Life Lately (and an apology)

Hey, there, and happy April! First things first, I want to honestly apologize for my lack of presence here on the blog the last couple of months. I’ve been trying to survive at work, and in the last couple of weeks I’ve realized I haven’t been taking good care of myself. So I may not be posting too much in the next couple of months, while I try to get myself back on track! I think, sometimes you just have to take some time off and get a breath of fresh air.

Anyway, this weekend I headed over to a local park for a short hike, and I snapped a couple photos. The pictures just don’t do this view justice, I swear it is even prettier in person. California sure is nice!

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Spring in California // Imperfect Chevron

Just look at these wildflowers, I mean!!!

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I always feel like getting out in the fresh air recharges me, it really refreshes my soul. It sounds weird but I always feel so much better when I get out.

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Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

xo

 

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In The Kitchen: Crock Pot Chicken Curry

I’ve been loving my crockpot, you guys! I don’t make something in it every week, but when I do, it makes my week so much less stressful. When I get home from work, I already have a healthy meal prepped, and I can just throw it in the microwave and be done! It’s really been a great solution for me. I’ll continue to share which crockpot recipes I’ve tried and loved here on the blog, and please feel free to share some of your favorites with me! Here’s my Pinterest board featuring the recipes I’m hoping to make at some point.

A couple weeks ago, I made this chicken curry recipe, and I think it turned out pretty great! I even served it to my boyfriend, and he gave me a big thumbs up! I added bell peppers and kale to buff up the veggies in this recipe, and I think next time I’d add chopped up carrots, too. The bummer was, I didn’t cook the potatoes long enough, so they weren’t as soft as I’d have liked, but I’ll remember that for next time!

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This isn’t the BEST picture, but trust me, this curry is better than it looks. Try it out and let me know what you think of this recipe!

xo

Life Update: Spring Fever

I’ve had a looooott of people ask me how I’m liking California so far. And to be honest, I’m really liking it! But I’ve had some bouts of grouchiness with all the rain we’ve been having here…I mean, I know it’s a good thing. But also, I’m a sun baby. I love my sunshine, and just getting outdoors, and when I can’t do that I start to get a little antsy. Anyway, overall I’d have to say that California has been treating me well so far! I’m dreaming of Spring, and am already more than ready to break out my shorts and start shopping for swimsuits for the Summer…yeah, I get a little excited about warm weather.

Here are some snapshots from life lately:

I just bought this cute little lens for your iPhone, it slips right over the camera slot. I’ve been playing with it a bit, here are a couple of the wide angle shots:

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Life Update // Imperfect Chevron

Been feeling a bit under the weather the last couple weeks, so I’ve been upping my Vitamin C intake, which looks like this for me (I’m not big on taking medicine):

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Lately I’ve had the creative itch…I’ve been doing a lot of painting and sewing! I made some adorable pillowcases with the cutest prints. Popsicles!?! I mean!!?

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And this work-in-progress little painting:

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So that’s a little bit of what I’ve been up to! Hope you have a wonderful week. Holy cow, we’re welcoming March this week! :0

xo

 

Dairy-Free Favorites

*This post is not sponsored, and all opinions are my own*

I’ve been living the lactose-free (mostly…I will admit I eat pizza on occasion) for almost 4 years now, and it has helped my health so much. I’ve always had a very sensitive stomach, and even as a child I had difficulty eating ice cream. But I never connected the dots that lactose was the problem! For me, cutting out dairy products has helped me be less nauseous most of the time, and spend more time enjoying my life instead of feeling sick.

But after 4 years without dairy, I have tried so, SO many products and found which ones I prefer. I wanted to share my lactose-free favorite products with you all in case you’re newly lactose-intolerant or are looking to branch out!

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Milk

So I’ll be honest, I don’t drink dairy-free milk straight from a glass. But I need something to put in my coffee and pour over my cereal, as well as make smoothies and cook with. Anyway, there are TONS of lactose and soy-free milk options out there, it can be a little intimidating the first few times. I prefer almond milk, cashew milk, and almond-coconut blends. I never buy soy milk, just my personal preference!

#1 Top Pick: Calafia Farms brand Toasted Coconut flavor. Honestly, I’ve tried several brands of almond milks and this brand is absolutely the best quality I’ve tried. It’s very smooth and not gritty at all, they have good tasting (not too sweet) flavors, and it comes in a gorgeous bottle. It’s a little steeper price than some of the options, but I prefer this brand to any other I’ve tried so it’s well worth it!

#2 Runner Up: Almond Breeze brand Unsweetened Vanilla or Almond-Coconut Blend. A good overall brand! Lots of flavors (plus they also have all the blends (almond-cashew, almond coconut), and has a good taste. I typically buy the unsweetened flavors, because I find the almond milk already has a slightly sweet taste.

“Cheese”

I don’t use fake cheese all that often, but sometimes I crave nachos or a grilled cheese sandwich, you know? It’s not something I typically eat very often, but I’ve tried several different brands and had to throw out many many bags…here are the brands I’ve found to be the best tasting.

#1 Top Shreddable: Daiya brand Mozzarella Shreds. While costly, this cheese melts really well and has a similar salty/savory flavor as real cheese. It’s perfect for nachos, lasagna or baked pasta dishes, pizza, and other casseroles.

#1 Top Sliced: GoVeggie! brand in American Slices. This is my go-to sliced cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s similar consistency to like Kraft singles, which sounds kind of gross unless you’re 10 years old, but it melts really great! I’ll use it if I want a cheeseburger or grilled cheese. And you really can’t beat the price, it’s very reasonable for a dairy-free product.

Ice Cream

I LOVE ice cream. To be honest, this has totally been the hardest part of being lactose intolerant for me, because I used to crave ice cream daily. There are many dairy products that I can actually still eat in small amounts, but ice cream is not one of them. It is just not worth how sick I get after eating it. Anyway. The frustrating thing about dairy-free ice creams is that they are A) very expensive, and B) typically come in pint-sized containers. It’s very annoying. Plus, it’s difficult to find ice creams that mimic the wonderful consistency of real ice cream. Here are my top picks.

#1 Top Ice Cream: Lactaid brand (any flavor!). This brand comes in a quart size, and is actually real ice cream (they just remove the lactose!), so it solves both of my quandaries. Plus, it comes in several flavors (salted caramel, cookies and cream!?) which is a total bonus. All in all, an amazing product.

#2 Top Ice Cream: Trader Joe’s Soy Creamy in Cherry Chocolate Trip. If there’s a Trader Joe’s near you, get there immediately and pick up some of their Soy Creamy ice cream! It’s got a great consistency and flavor, and I love that the Cherry flavor has those tasty cherry bits in it. It’s very reasonably priced, too, and you get a quart!

Yogurt

I’ve tried several brands of lactose-free yogurt, and there is only one brand I’ve found that tastes the best to me.

#1 Top Yogurt: So Delicious Yogurt in Plain or Strawberry Banana. Yes, this yogurt is not cheap. But it tastes wonderful and has a great consistency. It isn’t tangy or watery, and the flavors are fresh tasting. So if you’ve gotta have some yogurt in your life, this is the way to go for sure.

So there you go! A quick list of some of my favorites. Found any other brands of lactose-free foods you love? Let me know! I’m always looking for new good ones. Again, this post is not sponsored in any way, I just like to share the products I love and use in my daily life.

xo.

In The Kitchen: CrockPot Love

Happy February, all! Is it just me or was January just a giant blur? Yeah.

Anyway, I wanted to share a fun slow cooker recipe I made last week after buying my very first crock pot! I’ve been eating really poorly lately (read: schlepping home after work exhausted and making a sandwich or popping in a microwave meal), and I want to change that. I feel much better about myself (and feel much happier!) when I’m eating a balanced diet filled with greens and protein, so I’m trying to get better about it. I decided to buy a crockpot so I could make a week’s worth of meals in advance and pop them in the microwave when I get home from work. It worked so well last week, I’m excited to try lots of slow-cooker recipes in the weeks to come!

Okay, sorry for rambling a little there. Let’s get to the food! I adapted this recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas. The recipe suggests straining off some of the liquid at the end to make your fajitas, but I skipped that step and just ate mine like a hearty stew. So good!

How amazing does this look? In The Kitchen // Imperfect Chevron

It tasted really good, and I was overall really glad to have easy microwavable and healthy meals during the week. In the future, I’d probably cube up some avocado and throw some cilantro on top! And maybe add a little more spices?

Do you have any go-to crock pot or slow-cooker recipes? Feel free to share with me!

xo

My Life in California

Happy weekend, guys! I’m finally feeling like myself again after a doozy of a cold last week, I hope none of you get it. Tis the season, right? I’m sitting here, sipping on my first cup of coffee in a week (I KNOW HOW THE HECK AM I STILL ALIVE?) and I realized I haven’t given any blog updates on how things have been going since the big move. So while this happy caffeine buzz lasts, I want to share a little about what I’ve been up to since moving to California about a month ago!

The San Francisco Bay Area sure is beautiful. I’m in love with the green hills all around, the palm trees that line some of the streets, and the views of the bay. I live in the East Bay, and so far I love it. To be fair, I do miss home (Colorado will always be my “home”)…but it’s helped that the winter here is so mild. People have been complaining about the 40s and 50s here, and I’m just happy I don’t need a winter jacket.

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I bought this pretty little plant baby, and I love her so!

I’ve been settling in to my new job, and it’s very fulfilling and challenging. My coworkers rock, I’m slowly building up to a full caseload, and I’m learning so SO so much. It’s hard, pretty much all the time I feel like I’m flailing, but I know I’m where I’m supposed to be right now. It’s so good, to finally be working and actually loving what I’m doing, and I’m really grateful for it.

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One of my coworkers brought back these amazing Harry Potter enamel pins from Universal Studios. See? I fit in so well with these people!

I’m back to ballet again, I found a great studio in the Bay Area that offers tons of adult classes. It’s pretty intense–a lot of local professional dancers take the class, and everyone is amazing, but it’s been so cool to be in class with such talented artistic people. I love watching them in class and trying to imitate their artistry (and failing miserably, of course). Ballet just fills my soul with joy!

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My daily mantra…and my coffee vessel of choice

Weekends have mostly been spent relaxing, studying, and exploring the area slowly. I don’t really have friends here yet (other than my coworkers), so it’s been a little weird and lonely at times…but I know I’ll meet great people eventually! I think it just takes time to really integrate yourself into a new community and get out there and actually meet people. It’s something that can be sort of challenging for me, because I’m definitely an introverted person. It takes me a little while to warm up to new people and really be myself. So I’m trying to really push myself in that area. Work in progress, right?

I’m still trying to find a good balance of how I spend my time…right now I’m learning so much and having to study in a lot of my free time, so I haven’t had as much time to participate in my hobbies as I’d like. I’m trying to learn French so I can go to Paris with my family later this year, and I’m hoping to carve out some dedicated weekly time to work on that. I’m also not getting as many creative outlets as I’d like right now–there are times that I really get the itch to create, and right now I just don’t have a ton of time to fulfill the need. Again, work in progress.

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Just a selfie to demonstrate that I’m happy here. #Shameless

Anyway, I don’t want to go on and on and bore you to bits. I just wanted to share a little of what my life has been like since I uprooted myself. As hard as it’s been to be alone in a new city, starting a new job…I really feel like I’m meant to be here right now. It feels right. I’m happy here right now! Thanks for letting me gush on for a while there. I’m trying not to be too doofy, but California is treating me pretty well so far.

xo

2017 Goals

I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions. The word “resolution” just has this negative connotation to it, don’t you think? Maybe it’s just me… So, I don’t make resolutions. BUT as you all probably know, I do love to make goals, and there’s something refreshing and inspiring about a brand new year. Starting another year always pushes me to reflect on how my life is going on a day-to-day basis, and I like to make little goals for myself. I’m always pushing myself towards positivity and finding happiness in every day, and I’m ready for the new opportunities and challenges 2017 has to offer.

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Here are my goals for this fresh new year:

  1. Send more birthday cards: I always love receiving mail, and I know how special it makes me feel when I get a birthday card from a friend or family member. I really want to send my friends lovely little handmade birthday notes this year! It’s a simple but very meaningful way to tell the people I love how special they are!
  2. Spend more free time “hobbying:” with grad school taking up most of my time for the last couple of years, I really want to make my hobbies more of a priority again. I’ve missed sewing and painting, I love letting my creative energy just flow.
  3. Travel to Europe: more specifically, Paris, France. I’ve never been to Europe before, but my wanderlust is so real. One of the most important things in my life is traveling, and I’m so excited to visit Paris with my family next fall. I’m trying my best to learn French!
  4. Meet friends in my new city: having just moved to the SF bay area, I don’t have any friends yet here (other than the amazing people I work with!). I really want to meet some new friends here this year, to really establish my life here.
  5. Eat at a new restaurant at least once a month: I’ve just moved to the area, and it’s got some really great restaurants. It’s such a diverse community with an amazing variety of eateries, and I’m slowly building a list of my favorites! But it’s easy for me to fall into a comfy pattern of eating at just a couple places over and over. So I want to keep myself trying new restaurants as much as possible!

So there you go, a few goals I’ve made for myself for 2017! Do you have any goals?

*Side note: I just checked my inbox and have finally sorted through all of the messages! Sorry for the long wait on those responses. I am going to get better at checking them on a regular basis, I promise!*

xo