Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Roasted Chickpeas FTW!

[^ For The Win! For my less acronym-savvy readers ;) ]

Hello everyone!

I knew today would be a good day when I kicked it off with a Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Smoothie...just a frozen banana (gives it such a thick and creamy consistency!), 4-5 frozen strawberries, little milk to get it goin', and some chocolate protein powder. Yum!

I am obsessed with chocolate-covered strawberries.

Love 'em so much I wanna marry 'em.
I had a busy day at work followed by a kicka$$ BodyCombat class (we did an old track to a techno version of the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song, which made me VERY happy) and a mile run with the pup. Yesterday's amazing yoga class has my hips feeling pretty stretched (and my core hurting-so-good), helping the bursitis flare ups I have been having a lot more recently. I have a doctor's appointment scheduled, but I'm feelin' pretty good today!

In anticipation for this past weekend's hurricane, I prepped some healthy foods just in case we lost power (which we always tend to do). My mom and I spent Saturday morning making chicken and egg salads, roasting chickpeas (delicious!!!), slicing veggies for a cucumber and tomato salad, and more.

A few people have asked for the recipe for my roasted chickpeas...it is super easy, and so so so good. Full of protein, fiber, and zinc, they are also a great source of healthy carbs for people with diabetes. My dad had a recent scare and since his father has had diabetes for years, I have been trying to incorporate more healthy foods for him to be able to consume and still enjoy what he is eating!

So many ways to make them (salt and vinegar style, or even cinnamony and sweet!), but this time I made savory, spicy roasted chickpeas...Old Bay style, and Adobo, Cayenne, and Sea Salt style.

I apologize for the cell pics (Android's lame-o attempt at Instagram) as my current Nikon point-and-shoot has sand in the lens=no closeups.

Spicy and Savory Roasted Chickpeas (Two Ways!)

Yield: 8 servings; 4 per can of chickpeas. Unless you are me, and eat twice your body weight.

~2 cans of chickpeas/garbanzo beans
~2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
~For the Old Bay Chickpeas: Old Bay and cracked sea salt
  For the others: Adobo seasoning with cumin, ground cayenne pepper, and cracked sea salt

(That's it!)

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Drain and wash the chickpeas, keeping each can separate (if you are making two different flavors).

2. Pat washed chickpeas dry with a paper towel, putting each can's worth on a separate cookie sheet. You can leave the skins on or take them off...I leave them on, but you will see some shed off when you are rolling them dry on the cookie sheet. That is okay! Just leave them there.

3. Put approximately a tablespoon of EVOO on each cookie sheet of chickpeas, coating thoroughly.

4. Season with spices of your choice; I used Old Bay and sea salt for one batch, and Adobo, cayenne, and sea salt for the other. Season to your taste.

All dressed up!
5. Put the trays in the oven, setting the timer for 15 minutes. Take out on the timer's end, stirring the chickpeas around. You will see that some are browning.

6. Put back in for another 15 minutes or so. You can bake them to your preference of crunchiness/brownness, however. This time I made them, I actually took them out after about 8 minutes the second time. They were not quite as crunchy as usual but still delish.

7. Remove from oven and let cool. Then dig in!

They are good in salads, or by themselves as a high protein/fiber salty snack. When I crave chips ( I looooove salt) I will usually make a quick batch of these. They satisfy, and keep me full for much longer than chips do! They may seem a little different, but I promise you, you will love them! Super addicting.

Next time, I want to put some chopped cilantro in with the mix...oh yeahhh.

We also chopped up a ton of cucumbers (or as my old ballet teacher used to call them, coo-coo-cumbers), Jersey tomatoes, and Vidalia onions, dumped in a bottle of Simply Natural Balsamic (this is seriously the yummiest Balsamic Vinaigrette around, and low calorie, too), and let it chill in the fridge. This salad is so easy, totally addicting, and full of veggies.

In the mix
All you need!
It's kinda weird how obsessed I am with this salad...I will eat cucumbers, but I am not the biggest fan and often pick them off salads. To me, they normally just sort of taste like....Bath & Body Works.

...Cucumber Melon, anyone? (Source)

Luckily, we didn't lose power. I was able to still cook and catch up on TV shows and watch a few movies (Coop and I rented Insidious and True Grit). It was so nice to just...relax.

I was also able to draw, not by candlelight, and did three drawings this weekend (well, three and a half, the fourth sketch isn't finished yet), which is more productive on that front than I have been in a long time on a weekend. This summer has been jam-packed...not that I am complaining, and it has probably been the best of my life, but it will be nice, too, when things slow down a bit and I can spend more time on my business, and more time with my pup.

I was watching Wilfred this weekend (my new favorite show on television! You should check it out, especially if you are a dog lover), and I laughed (and felt a little guilty) when Wilfred gets so mad at his mama, Jenna, when she goes away on weekends. When she comes back, he ignores her...luckily my pup gets lots-of-love when I am away for a day or two since he stays with my family, but I still feel guilty.

Me and Koda = Jenna and Wilfred? (Source)
I am going to look on the bright side of things and not go head-first into a cold-weather, end-of-summer funk. I am 100% a warm weather girl, love summer and the beach with all my heart, and living out west for a while totally spoiled me; when it is 80 degrees without a cloud in the sky (well, more like 100 degrees in AZ and NV...."but its a DRY heat!"), all day everyday, I am a happy, happy lady.

However! I am definitely pumped to finally take the pup places like the BEACH to meet little Elle and Aunt Mary and Uncle Pat in October, spend more time in the city, and introduce Kodes to Philly and all that it offers. I have a feeling he is going to liiiike it! I also think he will have a crush on Stacey, the sweetest pup who lives with Coop. Cannot believe he hasn't met her yet!

Plus, Kodes and Coop kinda like each other.

My two favorites

...except for when he decides he is hungry at 6:30 AM and relentlessly prances and hops all over the bed until I finally give in. My little fluffson loves food as much as his mama.

Looking forward (and holding on dearly) to the last few weekends of summer fun, but I promise I will embrace fall and all it entails (I can't believe I am saying this!!!)....cooler weather, pumpkin everything, football, and being able to chill with my favorites in a less go-go-go fashion.


Friday, August 26, 2011

You Can Stand Under My Umbrella-Ella-Ella

Happy Friday!

This weekend, I will be dreaming of this:

amidst this:

and doing lots of drawing (hopefully not by candlelight!!!) and watching TV/movies (electric and cable, PLEASE pull through for me!) while it will presumably be pouring and wind-ing and hurricane-ing outside. Yikes.

Let's hope this thing doesn't turn out as bad as they are making it sound. C'mon, Irene!!!

That would be my sister practicing for the impending downpour and wind...

Almost as glamourous as Rihanna...sort of.

Good thing we have Labor Day next week to look forward to!

On my list of things to draw in the next couple weeks:

1.) It's a (beachy) surprise :)

2.) A dinosaur set....any recommendations for species? I'm thinkin':
     ~ Brontosaurus
     ~ Pterydactyl (my favorite)
     ~ Raptor
     ~ Steg
     ~ T Rex (inspired by the below cartoon I saw on PB Fingers yesterday...goodness  
         gracious, I have not stopped laughing over it. I wish I had drawn it.)

Which reminded me of this book:


Someone...please buy me this book. Never too soon for a Christmas list....!

And this clip:

Dinosaurs....are awesome.

3.) Converting some of the drawings into square and circle forms to design and print sticker sets. (Dino, Jungle, Birds, Holiday, Farm, etc)

4.) My three new Xmas cards...I won't say what they will be yet, but I have realized, inspired by last year's, that every year will have a set of three including: one bird, one exotic animal, and one traditional wintery/festive animal. I also want to make a Hannukah card...but no ideas yet.

Last Year's:

I will try to drop by with my Mac 'n' Spinach 'n' Cheese (and Buffalo Chicken Mac 'n' Cheese) recipe this weekend...I will probably be holed up in the house with this crazy Hurricane Irene on the move, so as long as the power is on (fingers crossed!!!) I will do just that. The pics aren't so great,

....told you.

but I promise you it is delicious!

Have a wonderful weekend...hopefully you are no where near where the hurricane is supposed to hit, but if you are, stay safe & dry!

And I hope that you will have plenty of things to keep you busy...like wine, and someone to cuddle with. Preferably this guy:


Thursday, August 25, 2011

You Can Never Be Too Old for Cartoons!

Holy hiatus, batman!

Hello from the wake of an impending hurricane and post-East Coast-earthquake!

Things have been pretty crazy 'round here...I still wanted to drop by and say hello and hit you with a Throwback Thursday. I will be back to regular blogging as soon as possible.

Throwback Thursday

For today's Throwback, here is a scanned spread out of my old Moleskine notebook with whales scrawled on it (orcas to be exact)!


Just some quick sketches...one of which later turned into this:

My new sketchbook came in, soooo...get ready for a nice little influx of new drawings over the next few weeks. I have a list of things I am really excited to get goin' on, including finally opening my new Etsy store!

You Can NEVER Be Too Old for a Good Cartoon!

I also wanted to share this with you, which I thought was pretty cool...

Love this "color wheel" that I discovered on Cartoon Brew (via Slate) a couple days ago. Everyone can relate to some of these characters, I think, artist or not. From Tiny Toon Adventures, to CatDog, to Doug, to Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, to X-Men, to The Flintstones, to Peanuts, to Space Ghost, to The Simpsons, to TMNT, there is something here EVERYone can remember!

If you go to the Slate site, you can see a larger version in which the characters can be magnified. Love!

....yes, I still watch cartoons. The good, and sometimes even the bad. Yes, I am 24 1/4 years old. And yes, my dad still does, too. There is no end in sight.

Anyone who knows me knows that my biggest dream is to work in an animation studio somewhere in California, my favorite place everrrr.

I also happen to have what is, quite possibly, the largest Stitch (from the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch) collection in the world...

Yeah...not kidding. And this is a SMALL portion.
I even bedazzled my graduation cap from the U of A with a little Stitch, rhinestone by tiny rhinestone. I spontaneously decorated it, sparkles everywhere and glue all over my fingers and in my hair, in the backseat of my family's ridiculous rental car on the way to my graduation (I was so entranced that I forgot my gown. Whoops! Lauren to the rescue!).

College of Fine Arts! Hollaaa!
So into it that a few years ago I reached out to one of the most creative and talented artists/storywriters/directors/genuises out there, the creator and voice of the character himself, Chris Sanders, who has been such a great mentor to me. Check out his site and gallery...guy is ridiculously good.

If you are interested at all in animation, here are some really great blogs that I follow on a regular basis that have insanely awesome information, images, news, and more about the history and future of animation today. Also threw my current fave collaborative illustration site in here, too:

Cartoon Brew ~ Mish mash of e'rythang cartoon...all the current animation tycoons follow and contribute to this one. Insider info on new movies, lost cartoons, stories about animators, tons of exposure to up-and-coming animators from all over the world and their work, and more. Lots of really cool stuff on here...and intense reviews and discussions!

Here is an example of the fun things found on Cartoon Brew...the house from UP! has been built? And they have a video tour? So cool:

Deja View ~ Andreas Deja has been one of my favorite animators for a while now. He spent thirty years at Disney and is responsible for Scar from The Lion King, Roger Rabbit, Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, Jafar from Aladdin, was the character designer for Oliver and Company....just to name just a few achievements. His blog is a collection of mini-bios of favorite artists such as T.S. Sullivant (every animator is a huge fan) and tell-alls about his experiences with animation greats such as Frank & Ollie. Image and video heavy, too. Lots of test clips and storyboards and sketches. I am in love with this blog. So much that I want to marry it.

The Bear & The Buffalo ~ LOVE this collaborative site by three super talented Australian illustrators (who each have their own sites, too). They take turns picking a topic and all three run with it, doing as many sketches/finished drawings as they feel like. What a great way to stay fresh and creative.

Oh yeah...and hope all you Shore fans have a fabulous Jersday.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Koda the Toy Hoarder

Breakdown of the Bedtime of a Toy Hoarder:

You know you want to play with Penguin!!!
No sleep! Play! Play! Play!
Bedtime is for PUPPIES!!!

Throwback Thursday 

Morning, friends!

For today's Throwback, I present to you something a little different (...animal overload, see above).

I have some friends who brew their own (amazing) beer...all kinds of ales from noble trappist to copper to blonde (one of my absolute FAVES) to pumpkin and many more. They came to me with ideas for what they envisioned when they needed a logo and packaging for their beer.

Here you can see how some of my illustrations/designs begin with a SUPER raw sketch that I will occasionally scan in to use as a jump off point. They knew exactly what they wanted, from the hand as a part of the trunk, the hops and barley throughout, to even the hue of the beer and foam. I ran with that and created a logo along with a woodgrain texture and we made some really cool six-pack holders (aaand I got a couple batches of beer outta it :) )

Little doodle I did while talking to my friend which ended up being the inspiration for the final.
Dreaming Tree Brewing Co. Before & after!
I'll have to post the revised six-packs when we reprint/assemble them...they're pretty cool.

Hope your day goes swimmingly

In honor of Jersday, I leave you with the best clip (besides Vinny and Ronnie in the hot tub) from the show last week. She's too young for you, BRO!!!! What is your favorite "too-young-fah-you" quote?

Enjoy, folks.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


So I have been totally swamped at work and trying to fit everything else in when I get home, and I am trying to not get overly frazzled! But lemme tell ya, homegirl's brain is in fifty places at once. Ah, the life of a starving artist...

Meanwhile, I figured I will hit ya with a shark for the time being:

Happy birthday to my good friend who I drew this for...hope you all had a fabulous Shark Week (one of the best weeks of the year).

On a very related sidebar, my somewhat OCD tendency of writing small lists, notes, or sketches on Post-Its and throwing them crumpled in my purse to remember for later or pasting them all around my desks at work and home is becoming a little excessive. I feel like Baba Booey from the Howard Stern show (yes, I listen to Howard, and yes, I love him...any other Howard fans out there?), a fellow Post-It note addict. Too much on my mind that I am afraid I will forget, like recipes, chores, errands, drawings, meetings, blog ideas, grocery lists, workouts for the week, work to-do's, etc. Yikes!

I just can't get into the whole iCal or Google Calendar thing...I use it for appointments and alarms and things, but I like the tangibility of an actual handwritten list. Plus I love crossing things off said lists! I figured I needed to find some sort of Post-It Anonymous program or search for some sort of weekly planner.  The latter was probably more doable, so in an effort to de-clutter and simplify (and stop wasting 4,483,920 tons of paper everyday), I went on a hunt.

I REALLY didn't want it to get to this point...  (Source)

So BAM, got me one-a-these. I had one last year and it worked beautifully, and for some reason, never bought a new one. I was at first going to buy the one with Van Gogh's Almond Blossom painting on it (I have a mousepad of it and it also is the back cover of my iPod...obsessed) until I found this guy. Oh yeah.

AND it starts in September 2011...perfect. Now I can cut down on my Post-It consumption and my ish will all be in one place. Win-win. Less headaches.

I also bought a new Moleskine, the best sketchbooks EVER!!!, because mine is very close to being full. Not many things are as exciting as new art supplies. Although fun markers are even MORE exciting, a la Laura...I feel you, girl!

Hope you all have a fabulous and wonderful hump day. 
And this just means we are one day closer to Jersday. Yeahhh buddy!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cake Shop & BodyCombat!


Sorry I have been MIA since Friday, my friends...there has been SO much goin' down!

This weekend surely included lots of the promised:
Beach, beer, friends, dancin', music, and more.

We also saw a gazillion birds on the powerlines while walking to the beach.

Birds for as far as you can see!!!
Some friends stopped by to say hi (and get in a dance, of course).

Everyday we shufflin'.
Coop's mom and her boyfriend came to the beach for the day/night and we had a great time hanging out on the beach, did a little happy hour, and then dinner and vino at an awesome BYOB place, Tonio's Seafood Shack, with an outdoor patio. I, of course, forgot to take pics, but my broiled crab cake, flounder, shrimp, and scallop sampler was amaaaaze. At dinner we discussed anything and everything, laughed for hours, and had a great time with our waitress Cheryl. She remembered Coop, Norty, and I from our group the last time we went to Tonio's, and she also happens to have the voice of these fine ladies...


After dinner!
The next day we headed up north the New York City for the day...Coop's band was invited to play in an all-day music fest at Cake Shop. His mom and her boyfriend were able to meet us up there on their way back to New Hampshire, so that was wonderful! Lots of our friends who live in NY stopped by to check it out, too. It was an awesome, intimate venue and there were some seriously talented musicians there. You guys are the best!

Killin' it
Loved the ambience of this cake shop-turned coffee shop/record store/venue for concerts/bar!
It was an exhausting but super fun weekend.

Today I was craving a super schweaty workout since I have been out of the gym/studio since early Friday morning. I finished a project at work before RUSHING out to make it to the first of back-to-back classes I planned on taking...Pilates and BodyCombat.

Now. I am sort of a snob against pilates/yoga classes taught at regular gyms. I know that this is a huge generalization, but after joining a kickass yoges (yes, yoges, I call it that sometimes) studio in the next town over, I haven't wanted to take a class of that type anywhere else.

Well, today proved me right...at least for the day. I was not a huge fan of the Pilates class. That being said, it still targeted mostly the core, which is my FAVORITE area to work, and I know I'll be feeling it tomorrow...I guess it just didn't push me to the brink like most of my favorite classes do. I like when I have to go beyond the reps I feel like I can actually do, and muscle-shake, and hurt-so-good, really make my body work, but this literally was very leisurely. My usual yoga classes are power-infused vinyasa classes, normally, and a weekly Barre Sculpt class (an amazing toning class similar to Core Fusion) that I missed in lieu of today's workout. Still, better than sitting on my butt at home. It was good to get some nice stretching in, too.

I also HATED that the instructor kept referring to Child's Pose as "currrrl into your turtle shell!" (Source)
I may never take that class at my gym again, but HOLY MOLY, today BodyCombat was good. This was only my second BodyCombat class ever, and the first one was an Express one (cut a few minutes shorter), but I am starting to get the hang of it. The first class I took a few weeks ago, I was stuck in the back of the HUGE room so it was tough to see the instructor and was so lost, so today I moseyed up to where some other instructors that were taking the class were all standing so I could get a better look and be surrounded by them.


Here is the description of BodyCombat from the Les Mills site:

BODYCOMBAT™ is the empowering cardio workout where you are totally unleashed. This fiercely energetic program is inspired by martial arts and draws from a wide array of disciplines such as karate, boxing, taekwondo, tai chi and muay thai. Supported by driving music and powerful role model instructors, you strike, punch, kick and kata your way through calories to superior cardio fitness. Like all the LES MILLS™ programs, a new BODYCOMBAT™ class is produced every three months with new music and choreography.


  • Improves heart and lung function and reduces the risk of heart disease
  • Tones and shapes key muscle groups
  • Burns calories for a leaner body
  • Improves co-ordination and agility
  • Improves bone density
  • Improves posture and core strength and stability
  • Builds self-confidence


BODYCOMBAT™ is for everyone with moderate fitness levels. And because the moves are simple, you don’t need to be especially well coordinated. Just give it a go!


BODYCOMBAT™ is addictive, but don’t overdo it. For best results try and battle it out two or three times a week.
I think I found a new loooove! I think some coordination helps, but really, people of different levels can pick it up (I am certainly no boxer...yet ;) ). It takes a few times...and because they have a new release every three months, people really learn the choreography and have favorites, just like the tracks in BodyPump that I have read so much about (yes, I have yet to take that one, too). I guess today we did a bunch of oldies but goodies for fun; I didn't recognize that because I am still a newbie. And MAN it gets you dripping if you go all out. Love it! Thanks to Baby Sister for showing me the light. I think it would be awesome to teach it one day!

Lotsa kickin' and punchin' (Source)

Came home to a crazy excited husky, so I leashed him up for a quick mile walk/run around the block.

Silly shoes always untie. Rawr.
I call it a "walk/run" being that my "run" is his scurry, and his "jog" is pull-me-leaping-through-the-air-and-eventually-onto-my-face, so Iditarod Dog and I are working on that. He does know that at the end of our walks, I ease up on his leash and he gets to DASH to the house. I know that it is not even his full-out run, and yet I am several feet behind him sprinting. Those pups are fast.

C'mon you slow poke! (Source)
We can run for days, lady. (Source)
Ugh! My mom stinks at running. What a joke.
Hope you all had a fabulous day...halfway through that week tomorrow! WHEW, it's been a crazy one!

Latah gatahs!