Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween eve!!

Happy Saturday,

      Just a quick post before I jet!! Here are our costumes!!!

Enjoy!!! HAHA!! It was great fun getting dressed up!!! I'll share more pictures tomorrow!

Lots of Love

Friday, October 29, 2010

Ghoulish quinoa pumpkin maple breakie!!

Happy Friday!!

              Halloween weekend is upon us!! Do you have lots planned or are you just chilling out this weekend? I have two parties to attend, one tonight and the official Halloween party on Saturday at my sis-in-laws. The party tonight is for Ryan's best friend's mom. She's a riot so it's going to be a grand time! There is even square dancing...yee haa!!! In between my social events, lots of pumpkin carving, seed toasting, and organic chemistry are on the agenda. I can't wait to share with you our costumes so stay tuned!!

Since pumpkin is a hot topic right now, I thought I would share a little recipe I put together for a breakfast quinoa!!

Start out with some "jam" blood and a bed of quinoa

 Make a "pumpkin" with pumpkin puree and pumpkin seeds. I made my own puree. So simple, bake pumpkin at 350 for 30 minutes or so. Cool down, peel, and puree in food processor (adding a little bit of water if needed). Ta da and the best part is that you can freeze it and have pumpkin in the dead of winter. Score!! The eyes are grapes but feel free to get creative:)

 Make some banana "ghosts." Again, very simple. Cut one banana in quarters and dip in coconut and place cacao nibs for the eyes and mouth.

Take a gazillion photos!

Those are some sad looking ghosts haha!

Add some maple syrup and cinnamon ( or pumpkin spice or nutmeg.....) and enjoy!!
Hope you will try this out because it's delish!!! I'm off to get ready for the par-tay tonight and to figure out what to do with the new house guests.......

Any ideas? 

Have a great night!! Talk to you tomorrow!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Maple Pumpkin spice and Indian Spice Love toasted pumpkin seeds

Happy Thursday everyone!

                     Hope you are having a great day!! To continue my little theme week here on contagious health let's talk pumpkins!! I know I'm a little behind on posting about this beloved gourd-like squash but I guess I'm not hard core then...or maybe I've just been holding out because I want you to pay attention to my pumpkin mania and nobody Else's, I'll never tell:) Anywho, I massacred my first pumpkins of the season yesterday and made some yummy stuff with it's insides...

Mine in the garden is still thinking if it wants to ripen or not..maybe by Christmas:)

                Oh Oddie, such a camera hog!!

No, the pumpkin didn't just age 80 years, this is a gourd I picked up on my last Covert Farms excursions! It's like a star fish!!

Scraping out the guts!!! Wish I had some kids around as I love how they squeal and squeeze and make a mess of it all!

I cut the gutted pumpkin and baked them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. More on this tomorrow!

Then I washed the seeds thoroughly as some of the guts really sticks to the seeds, or vice versa. Then it was creativity time!!! I really wanted something with maple syrup and because I knew the sweet stuff goes so well with pumpkin spice, I knew it would be a match made in pumpkin seed heaven!! Next I wanted to try an Indian spiced version. Check them out.....

The ones on the left aren't burnt its just the caramelization of the maple syrup!!

Oh baby are these good!!!

The indian spices were awesome but I should have added some salt to make the flavors pop

Make sure that you watch the seeds carefully as they burn SUPER fast...especially these brown sugar and cinnamon!

Maple Pumpkin Spice pumpkin Seeds

1 cup rinsed pumpkin seeds
1 tbls Pure maple syrup
1 tbls Pumpkin Spice Blend

Indian Spice Love pumpkin Seeds

1 cup rinsed pumpkin seeds
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon coriander
1/8 teaspoon garam Masala
1/8 teaspoon curry powder
dash of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-2 tbls olive oil

Mix all ingredients together so that the seeds are well coated. Place on a baking pan and toast in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes (or more depending on your oven). It's a good idea to give the seeds a good mixing half way through. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween week kick-off! What is your costume?

Happy Wednesday!

            I know I should have kicked off theme week on Monday..but hey, life calls! So without further ado let's kick off.....

Ahh Halloween the time for ghosts and goblins and candy overdoses! I'm not one to go overboard with the decorating and dressing up but it is fun to carve pumpkins and dress in silly costumes that have you laughing all night long!

So, what are you being, or better yet, what are you dressing up your pets/children as?

Still stumped?

Well let me give you some ideas, from the easy to the elaborate and also share with you who Ryan and I are dressing up as!

Here are some quick ideas that you can put together for that last minute party or trick or treating adventure:

1. Wear all black and put a large picture of a stamp on your chest. You have become "black mail"
2. Attach sugar cubes or candy all over yourself. You have transformed into a "sugar daddy/momma"
3. Get a box, cut a hole for your head. Attach a book, box of tissue, and a small lamp.
You are a "one night stand."
4. Dress normally then pin some socks, dryer sheets, and hand towels to your clothes. You are "static cling"
5. Dress in a suit and attach fake legal documents all over you. You have become a "law suit"

These are great ideas, I really love the static cling LOL!

Now how about the kid-lets! They are super fun to dress up and they look so cute:)

Mad scientist!

How cute is she?

A water creative!

How about your fur babies? Yes, they can become part of the spirit too, if only for a few minutes:)

 Top Dog...LOVE it!

 Neither look impressed!

This one just gets me laughing..look at those legs:)

As Ryan and I are doing a couple costume I thought I would share a few...
 Love it and super easy to do!

You inspired yet?  Don't worry I won't be disappointed if you just put a sheet over your head and cut holes for's all in good fun!

So, who are Ryan and I going to be??

Mario and Princess Peach!!!
We are hoping Ry's friend is going to be Luigi because it would be over the top hilarious!

My costume is not nearly as elaborate as this one but I found a dress at a thrift store that ended up being too small. We improvised and made it a lace up back HA! I'll show you pictures soon. A friend is borrowing me the blond wig today so I'll show you a picture of the full dress-up soon.

Here is our get -up for 80's halloween LOL! Everything was from a second hand store. I wish I could find that t-shirt I'm wearing because it's pretty awesome!

Can't wait to see what you guys are dressing up as!!!
Stay tuned as I'll be sharing lots about goodies, ghosts, and so much more! And don't forget the pumpkins:)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Early Christmas Present!

Hello all,

          No the theme week here is not about Christmas...yet! But I did get my Christmas present already:) As you know I've had some camera issues lately and because I love taking photos, I've been looking for a big-girl camera. Over the weekend I/we found one!! Here's the story so grab some popcorn and read on...

 The hubby and I ended up downtown for the Taste of Health on Saturday and then we headed to the Nike store to recycle my shoes. Yes people you can recycle your shoes as long as there is no metal in them! And they don't have to be Nike brand either. They make a rubber product you can use for gym floors, running tracks, outdoor synthetic courts, and much more! Click on the photo to find out more:)

I have to say that I've tried a huge variety of runners and currently Nike are my favorite. I need a huge amount of support as I have a very high arch so I have an insole. Most shoes cannot accommodate an insole, still feel comfy, and not have your heal sticking out all the way. I'm wearing a different brand right now as the shoes I wanted were just too far out of my budget at the time. But, I know what I'm going to get next time:) I should have waited to buy my fave shoes as the Nike store had them on sale now..of course! Even the sales rep said the ones I wanted (the ones she was wearing) were her favorite. Okay enough about my shoes! While we were in the store, the hubby started browsing (uh-oh) and found these sweet shoes. I think the hubby owns more pairs of shoes than me...well casual shoes anyways. So after 1/2 hour of trying on only two different shoes, he found a pair he liked. I'll show you a picture in a bit.

 I kept saying to him that he spends more money than me (its true!!) so the next time you get something, I get a camera. So, we hit up a camera store (not actually thinking my tactic would get me anywhere:) nearby and found a pretty good one. As it's a major purchase we decided to sleep on it. With me, sleeping on a purchase is a very new thing as I get so excited about whatever it is I'm going to buy and its all I can think about. I told Ry I'm going to go home, do some research and possibly come back tomorrow. He was slowly slinking back in his seat and trying to convince me to just leave it for awhile. As I was high from excitement this didn't really sit well with me and I was kind of disappointed. I don't get to purchase big items very, let me rephrase that...EVER so for me this meant so much. After my little pout session, the hubby finally made it clear about why he wanted me to wait - He was planning on buying me one for Christmas. Now I was slinking back and feeling ashamed. What a bad wife I am! I felt like I totally stole his thunder and I wasn't being fair.

Once at home (and me apologizing!) we both sat down and did some research online and checked out different stores and whatnot, and finally we cruised through some local Craigslist ads..and that's when we found her!! It was a newer model than I was looking for but the model I wanted was super hard to find. So, I pounced on it and we went to the guy's house to take a look. Immediately I felt comfortable and knew that I wasn't being taken for a ride. He had tons of pictures (taken with the camera we were interested in) framed from his trips including Galapagos, Peru, and Costa Rica. He even had a picture of this guy....

A Blue-footed Boobie!! Gorgeous, hey?

So, after looking at the camera and pretending we knew what we were doing, viewing the receipt and all the accessories that we needed, we bought it!!!

AHHH!! I'm SO excited.  Since blogging, my love for taking photos has grown exponentially and I'm so stoked to take my skills to the next level.

So which camera did I get? This one....

I've snapped so many photos and I've been reading a ton about how to work the gazillion buttons! One site that has really helped me understand some basics is Ree Drummond's site The Pioneer Women. Not only is she hilarious, she puts complex topics into layman's terms which I love! Because you know simplicity is best!

For all you photographers out there, what are your favorite sites to learn the basics and for inspiration?

So, here is a sample of some of the photos me and Ry took....

Here is Oddie (that's his new name!) and his usual night time ritual of sleeping on our shoulders

I LOVE this shot and these are the kind of shots I'm super excited to shoot! These are the leaves on my deck. I should get sweeping, hey?

Always watching out!!


Te he...the flash!! But I'm glad that I can get him in focus and the background blurry!

Ready to pounce!! It's time for the stair game!! He likes to grip the stairs while on his side and pull himself across it LOL

 Ryan's kicks!

 Look at the veins on that leaf!

I had to stick a sample from my organic chemistry kit in there because this course has taken over my life..haha..jk..but not really:)

There you have it folks!! This story has (finally) come to and end. Hope you all aren't asleep!!

I have some more stuff from the weekend that I'm going to post but I need to get the picts off my blackberry first.

PS I visited the naturopathic school again last night. I know, I know I'm such a stalker but it's a good thing because I want them to remember my face! The awesome thing about attending was I got to meet all the people who are going to interview me. What an amazing opportunity. Plus I got to meet perspective students and we even exchanged emails and facebook about community! Plus I got a promotion at work!! I don't know all the details yet but it's pretty exciting. I'm actually in the process right now of hiring someone for my position. The universe works in crazy ways, my friends! So never stop believing!

Some more exciting's theme week here at Contagious Health. You're probably thinking, what theme? Bragging? Nope..not's Halloween Week, silly! I'm going to be sharing costume ideas, including what I'm being, tasty treats, decorations, and much, much more. Hope you will join me:)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Want some ideas for what to do this weekend?

Hey all,

         Happy Friday! I'm stoked for a full weekend this time around and an open schedule. Ahh..livin' in the moment! I used to be so uptight about my time-slotted weekend plans but it caused me too much unnecessary stress. Special occasions are the exception, of course.
 Are you strict on your weekend time or do you just roll with it?

As I'm still camera-less I thought I would pull some ideas from around the sphere and web in case you want to fill in some of that spare time that everyone is in excess of these days (insert sarcastic laugh here!). I know we are all busy but remember to take some time for yourself. Don't worry you aren't being selfish:)

1. Cook a big pot of soup or stew

In fall I find the smell of soup cooking over the stove so enveloping, if you will. It's so comforting and warm and filling..ahh perfect as it's like a hug when it's dreary and cold outside.  A big plus is that if you make a large batch you won't have to cook for a couple of meals:) You can add all sorts of veggies or keep it simple, 15 varieties of beans or just one. I load up my soups/stews so they have every veggie/bean/rice/quinoa/spice option available in my house. I would love to make soup in that kettle! How cool!
 Need some recipe inspiration? Check out these ideas....

Averie's Vegan Crock Pot Chili

Ashley's Pumpkin Chili recipe - I made it this week and its super yummy and fast to prepare!

Angela's Blanket Stew - I also made this recipe and I'm in love!! So yummy

Kathy's Rustic 3 squash soup - My mission is to make a creamy squash soup like this ASAP!

2. Complete a task that you have been avoiding

I bet you didn't want to hear this one, right? Well, why not get it over with so you can do more fun things? I have a few of these on my list, including my ND school application! I know it will be very rewarding to complete it and send it off, yet I let too many other things take priority. Are you going to join me in finishing a nagging project? Let's do it!

3. Treat yourself to a workout!

Yes, I said treat yourself. Working out does so much for your body, mind, and spirit. I don't know about you, but I feel empowered after a workout. I sometimes doubt myself when it comes to pushing myself harder, but my body always gives 100%. I find exercise helps quiet my mind and re-center my focus. Will a tub of ice cream do that for you? Please say no people! So, treat yourself to a good sweat session whatever it may be! You will feel like a superhero!

Try some yoga, P90X, running, rebounding or... - I LOVE Zuzana and her workout style. If you have 12 minutes, you have a great, sweaty workout - I'm a huge fan of Craigs. He has a ton of workout samples on his site that you can do at home or at the gym
Laury of The Fitness Dish - Check out her Friday 5 as she lists a great workout!

4. Create a vision board, bucket list, goal list, inspirational quote list....

I'll admit that I am a newbie at creating any of those powerful tools! I've seen many people create beautiful, inspiring lists and goals yet I don't create a physical display of them myself. I think this ties in to # 2 wouldn't you say? I know that big movers and shakers have their goals on cards in their pocket, on their desk, their phone etc. I need to do that as repetition will create a habit, one that you can actually keep:)  I plan to have my soon-to-be office/guest room as a place of inspiration and where I can get a jolt of motivation if I'm down. Here are some great ideas to get your creative juices flowing....

Angela even shares some graphics so that you can actually make a "bucket" list.  You can also see an example of a vision board that she created.

Kris is a HUGE inspiration and she is all about sharing and motivating us bloggers. Check out her vision board and get ready to dream BIG!

Even lady O shares how to create a vision board. On page 4 is an actual example

5. Write a letter to someone that is dear to you and mail it!

I love receiving letters/cards/invitations in the mail! The anticipation when you begin to open the letter doesn't occur when I click on my inbox. So, why not right a little note to someone special that maybe you haven't connected with in awhile? You could even write a letter to your significant other and put it in their sock drawer so they have an unexpected love note to brighten their day! No mailing required:) I guarantee you will get just as much out of writing the letter as the person who  receives it:)

Are you going to include some of those things in your busy weekend? Hope so!!
Have a great one and stay tuned as next week is a theme week on Contagious Health!