Sunday, November 24, 2013

Failing? Find good food, FAST....

 Last month, I had this grand idea, a vision even, an epic plan to truly follow through with NANOWRIMO once and for all! That, albeit, this year I will complete it! I even told myself that if I get the word count and it makes zero literary sense, then all is good. I still win. But, like each time I've tried this feat, I did not succeed. I think I am my own worst enemy. I know that my time is very restricted and then the free time I have I kind of want to be able to go thrifting or make something or cook a new recipe I am modifying, so I end up neglecting the laptop and not writing. But maybe, I didn't actually fail this year. Maybe, in some small way I am winning (insert Charlie Sheen voice). Because this year, I failed at nanowrimo but I started this little gem :) I created this from the ruins of failed writing. Now, that is something....

It is a little hard to believe it is November 24th! A month away from Christmas, a month and a week away from 2014! That is cray! I look out my living room window and it is so fall! It's lovely! And today it is cold! Super Louisiana cold! I am loving every minute of it! I am all bundled up in a sweatshirt, leggings, sweater boots and I have an afghan on my lap under this warm laptop :) I also have a pot of Thai tea concentrate simmering on the stop so it smells pretty amazing in here. You can find a most excellent recipe at White on Rice . It's super easy and making it at home is so much more economical, plus your place will smell incredible! And to top of this moment, I am watching Love Actually! So, kind of wonderful!

 So, let's see....I am off of work this week! I have quite an impressive to-do list in mind, but I am not certain that i will accomplish it! And I am kind of okay with that! Most of the list involves cleaning....

But as for this weekend! Friday was rather busy at work and I think I got most everything situated for this week off. If not, I will still be connected and able to work on things. But Friday night, I made the lovely dish in the upper left corner, roasted spaghetti squash with Italian sausage and beef pasta sauce, topped with shredded cheese...nom nom nom.

I love a Saturday that isn't booked! One that allows me to do something I want. It is such a lovely concept and sometimes it happens, like yesterday. Started off the morning with some yoga, then the farmers' market downtown to pick up my $20 in free veggies for signing up for the Winter CSA :) We racked up greens! So many! And then off to the thrift store on Highland to check it out and we found cool dishes, a soft serve maker, and a polaroid flash for a land camera! And then, Zealand for breakfast!!! Then Nadeau furniture, Trader Joes, Sam's, Wal-Mart and Whole Foods and then Latte e Miele! Then home to wash all the greens and dishes, put everything away, organize, make buffalo chicken and clean up!

Along with dinner, I cooked up some fresh kale with applewood smoked bacon. I am kind of obsessed with bacon at this moment. This particular bacon from Whole Foods. Applewood smoked, the thick cut from the butcher. It is quite fabulous in any dish. I am convinced it will be amazing in cupcakes.

I love that we had such an action-packed day and were able to get so much accomplished! It is a great thing to actually get stuff done and enjoy it. It's been so long since K and I were able to have a whole day together and I just loved every moment of it.

I love the way the house feels these days. Things are coming along so well with organizing and rearranging. It is super nice. I even made a wreath for the door! Watch out Martha Stewart.

Louisiana Girl

<------this is the bacon. You should go buy some.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Life tastes better dipped in chocolate...

Not that I ever met anyone who didn't agree, life tastes better dipped in chocolate. Kind of like adding "in bed" after every fortune you read from a cookie. Just makes it better. Sometimes, I try my best to dip my entire day in chocolate. The discarded crumbled wrappings of Chocolove, Ghiradelli, Dove, or even the ever faithful bag of M&Ms, are proof of my hard efforts. There are people that do not like chocolate...I am usually not friends with those people long. No, you need to be able to put down some dark chocolate to hang in my hood. 

I love German milk chocolate too! Martina knows that I love this milk chocolate bar with a cookie in it or the one with cornflakes and sweet sticky stuff. She hefted a rather large bar across the ocean for me last year and I am still grateful (I shamelessly ate that bar before her visit was over). And as one of her gifts last year, I gave her a gigantic Reese's cup! See, love is spoken in chocolate.

Last night, we needed a little extra love (who doesn't) so Kathleen picked up items on the way home and we made some dipped deliciousness. Don't be fooled, the krispy treats are homemade and she purchased brown rice, vegan cereal! Never fear, I fixed them with 8 tbsp of brown butter! and some sea salt! You know you want one now! (I may just sneak off to the kitchen to get myself one).

Yesterday marked the end of an era, the start of a new beginning, an exciting transition in our lives. Bailey and I attended Immersion Excursion at BRFLAIM for the last time! We had a fun time , once we got there- the meltdown in the car over dividing decimals is a post on its own. She raced around the school, solving clues to lead us to the next classroom in the maze. We visited the book fair and agreed on a book and pencil accessories. And her pizza order was misplaced; but, she won a plant! So, now we have poinsettia to kick off our holiday atmosphere. I was so happy to be able to see her and have time with her. She is shooting up like a beanstalk and my little girl is becoming a tween and before long a teen. She is capable of conquering all that she sets her mind on. I love that crazy girl.

<----------Look how big they are!!! I grew that!

Today's Smoothie (oh, so delicious)
Diced mangoes and pineapples
Handful of baby spinach
Handful of cashews (roasted not salted)
Half a banana
Shot of Almond Milk

Believe me, it is fabulous!

<-------serious face there.

Thanks to Bai for snapping away as I was throwing some random yoga into dinner preparations. I get in where I fit in.

Louisiana Girl

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

She has boots! And it's raining in Germany!

 How do you make a 10 year old fashionista happy? Take her shopping! Grandpa promised Bailey her very own cowgirl boots, from the boot store! And he made good on his promise Monday night. Last night, I came home to one chipper little tween sporting her new boots! She was a wee bit disappointed she wasn't going anywhere to show off her new look. But, when I told her that I could take a few pictures of her, she lit up and embraced the moment. She's decided that the boots will be part of her holiday wardrobe. And I must admit, I am a little jealous.

The sun is shining bright in Baton Rouge but there is a lovely winterish rain storm happening right now in Germany! I love when Martina sends visual updates, see last picture. (squeal)  I also love that she is so happy these days! She is totally embracing her new relationship with Mr F. and boy, he is a hottie. I am beyond ecstatic for her and will miss her dearly this holiday season but am stoked she is spending the time in the arms of her love.

Speaking of holidays.....Thanksgiving is next week! This is the first holiday without gluten. And not just any holiday, my all time favorite food holiday!!!! Do you know that most things amazing have gluten in them? Well, I do. And I fully accept the challenge to make gluten my bitch and have a fantastic Turkey Day without it! I say, "Gluten is the new Al Quaeda" ok, I did not say that. It is from Etsy. See here Anywho! That's not the point! The point is that I can make anything you can make better and without gluten....Don't believe me? Think I am bluffing, then bring it. I accept the challenge. Ok, maybe I am letting my head get too big here. There are some things that just aren't the same but Damn, I can get it close. And I can promise you that I can make a gluten free cupcake that is so delicious, you will beg for seconds. Believe dat. Back to the point...I will ease some on the rambling for now, I am really stoked to make some beloved dishes gluten-free. I feel like I've mastered cornbread and now making dressing will be easy-peasy. Also, I know I can make a cookie and a brownie that everyone will love and I will feel included on the indulging. I am so happy to share food with people. Maybe I am in the wrong industry.

Well, I plan to make:
A Cheeseball
GF Cornbread Dressing
Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Coconut Flour
GF Flourless Brownies
Pumpkin Pie Smoothies (this is for K)
Pumpkin and Vanilla mini donuts

And this morning, I made the following in the Nutribullet:
1 peeled satsuma
Mangoes and Pineapple (1/2 of the cup)
Baby Spinach (1/2 of the cup)
And water to the max line because we were out of juice and milk!
Blend until the greens are liquid.

It was super tasty and really sweet with the satsuma, just the way I like it.

Louisiana Girl

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

It's not everyday....

It's not everyday you get a call from Jesus....okay, I realize that's not very funny to most/some people, BUT when Jesus calls, I chuckle as I read his name on the caller ID. As inappropriate it may be, I think it is funny and it made me smile early this morning.

You know what is bothersome about this day (and many days I might add)...people who call with an important matter, listen for the voicemail prompt, then refuse to leave a message. I am dumbfounded on how that is an effective way of getting what you want.

Also today marks my first nutriblast day. Instead of juicing this week and eating
something for breakfast, Kathleen thinks we should do smoothies, so, I made one this morning.

Alina's Smoothie Sacrifice
Half the nutribullet container filled with chopped mangoes and pineapple (go with more mango if given the choice)
Fill container with greens (this morning I used butter lettuce)
Add 3/4 orange juice with pulp to the max line
And top of with almond milk to the max line (basically a shot)
Blend until you don't see green things (very scientific)
Pour in your favorite giant cup and suck it down with a straw. It's not too bad.

I am reminded to "Be Free" as I look to the right from my desk. My poster "Be Free" grounds me and reminds me that this crazy chaos of work doesn't own me, that I have all that I need and all my needs are met, I am loved and I love, and if none of that pops in my head, the poster reminds me that I can step away from my desk and do a quick handstand or some pose or variation and breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Because at the end of it all, as long as I am doing my best for this moment. I am doing all that I can.

Louisiana Girl

P.S. I am hoping for an uneventful evening filled with deep dish pizza and laughs!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cupcakes and Yoga (how to win me over)

I am easy to please. It really just takes a little spoiling or for quick pleasure: art, cotton candy or cupcakes! This quite possibly was the most pleasurable weekend on record in forever a long while (forever is a bit extreme). Why so pleasurable? Get your mind out of the gutter. It was so pleasurable because I had it all! And with the lovely Kathleen to boot!

Surround a person with great food and sunshine and you will be amazed at the smiles. Friday was a bit rusty (I burned a loaf of bread) but I did get a really delicious dinner (pulled pork!) Saturday, oh how lovely it was.  Woke quickly (no showers). headed off to some yard sales and I found a Polaroid camera!!! Kathleen haggled the guy down to $1. That's right. Now I just need to shell out some major dough for film and see if it works. Then, off for coffee and browsing of housewares and other lovely things couples do. Then more thrifting and then after visiting Honeymoon Bungalow and coveting a few overpriced items, we headed to Time Warp to covet even more overpriced items (see the pattern). Then! Stopping in at the Pop Shop, Kathleen listened to the band and I sat outside to enjoy the lovely day and behold! I was given cotton candy <3 Cotton candy can make anyone feel like a kid again. Did I mention it was delicious.

If that isn't enough awesomeness for one day, let me kick it up a notch. Can you say cupcakes? Can you say, incredible gluten free, eat three, chocolate cupcakes? I can. And I did. We picked up a mix and violia! Delish! There are none left. (My pants are a bit snug today too).

Sunday, I immediately hit the yoga mat upon waking and it was pretty awesome. Then, a walk to clear my head, prepare for the week and the day's work. After massaging, I went to my client's greenhouse and she gave me 3 (THREE!) plants! I am so excited, as the original 2 she gave me are still living! Everyone came home safe and sound. All the laundry is clean and put away! Lights are on, water is running. Life is good.

"Taking time to live live will only inspire your work"
That was the plan. And I think I picked up a little inspiration. I certainly filled my cup with joy.

Louisiana Girl

Friday, November 15, 2013

A blog by any other name....well, is taken

Let me explain...
1. you want to write a blog
2. it isn't 2005
3. oh, you think after all this time, the exact address you want will be available for free

What do you do when you aren't sure where your life is going? Write about it, of course! Maybe, you have the life you dreamed of, write about  it. Maybe, you are sure that your life is going somewhere and you are terrified, write about it. Maybe you just tripped and it is a colossal, giant, ugly, nasty tumble, write about it. Maybe you had a baby! In that case, I will write about how grateful I am that it was you (and I will bring a dinner over)!

BUT before one can do this and put their inner thoughts, voices, demons and grand plans onto the interweb for the whole world (and possibly other galaxies) to read, criticize and use for their own sheer pleasure, you must have an address. Seems simple enough. It almost isn't. The idea you think you have, is already taken and check out their blog. It is snazzy. Maybe, you feel a little defeated. In that case, don't click on their youtube channel. NEVER FEAR, you have some techy friend. Text them now! NOW!

They will likely reply:
Techy friend: you're starting a blog?!?
You: yes, I mean when you say it that way it seems so 2005! (pang of embarrasment)
Techy friend: no, no it is great! I'll read it :)
You: well, i have to start first
Techy friend: what's the address
You: sigh, idk
Techy friend: louisianagirl
You: it's taken by someone bitch probably doesn't even live in Louisiana!
Techy friend: lol, you can buy .net
You: spend money?! umm
Techy friend: try the official louisiana girl
You: seems too arrogant, even for a blog
Techy friend: Louisiana girl on the Edge, Louisiana girl plus kids, louisiana mom?
You: no
Techy friend: the louisiana girl
You: how about louisianagirlsays?
Techy friend: are you deciding now?
You: yes
Techy friend: I'd read either. Get them both

See, it wasn't so painful.

And thus, a blog is born.

louisiana girl