adding color

this past weekend i did something i hadn't done in a long time...paint.

i've been wanting to do this for a long time but recently verizon upgraded our internet package that previously only included high speed internet and a home phone.  they added basic cable to our service and we are now actually paying less than what we were paying before.
in reality this just means we will now get to watch monday night football.:)

so i thought i could improve our tv watching spot by painting the inside of the armoire.
people don't really like armoire's any longer do they?   they like the tv to be out in the open but i still like mine hidden.

i used martha stewarts "maine lobster"


it's like a little surprise when i open the doors now.

in other news...this weekend we will be going to new york city.
i'm so excited even though it is supposed to be raining the entire time we are there.

i hope to pack everything i need into my weekender.
i'll let you know how it goes.
also, i'm planning on taking lots of pictures to share with you guys when i get back next week.

until then have a fabulous life wouldya?


weekend scramble

excited for the weekend?  me too.

one of my favorite things to do on weekend mornings is make a tofu scramble.
the weekends are just so relaxing and there isn't the normal weekday rush and there is time to slow down and put something really filling on the table.
when i first became a vegan i really missed the big breakfasts of eggs and bacon but no more.

this super delicious scramble is easy too.
if you are new to being vegan and miss the old big breakfast too, give this a try.
i'm sure you'll love it.

weekend scramble

1 or 2 potatoes cut up and sauteed in a tiny bit of oil along with peppers and onions.
when the potatoes are tender and properly browned i crumble in 1/2 a package of baked tofu.  i use trader joes.
while this is all cooking, season with salt, pepper and chili powder.
i usually garnish with slices of avocado or green onions.

so that is that.

have a great weekend, ok?!



yesterday i went out into the bruised, battered and parched garden and cut my hydrangeas.

i'm always so nervous about cutting them b/c there's this thing that if you cut them wrong you cut off next years growth.

pretty sure i cut them wrong.

we'll see next year just how wrong.

hope all is well with you and yours.



sunset to sunrise

we wanted to get out of here for the weekend, but where to go?
temperatures here, near 100 and at the beach they were going to be in the 90's.
so being the reasonable people we are, we opted for the desert.

i know what you are thinking, but joshua tree's high was going to be 85 and we hoped not many would notice this, and we were right.

we arrived friday evening just in time to get in a quick hike and watch the sunset, which is a magical time of day in the desert.

there is something about this prehistoric landscape that is both soothing and energizing.

the plan was to get up early, climb ryan mountain to watch the sunrise and have breakfast.
these rock steps are misleading b/c you steps up to the top?  this will be easy,
ummm, so wrong.  the steps get taller and taller and you have to heft yourself and your backpack up well over 1000 of them.  

i took these pictures of the steps on the way down b/c going up it was still dark.

we made it to the top just as the sun was rising

sunset to sunrise in the desert.


weekend wear

summer seems to be going out with a bang this year.
string together enough sweltering days in a row and what you wind up with is complete apathy toward just about everything.

case in point, this outfit.
ridiculously easy and comfy.

goodwill t shirt + goodwill shorts + goodwill loafers =  not much effort
but the total was only $5

so yay to that.

have a happy weekend my friends.


the secret to a long and happy life

joshua tree last saturday morning

i saw this video on the beautiful blog raining sheep.
it is so soothing to watch that i just had to share it.

if you need your blood pressure to be lowered while at the same time being inspired, then i suggest you sit back and enjoy, it's only 4 minutes long.
i am utterly captivated by this woman's grace, beauty and way of life.

secrets to a long and happy life

do you have a secret to a long and happy life?


white gazpacho - again

just popping in with a quick post today.
and while i'm at it i may as well apologize for my lack of posts.
sorry, but i haven't had anything to say.

 the weather has been dreadfully hot here and i can't bear to turn the stove on.
so yesterday i went digging in the recipe archive and as soon as i saw this i knew it was what we were having for dinner...

this recipe that i swiped from slim who i believe swiped it from food and wine magazine.  it is so good and so refreshing you may want to give it a try.

i changed the recipe a little and so this what i used last night

about a lb and a half of green grapes
1 peeled and diced cucumber
2 chopped scallions
1/4 c almonds
1/2 to 1 c almond milk
6 oz plain soy yogurt
1/4 c rice vinegar
1 t red pepper flakes

i pulse the almonds in the blender first and then add the rest of the ingredients and blend til smooth.  refrigerator for a couple of hours and serve with a small salad and slice of bread.



in her own words - how i became a vegan - shelley

i get so many emails asking me about how and why i am vegan that i've decided to start a readers series to help others make the transition from a regular, sad (standard american diet) to a vegan diet.
you all know that i switched the minute i finished watching earthlings.
but not everyone does it that way.
i look forward to introducing you to regular readers of my blog and have them share with you, in their own words, just how becoming vegan happened for them and the impact it has had on their lives.
if you would be interested in participating, please email me.

so first up is shelley.  she is a schoolteacher in san diego and has a wealth of information that she shares regularly in the comment section of my blog.
so here is shelley's story.

How did you become vegan? THAT is a question I get asked regularly. The answer? We were forced into it.

In Oct 2010 my husband---age 70-- was pre-diabetic and overweight and he failed a treadmill test which resulted in him getting an angioplasty and 2 stents in his coronaries. And he was told he's need a 3rd stent in 6 months. He was never even given an option of changing his diet. That was a huge wake up call for the both of us.

My husband lost 40 pounds following the regular Mc Dougall starch/plant eating plan and he's kept if off - for a year now.  He was never hungry. His new cardio doc took him off his 2 statin drugs and his 2 BP meds--10 months ago- and says no 3rd stent required. All his follow up tests show good strong blood flow to his heart.

He has not overcome his compulsive eating behaviors - they will always be with him. Instead, he changed his diet so these behaviors don't trip him up.

The KEY was for us to fully understand the STARCH BASED vegan diet - I read all the resources that I will post here--right below. 
They were most helpful :

The China Study by Colin Campbell [ your library has it ]
McDougall Program -
Jeff Novick's DVD excerpt on Calorie Density -
Mc Dougall forums for recipes, support and new ideas:

After reading or watching the above, we both committed 100% to this starch/plant way of eating for 2 months to just SEE if we could do it - we were semi-vegetarians for 20 years prior to becoming vegans and so it took only a month of getting rid of cheese and yogurt and ice cream and fried foods and oils to feel like we were not "missing out" but honestly we do not miss cheese or yogurt or ice cream or fried foods or oil at all now. Every time we cheated we RE-committed -  we didn't let a small cheat be an excuse to continue to cheat the rest of the day. So if you are thinking you want to try plant based, I'd suggest you commit to it for 2 months-don't tell yourself you are doing this way of eating FOREVER - say to yourself you are doing just a 2 month trial. If you can stick with it for 2 months you will be glad you did. The hardest part is over after 2 months-!! We see our friends and family members suffering with all sorts of health issues and we feels so bad for them. I hope this post will inspire a few reader's of Janet's to do something good for themselves. It's not complicated - eating this way is very simple and easy!

The change in the quality of our lives still amazes me today, after over 18 months of eating this starch/plant way. No Rx drugs, more energy, better sleep, clearer skin, fewer aches and pains, better mental clarity and the peace of mind that comes with knowing we are doing what is best for ourselves, the animals the environment and planet earth !

All these benefits and THIS :  it is CHEAPER than eating meat + dairy + junk.
-Shelley [ in San Diego ]

thank you shelley for sharing your story!


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