Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lunch, chickens, and light

Yesterday's photo challenge was lunch. I forgot to photo it until I finished, but it was vegan migas.

Today: winter light coming down through bare trees into our back yard.

Also, our neighbors got chickens. I am excited about this for no reason. Reagan is also excited about the chickens.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Going Rogue

today's photo challenge is supposed to be "something you made". Since I usually can't shut up about all the things I've made (and requiring huge amounts of positive feedback from anyone around), I'm ignoring it and writing about a jumble of thoughts I've been thinking about over the past week.

- People in Dallas seriously cannot drive. Especially on the free-way. They are usually either overly aggressive and weaving in and out, or putting their brakes on in order to merge ONTO a freeway where everyone is going 55-65 MPH (SPEED MATCH TO MERGE, PEOPLE!). Also, the left lane is for passing.

- Tater tots should never be listed as an "ingredient" in anything. And I refuse to think that a dish which is comprised of ground beef, tater tots, shredded cheese, and cream of something soup is fit to serve to anyone. I would probably not even serve it to my dog.

- Food is a better medicine than many medicines. Eating a diet rich in plant foods and very, very low in animal products and added oils can in most cases prevent diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, some cases of infertility, osteoporosis, and many kinds of cancer (especially colon, breast, and prostate). Doctors all take the Hippocratic oath, but we've forgotten another of his valuable teachings: "let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food"

He was a smart dude.

- buying clothes full price makes me die a little inside. I have a Gap rewards credit card (paid off in full each month) and wait until I've gotten a $20 certificate, then go and buy something on sale and end up only spending a few dollars. I recently bought two pairs of work pants and a silk blouse for $7.00. Heck, I bought my wedding dress for $50 at a consignment shop!

- I'd rather have one piece of nice jewelry than 10 trendy junky ones. It will give my grandkids something to fight over when I die.

- Cetaphil facewash is pretty much unbeatable

- I will never get tired of peanut butter and jelly.

- I hate Oprah. I said it. Can't stand her or most of the tools that she brought into the public eye (Dr. Phil, Rachel Ray, and Dr. Oz come to mind immediately). If something makes her book list, and I've already read it, I cringe a little. If I haven't, I usually avoid buying it after it's on her list.

- I wish people would express love and appreciation with the same enthusiasm that dogs do. I think it would make the world a better place.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Guilty Pleasure

My guilty pleasure, and the trainwreck I can't stop watching, is Toddlers and Tiaras. I really do not get what drives these women to go get their four year old daughters a spray tan, highlights, a hair piece, and a $2000 dress, hop them up on pixie sticks and red bull and let them loose on stage. But it fascinates me.

What makes them want their daughters to dress like drag queens? A lot of the moms talk about the daughter "getting ahead" through the pageants. I suspect that they might get further ahead if they put the money towards a college fund instead of towards flippers and fake nails, but that would make for lousy TV.

Crazy women of America, I salute you.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Shoes. Photo challenge day 22.

This is what my size 12 feet have been wearing lately. Thank goodness for Nordstrom rack.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

8 years

Since we said goodbye to my Dad. It's amazing to think it's been that long. Here's a pic of my dad with my uncle Dan. My dad is the handsome one.

Morning Walk

Today I slept in. Until ELEVEN. I never, never do that. I am virtually incapable of sleeping past 8:00 or so, so this was a welcome surprise.

Ethan made coffee and we looked over some new recipes to try this week. He got me a subscription to "Eating Well" magazine, and we read it together, thinking of ways to adapt the recipes to be vegan. (for the record, most were easily adaptable, and it looks like a pretty awesome source. I'm excited about at least 3/4 of the stuff in there, which is more than I can say for most food magazines).

The weather is perfect--50 and sunny. We took Reagan for a walk around the neighborhood.

I saw an enormous old Magnolia and fell in love. These trees are so regal and welcoming. And they're perfect climbing trees when you're a kid (or a college student at Duke... yeah I still climbed trees in college).

Today's photo challenge is "reflection". I'm... reflecting back upon our morning walk? it's a loose association.

We're taking Reg to get all his shots updated later today, so he's going to be spoiled before and after. I'm hoping he doesn't feel too lousy tonight. sweet baby.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Someone I love

Yeah fell off the photo wagon for a few days... Luckily I'm pretty sure my mom and sister are the only people reading. Today: someone I love.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day 15: makes me happy

Here's a little something I put together out of things from our pantry. It ended up tasting AMAZING.

several handfuls dried shitake mushrooms (I got ours from Costco)
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 package frozen spinach, thawed
2 cups whole wheat orzo
zest of one lemon
lemon wedges to taste
salt and pepper to taste.

Directions: rehydrate mushrooms; place in saucepan with several inches of water to cover. add a dash of salt. bring water to a boil, remove from heat, and allow to steep/ re-hydrate for 20-30 mins. reserve water to cook Orzo and set mushrooms aside.

Place mushroom-water over high heat. While waiting for it to boil:

In saucepan, sautee garlic in a little bit of mushroom broth (no oil needed, it will work, I promise). Add thawed frozen spinach and mushrooms.

Once Mushroom water is boiling, add orzo, and cook per package instructions (5-8 minutes). Once desired consistency has been reached, drain orzo, and add spinach/mushroom mixture. stir to combine.

Salt and pepper to taste

add capers, lemon zest, and lemon juice to individual servings.

This was totally a "what do we have in our pantry?" type of meal, and it ended up tasting like some serious gourmet shit. *this link is to an awesome scene from Pulp Fiction. there is cussing.

Today's photo challenge: Happiness. Can you get any more vague? Anyhow, here are a few things that make me happy.

gorgeous rainbow of veggies

Reagan and Ethan

Peanut butter, honey, banana sandwich. (I am aware that honey is not vegan. I don't care because it's delicious, and I'm in this for the health benefits, and the fact that bees are used to produce honey doesn't get my panties in a bunch)

Pretty much anything by Michelle Armas

our gallery wall of family photos

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What I am Reading (pc day 14)

The Happy Herbivore Cookbook (just made the spicy sausage)

The Empress by Shan Sa

Friday, January 13, 2012

good things: losefast edition

Central market bulk section is my homeboy. I love the spice section, the cheap vegan protein sources (TVP and wheat gluten), the multitude of different new grains and legumes available. I've recently started trying the pre-made mixes. I should have tried them earlier. The veggie chili is especially awesome, even for omnivores.

my problem was: how to I keep the label so I can read the directions, while getting rid of the baggies, which are not optimal for cupboard storage? I cut the label off the plastic bag, and stuck it under over the lid/ under the ring on a canning jar. problem solved, and very neat-looking. now I want to buy more bulk items so I can keep doing my neat little label trick

things in my bag. Day 13

a guided tour.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hot Sauce

I love hot sauce like the Duggars love having kids. we currently have 14 different kinds hanging out around our house, each with their own subtleties

1. Dave's Insanity: good to add heat with pretty much no other flavors. unless you have the intestines of an iron chef, you have to stick to just a couple of drops of this. We like 1-2 drops in 1/4 cup ketchup with sweet potato fries.
2. Dave's Insanity with ghost peppers: kind of extraneous. Ethan saw "ghost pepper" and he wanted to try this because he's seen the youtube videos of people trying to eat it.

Ethan wanted to try a real ghost pepper (only $5 per pound at Central Market in Austin!) but I reasoned with him that the $5 per pound does not include our $100 copay for ER visits when he feels like he's going to die after eating this thing.

Anyways, like the other Dave's, only a drop will do you.
3. Tapatio: probably my favorite Mexican hot sauce. thick with some garlic flavor, but still with great spice.
4. Frank's Red Hot Buffalo sauce: for buffalo chickpea salad (see what I did there? chickpeas instead of chicken.) has a buttery hint to it but is vegan friendly.
5. Crystal Hot Sauce: one of the two great really vinegary hot sauces from Louisiana: whereas Tabasco will cost $3 for a small bottle, this one's like 60 cents. which is good because we can go through smaller bottle in a couple of meals.
6. Valentina: another good mexican hot sauce, not as spicy as Tapatio, so you can get more of the other flavors (garlic, pepper, etc) with your heat.
7. sriracha: do I really have to explain? Thai chili sauce. good over brown rice with sweet potatoes, kale, and tamari.
8. Louisiana: another (obviously) Louisiana hot sauce, so heavy on the vinegar, but more opaque than either crystal or Tabasco, with some more pepper flavor. less spicy than Tabasaco.
9. Chipotle Tabasco: has a little bit of a smoked flavor, not as spicy as regular Tabasco, adds a richness to all kinds of food. I just found out this comes in gallon jars, so I may start buying it in bulk.
10. Tabasco, classic: Good, tart, spicy. Some dishes just need the classic taste. Too expensive, but I guess the stellar marketing team has to be paid somehow.
11. Chili Garlic Sauce: for Thai food, this one has the actual chilis in it.
12. Trappey's peppers: use the peppers on Chicago-style hot dogs, use the vinegar as a spicy tart sauce. it's two for one.
13. Hooter's Classic: yes, Hooter's. It came in Ethan's hot sauce of the month club. It's almost between a Louisiana and a Mexican style hot sauce, with a little bit of smoky flavor and some garlic. Not pictured because Ethan finished the bottle in 1.5 weeks.
14. Cholula: frankly, I think it's overpriced and not better than most of the other Mexican hot sauces out there. give me Tapatio over Cholula any day.

Also important: Prilosec, the wonder med that allows me to eat all these (mostly) without heartburn.

Any others I should know about? our next hot sauce of the month should be coming in this week!


Okay, ideally I would bust out my big mama jama camera and show something super artistic... But I am le tired, and so instagram must suffice. Here's an assortment of things close up. My watch, a mantle clock, flowers (for no reason, from Ethan), and a champagne cork from NYE. You know we've got great friends because they brought fancy bubbly and they shared it ;)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Where I Sleep

I've shown pics of my bedroom before. So I thought I should show where I sleep when on call. Or where I don't sleep, depending on the night.

It looks pretty sterile, but next to the bed is a computer, and at the foot is a flat screen TV bigger than the one we have at home. So not that bad. I do miss snuggling with Ethan and Reagan, though.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


My favorite bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My sky

Taken yesterday as the sun was setting.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Day 7: Favorite

It's possible I've read every book Agatha Christie has ever written. Don't believe me? I started when I was 12 and have been known to read up to 3 in a day. I look for them every time I'm at Half Price Books, and it's getting to the point where I have trouble finding books I've not already read.

I think if I ever have a daughter, I may even name her Agatha.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Things that make me smile

A heart in my soy latte (stir coffee inside of good to go taco)

Ethan's face after a night on call

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Photo Challenge: something you wore

Here's a big-ass pile of something I wore, and something Ethan wore, waiting to be folded. I think I've mentioned that mid-week chores have been checked as "needs improvement" on the theoretical report card of how Lauren functions as an adult. Going to tackle these this afternoon before I go back in to work (on nights this week). Wish me luck.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

January 4

Photo challenge photo of the day: letterbox

She's a bit dusty, no?

and it's about time I made some resolutions for this year. Here goes:
1. get involved in a research project at work, preferably one dealing with pain, interventional spine, or musculoskeletal medicine. The dark horse would be pelvic floor rehab.
2. Try out at least one new vegan recipe per week. I got Veganomicon for Christmas and Ethan got the Happy Herbivore cookbook, so this should be pretty easy. Both are chock-full of delicious looking recipes.
3. Work out at least 4 times per week. The diet we started about five months ago has me slightly slimmer, and feeling much better overall, and I want to build on this feeling good/ more energy by working out. I don't want to lose weight, I just want to feel better.
4. keep on top of everyday chores better. Laundry is my nemesis. Ethan is thankfully in charge of the dishes. But by the end of the work week it's pretty messy up in our casa, and a large chunk of either Saturday or Sunday is taken up by fixing the mess, or catching up on folding.
5. get serious about budgeting/ saving. We aren't extravagant people, but can sometimes be nickel-and-dimed by Starbucks or dinner out. I would ultimately like to do the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University that is offered through our church.
6. spend time painting. I got a sweet set of brushes and acrylic paints from my mom at Christmas, and I want to use that as an avenue for my creativity
7. give more hand-made gifts. I've gotten to the point that I can make things that are pretty and unique, without many/ any mistakes (in crochet at least). examples: lace wedding garters, baby blankets, baby mobiles, hats, scarves, larger blankets, lace trimmed hand towels. It takes planning but I think these things are so much more special than most things I could buy.
8. go to church more regularly. I fell off the wagon last year when I was doing my surgery internship and almost never had a Sunday off. I would like to get back in the habit of going.
9. get my sewing machine fixed, so I can get on with a bunch of projects that are on hold. (the bobbin side refuses to thread. It probably just needs a good cleaning)
10. watch less television- in order to have the time to do all of the above.