Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Home is where the poetry is

Hello hello hello!

 Hubby and I are doing everything we can to raise money for a down payment on a house (we need around $3,000). We are determined to use our art to help raise that money. That's where you come in.

If you're willing, please please please forward the link at the bottom of this post to everyone you know. The link takes you to a donation page. Submit a donation of ANY amount and I will send a link where you can download my chapbook of short stories and poems, as well as several of Hubby 's chapbooks, audio tracks and high-resolution photographs.

Any donation over $0.01! Whatever you are able.

Tell your friends. Tell your neighbors.

Our Goal: Raise the necessary funds for a down payment on a home loan before July 1st


Why should you donate?
My husband and I have never really had a home. In the four years we’ve lived together, we have rented eleven different properties. To put it simply, we need a home. Not an apartment or house, but a place to make ours – a place where we can raise a family.
In three months, a law will go into effect which prevents us from qualifying for a home loan. Since we’re both in education, loans are pretty much our only hope for purchasing a home, so we need to get under contract before this law takes effect. To do that, we need to raise $3,000 for a down payment as quickly as possible. Everything donated here will go directly to that down payment, and ultimately all donations will help us create a home for us and our (future) family.
All donors will receive a link where they may download ebook versions of our recent chapbooks, audio recordings of hubby's poems and flash fiction, and high-resolution photographs taken by hubs and me!

Thank you! You're the bestest!

http://ronniekstephens.wordpress.com/donate/

Friday, April 13, 2012

Cleanse, Day 4 nearly killed me

This cleanse has been such a whirlwind already. From trying to pack our lunches in the morning to figuring out what to eat for dinner, it has been rather exhausting. I am so lucky to be a part of Cleanse America and to be able to rely on everyone involved for strength.

I remember why I am doing this.

I am too young to be as sick as I am all the time. Heart burn, digestive issues, fatigue, weight gain. I am stronger than this. I have the choice to be healthier or to eat bad foods.

I have a choice.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cleanse, Day 3 in review

Good morning! It is now day 4 of the Cleanse America raw food cleanse. Yesterday was excellent. And by excellent, I mean challenging. Someone was cruel enough to bring churros in to work. If you don't know what a churro is, it's a cinnamon-sugar covered, deep-fried donut stick... equaling heaven.

At first, all I could think is, "I can't have that!" Then I realized that this was an opportunity, not a loss. It's not that I can't eat the churro, I told myself. I absolutely could pick it up and eat it, no problem. Only, I have the opportunity to choose not to. This week, I am doing raw food. That is a choice. Next week if I want a churro, I can go get one.

By acknowledging that power in myself, that every time I am presented with a situation -large or small- I can choose how to respond, I immediately felt so lightened, so strong. I, of course, promptly ate a raw macaroon instead, but STILL! I beat the churro! Go me!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cleanse - Day 2

Well yesterday was great. I had plenty of delicious raw food to keep my tummy full all day.

My very full fridge!

Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

1 cup frozen strawberries
2 cup frozen banana
3-4 tablespoons almond milk
Mix in Vitamix!

Tomato Zucchini Soup, topped with avocado and flax seed crackers

Mango Salsa

Romaine Lettuce, Mango Salsa and Mung Bean Sprout "taco"

Anybody else think sprouts look like sperm? I suppose that makes sense...

Sometimes I make ugly food. Spinach, tomato basil sauce with zucchini noodles.


Amazing Green Smoothie!

1 large handful Spinach
1 handful chopped Collard Greens
1 large Banana
2 cups pineapple or other frozen fruit
3-4 cups Water


Here is today's vlog!





Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cleanse America - Day 1

My first video blog!

I am doing Cleanse America! 10 days of raw food.

It's not too late for you to join, too!





Monday, April 9, 2012

Fail Better

I adore Samuel Beckett. Just sayin'.

Here is a free printable of my favorite quote, "Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

Click here for the pdf. Have a super day!



Sunday, April 8, 2012

Indian Pot Pies!

This weekend has been a tiny bit blah. Quilt making was a bust. How does anyone manage to line up all the layers??!! We didn't get much cleaning done. We did get our fridge stocked and ready for the 10-day cleanse we are starting tomorrow! I will be updating frequently about that, so keep watch.

But for today, we needed to clean out a few things that might tempt us next week. This recipe was so easy, you won't even believe it! I feel like a big cheater, actually, because it only took TWO ingredients to make it. I feel like one of those moms in the 70's who's discovered microwave cooking!
Hubs and I bought some little baking pans at a restaurant going-out-of-business sale. Hooray for small foods!



Makes 4 pot pies

Ingredients
1 pouch TastyBites Jaipur Vegetables
1 package Big and Flaky Crescent Rolls (6 count)

That's all you need!

Spray baking dishes with Pam.
Take one crescent roll, lay it in the bottom of the pan, rolling it in such a way that it forms a pie-crust type situation... (uses 4 rolls)
Then! Cut the corner off the vegetable pouch. Pour a quarter of the pouch into each pie-crust.
Take the remaining rolls, tear them in half and lay one piece on top of each pie to form the top crust.
You should have this:

Put your little pans onto a small cookie sheet for easy maneuvering.
Bake at 375 degree for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cover with tin foil. Bake an additional 8 minutes.
All done!
These should pop right out of the pans. (This is why it's so important to spray!)
Enjoy!




Friday, April 6, 2012

One Thought Creates the Whole World


Earlier this week, I attended a short lecture on Chan Buddhism. One thing the lecturer said has been resonating within me since. He was quoting someone else (I'm not sure who) when he said, "A single thought created the whole universe." At first I was pretty confused. Then he explained. While the person who originally said this may have been referring to an actual theory on the creation of the universe, this lecturer was referring to something more internal: a single thought creates your universe.

Wow. So true.

Every day, I try to be positive. I try to make the choice to be happy and to see things in a way that is beneficial and good. But to think about it in terms of actually creating the universe around me with the thoughts I choose to manifest is so powerful.

Just as an example, I was in a terrible mood the other day. One tiny bad thing brought me down and for the rest of the day, everything was horrible. I let that happen. If I had just concentrated on letting go of that one thing, instead of choosing to be down, I'm sure it would have been a lovely day. When one bad thing happens, we create a thought: this sucks; I suck; the world is against me; nothing is going right. Once we do that, we have created that universe for ourselves.

Our thoughts and feelings create a veil, a lense, between us and the world. Everything we perceive has to travel through that barrier. If we can choose how that barrier filters our perceptions, we can have happiness and fulfillment any time, any where.

Yay!


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Even the moon loves her

This month, most the people I know will be writing a poem every day for NAPOWRIMO (National Poetry Writing Month). I will not be participating this year, but I will take this opportunity to share with you a poem I wrote several years ago. Enjoy.

Even the moon loves her

she scoops her soup away
and never slurps,

braids her hair the way her mother
taught her. she wears

hiking boots
and 50's dresses,

sees the theatre every thursday
and sings gospel to the moon.

she wants to live off the land
or be a dancer.

she has branded cattle
and climbed a mountain in south africa.

she drinks tea in the morning and eats nutella
off her finger at midnight.

she blows a kiss to god every evening
but will never tell that boy

that when she sends postcards,
she sends her heart.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Oooooklahoma!

Hubs and I have debated a lot lately about where we are going to call home in the future. There are a lot of things we love about Tulsa, but as far as education goes... it is lacking in so many ways. And considering the fact that education is the thing we are both dedicating our lives to, that's a big deal!

But for today, Tulsa is lovely, rain and all.

Check out this Oklahoma-inspired treasury I created on Etsy!

I can read good

I found the following note from August, 2010 on my facebook.

I'm doing the 25 book challenge. In the next year, I want to read 25 books, to include many of the "high school" books I never read. 

(And which of these books have I actually read since then?)


1. To Kill a Mockingbird
2. Siddhartha, Hermen Hesse
3. Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift
4. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce
5. Catcher in the Rye
6. Scarlett Letter
7. One flew over the cuckoo's nest
8. The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury
9. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
10. Night, Elie Wiesel
11. Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zorah Neale Hurston
12. 1984
13. Catch 22
14. Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
15. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros
16. Paradise Lost, Milton
17. Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson
18. Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
19.Dante's Inferno

 Wow. 3 1/2 books (haven't finished 1984 yet!) in 2 years. Fail.



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Books that Rock

Today I want to share a few books that I think everyone should read. Well, maybe not everyone. But reading them will make me think you are very "with it."


Changed my life. Changed the way I look at the human condition. If there is no other book from this list you care about, read this one.

Ishmael
Daniel Quinn


I can't even explain what this book is about or why I love it. I just do. And if you like excellently weird stories, you will too.

Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas
Tom Robbins


I generally do not like romantic things. But this classic is GOOD! I found myself shouting into the pages, "Just tell Mr. Rochester you love him!!!"


Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontë


This book of poetry is outstanding, strange and strangely inspiring. A weird guy loaned me a copy once. I promptly married him.

Born in the Year of the Butterfly Knife 
(click title to view publisher's webpage)
Derrick C. Brown


Best contemporary collection of love poems out there. No joke. I read from this book at my own wedding.

Last American Valentine
(click title to view publisher's webpage)
Ed. Derrick C. Brown


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Wake Me Up Smoothie

Ran out of spinach yesterday, so today's smoothie is a very pretty peach color!









3 cups water
2 cups frozen fruit mix (pineapple, mango, strawberry, peach)
1 frozen banana
1 apple
2 large carrots
1/2 lime
1/2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon matcha green tea powder

I did not peel the apple or carrots, just cut them into manageable pieces. I did peel the lime!
Blend blend blend.
Yum.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, March 30, 2012

What's Jicama?

As I continue down this raw food exploration, I am learning so much! Not just all the valuable healing and health stuff, but practical things, such as what a jicama is! Apparently it is a strange mix between an apple and a potato. And it is slightly magical, in that you can make "french" fries with them, RAW! Whoa. Neato jicamo.
Here is an excellent recipe from Raw Intentions. Sign up for their newsletter to get free recipes!




Crunchy Jicama Fries

Base coating
1 large Jicama, peeled, and sliced into quarter inch strips to resemble French fries
1 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne
Pinch of salt
Place all ingredients in a ziplock bag. Can be doubled if using more than one Jicama. Add herbs and spices of your choice and enjoy the great flavors. Best if eaten the same day.
Divide in half if making more than one flavor and add:

Herb Fries
1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon thyme
Place all ingredients in a Ziploc bag with the base coating and mix well. Add Jicama Strips and shake in bag until well coated.

 Mexican Fries
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon coriander
Place all ingredients in a Ziploc bag with the base coating and mix well. Add Jicama Strips and shake in bag until well coated.

 Sweet Fries
½ cup shredded coconut ground in a  
spice grinder or blender
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of Stevia powder
Optional spices could include, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom
Place all ingredients in a Ziploc bag with the base coating and mix well. Add Jicama Strips and shake in bag until well coated.

© 2011, Denise Madeja

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Watercolor, Inspiration for Tattoos

*Sigh*
I'm still desperate for a new tattoo. Maybe if I saved my money instead of buying pretty things, I could actually get one...

Watercolor bird, found here.

Watercolor and acrylic bird, here.

Cool watercolor lady, found here.

Peacock tattoo, belonging to this lovely blogger here.

And an Alphonse Mucha tattoo, here, just because.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Free Recipe Cards!

I couldn't sleep last night. It's a long story, but the short of it is that Hubs and I are trying to figure out if we'll ever be able to buy a house. Apparently we stand a good chance of being approved if we buy a house in the next week... after that, the changing laws will make it nearly impossible for us for the next 10 years. That's a lot to deal with, but I just don't think it makes sense to buy a house tomorrow! I mean, we did find the perfect house for us... and it's in our price range... but there's just no way we could come up with the down payment in time. *sigh* C'est la vie.

So to lighten the mood, I created some fun recipe cards! Click on the links to download the pdf, which is designed to print 4 to a page. Enjoy!

Silverware Recipe Card
Beater Recipe Card
Pig Recipe Card
Tea Recipe Card








Big thanks to the Graphics Fairy for providing awesome vintage clipart!


Monday, March 26, 2012

Home-made Sorbet






Hooray for Vitamix!

Handful of ice
Large spoonful of frozen juice concentrate- I used apple raspberry
Splash of Pom juice
Splash of apple juice
1/3 banana

Delicious!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Spring Break - Review

Wow! What a great week! Let's see how well we stuck to our agenda.


1. Bicycles! 
We bought excellent bikes! It rained for most of the week, so we didn't get to ride everyday like I had hoped. However, we did have several glorious days of sunshine at the end of the week, one of which we spent at the park riding bikes with my sister and nephew. AND! A snake tried to attack me. VERY serious situation. Luckily, I was on a bike and traveling much faster than the serpent. The incident was over within seconds. 
 
2. Antique store and garage sale shopping
We only made it to one garage sale, but it was a whopper! We got a very cool, old radio/record cabinet. Only $30! It needs a good cleaning and we will eventually put some new wiring to it to make the radio and record player functional. But for now, we will most likely use it as a TV stand.


The same yard sale had several books of fabric samples, like the kind you see at upholstery stores or something. I bought all four books and can't wait to figure out a project for them. Any ideas?

3. Casino!
Yes! I had a very fun night with my mom, her husband and my amazing Granny. Granny made off best with $350 in winnings! Casinos are dangerous, dangerous places.... which I love.

4. Picnic
Hmm. Didn't do this. But there is still plenty of sunshine coming our way.

5. & 6. Hang out with friends
I spent one excellent day crafting and drinking champagne with my sister in Tulsa.
Had time to help out at Raw Intentions and hang with Denise.
Sadly, I did not follow through on Chelsea time, or going to Fayetteville to visit Helen and Lindi. I'm sorry, friends!!! 

7. CrAFts!

I did not work on the giraffe at all. MEhr. BUT! Husband and I did get about halfway done with our summer quilt! It is looking reeeeally cool and I can't wait to show it to you.

8. Cooking!
Hmm. I can't recall cooking once this week. What did I eat??!!

9. Reading booooooks
I read a few pages of a Christopher Moore book. It reminded me of Tom Robbins. I think I will read the rest of it!

10. Maybe a little shopping?
Gap Outlet wins again! I love shopping... and credit cards aren't real money, right? ... whimper...
No, we didn't spend that much actually. I'm pretty proud of my restraint.

Obviously, it was the best week that has ever occurred in the history of the planet. How was yours?




Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Week of Fun - Part 1

Spring Break is off to a great start! Hubby and I found perfect bikes at a local bike store. Hooray!


Now, it has been storming all week so we haven't been able to ride.... but I have gone into the garage to look at them several times!
I couldn't be happier! It's a pink Huffy, probably about 25 years old.

Next awesome item: fun sister day! We had waffles and coffee for breakfast. Tried some watercolor painting. Sewed some cushion covers and a funny little bunny named Frank. And finished a crafting apron I started working on last year! Yay for finishing projects.

 

Watch out. That iron is deadly.

I know this post is labeled part 1. Let's hope for a part 2!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I've always loved cake

Me - Age 1
My very first birthday, thus my very first birthday cake. My mom set it on the floor to try to get my attention. I promptly sat on it. 


Me - Age 1: Hmm. This seat feels different. 
Me - Age 1: Hmm. That kind of looks tasty.
Me - Forever after: CAAAKKKKKEEEE!!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Break at Home

This year, we are opting to stay home for spring break. It's not that we wouldn't love to go somewhere, but the idea of resting for a whole week sounds lovely.
But I, being the compulsive planner that I am, need to have an agenda! That might sound silly, but I know the hubs and I well enough to know that without a plan, this week-off-work would quickly become a week-in-our-pajamas watching entire seasons of TV shows on Netflix. With this compilation of activities, we will still have the freedom to do whichever thing we want on each day. See, I'm spontaneous!

1. Bicycles!
The first step of this will be for us to purchase two bicycles. Step two: learn to ride again. Step 3: Weeeeeee!
2. Antique store and garage sale shopping
Every day. Obviously.
3. Casino!
This will be an opportunity to get out of town for a night and see my mom and grandma. Plus, granny owes me $20. Gambling money!
4. Picnic
I might need to get a basket for my bicycle... Or have a picnic inside because Hubs hates the outdoors.
5. Hang out with friends
I have several friends that could be included in this list!
Awesome-Sister-in-Tulsa will also be on spring break and she has a bike! Also, margaritas are on the agenda.
Denise and I could get some stuff done at the Raw Intentions Kitchen.
Some much needed time with Chelsea is also in order. She is getting married soon! Awwwww....
6. Go see friends in other cities
LOTS of friends in Fayetteville! That is at least a one-day excursion. Maybe two days, if we can sleep on said friends' floor.
We could possibly make a trip to Dallas to see family. That depends on if Hubs wants to drive.
7. CrAFts!
I can be pretty lazy on this front. But I have starting working on a knitted giraffe. Jealous? I'm not surprised.
Oh, check out my pinterest craft board!
8. Cooking!
This will be a great opportunity to bust out the crock pots and get some yummy food in our bellies.
9. Reading booooooks
 I very much want to read The Great Gatsby (never read it in high school) and Wake Up (book by Jack Kerouac about Buddhism!)
10. Maybe a little shopping?
I have a coupon for Gap Outlet... And they upped my credit limit! Those tricky bastards...

I'm pretty excited! Does anyone else have suggestions for an awesome week at home?
What is everyone else doing?

Monday, March 12, 2012

What a weekend!

What a weekend it was! I had a fantastic Saturday helping Denise at Raw Intentions prepare for Dinner & Movie Night. I designed a cute little menu for the evening.

And then the real work began! - Actually preparing the food!



Now keep in mind, this is a raw food kitchen. It is always so fascinating working at the kitchen with Denise. She is a hoot and a half . More importantly, she is extremely knowledgeable about health and happiness, and makes an excellent cheerleader for those of us beginning our journey in that direction.


Soon, Denise's kitchen will be open for business and we will all rejoice! Hallelujah for amazing food.


The Dinner went extremely well, and Denise was definitely in her zone.
Guests "oohed" and "wowed" and we brought out eat course. I think the tacos were the most impressive - every plate was licked clean.


And the movie! May I Be Frank. Very inspiring. Look it up. There were tears in people's eyes. Not mine of course.... that was just from the onions.
_________________________________________________________

And how to follow that awesome Saturday on a Sunday?
Why, you knit a pink elephant, of course. Pattern here on ravelry.


I foresee more of these little guys...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Me eat chocolate

I have been consuming an inhuman amount of dark chocolate lately. In order to change things up a bit, I tried a recipe from Raw Intentions.

Hooray for chocolate pudding!

The mad scientist secret?

It's made of avocados.

MUAHAHAHAHA!!!







- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cilantro Smoothie

Good morning! Yesterday was a very blah day for me. I was supposed to go take a blood test to see if I am preggers, but the clinic was closed. Hubby and I drove to 3 different drug stores to buy a home pee test. In the end, it was negative and we ate some nachos.

Today, I am feeling lighter. I may not know what the heezy is going on baby/body wise, but I can find much comfort in the people around me and the life I am lucky enough to have. I trust the universe to continue working as it is meant to; I'm down for the ride.

So! This morning's smoothie was a bit of a risk. This is how it started out...

1 cup Simply Apple Juice
2 Oranges
2 handfuls Spinach
8 sprigs Cilantro
2 Carrots
1 cup Frozen Strawberries
1 cup Ice
plus some Maca and Flax seeds

How did it taste, you ask? Like rubbing your face in a pile of cilantro.
Hmm.
Then we tried this...

Add:
1 Carrot
1  handful Spinach
1 Frozen Banana
1 cup Frozen Mango

And now? Better! Certainly drinkable. It's hard to mellow out cilantro once it's in there.
What did we learn today?

LESS CILANTRO FOR OPTIMAL YUMMINESS.

Have a great day :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Family Tattoos

I have featured many tattoos on this blog. Today it's time to show you those closest to me (except my own, which by proximity... are closest...)
My beautiful family!












I love my family :)