Hi. I'm Whitney.
I like cheese.

I'm a graphic designer and sometimes photographer who likes food, cooking, and crafty things. There's more details over here. Or you can read through the archives. There's lots.



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A List Of Things (It's Like 4 Little Blog Posts in One!)
November 11, 2014

Home from work clouds.


Thing 1

This whole being able to breathe like a normal person thing is amazing! Stairs are no longer my nemesis! I'm able to clean the apartment without sounding like I'm recovering from running a marathon! Walking downtown to go out to dinner is something I actually want to do! And yesterday, I finally went to the lunchtime pilates class at work and I didn't feel like I was going to die! (That part is happening now - every muscle is sore.) I think a bike ride or maybe a hike might be next on the list of things to try...

Thing 2
I had part of a can of pumpkin taking up space in my fridge so I made these Paleo Pumpkin Carrot Muffins on Sunday. The texture was not completely like a regular muffin (I don't know why I thought it would be), but the flavor is good. Not completely like a carrot cake, but close (the thought of putting some cream cheese on one has crossed my mind). They were tasty at room temperature, but they also make a pretty decent breakfast straight out of the fridge.

Thing 3
I'm trying one more batch of kombucha, with a change to the amount of sugar I've been using. This is the last thing I want to try before I type it all out for you...

Thing 4

My step-dad sent me this video of a baby armadillo playing and it's kind of the best thing ever.


Happy Wednesday!


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« last time | November 02, 2014 : I'm Not Going to Miss the Nickname "Wheezer"



I'm Not Going to Miss the Nickname "Wheezer"
November 02, 2014

Driving to work clouds.


That outpatient procedure that turned into an overnight stay at the hospital I mentioned in my last post? That was me.

For the past, oh, two years or so, I've had a breathing problem. Sitting at my desk, or anywhere else, no problem. Once I started doing something beyond that, well, I could still breathe, but not well. Doing stuff around the house (cleaning, vacuuming, etc.) had me out of breath pretty quick. Walking up stairs was not fun, and it would take me a while to recover. I couldn't walk around and hold a normal conversation, I'd need to stop and gasp for air. And there would be coughing and some wheezing during all of this. As my breathing was getting worse, I stopped doing anything active because it was so taxing, especially if there were other people around. I was embarrassed by how much huffing, puffing and coughing I was having to do.

I was sure it was adult asthma. Because what else could it possibly be? I had so many of the symptoms when I looked it up. So I tried a rescue inhaler from my doctor and it did...nothing. Didn't help at all.

Finally I went to a respiratory specialist, which started a chain of events:

  • breathing test before and after asthma medication (no change)
  • CT scan (showed there might be something around my trachea)
  • brochoscopy (camera down my throat to confirm that there was webbing around my trachea)

The webbing that they found had made the opening in my trachea much smaller than it was supposed to be. So yeah, definitely NOT asthma. It's probably something I was born with but just starting to cause me problems in the past couple of years.

So a week and half ago, I went in for an outpatient procedure to remove some of this webbing. I was completely under anesthesia, but near the end of the procedure, while there were a bunch of tubes down my throat, I took a breath and ended up with subcutaneous emphysema. It's something that can happen during endoscopy procedures, and it usually clears up on its own, but the surgeon wanted to keep me overnight in the CCU for observation.

While an overnight stay was completely unexpected, I'm glad they did it because it didn't feel great to have air trapped in my chest and under my skin. Thankfully, by the next morning, a lot of the air had been reabsorbed and I was feeling much better, so they sent me home.

It's taken me a over a week to feel fully recovered from all of this but I'm also happy to report that the procedure worked, and I can breathe! I can go for a walk like a normal person, I'm taking the stairs again at work, and I even went to a yoga class on Friday. I may even try a pilates class in a couple of weeks. BECAUSE I CAN BREATHE!

Who wants to go for a walk?


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« last time | October 27, 2014 : Jane, Get Me Off this Crazy Thing



Jane, Get Me Off this Crazy Thing
October 27, 2014

Pathway


You guys have no idea how much I want to sit down and just write about the kombucha I've been brewing. Not just because I keep promising to do it, but because it would be a nice distraction from, well, from everything else.

The thing is, there's a lot of stuff going on between each batch of kombucha. And despite me wanting to write here more, life keeps happening and it just will not let up. Big things happen, like unexpected deaths, major surgeries, and outpatient surgeries that end up as overnight stays in the hospital. And then all the little stuff between happens, some of it related to the big things, and some of it not. But it all happens and it all has to be dealt with.

I'm hesitating to say that there might be a light at the end of the tunnel because I'd rather not invite anything else to the party. (Potential plumbing problem that was rearing its ugly head when I left home this morning, I'm looking at you.)

On the bright side, the fact that I have been brewing batch after batch of kombucha means I'm getting pretty good at it (and trying to take lots of notes). So when I do finally have a chance to sit down and write it all out, I should have lots to tell you.

Soon.


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« last time | September 24, 2014 : Bits and Pieces



Bits and Pieces
September 24, 2014

Swaying


Fall weather hasn't really started around here, but I'm ready for sweaters, boots, and warm food. So I made one of my favorite soup recipes for my lunches this week. As I am wont to do, I made a few modifications (because soups usually take well to that sort of thing). The beans in it make it non-paleo, but I decided to tip it more to that side by using only 1 can of white beans and using a whole package of chicken italian sausage (16oz!). I also switched out the frozen spinach for frozen kale (because why not) and used lemon juice instead of red wine vinegar. I really like how it turned out!

I tried on this shirt dress from the Gap over the weekend and was surprised by how much I liked it (and that was before I discovered that it had pockets). I wore it on Monday (over pants, because that's how I roll) and I think it may be my new favorite thing in my closet.

I'm doing a 30 day trial of Rdio for music listening at work. I had been using Spotify, which I do like, but a friend had mentioned she used Rdio so I thought I'd give it a go. I've only been using it for a few days so I don't want to pass any judgement yet, but I may end up doing a whole post comparing Pandora, Spotify, and Rdio...

I think I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I had started the process to brew my own Kombucha. We're now about 3 batches in, and I think I've kind of got the process down? The latest batch is doing it's second fermentation and it will be ready for us to taste tomorrow. I have a feeling it might be the best batch yet. If so, there will be a whole post about what I've been doing.

Now, bring on the sweater weather!
(And the rain, we could REALLY use some rain out this way.)


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« last time | September 04, 2014 : Kitchen Time



Kitchen Time
September 04, 2014

Backyard Garden II


I've been cooking! Sort of!

  • That giant zucchini I mentioned last time? I finally shredded it into zucchini noodles, and it may be my new favorite way to eat the abundant green squash. I used this recipe, which has you salt and drain the noodles to keep them from getting mushy. It's a little extra work, but totally worth it. My "zoodles" were good straight from the pan, and just as good the next day for lunch. I'm definitely making them again.
  • And while we're talking about cooking, have I ever raved about this Mark Bittman chicken recipe? I hadn't used it in a while, but I busted it out earlier this week to quickly cook a couple of chicken breasts for my lunch, which reminded me of its awesomeness. I didn't make the pan sauce with it, but if you have the ingredients and the time, I definitely recommend trying that.
  • This book was gifted to me and I came across a recipe for breakfast quinoa. It's basically making quinoa and topping it with things you'd put on oatmeal, which is an awesome idea. But I don't leave myself a lot of time in the morning to actually cook quinoa (and I'm not willing to change my schedule just for that), but I came up with another idea: frozen single serve breakfast quinoa! I followed the directions from this recipe over on the kitchn, except I topped my quinoa pucks with frozen blueberries and toasted almond slivers. Now all I have to do in the morning is nuke a couple of pucks in the microwave, and add a little milk and sweetener. Practically instant breakfast!

What have you been cooking?


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« last time | August 29, 2014 : A Little Slice of Life



A Little Slice of Life
August 29, 2014

Backyard Garden I


Last week was pretty horrible as far as weeks go. I'm not going to get into details, but I'm finding that getting back into a normal routine of things is helping me cope.

Not that writing a blog post is a normal routine for me right now, but I think I'd like it to be, so here we are.

Holly posted something last week that struck a chord with me. She mentioned that some of her favorite blogs were the ones that provide a little slice of everyday life, and I couldn't agree more. The blog Say La Vee has been a favorite for years because I love the little "slice of life" tidbits she provides (whether they be good or bad). I need to remember this for my own blog.

So with that in mind, here's a few day-to-day things that are knocking around in my brain:

  • I was gifted with a giant zucchini squash a few days ago, so I ordered this tool in the hope that at some point I will attempt "zoodles". I'll let you know how that goes.
  • The husband recently had a birthday, and I tried to find him a matcha tea set locally, but ended up ordering this one from Amazon. We were surprised by how large the bowl/mug is. It is, however, a very nice bowl. Even if it doesn't get used for tea, it will get used.
  • The second batch of mango lassi popsicles that I made with the full amount of honey turned out better than the first. They were still on the icy side (but they are popsicles, after all), but definitely not as hard as the first batch. I am finding that the longer they're in the freezer, the harder they get, but if there's more than two people in your household that like popsicles, it probably won't be an issue.
  • And while we're on the topic of popsicles, Molly just posted this recipe for fudgesicles - I think this may be my next frozen dessert adventure...

  • Last, but not least, I'm in the very early stages of planning a trip to Chicago and possibly Quebec next year. If anyone has restaurant/sight seeing/hotel/etc. recommendations, feel free to send them my way.

Okay, so after typing all that up, I'm realizing that my "slice of life" stuff may involve a lot of lists. But I'm a lover of lists, so I suppose that makes sense.

So, um, stay tuned for some more lists!


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« last time | August 09, 2014 : Even More Popsicle Related Rambling



Even More Popsicle Related Rambling
August 09, 2014

Karla and Josh Wedding


Turns out I didn't have my RSS feed fixed. But now, I think we're all good. Cross your fingers.

In case you missed it, I made some popsicles last weekend that turned out really well. So well, in fact, that I just made another batch. I modified the recipe ever so slightly and used frozen mango, which is super convenient, but I ran into a little snag. When I went to blend everything together, the coldness of the mango made the honey harden up and stick to the sides of my blender jar. Nothing that couldn't be fixed with a little scraping and reblending, but something I had not noticed the first time I made these. So keep an eye out for that if you make these pops and use frozen mango. I also used the full amount of honey from Tracy's original recipe, so I'm hoping the batch I made this morning will turn out even better than the first!


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« last time | August 07, 2014 : Nobody Here But Us Chickens