Cool Things Are *Happening,* People!

I have a long history of being easily amused. Okay, so it’s actually to a ridiculous degree – as in, I’ve been known to bound out of bed on a Monday morning because I have a new kind of coffee or tea to try out. (And, considering my general enmity towards Monday mornings, this is saying a lot.)

So, considering this particular quirk, last week involved two discoveries that made things pretty awesome.

First, I found out that Starbucks is now offering coconut milk as an option for the dairy-free crowd. I’m trying to avoid dairy when I can, and soy and I just don’t jive – so I’ve been hoping and praying for aaaaaaaages that Starbies would get on board and find another non-dairy, non-soy option.

(A quick disclaimer/caveat: I know chai lattes aren’t the healthiest things in the world, so they’re not on heavy rotation in my life. However, I like to try and get them on Fridays – it’s a “Yay, self, you made it through the week!” self-care thing. I’ve also been known to do this if I’m having an exceptionally crappy day, since a chai will keep me from merely slogging through until close of business while being tired and cranky. In these circumstances, I figure the less-than-super-healthy chai latte is absolutely worth it.)

Anyways, they started offering coconut milk on February 17th, but since we had Tuesday off work on account of the snow (yaaaaaaay!) I wasn’t able to take part in the coconut milk revolution until the end of the week. But when I did? Sweet fancy Moses. In case anyone is wondering, coconut milk chai lattes are fantastic.

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As for my second awesome discovery, I was perusing this month’s InStyle magazine – which is slightly ironic, in the sense that I love fashion but a) wear really basic clothes in real life, b) more or less live in yoga pants during the weekend, and c) pretty much refuse to shop anywhere other than Marshall’s and Target – when I saw that The Limited is offering a whole line of clothes based on Olivia Pope.

YOU GUYS.

As anyone who watches Scandal knows, Liv’s wardrobe is to die for. (Side note: is anyone else sick of the Liv-n-Fitz Eternal Angst and Drama motif? Sh*t or get off the pot, you two.)

Granted, I can’t afford these threads (like I said: Target and Marshall’s 4-EVAH) – but if any of you are in the market for some new clothes and spend as much time admiring Kerry Washington’s Scandal wardrobe as I do, this is like a goldmine of awesomeness. I mean, this dress?

Scandal Dress

If I were 30 pounds thinner and psychologically able to handle the idea of spending $170 on a dress, I’d buy two of this. Not even kidding.

So, all this is to say that between the snow day, coconut milk chai, and the mere existence of an Olivia Pope line at The Limited, it was a fairly exciting week. What’s happening in your world?

An Extra Hour

Good morning, everyone! How was your weekend? Did you get some extra sleep after “falling back” for daylight savings?

I had a much-needed restful weekend, and I feel particularly well rested after moving the clocks back an hour. I always have mixed feelings about daylight savings: I haaaaate that it gets dark so early in the fall, but I love the daylights (pun intended) out of that extra hour of rest. The well-rested feeling lasts for a few days, which I adore.

By contrast, I loooooove that it stays light in the evening in the spring, but I can’t stand losing that one precious hour of rest. Similarly, it takes me a few days to re-adjust to having lost that hour, and I wind up feeling groggy and like a a really irritable zombie all week. Instead of saying “Braaaaaiiiiins,” I wind up muttering “Sleeeeeeep” as I stumble around like an insane person.

But I digress.

In both cases, I try to focus on the thing  that does make me really happy. (If we’re looking at trade-offs, I figure it can’t hurt to focus on any and all benefits.) In this case, it’s sleep. Sleep is my homie. My BFF. I love it to pieces.

I decided to milk that extra hour for all it was worth: I slept and dozed and lounged, knowing that I had extra time and didn’t need to worry about getting up and being productive. Leisure! Rest! GLORIOUS!

So, while it’s getting dark obscenely early now, I at least got to spend the day being way lazier than I normally would. And I have to admit: I really like being lazy.

Aside from my propensity to lounge around endlessly in my PJ’s, we had a lovely weekend. We hit up our favorite Indian restaurant for their lunch buffet, saw Ender’s Game — which, BTW, was awesome, and I highly recommend seeing it — and then visited one of my favorite grocery stores here (Mom’s Organic Market).

I love grocery shopping in general — I’ve loved it since I started cooking when I was in high school — but I especially love shopping at Mom’s. Mom’s, while not as economical as places like Trader Joe’s, has produce that looks so flippin’ gorgeous, it’s almost inspirational. I really think that if you could take a bona-fide vegetable hater and show them the produce at Mom’s, they’d reconsider their loathing of anything that comes from the ground. It’s heavenly.

After all that shopping, I whipped up some healthy breakfast-ish muffins. I’ve been trying to squeeze more veggies into our daily routine, and we’re both pressed for time in the mornings — so I figured this would be a good means of both saving time and giving us something healthy to snack on.

 

Gluten Free Morning Glory Muffins

While the original recipe, courtesy of Martha Stewart, is already pretty healthy, I decided to up the ante on this. I used gluten-free almond and amaranth flours, replaced the sugar with agave, substituted 1/2 cup of the flour for ground flaxseeds, and substituted almond milk for skim milk. (I also nixed the oil, because the batter was plenty moist without it, and the raisins, because I really don’t like having raisins in baked goods. I’m weird like that.)

With those substitutions, these muffins are gluten- and dairy-free, refined sugar-free, and loaded with protein, fiber, and produce. I know almond flour sometimes doesn’t sit well with some Celiac tummies, so if you decide to make your own GF version, use whatever GF flour you like — I obviously haven’t run that experiment myself, but I suspect it’d work just as well.

Healthy Morning Glory Muffins (Adapted from the Martha Stewart recipe)

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup amaranth flour
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup GF rolled oats
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 4 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 medium ripe banana, mashed

Baking time will probably depend on your oven (mine gets funky sometimes, for reasons I’ll probably never understand), but these will bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into the center of each comes out clean.

I hope everyone had a lovely weekend and that all your days are off to a marvelous start! If you’re in the mood for some more marvelousness, feel free to swing by Healthy Diva Eats, where the lovely mamacita Katie hosts a weekly link-up for Marvelous in my Monday — it helps the beginning of the week feel less painful. 🙂

MiMM MIMM #74  Family, Dinner Date, and More!