Flowers in February…wait, what?

So among all the chores I finally found time to go for a little exploration of the area we’re currently staying in – Woodridge in Bellevue. And while walking around residential area I’ve noticed that Spring is already happening in full force! Hyacinths, crocus, heather – all blooming or just about to bloom! OMG, who would think that February is actually Spring time in some cities? Definitely not me, it all came as quite a surprise.

Flowers in February

Flowers in February Continue reading “Flowers in February…wait, what?”

First days in the PNW

So here it is. We’ve been staying in Seattle area for a whole first week. And honestly, this first week was not easy. Largely probably due to the constant heavy rain that was going literally non-stop for the whole two weeks! During this time I kept remembering my friends who said they could not live in Vancouver because of it’s crazy rainy winters. Uh oh. Now I’m starting to understand those guys. I always though I like rain, but this… Gloomy mornings, days, nights, all soaked in permanent wetness. Hmm. But, after a week of it all, the local Nature probably decided it’s enough for now, and the next day was sunny! And not just sunny, but with a clear sky that opened up unbelievable views of Mt. Rainier!!! Wow. All our melancholy disappeared along with those clouds as soon as we saw what beauty was hiding behind them. So now when it rains, we know there’s gonna be another sunny day soon and the views, which are made even more special by the rainy days. I think we got the point! ­čÖé And our life here all of a sudden started to look┬ámuch more on the bright side.

As for the food – while hanging out for a couple days in La Quinta Suites, we found a nice breakfast place – Brown Bag Cafe in Kirkland. While┬ámost of their food is very traditional breakfast’y, they also have fruit bowls and fantastic tea – I’ve never had any restaurant bring me hot water in both the mug and the teapot, as well as 2 tea sachets and a slice of lemon with honey! Mmm…already love Seattle’s restaurants. As much as I love Toronto and its restaurants, they just never serve tea in such handsome┬áway.

First days in the PNW. Moving to Bellevue, WA and tips from our first days here.

After staying for┬áthree┬ádays at La Quinta, with a tiny room and no kitchen, we were very lucky to find corporate Catalina Apartments Community in Bellevue and move there. For those relocating┬áto Seattle (cont’d)

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Road Trip Across America

So yay. We’ve moved to Seattle. And in addition to that… we drove across America!!!!!!

But… because we (as usual) started to get ready a bit late and were running late for the scheduled start of work, we had to drive from Toronto to Seattle in 4 days and in the middle of crazy cold February. So no stopping, exploring, taking pictures and fun stuff like that. Just plain driving-driving-driving. But now the dream came true, so┬ácan be checked off the list.┬áHere’s the map of our trip:

Road Trip Across America

Everyone always says how boring is the prairies part of the trip and that it only gets interesting from around Montana, where the mountains start. I personally found it all really cool, the only thing sux is everything was covered in snow and I bet summer drive would’ve been much better. Otherwise, it was really great to drive through all these states for the first time.

We initially wanted to go through Chicago and stop there for a day, but eventually when only 4 days were left and there was no time for stops anyway, we decided to just go via Mackinaw City and along Lake Superior. Oh, the wintery Northern Michigan! Beautiful granite hills, huge pines, all that in snow and no people around. Fantastic! There’s something magical about┬ácottage country in off-season months. Here’s an awesome huge sculpture of grizzly bear with baby we found in Mackinaw City:

Road Trip Across America

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Raw Vegan Coconut Vanilla Raspberry Cookies

I was given a jar of thick raw coconut oil as a present and was wondering how am I going to utilize it for some time, until yesterday when I was too lazy to cook anything but really wanted some dessert. So made up these raw cookies on a whim with the coconut oil and whatever else I had available – worked out great! Now will probably use coconut oil instead of coconut spread on a regular basis for raw snacks.

Raw Vegan Coconut Vanilla Raspberry Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup almonds
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened)
5 large medjool dates
3 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
2-3 tbsp raw coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of fine lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh  or frozen raspberries
fresh raspberries and some coconut flakes to garnish

Instructions:

In a food processor grind up almonds, pecans and coconut flakes to pretty fine, but still crunchy mass. Add all other ingredients now and keep processing until you get a gooey sweet mass – stop processing, take about a dessert spoon amount in your hands, roll up in a ball and then flatten it into a cookie shape. Garnish each one with fresh delicious raspberries and sprinkle with some coconut flakes. Your dessert is ready!

* Note – you can dehydrate them for about 6-8 hours at 41 Celsius, they only get better and crunchier this way. But if you are impatient and hungry like me, then eat them up just like that, they’re perfect in totally raw state as well ­čÖé

Earth Breathing

Happy 1st of February everyone! There’s less and less of winter remaining with every day – although today it is snowing in T.o, yesterday I saw flocks of starlings flying around our bird feeders, so if they came back Spring must be around the corner ­čÖé

On the same subject, wanted to share this awesome compilation of images from NASA showing the snow distribution throughout the year around north pole – original images and story are here. Earth is totally breathing and it’s mesmerizing.

Earth Breathing Continue reading “Earth Breathing”