Weekend Fun + Banksy’s Newest Art

Hope you all had a great weekend!  I’m going to keep it short and sweet here.  

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We did a little wine tasting. 🙂

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We hung out.

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I took impromptu photos! 😉

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It was so beautiful.  🙂

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Karen Doo-Doo got me this!  

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We went here.  Cold Spring Tavern.  Beer + Live Music.

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Ate good stuff.  🙂

Weekend highlight?  Standing on my dad’s deck, with the awesome view of Santa Barbara in front of me, with a warm fire in the chimenea, talking to Heather, while eating a cinnamon roll.  What about you guys?  Hope you all did something fun!

Have any of you seen the latest from Banksy?  It looks like a “score one for the vegans”, but I’m not sure!  What do you guys think?  Here’s a link for you to go see what I’m talking about.  It’s called Siren’s of the Lambs.  Go check it out!  

http://autos.aol.com/article/banksys-latest-art-project-goes-on-the-road/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl19%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D391120

 

Weekend Round-up + Easy Dinner Recipe

I hope you all had a very enjoyable weekend!  I know I did!  It was nice to be busy on Saturday–having fun kept my mind off the Kickstarter stuff.  Son of Doo-Doo and Heather, Nick, Ruxin, and I went to Lizard’s Mouth Saturday afternoon to just hang out, have relax-y time, and watch the sun go down.  Little did I know that Ruxin is a mountain goat in dog form!  He scaled the rocks like a champion!  Lizard’s Mouth is crazy beautiful and has a glorious, sweeping view of the hills and ocean above Santa Barbara.  I’m amazed that I’ve lived in Santa Barbara most of my life and have never been there. 

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See what I mean?  Just beautiful.

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Goat Dog in action!  Look at him climb! 

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This is probably one of my favorite photos, ever.  🙂  Look at how victorious he looks!  So proud!  It was a total toss up for him–climb, or eat acorns, which there were a lot of, which he WOOFED down a lot of.  “They had a bunch of acorns; I ate a bunch of acorns.” 😉  Fortunately there were no adverse effects from all the acorn eating!  Yay!

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It was a little windy and started to get cold, so we packed up and headed back before the sun went down.

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After Lizard’s Mouth we headed back to Tingle Manor (Son of Doo-Doo and Heather’s place) and had veggie burgers and lost horribly at Catan. 

Yesterday Nick and I hung out here, went for a nice walk on Main Street, walked along the the ocean front, and had a long discussion on what we could do to get the word out about my Kicktarter project and just published book, “The Warkak and Snoozle.”  Guys, the few of you who read, if you have any suggestions here, I’d love to hear them.  Seriously.  Please message me and let me know if there is something else I could do, here.  🙂  Thanks!  My small victory was emailing the Dyslexic Kids facebook page to see if they’d share my book–it IS written in a dyslexic friendly font after all!  They did share the book on their page, wrote a very nice little introduction for their followers, and I’m so grateful–honestly, I don’t care about sales.  I care that people read and enjoy, like I did as a kid.  I think it is interesting that more people don’t publish using these sorts of heavy bottomed fonts.  They are so much easier to read, even if you don’t struggle with dyslexia.

Sunday dinner was not fancy, but I made one of my old stand-bys:  Tofu & Artichoke Couscous Medley. 

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Since going vegan I have had to create a couple of easy, quick, tasty, and healthy go-to recipes and this is one of them.  I keep my pantry stocked with the flavors and ingredients I enjoy, so that in a pinch, I can throw something together with relatively minimal effort.  I’d classify this recipe as more comfort food, vegan style, and often replaces mac-n-cheese around here.  On a side note, I know I give the things I make funny names, and if you have a better name, let me know!

Ingredients:

3 Cups Veggie Stock

1 Tbs Olive Oil (Optional, but tastier with it for obvious reasons!)

1/2 tsp Salt

1 + 1/2 Cup Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend (it has Israeli Couscous, Orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and quinoa in it and makes a great base for many recipes.)

1 Can Artichoke Hearts, Rinsed, Drained, and Quartered

1 Package Tofu (Savory Kind)

Sun Dried Tomatoes

Toasted Chopped Pecans

Directions:

In a large pot, place veggie stock, olive oil, and salt.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Stir in couscous mix.  Turn heat down to low, cover, and let cook for about 7-8 minutes. 

Add tofu, stir, recover and let cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Add artichoke hearts and sun dried tomatoes, stir, cover, and let cook until all liquid has been absorbed; roughly another 3-5 minutes. 

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Serve with a salad and/or veggies.  I made peas and had some carrots and snap peas that I topped with a little Goddess dressing.  It was pretty tasty, hearty, and satisfying!  This recipe makes 4 servings and the leftovers are great cold, which I’m eying already, though it isn’t even lunch time.

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After dinner we went and visited our friend Matt (who is awesome!), brought a bottle of wine and some freshly baked pumpkin spice cookies (see last post!) and just hung out.  I should update that recipe as Nick and I felt that the cookies were better after the dough had been chilled over night.  The dough bakes fine without being chilled, however, but I’m not surprised that being chilled made it better, as this is the way with that type of dough! 

Visiting with Matt was a very nice end to a very nice weekend.  Now I guess it’s back to the grind!  I hope you all had a great weekend! If you have suggestions for how to help promote the Kickstarter or the book, please let me know!  🙂 

Great Weekend!

Okay guys.  It’s Monday.  Again.  Booooooo.

I personally think that the weekends should have one more day included–so that every weekend would be a three day weekend!  Who’s with me!!  If the Roman emperors could add a whole MONTH in their honor, surely adding one measly day in, every week, wouldn’t be THAT hard, right?  We could call it “people’s-day.”  🙂

I hope you all had a great weekend!  Here’s what I got into, mostly via photos! Yay photos!

Saturday I wrapped this:

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Nothing says “I’m glad we are family!” like a giant, paper bow, right?  🙂  This is my gift for Son of Doo-doo–Catan.  Also do note the Warkak and Snoozle making a cameo….

Then, I met some friends for lunch who I haven’t seen in years (no joke, literally years!  sad and true) and it was so nice to get a bit caught up.

Then, we headed to Santa Barbara to celebrate Son of Doo-Doo!

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We got lost and ended up on Miramar beach, not Hammonds.  How is possible I’ve lived in SB most of my life and never heard of these beaches!?  Anyway, it all got sorted out.

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We brought the dog.  This proved to be a mostly regrettable choice.  He was crazy excited and there was food EVERYWHERE, right at his face level.

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I can’t wait for him to not be a puppy any longer and we can trust him to just hang out and be good!  Wrangling him was Nick’s full time job, and my part time job, which made it somewhat hard to just enjoy and have fun with everyone.  Here he is, totally crazy because he wanted these:

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Not. Vegan.

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Beach fun!

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We then headed to Montecito for a quick birthday drink at Los Arroyos.  While the people who worked there were rude to us, the margarita was super good.  Post drinks Nick, crazy-eye pup, and I headed home, relaxed, and watched Lilo & Stitch.

Sunday was great, too!  We headed back to SB for more birthday shenanigans!

We had a little snack-y picnic down at the harbor and I snapped a photo for your viewing pleasure:

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We then took my dad’s boat for a sail.  And by “we” I mean my dad took us for a sail. 😉

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Captain Don for president!  Go ahead, if you see him, ask him what his policy is on Syria!  😉

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Nope.  Doesn’t suck.  I took TWO Dramamine pills so that I wouldn’t get sea sick.  I felt totally fine during the sail, but was SO. TIRED. from the “less drowsy” formula and I’d hate to see what regular type would do to me! 😛

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Bye bye SB Harbor!  You were great.  Now, out into the open sea!  Where there was wind, oh my lots of wind!  The boat was healed over so hard, the only photo I managed to take of the rest of the sail was this:

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I didn’t even realize the film on my iPhone had changed!  Ooops!

A great time was had by all.  After the sail, Son of Doo-Doo and his sweet girlfriend, Heather, invited us back to their place to play CATAN.  My dinner last night was chips and candy and it was AWESOME.  No joke.  Sometimes you just need to do it.

Our Catan game was cut short owing to the time–we needed to tend to the pup who we’d left home yesterday.

So, today, I feel relaxed (in spite of having to pay quarterly taxes), totally tired (my brain can’t even seem to spell words right today wtf), oddly hungry (I suppose from the lack of “real food” last night? ha!) and looking forward to Tuesday where we will have a Catan rematch.  I’m not going to pile up on ore this time.  For those of you who know the game, yay!  For those of you who don’t, boo and shame on you, go get yo’self one.  🙂

Oh, and Kickstarter.   T-Minus THREE days until I launch!!  THREE DAYS people.  No one wrote back to me from Ellen, Oprah, or even on the local level.  Uhm……how does it get better than this?? I’m going to make some caffeine filled hot tea for lunch, then email them all, AGAIN.  And write birthday trees.

Have a great Monday and I hope you had a splendid weekend!!

Happy 4th (a day late, oops!) & Happy Friday!

Sorry I’ve been remiss in my blogging duties!  Just hang a sign on my blog that says “Gone Fishin’!”

I do have a good excuse.  Well, several, actually!  I got the first physical proof my book and there were MANY things that had to be fixed!  A word to the wise, a feathered edge border around the illustrations is NOT (I repeat NOT!) a good idea!  Everything was not centered right and some of the border was cut off on some of the pages, and it looked so sloppy.  Nick asked, “What is this? Amateur hour?”  There were other little issues, too–character faces too close to the center binding and got cut off, page numbers had been added…oh it was a right mess.

I’ve also started re-working/creating another book and I am very excited about this!  It’s pretty innovative and different, if I do say so myself.  O’ course, I would say that as I’m the one who thought the thing up…. lol

I’ve also had to go and make more work for myself, too, since one of my stories just doesn’t feel like it is a complete book.  It was going to be published as a kids book, but the illustrations weren’t coming together for it.  I took this as a sign and began to wonder what have I been missing!  So, what I think I’m going to do is put this short story into a compilation of short stories, poems, and other funny stuff my brain churns out.  It should be good.  I’ve got a lot of things I’ve written over the years that I never did anything with and I’m going to repurpose and re-work them for this book!

Needless to say, my mind has been spinning on all of the possibilities!

I hope you all had a great mid-week holiday!  We certainly did!  We headed to Santa Barbara and hung out with my dad on his boat.  For this occasion I made some peanut butter almond & oat flour vegan awesome cookies (a la Oh She Glows again, she rocks!) and brought some fruit and pasta salad.  Photos for you guys!  And might I add, holy moly was it ever beautiful in SB!!  I don’t think the photos do it justice…..but you will get a sense none-the-less!

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This was my effort to take a patriotic photo.  Yes, that’s a flag blowing in the wind there…yeah, that thing you can barely see!  Whatever.  It’s the flag.  It’s there.  Yay the 4th! lol

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People hangin’.

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The Papa-dopper and Nick chillin’.

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Definitely one of the worst views, ever.  😉

The firework show was amazing and one of the best Santa Barbara has ever put on!

Now, done to the good stuff.  There is this:

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Yes, it is GOOD.  I’m snacking on the left-overs now!

Here’s how you make it.

Great Picnic-Party-in-Your-Mouth-Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

1/2 Bag or Box of Pasta of your choice

1/2 Cup Quinoa of your choice

1 Can Diced Black Olives

1/4  of a Purple Onion, small dice

For the Dressing:

4 Tbs Olive Oil

1 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tbs Regular Mustard (you could use Dijon if you like)

5-6 Shakes Onion Powder

5-6 Shakes Garlic Powder

Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Prepare pasta, drain, toss with a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from forming one giant clump.  Set aside.  Prepare quinoa according to directions on box; usually a 1:2 ratio of quinoa to liquid.  Once water is absorbed, set aside, and let cool.  In a large mixing bowl, measure out and combine the dressing ingredients, (literally just slurry them together, it isn’t fancy) then add pasta, quinoa, and onion.  Toss to coat with dressing.  Add more salt & pepper if you need.  Serve chilled or eat right on the spot.

Please note that some of these ratios can be futzed with depending on taste.  You might like more onion powder and garlic powder, or more purple onion, or want to omit these flavors altogether.  This is a totally flexible recipe, very easy to make, and doesn’t suck. 🙂

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Grab a fork and dig in!  Happy Friday!  I’ll try to remember to post up that wonderful banana bread recipe this weekend!