Matcha Lattes and Re-Connecting to Routine

If you look on my phone right now you'll see a lot of pictures of homemade matcha lattes. I'm a little obsessed with matcha tea (a traditional, ceremonial green tea powder) right now, with its gentle dose of caffeine, l-theanine, and antioxidants. Okay, more then a little... I set up a monthly delivery! I use this tutorial, with my favorite coconut almond milk and honey to make the most amazing not super sugarly latte:

🍵How to make a matcha latte at home? Matcha lattes at the café are packed with sugar and sweetened milk, here's how to be a badass b and make it DIY at home. Respek thy 🍵 matcha +your hot body⚡️⚡️ Here's what you'll need: Materials: -A chasen bamboo whisk or a high powered blender -Matcha powder from Japan (Look for ceremonial grade from Japan) -Boiled water, cooled for 5 minutes -Almond or coconut milk (unsweetened saves you inflammation + sugar) -Coconut butter (optional if using a blender only, adds satiation) Directions: 1- Boil water and cool for 5 minutes to 175-185 degrees F, matcha is best made with water slightly under boiling. 2-Add your matcha powder to your chawan (matcha bowl) or a bone dry blender and sift slightly with your bamboo whisk. 3- Add slightly cooled after boiling water. Whisk in M and N motions causing your chasen or blend on high. 4-Add your almond, coconut milk or milk of choice. Add coconut butter in to blender only if using. Blend on high or whisk in milk. SERVE ⚡️⚡️⚡️🍵🍵🍵#matchalatte #goldengirl #iquitcoffee
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This is part of my attempt at reconnecting with a healthy routine.

A little story: Before we left Pennsylvania I was carrying around an extra 10lbs which is a whole lot on a naturally slight 5'2" frame. A combination of sitting at a desk 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and eating a few too many sweets, and not feeling like I had the time to hit yoga more then 1x a week, made it almost impossible for me to lose. When we moved to Colorado - and specifically when I started teacher training - suddenly I found myself with time, and more then that, I found myself with the real commitment to change. I started doing yoga 3-5x a week, and I completely revamped my diet. Green smoothies, more veggies in general, and a real cutting of sugary items. I lost 15lbs at which point I decided to loosen up a little because it was not actually a weight I wanted to be at. I let go of some of my restrictions and gained about 4 of those back putting me in a place where I felt strong and healthy.

Mostly, maintenance has been fine. Summer however gets a little hard, and specifically travel in the summer is the hardest time to maintain. This summer I've been doing a little worse then normal. I'm staying up too late, sleeping in a bit in the morning, not making the best food choices and have slacked on my normal yoga routine. I gave up on my regular lifting day without even trying to see if I could make it work. I was feeling sluggish, not my best, and starting to worry about fitting into my very fitted bridesmaid dress for a September wedding!

A few weeks ago I decided to recommit. I set an alarm on my phone to remind me to go to bed, I started my regular matcha routine (normally partnered with amazingly yummy pasture raised eggs from some of my students!), upped my green smoothie game, and reigned in my nighttime sweets consumption.


I also recommitted to as much yoga as I can with Gwen home from school, started hitting the machines before my Tuesday night yoga class, figured out how to take Gwen to the gym with me on Thursday mornings, and cashed in on a consult I won with an herbalist (I love seeing what nature can do to support everything else I'm doing).

We are traveling now, so a lot of routine has changed, again! But recommitting before we left has helped me to make better choices on the road. The more you move, the more your body craves movement; the better you eat, the better you feel, and the more you want to keep that good energy going. Moreover I just feel good again!

Here's to healthy living and a healthy life. That's a choice I always want to make.


Southen Route Out

Gwen and I are in Pennsylvania right now, relaxing at my parents, but I'm taking the chance to review our drive out. We took a much more Southern route to the East Coast this time around, checking a few more states off of our list in the process!

We left first thing on Wednesday, our longest day of the trip out. Our destination was Arcadia Lake in Oklahoma, first meeting a friend nearby for dinner, then camping by the lake.

It was a long drive out, 9.5 hours without stops, driving halfway across Kansas, before turning south and heading into Oklahoma.

It was hot that night, but the breezes off the lake were nice. And we got to awake to a pretty great view.

Gwen loved that we could walk right down to the water from our site. She was very mad at me that we were just staying there for the rest of the trip! Ha!

The next day was followed by the shortest day of this drive out... only 4 hours on to our next stop, so we got to take it easy and stopped at a National Wildlife Refuge for a break and lunch.

They had a 1-mile paved loop trail to walk along and see some water loving wildlife. We saw a few Egrets, and one of my favorite birds, the Indigo Bunting.

There were also about a million frogs!

We had a mini picnic in the car when we got back, before doing their 6-mile scenic drive, then heading back on the road.

That evening (Thursday) we arrived in the Ozark National Forest in Arkansas.

This was a rustic site in the woods (pit toilets only) which Gwen wasn't sure about, but it was beautiful and had one of our favorite water areas... and absolutely beautiful creek with waterfall.

Gwen was such a fish this trip, and was in the water swimming every chance she got.

She even got brave and jumped off the waterfall.

It was a beautiful place and we were happy to have stopped there.
The next morning we drove the rest of the way across Arkansas and into Kentucky.

(Friday) we passed through Tennessee before getting to our destination, the beautiful Land Between the Lakes.

Our site was nice, a quick walk to the bathrooms and to the lake. Gwen of course wanted to swim!

I was thrilled that night to be able to hit up a warm shower! Gwen made some friends with the kids from a neighboring site, so while she played I got to fit in a quick wash.

We also got to enjoy something we miss greatly in Colorado... Fireflies!


We don't have fireflies in Colorado, so we always look for them when we come out East.

On Saturday we left Kentucky, heading into our final camping stop in another National Forest, this time in West Virginia.

Monongahela National Forest was another more rustic site without anything but a pit toilet, but Gwen was okay with it this time. Especially since I surprised her with pancakes for dinner!

We also made friends with the people camping in the next site, a lovely family with three boys.

Gwen ran around with them that night, and the Grandmother brought ma a cup of coffee the next morning!

There was another creek nearby and of course those lovely trees that are so familiar to me on the East Coast! It was so much cooler here too then in any of the other stops. Oklahoma and Arkansas had been in the 90s until well into the evening, and Kentucky hadn't been much better. But in West Virginia it was in the 70s when we arrived and probably dropped into the high 50s during the night. We slept great!!

When we woke on Sunday, we were invited to breakfast with the sweet family next door, bacon and sausage and eggs, biscuits and pancakes, and orange juice until we were full! Thanks to weather conditions, a nice site, and sweet tent neighbors, I think this ended up being our favorite stop overall.

We started out after that, finishing the journey East by heading to DC and my brother!
5 days, 3.5 new states, and ~2,150 miles down. The first part of our journey is done!


Wordless Wednesday {Photo Dump}

Odds and ends from the past few weeks...

Chicken Pesto Parmesan over Basil Garlic Pasta
I wanted to be a little fancy with lunch!

These two!! 😍

Showing me how to be fancy in the shoes
I bought for Heather's wedding.

New blooms on our porch plants!

The craziest egg from a dozen given to me by a student the other week.

The yolk from it was huge though, and the most lovely color!


The Imagined Life: The Storage Shed

It was nothing super special or grand, just a neat, tidy square. Concrete floor, windowless wall, a row of lights on the ceiling. From the outside it looked like any old building, other then the many individual locked doors. It stayed naturally cool and dry (the wonders of old architecture), but I still had everything on shelves or risers, and covered with tarps or plastic - protection from above or below. It was my past and my future rolled all in one after all.

Is a storage shed really just a storage shed when it contains a lot of what you hold dear?
At what point does it become an archival treasure trove?

Since my abode was mobile and moving, my address changing by the month, the storage shed was one near my childhood home - easily accessible by my parents if I needed something from its well organized walls. From there I could pull supplies when needs arose, and deposit items that were not currently useful.

I knew this new life of mine wasn't permanent. Just as my old life was changed by surprise circumstances, I knew that anything could eventually change my feelings about my new vagabond existence. That, and I just couldn't imagine being 80 and still traveling full time. So the shed was my compromise, my tether, a little bit of roots in an otherwise gypsy existence.

[... and here is where the writing inspiration left me! According to Big Magic, I left this bit to sit for too long and the idea headed out to find a more worthy writer. Alas, I'm sharing it anyway!]


The Imagined Life is fiction, a world of my own creation, explored through small, everyday things and experiences.