31 March 2014

Banana Raspberry Buttermilk Muffins

This recipe was intended to be another collaboration with my buddie Nathan, however, I was too excited to wait, sorry Nathan.
He and I were looking for a recipe that we could create together, I wanted to make banana bread + he was looking to use up some raspberries. Amongst the two of us we found this recipe on The Little Epicurean's blog and I am so happy we did!

As per usual, you can find my vegan modifications below.

1. Preheat oven to 375'
2. Prep Chia Egg (combine 1 tbsp chia + 2 tbsp water)
3. Make oat flour (put oats in food processor and combine until desired consistency)
4. Combine Dry ingredients in large bowl
-- I also threw in a tbsp of flax meal for added health
5. Combine wet ingredients in separate bowl (coconut oil, oat-buttermilk, + chia egg)
6. Pour wet ingredients into dry + mix completely
7. Mash Banana + Raspberries (separate or together, it doesn't matter)
8. Spoon into muffin tins
9. Bake for 20 minutes
10. Remove, Let Sit, + Enjoy!
--Optional: Drizzle melted chocolate on top

40 mini-muffins

Muffins taste better at room temperature, not sure why but the flavors seem to come out.
To make your own vegan buttermilk simply combine your 1 cup of milk with 1 tbsp of vinegar.

30 March 2014

My boy Jack.

The day I brought Jack home <3

If you read an earlier post of mine 'Forgive Me Father, For I have Sinned', you might've figured out I'm not much of a "kid person". Any little person over the age of 3-4ish I can handle but any younger and I'm getting into foreign territory. I've never felt like I've had much of a maternal extinct in me, if any at all to be honest. Now don't go thinkin I'm a cold hearted you know what just yet. I guess I'm not much of a "kid person" because I wasn't ever really around babies or kids as I was growing up. I never babysat or anything. My youngest brother is 11 years younger than me, so I do remember him as a baby, but at that time I only saw him every weekend/every other weekend so it's not like I was around him a ton when he was a babe.
His first time camping :)

It's not that I don't like kids, they're okay once they hit 3 or so, but babies just make me nervous which is why I've only held a baby less than a handful of times in my life. I guess they make me nervous because they are so fragile and dependent. For all of these reasons you can probably guess I definitely do not plan on having kids in my lifetime. I have a hard enough time taking care of myself let alone someone else.

Watching a movie with momma
He loves trips to the river!

Although I've never had that maternal extinct in me, or went "googoo gaga" over any any babies I have always loved animals and will googoo gaga a dog any day of the week. I know I know I'm terrible. We got our first dog when I was about 8 years old or so, he was my stepdad's dog but became the family dog after we moved into his house. He was a Pit Bull named Partner, and he was the sweetest boy! I have so many good memories of Partner and I really miss him.We got our second dog, a puppy time this when I was about 13 years old or so, and we named him Shiloh. Shiloh was a beagle and only 6 weeks old when we got him although he was definitely not a sweet boy like Partner at all. But that's why we loved him, he was definitely a strong willed dog and you definitely didn't want to get on his bad side otherwise he would bite. But we loved him and miss him nonetheless. A few weeks after Shiloh died (at the age of 10) I got my first dog, Jack. Jack is the first dog I've had that was my dog and not the families' dog. I rescued Jack from a woman that fostered dogs. Someone had showed up one moring with Jack in tote to the foster ladies' home saying that Jack had showed up on their porch the night before. The very next day I heard about Jack through the grape vine and I went to go see if we clicked. Obviously we did.

Jack Jack in his Halloween costume he was a 'bad dog' that year lol
My little dear Christmas 2011

The day I got Jack was March 30th 2009, which I declared would be his birthday as I had absolutely no information about Jack when I got him. The one thing I did know is someone had abused Jack, he was very head shy for the first 3 months or so that he was with me. But slowly and surely he came out of his shell and learned that his new momma would never lay her hands on him. Because of Jack's background he is obviously very loyal to me, my little sidekick. He's been there for me so many times when no one else could be and I'm very grateful for my little four legged friend. It was just Jack and I for a couple of years which was nice, we really had an opportunity to bond before my boyfriend and I met and his little sister Lucy and little brother Duke came around.

Jack on his 4th birthday :)
My tree climber! Trying to get those squirrels!

You might be wondering what the point of this story is...and that is the date I mentioned above...March 30th! That's right...TODAY!! Today is my little Jack Jack's birthday! As I mentioned I didn't have any information about Jack when I got him, but when I took him to the vet back then they told me he was about a year old. Which means today is Jack's 6th birthday!!! (Yes I know I'm a weirdo for celebrating my dog's birthday) But I'm just so proud of my little fur baby!

One of my favorite pictures of Jack
Such a funny personality
He really is the smartest dog of the 3, but he is also the most stubborn! Lol. He does know some tricks though, which the other dogs don't for lack of patience on my part to teach them any. Jack can sit, shake, "get his tail" and high five! So proud of my little terrier boy!! Happy Birthday Jackie boy!!! Momma loves you!!! <3

Jack and I's song!

28 March 2014

Veggie Risotto

This dish was a concoction made up based on what veggies I had lying around the house. I was in the mood for something warm simple and flavorful, what I got did just that. Another victory for the lazy chef!

1. In a pot bring bring water + rice to a boil
2. Reduce heat + simmer, Add tomatoes, Set timer for 20 minutes
3. When timer goes off, stir the rice mixture, add 1/4 cup of water, add carrots, celery, spices, + garlic, set timer for 15 minutes.
4. At 15 minutes, stir the mixture, add water + oil as needed, set timer for another 15 minutes
-- rice should not be sticking, if it is add both water + oil
-- the mixture should still have liquid in the pot, not like soup but enough to cover 1/2 of the mixture
5. When the buzzer goes off stir the mixture again, at this time I would add a bit more oil + spices to taste. 
-- If you have parmesan around your house it would make a great addition and it is best added while mixture is still in the pot. For a creamier consistency add a scoop of butter too.
-- I added some of my basil pest
6. Plate, top with chickpeas (for added protein)

Yield: 1 meal

Choose a medium sized pot, because although there is not a ton of rice, when you add veggies + stir the mixture often it will be easier.
Risotto is one of my favorite things because, as the lazy chef, its easy uses few dishes and is very flavorful. I only dirtied the pot + my plate, we were able to cut down on dishes since everything was cooked in the same pot.

27 March 2014

Road Trippin' to |LA, CA|

Saying bye to Sac for the weekend!

A really good friend of mine called me about a week ago and asked me if I wanted to go on a road trip with her down to the LA area...of course I said YES! I haven't gone on a long road trip for a couple of years, and my gf and I hadn't gone on a road trip together for quite some time too, so it was definitely an easy YES! Although LA is only about a 6 hour drive away from Sacramento I hadn't been down to LA in almost 10 years, so I was totally stoked! I was even more excited because our little trip would be the perfect opportunity for me to go abandon some art!! If you're not sure what I'm talkin' about I wrote about Art Abandonment here!

Cutest little town!

We headed out early Saturday morning and got to Venice Beach, CA around noon or so. I had never been to Venice Beach prior, but I instantly fell in love with this beach town! 

|Canals of Venice, CA| The houses were so cute + everyone 
had their own little boats to float along the canal in

As we did get there in the middle of the day, it was packed! There was so much to see + do it was honestly a little overwhelming, but a good time nonetheless! 

|Venice Beach| 
View from the Pier

Surfers + Paddle boarders galore!
There was a huge art scene which instantly made me fall in love with Venice Beach even more!

Street art seems to be engrained in the Venice Beach culture

Art on the beach
Artists in action!
I LOVED how even the trees have become a canvas!
Enjoying their craft!
Pretty spot on remake of the classic Starry Night

My friend and I ended up getting bike rentals and rode along the beach, catching all the sights as we rode by. It was seriously the best ride bike of my life. I mean you just can't beat a bike ride along a beautiful beach, that's hard to top, at least in my book.

Ridin' along

Doin' their thang!

 There was a street fair going on that day with tons of vendors selling pieces of art, and other mostly homemade items.

The street fair was one of my favorite things 
we experienced while at Venice Beach

The beach was packed full of people soaking up the sun, playing volleyball, there was even a skate park right on the beach that was packed full of people of all ages showing off their skills.

Beach life

Of course we also saw the infamous Venice Beach Gym, which can be found right on the beach, quite the sight. It really was an experience riding our bikes along the beach as we really did get to see much more than what we might've seen if we had to walk the entire time. After Venice Beach we headed to the hotel to get ready for our next venture, dinner!

One of many patios of the hotel

The hotel we stayed at was the biggest hotel I've ever stayed in (other than in Reno but those were casinos too). We had a good ol' time exploring the hotel for a little while during which I did abandoned my very first few pieces!  

Someone was in for a surprise at the hotel we stayed in. 
A couple of shots of where I abandoned a few pieces in the hotel.
Spring Fever- Acrylic piece, one of the ones I abandoned at the hotel. 
(See above)
Purple Haze- Acrylic piece, another one I abandoned at the hotel. 
(See above)

After getting all dolled up we headed to a Thai restaurant for din din. I'd only eaten Thai food once before, and I loved it! We started out with a couple of cocktails + Spring Rolls, followed by Chicken Curry, Pad Thai, and Garlic Shrimp, for dessert we had Coconut Ice cream. Every single dish was delicious and the restaurant was too cute!

Dinner is served!

By the time we had our fill, we were both pretty beat as it had been a long day! So to bed we went, although I can't say that either of us got much sleep. I experienced a lot of firsts that day, and the night was no different. The couple next door must have been on their Honeymoon or something if you know what I'm sayin'. First time I've ever heard strangers goin' at. But as Forrest would say "That's all I have to say about that." LOL. Needless to say we didn't get much sleep that night, between all the noises coming from next door + the sound of our television blasting. Fun times!

|Manhattan Beach, CA|

The first thing on our agenda that Sunday morning was to grab some coffee and head to Manhattan Beach which wasn't too far from the hotel. This was another first time visit for me to this particular beach. It was really nice, definitely not as packed as Manhattan, lots of families and such. 

Enjoying the beauty that is Manhattan Beach

My gf and I ended up  doing some painting while we soaked up some rays with an ocean view right in front of us, talk about Heaven. 

My ideal day!

After getting a little burnt we thought we better head out, as we were running out of time. Before we headed out I abandoned another piece of my art in the women's bathroom at the beach!

My art abandoned!
View of Stinson Beach- Watercolor <Abandoned>

|Beverly Hills, CA|
After our fun at the beach we headed to Beverly Hills to go grab some empanadas from Nonna's Empanadas, my friend goes there every time she's in LA, and after trying them I understand why! Sure I've had an empanada before from Taco Bell (if that counts), but Nonna's Empanadas were no comparison! There were a variety of different empanadas to choose from, from sweet to savory (I had personally never tried a savory type empanada but it was delicious! As were the sweet ones!)

Nonna's Empanadas! These were so delicious! 
Think I'm going to have to try to make some of my own!

We got about a dozen empanadas: 5 Cheese, Tomato, Beef, Ham, Carne Asada, Macaroni + Cheese, Apple, Guava, and Cheesecake. There were a ton of other different flavors though, and if you get the chance I highly suggest you go check this place out! We enjoyed a couple of our empanadas, and hit the road again this time heading to Hollywood.

Rodeo Drive

I had been to Hollywood before, but like I said it had been sometime ago so it was cool to drive around and see all the sights we could with the time we had. We drove down Rodeo Drive and saw all the fancy stores, then we went exploring a little bit through some neighborhoods to go check out the enormous houses! 
Ballin' in Beverly Hills, CA

By this time we almost had to hit the road back to Sac, but decided to make one more stop, Roscoe's House of Chicken & Waffles. Roscoe's is a very popular restaurant in LA, and as we were limited on time we ordered our chicken and waffles to go and hit the road back home.

The trip home went by even quicker than the trip to LA did which was nice. I ended up abandoning one more piece in Santa Nella before we got back.

Italian Sunset- Watercolor <Abandoned>

We were both exhausted by the end of the trip and ready to get home to our own beds. Definitely was a fun filled weekend and I'm so grateful that my friend and I got to get out of town and just go relax and de-stress, which we both definitely needed.

Until next time friends...Cheers!

P.S. Summer is coming up + I want to know...
Do you have any road trips planned? Where ya goin'?
No road trips planned? What's your dream road trip look like?
Comment below! <3 

26 March 2014

Noonie's |Art Abandoning Adventures|

My first label

Ever since I learned about the Art Abandonment Group + movement I have been obsessed!! I had taken some time off of creating art but I've been back at it full throttle as I want to go abandoning! I've been having such a blast putting together these little packages and hiding them around for others to find. You honestly get kind of a rush when you're out in public trying to sneak around placing your package discreetly so that no one catches you in the act of abandoning it.

New label + packaging!

Really like how the tissue paper looked for packaging!

Having so much fun coming up with new ways to package my art :)

My first few abandonments were in bathrooms because they are easiest and good to begin with in regards to art abandoning. As I've gotten more comfortable abandoning pieces I've started to try abandoning my works in more public areas, so that not just women have an opportunity to find my packages. I have been keeping track of all of my drops, but have yet to hear back from anyone just yet. But I'm hopeful :) It doesn't really matter to me anyways if someone emails me as long as they're enjoying the art, because that's what it's all about! :) But I will definitely keep you all informed!

Until next time friends...Cheers!!

P.S. Have you heard of art abandoning or maybe even do it yourself? 
I would love to hear from you! Comment below! <3