Taking a Coffee Break of Sorts

Today I decided to take a social media sabbatical for an undetermined amount of time. It might only be a day or two. Or it might be forever (highly doubtful). There is just too much sadness going on in the world and I can’t control what is coming into my line of sight. Several years ago I made the conscious decision to stop watching the news and reading newspapers (print and online). It made a huge difference in my anxiety level and my mental well being. I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder and I don’t want to treat it with pills so I treat it with diet, yoga, and careful control of outside stimulus. Lately I’m having trouble keeping my diet clean, my yoga practice regularity has fallen off, and of course, every time I log into my facebook or twitter accounts I see horrible news. Not just national tragedies but friends and local neighbors facing devastating realities. Living in a bubble is an act of self preservation at times.

For the next few weeks I want to focus on Christmas and making cookies and wrapping gifts and listening to Christmas music and staying warm and cozy. Maybe drink some hot toddies (what exactly are hot toddies? I think of them as any hot cocktail-type drink…) And I LOVE the new year! I love a fresh start. Making resolutions and setting goals for the year. I’m training (not very dedicated at this point and that is another issue) for my first half marathon at the end of February, so I REALLY need to focus on that too. I want to do a juice cleanse for the first week or 10 days of January. I want to practice yoga daily. I want to make a vision board. I want to focus on the things I love, rather than wasting hours a day reading about crap on Facebook. So, I deleted the twitter and facebook apps from my phone. I’ll probably still Instagram because I love looking at pictures of food and kitties and pretty faces. And I’ll continue to read my blogs. My lovely, crafty, foodie, creative blogs. I love reading blogs. David called them my ‘shiny happy blogs’. :) I love that. And I also plan to blog here again. But I might not post any pics. Do people read blogs without pictures? I do.

Happy Holidays lovies!

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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!

Budget Juicing!

One of the things that keeps me from juicing on a daily or at least several times a week basis is the cost. It takes sooo much produce to make juice and quality, organic produce ain’t cheap. (the other thing that keeps me from juicing all the time is the mess…) Anyway…

I went to the 99 cent store on my lunch break recently because I remembered they have lots of produce now and I wanted to check it out. (I can also get local french bread, soy milk, and other goodies there)

I was so excited to find some good stuff! First off I got two big bunches of very ripe bananas. I won’t be juicing these. I’ll be freezing them in halves and using them in smoothies and raw banana soft serve! I can’t wait to have a freezer full of bananas!

And then I found local celery and carrots. And ORGANIC BLUEBERRIES!!!! Beautiful organic blueberries! I got three pints, but there’s only two in the picture because I inhaled one of the pints at my desk after I bought them… And then there were cucumbers. And these were actually two for 99 cents! Now, they aren’t organic, but I will peel them before I juice them and they will be almost as good as the organic cucumbers I pay $3 a piece for normally.

Check out this beautiful bounty that only cost me $12.00!

Hurraw! Black Cherry Lip Balm

A week or so ago I put the call out on Twitter asking for recommendations for a vegan lip gloss/balm similar to Clinique’s Black Honey. Basically I wanted something with a deep but sheer berry tint that I could apply without a mirror.

One of my friends suggested the Hurraw! Black Cherry lip balm. I’d heard really good things about Hurraw!. And I loved that their name actually had an exclamation point in it. (I love exclamation points!) Then all kinds of people started chiming in on Twitter to sing the praises of Hurraw! balms. About how awesome they are and moisturizing, smell great, taste great. And of course they are organic, vegan, and raw. What more could you really ask for? Oh- and they are pretty cheap too! Less than $4 a tube! With reasonable shipping rates.

I also checked the reviews on Makeup Alley. Again- glowing reviews by almost everyone.

So I ordered a tube of the Black Cherry. On the Hurraw! site you have to order a minimum of three tubes. Since I wanted to try it out before committing to three, I ordered from a distributor via Amazon. I got my tube in one week. I ripped open the envelope and immediately swiped the oval shaped tube across my lips. Love at first swipe! It is super smooth and feels wonderful on the lips. It has a nice cherry scent- reminiscent of childhood Lip Smackers but less fake smelling. And the color is perfect. Exactly what I wanted- deep but sheer berry tinted. A little more red than the berry of Black Honey, but still great.

I will definitely be ordering these by the threes from the Hurraw! site from now on!

this is me with Hurraw! Black Cherry lips ;)