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Another Inktober Post

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My October Reading List

I’m sure you all have noticed that I love books. And ever since I got my library card, I’ve been reading a lot of new books, particularly ones that I probably never would have picked up at a book store. This all stems from the majority of the conversations I’m having these days – about future plans and how I can make those dreams into a reality starting small and starting now. I envision a healthier, more holistic lifestyle for myself.

So I thought I’d share some of the books I’ve been reading because they make a lot of sense to me, and it’s been refreshing seeing my thoughts written out in someone else’s words. Like I’m not the only person who is questioning the things I’ve been told and taught. I promise I’m not one of those “crunchy, granola hippies.” I just want to be able to support my local community and in turn, supplement my own well being in a way that I can feel good about.

  • The Roots of My Obsession: Thirty Great Gardeners Reveal Why They Garden, edited by Thomas C. Cooper
  • Farmacology: Total Health from the Ground up, by Daphne Miller
  • Honeybee: Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper, by C. Marina Marchese
  • Compost this Book!, by Thomas Christopher and Marty Asher
  • The Wildlife Garden: Planning Backyard Habitats, by Charlotte Seidenberg
  • The Backyard Homestead, edited by Carleen Madigan
  • Herbal Tea Gardens, by Marietta Marshall Marcin
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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Honey Teriyaki Sauce

No one turns down Brussels sprouts in my house. I know they often get a bad rap, but I think these tiny green sprouts are making a well-deserved come back, and with this recipe, I think you’ll see why they’re becoming one of my favorite things to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Brussels sprouts (about 2 heaping servings)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3 tbs unsweetened peanut butter
  • 3 tbs honey
  • 2 tbs rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar, or tarragon vinegar, etc)
  • 3-4 tbs olive oil (separated)
  • 3 tbs of your favorite teriyaki sauce
  • 1/4-1/2 c dried cranberries
  • Half an orange, cut into small pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse the Brussels sprouts, then cut into halves. Toss in 1-2 tbs of olive oil and arrange on a roasting pan. Flavor with salt and pepper, garlic powder, and chili powder to taste. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until tender and golden brown.
  2. Fill a small bowl with hot water, and place the dried cranberries in the water to re-hydrate while the sprouts are cooking. Cut up your orange and set aside.
  3. In another medium mixing bowl, whisk the peanut butter, honey, vinegar, the remaining olive oil, and the teriyaki sauce until combined.
  4. When your sprouts are done, drain the cranberries. Toss the sprouts, cranberries, and orange slices in the bowl with sauce. Serve hot and enjoy!

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Past is past

I think there are certain lessons in this life that can be difficult to accept or learn. There are some that seem unfair or unjustified. There are others that leave us feeling sheepish because we really should have known better. 

I am dealing with the former at the moment. And my only peace comes from knowing that justice will be served correctly. I feel pretty confident about that. 

I think the most important take away from this whole ordeal is that everything has its consequences, sometimes years after the fact. 

But I know that I am stronger than this. I have a huge support system around me, and I think that the right thing will happen in the end. I’m certainly looking forward to getting this part of my life behind me. 

If only the past could always remain in the past. 

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Greek Fest

Every September, the local Greek Orthodox Church puts on a Greek Festival. It’s pretty small compared to other cities, I’m sure, but the one here in Knoxville holds a special place in my heart. One of my old friends from high school and his family is always involved with the traditional dances. And I’ve volunteered there myself doing the face painting. 


A few years ago, the church building itself burned, and they lost many of their relics and handcrafted mosaics – the ceiling was the most severe loss, the whole thing being a large mosaic piece done by hand. 

I’ve loved seeing the city come together to support this community, and as the years go on, the funds from this festival have helped support the repairs of this church building. 

Not to mention, it’s just a lot of fun. 

All of the dads and sons are out grilling lamb and chicken for the gyros, and all the grandmothers are insides selling their homemade treats (tha baklava is to die for).

 

My family has gone almost every single year, and since I missed last year, I was really looking forward to going again. And it definitely didn’t disappoint! 

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Baby and bread and bicycles 

Yesterday was a rare second day off in a row, and I had some big plans for the day that involved grabbing some coffee at my favorite place, researching some gyms and yoga studios around town, updating my blog, and then going home to clean and attempt a new bread recipe. 

My sister, however, couldn’t take my nephew to his day care yesterday because he had a 5th ear infection, and she couldn’t take off work, so my plans were rearranged and my nephew spent the day with me!

I don’t know how my sister manages to go about her life with baby in tow because boy is it tough. 


We started the day with some playtime and a big nap (during which I tried out a simple yeast-free bread recipe that turned out like an unsweetened muffin texture), made it out to Panera for some lunch, and then went on a grocery store run for some yeast (I was out, hence the first bread recipe). 

Later, my nephew got to try out his new water table on the back patio (this kid was born to be a swimmer, I swear. He’s like a fish in th water) before taking another quick nap during which I tried my hand at making baguettes. (They were divine.)

Then that evening, the boyfriend and I went on our usual run/bike ride as the sun went down. 

I know I say it a lot, but I am one lucky girl. 

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A portrait of my grandfather

I love to draw. I’ve been doodling as far back as I can remember. There’s something very soothing about the sound and feel of a pencil on paper, and I could sit for hours while I create a drawing from start to finish. It had been a while since I had drawn anything though because I let life get in the way, and I made excuses about how I had other things to do. But I was upset I had let it go for so long. 

However, I was reminded the other day that the things that are important to me are never a waste of time, and that in order to do those things, I just have to…do them. 

So I did. 

Here’s a portrait I made of my grandfather.