Cheezy Hemp Nacho Dip, Tattoo Ideas, Summer Solstice, Meditation

Hi Friends!  How was your weekend?  What did you do?  On Saturday I spent the day with Scott and Skylar before Scott had to leave for a business trip.  We decided to take a nice leisurely walk through Balboa Park with Skylar in the stroller.  It was 72F, sunny, with a decent breeze.  Pretty much perfect walking weather!

On Saturday afternoon I went to a tattoo parlor to look at artist portfolios and it was not a match.  Too much testosterone and trying too hard to talk to me.  I was just trying to look at portfolios; not have to avoid flirtatious smalltalk with my 3 year old sitting next to me.  Next, please.

On Sunday, I hit the gym, and then Skylar and I went to the tattoo parlor where I mentioned in my Fun Facts Friday Post that I was going to check out.  Turns out, the artist who's work I had seen online wasn't working Sunday but I plan to connect with him sometime this week to start talking about my sleeve.  

I definitely want my tattoo to have vibrant flowers in it.  Kind of like the hibiscus bush in my front yard.

And maybe a lotus flowerSkylar's middle name is Lotus. 
File:Nelumno nucifera open flower - botanic garden adelaide2.jpg

And I also want the image of a beautiful, strong, woman tattooed on me.  I am thinking Ava Cowan or similar.  Not her exact face and body, but along those lines.  A woman who is not afraid to be sexy, strong, powerful, fierce, intense, intelligent, and unapologetically confident is whom I would like to wear on my arm amidst the flower garden.
 Photo Source

I can't wait to find an artist who is up the job of creating a beautiful mosaic for me!

Let's Talk About Last Week...
Last week was a pretty Hot Topic Kind of Week (tattoos, gay pride parade and gay rights, homeschooling/unschooling) and I just wanted to remind anyone who missed the posts last week to check them out if you're interested:

Raw Vegan Brownie Review & Vegan Chocolate Recipes, Gym Review, Gay Pride Parade  
This post really struck a chord with so many of you.  It spun off into a discussion about Gay Rights.  The comments from others are worth reading if you have any spare time!

Microwaved Food: Safe or Not?, Magazine Finds, TV Shows, Tattoos, Life and Blogging

Earthquake Strikes! Coping with Natural Disaters, Friends and The Pool, Grocery Finds

Unschooling and Life as Classroom, Mailbox Finds, Summer Smoothie Recipe, Traffic Tips
This post also had a life of it's own and the pros/cons and merits of homeschooling and unschooling were discussed...hope you have time to read a few of the reader comments!

Cheezy Sweet Popcorn, Midnight Snacks, Food Rules & Eating Late, Type A or Procrastinator?   Loved hearing your "rules" and sharing mine, i.e. very few!

Five Fun Facts Friday 

And I posted some Progress Pictures in my Gym/Workout Tab.   
 I think a quarter sleeve could definitely work...

GF Vegan Sweet Seed Crackers, Happy Father's Day, Traveling or Staying Home, Garmin or Polar  

Thanks to everyone who chimed in on the Garmin vs. Polar discussion on the post...great anecdotal, real life info and feedback.  Now I just have even more research to drive myself crazy with ponder....haha!

Farmer's Market Finds, Happy Father's Day! 

Moving On to Some Food I made this weekend...
I finally made Kristen's Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce
I was one of the few people who hadn't yet made Kristen's dip (Tasha, Aimee, Gina, and many more of you already have!).  I am glad I finally made them.  With one little caveat.

I made some changes:
I halved the recipe
Omitted the garlic and tamari
Added twice the amount of nooch as Kristen's full recipe called for

Caveat: The only thing I would change in the future is that her recipe calls for 1 Tablespoon of Chili Powder which is a lot of chili powder.  In halving her recipe, I followed suit and used 1/2 Tbsp of Chili Powder even though as I was dumping it into the Vita I was thinking....hmmm...I think that's going to be way too much.  It kind of was.  So, let's just say for me, this is dip with a spicy kick! 

If you like heat, you will love this.  If you don't, scale the chili and cayenne back a bit.  I do like heat, I just wasn't expecting it.  It's also one of those once-you-start-you-can't-stop dips.   The heat is addicting!

Garlic and Tamari were not essential for me.  You all know I am not into garlic or sodium-laden condiments and I happily skipped them.

The Ingredients

Hemp Seeds
They're a very soft seed and blend easily

Combine Everything in the Vita

After a quick blending

Pour into a container and serve!

 Skylar and I loved sugar snap peas dipped in the Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce!
As she's about to drool half-chewed sugar snap peas while cheez-ing it up for the camera!  

Bonus: Scott loved this dip and said that at a party, it would be devoured.   Fast!  Truth be told, he likes 95% of my "crazy" raw vegan concoctions and recipes.  It's taken 12 years, but I've pretty much converted him by just making things, leading by example, not forcing the issue, and making the finished product actually taste darn good! 

Remember Spicy Doritos?  I haven't had them in a decade or more, but this dip kind of reminds me of their flavor.

Edited to Add because I just remembered...

The Cheezy Hemp dip uses very similar ingredients to the my Raw Vegan Kale Chip Coating
except the kale chip coating uses soaked cashews, not hemp seeds.  Hemp seeds are generally more expensive than cashews, cup for cup, in my experience so perhaps try cashews to save money.

Apply the coating to the kale or just use it as Dip!

 Raw Vegan Kale Chip Recipe

And if you like Nooch, Try My Nooch Recipes Link for a Dozen More! 

Raw Cheddar Dipping Sauce for Veggies or as a Salad Dressing

Speaking of Party Hits & Crowd Pleasers, this is another one: Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse
 Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse takes about 5 minutes to make!  So easy!

While other 3 year olds eat processed string cheese and Teddy Grahams, my kid eats Cheezy Hemp Dip on Raw Veggies and my homemade GF Vegan Sweet Seed Crackers.
 GF Vegan Sweet Seed Crackers

And as I mentioned yesterday, she happily ate her way through the farmer's market with everything from Rice Milk Horchata to Raw Zucchini to White Peaches.

Yoga Today is the Summer Solstice!

It's hard to believe that I posted about the Winter Solstice 6 months  Time flies!  I was in Aruba over the holidays and I remember the day quite well as it was just 2 days after Scott's birthday.
 I think she has definitely grown and looks so much older in the 6 months since this photo was taken.  What do you think?

In Yoga, on Solstices, we do 108 Sun Salutations.
You're thinking what?!  Why would anyone do so many?!  (Don't know what a Sun Salutation is?  Here's the flow of one salutation. Or here's another.)

What is the significance of the Summer Solstice?

The Summer Solstice, which occurs today is the longest day of the year and the sun's position in the sky is the highest. The seasonal significance of the Summer Solstice means that until the Winter Solstice, the amount of daylight decreases with each day until Dec 21.   Many people celebrate Summer Solstice as a time of rebirth, a new beginning, and a chance to marvel at the power of transition and mark change in their lives that corresponds with seasonal change. 

It's customary in yoga traditions to mark the Solstices with 108 Sun Salutations.

Why 108 Sun Salutations?

I found this info which gives a succinct and clear explanation: 
There is a special significance to 108 in the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. For instance, there are 108 beads in the mala of both traditions; there are 54 letters in the Sanskrit alphabet and each has masculine and feminine, totaling 108; 1 stands for Higher Truth, 0 stands for Emptiness and 8 stands for Infinity. As we reflect on the significance of the sun, we are reminded that the sun is the illuminator of our world, that it is our primary source of heat and the giver of life. So come, honor the sun!

Or here's Yoga Journal's take on it.

You don't have to do all 108 Sun Salutations; do as many as you feel is appropriate.  Heck, just do one!  Just be mindful and present, joyfully aware, and notice how being in tune with the seasons effects your daily life.  

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1. Best thing you ate or did this weekend?
Me = Spend time with Scott before he left.  Make seed crackers and dip.  Think about my Tattoo.  Go to the farmer's market.   Ok, I had a lot of best's this weekend!  What were yours?

2. Favorite dip?
I know I am going to hear hummus a lot.  I actually love spinach and artichoke dip but haven't tried my hand at a vegan version.  That's next on my agenda!  I know there's a version in ED & BV but if anyone has one they love, let me know!  Also, not a huge fan of salt and garlic so any recipes with 12 cloves of garlic won't work for me...haha!  And in general, if you have a killer dip, I am all ears since I am the condiment queen

3. What did you do for Father's Day Weekend?  Did you get your dad a gift and if so, what was it?  Did he like it?  
Saturday we hung out as a family, I gave Scott a card and a box of chocolates (no other gifts), and then he left for his trip.  I am sad he's gone and that we didn't get to spend the day together but we try not to dwell on stuff like that and just make up for it by celebrating each other all the other days of the year as if it's Mother's Day or Father's Day.  A mindset shift.

4. If you have a tattoo, how did you decide what to get?  Did you put thought into it?  Was it a custom piece or Flash? (flash is an "off the rack" tattoo, i.e. the #52 a heart with a dagger in it special)
Considering I am going to have this the rest of my life, and I have spent many years thinking about this piece, I am not rushing into it and am thinking it through and really pondering what is important to me, and why, and would it translate into a beautiful tattoo.  What, if anything, do you want to get?

5. Do you meditate?  Do you have quiet time in your day?

I have done 108 Sun Salutations before and it's challenging but you go into a zone and don't think about it too much.   Moving meditation I like to call it.  Do you meditate or have a way to center yourself?  I know Susan just posted that she's going to meditate more and have 20 minutes of silence every day.  I have forced silence daily while Skylar naps and when I do a quick 20 minute run outdoors, I never use an ipod because I enjoy the total silence.  It's not sitting still and meditating, but it's quiet reflection and a moving meditation.   What do you do to quiet, calm, and center yourself?

I'm off for a super full day of the gym and then headed to the beach for a "Park Day" at the beach with my unschooling friends, provided the weather cooperates.  It's not looking too promising at the moment but I hope the fog burns off.   I am excited since it's my first time back at the beach since moving back to San Diego a whopping 10 days ago.  I have been so busy in 10 days!  Anyway, we are off for the day.  Wish me luck that the Parking Karma and Weather Gods smile down on us and we don't have mile(s) to walk and that the weather clears!

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