Category Archives: life

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

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Vegan’s Daily Companion- Lessons and Gifts

Every day in 2012 I’m reading a passage from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s Vegan’s Daily Companion (VDC). I wrote about the book last week.

This week in VDC I learned about dates (the fruit). I LOVE them already, I’ve been a huge fan for years but now I want to get my hands on some date sugar and bake something! There was also a recipe for Pine Nut-Anise Cookies. Yum! The recipe calls for a cup of pine nuts and almost a cup of maple syrup, so it’s not a cheap recipe! I’d like to make it at some point, but I’ll have to get the supplies and plan for it.

My favorite passage for the week was Wednesday’s entry on Optimum Health, “Receiving Lessons and Gifts”. Colleen talks about how every experience in life is either a lesson or a blessing. It is hard to think of things in this way when you are going through a really tough time. Recently, I lost my bestie kitty, Bas, and I’m still trying to see the ‘lesson or blessing’ in this experience. I know that I’m learning to cope with loss and that’s a lesson of sorts. I can look back at my 5+ years of memories with Bas and those years were a blessing. But it is still hard. I’m still grieving.

Another point in this passage is how we never know the impact that our lives or actions will have on others. This made me stop and think. Gosh, I really hope that my actions would be a blessing to someone else. A kind word, a funny joke, a smile when they need it. I don’t want to be a lesson to someone else- eek. I mean, I’d hate for my actions to make someone think- eww, I never want to act like that! HA! I’m kind of joking but not really. :) I want to focus on being a positive blessing in the world.

After two weeks of reading a bit in this book daily, I definitely recommend it to vegans or those open to learning about veganism. I’m looking forward to the coming week. I took a tiny peek and it looks like some great stuff! ;)

My nephew Jake feeding a rescued goat. What a blessing he is to me!

Weekend Adventures: Birthday Monster Cookies!

I have one nephew and his name is Jake. He is a rad kid- super athletic and handsome- but more importantly, he is a good person. He is fun and friendly and polite. We just love him to pieces, of course!

Jake’s birthday is right after Christmas so everyone in the family is careful to make sure we make a big deal about his special day so that it doesn’t get overshadowed by the holiday. This birthday Jake turned 9, his last single digit bday!

Jake chose to get a video game console instead of having a party with his friends so we had a little family gathering for cake and ice cream (well, actually, per his request, it was an ice cream cake) and opening presents. And he showed all of us old fogies how to play video games!

I’d been carrying around a picture of some super adorable monster cookies for months waiting to make them for Jake’s birthday. I got the idea from this cute blog, which is one of my favorites. Aren’t they great?

I used my standard sugar cookie recipe which I adapted from this one, and had fun decorating with green frosting and candies. My only regret is that the Tic Tacs are nearly identical in color to the frosting. Next time I’ll switch it up a little more. I wanted to surprise Jake with the cookies, but these would be super-duper fun to make with little kids and let them go crazy with the decorations.

this one was my favorite!

  • Sugar Cookies– oven 425 degrees- yields 12 giant cookies

Cream together:
1 cup vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)
1 cup sugar

Add to that and mix till combined:
the equivalent of 3 eggs made from Ener-G egg replacer (mix according to package directions)
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together and then add to the sugar mixture:
3 cups flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda

Roll dough on lightly floured surface to about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. I used a wide-mouth mason jar lid as a cookie cutter.

Bake about 7-10 minutes. My oven seems to run hot so 7 minutes is perfect for these for me.

  • Frosting- frosts 12 giant cookies

I really just eye-balled this but I mixed about a 1/2 cup Earth Balance with a cup of powdered sugar and a bit of soymilk. I used a hand-held electric beater and just kept messing with the ratios until it made a thin, smooth spreading consistency. Then I added green food coloring until I got the shade I wanted.

  • A little tube of black frosting for the mouth
  • Various candies for making facial features. I used Jr. Mints, Lemonheads and Tic Tacs, and some nonpareils.
Once the cookies are completely cooled make the frosting and then start frosting and work quickly. Frost one cookie and then decorate it so that the candies will stick to the wet frosting, before moving on to the next cookie.

all the lil monsters!

Do Stuff: Run a 5K!

I want to run here!

My friend Hillary Libby took this pic. She is a great source of inspiration for me as she trail runs and posts fabulous photos like this!

One of my goals for a long time has been to run a 5k race. I’m not a natural runner but I love the idea of running and the freedom that comes with it. When I see people running effortlessly around town I always think it looks so fun.

Last spring I started the Couch 2 5k training outlined on this site and was really enjoying it until I was sidelined by a yoga-induced heal injury. I had to stop all physical activity and undergo physical therapy for a while. I didn’t get back into running after I was given the go ahead to start exercising again. I had kinda moved on to other things, but it was still there in my mind and on my goal lists.

The Couch 2 5k training is a nine week program that gets you from not running (‘couch’ potato) to running a 5k within that timeframe. I know lots of people who have used the program to get started and are now avid and regular runners. I would love to be among that crowd!

Last week (first week of the new year) I started running again. I’m using the Get Running iPhone app. It costs $2.99 and is totally worth it in my opinion. It guides you through each run- three times a week. You can listen to music while using the app and pause the program if needed and it tracks your runs. I really like it and it is keeping me motivated. Each workout is about 30 minutes- five minute warm up- walk/run for the allotted time- and then a five minute cool down.

Currently I’m running three times a week in addition to doing Turbo Fire six days a week. The runs are short enough and not overly intense that they are a nice addition to my cardio and stretching with the Turbo Fire program. It is a time commitment, but something I really enjoy (physically as well as mentally).

I’m planning to run a 5k in March. I may just do one race and scratch it off my ‘bucket list’ or it may become a ‘soulmate’ workout. I’m excited to see what happens!

Here’s the playlist I created for my training. I like to listen on random because this list is random! BUT, all the songs give me tons of energy. :)

2011- A Year in Cell Phone Photos

I take lots of pics on my phone- who doesn’t, right? So I thought it would be fun to take a walk down memory lane via phone photos! I tried not to overload you on FOOD pics and CAT pics… ;) Here we go:

In January I made vegan waffles!

in February we adopted Nathan!

in March I went to Washington, DC with two of my besties! this is bestie Joe

and this is bestie Anna- that's the White House behind us

In April we went on THE BEST vacay evarr! this is Joe and David in Philly!

in May we got new bicycles! mine has a basket, cup holder, and a bell!

In June I went to Denver for a really great conference. I love Denver!

in July it was HOT!

also in July, we went to a Dodger game on a beautiful Saturday afternoon

in August I made 'sundried' tomatoes in the dehydrator- one of my better ideas!

in September I flew to Vegas for PhotoShop World in a private jet!! it ruled.

in October I blogged about vegan nachos for Vegan MOFO- it was a delicious month!

also in October, David and I were scary Halloween Clowns!!!!!

also in October I made pumpkin chocolate spider cupcakes!

aaaaaand in October I made these cute pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies!

in November I hosted the 2nd Annual Punkin' Partay! All pumpkin treats and drinks!

also in November David and I got new glasses and had beachy adventures!

in December these puppies escaped from the neighbor's yard and frolicked in my yard!

also in December I made these super cute (I mean scary) MONSTER cookies for my nephew's bday!

my nephew Jake turned NINE in December!

we lost our precious Bas in December but Nathan and Pepper are keeping his memory alive. here they are snuggling in Bas' tuffy bed

So there’s my year in review. It was hard to pick just one or two pics for each month. Looking back, I had a REALLY great year for the most part. It ended on a sad note with the loss of our kitty friend Bas, but it was nice to reflect on all the positive that did happen throughout the year.

Here’s to a wonderful 2012 with all kinds of fun adventures on the horizon! Cheers!

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