aloha every day

aloha every day

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Balboa Park

I've  always been a fan of adventuring...
...especially when I'm alone and have free time on my hands!
There's just something wonderfully exciting about heading out on foot with no plan, no destination.

Today, I found myself in Balboa Park.
Having only been here a few times before, 
And both times in larger groups,
Today was my first time REALLY

Here are some pics from my explorations! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Take a moment

We have had a lot going on in our lives.
When I say "a lot"
I mean...

Now, it is all good,
in fact,
it is GREAT!

You know those times when
one after another
things start looking up
in life?

Well, that's where we're at.

Just sitting down right now to say:
Even when A LOT 
is a good A LOT,
it is SO important to 
ground yourself.
Currently grounding...


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Southwestern Lentil Burgers

Upon his return from a teaching conference in Texas,
the hubs was hungry.
For some reason, I immediately thought,
"I'll make lentil burgers."

Lentil burgers?
When have I ever eaten a lentil burger?
I mean, I was sure they were good,
but I had no experience
1) making them
2) eating them
that would lead me to feel confident
making them for a hungry man for dinner.

I did it anyway.

We are now lentil burger fans.

Here is my recipe
 (I took a recipe from the internet-
and changed it based upon what we had in the fridge):

  • 3/4 cups red lentils 
  • 1/8 cup plus 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped 
  • 1 can green chiles, sliced open, cut into burger-length slices
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup plain, dry bread crumbs
  • 1 large eggs, lightly beaten (or 2 Tbs. ground flax seed mixed with water...form a paste)
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce
  • Your favorite cheese (I chose cheddar)

    1. In a large saucepan, cover the lentils with cold water by 2 inches and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer the lentils until they are very tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the lentils well.
    2. Preheat the broiler. In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until golden, about 6 minutes. Add the carrots, red bell pepper, and garlic and cook until the carrots begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Stir in the cumin and cayenne and remove from the heat. Mix in the bread crumbs, the eggs (or flax), salt and pepper. Form the mixture into 1/4-cup burgers (I made 6 from this recipe).
    3. Line a baking sheet with foil. Brush the foil and both sides of the burgers with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Broil until golden, about 3 minutes per side.
    4. Meanwhile, roast the green chiles in a medium-heated pan, approx. 3 min./side.
    5. After broiling burgers, place them in the heated pan (take green chiles out first :), approx. 2 min/side.  Add the cheese on top of the burgers to melt the cheese while in the pan.  
    6. Note from the hubs: Toast the buns (I just used cut-up wheat bread's all we had, but it was delicious!).  Top the burgers with BBQ sauce, and enjoy!! 
    Make Ahead: The lentil burgers can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight. 

    Sunday, April 21, 2013

    Another gift from the sea

    I had a day to myself,
    at the shore...
    all alone...

    It's not that I don't love company
    because I do,
    there is nothing 
    more sacred to me
    than a few hours alone
    at the beach.

    I do my best thinking there.
    I feel my best self there.
    I feel most at peace there.

    So yesterday, as I was drifting along the water's edge,
    mother ocean taught me another beautiful life lesson.
    It goes as such:

    Just when the pathway ahead looks impenetrable, the water too deep,
    a path opens up, as the tide retreats
    and beckons us to move forward...
    if we are adventurous,
    we step forward
    into the clearing...
    knowing of the joys that may await,
    the discoveries to encounter
    the gifts from the sea...
    When suddenly, 
    the tide returns 
    and we find ourselves
    in what once seemed untouchable...
    and, you see, it is up to US
    at that point
    as to whether we will:
    1) dig our heels into the earth, find our balance, and wait out the tide
    2) retreat.

    Dig in!


    Monday, April 8, 2013

    Eggroll Revolution

    Dinner at hour house usually involves digging through the fridge to find anything that we can throw together to make "new."

    Recently, I had peanut, veggie, tofu stirfry leftovers...
    and eggroll wrappers.
    Naturally, I stuffed the leftovers in the wrappers
    Stirfry eggrolls!

    Well, that got me thinking:
    What else can be stuffed into eggroll wrappers and fried?
    Many combinations came from that test night.
    Here, though, is my favorite:

    Veggie Cheese Enchilada Eggrolls
    Need: Eggroll wrappers (I bought mine from Vons)
    1 can low sodium cream of mushroom soup
    1 head of broccoli
    2 small green zuchinni
    1 can chopped green chilis
    1.5 c. shredded cheddar cheese
    coconut oil

    1. Chop broccoli and zuchinni into tiny pieces (small enough to go inside an eggroll....nobody wants to bite into an eggroll and pull out a big piece of broccoli...chop that sucker up!)
    2. Saute the veggies in the coconut oil (olive oil will work well for this step, as well).
    3. Add in 1/2 can mushroom soup, green chilis, 1/4 c. salsa, and 1 c. cheese; stir until melted and combined.
    4. In a separate small pot, combine the remainder of the soup, cheese, and another 1/4 c. or so of salsa.  Stir until combined (this becomes the dipping sauce for the eggrolls).
    5. Scoop 1-2 small spoonfulls of the veggie mixture onto an eggroll wrapper.  Follow this tutorial to wrap the eggroll: 
    Be sure to wrap it tight and use water to close off the edge.
    6. Melt some more coconut oil in a pan (*note- olive oil does not work well for this step...need an oil with a higher smoke point.  Good alternatives: Avocado oil, grapeseed oil. 
    For more info on smoke points: oil smoke points
    7. Fry each side of the eggroll for about 1 min.
    I use tongs to turn the eggrolls.  Be careful not to puncture the wrappers, or the cheese will come pouring out...haha.
    8. Place on a paper towel to cool.
    9. Dip into your salsa/cheese mixture, and enjoy!

    Happy eggroll revolution!

    Saturday, March 30, 2013

    Mother, mother ocean

    Today was my first day 
    Back in the
    In a very long time.

    I am:

    The term "ocean therapy" 
    Exists for a very real reason.
     Until today,
    I couldn't pinpoint exactly what that reason was...
    Today, it became clear:
    The ocean gives to each in unique ways. 
    For my dear friend, mother ocean is a reminder of faith, that God is in control and if we just let go, we will be cared for.

    For me, the ocean is the ONLY place 
    The STOPS me
    forces me to be here, now.
    It is calming to be present in the moment,
    Not thinking about yesterday or tomorrow...
    To just BE.

    With lovely thoughts of my salt water therapy session today,
     I leave you with lyrics of one of my all time favorite songs (covered best by Jack Johnson at Kokua Fest, in my humble opinion):

    Mother, mother ocean, I have heard you call
    Wanted to sail upon your waters since I was three feet tall
    Youve seen it all, youve seen it all

    Watched the men who rode you switch from sails to steam
    And in your belly you hold the treasures few have ever seen
    Most of em dream, most of em dream


    Sunday, March 17, 2013

    Sleepless in San Diego

    I've always been a light sleeper,
    but I've never been a poor sleeper...
    that is until recently.

    I'm plenty tired come bed-time.
    In fact, I'm usually the first to sleep.
    A few hours later,
    I'm up.
    Rollin' around to find a comfortable spot,
    getting up to get water,
     my mind racing with thoughts of tomorrow,
    and the next day,
    and the next day,
    Did I just say my mind is racing?
    Because I've been reading a lot about ways to improve sleep,
    one of which is to include meditation daily.
    Seems to be a good fit.
    I've been meaning to start meditating now for a while.
    But therein lies the conundrum:
    Meditation doesn't work like that.
    "Meaning to meditate" 
    in fact
    the complete
    of meditation!

    So this morning,
    sleepless in San Diego
    at 4 a.m.
    I opened up the Deepak Chopra and Oprah 
    (say that 5 times fast :)
    meditation challenge:

    I've been "meaning" to begin this challenge for 
    7 days now.
    What better time than 4 a.m., Sunday morning?
    I turn on the audio recording,
    and begin to follow the directions:
    "...any time other thoughts come into your head,
    say the mantra: Lam."

    I battle this the whole time.
    I'm thinking about:
     what I can do with the leftover zucchini (I decided on calabacitas burritos, but should I wait for Wednesday because Danielle will be here and she would like them, but will the zucchini still be good if I wait that long...oh yah, I could flash boil them and freeze them),
    whether tomorrow will be as foggy as yesterday,
    what I should assign for homework on Monday,
    an upcoming IEP meeting,
    I should turn the heater down...It's hot in here,
    where should we go to breakfast in the morning?
    I'm reminding myself of the scene in Eat, Pray, Love
    where she makes it to the ashram in India
    and is thinking about how to decorate her meditation room
    rather than meditating.

    I battled this the ENTIRE time
    until I'd had enough of my racing brain 
    and I turned the meditation off.
    I know, I know...
    I should have turned my brain off instead.
    But I turned off the meditation and decided:
    Tomorrow (now today)
    is a new day.
    I'm going to do everything in my power
    to free myself from this rat race 
    that I've put myself into.
    I know for a FACT now,
    that my sleeplessness
    is coming from 
    my anxiety

    Today is a new day.
    I'm starting on day 1 of the meditation challenge
    and I'm going through all 21 days.
    No interruptions.
    Me time.

    Here's to improving my life by simplifying my mind!

    and Happy St. Patty's day!
    "May your blessings outnumber
    The shamrocks that grow,
    And may trouble avoid you
    Wherever you go."
    ~Irish Blessing


    p.s. Check out my view for the week!

    Sunday, March 3, 2013



    Three words which are spoken frequently in my household (I just typed that as "househole"...haha...which is kind of true because we live in a loft space and going down our ladder feels like going into a hole.  Haha. Househole...I feel another post coming on).

    Hubs and I have been talking a lot lately about our general health.  I'm not just talking nutrition, although that is a frequent conversation topic, as well.  He, the carnivore, and I, the vegemite, work daily to fuse our tastes and preferences into culinary bliss.  We enjoy cooking together and usually we are blissfully and nutritionally successful, but other times we are lucky if the frozen Trader Joe's lasagna makes it from the freezer to the microwave.
    Look, we're busy folks. 

    Nutritional health is not the topic of concern in this post.  Today, I'm talking BALANCE.
    A friend of mine recently posted on facebook that BALANCE is "constant motion in all directions."
    All too often, I think of balance as a pull between two and life, good food and junk food, relaxation and exercise. 
    But you know what?
    My friend is RIGHT!

    You see, I didn't learn how to pirouette in ballet class until I understood how to push down with my standing foot, lift up through my thighs, push outward through my elbows and passe knee, and lift through my ears.
    "Constant motion in all directions." 

    Now, I'm not saying I was a good "turner"
    and NOR am I very good
    at balance in general.
    I tend to focus on one priority for lengthy amounts of time,
    and forget that there are other aspects to my life
    that need some lovin'
    some bucket fillin'
    some BALANCE.

    Constant movement in all directions...
    ...not just work.
    That is my goal.


    Anxiety and being a teacher

    After waking up for two days straight with classroom thoughts on my mind (and in my dreams), I’m determined to do SOMETHING about my intense anxiety. It is holding me back from living a balanced life. My work life should not be waking me up in the wee-small hours of the morning…on the weekend.

    I think most teachers are detail-oriented individuals. We have never-ending, multi-categorical to-do lists. Mine happens to have three columns: Things I MUST get done TODAY, things I’d LIKE to get done TODAY, things I want to get done another day (or if I happen to have time today). Most days, the MUST get done things take me well-past my working hours. Most days, the MUST get done things don’t all get “checked off” the list. The third column, you ask? Those are typically addressed during “weeks off” when teachers are thankful for time off to get done the work that has been piling up.

    Please don’t read this as complaint. You see, I fully understand it to be the nature of the beast. I am simply searching for my way to tackle the beast. Each teacher handles the work load differently, and I must find what works for me.

    So the question is: What do I do to decrease my anxiety about work when I’m at home? A few months ago, hubs and I (he’s a teacher, too) decided to try to form a boundary around our home by which work from work cannot pass. I’d say I’ve stuck to that boundary with 95% success…physical work, that is. How, then, do I draw a boundary around mental work? You know, the “to-do” list in my head? It needs to stay at the workplace, as well.

    Here are my ideas: Daily meditation practice; Daily exercise; ?

    Ideas? Anyone?


    Sunday, February 17, 2013

    Why, oh why, must I blog?

    It seems years since I’ve blogged last.  There have been many moments of inspiration which I have wanted to blog about, but the constructs of free-time vs. work time, coupled with no internet access at home has kept these inspiring moments in my head instead of on my blog.  

    Yesterday, we regained internet access at home.  After a 6 hour long ordeal with a technician, we are back “online.”  Great for my blogging health, but questionable for my overall health.  In our 6 months or so without internet access, we have found other activities to fill our time: Exercising, cooking, and of course, watching T.V.  Quite honestly, 90% of the time I haven’t missed instant access to “that dot com thing” (as my Nanny used to say).  I’ve never entirely warmed to the idea of being accessible, searchable, trackable, global on an interpersonal level.  My nature is more introverted than extroverted…a.k.a. I like being a “loner.”  I like being by myself, and there lacks a sense of privacy when constantly connected “online.” 

    Why, then, do I enjoy blogging? When I lived in Hawai’i (I remain baffled by that “when”) I was disconnected from my family and friends on an every-day personal level.  I can’t say that I didn’t want that.  I moved there to find out who I am, to test the boundaries of trust and self-assurance that are often overlooked when surrounded by familiarity.  I became weary of contentment and seeming complacency in my life.  I wanted to live.  To really live within my body by discovering the ways of life that really mattered, and differentiating between awareness and parallel-living…you know the type, “going through the motions.”  I didn’t want to believe in anything that I hadn’t researched and tested for truth.  I didn’t want to listen to music just because someone else said it was good.  I didn’t want to follow a path that someone else said might be good for me.  I wanted to know myself; to really, truly know my soul and then to live by that knowledge.

     Okay, I’m sharing all of this because as I lived on a island in search of my soul, I found that I sincerely missed the people whose relationships with me fed my soul.  And so I started my blog as a portal to my daily life for those who were truly interested.  Originally titled “Living la Vida Hawai’i,” I’ve been sharing my thoughts and goings-on for close to 6 years now!  Throughout the years, this space has transformed from a simple picture sharing travelogue, to a blend of my outward and inward life.    

    Although I’ve struggled with posting my personal life online, especially now that I live closer to those I love (hence the change in blog title), I feel a creative commitment to myself to continue logging my life in this way.  Who knows? Maybe my future children will enjoy reading about mom’s life one day.  So I close by saying, “Thank you ‘dot-com thing’.  For you’ve allowed me access to an expressive release for which I hadn’t yet found a home.” 


    Sunday, January 13, 2013


    Well, hello 2013!
    Where did you come from?
    You snuck up behind me and surprised me!

    In fact, I've been so busy, 
    that I didn't even see you coming.

    May I just say, though,
    that I'm glad you are here.

    Your presence in my life has me feeling:

    You see, 2012 was great.
    Really, it was.
    Other than Grandma passing away,
    it was great.
    New apartment,

    New job,

    New sister-in-law...

    it was just

    A new year tends to be the catalyst for  self reflection in my life.
    What some may call "New Year's Resolutions,"
    I call
    "Extreme Lindsay Makeover"

    Let's start with nutrition:
    I'm a vegetarian.

    Have been since 5th grade,
    always will be.
    Being a vegemonster,
    does NOT mean I am healthy.
    Bread, cheese, sweets...
    all still in my diet.
    So the hubs and I set forth a new plan.
    We reminded each other that:
    1) We no longer live in the land of RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE produce 
    (Bell peppers were $5. each...on sale!)
    2) We are not getting any younger.
    and we decided to keep a steady stash of fruits and veggies on hand at all times!

    Next up?
    I used to be a dancer.
    I know, I said that out loud the other day and cried.
    "Used to be"
    I'm talking close to 10 years ago
    I danced full-time.

    At that time, I didn't need much other exercise,
    even though I did run and strength train alongside of dancing.
    Now, I'm very "used to" having a built-in exercise program.
    The problem is, I don't dance anymore.
    Not like I used to, at least.
    I don't think Brain Dance with my math group constitutes a whole-body exercise program.
    So the hubs and I decided to be each other's accountability partners.
    We reminded each other that:
    1) We are employed full-time (glory, hallelujah), and have the budget to take a few exercise classes
    2) We are not getting any younger.
    Then we made a plan.
    Remember Book-It?
    We're tracking our exercise with a sticker chart (including once a week, KILLER cross training together), and then rewarding ourselves once we reach a certain amount of stickers.
    We may or may not reward ourselves with a Pizza Hut pizza and a pitcher of Coke every now and again :)
    Anyone else want to Book-It with us?

    Next up?
    Look good, feel good.
    Simply put:
    I got a haircut!
    That was a rarity in Hawai'i because it was simply too hot/humid to wear my hair down.
    Time to "beautify" the outside. 
    Look good.
    Feel good.
    No more frump monster.

    You're a welcome addition to my life.