Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Find me at:

I know, I know. You don't need to tell me. But my love affair with sugar has fizzled, and I'm returning to my blogging roots. My sense of order will not be satisfied if I have a food blog and haven't posted a recipe in a month. So again:


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Library love

Putting books on hold on my library website is as much fun as buying them on amazon: both clicks start a process of a book being sent my way. Love it!

Not only is it fun, but checking out books from the library is curing me of my bad habit of starting too many books and not finishing them. With library books, there is no point unless it is read! :)

Once I can again afford to buy my books (as I do love collecting), I will emerge into the bookstores a changed reader, thoroughly thorough. :)

If you have not explored the wonders of your local library (they also have divine programs for kids!!), you really should! :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Things to always remember and instill in my children- yes, I think of odd things like this often. :)

~Be filled with love and grace.
~Be true to yourself, and all you’re meant to be. Be centered in your heart.
~Bring attention (with intention)
~See God. Engage with the world’s wonder!

Everything with love and joy, peace from a calm heart… Christmas all the time! :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Love List

I love to make lists, it's true. There have been the thankfulness lists, the joyfulness lists. Now I feel like writing a love list.

I was just sitting listening to a song by Ginny Owens, an inspirational singer who always moves me, and thinking how incredibly lucky I am to have been blessed with all the love in my life and also so early in my life undergone growth that helped to so fimly center me in my heart and open me to grace. I feel like I've questioned the very idea of reality and my heart answered and brought me back to God. And since the answer came straight from within it feels so right. I think that I've been blessed with so much possibly because I'm meant to be a strong force of love in the world.

But I have to say, I can sometimes laze the time away. Today I felt kind of crappy and enjoyed episode of episode of Poirot. Totally fine. But before I go to work, instead of maximizing my last few minutes of laziness, I feel prompted to focus on being loving, and what I can do the rest of the day to give love. And make a list out of it. Just a short one, with a few small things I want to do instead of being lazy.

~Take the dogs for a short walk, because I'm usually selfish and do my own thing and thus they're inside way too often.
~A cute text for Zach.
~Not speak or agree with ill of anyone at work tonight.

I know these will not shake the foundations of our world, but they are important for me, and while small, will make today more worthwhile.

Have a lovely day, if you may be reading this, and may you be centered within your heart, always! :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Expect a few new healthier deliciousness recipes in the next week.


I have concocted the most brilliant plan ever to establish routine in the areas of my life I am most craving it!

I thrive on routine. And I regularly don't have one.

For years, I've been trying to develop a yoga practice.

For years, I've been trying to establish a daily writing habit.

For years, (and on this I've been successful for a long period of time once) I've tried to cultivate healthy eating habits.

For about six months (ever since I've been married!), I've been trying without much effort to get up early when Zach does, so we can be on the same schedule and I want to go to bed at the same time he does!

So I decided a few days ago I was going to master a few of these things for just 10 days. And go from there. Get up with Zach around 6:30, do a yoga workout, get dressed, then write either 2,000 words or 2 hours. Also, eat only fruits, vegetables, whole grains, with one exception in the day.

All things I no longer wanted on hold! But I was considering, is it really smart or realistic to attempt so much all at once? Am I just setting myself up for disappointment? I knew that to realistically make progress in the direction I crave, I needed to cut it back. But I didn't want to cut any area out!

I'm so excited about the book I'm working on, and ready to finish and seek publication! I know the only thing holding me back is a lack of discipline in daily writing. With this, it will be so much easier to pick up where I left off. The momentum will carry me through. I'm in a writing group, and my writing life is growing. NOW is the time for me to come into the fullness of my writing potential.

I've been toying with yoga for years, aware of all the health and life benefits it showers down! But I do it once every month or two! Why? Because I'm kind of lazy, and don't often feel like doing a half hour workout!

I've been married for six months, going to bed sometimes with Zach and sometimes later. I don't like it. I want to go to bed with my husband EVERY NIGHT! (That I don't work, at least.) But to do that, I need to get up earlier.... And I want that to happen now too!

And in regards to food, ever since I added dairy back into my diet months ago, I've eaten so much crap, and my body is not responding well. I know that by the time I have children, I want my body to be the safest and healthiest environment for them, and also, my health hasn't been perfect lately. Food has SOO much to do with the state of your health, and there is no time like the present!!

So really, I didn't want to not work on any of these areas. I want all of them as part of a new routine, starting now.

I was talking with my friend Stephanie last night, and she said of her own yoga practice, that while she often does way more than I can imagine (she's an instructor), some nights she'll just do child's pose for 5 minutes. And while this should have been obvious, it prompted me to think, that is the answer!

I want to start developing a yoga practice now, but why not, instead of insisting on a 30 minute DVD or hour class, just ask of myself that I do some yoga? Some days I will do a full workout, and some I will do one or two poses for a few minutes, simply establishing the routine that it is a part of my daily life.

The same with writing. Why would I go from writing once every week or even two weeks to writing 2 hours a day? How about starting at expecting daily writing on my novel from myself Monday through Friday, but leave it at that. Let the habit develop, and some days will be a lot, some not very much. Once the habit is there, the production will soon soar!

And then with these two intentions softened, I can realistically focus on all four of these areas in my life: eating raw till dinner (my modified eating intention), getting up with Zach in the am, yoga, and writing.

And focus on doing these things every day as intended for 21 days, to start. The length of time it takes to establish a habit.

So this was the plan. And today.... oh, today.... I added the perfect little extra.

I've never been much of a girl for "rewards." I do what I want! So doing that, rewards hold no value, because I reward myself daily anyway. :) But lately, I actually have been holding back. From my favorite activity, no less! Being married, paying for a wedding, being responsible as a team with money..... it has seriously hampered my free for all book buying! :) I buy one every once in a while, but I feel kind of bad, because now it's our money. So! Besides being passionately devoted to the cultivation of these new habits, I am also offering myself a reward at the end of a perfect 21 routine forming days. A monthly book budget. Not a hefty one, of course. But a means of regularly buying books and feeling perfectly fine about it. :) Pretty much the only reward I've ever conceived of in my life that is motivating to me. :)

Brilliant! :)

WIsh me luck!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


My friend Stephanie was interviewed on her blog and it looked fun! Here are her questions to me! :) If anyone else wants to do it, say Interview Me! in my comments, and I will email you five questions for you to answer on your blog, tailored to you! :)

1) You are such an amazing person with so many talents. One of which is one that I have always dreamed of having, writing. What inspires your writing and what about it do you love most?

I first seriously considered with the idea of writing (that I remember) when I was back in Boise from U of I, starting my long hiatus from being in school, and trying to think of career paths that wouldn't involve me having to go back to school! :) Being a life-long reader, the idea of writing a novel myself came to me. I'd written short stories in middle school, but it had been a long time, and I'd never really finished any! But I decided I should seriously try it. I then read a book called Making Your Creative Dreams Real: A Plan For Procrastinators, Perfectionists, Busy People, and People Who Would Really Rather Sleep All Day (great title, huh? :)), which led me to start making small steps in the direction of writing. It took a while for me to start doing it, instead of just thinking about it, but if felt so right and I loved it. :)

Now, what inspires it is a desire to make a difference, as well as have a second home in Europe! :) (The dream of being the next J.K. Rowling or some such! :)) What I love about it most, for myself, is how it can help to center you in yourself, crystalize your thoughts and beliefs and place them firmly on paper (or screen). What I think I'll love about it most if I am ever published is the impact I have on kids. I'm working on a YA novel now, and kids feeling good about themselves is one of the things I've always cared about a lot. Books really affect your thinking, especially when young, and I would love to help kids to believe more in themselves and all the beauty in them and the world.

2) I was a vegetarian for 6 months last year so this question always intrigues me....How long have you been vegetarian, why did you become vegetarian, was it a hard adjustment and what does your hubby think???

This is kind of funny to me, but I don't remember the exact age I was when I became a vegetarian! :) Again though, it ties to that book I mentioned above, because when I read it, it asked you to make a big long list of all the dreams you have for life, small and large, anything you want to pursue or learn about or do. And one thing on my list was, "Learn more about vegetarianism." I'd kind of toyed with the thought of it in my head before, in kind of a naive Disney-esque way (like, what if animals are really like this, and we don't know it?? :)), and had even decided to stop eating meat once, which only lasted a few days. I'd never really looked into it deeply though, and wanted to.

So I started researching it, and ended up finding out about an industry that I just couldn't be a part of anymore. It had nothing to do with silly Disney movie thoughts, but cruelty. I've never since been bothered by people eating animals, necessarily- I think that our ideal diet for health probably consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, beans, and a little bit of meat, perhaps. But the industry that provides us with 99% of it goes completely against nature. I believe animals are meant to have a chance to live the life God meant for them before becoming a part of the food chain- not be in a tiny cage their whole life without room to turn or extend a limb. I also believe we area meant to love, and factory farming is about the furthest from love I can imagine!! It is so cruel. I can't be a part of it.

I have eaten fish for a few months in there, and possibly might do so again in the future. And I implore people, not to necessarily give up meat, but to buy local meat raised outside the factory farm system. Plus then you're supporting small farmers!

It wasn't really a hard adjustment for me. It's pretty easy to eat anywhere without meat. And Zach is great- he has always been really supportive of whatever is in my heart, no matter the inconvenience to him. (And this comes up on a few different things! :)) We eat dinners that I make, which I hope to think are rather yummy sometimes, and when he's out and about in the world, he eats what he likes, which sometimes includes meat and sometimes not. :)

3) You are a beautiful newlywed!!! CONGRATS! What is your favorite part of being married?

Thank you, Stephanie! You and Ben still seem like beautiful newlyweds, although you've been married for years now! :)

I think my favorite part of it is the forever forever after-ness and being part of a new team, a new family, with such a wonderful person. I was so lucky in finding and loving Zach. We will be by each other's side with love all about us and a big family for ninety plus years! What a wonderful thought. :)

4) Sum up your life so far in 6 words.

Blessed by love, sense of self.

5) I can tell you live your life to the fullest with your WHOLE heart! What is one event you feel has impacted/shaped you into the person you are today the most and what is one memory that you can't wait to create???

Well, I think that what shaped me most into who I am today is, without a doubt, my family, and most especially, my mom. Their love gave me belief in myself, and inspired me to be everything good that I am. But that's a whole lifetime, not one event, let's see....

There's something that I think has really stamped itself on me, and shaped perhaps, the things that I feel most passionate about affecting in my life. I remember being on the bus in middle school, sitting close to the back. I was a quiet girl, not popular, but friends with occasional "popular" kids, and not ever picked on. There was a boy sitting across from me that was kind of the awkward sort, the boy that did get picked on. Another boy on the bus somehow got his backpack and wouldn't give it back to him, and then spit a luggee (is that how you spell it?) into it, and then gave it back. A bunch of people were laughing and I was just mortified at how this boy must feel- in the moment, and having to go home and tell his mom what had happened. I felt like I should say something, stand up for him, call the bully out on how stupid what he just did was. Be some sort of force for solidarity with this friendless boy who was alone and being laughed at and treated as if he was so different and deserved such different treatment. And I didn't do anything. I just sat there, too afraid of my own sort of standing within the bus hierarchy or whatever, to stand up for this boy. I went home and told my mom about it, and cried a lot.

I've read the idea that something in the past you have failed to do right sometimes becomes an issue close to your heart . So I think this may have affected my desire to help kids' self-esteem (along with the knowledge that it makes such a difference in their whole future happiness and the thankfulness that my family gave me this gift). And also perhaps to stand up for those that are forgotten and treated with cruelty, and need a voice. I hope I always remember this, and I hope it always makes me tear up, and remember the shame that I did nothing.

On a happier note, the memory I can't wait to create.... (although we're not quite ready to create it :)) is having a baby. :) Picking out those baby books and baby names and starting the biggest project of love we'll ever undertake in this world! :)

Also, buying our first house, taking my first trip to Europe, and of course, finishing my manuscript for my novel, Clara von Silversweet and the Spinning of a Spell, and then hopefully.... getting published! :)

Thank you for the questions, Steph! :)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Reallly, March, really??

I took a look outside this morning and this is the ridiculousness that greeted me. I mean, really.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A dip into Instant Karma

I'm glad I named this blog The Kaleidoscope Kitchen, because all over the place it shall be.

I thought I'd found one of my life's passions in baking recently, but the sugar overload of baking three times a week plus has driven me back into the arms of real food and nutrients. So out come the vegetables. Now I'll have to post some deliciousness for what most of you people have been eating for dinner, while I was eating apple tart. I love the kitchen fires representing more than just something that tastes good- desserts feel sweet and fun and happy and I love those qualities in life. But healthy food also represents nourishment, something I crave for body and soul. So I shall temper nourishment with bits of sweet, perhaps. But this is a kaleidoscope, I suppose, so you never know what food I'll be in love with next!

For now though, I simply wanted to share some thoughts from one of those awesome books you buy filled with inspiration, that you dip into and love, then forget about for a year or two. Here's a taste:

~There are no mistakes in life, only lessons.

~Happiness is never stopping to think if you are. (Paul Sondreal)

~Be kind to a pushy salesperson.

~Never speak loudly to each other, unless the house is on fire.

~Look at people when they speak to you.

~Strive for progress, not perfection.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Banana Cranberry Bread... or Nutty Banana Bread, both devine

Now this is delicious, and I've been a bit peeved about it this season. I've made so much of this stuff to give away for Christmas, and all I've gotten myself is one measly little slice. I usually tend to eat my baking in bulk, so my body isn't happy about it!

I was spoiled at first, when I discovered my local co-op had an old banana box where I could buy them immediately ready for baking fun, and at half the price. Then once I started relying on it, it disappeared! So I suppose I'll have to wait a few more days to make this again. I hope you have some bananas on hand right away though. And now that cranberries are disappearing too, try frozen, or skip the cranberries altogether and substitute chopped pecans. Doesn't it look so homey sitting sliced on my mom's old breadboard? I love it!

Banana cranberry bread or Nutty banana bread
makes 4 mini-loaves or 1 standard loaf
modified from Joy the Baker

4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4-1 cup packed light brown sugar (I used 3/4)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbs amaretto (I used Disarrono)
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 tsp all-spice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup fresh cranberries (or 1 cup chopped pecans)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mix melted butter into the mashed bananas. Mix in the sugar, egg, amaretto, vanilla, and then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour and mix. Add the cranberries (or nuts) and stir until just incorporated. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 loaf pan (or minis). Bake for 1 hour. (Minis about 50 minutes.) Cool on a rack.

Done! So easy!