Monday, March 18, 2013

Pea plant

My newest acquisition is a little pea plant that a lovely lady gave to me at a co-op community shopping day. I love watering it every morning and watching it grow in the window sunlight. It slows down time for just a moment when I stop to see how it has changed.
What little things bring you joy?

Enjoy today,

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Slowing down for details

I have a car and I love my car, but I frequently choose not to drive it. When I walk or ride my bike, I find lots of small yet beautiful things that I never seem to notice from behind the windshield of a car.
I always feel accomplished after biking somewhere, especially if I braved the Washington rain along the way. I'm lucky to live only a mile from school and downtown, so I can get most places I need to go with just ten minutes of biking or less. I love the excuse to get outside and I love the hidden exercise. Since I don't think of it as "formal" exercise, I often get an extra fifteen minutes or so of activity per day just by biking to school. That way I know that even if I don't have time to work out later, I'm still maintaining an active lifestyle that keeps me happy.
I've included some photos from my walk to school a few weeks ago. These are all things that I would never have noticed from my car, and even some smaller things I would never have noticed from my bike. It's nice to sometimes slow down and see what beautiful things we pass by every day.

Enjoy today,

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Smoothie: Banana Chocolate PB "Milkshake"

My new morning obsession is smoothies. I have one every day for breakfast and I love them because they fill me up but aren't too heavy and they're a great way to get some fruits (okay... and maybe some veggies too) in the morning.

Here's a recipe for my new favorite- banana chocolate peanut butter!

Step 1: In a blender combine: about 1 cup milk (I used chocolate coconut here, you can use any kind you like), 1/2 cup yogurt or cottage cheese (non-dairy yogurt would work as well), 1 spoonful peanut butter (or other nut butter, try roasted and shelled peanuts for a more chunky texture), and 1 Tablespoon flax meal/ground flax seeds (you can't taste them and they add fiber and omega 3s!). Blend these together until the consistency is smooth. 
Step 2: Add 1/2 of a banana and a few handfuls of spinach. I promise, you can't taste the spinach because the flavor is way overpowered by the banana-chocolate-peanutbuttery goodness. The spinach just adds a dose of veggies (one serving for the day that you don't have to worry about) and makes the smoothie thick- just like a milkshake. Blend these with the first mixture until it gets smooth again.
Step 3: Add 3-5 ice cubes depending on how thick you want it, and blend until smooth again (or until your blender stops making clunky ice-chopping noises). I usually add five cubes because our blender chops them up really fine.
Step 5: Pour and enjoy! My mom is always happy to drink the extra smoothie (especially this one). This is seriously my new favorite thing. Next time I want a milkshake, I'm just going to make this. It's like a milkshake without the heavy-yucky-sluggish feeling afterwards. 

Next time I'm going to try this with frozen coffee cubes instead of ice cubes for more of a mocha "milkshake" smoothie!

Enjoy today,

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Reorganization! (one of my favorite things)

I wanted a way to simplify this blog. All of the posts were jumbled together and each one had numerous different labels. After thinking about it for a while, I had a brain blast. Now, I am excited to introduce to you the new style of this blog.

Everything that I want this blog to be about can be summed up in four genres: healthy living, joyful living, creative living and simple living. Sometimes, posts may overlap multiple themes, but everything I write can be organized into at least one of these categories. 

At the top of this blog, you'll find tabs that take you to a page for each section. Each page contains all of the posts for this theme. 

These four categories represent the four focuses in my life. I can't wait to continue to share with you.

Enjoy today,

Monday, March 11, 2013

DIY: Stained tank to hand-stamped tank

I really don't like to throw things out, or buy new things when what I have is in good condition. So when I noticed a stain one of my basic camisole tank tops, and the white one at that, I figured I could do something to cover up the stain. This characteristic in me most definitely comes from my grandmother on my mom's side- she sews buttons on her shirts and pants to cover bleach stains.

This is my tutorial for the modern take on button-covered bleach stains.

Step 1: Acquire target stain.
 Step 2: Pick a design. I thought balloons might be nice, and they would make an interesting pattern peeking out from under a shirt or sweater. Cut the design out of craft foam sheets using scissors and/or an exacto knife. I bought the thickest foam for maximum stampability. Make sure you're aware of how your design will look when reversed, or put the "up" side against the wood of the stamp later if you want it to look just like it does now.
Step 3: Using thin hobby wood from your local home improvement store (sold in lovely pre-cut pieces like this one) measure how big you would like your stamp to be. Make sure your foam piece fits on the wood you are going to cut.

Step 4: Cut the wood! I used our hand crank clamp and a Japanese saw. After cutting, check and make sure you still have all ten fingers. Yes? Good, let's move on.
Step 5: Get out your handy-dandy glue (I used Gorilla Super Glue) and glue your stamp to the cut wood piece. Make sure you know which side of your stamp gets glued so you don't reverse your design.
 Step 6: Brush on fabric paint. I use a brush because it gives a uniform coat, unlike dipping it in paint which can leave blobs oozing where you don't want it.
Step 7: Test stamp on paper. This one is self explanatory, I think.
 Step 8: Begin stamping, reloading your stamp with paint each time. I put thick paper between the front and back of the top just in case the paint bled through. It didn't, but better safe than sorry.
 Step 9: Finish your design, making sure that you covered any stains (if that was your goal to begin with).
 Step 10: Add additional details with a paintbrush. I wanted my balloons to have strings, but then they needed something to attach to. So I painted a fence all the way around the top (including the back).
Step 11: Allow to dry as recommended on your paint bottle, wash as recommended, and wear!

I love how this tank top turned out. It looks cute on its own with yoga pants for a Pilates class (as shown above) or layered under a shirt for school. The only thing I had to buy for this project was the foam, everything else I had as leftovers from various projects. I've already used the leftover foam for a Valentine's Day project, stamping hearts onto the envelopes of Valentines for my friends.

I'm so happy to have saved a tank top from being tossed away and to have saved the stress of finding a new one (they don't carry them anymore where I bought it). I certainly love a project as well.

Enjoy today,

Friday, March 8, 2013

So I ate a piece of pizza (and the world didn't end)

Yes, I ate a piece of pizza. Regular pizza. Gluten and all. If you've been anywhere around me for the past few years, you'll know that I (as if I'm not picky enough about food already) was gluten-free. Long story short, I fell prey to the self-diagnosis craze and have started eating wheat again (along with a variety of other grains). So yesterday I was able to have a little doughy deliciousness.

Yesterday I wanted to take my boyfriend out to lunch to a great local place called Cicchitti's Pizza. I considered packing my own lunch, but decided against it. So I ate this (with tons of red pepper flakes, of course):

But I like to eat, and one piece of pizza is not enough to fill me up. So instead of getting two pieces of pizza, I planned ahead. When we got back to school I ate this:

Hummus and veggies. Yum. It was super easy to pack this, it took all of a minute since I had my veggies pre-cut (read more about planning ahead here). I ended lunch with a full tummy but not feeling gross (as I would have with two slices of pizza). 

In the end, my boyfriend got his pizza and so did I, just with a little veggie something on the side. For me it's all about balance, and I'd rather have once slice of pizza than none at all. All it took was a little advanced planning and self control.

Enjoy today,

Thursday, March 7, 2013

My beautiful new header

Oh goodness. I cannot start to explain how excited I am about my new header. After seeing the adorable ones featured on blogs (see one here) I dreamed of having one of my own.

My wonderful friend Beth said she would draw me one for the holidays/my 18th birthday. She drew up some ideas, and we collaborated (okay, I gave a little input and she did the rest) to make this beautiful masterpiece. I could not have imagined anything more perfect! She even made the drawing look like me!

Needless to say, I have a new Facebook profile picture and a beautiful feature on my blog. Slice, Serve, Savor feels like a fancy "official" blog to me now that I have a hand drawn, custom made, looks-like-me header. All my thanks to my darling friend Beth for making my blog a better place!

Enjoy today,

Planning ahead: eat healthy on-the-go

Dinner (bites taken between giving light cues, during a musical)
I often eat on the go. Everyday life gets busy and I eat lunch at school (often during class) and usually dinner a few times a week too (I swear I never leave that theater). But, my mom and I have figured out a few ways to make packing meals during the week fast and easy. As healthy eating enthusiasts (I'll be studying nutrition next year in college) planning ahead is key to avoiding take-out, pre-packaged foods, and school lunches. These are the top five ways that we make sure our meals away from home are as wholesome as possible. 

5 ways to plan ahead (and eat healthy on the go):

  1. Wash salad greens over the weekend- it makes it super easy to just toss some in a container (as shown above) and go!
  1. Make & freeze: Almost anything can be frozen. We freeze soup in Mason jars, then heat the soup in the jar! This eliminates the weight of carrying around a bowl or having to microwave in plastic (ick...). The salmon pictured above was baked, portioned, wrapped in wax paper, and frozen. I simply put it in the fridge that morning so it would thaw by dinner.
  1. Prep your veggies: Nothing gets me to eat vegetables more than having them already prepared. That way there are no excuses! I wash and slice carrots, cucumber, and broccoli on the weekend and then take them as snacks during the week (as shown, with hummus, above). Just make sure to store veggies like carrots and celery in water or they'll dry out.
  1. Pre-package snacks: I'm not talking about pre-packed snacks, rather their alternative- whole & healthy snacks individually packaged by you. Parcel nuts, dried fruit, or salad toppings (as shown above) in small containers. Above you can see one of those containers at work holding my salad dressing.
  1. Dish of the week: My mom and I will often pick a recipe (quinoa salad, coleslaw, roasted veggies) and make a large batch over the weekend. That makes it a cinch to wrap up a meal and go, an easy way to have something nice with lunch (and avoid PB&J drudgery). 

Enjoy today,

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Weekend adventure

A lovely weekend in February with my family & boyfriend on the Washington Peninsula. Lots of waves, good food, and laughter. 

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