Category Archives: adventures

Blogging, What a Concept

Today as I was texting a friend about needing a new hobby (or obsession) I thought, what about blogging again? What kind of blog could I start? Then I was like, ‘duh! I have one.’ HA! Oh yeah…

So I had the same job (as a marketing coordinator for a mid size family run, yet nationwide company) for almost 10 years. I was basically miserable for most of that time. I didn’t agree with the personal values/politics of the owners for one thing. That made things challenging. I did enjoy some much of my work and the travel aspect was fantastic. But most of all I made some AMAZING, lifelong friendships there. That’s basically worth 10 years in purgatory. haha.

Well, eight months ago I started a new ‘dream’ job. I’m still in Marketing (I love it!). But now I work for a not-for-profit society dedicated to green alternatives to specific traditional construction methods. Its a bit technical so I won’t go into details… I work FROM HOME! That alone is amazing. I believe in what I’m marketing! I work with a great team! You know, all the dream job requirements.

So why do I need a hobby now? Well, because we all do, right? I’m still cooking all the time. That’s my main hobby. I still read every day – another main hobby of mine. But working from home lends itself to workaholism (well email checking-aholism if I’m being totally honest). It is much more difficult to unplug, to ‘go home’ at the end of the day. Part of that is great because there is maybe a bit more flexibility. I was able to throw a pan of brownies into the oven yesterday in the middle of the day for Valentine’s Day. But on the dark side, I don’t really have a good routine yet. And I’m a routine person. I was kind of being hard on myself because I’ve been at my new gig for 8 months- that seems like enough time to get a routine going. But then I realized that I had been at my old gig for A DECADE! That is a loooong time. Talk about routine! Dang. So now I understand that it is taking me time to adjust. That’s FINE! But I’m ready for my new routine and a new hobby will be something good to look forward to at the end of the work day. I think it will allow me to shut down and transition away from work until the next morning.

Some ideas: Get back into a regular yoga practice! Teach myself to sew. Learn a new language. Take a night class at the community college. Find some craft I can’t live without doing… I guess now is the time to start dabbling until I find something I love. I know I’d like to start doing pottery. I already looked into classes but apparently everyone else is into pottery too because the ONE class available in the evenings in this town is SOLD OUT! :)

Ok… maybe my new hobby will be blogging about finding a hobby…

7ish Months… and a ton of traveling and other stuff

Wow. I haven’t blogged in seven months. I could have almost had a baby in that time! HA! Or I could have gotten in amazing shape. Or I could have… well, I could have done a million things but I’ll start by telling you a couple things I HAVE done in the last seven months.

Ok, well, one thing I didn’t do: I didn’t run that half marathon I started training for last fall. It was supposed to be in February. I ended up having to travel for work that weekend and when I found out about the trip I lost all my momentum (and I lost my entrance fee I’d already paid too). I also injured my hip somehow and was getting acupuncture treatments for a few months… and then I FELL on my hip while stepping up on a curb while running… so anyway, I stopped running altogether. Maybe I’ll get back to it at some point.

The very most awesome thing that has happened is that I got a NEW JOB that I love! I am still a Marketing Coordinator. But now I am working from home for a not-for-profit society. I won’t go into detail because its a very specific green construction industrial segment that will likely bore you… haha. But it’s not boring to me and that’s all that matters! I’m just absolutely thrilled with my new position.

I have travelled A LOT this year for work (old and new jobs) and a bit for pleasure:

  • January- Houston
  • February- Denver
  • March- Sacramento and Las Vegas
  • April- I stayed home!
  • May- Orlando
  • June- Las Vegas (for fun!!), Cleveland (I loved it there!), Omaha (for a wedding…)
  • July- Orlando… again

And coming up the rest of the year:

  • August- Chicago
  • September- no work trips so hopefully I can go on another mini-vacay
  • October- Chicago again- I love it there so no problem with this!
  • November- Calgary- my first trip to Canada!
  • December- Hawaii with my Fam! :)

Whew. I’m still cooking lots of vegan food. I’m still Instagramming all the time (obsessed might describe it). And I’m still NOT on Facebook- which is seriously awesome. I never miss it. It’s been months and months and months. I was seriously addicted to Facebook so this was a necessary cutting of the ties. I tweet every now and then, but it’s pretty few and far between.

I want to start blogging on a more regular basis again. I’m trying to find my path though for that. I guess this is a just a general lifestyle blog and my space so I can do whatever I want. I’m thinking maybe some posts on my plants, my home (which we’ve been working on quite a bit lately), nachos of course, my fitness journey, yoga…

I’ve been working from home a little over a month now, but just got my office set up last weekend. I needed to hit up Ikea. I plan to do an office tour soon- when I get it all set. In the meantime- here’s a pic of the cheerful rug I picked, and my beloved Nathan checking it out.

Cheers! rug and nathan

Baby It’s Cold Inside

I live in California- right on the dividing line between So Cal and Central Cal. It can get cold in the winter. It’ll be down in the 30′s tonight. But my house is fairly new (14 years old) and fairly well insulated. This fall, David and I decided to go as long as possible without turning on the heater. Just to see how long we could hold out and also as kind of a fun game to see how low the power bill would go. I think last night was the coldest night so far this season. But it hasn’t gotten below 60 degrees inside the house yet (at least not while I’ve been awake). But 60 degrees inside your house is pretty dang chilly! But we will not cave! At least not yet! January may get colder though.

I’m sitting here in yoga pants and a t-shirt. Accompanied by fleecy socks, fuzzy slippers, a big wrap sweater, and fingerless gloves (so I can type). And I’m covered up by a thick faux furry blanket. I’m pretty comfy, except my fingertips… ; )

A byproduct of this experiment is that I’ve become more mindful of just how much of a luxury having central heat inside a cozy home really is. With the flip of a switch I could have warm, toasty air circulating throughout my entire home. Not everyone has this luxury or can afford to run their heat even if they have it. I am grateful I have the option to play this ‘game’. Also, kittens really like to snuggle when it is cooler in the house. They may even sleep with you ALL night!

I wonder if we’ll want to experiment with how long we can go this summer without running the air conditioner? It gets up to 105+ degrees on the reg in these parts. We shall see. (I could go for a nice 85-90 degrees right about now. I’m kind of a warm weather person…)

I won’t feel like a failure if we decide to turn the heat on. I’ll just feel warm. : )

things… life… whatnot…

I’ve decided to take a blogging hiatus. Life is so full right now, and I’m loving it (mostly) but I feel like in the back of my mind I’m always worrying about not taking enough pictures or not taking good enough pictures, or needing to evaluate every single thing I do as blog-worthy or not blog-worthy, instead of just LIVING my actual life. I’ve been putting unnecessary pressure on myself to build this blog into something I don’t know if it will ever be. There are so many fabulous lifestyle blogs out there- like gazillions of them- I can’t even keep up with reading them, let alone being on par with them.

March is already booked solid. I’m going to get another fitness certification next month (yay!!) along with two separate work trips (including a major trade show), plus some events with my family, and a couple personal development seminars. Oh yeah, and keeping up with all my household chores, fitting in exercise, tons of cooking (of course!), spending time with my husband and kitties, and planning for the future! And that other thing called a day job…

Anyway, I know I’m not busier than anyone else and there are amazing bloggers out there that do all the things I’ve got listed along with raising kids and full time blogging! They are utterly amazing to me. But I’m not in the space to do that now. It makes me panic just thinking about it!

So I’m going to take SOME of the pressure off of myself and spend the next few months working on my fitness and health goals and getting my home organized to perfection! :)

If you are so inclined I’ll still be active on twitter (my one true social media love).

Thanks for reading!

xoxo Jenna

Let’s Eat: Cacao Buckwheatie Brittle!

Buckwheaties are dehydrated raw, sprouted buckwheat groats. You can eat them like cereal or grind them up and use as flour in raw recipes. OR you can make brittle!

Several months ago I bought a little bag of buckwheat groats at this tiny local health food store with the intention of making raw cereal. Last week I finally started the process. I looked online for some guidance and found all kinds of conflicting info. Soak them overnight. Don’t oversoak or they won’t sprout. I was confused but decided to wing it a bit and soak them overnight and see what happened.

First I measured out a cup of groats and rinsed them well in a fine mesh sieve. Then I covered them in four cups of water and let them soak overnight in a bowl. In the morning I drained and rinsed them and let them sit in the bowl covered with a tea towel all day. That evening I gave them another rinse and drain and let them sit overnight covered again. The next morning they had sprouted tiny green tails! So cute! (If groats can be cute. Which they can because almost anything can be cute with a tiny tail!)

At that point the groats could have been eaten for a truly raw experience. Or I could have continued to let them sprout and then added them to salads. But I continued my quest for raw cereal. I spread the sprouted groats out on dehydrator sheets and put them in the machine at 115 degrees F. I let them go for about 8 hours. They seemed dry and ‘done’. When I squeezed them between my fingers they crushed easily so I figured they were dry enough.

deydrated groats- buckwheaties!

The next morning (this is, like, four days later from starting the process!) I poured them into a bowl and was about to pour some soymilk over them for breakfast when I decided to give them a taste first. They tasted like I figured they would. Planty. Sprouty. Groaty. They would have been good with some berries and agave or stevia. But it was Sunday morning and I wanted something heartier. And more Sunday brunchish. So I made pancakes.

I decided to follow the advice of one of the blogs I came across and flavor them and give them another spin in the dehydrator. So I made a coating using raw agave and raw cacoa nibs. I mixed the groats with the coating and spread it out of parchment paper (I don’t have those special sheets for my dehydrator). I dehydrated overnight. The next morning I flipped it over and dehydrated another eight hours or so.

groats mixed with agave and cacao nibs ready for dehydration

When I finally felt like it was done I started to break up the big piece to store and realized that not only did I have cereal if I wanted it, but even better I had made buckwheatie brittle!! I decided to enjoy it as a snack. I took a piece to my raw-enthusiast co-worker too. When I received an email from her entitled: “Brittle is the Bomb” I knew I had reached success! And it only took a week! ;)

raw buckwheatie brittle!