MOTIVATION MONDAY:

HAPPY JUNE!  It's officially summer because I'm wearing an off the shoulder top and white shoes. Also, someone turned the weather up to broil. June is such a happy month and also a time to slow down a bit, find balance and get back up when life knocks you down.

This is my metaphor for my Friday night drama.  We had been out for a few hours so we came home to a little puddle courtesy of the Stella Monster. Handsome was down on his hands and knees cleaning it up, like any good puppy daddy, when I came around the corner and tripped over his feet. His size 13 gargantuan feet. What happened next is still playing back in my mind in slow mo. I was literally flying forward but my feet were running behind me, I couldn't stop, there was nothing to grab onto, I flew 5 ft down the hall until I landed, flat on my face, on our hard ceramic tile floor. I did put my hands down but still, splat, right on my boobs, face and knees.  We joked later that they broke my fall, boobs not hands. The point is I got up.

We're always running to or from something and we get knocked down sometimes but the most important thing, the thing we have to do for ourselves is not stay down. We have to get back up.

As for my (physical) fall, I'm grateful that I managed not to sprain or break anything. I have a black eye and a sore body.  Truthfully, I am a bit of a klutz. But I always get back up :)

P.S. If you want to know what's up with that spooky (yet hilarious) guy in my Instagram feed check him out at BOO The Movie

BE WELL WEDNESDAY:

Happy Be Well Wednesday! I have been wanting to share this recipe since the first time I made it a few months ago. It is SOOOOO GOOD, you have to try it! It's zucchini lasagna and it's really easy to make and it's a vegetable, no pasta, gluten free, low carb dish and I use non dairy cheese but it literally tastes like you're eating regular lasnaga, unless you're like my husband for whom I have to make a side of meat. 😝

What I love about this dish is that it tricks your mind into thinking you're eating pasta, and it's so filling that you'll have to remind myself you just ate vegetables. Yay!

I pinned the recipe to my pinterest food board, the original recipe comes from Skinny Taste. It's much more precise than my way of making it. All the slices are the same size and things get measured. I'm more of a slap it together cook which totally works for this recipe.

I slice about 5 zucchini length wise or you can make them round slices. Both shown here. The original recipe says to salt the zucchini to take out the water but I only did this the first time, I don't see any difference in taste by not doing it and it's one less step, not to mention less salt, without it.
If you are not familiar with the brand Kite Hill, their products are delicious non dairy cheeses made of almonds. The ricotta is amazing, it tastes like real ricotta cheese! It is pricy, but worth it. I use Trader Joe's Roasted Garlic Marinara Sauce and Almond Mozzarella Chards. FYI on this one, it' s a great cheese alternative but it does contain some Casin, which is made of milk. And the only other ingredient is some basil and oregano from our herb garden.
Putting it together; start with a layer of sauce on the bottom, then add zucchini slices and ricotta, then another layer of sauce, zucchini, ricotta, until you're baking dish is full. Sprinkle the top with a generous amount of the mozzarella shards.
Pop into the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender and the cheese on top has melted.
Enjoy!



OJAI GARDEN TOUR:

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY! To all of us mothers, whether you nurture a human, a fur baby, your friends, your home, we are all mothers to someone or something and that makes us all pretty amazing. I hope you enjoy today and know how incredible you are!

I wanted to share a little of the Mother of all Mothers, Mother Nature, with you today from yesterdays Ojai Garden Tour. I love this event which takes place every year on Mothers Day weekend. I love seeing other peoples gardens, getting ideas and just taking in all the creativity between artists and nature. And honestly I just really like looking in peoples yards. I'm a garden peeing Tom. As usual yesterday did not disappoint. There were five very diverse homes on the tour. I took so many pictures, here's a sampling, a large sampling, of some of my favs. I have a thing for outdoor living spaces, dinning areas, random seating nooks, wild flowers, veggie patches, cute garden sheds and garden art. OK everything.

It was the first time it ever rained for this event but we had so much fun it didn't matter. Here I am just after we picked up our wrist bands at the Chamber of Commerce, kind of wanted a picture before my hair went to hell in the rain :O
How sweet is this pot!?
And this wheel barrel full of edibles.
And that's a grape vine on the fence that went around the entire property. 
Gorgeous olive tree.
This Mediterranean garden was stunning.
The outdoor living room.
Outdoor dinning table.
Hidden pots peeking out from everywhere.
A day in Ojai is not complete without lunch at our favorite place, Papa Lennons.
 Lots of unique garden art.
I look a little Pharrellish in this hat though.
I think the rust on these chairs adds to their charm.
Very cool Bamboo.
It's the little things.
This lead to a dreamy unexpected garden.
A sweet entrance but my husband had to bend down to fit. Teehee
Sweet garden shed.
He always find the treats! This house had home made brownies.
Let's just sit.
Mother Natures Pom Poms.
Namaste

You can see a few past tours herehere and here.






MOTIVATION MONDAY:

Happy Monday and Happy May! Although it's already the second week, technically it's still the first Monday. I really wasn't ready to let go of April, it was a beautiful month and it flew by way too fast! May is filled with lots of really exciting projects, Mothers Day, a visit from my sister and, drum roll please...one of my favorite things, the Ojai Garden Tour!!!
Motivating me for May is stopping and smelling the roses, literally! That's the first rose from our garden this year, bottom left. 

One morning last week I was rushing to get to an early meeting. As I turned down a short cut near my office, two dogs were running in the street. If you know me you know that I could never keep driving when I see dogs that obviously got out of their yard. They both had a tag but would they bite my hand off if I went for it? Having to choose between being late for a meeting and rescuing two dogs, well, I chose the dogs. 

I opened my window and started talking to them and they came right over and jumped on the car so I knew they were friendly. I parked and got out. They ran, I called them, they came back, then they ran. This went on for a while until I remembered I had some crackers in the car. Thor, (as it turned out) liked them, Maya did not, they were gluten free, she was picky. Anyway, I could not get a hold on the both of them. Then along came Steve, a stranger to me, clearly out for a nice walk with a big pair of headphones. He asked if he could help and managed to hold the dogs while I called the number on the tags. The owner was on the way and Steve's fingers were breaking, these dogs did not want to stay still. Then came Sandy who saw us out her window, we were standing in her driveway. She brought out two leashes, much easier on poor Steve. 

The dog Mom arrived and took them, I checked my phone and the person I was supposed to meet had canceled and never even knew I was late. Steve went back to his walk and I told Sandy I always pass her house and the yard looks so beautiful and she asked if I wanted a tour!  I was so excited, secretly I always wondered what was back there, the neighborhood is zoned for horses and all of the properties sit on a few acres. When we walked through the gate it was magical. She had ten horses, all rescues and she told me the story of how she got each one of them. That's Goldie below. There were rabbits, her dogs, flowers, fountains, sitting areas, stables, an arena, it was a garden/animal lovers fantasy land. And she told me that this had always been her dream. And dreams come true. I have to agree. 

That morning was such a treat and I think it was my gift for rescuing the dogs. The moral of this story is...... no matter what you have planned, there's always time for life ~ if you are willing to stop and let it in.
My wish for you for May...