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Adventures in Cooking… my quick and simple breakfast smoothie

May 27, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, food  //  1 Comment

It’s been a while since I’ve been cooking regularly. Honestly, it’s been a while since I’ve gotten on my home computer more than once a week, too (it explains the lack of blogging lately). In last week, I’ve gotten back on track with my breakfast smoothies and without any greens in the house, I had to figure out another basic recipe that I enjoyed. So, on Tuesday, I made a chocolate chia protein smoothie, which I’ve now been making variations of for the last 6 days.

I’m all about simple, especially when I’m going to be “cooking” it at 6:30 in the morning. I made some basic chia gel (2 tablespoons chia seeds mixed into 1 to 1 1/2 cups water) the night before and left it in the fridge to thicken overnight – overnight is not required, you could make it 15-20 minutes before you want to use it too. The basic recipe was extremely simple – 1 cup water or almond milk, the chia gel, and 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder (I’ve been using Vega One – it’s plant-based). I tried this on a whim and was pleasantly surprised at how well the chia gel helped to thicken the smoothie. So in the upcoming days, I’ve continued to play with this base recipe, adding fruits that I have in my refrigerator. This morning’s breakfast smoothie was

1 cup water
chia gel
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 small banana
1 small peach

It was easy to make, tastes pretty good, and is filling. I’m happy to be back to my breakfast smoothies. I can drink them while i get ready for work or bring them to the office. And they are so fast to make. This week, I’ll start adding some greens to these, too (since i’ve made it to the grocery store).

What’s your favorite quick and simple breakfast?

My favorite thing about gray days…

May 26, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, photography  //  No Comments

Over the last month, DC has seen it’s fair share of gray days. And although too many gray days can bring my spirits down, there are things about them that do raise my spirits. A few years ago, when I started to learn more about photography, I learned that some of the best natural color saturation comes on an overcast day. I had never really thought about it before, but on beautiful sunny days, without some of the right tools, colors can be extremely washed out by the sunlight (which is why dawn and dusk are the best times to take pictures – the light isn’t so direct). So on all these gray days, I’ve been looking at what the city has to offer and took these photos to thoroughly enjoy the color saturation.

DC has been doing some beautiful landscaping on the city streets.

more of the beautiful colors

loving the red

some more of the beautiful pink flowers around DC... i think pink is the "in" color for flowers this year.

my ultimate favorite... pink, raindrops, and lots of beautiful color

With the help of my smartphone, I’ve been taking these pictures and there are many more, but these are some of my favorites. They are bright spots on gray days and for as much as I don’t love so many gray days, I look forward to being able to take more of these every opportunity that I get.

What’s your favorite thing about gray days?

A Yogini’s Knitting Corner

May 6, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, knitting, meditation, self-care  //  No Comments

In the midst of everything that’s been going on in my life and my lack of time on my personal computer, I’ve found the time for creative playtime. And most of this creative playtime has been used to learn some new techniques in knitting, as I embark on making some new projects. At our last knitting get together, Eve taught cabling 101 to Melissa based on the project she was working on. And a couple months back, I met with Valerie for an accessory consultation (since I’ll be making her some arm warmers). I finally came up with a design for those and I’ve spent time this last couple weeks, working on a prototype (and it’s mate) and learning some new techniques for them.

the prototype arm/wrist warmer

This is the prototype for those arm warmers, with a cable down the outside and an actual thumb gusset.

my first attempt at magic looping and cabling - a cute wrist cuff

I also wanted to learn how to magic loop (a technique that enables you to use a long circular cable to knit small rounds). So I took my learning is stages, I first did this wrist cuff where I played with magic loop and took my first shot at cabling.

Then I started the bigger project, the prototype arm warmer, whose mate is currently in process (with no pattern, making the mate has been a little tricky). I envisioned the end game and then played it by ear. I ribbed it a bit, then began to work the cable into the pattern, and eventually (after watching several how-to videos on YouTube), I started to work the thumb gusset. It was really satisfying to be able to create the design and to incorporate these new techniques with a new method of knitting in the round.

close-up fo the cable and ribbing

my first attempt at making a real thumb - pretty happy about this gusset

Valerie’s arm warmers will be about 2 inches longer, but they will look similar to this and I’m thinking I will be using a similar pattern (once I write it down) for the arm warmers for a couple of my cousins for Christmas.

my progress on the prototype's mate

I have had so much fun designing these and learning the new techniques. Now, to get the motivation to wrap up the other outstanding projects I have, so I can spend a lot more time playing with them and then be able to start some new projects for myself.

Creative playtime is so much. I encourage you to have some sometime soon.

Creative Playtime at Home

Apr 29, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Art Journaling, Blog, creativity, self-care  //  No Comments

So, it’s been a couple weeks since my last point, and honestly, this was the first time I’ve opened up my home computer in the last two weeks. I’ve been busy with creative playtime, family, friends, yoga and work. I have been enjoying creative playtime  lately though, mostly at home, with my “mini” art journal, as well as my knitting (that will be another post soon, since i’ve been learning some new techniques and started some fun new projects).

The mini art journal has truly been more approachable for me, with smaller pages to fill with my inspirations. This is a collection of some of my most recent completed pages.

 

 

The ability to fill less space has made it more attainable to sit down more regularly and fill these pages. I plan to fill up more soon, as I continue to strive to make time for creative play.

When was the last time you dove into your favorite creative activity and just let go? If it’s been a while, maybe it’s time to schedule some creative playtime of your own and let your creative self shine.

 

 

 

 

A Yogini’s Knitting Corner

Apr 16, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, knitting, meditation, self-care  //  No Comments

my nearly finished iPod case - I still need to settle on the closure, it's a make-shift drawstring right now.

This last weekend was filled with lots of yoga and lots of creative play. On Saturday, I got together with Eve and Melissa again for our monthly knitting get together. It was a nice relaxing Saturday morning, catching up about life, and sharing about our new and old projects.

About a month ago, I got my new iPod, which no longer comes with any type of case or sleeve, so I made myself an iPod case. I used Classic Elite Cotton Bam Boo in Providence Pink for this and free-formed the pattern. I used a size 6 9-inch circular needle, a little ribbing around the top, some stockinette stitch, and a playful basket weave pattern. It was a lot of fun to make and I’m loving using it.

the start of Melissa's cable knit coffee cup holder

Part of our get together this week was a mini-lesson in the cable knit stitch. Melissa brought the pattern for her cable knit cup holder and Eve gave a quick tutorial. And Melissa caught on really fast. See her work here, isn’t it awesome? I’ve decided i’m going to use cable knit in the next set of arm warmers that I make, I think that they will be lots of fun and it will provide a nice detail.

Then there was the piece de resistance – Eve finished the sweater she’s been working on for the last few months. When I first met Eve she was working on the back of the sweater.

the start of the back of the sweater

 

It was incredible to look at, because it includes such an intricate stitch pattern. The finished back looks amazing.

the completed sweater - view of the back

And the last time that we got together to knit, Eve was working on the second of the two front pieces, identifying where the buttons would go, diligently counting rows and lining up the left and right side panels.

the left side panel with button holes marked

Here’s the finished sweater from the front, the result of hours and hours of hard work, it’s a great piece for a variety of occasions and definitely one of a kind.

the finished sweater - view from the front

 

 

 

 

The detail and complexity of this pattern are mind-blowing to me. I don’t know that I’ll ever be making things like this, but I do truly appreciate the effort that goes into making them.

Julia's summer scarf - the first 12% or so (7.5 inches)

For this gathering, I played around with my friend Julia’s new summer scarf, finishing the first hank of yarn to see how many inches it would give me – 7.5 inches to be exact in about 6 or so hours. The scarf will end up being about 60 inches when it’s finished, so several more hanks of yarn to go and well, a lot more hours ahead, but it is simple to make and I think it’s looking great.

a closer look at the yarn and the pattern

I think this is going to be a fun project to work on in between wrapping up my other in-process projects over the next couple of months. It was a great Saturday at the coffee shop and before I left I got a vanilla soy latte and the barista exhibited his own brand of creative play too.

A little bit of latte art with a heart on the top of the foamed soy milk. It make me smile. I’m excited about my next afternoon of knitting creative play with the girls, but before then, there will definitely be more knitting on my own. Because I believe that just like yoga, creative play is good for body, mind, and soul.

When was your last afternoon of creative play? When will be the next?

Another Afternoon of Art Journaling

Apr 11, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Art Journaling, Blog, creativity, knitting, self-care  //  1 Comment

a sole tulip on my way to my afternoon of creative play

For the first time in 6 years, I spent Easter weekend away from my family. So I decided to fill my weekend with close friends, yoga, and creative play.  On Good Friday, I met up with my friend Valerie at Teaism for some creative play.

workspace for the afternoon of creative play with Valerie at Teaism

I went to a lunchtime yoga class after meeting with my yoga mentor and then headed to Teaism for lunch and some creative play. On the way, I saw this sole tulip and couldn’t resist capturing it. Then after enjoying some lunch, we took our iced teas and sweets to find a table to settle in at for a couple hours.

feeling inspired by the old window at Teaism

We spent our time talking and working on our creative endeavors. Valerie spent her time pulling images and putting them in her new “mini” art journal. I spent my time working on a summer scarf for our friend Julia.

Julia's summer scarf (the first 4 inches - 56 more to be completed)

It was a lovely afternoon out and about in DC. And it inspired me to do some art journaling when I came home, but only after I acquired my own “mini” art journal.

my "mini" art journal

 

After some more yoga on Friday night, I spent the better part of my evening, creating pages filled with inspirations that I’d been collecting for a while. For the first time in a while, I felt how the inspirations worked together.

the blank pages - not really blank, some lines and design make a great "blank" starting point

 

a collection of tea info and pictures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

inspiring images of happiness

inspiring images of healthy eating and nutrition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was great to feel the inspirations coming together. It happened when I least expected it. I’ve got more creative playtime coming up this weekend, as I enjoy some knitting time with the girls again. I’m looking forward to picking up one of my older projects and getting closer to finishing it. I love finding time for creativity.

When was your last afternoon of creative play? How do you make time for creativity?

Fun in Frederick!

Apr 10, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, meditation, Yoga  //  No Comments

It seems like forever since I last posted. Life has been extremely busy lately, but this past weekend, I got a chance to take break and get away for the day – a mini-retreat. On Saturday, I made the trip up to Frederick, MD to meet up with a fellow yoga teacher – Thais – who I’ve been tweeting with. After months (literally) of trying to schedule, we were finally able to find a day that would work.

I met up with Thais at her yoga studio, Sol Yoga, we grabbed some tea at a local coffee house, and then walked around Frederick chatting about… well… yoga (and a bit about photography). I took some pictures as we were walking around the park. It was so pretty. Thais grew up in Frederick, so she was giving me the tour of her hometown.

When we got to the lake, we stopped and took some yoga pictures. It was such the perfect location that I had to have a picture or two in a yoga pose. It was fun being photographer and model – a little bit of creative play.

Thais in Vrksasana (Tree Pose)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

me in one of my favorite poses

 

 

 

Thais meditating under the cherry blossom

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cherry blossoms were just beginning to peak in Frederick, so I took advantage and captured some of them.

It was a nice walk and mini-”photo shoot” before we headed back to Sol Yoga to Spiritually Fly with Faith Hunter. This was the second class I’ve ever taken with Faith. The first was back in 2010 at Yoga on the Mall.

The workshop was great. It was exactly what I needed from my yoga practice that afternoon. It started with a dharma talk, followed by a little chanting, an invigorating flow (even got to practice my handstand), and a closing meditation before savasana. After the workshop closed, there was a lovely meet and greet with Faith – she was so approachable and easy to talk to. And everyone at Sol was so welcoming. I even got to stay for the teacher sangha afterwards. The energy was so great.

me & Faith

It was such a great day. I am so happy that I ventured out of the city. I had such a great day and found another place and people that I want to visit again soon. I’m also looking forward to “Spiritually Fly”ing again, which I plan to do in the upcoming weeks.

me, Faith, & Thais

 

 

 

me & Thais

This past Saturday was like a mini-retreat – such a great time, with great people, and all inspired by a yoga connection. I can’t wait to do it again (and the next time, hopefully without my allergies acting up).

 

Springtime in DC

Mar 25, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, photography  //  No Comments

Springtime is one of my favorite times in DC. The flowers are blooming, the cherry blossoms peak, and the trees start filling out again. This spring I’ve found myself capturing the season with my iPhone lens, as it’s so handy, using it as an impromptu opportunity for some creative play, which is oh so important to me. Here’s a collection of spring through my iPhone lens (hopefully soon there will be some through my regular camera lens too)…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring is definitely beautiful in DC. I only wish that I had the time this year to find my way down to the Tidal Basin to visit the cherry blossoms there at their peak. And I’m hoping soon for an expedition to the National Tulip Library, before spring turns into summer and the tulips have faded away. I hope to have more images to share soon, from more impromptu creative playtime.

A Yogini’s Knitting Corner

Mar 24, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, knitting, meditation  //  No Comments

me in my completed bungalow hat... a self-portrait

This past week has been incredibly busy again – work, yoga, keeping up with friends, keeping up with my apartment. So this post is a little late, but better late than never. Last weekend was filled with lots of creativity. My saturday included a little bit of photography mixed in with a shopping expedition in Georgetown and my sunday was knitting and art journaling. Needless to say, I’m just getting around to writing about my creative play now.

Melissa's Kindle Cozy - she was about an inch and a half away from completion when we packed up.

I spent a good part of my sunday knitting. The morning leisurely started in my favorite coffee shop with Eve and Melissa – chatting, enjoy sweet treats, sipping teas and coffees, and knitting. Melissa brought a fun small project – a Kindle cozy – that inspired me to make an iPod cozy (pics to come next week).

Eve's sweater

Eve brought the sweater that she’s been working on. It’s been incredible to watch her progress. She was working on the second of the two front pieces.

I spent my morning working on my bungalow hat. And I made incredible progress, so much progress that when I arrived at Teaism (meeting up with my friends, Valerie and Christine, and our other art journaling group) to begin art journaling, I set out my materials and then I took out my knitting needles and went back to work on my hat.

my art journaling space at Teaism - it looked like this the entire 3 hours I was there

As I’ve noticed in the past, I find that when I get together with my friends that it’s important to do what you need. And last weekend, I wasn’t feeling like working on my pages, I felt like playing with my needles. So, instead of art journaling, I knitted and chatted, while my friends journaled. It felt right and I had a really great afternoon. And the result was that, I finished my hat the next day.

the top of my finished bungalow hat

 

 

 

 

 

 

the bottom side of my bungalow hat

 

 

I really love the hat. I’m still trying to figure out if it’s truly my style. I think I just have to find the best way to wear it. This first bungalow hat is my prototype. I learned some new knitting techniques making this hat and I can’t wait to make the next one, where I can refine the skills and refine my gauge.

Last weekend was a great chance for creative play and I can’t wait to share my newest project and continue to work to finish up the projects I have started – leg warmers, my niece’s blanket, and my mom’s cape.

 

So, when did you last have some creative playtime? When is your next time?

A Yogini’s Knitting Corner

Mar 16, 2012   //   by Yoga Lisa DC   //   Blog, creativity, knitting, meditation  //  No Comments

So, I definitely feel like I’ve been slacking with my knitting corner updates, but I think I’m back in business now. Last week, I finished my uncle’s 2011 Christmas gifts and am happy to say that he loves them. The exact text I got was “I needed a shorter dress scarf. That’s perfect. And the hat is cool. I don’t have one like that. It makes me feel really hip and young.” I don’t think I could be happier about something I tried on a whim – the hat – and I’m so happy he likes the scarf, too.

Although my niece’s blanket is still in production, as are my leg warmers, I have had fun lately starting two other projects. First is this cute bungalow hat. I found the pattern in the Spring 2012 issues of knitScene magazine and couldn’t resist trying it. So last week, I started it. After working out some kinks and learning how to knit short rows, I am having some pretty good success with it. Here’s my progress thus far:

Bungalow Hat in Berroco Remix in Strawberry

I’m hoping that I’ll have this finished over the weekend. It’s been a fun and fast project, now that I have the hang of the short rows and have figured out how to create the faux seams. And I think it will make the perfect gift for a few people that I have in my 2012 project list (the first one is mine though).

the wrap I made my cousin, Jackie

When I left the bungalow hat at the yoga studio last week, it forced me to work on something else, and although I had two started projects, I found it necessary to pick up a third. I began the cape/poncho that I discussed with my mom over Christmas. She loved the wrap I made my cousin and wanted something similar. I ordered the yarn over Christmas, but hadn’t had a chance to work on it. On Friday night, I had a phone consultation with her and then started her white wrap. Here’s my “sketch” of what I expect it to look like when it’s done:

my sketch of my mom's poncho, I found a fun app (Doodle Buddy) that I'm having fun playing with (I'm fully aware it is a little child-like).

What I learned from starting it, is that I need to order more of the fun fur yarn. The design of this compared to my cousin’s wrap, will require a lot more yarn. I am happy to recognize this now. I’m pretty excited about this though, because I think I want to make something similar for myself with other fun fur and homespun yarn that I have in my yarn stash. These kind of capes will be nice ways to use up the stash.

the start of my mom's poncho

 

the start from another angle

I’m also considering making a simple shrug (rectangle with two sides seamed for arm holes).

I have fun designing, as much as I have fun following patterns and learning new stitches. I’m looking forward to an upcoming creativity gathering with the girls this weekend, for knitting and chatter and hopefully, wrapping another project.

What are your latest projects? Have you had any creativity gatherings lately?

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About Lisa

Auntie to two adorable little boys and a beautiful little girl. Sister. Friend. Yogini. Yoga teacher. Accountant. Knitter. Amateur photographer. Very amateur golfer.

Where to Find Lisa

Wednesdays, 8:30 p.m.
Yoga 1 (1 hour)*
Tranquil Space Arlington

Thursdays, 5:30 p.m. Yoga On-the-Go*
Thursdays, 7:00 p.m. Yoga 1*
Tranquil Space Arlington

Substitute Teach, As Needed*
Tranquil Space Arlington and Dupont

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