THE BAR IS OVER!!

After two and a half LONG months Stephen has taken the bar! I am so incredibly proud of his relentlessness work ethic. It is admirable and inspirational. On his most typical day he woke up, walked the pup, ate breakfast and then proceeded to study for 12 hours. He did this every single day and all the while maintained a positive attitude. He has shown me what dedication and perseverance looks like, I am grateful for this reminder.

I wanted to help maintain a calm space for Stephen this week so I bought him some items to help him move through the test with ease. I present to you the Bar Survival Package!

Bar Survival Package:

Papaya Tablets- stomach digestion
Aspirin- I dont care that its chemicals… we can’t risk headaches!
Walnuts
Almonds
Super food bars

Image (10)

Bar Celebration Foods

Chocolate Treats for Day 1: Vosgues Peppermint & Truffles

Chocolate Treats for Day 1: Vosgues Peppermint & Truffles

Secret package in the fridge (he opened it Wednesday night)...Chocolate cake to be joined by wine :)

Secret package in the fridge (he opened it Wednesday night)…Chocolate cake to be joined by wine 🙂

So happy to be able to spend time with him again!!

So happy to be able to spend time with him again!!

Advertisements

Hump Day Happiness

This week my dear friend at A Breakfast Serial is posting stories about fashion. The stories have been endearing, exciting, and witty. I submitted a piece that ran this past Monday.

To read the full story click here.

Here is a sneak preview of the post!

2009

2009

images (2)

1999

rizzo9 (1)

2001

Peace

As I go through yoga training and work towards gaining autonomy in my work life I have been examining the relationships I hold near and dear to my heart.

In yoga we are taught that the practice is not about striving to nail fancy poses but instead work to grow and realize where your strengths lie and where you need to work harder. I have been trying to apply this philosophy in my relationships and I must say it has brought me tremendous peace. Instead of dwelling and analyzing particular relationships I have examined what works for me and why these interactions benefit me in the way they do.

We can only control ourselves and our bodies. We can only work to shift how our body interacts with our mat and how we interact with others off of the mat. I truly think that if I can remind myself of the control I have and what works for ME (not in comparison to others) I will know peace.

Here’s a funny for ya!

funny yoga comic

Chicka Chicka BOOM BOOM

Chickpeas! Chickpeas! Chickpeas!

Yoga school is in full swing and my schedule is jammed packed. To help my week easier I prepared some light nutritious salads that can be consumed on the go.

Clearly I get on kicks and use one ingredient to inspire my menu. This week chickpeas were on my mind and hence my salads have chickpeas as the base ingredient. Chickpeas are a great source of protein and fiber. To read more on the benefits of chickpeas read here!

Greek Chickpea Salad

(vegetarian and gluten free)

Image (13)

mix all ingredients and squeeze a tiny bit of lemon juice over top

Ingredients:

1/2 c sliced cucumber
5 cherry tomatoes – cut in half
1/3 c diced red onion
4 pitted black olived sliced and chopped
3/4 c chickpeas drained and rinces
1 tbsp low fat feta cheese

greek salad

Israeli Chickpea Salad

(vegan and gluten free)

light and crisp!

light and crisp! mix lemon,cumin, and salt separate and pour over mixture

Ingredients:

1/2 c chick peas drained and rinsed
1/2 c cucumbers sliced
1 whole medium tomato, remove insides and dice
1/3 c red onion, diced
1/3 c lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt

israeli

Let the BEET control you

I am now officially in yoga teacher training (WOO!). I am in class 4 days a week which means I am running around town like a crazy lady. I could not be happier to be this nutty women. This is one step closer to taking back my happiness and I am super jazzed about my choice.

OMwork! Anatomy!

OMwork! Anatomy!

I must say though that as I begin my journey into yoga school I am trying to be incredibly mindful of the little things that make my day better. The sun has been out during my drive to work this week. This is small but wonderful.

how could you not be in love?

how could you not be in love?

A consequence of my super busy schedule is I am eating all of my meals on the go. I prepped for this shift in schedule by purchasing a ton of yogurt and fruits this past weekend. Also, I have been in the mood for clean delicious salads. I have been jones-ing for beets.

on the go. lunch, snack and dinner.

on the go. lunch, snack and dinner.

Beets and I were not friends for a very long time. In the past few weeks I have started to really dig them.

Below are two recipes that I created this week and have found to be quite delicious! Enjoy!

Beet and Spinach Salad

low calorie, balanced.

Ingredients:

4 unsulfered apricots chopped
3 walnuts – crushed
1 c spinach
1 c mixed greens
2 beets (cooked and peeled) cubed
3/4c shredded carrots
1 laughing cow blue cheese cut into small pieces

Dressing:

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp strawberry jam

Directions:

Prep all salad ingredients and place in container. Mix together dressing ingredients and place in small air tight container.

Beet Fruit Salad

112

Ingredients:

small green apple chopped
2 beets (drained and peeled) chopped
3/4c carrots
4 unsulfered apricots chopped
1 small pear chopped
1/8 c granola

This is all helping me stay grounded and focused while managing all of the tasks I have taken on. HAPPY FRIDAY! Let the BEET control you!

I need a break after this VERY long week.

I need a break after this VERY long week.

Gluten Free Granola Goodness

I love granola. I actually love being gluten free. I love gluten free granola… go figure.

Recently I have been purchasing a ton of granola for Stephen and I must say it is delicious  However, the brand we like is pretty pricey (6.99 for a small bag). Lets be real… this post isnt about being frugal. I miss making granola, so you guessed it… I made some! I made a batch Saturday night and sadly burned it. I re did the recipe this evening and had much better luck.

In regards the ingredients I need to confess I LOVE chex. I have always been a fan but since I have learned that they are gluten free my love for them has deepened. Naturally I used chex in my granola and as you might have guessed… its the jam.

I feel I should put a disclaimer in. I didn’t really eat ceral growing up because I detested milk. Eating dry cereal is great but it does not compare to the greatness that is soaked cereal pieces in cold milk. I am incredibly biased towards all granola and cereal based foods now. My deprived childhood has led to an adult life filled with cereal addiction. WHEN WILL THE MADNESS END?!!?

Gluten Free Cinnamon and Chocolate Granola (aka Heaven)

110

Stats:

6 servings
.5 c= 1 serving
191 calories
31 carbs
5 g fat
4 g protein

Ingredients:

2 c cinnamon chex cereal
1 c gluten free oats
1.5 tbsp honey
.5 c organic apple sauce
1.5 tsp cinnamon
100 calorie package of cinnamon almonds
1/4 bar 365 dark chocolate with coconut

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Place oats and chex in bowl. Mash chex with potato masher. Transfer to baking dish and heat for 5 minutes.
lightly toast

lightly toast

  • Meanwhile in a small bowl mix together honey, cinnamon, and apple sauce.
  • Remove oats from tray and evenly mix honey mixture into batter. *The key is to evenly coat the oat mixture
evenly coat

evenly coat

  • Fold in nuts and chocolate
the chocolate will melt and help conjeal the mixture

the chocolate will melt and help conjeal the mixture

  • Place in oven for 10 minutes- flip mixture- cook for an additional 7 minutes. Make sure to monitor.
  • Remove from oven and place in open air until cool. Place in sealed container and store. YUM!

Great over yogurt, cereal, or as a snack. You can even use this to make bars!

Transitions

Stephen and I signed a lease to a new apartment and I couldn’t be more excited. Slowly but surely we are buying pieces that are quality and we will have for a long period of time. The transition between college life and adult life has been slow in the furniture department due to funds. After this place we will finally have a new bedroom set, rounding out the new house. So freaking excited.

As I craft and set up the new place I will update the ol’ blog. Until then I will refer to my prior decorating greatness in a guest blog post I wrote for A Breakfast Serial.  The theme this week is “Home”. Here ya go: Lightening Bolts.il_570xN.379559500_k48o

Feminist Friends

This past weekend I had a blast with my lovely friends. Each day was filled with laughs, talks, and love. Being that this blog is grounded in third wave theory and my active role within the feminist movement,  I find it appropriate to discuss how my friendships are part of my identity as a feminist activist.

minus Natalia

minus Natalia

Each time we are all together we laugh about how distinctly different we look. People stare and we giggle about how others perceive us. We must look very odd together because we each have very individual styles and personalities. Yet despite our outward differences  we get along swimmingly. I don’t think it is coincidental that we make so much sense together. We are all driven to shift the trajectory of our society and that underlying passion within each of us allows us to communicate and respect one another, ultimately creating a healthy synergy.

While at dinner Saturday night my ladies and I began to discuss the dynamics of our group and the respect we have for one another. We have all been friends for over three years now and I can honestly say we all love and support one another without hesitation. Further, we are compassionate towards one another. I think its important to note that every lady in our group is strong, intelligent, and is some form of type A personality. I think in normal circumstances such strong personalities would struggle with one another because of power dynamics, however this has never been an issue for us. I think we haven’t struggled with one another for many reasons however I think the central tenant to our success lies within our understanding that we need one another since we do such difficult work. We understand that pettiness is a waste of our time, we have bigger fish to fry. Ultimately I think we each recognize that in order to move forward both within our professional and personal lives, women must help one another and build a strong community of love.

It makes me incredibly sad when I see women of power struggle with those who might also be successful. *(On a side note: I understand to an extent. It is so hard for women to get power. When they finally obtain it they become very protective due to the circumstances they endured to obtain it.)  We are conditioned through capitalism and patriarchy to create hierarchies which results in competitiveness and disrespect.  The lack of community that results because of competition hinders women from gaining the power they need in order to shift major social dynamics. However I truly believe in my heart that if women started supporting one another we would see major changes in female success in our country.

I love that my group of friends is part of the larger narrative of women empowering women. We are will hold one another up when we are down. We will support each other through transitions. Our relationships will help propel us to positions that will make us happy and change the world. Nothing is better than female communities of love, nothing 🙂

We are all in on this whole making the world a better place thing ;)

We are all in on this whole making the world a better place thing 😉

Love of Friends

561111_10151093307105155_660046507_n

Today this gaggle of cuteness if being reunited.

Last post for the week…Love of friends.

Today my dear friends are reuniting in the city and I can not wait. This group of gals in the above picture will forever have a special place in my heart. We have endured unspeakable traumas together, teaching, a certain non profit, and living in a crummy dorm together in 105 degrees. Some have moved, while others have stayed, but this weekend the gang will be back together (first time since July).

We are all so very weird and different but make so much sense.

We are all so very weird and different but make so much sense.

Classic.

Classic.

LOVE. MISS.

LOVE. MISS.

California, Chicago, NYC.

California, Chicago, NYC.

I have so many amazing friends who have come into my life through a number of different ways. I could post so many more pictures but due to the celebrations of this weekend I am going to keep it focused. However, its hard for me not to throw these in for good measure.

I miss this one.

I miss this one.

Perfection.

Perfection.

Love this one.Love this one.

The Square

I of course can not mention LOVE without talking about the love of my life, Stephen. I was asked to guest blog on A Breakfast Serial for Valentines Day so I am going to actually reference that post as my tribute to Stephen. I could list every reason why I love Stephen here but I am not going to. I will say though that I am always referenced as the activist in our relationship but I LOVE that Stephen is actually  a quiet rebel. Not many people know this about him, but I do and I love it.

419301_10150657595605155_2014236059_n

We normally don’t do much for Vday but this year we actually went on a date. We didn’t wait  for Valentines Day to celebrate because there was a magnificent opportunity to celebrate our love and we had to take it! The historic Music Box theater teamed up with Sound Opinions from NPR to show The Graduate. The Graduate is one of my all time favorite films so we just jumped on the opportunity to view the film in theaters. The Graduate is my love for many reasons. I identify with the lost identity of Ben. I think Elaine is beautiful and want all of her clothes. I love the historical transition the film represents. I could not love Simon and Garfunkel any more than I do. All around perfect film.

images

the uncertainty and trust is perfect.

We paired our film with sushi, another love in our lives. Perfect date. Perfect husband.

Perfect Date.

Perfect Date.

6.5 years down, a bagillion more to go.

6.5 years down, a bagillion more to go.