December 28, 2011

Banana Bread - the vegan way

Another wonderful recipe I hijacked from Eve at Love, Life and Lollipops.

The recipe for the vegan banana bread with chocolate chips and walnuts can be found HERE.  I will also sum it up for you right here. 

4 overripe bananas
1 cup brown rice syrup
1/2 cup barley malt
2tbs flaxseed meal - I looked this up and you can substitute it for one egg.  *Obviously it would not      make it vegan, so I used an egg replacer to compensate for the flaxseed because I did not want to spend so much money for something I may make one time.
1 cup almond milk - I used rice milk b/c it was on hand
4 cups wheat flour
1 tbs baking powder
1tbs baking soda
1tbs cinnoman
1tsp nutmeg
1 cup chocolate chips (could be vegan)
1 cup walnuts

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease 2 loaf pans with oil or Earth Balance.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer place: the bananas, brown rice syrup, barley malt, flaxseed meal, almond milk, canola oil, and vanilla.
  4. Mix it together on low until the banana is pretty mashed up.
  5. Meanwhile in a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate chips, and walnuts.
  6. While the mixer is on add the dry ingredients to the wet 1/3 at a time.
  7. Pour the batter into the pans and bake them for 45 min to an hour (depending on how deep your pans are.  (With mine the green one was 45 minutes, but the loaf took a full hour.)
  8. Let it cool before you cut it.
I would suggest that you put the chocolate chips on when you have put the batter into the pans. When I mixed them in all of the chocolate chips laid on the bottom.

And with this one recipe it made me one big loaf and three mini loafs.  So it will make you a LOT of banana bread.

October 19, 2011

Movie Review -Abdution

If you like suspense and action this movie is for you.  It begins about a boy who seems to be living a normal life, until he finds his picture on a missing persons website.  He is curious, as most people would be, and starts to investigate. And when he begins this he is exposed to a world he never imagined.  He is being chased by the CIA and an organized crime family because his real father is in possession of sensitive information.  The CIA want to protect him, and the crime family wants to trade him for the secrets his father keeps.  I will end my synopsis here so that I do not give away too much.

This movie is suspenseful.  It is not an overwhelming feeling when you watch the movie because, like every other action movie, you know eventually the main character will win.  There is some good fighting in this movie.  There are also some chase scenes which add some excitement to the movie.

A critique:  the main character is not a very good actor, so the movie suffers a little in that way.

One thing that is kind of bothering me about the movie now is the role of the girl, that plays alongside the main character.  This girl is someone he likes, and she witnesses his parents murder so the boy feels the need to protect her, to take her with him to be protected.  Well turns out to be the classical damsel in distress kind of scenario.  Although the damsel does not have the problem the main character must protect her, because she has become involved in the craziness.  So she tags along and adds some sex to the plot, but is little more than eye candy for the audience.

I tried again

This weekend a boy from school invited me to go with him to a vegetarian get together (its a group called VEGphoenix).  And I decided to go because I am kind of attracted to this guy.  I don't think this was a true date, because it was kind of about getting together but then also meeting new people.  And I decided to go because I wanted to show him that I am interested in him.  And so I got to spend time with him, while also meeting new friends.

The group met up at z pizza.  Have you ever been there? Well they have some awesome pizza and vegan pizza if you are a vegan.  It was so yummy! And the company was good and I had much more fun than I expected.  But I don't think he had as much fun because the table we sat at was all girls.

So at least I tried to show him my interest in him, I am sure I would have regretted not going.  So now we will see what happens as the semester goes on.

October 4, 2011

Walk for Farm Animals

So I recently became a vegetarian.  And I did it because I did not want to be a part of the cruelty toward animals that happens on factory farms.  I have posted one thing earlier .

So this weekend I went to a vegetarian event, where lots of people come out and hang out at an eating place.  It was weird, but I ended up really having a good time.  And it is so good that I went because I met a girl named Ana, see her blog here, and she told me about this walk that is happening at the end of the month.  Its called Walk for Farm Animals.  The money raised by this walk is donated to animal sanctuaries so that they can stay open and save animals from awful conditions.  So I immediately knew that I would sign up.

So today I officially signed up.  I have created a fundraising page for anyone who wants to support the cause.  I want to raise $100 so that I can get a t-shirt.  It seems pretty expensive for a t-shirt, I admit, but maybe with lots of people chipping in a little bit of money I can make it.

This will lead to the profile page that I created.  I am also posting it on the top of my blog so that I can show others what it is all about and maybe see if they are interested.

I would appreciate any support, but there is no obligation.  I just wanted to make people aware of it, in the hopes that maybe if this is happening in your area you may want to take part in it.

At a fork in the road, not literally though

By the end of the week, I will probably be very stressed out.  And it will not be pretty :(

Only Parent Chronicles

October 2, 2011

My favorite things

These are a few of my favorite things this week:

This week I have just become addicted.  There are sooooo many good things.  Many documentaries, and all of these movies that I have wanted to see, but then forgot about them, and the tv shows that are on there.  good variety, not everything I would want, but enough to keep me interested.  I also found some workout shows.  I like the 10 minute boot camp one.  It is one thing for 10 minutes then she moves on to a different group of muscles.  Its a good one.

EASY by Rascal Flatts ft. Natasha Bedingfeild
This song grows on you.  I love the way Bedingfields voice is a little raspy, it adds volumes to the song.  The duet is powerful and full of emotion.  This has been going through my head all night.  I wake up to find a more comfortable position and I find myself singing the song.  It's crazy!

Best line "what he don't know, is how hard it is to make it look so easy."

September 26, 2011

Criminal Minds

I am so HAPPY you have no idea!!!! I am super happy the Criminal Minds directors/writers decided to put the original cast back together.  They are all awesome as a unit, as well as wonderful on their own.  Anyways, this season finale was soooooooo good.  I had just begun to miss criminal minds after not watching the last season (because they replaced people), and this exceeded all my expectations! It was lovely.  All the characters were reintroduced, they all kind of made amends about whatever happened last season, and the story ended happily.  Of course next week we will be back to catching crazy killers, but this week's episode kind of started the season right.  It closed a part of the previous story lines, but also kept possibilities open for the changes that will happen this season. 

I loved this season premiere.  And usually premieres are mediocre, but this one was awesome! so I wanted to voice my opinion. 

If this entices you to want to watch the full episode the first part can be found HERE.

September 25, 2011

Unconventional Halloween Idea

I stumbled upon a great craft idea for Halloween.  Its something I am very excited about because its unconventional and I dont have to get a pumpkin. 

Its a aluminum jack-o-lantern!

The how to is pretty simple.  If you want to see the original click here, otherwise keep reading. 

With an empty and clean can, peel off the wrapping. 
With the can upside down (the open end down) draw on your face.
Use a box cutter to cut away the face.
To put a light through mark and X at the top.  With the box cutter cut the X and fold corners down inside the can (be careful!).
Then put the lamp cord through the can and close the X up.
Place the wrapper back around the can and your done.

I strayed with creating my pumpkin can.  I made my pumpkin  upside down, but then I used one of the little tea lights that are battery powered to light mine.  I was not going to play around with electrical stuff.  I am also thinking of putting a candle in one.  And if I do I think I will have to put some kind of whole in the top to keep the flame going.

Obviously this person was joe cool and used a pumpkin pie can.  I used an ordinary piece of paper for mine because we dont have any pumpkin pie cans lying around yet.  I am also thinking about trying another one with tissue paper do the light gets through easier.

September 19, 2011

Documentary Days

Absolutely Safe:  This movie is for anyone thinking about having breast implants.  This movie shows negative effects of  silicon implants specifically.  It doesn't do it use scare tactics to try to get you to not have surgery, it's more informative and lays out what has happened to regular people in an up front way.  There are a few parts with graphic images, but this is used sparingly, and does not have a negative effect on the movie's message.  

This documentary takes you through the process of how food is  grown.  Many of the ideas are the same as other documentaries like food,inc. and food matters.  It discusses how factory farming is harmful to the environment and to our nutrition. This documentary also shows that local farmers are the better bet, but that they are still struggling.  It is hard for farmers to sustain their business.  Big farms are able to produce more and get more money from the government to run their operations.  While small local farmers may be the answer there are too few of them, and it is hard for them to make a good enough living for it to be worthwhile for more people to join into the farming business.  This movie shows that there is hope and that things are changing.  Small incremental changes, wherever they happen are better that no progress at all.

Vanishing Bees:  You have all heard that the bees are dying right?  Its a big issue.  Mostly because bees are essential to plant pollination and are needed to pollinate most of our foods.  This documentary takes you through what has become known as colony collapse, where bees simply abandon their hives.  No one knows why, but they just stop coming back to the hive.  This has economic repercussions because if we cannot grow our own food we are in deep deep trouble.  One part I thought was very interesting is that some people are suggesting that the pesticides  being used to treat our plants are having negative effects on the bees.  I believe this argument,  but and not sure why it would cause them to abandon their hive.  Pesticides have hazardous chemicals, and if a tiny bee were the inject those chemical they would have a much larger effect than say if a human ingested the same amount.  Bees are smaller and therefore are more dramatically effected by changes in the environment.  Its scary to think about, and I know that I would have no interest in the topic had it not been for this documentary.  One thing I suggest and encourage people to do is to buy honey that comes from the United States, it keeps the bee farmers in the US in business, and is the real deal.  Did you know that many bee keepers are going out of business because their bees are abandoning their hives?  And that we are even importing bees from other countries to pollinate our crops?  its becoming a major crisis for the US.  But at a time where food can be shipped all over the world in a matter of days it have not yet become a big problem that our food doesn't get pollinated.  One day though I am sure that there will be a major crisis where we will be able to see the impact of having no bees around.

September 14, 2011

My passion

The other day I went out to lunch with my grandma.  While we were sitting there her friends (a husband and wife) came up to us to say 'hi'.  It was the usual 'wow you have grown, I remember when you were this big...' Well then the husband asked what I was going to school for and I told him my master's degree.  He was curious and asked 'in what?' This question is usually a conversation ender bcause no one knows what you will do with a Master's in Public Administration.  So I say 'My Masters in Public Administration' and he looks at me and says 'Thank you.'

And so I'm like what, you actually know what that means and know what I want to be a part of...  It was a different experience having someone say thank you for me just going to school for something.  I didn't know what to say and just shook my head.    We said goodbye and then had our lunch.

I am still trying to process the 'thank you.'  I mean all I am doing is studying how government works to manage people and programs for citizens.  I will try to get work in government or a non profit, but I am years away from that.  But I do think the thank you might have been about putting new people in government.  The perception of those who work in government is awful.  There are a few bad seeds, like in any job, but the people who work are there because they believe in helping citizens, and they all do what they can to ensure it happens.

I'm glad someone thinks I will have a positive impact on the job I am seeking.  In my life no one understands why I am going into the public sector, or what exactly I will be doing when I get there.  Well I don't know exactly what I will be doing when I get there, but there are endless possibilities of what I could do, and many different ways that I could help people.

September 11, 2011

More Turtles

I really love turtles.

Last week I had to take my Sulcata Mogli to the vet.  She was having problems with her eyelids.  They have a third eyelid that was puffy and red, and took a long time to uncover the eye.  It made me worry.  And then she started breathing really hard.  So I got more worried.  On monday I was in a craze and had to get into the vet. (But this happened two weeks ago) 

The vet was very nice.  He's about the best.  His name is Michael Keidrowshi, you can see his profile HERE.  He said that tortoises like this will breath harder as they get older.  The bigger they are the more noise they will make when they breath.  So some noises are normal.  And mogli's eye had subsided, the doc said that bugs or grass may get in there and irritate it.    And the doc said that mogli is definitely a girl.  Good to know.  And he also said that she had tripled in size since the year before! She is nine pounds now.  There is absolutely no way to pick her up with one hand, its crazy.

So since we are back home and when I give all the tortoises a bath mogli still has problems with her eye some times.  So I pick her up, and wipe her eye trying to get the dirt or grass out of it.  She lets me wipe her eye and I can get whatever it is out in two or three wipes.  I am still really worried when her eye gets all red, but the doctor said it will happen a lot throughout a tortoises life, and that goes for all of them.

We have taken some more great pictures too.
Square got tired while eating, so decided to take a nap right there
"I'm trapped" - water baby
Cuddling Turtles
Tortoise Pyramid
"What? This is comfortable for me." - no name

Mogli is trying to get onto the bottom.  We have a stair in the backyard, and the ramp to get up and down was not up, so she was finding a different way down.  The potted plant is on the divide between the top and bottom.  She was stuck there, so I had to pick her up and move her down.
It was very hot outside so the turtles roamed the tiled kitchen.
They are hiding under the compost can.
This is the pool I give them a bath in.  It was flipped this way to dry, that is freckles sitting inside it.  She tried to move in there and it ended up falling off the step so she was stuck underneath for a little while.

This woman must love turtles as much as I do. 

Hamburger Turtle

September 9, 2011

Crazy Times

The excitement of beginning school has passed.  I am starting to feel overwhelmed.  I started the semester with 4 classes.  And that means hours and hours of homework everyday to keep up with the class lectures.  And it leaves no time to start on the major papers for each class, or any of the two papers due in any given class.

So yesterday I can home, and I was not very excited because I realized that one 20 page paper is due in a month, and I feel like I am already behind.  I told my mom I was exhausted already.  And she told me, you are taking 4 classes which is a lot for graduate school.  You don't have to take all those classes.  And it was like an "aha" moment.  I thought your right.  I had not considered this before because I thought I could do it, and I knew it would probably be stressful, but I believe I could get through it.  But I think my mom telling me that, was like her saying I will still be proud of you even if you only take three classes.  I didn't realize that I felt that way until my mom told me I don't have to take all those classes. In the very back of my mind I am also wanting to do my best and be the best to make her proud of me.

So the past few days I have been uninspired to do homework, and I was getting all worked up, but now that I don't have so many classes I don't have to get worked up.  I can just know and be ok with it, because I know I will be able to complete everything to the best of my abilities.

Something I worked on:
(you know there is never enough time when school starts.  I even quit my less than part time job, but I still feel I can and should be doing homework all the time)
 I found this block letter at Michael's for 2.50$ and was happy to buy the initial for my name and display it in my room.  Of course when I bought it it was a lonely sad white A.  I decided to decorate and have it match my colorful room.  I love it! And i had a lot of fun creatively.

August 29, 2011

Bones Exposed

I am upset to find out that the only reason Brennan and Booth got together was because in real like the actress who plays Bones is pregnant.  While its great for her (and congratulations!) I would have liked to see there characters go through a courting (so to speak) where I get to see their attraction explode.  But when the season finished (and before I knew she was actually pregnant) I thought that the idea was a great idea to suddenly bring them together.  I was disappointed to have not seen more romance, but I guess you can only take what you can get.  Any romance is better than no romance.

August 25, 2011

Documentary Marathon

So I just discovered the documentary section of my netflix.  It all started with a fellow bloggers suggestion about watching "No Impact Man." This documentary shows you the extreme of what you could do to reduce your impact on the world. What really got me was how they radically changed their diet and were still able to have variety and made really good food.  I have recently became a vegetarian for the second time, and so I am trying lots of new recipes and I was excited about what they did, and how they got their food and learned about where they came from. 

Another blogger friend reviewed "Food Matters." Here is a small trailer.  It is an amazing movie!  I want to buy it, then share it with everyone I know!  Seriously, this movie talks about how foods are made, what they contain by the time they reach our table, and what we should be aware of in terms of supplements.  I am all for supplements and vitamin.  From this movie I bough two supplements because of their suggestions.  One, niacin for my depression, and two vitamin c because I have high anxiety levels and therefor I am stressed.  An aside note that I learned from my naturepath doctor is that taking an omega 3 vitamin is very good for you.  It have the vitamin that helps with improving brain function, and is also suppose to help decrease depression.  What else can I tell you......? I love it.  It encourages people to eat locally, there is no gore about inhumane animal treatment, it is all about how food should make you feel better, and some studies that reinforce that view. 

"Fat Head"  This is a documentary that is a paradox to "Supersize Me."  He is showing that he can eat at fast food chains for 3 meals a day, and how he will not gain a dramatic amount of weight, if any.  This man is being a bit (or a lot) dramatic about many things. He does little side acts where he is alone narrating his actions, and they exaggerate every action.  Mostly he shows and talks about how healthy food is boring and how hates eating it. He tried one one meal with lots of soy products, no wonder it wasn't good - maybe try something with more flavor and more vegetables, he's dumb.  I agree that "supersize me" may be a bit dramatic, that maybe there is a healthy way to eat at fast food; but at least "supersize me" was not so blatantly slamming other researchers.  And also the "fat head" narrator doesn't even talk about nutrition.  Which I think is very important, and apparently he doesn't.  I was only able to watch 32 minutes of this documentary, it was annoying. 

And then school started so I haven't been able to watch many other documentaries yet.  But I will and I will keep you posted on which ones are worth watching.

August 12, 2011

Fabric question

I saw the most amazing fabric on a baby's dress.  And I am so in love with it I want to make clothes with it right now!  Its a pale, gray and light blue; with some muted greens and blues for the polka dots.

Ok, so these are some bad pictures of the outfit.  Babies are so squirmy that I could not for the life of me get a good picture.

Has anyone out there seen a fabric like or similar to this??? And where did you find it?

August 11, 2011

Crayon Melting.

I saw this tutorial yesterday, about making a crayon melted picture, which was super easy, so I was super excited to try it.  I found the tutorial from Tracy at Naptime = Craft time!: Melty Crayon Canvas Art

I am not sure why I got so excited about this project... I thought the colors were pretty and it would be a nice piece to display in a room.  As luck would have it, I found a crayon box in my scrapbooking stuff while I was organizing all my stickers.  I recently went to Michaels and found a variety pack of all types of scrapbooking supplies, and I love spending only $10 on a package of 14 or 15 items.  So as I was putting away my new stickers and stuff I found this box of crayons, and I knew it was a sign that I had to do this project.

I began by laying my crayons in a rainbow pattern.  I tried them in different patterns but I did not like it at all.  So I hot glued them to my canvas, and put it out in the morning. And I made it so that all the color names were facing out.

What is funny is that the blues melted within the first 2 hours.  Next was the purples.  Tracy warned that in her city the crayons did not melt outside.  But in Arizona at about 1:00 it is hot as heck and they melted super quick.  The colors fell as I was standing outside watching.  I then had to move the canvas so that it was in more direct sunlight, and the crayons still melted based on color.  Green, yellow, red, orange.

The last few colors melted hours after the first ones did, so there is an uneven melt (the colors that melted first have a thin layer of color because it ran down the canvas a lot longer that other colors).  Next time I do this project, if I ever do, I will wait until the middle of the day to put the crayons out, in the hopes that they will melt at the same pace.

I also added stickers to mine in the hopes that I was get an outline of the letters.  It did not work too well.  First the stickers were not very sticky so the melted crayon went behind the sticker back.  Then because of the uneven coating it was hard to get the stickers up cleanly.  So I painted over where the stickers were so that they would be in greater contrast to the colors.

So for the FINALE:
you can really see the uneven-ness of my colors, and it does look better in person.

August 9, 2011

Better than Food, Inc.?

Have you ever seen the movie food inc?  It is a documentary that shows you a different side of the food industry.  It gives a back story to the things we see everyday in our homes and at the stores.  It is an incredible documentary that I highly recommend.  You can check out a trailer as well as see some of the other things supporters are doing to improve food quality here at the food inc home page. 

I have seen this documentary a time or two as well as clips from it and it touches a part of my soul.  I have often made the vow to eat less processed foods and go vegetarian.  But as life is, sometimes I get busy and lazy and have not always fulfilled my vows.   I want to renew my vow to become a vegetarian, and one day a vegan. I have been a vegetarian before so I do not think it will be that hard to revert back, but anyways I want to tell you about a new video I saw that has sparked such a drastic change in me. 

On my facebook I am a fan of FOOD, inc. and so there is this pop-up on the side screen that is advertized every time I get on the internet.  Tonight I decide to watch it because I had no other noise around me.  It is simply called meat video.  You can find it at

Let me tell you it is horrific!!!! I started watching, innocently enough, and I kid you not, I was crying with 45 second of it starting.  It is awful what people do to animals.  The beginning shows how pigs are treated, and I am a pig lover.  Not their meat, but of the actual pig.  I have been obsessed since high school and really want a baby pig as a pet.  Anyway seeing less than a minute of it made me cry and feel horrible.  I had to turn it off immediately.  I cannot imagine what happens to other animals and I do not want to know, but I know I will never be eating animal meat again.  I am not a big meat eater anyway, bit now it will not happen ever again, I do not want to be a part people being cruel to animals. 

Post it note Tuesday

Its Tuesday right??? I cannot keep track.  My days have been the same everyday that it is hard to keep track.

Again what is stressing me out is school.  I hate research methods.  But it is required for my degree, so I have to take it.  There is so much to do and I think the instructor wants us to start even before classes of the college start.  I have to investigate that more.

So I have been hearing about cognitive behavioral therapy, where you change your habits in thinking and action.  So I am trying this mantra.  And today it changed a little.  I had to add the school part today because sometimes I do not have enough faith in myself.

Only Parent Chronicles

August 2, 2011

Post it note tuesday

I am joining a new blog hop, well kind of.  I am not sure how to explain it. It's called Post It Tuesday at only parent chronicles.  You make your own post it notes, post them on your blog, and link back to her site.  Its interesting the read all the different things people are going through right now.

I'm linking up to:

Only Parent Chronicles

July 31, 2011

My lovely Turtles

I have been taking care of my grandma's turtles while she is taking care of my cousins.  She has 5 tortoises.  One is the same as the three I have, and four are some California tortoise.  The four she rescued from a home where the turtles were placed in a closet and pretty much forgotten about.  But they are doing well now.  The Cali ones are so cute and full of life! They are all about the size of your palm, and they are very light.  And they are not as skittish as mine are. 

We gave them new names too because my grandma had not yet done so.  One, who is the oldest and has a lot of pyramiding is named Captain.  The next biggest is named Square, mostly due to the fact that she is almost a perfect circle.  Slightly smaller is No Name, yes that is what we call her No Name, and I really like it so we are keeping it.  It came from me not knowing what her name should be within the first day.  Last is Water Baby.  She is the smallest, and my mom must name everything 'baby.' So she is water baby because she liked the water the most the first few days we had her.  
Captain sleeping.

They are fun to watch.  And they do the strangest things.  
Someone looking straight up.  Man are they flexible.

Smelling each others armpits.
Hiding inside cinder blocks.

No Name being cute.  She is my favorite.
Climbing on top of their house.

No-Name happily sleeping with her head vertical to the wall
 Turtles (tortoise's) are the cutest things ever.  When I grow up I want to start a tortoise sanctuary for when turtles get left behind or get too big for their owners.

Look at this funny turtle idea one mom had