February 22, 2012

For the first time in the 10 years that I have known him, Charlie got a haircut. Kind of a major haircut: he went from shoulder-length hair to a messy type of short hair cut.

He was very ready for the change, and I think it’s very becoming. I was looking through old pictures and was kind of missing the long hair, but the reality was that it was high time for him to have a more sophisticated style.

And, he’s really jazzed to use hair goo every morning.

February 17, 2012 – Friday 5

Hey, look! In one month, I’m going to be having a birthday! And since my birthday is on St. Patrick’s Day, this Friday 5 seems awfully fitting.
  1. What’s your favorite green article of clothing?
    I don’t have much, actually, so the piece I wear most often is a pseudo-wrap sweater from Ann Taylor that I inherited from K.
  2. What could you do with a little bit of extra spending green this weekend?
    Not have to use my savings to have my hair dyed at the salon tomorrow.
  3. In what way are you conservative of natural resources?
    I recycle as much as I can. I also give away clothing, towels, electronics as opposed to throwing them away. There is always a way to recycle/reuse a product rather than trashing it.
  4. When did you last shoot some pool?
    Years ago, I think. I’m not big into billiards.
  5. Of whom are you envious lately?
    Lately? No one. There’s no one that I am focusing that type of negative energy on.

Source: f.riday5.com

Still Not a Green Thumb

The other day, when I was be-bopping around Home Dropout, I ended up in the gardening section. I have two pots of herbs in my office, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been watering dead plants for about three weeks. I’m looking forward to starting a new herb garden in the spring, perhaps even starting a raised-bed vegetable garden.

In the meantime, HD had a lot of flats of succulents, which would go with my sempervivum, which I would repot with several other specimens into a rectangular pot.

Sempervivum, photo c/o Mateusza

Don’t be fooled though, I’m no green thumb: I’m pretty ignorant when it comes to plants. I had another plant sitting in the window of my office, and could not for the life of me figure out why it wouldn’t grow and pretty much looked like a stick. Lucky for me, I moved it to clean, got lazy about moving it back, and it has now thrived out of the harsh sun.

I picked up a few books while I was at the library to do some research in the meantime:

So, I have plenty of reading to do while I wait for Spring to come. Isn’t that the beauty of Spring? That it gives you something to hope for?

February 10, 2012 – Friday 5

I’ts been pretty quiet on the Wycket front lately. Earlier this week, the father of one of my grade/high school acquaintances died. It was very, very sudden, and her father was younger than my dad is now. My heart is absolutely breaking for her right now. I don’t even know what I would do in her situation.

This has been paired with the fact that last week I began to mull over The Really Big Questions: What happens when we die? What is the meaning of life? This week, those questions bothered me far more than they have in the past: they demanded a lot of my energy to work through potential answers. I have some answers that I have come up with, and I find comfort in them. I also know that I am indelibly changed by this time of questioning, and I will continue to pursue supplementing the conclusions that I have reached

I’ve had a lot to think about this week, but being as fraught with anxiety as I am, I wasn’t really ready to spill my guts about it on the internet. I’m still not ready to talk about the Big Questions and Answers, actually; I’m still in some discomfort over the week as a whole.

Since I don’t want to leave this post on a down note, I shall close with the Friday5. Have a good weekend folks: I’m going to take this weekend and try to use it productively.

  1. When did you last have a bubble bath?
    Not since middle school. I find the soap used to make the bubbles extra bubbly sucks the moisture out of my skin.
  2. What are your thoughts on bubble-wrap?
    A little chewy, but delicious all the same.
  3. In general, how large is your interpersonal-space bubble compared to other people’s?
    Pretty wide. I’m not a hugger, although people seem to think that I enjoy them (I do, just not as a greeting). If we’re in a crowded space, and there is no choice but to rub shoulders, I can dig it. But if we’re in a big wide space, and you’re close enough to me that I think you’re going to try and jump on for a piggyback ride, I’m going to feel squicky.
  4. What carbonated beverage have you most recently enjoyed?
    Diet Coke.
  5. Who in your life can be described as having a bubbly personality?
    Definitely one of my co-workers.

Source: f.riday5.org

February 4, 2012

I’m not a “sweet” breakfast person. I’d just as soon eat a single pancake for dessert than a stack of them for breakfast. As of late, the only exception for this are the yeast-risen, hot-breakfast-cereal-mix silver dollar pancakes my dad made for us as kids. Mostly, you’re just as likely to see me eating a piece of fruit, granola bar, or a sandwich for breakfast, rather than “typical breakfast” foods.

But, in light of the fact that I’m trying to work on 20 pounds of body recomposition, high-protein breakfasts are  integral to me to firm up the muscles. I do the best I can to pack protein into my diet through the day, but breakfast is still one of those things that I’m getting the hang of.

Add to that I have a huge canister of chocolate whey protein that I’m having the hardest time getting through. I keep thinking that I’m going to make protein shakes, but I rarely get around to it.

Cue me seeing this recipe for protein pancakes that uses protein powder as the base. I cannot stand oatmeal, dry or cooked, and quinoa has tons of protein for a grain, so that’s what I subbed in.

These pancakes freeze beautifully, so feel free to do that with your leftovers. There’s a good chance you will have leftovers, too, as these pancakes are pretty filling! These pancakes aren’t “light,” but the calories come not from added sugars or fats, but from natural sources that will keep you sustained until you can get to your next meal.

Protein-Loaded Pancakes
adapted from Little Girl, Big Appetite
yields 3-4 pancakes

1.5 scoops protein powder
.5 c cooked quinoa (or dry oatmeal)
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
.5 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds (optional)
pinch of salt
1 whole egg (or two egg whites)
.5 c milk (cow’s, almond, soy…your choice)

  1. Cook quinoa per package instructions, set aside.
  2. Heat skillet to medium heat.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (protein powder, baking powder, flour, salt, ground flaxseeds/chia seeds, and oatmeal, if you’re using that).
  4. Whisk eggs and milk together, add to dry ingredients.
  5. Add the set-aside quinoa. Mix batter to spackle-consistency.
  6. Cook pancakes about 2-3 minutes per side (flip when the first side gets large bubbles that burst and crater pancakes) and cook until golden brown.

That’s not all, though! I don’t like dry pancakes, but maple syrup on chocolate pancakes is a strange flavor combination, so try this as your syrup to pack in more protein!

Nut Butter “Syrup”
adapted from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

.5 cup nut butter (any kind: almond, peanut butter, cashew)
.5 cup local honey (good flavor, and local will have tons of local pollen to help build your immunity to local allergens)

  1. In a small pan, heat syrup and nut butter over low heat.
  2. Whisk together until nut butter butter is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  3. Serve warm over pancakes.