Tuesday, August 30

Higher Ground

I heard an interview with Vera Farmiga on NPR Friday as I was driving to Colin's office so we could go to the beach when he finished work. I remember her from Source Code, which is one of the few movies we've seen in the theater this year. This new movie really intrigues me. I can't wait to see it!

Monday, August 29

Real Food

I'm not sure when my interest in real foods began. I told Colin that it probably started with him, but he told me that I was interested in them before we got to know each other. Either way, he's a healthier eater than I am so he keeps me eating healthy.

On the blog of my sister's friend, I found these two books that I checked out from the library: Real Food by Nina Planck and Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, who is the president of the Weston Price Foundation, whose website has a lot of information.

I have been blown away by these books. They recommend, in general, eating whole foods, including grass-fed beef, eggs from pastured chickens, dairy made with raw milk, real sea salt, and avoiding the new, processed foods like refined white flour, margarine, vegetable oils, corn syrup, etc. Everyone is afraid to eat real foods because they are high in cholesterol, but Planck goes to great lengths to show that research proves real foods don't cause heart attacks but industrial foods (and our lack of activity) do.

I have gone to the grocery store a few times since reading this book and have been sort of in a quandary about what to buy. In the stores closest to us, organic foods are rare. To get the foods Planck recommends, we have to drive further and of course spend more. But, I am at least educated more in the ways of real foods and know simple facts like wild salmon is so much better for you than farmed salmon (but herbivorous fish like tilapia, carp, and catfish are okay to farm).

Planck also says that it's more important to spend your dollars on quality meat since it's higher up the food chain than vegetables, so more toxins are stored in it. I am beginning to search for real meats and dairy.

Colin is also considering going on the GAPS diet for a while. I've read some rave reviews online about people feeling much better as a result, but also read that it's a challenge to stick to! Has anyone tried it?

Friday, August 19

Saturday Fun

Last weekend, we had Dennis and Julia over for brunch. I made stuffed French toast. After taking this picture, I soaked it in the custard and put it in the oven to save time (instead of cooking it in butter on the stovetop). Sadly, it didn't turn out as yummy in the oven.

Julia brought Blue Bottle coffee from San Francisco. Mmmmmm. And Colin was in charge of eggs and bacon.

We got a great deal on a one year membership to the Huntington Library and Gardens through Groupon. It expires at the end of the month and we are trying to get some good use out of it in this last month, so we took Dennis and Julia along with us for another visit.

Hummingbirds were loving these flowers.

Colin, "exploring" the cloud forest.

Venus fly traps! But, they weren't fooled by our poking and prodding.

Colin resting in the hobbit house.

After the Huntington, we went to pihop for their Saturday evening prayer and prophetic time, which was really great. Then we went to the best gelato place I know. I want to live in Pasadena.


Gazpacho for dinner tonight. Went loosely by Mark Bittman's recipe in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, which I checked out from the library (and is wonderful), but found out there's an iPhone app for! I might just have to get it.

(Chives from our garden. Yay! And I also made a bunch of pesto today with basil from our garden. Herbs are the only things that thrive in our shady spot.)

Wednesday, August 17


I finally joined pinterest. I don't know why it took me so long! I guess I didn't think it would be so awesome. I see myself becoming infinitely more inspired now...

Tuesday, August 16

Texas Visit

Thanks to a plane ticket from my Dad, I got to go to Texas for a 4 day visit last week. (Colin couldn't come because of work.) Most mornings were spent hanging out with the cute nephews.

Mom brought a coin collection for Wesley to deposit into his piggy bank. When Wesley's attention span dropped, he showed Curtis how to finish the job.

We met up with our cousins Erin and Audra and their families for swimming, a one year robot birthday party, and a Ranger game. We had great seats behind home plate at the game.

I hadn't ever been to the "new" Ranger stadium (and hadn't been to a baseball game since the Astros played their last season at the Astrodome), so it was a treat for me.
My parents wanted to go to the Kimbell on their way back to Abilene, so we made it a family trip.
They were showing a cubist exhibition featuring Picasso and Braque, which was interesting.

Wesley found out that he has hair similar to many of the statues in the permanent collection.

He walked around, looking at the paintings, and especially the sculptures with interest.

It was a nice trip, but I guess I am spoiled by our Southern California temps. It was nice to come back to open windows!

Monday, August 15

Colin's Chinese

Colin invited a friend over for dinner last week, which meant he did the cooking. I'd be glad for him to invite friends over more often! (He also wore one of my underused aprons for the occasion and was asking for picture documentation.)

Monday, August 8

Eat, Move, Learn

EAT from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

MOVE from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

LEARN from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

These videos make me want to start traveling again and document my travels with beautiful videos.

Read a little more here.
Via Today's Letters.

Friday, August 5

The OC Fair

We went to the Orange County Fair on Saturday. The last time I went to the fair was when I was staying with my Grandma in West Texas, not getting much socialization or time outside of the house, and my Aunt Marla and Uncle John took me out one night to the South Plains Fair. I was really thankful for that night out!

We ate a corndog, a huge turkey leg, and a Mexican funnel cake (a churro funnel cake).

We chased down these cool creatures on stilts for a photo.

We decided against anything from this food booth.

We saw the Peking acrobats, which was truly amazing. Neither of us had seen Chinese acrobats in China, but we finally got our chance! Most everything they did left us saying "wow!" Colin made a point to speak to them in Chinese afterwards.

I admit, if this teeth whitening were free, I probably would have done it too, even though these people look like they are being abducted by aliens.

I had seen kids get inside inflatable balls in China, but didn't know it had made it to America! The one we saw in China though looked like more fun because they had a lot more room to play on the water.

There was so much more: elephant rides, the extreme pogo championships, pig races, a hilarious hypnotist, a vermicomposting workshop... I had no idea the OC fair would be so huge! We had a lot of fun. We took the bus for $1.50 each way which got us a $9 discount ticket to get in to the fair! If you're going to the OC fair, check it out!

Thursday, August 4

Maki Rolls and The Lord of the Rings

We've been watching The Lord of the Rings series (about half a movie a night) since the 4th of July. We finally finished on Thursday. It had been so long since I'd seen the movies or read the books that I had forgotten some of the scenes. About once a week, we treat ourselves to a movie with dinner in bed. We load up a tray with our dinner plates and put it on top of an ottoman on the bed to make a table and start the movie.

Thursday, we had our version of maki rolls, which involves either tuna or cooked crab salad, avocado strips, brown rice, stir fried tofu and cucumber and carrot strips as the filling for the seaweed (nori), and Korean side dishes. It made for a very full dinner tray and was yummy!

Wednesday, August 3

summer food

Colin and I ate fair food on Saturday and chicken bakes from Costco for Sunday lunch, so when Sunday dinner rolled around, we had to make something on the healthier side. I went for this version of baked sweet potatoes and a tomato, cucumber, and spinach salad as sides for marinated chicken. I highly recommend these sweet potatoes (and the salad, especially if you have homegrown cherry tomatoes on hand!)

Friday, we went down to the corner for Korean BBQ with some friends (we live less than a block from this place and really enjoy walking to dinner!) then came back to our apartment for tea and this dessert, which I made with a mix of blueberries and raspberries. It's amazing and so simple, although it does involve turning on the oven, which is a downside in the summer. I've made it since then with bananas and blueberries to stretch my berries, and it's still good, although not quite as wonderful.

Then there's the tomato open sandwich I make whenever I get good tomatoes given to me (by a friend who grows them or from the farmers' market): whole wheat bread, a spread of mayo, and sliced tomatoes with salt and pepper. Ahh. Summer! Late in the season, we figured out a place that we could grow two tomato plants where they'd get enough sun in our shady little yard, so hopefully we'll have some late tomatoes in a few weeks.

I really want to make these cupcakes, but I have no excuse and no one to share them with. Maybe I can make them at my sister's when I go to Texas on Saturday!

Tuesday, August 2

Award: Most Ghetto Campsite Ever.

Last weekend, we went to the Paso Robles area for an inner healing intensive two days. The "retreat" was Sunday night through Tuesday, so we decided to camp out Saturday night at a nearby hot springs. The website did not show how ghetto the place really was and we almost left once we got there. But, it was cheap and we are cheapos, so we stayed.

We cooked our dinner Friday night over the fire: sausages, corn on the cob and sweet potatoes. The next morning,we used our new-t0-us Korean style stove and made oatmeal with blueberries. Yummy camp food.

In between, we had some relaxing time at the hot springs, which weren't all that hot, but still felt really great. We had the place mostly to ourselves most of the time, except for a group of three Russians that were there both days and a large crowd of locals that came to enjoy the hot springs at night.

Before we headed to our destination, we stopped off at Farmstand 46, in the middle of a bunch of wineries, and had a delicious lunch. If you're in the Paso Robles area, check this place out! They have a garden out back where they grow some of their own veggies.