Meatless Monday with Quinoa Cakes

If you caught my recent 32 in 32 post, the first item on the list was to be Vegetarian. Truth be told, I transitioned to a Vegetarian lifestyle a few weeks ago, but it’s been a struggle. I don’t miss meat, at all. In fact my diet previously was primarily vegetarian, but I apparently psyched myself out. Since saying the words, “I’m Vegetarian”, I’ve gone blank on meal ideas. I’ve been eating lots of homemade Pita chips and hummus…but a girl can’t live on hummus alone (no matter how delicious it is).

Enter Plated…and no, this is not a sponsored post or a referral link. I signed up with Plated months ago and have made a few meals from them, all delicious. So when I needed meal ideas, I ordered a few vegetarian meals from Plated to try out. They send you nearly every items you need to make the meal and the recipe card. The only thing I had to supply was some water, an egg, and some olive oil. I will admit this can be an expensive option which is why I don’t use it regularly, but it was incredibly helpful to have some help when I needed it this week.

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This particular meal was Quinoa Cakes with Pan Roasted Mushrooms. Simple. You can probably find hundreds of similar recipes on Pinterest…in fact, check here, I did a quick search for you.

Plated provided the mushrooms, quinoa, onion, breadcrumbs, pecorino cheese, chives, thyme, and a pad of butter.

While the Quinoa was cooking with the onions, I used the butter to pan roast the mushrooms. Then added some fresh thyme near the end of cooking.

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Once the quinoa was cooked, it was mixed with an egg, garlic, pecorino cheese, chives, and breadcrumbs; then formed into 4 patties (this recipe was service for 2).

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Sautéed in a little oil for about 4 minutes per side. I was worried they would fall apart when flipping, but they stayed together surprisingly well.

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Finished cakes topped with mushrooms, chives and a little sour cream (I added the cream, it was not in the recipe).

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It was delicious and filling. Exactly what I needed to break out of my hummus rut. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow for lunch. I plan on making some more cakes, with my own twist on the recipes which I hope to share on here in the near future.

 

What are some of your favorite vegetarian/vegan meals? Feel free to link your own blog below in the comments if you have Vegetarian/Vegan friendly posts that I can check out! Or share your favorite Vegetarian/Vegan blogs, those would be helpful too.

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32 in 32 List

 

A few years back, when I was turning 30, I wrote out a list of things that I wanted to accomplish before I turned 31. I didn’t achieve everything, but I had a good time working on some of those goals. With everything going last year, I never got around to creating a 31 in 31 list; but I think it’s time to bust out the list again and attack it full force. Below I’ve listed out the 32 goals that I’ve picked to complete by 5/6/2015. I’m obviously getting a late start since I only have about 6 months until I turn 33, but I’m inspired to change my life and this is a start.

As motivation to complete the list (and not just the easy stuff), I’ve decided that for every goal missed I will donate $50 to charity. So if I only achieve 25 of the 32 goals, then I’m shelling out $350 to charity. That’s not chump change so I feel sufficiently motivated, and now it’s out there for all to see as well. No hiding now.

Without further ado…

 

It’s good for my soul:

1. Be a Vegetarian

2. Find a Local Yoga Studio that I love

3. Support a different charity every month (can be a donation of $$, time, or things)

4. Start volunteering at my local Animal Shelter

5. Be a Bridesmaid

For my brain:

6. Read 50 books

7. Finish a New York Times Crossword Puzzle in pen

Foodie:

8. Take a cooking class

9. Learn to make homemade pasta

It’s an Adventure:

10. Explore the Oregon Coast

11. Visit Arizona and see Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend

12. Ice Skate at the Beach in San Diego

For the home:

13. Purge my closet and sell or donate excess items

14. Buy or Build a Dining Room Table

15. Have the house painted professionally (for the walls I can’t reach)

For my Health:

16. Meet my weight loss goal

17. Take a Dance or Aerial Silks Class

18. Find a Kind Dentist & Dermatologist

19. Obtain NASM CPT Certification

20. Run 30 minutes straight

21. Do a handstand with no wall support, hold for at least 5 seconds

22. Try SUP or Paddleboard Yoga

Creativity:

23. Successfully complete NaNoWriMo

24. Sign with a Literary Agent

25. Start a side business

26. Move blog to Self-Hosted and Re-Design the layout

27. Take an art or design related class

For the fun of it:

28. Get a Tattoo

29. Wear a Bikini (outside the dressing room)

30. Pay off at least one credit card (or get 2 below a set amount)

31. Become an early riser (6am-ish)

32. Go to a hockey game (preferably a LA Kings game)

Beauty Talk #3 – September Favorites

As cliché as it sounds, I can’t believe this year is flying by so quickly. Wasn’t it just January? I’ve been counting down the days until Fall, the heat this summer has been unbearable. Combine that with the drought we’re experiencing and it’s been pretty miserable. It’s going to be in the 100’s this weekend (in October?!?), and I am dreaming of a cool, damp fall/winter. With the heat, makeup hasn’t made the ‘To Do List’ very often. I’ve been keeping it very simple with a foundation for even skin, and then I used blush and nail polish for pops of beauty color. Here are a few of my beauty favorites from this past month.

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Bite Beauty Lush Lip Tint – Juice [~$24]

I love the Bite brand overall due to it’s focus on using Food Grade Ingredients. I feel safer using the Bite Brand products since we eat so much of the lip products we wear. I’m not very comfortable using bright lipsticks, so I have a special love for the Lush Lip Tints. They are moisturizing and give wash of color that feels comfortably colorful. 

 

Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation – No. 1.0 [~$39]

Earlier this year I splurged on the Urban Decay Foundation when ULTA had a 20% off coupon available. First off, it’s a great color match for my light skin, which is often a challenge to find. The formula is great, light and comfortable even in the hot summer months. It also leaves a very natural finish, not cakey or heavy at all. 

 

Butter London Nail Polish – SNOG [~$15]

I love bright coral-pink-red nail polishes. SNOG is a bright, but dark pink that is an absolute stunner! Easily a one coat polish as well, the formula is fantastic. If you want to try a similar color for less $$, check out an Essie polish in the color Watermelon.That polish is also a favorite of mine. 

 

Maybelline Master Hi-Light Blush – Coral [~$10]

This blush has been a favorite since the day I bought it. It’s better than many of the high end blushes that I have in my collection (yes, I said collection…it’s a problem). It’s the perfect Coral/Peach blush with just enough glow to also double as a highlighter. Excellent color, coverage and price (around $10 and often on sale).

 

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Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil [~$5]

I still love my regular Coconut oil for so many reasons, but the Vatika Enriched Hair Oil has replaced regular coconut oil for my hair. The first ingredient of The Vatika brand is Coconut Oil, but it also has Neem, Henna, and other herbs/extracts. It has a lemon scent and it does an AMAZING job at moisturizing my hair. My hair is typically very dry and frizzy, but with this stuff, my hair has never been healthier. I use it about once a week, overnight. I haven’t had any problems with it staining my pillows either.

 

Acure Seriously Hydrating Facial Toner for Normal to Dry Skin [~$15]

Since my skin tends to run on the dry side, I use a facial mist morning and night. I’m a fan of the Acure brand and the Seriously Hydrating Facial Toner is excellent as well. It’s a great formula that is incredibly moisturizing, without being sticky. It soaks in quickly, and feels nourishing over or under other beauty products.

 

Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream [~$30 per 4oz]

Egyptian Magic is not cheap, but it’s so worth it! I picked up the 2oz bottle (shown) and a 4oz tub at Costco for about $40. The texture is more oil/balm than cream and you don’t need much at all. A few times a week, I will wash my face and apply the Acure Toner, then a facial oil, and lastly a very thin layer of Egyptian Magic. It soaks in and leaves the most incredible glow/softness to my skin overnight. 

 

What Beauty products are you loving this month?

 

*Some of the above links are affiliate links.

Office Remodel – Update

I’m going to just jump right back into blogging and hope you don’t realize that I’ve been MIA for about 6 months…sorry. Reality is that I needed a break. I tried to come back earlier this year, and as much as I wanted to blog, I couldn’t get the words out. I started so many posts over the past few months and they sit unfinished. So I figured a break was in order, always knowing that I would be back. So here I am…and I have some exciting projects to share with you. Please bare with me as I get back into my writing groove.

But first…Thank you for all the kind notes that were sent to me over the past few months. So many of you were encouraging me to come back and that meant so much to me. I greatly appreciate every single message/email. THANK YOU!

Two projects that have been a long time coming are a Office Remodel and a Backyard Update. I have a bit of cleanup to do in the yard, so that update will come later this month. Today I’m excited to show you some progress in the office.

Anyone remember this (very messy) room? I can’t recall the last update I provided, so we’ll start here.

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First I had to clean…a lot.

Next I swapped out the broken white wood blinds for bamboo blinds.

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Then I added molding to each window to create the architectural frame. For such a small investment, the effect is amazing in the (nearly) finished room.

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Next Up…Paint!

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I wanted to pick something neutral for the walls so I could use accessories in different colors. I like to vary my decorations based on seasons and holidays, so a neutral color wall works perfectly. The color is Valspar Hot Stone.

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Depending on the lighting, the color can appear light brown or taupe. I do wish it were a bit lighter, but for now it works really well.

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After moving the desk and filing cabinets back in, I decided to tackle the lighting situation. I also wanted to install a ceiling fan since the summers are scorching hot.

The dreaded boob light…sigh…

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…now looks like this! I loved the fan so much, I’ve added 3 more throughout the house.

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I found these beautiful black Allen & Roth fans at Lowes on sale for about $100 each. This model is no longer listed online; however, Harbor Breeze sells a very similar model (HERE).

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Since the picture above was taken, I’ve added a chaise lounge and built an ‘L-shaped’ desk. But those are for another day…

I’ll be back Friday (I promise!), hope you are all having a wonderful week. Happy October!!