Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hoop Mix

This is my current hula hoop mix. Because I know you all were wondering!

Actually, I don't care. This post is for Becca and Amy.



Justice vs. Simian- We Are Your Friends
Kanye West- Heartless
Chromeo- Mercury Tears
The Shins- Australia
The Sounds- Tony The Beat
Embrace- Ashes
Kelis- Caught Out There
Islands- Creeper
French Kicks- One More Time
Fabolous- Make Me Better
MGMT- Electric Feel
Mashed Potatoes- My Lipgloss Is Cool, My Heart (Lil Mama vs. The Knife)
Cut Copy- Saturdays
Cocorosie- Rainbowarriors
Chromeo- Needy Girl
Against Me!- Stop!
Andrew Bird- Simple X
The Blow- Fists Up!
CSS- Music Is My Hot Hot Sex
Phoenix- Rally



Yes, really.

PS- You should start hula hooping. It's the best core strengthening workout ever.

Rain Forever.

There is something about Seattle winters that drive me mad.

I grew up (20 years) living in a place where fall starts the first day of August, and Winter lasts until the beginning of May. The last "summer" that I spent at home there were a total of 12 (yes, twelve) days that it didn't rain. In the winter it was dark when I went to work, and dark again when I left. It was impossible to avoid the cold and the wet and the wind. I wore XTRATUFs and a hoodie almost every day (and I looked hot doing it- mind you). It was miserable, but I was used to it.



Wet Babies: Herbert Glacier, July 2006




Seattle... is not very rainy, in comparison. I whine all summer about the heat, and actually spent most of last summer hiding out in my basement apartment where it was cold and wonderful. The summer before that Amy and I instituted a "no pants rule" in our apartment when it was hot ("hot" being anything above 70). Yet somehow, for some reason- I hate the winters here more than anything else. I think it has something to do with the fact that I have much higher expectations for Seattle weather. I want it to be in the 50's all winter and only rain on days that I feel like staying in. I get tired of it much sooner, and expect it to end after only two months or so. I start buying summer clothes in February, and expect to be able to do whatever I want outside without freezing by mid-March. I have completely unrealistic expectations, and I don't really care.

I don't care that it's only the end of February. I want to eat popsicles and not wear anything with sleeves until next December. Come on now.

So. Today I am buying popsicle molds and pretending that my cardigan is sleeveless. Yes, I am that person.

Which ones should I get?

The sailboats, the hippie looking ones, the umbrellas, or the really phallic looking "rockets"???




Monday, February 23, 2009

Boringgggg

Okay, I'm already over my "back on my bike" posts. Super boring.

Fact of the matter is- yeah I'm riding again. And it kind of sucks in February, but it's also really nice. I forgot how hungry I am all the time when I ride constantly, and I'm actually sore today for the first time in... I have no idea how long. Very excited for that crap to pass.

I bought a new Salomon wind/rain jacket last week from Backcountryoutlet.com and so far it's been pretty perfect.



I wanted something less bulky and more breathable than my Mountain Hardware rain jacket and my Burton jacket is too warm and not very waterproof. It's really thin and light and fits closer to my body which is a major +. I still got hella sweaty this morning, but I had a merino wool Helly Hansen top on underneath it, so that was probably the bigger problem. It was much warmer this morning than I expected. Tonight will be the true test, as it's dumping outside right now. ILY Seattle weather.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

3 X 3 Rip Your Face Off Chili

Okay, so- this recipe is somewhat of a miracle in and of itself. Mostly just because I have never made the same pot of chili more than once in my life, and also because I've never written down a chili recipe either. My general idea behind it is beans + tomatoes + chili powder + whatever the hell else I have on hand and feel like eating at the moment = pot of chili.

This chili though, is somehow different. The last time I made chili was a few weeks ago for Friday lunch at my office. I was nervous about feeding my co-workers such a vegan meal- but people were not only going back for seconds (and thirds), but also still talking about it a week later. Success in my book.

This is not that chili. Sorry kittens. This chili is that chili, plus everything else that I wanted to do to that pot, but couldn't with 4 hours and a slow cooker. I need tools, bizzles!

I'm calling it "3 X 3 Rip Your Face Off Chili" mostly because I like really tacky recipe names, but also because I used three kinds of beans, as well as three kinds of chillies. Thus it pretty much rips your face off.

Also- I'm really sorry about the weird quality of my photos. My camera is old and it seems to be struggling with artificial light these days. So, someone should probably buy me a new camera. Yeah???



What you need:

1 red onion- diced
1 red bell pepper- diced
6 cloves of fresh garlic- minced
1 Serrano chili pepper- minced
4 small sweet potatoes (or 1 large)
3 chipotle chillies from a small can + 2 tbsp liquid from the can
1 can of salsa casera (or 1/2 cup of any other salsa)
4 15oz cans of beans (I used 2 black beans, 1 cannellini, and 1 kidney)
2 28oz cans of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup corn (frozen is fine, fresh is better, and I will seriously judge you if you use canned)
2 limes
3 tbsp chili powder
1 scant tbsp dried cumin
1 tbsp oregano
2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup fresh cilantro



What to do:

Very first thing- stab your sweet potatoes with a fork a few times- then turn your oven to 450 and throw them in. You'll leave them there while you prep everything else (do all of your chopping and prepping now).

Once you've got everything chopped and ready, pull the sweet potatoes out of the oven (use an oven mitt, foolio). Let them cool for a hot second, then peel them (I do this by cutting off the ends and then scraping with a knife), and cut into bite sized cubes. Dice your chipotles and let them hang out with the sweet potato for a few.



Using a giant pot (seriously)- heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium/high heat. Once hot- add onion, garlic, red pepper, and Serrano chili. Saute for about 5 minutes, until onion becomes translucent.



Add sweet potatoes and chipotle and saute for a bit longer.

While this is all going on- DUMP ALL FOUR CANS OF BEANS INTO A STRAINER AND RINSE UNTIL ALL OF THE GOO FROM THE CAN IS GONE. I didn't know until recently that people didn't do this automatically. That goo is what makes you have fart attacks, and this is a very easy solution to that. SO DO IT, PLEASE.



Add both cans of tomatoes, salsa casera, liquid from the canned chipotles, corn, and beans to the pot and stir until combined. Leave heat on medium/high until chili starts to boil. Meanwhile:

Add chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt, red wine vinegar, and the juice from both of your limes and reduce heat to low. Cover and let cook for 2 hours- stirring occasionally. Add cilantro before serving.

I just eat it the way it is- one thing that I have yet to find is the right vegan sub for sour cream, and this is the kind of recipe that could use it. It needs that cold/creamy balance to it. I'm going to mess around with coconut cream later tonight to see if I can find a solution to that- but for now this is what you get. If you aren't vegan feel free to go crazy with sour cream and cheese. If you are- then please tell me what you use and then please also make it for me.





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I'm going to try to find the motivation to post my applesauce recipe (if you can call it that) as well as the recipe for vegan chocolate chip mint ice cream that I made last week that turned out insanely delicious sometime this week. Either that or I'm just going to sleep a lot.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Back On My Bike: Day 2

This was actually yesterday, but posting wasn't really an option at that point in time. Damn work, why you always crampin' my style???

I actually had a little muscle fatigue from riding on Monday, which made me feel insanely out of shape. Yay!

Something that I'm still having an issue with is eating on the mornings that I ride. I never quite mastered it in the six months that I was commuting every morning and now I'm trying to focus on it a bit more since it makes a huge difference for me.

I usually try to eat something small before I leave- a muffin, piece of toast with almond butter, a small bowl of Kashi with almond milk... something along those lines. Then I'll usually eat something else once I'm at work. Usually instant oatmeal or a granola bar. Yesterday I ate half of a bran muffin right before I left, and then felt like absolute hell when I got to work. It was about another hour before I ate a whole grain bagel, but it made a huge difference.

My body seems to be really sensitive about my blood sugar levels, and if it's low I completely crash. It's hard when I'm riding first thing, especially since I'm not usually very hungry for a while after I ride. I'm used to eating right when I get up- but I always have a small breakfast and then don't eat again until lunch, which sometimes isn't until 1 or 2.

My office has granola and protein bars, as well as raw nuts and (usually) fruit on hand, but I find that I hate most pre-packaged food, and fruit and nuts just don't always cut it.

Blah blah blah blah blah boring. Basically what it comes down to is that I need to start keeping a food journal and figuring out what works the best with my body. Except that sounds really boring to me so I probably won't do it. Hah.

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In other, non health, but bike related news- I'm working on a project right now for Davidson which is pretty fantastically amazing. Watch out, suckafool.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Contest!



Photo credit: Sparlingo



So, because my chiropractor is so flipping amazing (have I mentioned that before???)- this month she's giving each of her patients a $220 gift certificate (good for a complimentary New Client Visit which includes first gentle adjustment) to pass on to someone else. Meaning that I have one that I need to pass on! So, I thought that instead of just giving it to someone- I'd make you work a little for it.

This is hella cheeseball, but my bank now lets you customize your check card with basically anything you want. I was going to do it with some of my own photography but figured it'd be interesting to see what other people might come up with.

So here's how it goes:

Make me a picture. Anything. It can be in any format. Photography, a ghetto paint file, something fancy pants... seriously anything. The only things that I require are that it's "appropriate" so that it will actually be approved, and that it's rectangular enough to fit correctly onto a check card.

The gift certificate is good until the end of March, and she's located in lower Queene Anne. You do need to live in Seattle if you want it, and be able to use it by then. You can either leave me a comment here with a link to your file, or e-mail me at renai.marie@gmail.com. You have until Sunday, the 22nd!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Coconut Pad Thai Review

YUM.

So, I'm on a kick right now where I'm trying to incorporate more "raw" food into my diet. Basically- in my terms- eating a lot more salads as meals. I'm really, really not into extreme diets, or cutting anything out of my diet completely (hence me being a terrible vegan). It's more about being aware of what my body needs and how food affects my energy levels and blah blah hippie shit blah blah.

I found this recipe the other day and decided to make it for dinner last night.

What I ended up making is a little far from what the original recipe is. Which basically sums up the way I cook anyhow, but yeah. I wanted to use up full quantities of ingredients that I had, and the tamarind "vinaigrette" ended up being a waste of effort, so I went without. So, here's my revised version of the recipe.



Gross looking failed tamarind!



Almond Chile Sauce:

1/2 cup raw almond butter (toasted is okay, as is any other nut butter)
Juice from 1 fresh lemon
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh jalapeno with seeds
1 to 2 tablespoons warm water

Vegetables:

2 cups large flake coconut (unsweetened! Toasted is okay. Fresh coconut is even better)
2 carrots cut into matchstick-size strips
1 red bell pepper cut into matchstick-size strips
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1 cucumber peeled and cut into matchstick-size strips
1/4 cup slivered fresh basil (I just used the whole package, 'cause I'm crazy)

Other stuff:

1/2 a head of purple cabbage- sliced thin
1 lime, juiced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Sea salt



What to do:

If using dried coconut- put into a bowl and cover with warm water. Let this sit for about half an hour (while prepping everything else) and then drain and squeeze out excess liquid. If using fresh coconut- just chop into small pieces.

Toss together cabbage, lime juice, and cilantro, then sprinkle with sea salt and let sit while you prepare everything else.



For the sauce- whisk together all ingredients then let sit for a little while.

Combine all of your veggies, including coconut, and toss with sauce.

To serve: I threw mine into a big soup bowl. Layer of cabbage slaw on the bottom, then a ton of "pad Thai" on top of it. This is super fresh and light tasting while still really filling. I had it for lunch today as well, although that kind of sucked since my office is colder than it is outside and all I wanted was soup. But whatevs. Still delicious.

Back On My Bike: Day 1

Finally!

I haven't ridden to work in about a month, and it's been since October that I was riding every day. Lazy bones.

This morning was so perfect. Federal holidays are my favorite, because there are barely any cars on the road in the morning. I actually only saw one other biker as well, and they were way down Dexter.

I love riding when it's (not too) cold and clear and the sun is just starting to come up. Except I way overdressed this morning and ended up a sweaty monster by the time I got to work. Rarrrr!!!

One of the main reasons why I stopped riding every day was that my gym membership expired and I didn't want to renew it, since my office is supposed to be moving any day now (they've been saying that for the past year... no big deal). But yeah- showering before work is key, and the idea of showing up all sweaty to throw on my work clothes and sit around like that all day wasn't exactly doing much for me. So- my solution at the moment is showering before I leave, drying my hair, kicking my ass on the ride here- then using my new favorite thing ever- Charmin Wet Wipes. I think they're technically for wiping your ass, but that doesn't stop me! I'd actually like to find a more "natural" product with an ingredient list that I can pronounce- but it'll do for now.



Any suggestions? Action Wipes? Should I just get a camping towel again and call it good? Should I just not care and sweat all over my desk and gross out my coworkers?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Gross.




Happy Valentines Day, jerk.

Totally not into crap holidays, but I do love his butt.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Naturopath?

So, I went to my chiropractor during my lunch today- which I do every Wednesday. I definitely fell asleep halfway through. Again. Amazing! No, actually though it is. I pretty much feel like I'm high the rest of the day after going to her and I sleep so well at night. Ahhhh.

Anyway. She wants me to start going to a naturopath or a nutritionist because my stomach has been such a mess lately. Nothing to do with the small bits of cheese I've been eating lately either, haters. That actually doesn't seem to be having any affect at all. As far as I can tell it's just random but I feel like there has to be something causing it. I mean it's even weird to the point that I ate a salad with cucumber, broccoli, and avocado for lunch yesterday and my stomach felt unsettled for the rest of the day after that- which makes about zero sense to me.

Does anyone have any history or experience with going to a naturopath or nutritionist? I'm just curious about what to expect and maybe what I should be aware of beforehand.

On a kind of related but also random (as in I found this before I had talked to her) note- I'm way way way into trying this almost-raw coconut pad Thai recipe from Epicurious (Originally from Bon App├ętit). Anyone down for trying to eat all raw with me for a couple of days? I'll "cook"!

Bike Bike Bike

I am having the worst bike lust ever lately. Probably because I am a huge lazy ass and haven't been riding at all.

I went from commuting every day and riding my bike literally everywhere I went... to this. "This" being taking the bus and making Matao chauffeur me around. I can blame it on the weather, and the darkness, and the fact that I can't shower at work anymore... but mostly it's just me being a lamer.

So next week my goal is to do at least three decent rides. Meaning I'll probably have to start commuting again, but I'm really okay with that. Really. I am. I'm going to try to be good and do an update about how it goes at the end of next week so if I'm slacking on that feel free to remind me and/or ridicule me for being such a skillful slacker.


This is a really old picture, but the only decent one I have of me on my bike. I am still pro at not being able to actually trackstand. WHO WANTS TO TEACH ME? Also- holy hell my bike was crappy back then! Love love love my turquoise Velocity. (And my white Weinman, and my Brooks, and my bullhorns, and my new cages...)

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Links!

- Car Free Cities article from Interesting Thing of The Day.

- Emergency Clothing has amazing things like bike skirts with cog hearts printed on them, cog necklaces, arm warmers, and reflective tool pouches. I could consider them competition, but I just consider them awesome instead.

- This is kind of old news (I've posted it elsewhere before), but the bicyle frame lunch bag tutorial over at Evil Mad Scientist is kind of awesome, and could definitely be multi-functional. There may be some experimenting with making this my own in my near future...

- This still makes me laugh.

- I think this is really cool, even if they aren't exceptionally cool looking. Bike helmets for $3.65 apiece!

- Uh... wow. "Sometimes a mash-up can teach you how to not get mashed up. Or how to dress."



Source

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Blogfail.

Holy hell I'm tired. And apparently my "Alaskan girl" skills are severely lacking at the moment, as I can't get a fire going in my apartment for the life of me. Suckkkkkk. I am going to freeze to death.





I'm contemplating attempting to start blogging on more of a structured schedule, but I'm not 100% sure that I'm quite ready to commit to that. My brain has been all over the place lately and the idea of trying to pin anything serious down just seems like a little too much work to me right now. Wah wah. We'll see what happens.

February Future Tense

Come ride, come hang out, come freeze your ass off and win stuff!

I'm donating a hip pouch this month and Zach over at ZLOG made up some spoke cards that are only available if you're there!

I have to admit that I haven't been in months, and I won't be there this month either- but just because you can't come and stare at my beautiful face doesn't mean you shouldn't be there too!



Friday, February 6, 2009

Alive!

Oh poop. Sorry. I have been so busy doing absolutely nothing lately that I haven't had time to blog. Sad!

Anyway. Here is this week:

1. SEX BOMB Amy Truax, love of my life is insanely sexy. But I already knew that and I bet that you did too.





2. This video made me cry, because I am a sap.





3. I seem to have (at least temporarily) broken my eBay addiction. We'll see how that goes.



4. My boyfriend is a babe.





5. The ladybug that seems to be living in my bathroom has re-appeared. I almost stepped on it and it kind of freaked me out. I'm starting to think that it's stalking me. Creeper.



6. I've been secretly eating cheese lately. Just little bits. Here and there. Goat cheese + pepperjack = heaven. I am the worst fake vegan ever.



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What up with you bb?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Chit'lins

Sorry about the lack of anything original lately. You know how it is, though. Right? Yeah.

I love little kids. Only today though. This first one is GOLD.



Sunday, February 1, 2009

I Love You More Than...

“I love you more than sleeping diagonally across the bed, so I’ll move over if you want.”

I Love You More Than Blank
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