Living simple so others may simply live…

When Josh and I moved back from South Africa last year things were a bit chaotic.  We had no clue what our next move was.  We were hesitant to get “real” jobs because we didn’t plan on staying long. We didn’t have our own vehicle or place to live. The grief was still very fresh from Payton’s passing.  We stayed with family, living with my aunt and uncle in Seattle during the week, and then coming back to my mom and dad’s house on the weekends.

Things are different this time around.  We know we want to be in Washington for a while.  Josh was accepted into the urban planning program at the University of Washington.  I am so excited to finally be near family but have our own space.

We knew we’d have a lot on our plate when we got back.  We need housing, a car, jobs, cell phones, a bed/furniture…All this while dealing with jet lag, culture shock, bits of who knows what India left in our guts, extreme changes in weather…wowweee.  Just writing it all out I start to feel exhausted.

Fortunately we have some forces on our side.  For the first time in a while, all my cousins were together for Thanksgiving.  The whole gang was there along with my aunties and uncles and other family.  It was rejuvenating to have everyone in the same house.  It felt like home.  The day after Thanksgiving, a group of us went down to my parent’s beach house.  Josh and I slept a good deal of the time but also got to spend time with family, run on the beach, and just relax in a cozy place. The love didn’t stop there.  Our friends, the Wiley’s, offered us their house while they’re off building an Earthship in Guatemala.  Its a lovely home in a beautiful and hilly neighborhood!  We’re loving having it as a our base as we set off each day to check our to do’s off our list.

So, this morning while I was running in their beautiful and hilly neighborhood, overlooking a gorgeous valley with glorious views of Mt. Rainier, I was thinking about what kind of life I want to set up.  It’s so tempting to go after the flash.  Its tempting to run off to the shops and buy all new clothes for my all new life.  It’s tempting to want the newer more expensive apartment.  I ask questions like, “Do I get an iphone or a plain-Jane phone? Do we really need to stay within our price range for that car?  Or that apartment?”

While I was running, watching the sun glow behind the mountain and a flock geese flying over the foggy valley, I remembered how simply we’ve been living for the past few months.  We were content to have a safe, cleanish place to lay our heads at night.  We didn’t have cell phones or a car and everything was a-okay.  Most people around us were also living extremely simple lives.

So, here we go, setting up our new lives in Washington.  I’m trying to remember that living simply is simply a beautiful way to live.  I’m determined to remember that everything works out and show gratitude for each little blessing along the way.

P.S.  We get the keys to our cute little one bedroom apartment in the Stadium District tomorrow.  It’s an adorable, walkable neighborhood-just 5 minutes walk from my dad’s school!  Feeling thankful to the owner who is trusting that we’ll pay our rent even though we are currently unemployed!

Advertisements

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

In our completely relaxed beach state, Allie and I had also agreed on making Josh Vegan Rhubarb Pie for Thanksgiving.  We were in paradise and not really thinking about the fact that rhubarb isn’t really an autumn fruit.  The night before Thanksgiving, Josh and I, 1 day fresh from our return from India, I realized I had no idea how to go about the rhubarb pie.  I hadn’t spoken to Allie about it and I already had a lot of cooking planned.  So, I made a crust and decided I’d figure out how to fill it in the morning.

I decided to skip the rhubarb and and go for something a bit easier to track down.  After a bit of research,  I decided on a chocolate-peanut butter pie.  My little cousin, Lauren, was really interested in the endeavor (she announced she’s a vegetarian, although she LOVES little smokies–we all have our weaknesses).  So, Lauren and I went about our pie experiment.

Me and Lauren with our masterpiece. So good to be back in the states.

As mentioned, I made pie crust the night before:

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup chilled Earth Balance vegan butter spread
  • salt to taste
  • ice water

Directions for Crust: (makes 2 pies)

  • Mix flour and salt
  • cut cubes of butter into flour until it begins to form little balls
  • gradually add ice water one tablespoon at a time and rub into flour mixture until dough begins to form
  • refrigerate until ready to use
  • take out of fridge 1 hour before rolling
  • roll on a heavily floured surface and press into pie dish
  • bake on 350 F for about 35 minutes

Filling:

  • 1 cup organic peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
  • 16 oz tofu (firm or silk–I used firm but I think I would have preferred silk)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips melted

Directions:

  • mix all ingredients in food processor
  • chill for at least one hour
  • smooth into pie crust
  • enjoy!

Happy Eating!


Pumpkin Hummus, Baby.

We. Are. Back.  We got back to the states two days ago, just in time for some Thanksgiving lovin’ and grubbin’.  I was ecstatic to be able to cook for the first time in a few months and in a full kitchen at that!  Yeah!

While sitting on a beach in Thailand, I was discussing vegan Thanksgiving possibilities with my cousin Allie.  All of the sudden pumpkin hummus popped into my mind.  I couldn’t wait to get home and try it.  Its makes for a super healthy pre-dinner treat to snack on while you’re prepping the meal (goes great with a glass of wine).  So I went for it today and was delighted with how it turned out.  Here’s how I did it:
Read More


Yoga with Rajnish

View from our roof top in Varanasi

Yesterday morning I had my first yoga session in India.  The guesthouse we are staying at has a resident yoga instructor that offers classes on the rooftop every morning.  Unfortunately, the roof top was locked up this morning so we moved our yoga class (I was the only one in class) to an indoor location.

I admit I was a little nervous about the one-on-one session, especially when it moved inside.  I had read about creepster yoga instructors in India that made moves on their female students during one-on-one sessions.  The instructor, Rajnish, was small though and I knew I could take him if he tried anything funny. Soon after the session began I was able to relax and found myself enjoying the practice.
Read More


It all works out

Josh and I spent the last few days in a town called Darjeeling in the hills of north eastern India.  We’ve met some incredibly kind people on our journey through southeast Asia and India but the people of Darjeeling are by far the most generously hospitable and lovely people yet.

What struck me as we made our way up the potholed, steep, winding road into the Himalayan foothills was how drastically the faces changed.  They no longer looked Indian, or what my mind perceives Indians to look like.  They looked more Chinese, Nepalese, or some other Asian ethnicity.
Read More