Life is What You Make of It

Hi everyone! I hope your week has started off on a good note. I know mine has. Aside from my computer crashing, things have been looking up. After a week of no sun and dreary weather, the weather gods decided to give us the gift of sunshine and warmth. Thank goodness! I think this is just what I needed to reenergize myself for this busy week. Without my computer I will find myself with less distractions. But I’ll do my best to keep you all updated – hence I am sitting in the toasty Fine Arts building’s computer lab. So many computers buzzing!

I’ll start off with my Saturday night. I was going to go to some experimental sound art show, but I wasn’t really in the mood for that. Instead I called up one of my best friends to see what she was up to.

Driving to meet up with them.

Strawberry Street Market's selection of beers. They even had a Honey Basil kind.

We ended up going to our friend's house for a house show.

The band seemed to be cooped up in this one room – I think they should’ve played in the middle. But a friend of mine came out of that room with a bloody nose but the biggest smile on her face!

I tried to capture the crowd surfing that was going on haha

I didn’t want to get back too late because I was planning on going hiking the next day.

So I ended up heading back around 3 in the morning.

Not a bowl of oats!

My tummy wasn’t feeling too well the next day so I wanted to take it easy. I had some leftover okara from when I made soymilk when I got home super late. Yeah, I made soymilk around 3 am… Anyway, I mixed it with pumpkin butter, stevia, and cinnamon. I topped it with a sliced apple, dates, some more pumpkin butter, and the last of the Artisana almond butter.

Matilda, down.

Aw!!! How can anyone resist?

Some things I packed for my hiking trip!

I made myself a PB&J sandwich using Rudi’s Wheat & Oat bread. Oh my gosh this bread is so good by the way. It’s perfect for sandwiches – especially a classic PB&J. I love how thick the slices make it so much more satisfying to bite into. When I was making my sandwich I had trouble deciding which jam to use. I remembered that Boysenberry jam is one of my favorites, but I currently do not have it in stock.

Well guess what? My computer crashed  and I knew that I would have to take care of that before I went on any hiking trip. And the sun was shining so brightly on Sunday I knew I didn’t want to be indoors.

This necklace spoke for my excitement about the weather!

I headed over to my nearest Apple store and I ended up making an appointment for today (Monday). By the time I was done with that, my friends that were going to go with me either a) didn’t want to anymore or b) didn’t answer. But you know what? I still wanted to go hiking so I went. I called up a good friend of mine that is usually up for doing stuff. I didn’t get to go to the Shenandoah Valley like I had planned, but atleast I got to go exploring and get some easy hiking in.

Crossing the bridge to Belle Isle.

The hiking begins!

My shoes along with the wet mud were not a good combination, but it was fun nonetheless. I love adventures!

I think Matilda does too.

I love letting Matilda off the leash so she can sniff around as she pleases. She’s so cute because she never strays too far. When she was walking ahead of us she kept stopping and looking back to make sure we were still there. What would she do if we decided to play hide-n-seek with her?

There's a pond on the isle.

I just thought these pods were beautiful.

The James River is really high right now from all the rain.

Admiring the sky.

I love being out in nature and being amazed by it. Nature is beautiful and it doesn’t have to try.

City skylines can be amazing too.

Dinner

This time I just sautéed the kale with white cooking wine and seasonings. I also had some of my leftover “meatloaf” I made with the okara. Last but not least I made a recipe inspired by Katie’s mashed cauliflower. I pureed mine with salt & pepper, nutritional yeast, and soymilk. Then I served it with some all-natural butter. Yum!

Then it was time for some homework!

This is a part of what I’m working on for my sculpture project.

I'm not much of a painter, but I think it's fun. I haven't done it in years!

Monday mornings

This breakfast was interesting. I wanted to use up the rest of my okara, so I mixed it with a ZenSoy banana pudding cup. By the way, I think the banana pudding flavor is my favorite. I heated that up till it liquified and then dumped on some Aztec Crunch Corn & Amaranth cereal. Excuse my half-eaten apple that I enjoyed with my favorite crunchy peanut butter.

I assembled my sandwich the night before because I knew I would be pressed for time today.

I also sautéed some kale with raisins and toasted pine nuts. I love toasted pine nuts!

Le Sandwich

I used two slices of French Meadow Bakery’s Woman’s Bread. What’s so special about Woman’s Bread? According to the site, “with 14 grams of protein and 2.6 mg of soy isoflavones per serving, Women’s Bread contains key nutrients for women’s health. Sprouted grains bursting with vital nutrients and vitamins are easy to digest. Dried cranberries provide an antioxidant boost.” I enjoyed the dried cranberries very much! Okay so what’s in between the bread? Portobello mushrooms, basil, red onion, cream cheese, fakin’ bacon bits, and tomato paste + honey.

After my readings in apocalyptic Literature class I wanted to go exploring around Belle Isle some more. Apparently I just couldn’t get enough and the weather was gorgeous! It was so much fun not knowing where I was going but taking random trails that would lead me to who knows where! Afterwards I came home and showered and did some pampering.

Tea tree and spearmint mask - ah so refreshing.

And dinner time rolled around.

I didn’t really feel like cooking tonight. Well, I guess I did cook the cauliflower mash with garlic and herb, but that barely counts! So I just baked some Gardein “chicken” tenders in the oven and seasoned with Old Bay blackened seasoning, and ketchup + curry. Curry ketchup is delicious. All you have to do is mix in some curry powder with ketchup – simple! It reminds me of buying pomme frites on the streets in Germany served with with curry ketchup. Please excuse me toasts for being shy. I promise they are delicious once you meet them. Tonight I wanted to try French Meadow Bakery’s Gluten-Free Multigrain bread. That’s a mouthful! Anyway, the bread was seriously delicious! I just spread on some butter on one slice, and butter and fruit spread on the other. I can’t explain really how tasty this bread was. Just biting into it was awesome and I can’t believe it has no wheat. Can you see the all the little flaxseeds? So good! I highly recommend this bread, even if you don’t have a gluten intolerance.

Lastly, the ever so lovely Brooke tagged me to fill out a little survey she made up! Here goes…

1. favorite variety of apple? Gala

2. apples dipped in? Peanut butter… or caramel! How about  both?

3. favorite way to enjoy pumpkin? Pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin and ginger cookies, and pumpkin penne

4. favorite soup? with crackers or bread? My mom’s spinach soup with fresh crusty bread.

5. do you eat orange foods all year round? Not consciously, but the time of year doesn’t stop me from eating them that’s for sure.

6. most used spice in your autumn cooking: Cinnamon and tarragon

7. you are baking some homemade bread, what flavor combination of bread would you like to make? Oh my gosh! Some sort of spiced bread. How about a spiced bread with almonds and cranberries. However, I recently stumbled upon a garlic pull-apart bread recipe.

8. favorite autumn vegetables and ways to eat it? Winter squashes out the wazoo! Recently, I’ve been digging cauliflower and kale

9. hot chocolate, hot cider, coffee or tea? Hot chocolate made with coconut milk. And I love this one tea called Richmond Blend. It’s a black tea with cinnamon, orange peel, and cloves. It’s out of this world and actually has an intense flavor on it’s own. Not to mention the cinnamon helps keep me warm during the cold months.

10. favorite seasonal dessert? I think it’s a tie between double-layer pumpkin cheesecake and sweet potato pie.

11. lets make a fall stew! pick any 6 ingredients to create your one: Sweet potato, onions, carrots, kale, curry, and white truffle oil

12. pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts or almonds to snack on? Almonds!!!

13. popcorn flavor/seasoning? Cinnamon & sugar or nutritional yeast

14. bowl of hot cereal you have been wanting to try: A banana rum cake inspired one! I actually just came up with this.

15. post a link to a recipe that you recently bookmarked. April’s pumpkin French toast!

Anyway, I just wanted to fill you all in on how my weekend went and how my week started. I’m going to try to keep up with all you lovely people! I hope you all are doing well and keeping your chins up. Remember, as William James once said “…Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.”

30 thoughts on “Life is What You Make of It

  1. Oh my, I have heard that the Shanendoah Valley is breathtaking! I have good friends who go to school there and are always asking us to come visit. I think we need to take them up on that soon.

    I am glad to hear that the sun came out for you today. If it were up to me, I would make the sun shine on your beautiful face every day! ;)

    Sorry about the computer issues. That blows.

    Beautiful quote! I love ending everything with a quote. It’s so lovely.

    Have a great night sweetheart!

  2. House shows have to be something special, it sounds so insanely fun!
    Your okara looks so tasty.. such an interesting use of it!

    Oh boy, I wish I could go on a hike… but it’s getting rather chilly here, so I find my opportunities limited if not non-existent.
    I LOVE YOUR PUP! So cute.

    and btw, your Thanksgiving sounds awesome! I hope everything goes well :)

  3. I really did think that first picture was a bowl of oats! What does the okara taste like??

    And are those pajamas I spy you wearing?? Absolutely adorable!

    And I’m not too up to date on the vegetarian and vegan info.. can you eat egg whites? If not I know how to veganize my pumpkin french toast! I’ve made it with tofu before.. if you want more details let me know! :D

  4. your posts ALWAYS make me smile. so does curry ketchup. i don’t really like ketchup but the thought of putting curry in it is enough for me to give it a shot :)

    i loved all your q+a answers as well as that hot face mask, fantastic :)

    love you girl, and so glad you got to go hiking. it looks BEAUTIFUL! keep your eye out for a package – it is coming your way!

  5. well i know why i DO NOT use a mac ;) haha! j/k
    i never made curry ketchup myself. i have to try that! i always love the one in germany. we should book that into our germany tour. pit stop for german pommes mit curry ketchup! yummy! :D
    when i look at those picture i am so jealous of all the space you people have. singapore is so densely populated it’s crazy. there is no space whatsoever. aww time to move back to europe or america i guess ;)
    love you meine suesse
    xoxo

  6. I love this post. especially the title and quote at the end. life is amazing. we have so many opportunities. i also share a love of nature. it is so incredibly beautiful and vast. wonderful eats, adventures, and inspirations in this post. thank you for sharing!
    love,
    lexi

  7. Pingback: Life is What You Make of It « Katharina's Food Adventures | Gluten Free Bread | Bread Wheat

  8. this post was so great and fun to read! i love your outfit in that one pic..and that face mask..i want one!! it just sounded refreshing reading about it. and both of those sandwiches look delish!

  9. I had curry ketchup in Belgium and loved it. Luckily it’s a frites condiment that is so easy to replicate!

    Love the quote, you may be seeing it on a Tumblr page near you! (hint hint!)

  10. Hey there! I love your blog, and your pictures are always great!

    Pretty necklace, I always love those kind from Anthropologie. And is that a Hello Kitty sandwich container I spy? I may or may not have the same one… ;-)

  11. You seem to always have the best weekends! I was home trying to recover from my chest cold :( Love that necklace! It’s gorgeous on you! But then again, what isn’t gorgey on you? Hmm, raisins with toasted pine nuts sounds yummy together. I’m gonna have to try that! Matilda is the cutest. And you are hilarious with that spearmint mask on! I cracked up! BTW, there’s a restaurant near where I used to live called Belle Isle Seafood! Now I know what the real Belle Isle looks like :)

  12. So much good stuff in this post!

    Love your breakfast bowl at the beginning.
    Outdoor shots= amazing.
    Yay for adventures, even last minute ones.

    Your sandwiches are to die for- I loooove putting honey on my savory sandwiches as well.

    xoxo

  13. hello gorgeous! your posts are my favorite ;) my love for you and matilda is endless. aw look at her! such a little ham in front of the camera. (tofu ham?)

    so glad you were able to explore the beautiful scenery, and pamper your beautiful self! ps. i love the peppermint tree mask…

    and such a powerful quote…that will be my quote of my week. thanks girly!

    i love you so much, roomie! xo bunny

    ps. oh no! no rutabaga? i need to send you one for thanksgiving! that is…if we dont meet up that day lol.

    pps. i hope you are feeling better!

  14. sometimes a little technology detox is just what we need to refresh and rejuvenate! sounds like you had a glorious weekend filled with beauty and good eats, per usual :)

  15. The pictures from the outdoor hike are beautiful. What gorgeous scenery! I love nature. I’ve never been hiking before but it sounds like it is a lot of fun and very rewarding.

    You look very, very cute in that mask ;)
    And your okara bowl looks delightful.
    It really looks/sounds like you had a great weekend.
    Make this weekend just as great! Only 2 more days! Whooooo

    <3Karina

  16. I hate it when my computer crashes! Luckily I have the good folks at the Apple store in Soho to help me (those people are seriously angels!).

    Adorable Matilda pics!

    I love that picture you took of the pond… beautiful! Fall is a great time of year! :)

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