Author Archives: Laura

i would love…














Originally found here


kale (green smoothie)

A couple years ago, I didn’t know much about kale and certainly didn’t eat much of it.  Today, I have come to appreciate its incredible nutritional value.
Three reasons to eat Kale:
1.  To fight cancer.  Kale is a superstar in the cancer fight for many reasons.   A major one is that it contains some of the most powerful antioxidants possible, carotenoinds and flavonoids.
2.  For your eyes.    Kale contains both high amounts of beta-carotene, which is beneficial to good vision and lutein, which aids in the prevention of macular degeneration.
3.  For your heart.  Thanks to a healthy dose of fiber, Kale is great for keeping blood pressure down and reducing the risk of heart disease.

Kale has plenty more health benefits, but the first time I tried it, I didn’t like it and I don’t tend to eat what I don’t like.  But then, one magical day at a farmers market, I tried some that had been cooked with garlic and olive oil.  Simple and surprisingly delicious.

In all honesty, I still don’t really like kale as a salad green, but here is another recipe that I love, is easy to make and is packed with health benefits:



2 cups raw Kale

1 Banana, frozen (or not)

1/3 cup Orange Juice

1/4 cup Milk

1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil (optional)

1 Tablespoon Flaxseed Meal (optional)

1 teaspoon Honey (optional…I add it to fight allergies)


Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.  Enjoy!

Found the original recipe here  (thanks to pinterest)

flower light

This field of flowers and a setting sun met me at the perfect time during my drive home the other night.  To see more of my pictures, check out my photo blog.

a message from your heart

We went to a Kina Grannis concert the other night and it was great.  She is completely lovely and inspiring both as a person and through her music.

bridge creek falls and wilson falls

Oregon was given a beautiful weekend recently and my sister and I could not help but venture out to enjoy the sunshine.  We headed west out of town and into the heart of the Tillamook State Forest.  We first made a stop at the forest center which had information we needed and great exhibits.  The center is right along the Wilson river and connects to the river trail.
We then continued driving west to a big pullout/trailhead along the river somewhere near mile marker 20, I think.  There is a bridge across the river at this spot.  Bridge Creek Falls is practically right next to the highway across from this pullout, though it could be easy to miss when driving.  We parked and took the short trek up to the falls.
From there we went back across the highway and crossed over the river, stopping on the bridge to view the vitamin D-deprived northwesterners that were cliff-jumping, fishing, floating and soaking up the sun.  On the other side of the bridge, we connected to the Wilson River trail.  We were a little confused about the trail here and there, but it wasn’t too bad.  The Wilson River Trail actually extends 11 miles along the river through the forest which is great.  We followed it eastish about 1.5 miles to Wilson falls where we stopped and enjoyed the sunshine and a snack.
Both of the falls we visited were nice and made for a simple day out with plenty of photo opportunities.  We had planned on another hike up to University Falls on the way back to town, but we killed a lot of time enjoying the sunshine and exploring the forest center and campgrounds.  It will be a great new hike for another day!
Once again, a short trip outside of Portland has proved to be a rich and refreshing getaway and I look forward to going back.

an inspired book

I recently finished this simple little project that I love and would recommend making one to anyone!  It is a notebook/journal of sorts to specifically keep thoughts and ideas that inspire you.

Materials I used:
a variety of fun scrapbooking papers and pens
scrapbooking tape and spray adhesive
hole punch
binder rings (these are cheap at office supply stores or you could use ribbon or other items)
8×8 chipboard book board (I had this on hand, but it could be easily done with cardstock or something like that)
a personal collection of inspiring things

The Process:
I will be the first to admit that I made this much more complicated than it needed to be, but I loved every minute of it so I really dont care!
1.  Select and organize papers for pages.  This is where I only made my life more challenging and fun.  My chipboard was 8×8, but I mostly had 12×12 paper, so I selected the ones I wanted, put them in the perfect order and then measured and cut each one down to 8×8.  A normal person would have gone to the store and purchased 8×8 papers.  Whatever. Moving on.
The following two steps aren’t needed if you decide to use hole-punched page protectors, which of course I did not.  If you are less awesome smarter than me, skip to step 4.
2.  Stick together.  Because I wanted to create a book where I use both the front and back of pages and I did not want every other page to be white, my next step was sticking pages together.  I laid everything out and flipped through it to make sure it was in the right order.  Then, I used both scrapbook tape and spray adhesive to attach the pages.
3.  Hole punch time.  My next step was to hole punch all of the pages.  I used the already hole-punched chipboard and a piece of cardstock to mark the hole placement, punched the holes in the cardstock and then used it as a guide to hole punch the rest of the pages.  (Of note, probably also a little more complicated than needed, but, um I only had a single hole puncher…just trying to keep things simple here people)
4. Cover Creation. This part was really fun.  I wanted my cover to be colorful and unique, so I glued a beautiful piece of scrapbook paper to the chipboard and then used letter stickers (different style and color for each letter) to spell out “inspired”.  There is so much room for creativity on the cover!!  I wanted to be sure that I wanted to pick it up when I saw it. 🙂
5. Putting it all together. The next step was collecting the book and cover together and getting it all lined up.  Then I worked binder clips through the holes and, voila, the book had been created!

Of course, filling in the content is the last part of the process, which for me will be continual as I am treating it as a journal and book.  However, I have used each page differently so far.  Some I have handwritten.  Others are more artsy.  For some, I printed out content and attached it.  My goal is to make it as inspiring to me as possible.

I hope you enjoy this idea!  Please feel free to share ideas or photos if you make or have your own. 🙂

finding peace

My heart is simply not at rest lately.  This helped.

wahclella falls

Recently, I took a quick trip with friends on a new hike in the Columbia Gorge.  Sometimes I wonder if it is even possible to see all the waterfalls in the gorge. (I’ve heard there are at least 100 on the Oregon side)  We visited several falls that day, but the only real hike was to Wahclella falls.
The trailhead for the falls is located near exit #40 off I-84, which is just under 10 miles east of the very well known Multnomah falls.  The parking lot is just to the south of the exit (look carefully for signage) and does require a permit (NW Forest Pass and National Parks Pass both work) or you pay a $5 parking fee on site.
The hike itself is pretty easy and family friendly, only about 2 miles roundtrip with minimal elevation gain (300 feet or so).  The trail has a junction as you near the falls and it simply makes a loop.  I recommend merging right at that point, but either way gets you to the falls.
The falls itself is beautiful with the lowest tier falling up to 70 feet into the pool below.  The upper part of the falls can actually be either one or two additional falls depending on the season.
This was a simple, beautiful and fun hike in the gorge and I will definitely visit again!

a portrait

So, I am part of a new blog called blARTog, which exists to challenge people to be creative and share art. The first project was a self-portrait.  I had an idea for the portrait for weeks, but when I sat down to do it, it turned into something completely new and different and actually opened my eyes a bit.  You can read more about my process right here on the blog, but what I suddenly realized through this was how easy it is to know someone without actually knowing them.  We have these worlds that we live in online via social networking sites like facebook and twitter as well as through photo albums, e-mails and online chats, basic accessible information, videos and profiles of all sorts.  (And here I am sharing this all on a blog!) I awkwardly became an observer of my own life as I scrolled through this online life.  I did not feel that anything I saw or read was untrue to who I am, but a loneliness set in as I realized that anyone who knows “online me” doesn’t fully know ME.
This realization inspired me to do a few things:
1. Create this piece of art.

2. Take some time to become an observer of my “real life”.  How?  I literally came face to face with myself and considered where/who/how I am.  What am I feeling passionate about?  What am I struggling with? How do I feel?  It was humbling. I have a lot to ponder and change.
3. To try not to judge people solely based on a picture or comment I see online.
4. To remember to nurture and cherish my real life relationships.  In reality, it is not that hard to stay connected to those you love, whether it is through a phone call, letter or card or an actual one on one over coffee or a walk.  If it is truly important, time can be found.

I never imagined a simple portrait would teach me so much and I am so thankful.

wild salmon (maple salmon)

Three reasons your body will love you for eating wild salmon:
1. Omega-3 fatty acids.  These acids are so important because the body cannot make them on its own.  They improve brain function, boost “good” cholesterol, guard against inflammation, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease!
2. Vitamins D and B12.  Vitamin D is hard to find in food and, unfortunately, deficiency is common.  One role it plays is to help our bodies absorb calcium.   Vitamin B-12 is important for red blood cell production and proper nerve function.
3. Selenium.  It is a mineral that we need for thyroid function and is a very powerful player for our immune system.

Made this for dinner last night with fresh salmon and it was delicious.  I was honestly a little apprehensive about the sweet and salty flavor mix, but it balanced out quite nicely.  Will definitely make it again!


1 pound Salmon

1/2 cup Maple Syrup

3-4 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

Fresh Ginger, to taste


1. In a small bowl, combine maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic and pepper.
2. Place salmon in glass baking dish and coat with syrup mixture.  Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, turning at least once.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
4. Remove salmon from fridge and top with ginger.  Place baking dish in preheated oven and bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until salmon is slightly opaque and easily flaked with a fork.

I paired it with roasted red potatoes, my favorite salad (spinach, strawberries, feta, almonds), fresh bread with honey butter and a crisp white wine.  Yum Yum!

Found the original recipe here.

embracing moxie

Each morning, eyes open and bodies rise as minds and hearts are flooded with thoughts, ideas and emotions.  Choices are made.  People are seen.  Words are spoken.  Work is done.  And then the sun sets and bodies rest once again.
This cycle has the potential to be monotonous, overwhelming and draining, but within those thoughts, choices, words and actions, we have power.  We are the only people in our lives with the power to choose how we live.  Life, as we all know, is not always easy.  Sometimes it hurts…a lot.  Sometimes it blindsides us.  And sometimes we are our own worst enemy.  But life also happens to be a gift.  Sometimes we laugh so hard we cry.  Sometimes we are consumed with passion.  And sometimes we experience true peace and freedom.
My desire is to use this power we have .  Each morning when my eyes open, I want to remember that life is a gift.  I want to start my day with this energy, wisdom and courage.  I want to wake up with moxie. 
So, say I wake up and life seems bright.  Now what?  I still have to get out of bed and face the day…
Over time, I have realized that there are specific areas of my life that I care about so much that I avoid them.  Wait, what?!?  Yep, it’s true.  See, if I avoid giving 100% to my goals and passions, I will avoid failing because I always know in the back of my mind that I could be giving/thinking/loving/doing more.   I don’t expect that to make sense to everyone (because its pretty backwards and goes deeper than I could ever explain), but in my world it is something that is true. 
For me, right now those areas of my life are health, art and balance.

Health.  I consider myself a fairly healthy person, but I have also had plenty of health goals that I never followed through with.  Learn more about nutrition.  Eliminate chemical laden cosmetics.  Lose 10 pounds.  Take a dance class again.  Get more sleep.  See a counselor.  Cook at home more often.  The list goes on and on.  I want to give my body and my mind the respect it deserves.
Art.  I am an artist.  I kinda think we all are, but that’s a whole other topic.  Art is something that I believe has the power to create positive change in this world and there is little that I feel more passionately about.  However, for the amount of time I spend thinking about it and feeling oodles of passion, I sure don’t do much about it.  I procrastinate project after idea after inspiration that I have and then feel frustrated that I have done so.  I need to give art the time and focus that I desire to give it.
Balance.  I have not been super skilled at finding balance in my life.  Sometimes I am overly focused on money(or the lack of) and I forget about my health.  Sometimes I get so caught up in my little world that I neglect others.  At other times I simply don’t set aside enough time for me. And just when I think I have found some sort of balance, I remember that I haven’t showered for two days or folded my laundry.  I don’t expect to find some magical equilibrium that I will happily exist in for the rest of my life, but I know that I can find more balance.

The heart behind this blog is to pursue these areas of my life, share it (good accountability) and encourage others to do the same.  For me, waking up with moxie means, well…everything that I will share on this blog.
My morning moxie will make my life healthier and happier and filled with more creativity, balance, inspiration and love.

What does waking up with moxie mean to you???


A series of events, experiences and feelings over the past few months have prompted me to start this new blog, but seeing this finally pushed me over the edge into action.  More can be read about where this blog came from and what it means to me, but these simple words stand alone as a huge inspiration to me today as to what I want to be…

Source: found on pinterest via sunshineandpearls 

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