "Meat" to Down & Dirty Flak Crak, Margaux has an abundant knowledge on super yummy raw meals.

So I've been slowly incorporating more raw items in my diet. To be honest, I'm not a salad person at all. I kind of hate them... but I was in a crunch for lunch today so I whipped up this raw tiro greens salad in an attempt to actually like salads more. It totally worked.

Red Cabbage
Nutritional Yeast (optional)
Sunflower Seeds
Garlic Cloves
Olive Oil 

First make spinach pesto. 
In a food processor put a couple handfuls of spinach, drizzle oil, four cloves, about a 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds, basil, and 1/4 of nutritional yeast. Mix together and adjust ingredients based on your preference. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Please note: nutritional yeast is technically not raw (or non-processed) so this is optional. Like I said, slowly working on this. :)

Put a couple spoonfuls of pesto on a plate. Top with kale, romaine, sliced carrots, red cabbage, sprouts, almonds and whatever else you like! Mandarin oranges go really well on this too! Toss to mix up the pesto and the greens. 

You could use any other three greens, but kale, romaine, and spinach was the only ones I had on hand. 
Do you have a favorite salad you like to make? I'm hoping I can start making them more often. Such a easy and great way to get my raw greens in! 

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My Dream Vintage Couch

Remember the couch in the first photo
Back in September we happened upon this beautiful vintage sofa that Zach and I instantly fell in love with.
Since my mom is awesome, she insisted on getting this beaut reupholstered for us. Trusty Pinterest then became my go-to source of inspiration for fabric ideas. Stunning velvet and suede sofas kept catching my eye... so after some searching I found the perfect color. I think Emily Henderson would be proud. 

My friend, CJ Vandaff, from True North Interior Design, recommended several great reupholsters. We ended up going with David from Heirloom Upholstery and I couldn't have been more impressed. The blue faux suede looks amazing against our wood floors, gray walls, and off-white shag rug. 

Just a peak of our den thus far! Pretty sparse, but it's what we got to work with. Our first piece that we actually put in this room was the light fixture that I made; the birdcage light. When you turn it on it makes some pretty crazy shadows in the room. The ugly wing back chairs in here will indeed be reupholstered sometime me. It might be hard, but I'm going to give it a try. Not sure if they will end up staying in the den since this past weekend I found almost an exact replica of our couch in chair form! It too will need reupholstering, but for $25, it will be so worth it! 

Hope you enjoyed another furniture post. I couldn't resist, I love showing the couch off. 

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Lolë Love

We all have our favorite brands and products we always lean on...that comfy shoe or fashion line that never can do us wrong. Over the past year, I've grown to love all things . From their obviously beautiful apparel to their evident passion for "living out loud everyday," Lole captures the true spirit of every woman. I don't have a ton of their clothes, but what I do have I treasure and flaunt way more than I should. This weekend I wore Lole everyday and after seeing this short film on the making of "Under An Eternal Sky," I knew I had to share; as it gives you a glimpse of who a Lole lady is and the energy behind this leading company.

Lolë's Making of "Under an Eternal Sky” from Lolë

So how are you living out loud everyday?
Make sure you check back on Lole's blog next week for the release of "Under an Eternal Sky." 

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Before & After: Vintage Chair

House projects are back under way! This spring I've got more than my fare share of ideas and lists to keep Zach and I busy for some time. This cute little vintage chair was purchased at a salvage yard for $5.00...after bargaining it down from $30.00. With some left over fabric from my mom, a good sanding, stain, and polyurethane finish, this chair makes an excellent addition to our growing furniture collection! 



These after photos were taken without natural light, so the chair appears a ton more orange than it does in person. It does have a hint of reddish orange to it, which I wanted to add to complement the blue geometric fabric. I loved how the character of the chair - all of the wood grain and uneven coloring - truly came out during the refinishing process. It fits right in with our other pieces... not new, but refinished and ready to have a second chance. 
Stay tune for more of my upcoming projects! 

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