On 2014 and Blogging and Instagram

by Valerie on March 16, 2014 · 1 comment

So it has been pretty quiet around these parts.  My resolution to blog more in 2014 has not exactly happened as I expected.  I feel like I blinked three times and it became mid-March, and yet I feel like it was just the end of January.   

I did end up deciding what to do about resolutions – I went with a variation of simply having fun, loving one’s self more, and eating more chocolate – mine is having fun, loving myself more, eating more dark chocolate, and focusing on connecting and reconnecting with people.  The connecting part was something that I have been thinking about a lot the last few months – life just goes by so so fast, and one way to make it pause is to connect with myself and with others. The reconnecting part of these resolutions is because several long-time friends and acquaintances have reappeared in the last few months, and it has been really wonderful to catch up.  It has also made me think of how to use all the different ways we communicate today to stay in touch with people.  I am dedicated to email – it is my favorite – but I often get behind on it, and am starting to see the benefits of using multiple modes of communication to be in touch with someone.

photo 1 (3)

And speaking of communication, I also got an iPhone – after years of wanting one – and finally joined Instagram … to say I am obsessed with Instagram is kind of an understatement. I remember when twitter came out, there was a lot of talk of micro-blogging, but somehow I never could see twitter as micro-blogging – it might be the limit on the number of characters, or the fact a twitter timeline is so text-heavy. Instagram seems to solve all these problems, and has been really great for days I do not want to pull out my camera, but still want to share with all of you. 

Like this morning – I made very basic pancakes (with garbanzo fava bean flour, water and vanilla extract), and topped them with a cranberry fruit sauce and a strawberry chia fruit sauce and maple syrup. Part of me really wanted to blog the whole meal – it was that pretty – but both my husband and I were hungry and brunch had already taken too long to prepare, so I instagrammed instead:


As it turns out, the pancakes were good, but not great (super basic meant the texture was a little dry) so I would not have written up the recipe anyways.  Also, today’s brunch, as nice as it was, made me miss Karyn’s on Green – brunch there in December was definitely a vegan food highlight for me.  But anyways, Instagram provided the best of both worlds in that I got to share how pretty the meal was (yes, that’s a banana spinach smoothie on the side) but could do in a micro-blog way, rather than a traditional blogging way. Also, interestingly, I find myself tweeting more than I used to, likely because of my comfort with Instagram.

Looking at the last few weeks and ahead at the next few weeks, it is likely that posts here will continue to be sporadic, so I encourage you to follow me on Instagram in addition to this site.

General Disclosures & Disclaimers

Snow + Yoga = #snowga

by Valerie on February 13, 2014 · 1 comment

Hello from snowy Washington, DC.  My office was closed today so I worked from home.  And did #snowga:

(Photo courtesy of
Tranquilspace & Kimberly Wilson)

One thing I really appreciate about living in downtown DC is that as long as you can climb over the (badly ploughed) banks of snow, you can generally get in some movement – gyms, yoga studios and other boutique fitness studios may have reduced hours, but they tend to open.  At this point, #snowga (or #hurricaneyoga back in 2012) has become a tradition. So, after a morning of calls and drafting, it was refreshing to take a short walk and indulge in some yoga.  Aside from yoga that my day involved work, catching up with a dear friend who also happens to be a neighbor, and hopefully (assuming I finish this last project of the day soon) a little bit of me time.  I am so very grateful that, despite the extreme weather, I am warm,cozy, did yoga, still have power and internet.  So tell me – did you have a snow day? And what are you grateful for?

General Disclosures & Disclaimers

February – Day in the Life

February 9, 2014
art journal playshop 033

6.10am – The alarm on my phone rings. I don’t want to move. At least it is already around 30F (-1C) instead of in the single digits.  Also it is raining. Hard.  Still rain > snow in my book, so I can live with that. 6.25am – I am out of bed. I am freezing […]

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January – Day in the Life

January 31, 2014

As January draws to a close (where did it go?) I have thought a lot about what I want to do this year in term of goals / resolutions / themes.  Initially I had a long ambitious list of things I want to accomplish – but that was more of a checklist, which, to me […]

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Chicago Recap – Closing Thoughts

January 28, 2014

As the winter vortex continues outside, I am starting to think that my Chicago minute trip last month was a good preview for this weather.  As short as the trip was, we did more than eat – we walked around all through the downtown area, went to the Chriskindlmarket, which was amazing, and checked out […]

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Chicago Minute Part 3: Gluten-Free Vegan Sunday Brunch at Karyn’s On Green

January 21, 2014

When I went to Chicago last month, Karyn’s on Green was absolutely at the top of my list of places to try.  I had read about Johnna’s, Gena’s and JL’s experiences at Karyn’s on Green over the years, and had a feeling I would love both the food and the restaurant’s approach.  Did I mention […]

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Chicago Minute Part 2: Dinner at Frontera Grill

January 13, 2014

When my husband and I were first discussing our brief stay in Chicago, Frontera Grill was high on his list – I was shocked I was able to make a reservation for a Saturday night, which was the only night we could go based on my work schedule.  I called Frontera Grill  the day my […]

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Chicago Minute Part 1: Lunch at Karyn’s Cooked

January 2, 2014
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Hello from snowy Washington, DC.  I hope everyone who is affected by snow is warm and safe.  The weather out there is reminiscent of Chicago, especially now that the wind has picked up.  I was in Chicago just a few weeks ago for a weekend (prior to a work trip there), and right now I […]

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Happy New Year!

January 1, 2014

Happy New Year, dear readers!  I hope you have all had a wonderful first day of 2014.  I am usually a big believer in the first day of the year setting the tone – I always make sure to include the following: a fun outing, some yoga, delicious nourishing (and green!) food and drink. This […]

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#kalemail – Drink Your Veggies with Daily Greens

December 27, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, the folks at Daily Greens contacted me to see if I would be interested in trying out a few of their cold-pressed green juices.  Based in Austin, Daily Greens launched nation-wide delivery this month.  You may have seen the hashtag #kalemail on social media.  Now, you all know I love […]

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December Sanity Retreat 2013–Mindfulness

December 21, 2013

This is my week to host the December Sanity Retreat 2013 – when I looked ahead to the month, my goals were daily reflection, daily check-in’s with myself, and twice-weekly sessions of focusing on my breath for 10 minutes (like I said in July, baby steps on the meditation front).  While I envisioned them as […]

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Grain-Free Vegan Cranberry Pie

December 2, 2013

Happy Monday after Thanksgiving to my U.S. readers – and happy Monday to everyone else.  I had a bad case of the Mondays today, which is unusual for me.  So let’s talk about pie instead.  Cranberry pie to be exact.   A pie which does not look like a pie, but nevertheless is made in a […]

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December Sanity Retreat 2013

December 1, 2013

Bonjours, December.  You came back so fast.  Last December, I was writing how I felt it was time for some self-care and that fortunately, there is the December Sanity Challenge, which is is the brainchild of the the wonderful Cheryl of Gluten-Free Goodness: Of everyone in my (in-person or virtual) life, she is the strongest […]

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Raw Thanksgiving Bars with Cranberry Frosting

November 27, 2013

No, cutting dessert bars is not my forte…. Happy Thanksgiving Eve! This time of year is always an interesting one for those of us with modified diets – whether those modifications are for health or ethics, by choice or not – there can be a combination of nostalgia, frustration, or a feeling of loss.  This […]

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Gluten-Free Vegan Eats at Dino’s, Washington, DC

November 20, 2013

I found out earlier this week that, Dino’s, one of my favorite restaurants in DC will be closing – and then realized I had never blogged about it.- so no time like the present, right?  Especially since it sounds like Dino’s will come back in a slightly different form in a different neighborhood.  I am […]

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