Highs of 2012

Stills of twenty twelve!:

January: Celebrated the beginning of 2012 in San Francisco; Completed The Green Yogi's annual Yoga Challenge. 

February: Visited my sister in Louisiana and survived my first Mardi Gras experience in New Orleans.

March: Hosted a fundraiser to help send me to Tanzania. Thanks to family and friends, I was able to raise enough money to cover my airfare and program fee. So thankful!

April: Coachella Music Festival with the best of friends.  

May-July: Spent two beautiful months living and teaching in a Maasai village in the mountains of Tanzania, Africa with some of the most hardworking and gracious people I've ever met (this experience opened my eyes and empowered me to live a more simple and less superficial life); Turned 25 Maasai-style; Safari at Tarangire National Park and Ngorongoro Crater; Danced and played in the Indian Ocean; Saw the sun rise over the Indian Ocean and set over the Indian Ocean in the same day (perks of tiny Zanzibar).

August: Got hired as a fourth grade teacher at Henry F. Kammann Elementary and moved to Santa Cruz! 

November: Survived Trimester 1; Cassidy visits for Thanksgiving :)

Goodbye 2012! Hello 2013:

kiss slowly, 
laugh insanely, 
love truly
forgive quickly

-paulo coelho


vegan twix bars

Vegan Twix bars?? Twisted right?

 For some of you die hard Twixers, imagining any modification to the real deal Twix bar may be hard to believe. To you I say believe it!

These tantalizing Twix bars are decadent, crispy, gooey (like a real Twix), low glycemic (slower glucose release), vegan, and gluten free (unlike a real Twix). 

I don't know about you, but for me, Twix are my favorite childhood candy bar. Unfortunately, if I eat a Twix bar now, I would be breaking several vegan codes. Not to worry because the cool thing about being vegan is that I can enjoy non-vegan foods I loved as a kid by modifying it some way! I found this recipe on Oh She Glows and it's the perfect, healthier choice to the not-so-healthy Twix. 

side note: 
(Where did the Twix name originate from anyways?) Click here to find out!

What you'll need:

for the crust

- 2 1/2 cups Gluten Free rice crispy cereal 
(I use brown rice crispy cereal from the bulk bin at Whole Foods)
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
- 4 tablespoons peanut butter (be generous!)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt

for the date caramel

- 2 cups pitted dates
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter (I used 1 tbsp pb and 1 tbsp cashew butter)
- 2 tbsp almond milk (or any other kind of nut milk)
- pinch of sea salt

for the chocolatey top!:

- 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons almond milk

Do it!:

1. Line an 8-inch pan with two pieces of parchment paper. In a small pot, add the brown rice syrup, peanut butter, and vanilla. Increase heat to medium and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently until combined. Add pinch of salt. Pour into a large bowl with rice crisp and stir well.

2. Scoop the rice crisp mixture into pan. Wet hands slightly and then spread the mixture evenly and press down firmly until smooth. Place in freezer while you make the date caramel.

3. Place pitted dates, peanut butter, milk, and salt in the food processor and process until almost smooth and a big ball forms.

4. Spread caramel layer over top of the crust until it’s as smooth and even as you can get it. Place back in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to set.
5. Melt the chocolate and optional coconut oil in a small pot over low heat. When 2/3 of the chips are melted, remove from heat and stir until smooth. Spread chocolate on top of the caramel and place in the freezer for about 3 minutes only.
6. Remove from freezer (chocolate should be slightly firm, but not completely set) and slice into rows and then in half. Freeze again until set for about 10 minutes. Store in fridge or freezer.
7. Chow down and share!


this and that

photographs of things i've done, made, and created that have brought me physical, mental, and spiritual happiness this past month: 

{my first DIY dreamcatcher}

{sitting on top of a roof in North Beach watching the Blue Angels soar over San Francisco Bay for Fleet Week 2012}

{my second DIY dreamcatcher}

{the sunrise on my way to work most mornings}

{dirt bike riding at a Halloween party at a house in Bonny Doon}

{superfood smoothie!}

What you'll need:
- ground flax seeds
- hemp seeds
- chia seeds
- strawberries 
- 1/2 of a banana
- sprinkle of cinnamon
- generous handful of spinach 
- 3/4 cup of almond milk (give or take)
- splash of oj (optional)

Do it!:
Just blend it up! 

{had to buy some of these beauties at the Cabrillo farmers market!}

and voila!...

{freshly made carrot, beet, and ginger juice!}


artist spotlight: Andrew Myers

Have a gander at these amazing 3D portraits made out of screws by German artist, Andrew Myers! I wonder why Myers chose screws as his art medium? Why not nails, pencils, or cotton swabs? ;)
Any symbolic importance? I'm curious to know...

I love love love the one with the fan blowing parts of the man's face away! Very playful!

[ all images via Andrew Myers ]


did you know...

...there is more protein in a bundle of spinach, bouquet of broccoli, and ball of cauliflower than eggs, chicken, and beef??

"Say what?!" you say?

All you meat eaters out there who give me crap for not getting enough protein on my veggie lifestyle can s**k it! I'm getting more natural protein than most! :p


first time for everything

had my first teacher panic attack today in the staff lounge.

yes it involved tears.

no need to explain what "went down." 

it's one for the records book though.

tgi...almost friday...