My brother and my sister(his wife)

So for those of you who don't know my brother has been one of my best friends since he was about 12. Then, he married my other best friend Bethany.  Together they make the coolest, funniest, most loving and creative couple I know.  

They started a blog recently and I am loving following their adventures already. Since B and JR(I am trying to adjust to calling him that more....it's so hard) are 6 hours(soon to be 3 and a half) away it makes my heart swell to get a bit more of a glimpse into their lives and to feel like I am more apart of it.  

Their most recent post is my favorite yet.  It's about food and good friends. Can there be a better combination?  Wether it's crazy healthy or detailed and cultural....I love food and mixed with a long evening with friends in the kitchen.....mmm....bliss! 

 Thank you Bethany and John Ryan for sharing!  Love you both SOOO much.  Have fun in France!

You can check out B and JR's Blog: HERE


Quiz Yourself and Green Smoothies

I found this quiz on the internet today. It's a nutrition quiz from Green Smoothie Girl. Mosey on over there and check it out. Things like that are always good reality checks.

So my dear friend Christine mentioned something to me about Green Smoothies today and it made me want to share my favorite Green Smoothie video with you guys.  Basically, a green smoothie is fruit and greens(spinach, etc) mixed up in a blender.  You can add, chia seeds, almond milk(or any other milk you like), flax oil, bran, wheat germ, hemp protein, ice...you get the picture. The sky is the limit! 

I like to do tons of spinach,  an orange(or sometimes OJ concentrate), almond or soy milk, hemp protein, flax oil, ice,  maybe pineapple, and a  frozen banana.  

The video below is what got me started on Green Smoothies months ago.  This video also gave me a good laugh...you will know why when you watch it.

I know adding spinach to a fruit smoothie may sound disgusting but actually you can't taste the spinach at all. Apparently the spinach just take on the flavors of the other ingredients.  Just try it once.  You'll be surprised!


What in the world is a raw vegan?

So growing up my mom was always making amazing creative meals.  Sometimes she used recipes and sometimes amazing ideas just came out of her head when I would look in the pantry, fridge and freezer and spouted off what we had available to use.  Most of the time the meals were really healthy and delicious and sometimes they were just delicious. From a young age I remember being in the kitchen with my mom and I remember her letting me try things myself.  It was(is) always easy to ask her questions, and easy to take instruction from her. She never(that I remember) got frustrated with me and she was always so calm. When I would ask her how she wanted something cut she was never to picky and things never had to be prefect.  Unless necessary she never had a certain way that I had to do something and unless I asked she would let me figure out how to do it.  The way she was in the kitchen made me feel so free to experiment myself.  I would always make up my own recipes which usually turned out ok if I was cooking.  But with baking, that is another story!  I will never forget the rock hard bran "things" I made once in our kitchen on St. Andrews.  I don't remember how young I was but I imagine 9-12years ish!  My mom even tried them...how sweet.  I don't remember her saying they were horrible or that they were great.  I think she may have just told me it was a great try and then gave me some tips for next time.  I feel that was the perfect response!  
One day our family received a used Vita Mix(it's a REALLY expensive blender) from some friends and that kicked up our healthy eating up a notch.  My mom and I would experiment making healthy smoothies with barley green, blend up whole grains to make our own flour or we would lightly heat up veggies and blend them to a pulp like a thick soup(and take it to our algebra class we took together where everyone would gross out).  My mom was always making crazy healthy recipes.  I didn't always love it, but I grew to love it and to this day I can honestly say I am a health food hippy nut because of my mom.

 To this day I LOVE experimenting in the kitchen.  I love all kinds of food and I have loved "coming into my own" in the kitchen.  Over the past 3 months though I have tried my hand at vegan cooking and raw vegan un-cooking, and I am hooked! Most people are familiar with veganism(no meat or animal bi-products...dairy, eggs, honey), but not many people are familiar with raw veganism.  4 months ago I had no idea this whole other culinary world existed.  I think I had heard of it before when my mom and I went to hear this guy(my mom will remember his name) speak at Windsor Park Baptist Church about how he ate mostly raw fruits and vegetables and it helped him with his battle with cancer. He wasn't very creative with it from what I remember so I wasn't too excited.  Salad's all the time? I love salads but... No Way!  But come to find out there are all kinds of raw food recipes out there on the web.  It's AMAZING. Raw vegan sushi, chocolate mouse, flax crackers, green smoothies,  and sour cream are just a tip of the ice burg.   

From here on out a lot of my posts will be sprinkled with raw vegan recipes because I really need an outlet for how excited I get about this.  You can ask Tristan; I watch a few raw vegan videos on-line and you would think I was on speed!   I have been praying for at least the past year for the Lord to show me my strengths and passions and this is one of them.  I LOVE learning about crazy health stuff, integrating it into my life and then helping others to integrate it into theirs.  I remember as a 12 year old girl reading 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 and the Lord speaking to me that my body is His temple and that I should honor my body even with my health.   

Now, for my finds for the day.  

This summer Tristan and I find ourselves traveling a lot(esp. back and forth from Brownwood to Austin) so the video below peaked my interest.  It's a video on how to eat raw while traveling.  She gives a lot of good tips that will help anyone trying to eat healthy while on the road.  



Our 1st Home with Rachel Russo Photography

Several months ago when I found out that Rachel was going to do a photo shoot of us in our home I promised myself that as soon as I got the photos back from her I would blog them and get back into blogging. I received the photos in the mail Monday, and today got to sit down and look through all of them. I picked out SEVERAL favorites to share here on the blog.

I am now trying to decide which to print and hang in our new apartment, so I thought I would get all of you involved! Cast your vote in the comments section for which 3 are your favorite and help me make some decisions!

Thanks again to Rachel Russo for sharing her splendid talents with us and capturing so many great memories for us in our first home.

Thank you Lord for talented friends, and for the way you loved us through giving us such an amazing first home. We are grateful.