Healthy Happy Life

Birthday Cake Matcha Latte + 37 Things...


Birthday vibes this week. To celebrate here on the blog, I am sharing my Birthday Cake Matcha Latte recipe as well as 37 things I have learned in my 37 years...

Vanilla bean, matcha and rainbow sprinkles on top..



So it's my birthday, tomorrow, January 30th. Enter cake, frosting and a flickering spread of candles.


But to be honest guys, this feels like the most un-birthday-est of birthdays in a long time. Usually I have some plans. Curl my hair. Throw on some heels. Snag a fancy dinner reservation. Drinks with girlfriends. B-day brunch. But this year, something quiet, calm and nourishing. The reason being that the past two weeks have been intense. I got knocked down with the flu. Watched a ba-zillion movies from my couch, cloaked in a blanket and surrounded by a sea of tissues and tea mugs. And then the past few days, I had some whirlwind personal stuff to deal with, booked a last minute trip, got home and boom, it's my birthday. So this year, maybe a sunset stroll on the beach or if I'm up to it, an easy morning hike. Fresh air and nature is how I am hoping to celebrate.

And in the spirit of self-care and birthday cake, I want to share what I have been sipping on lately. A fun, soothing and delicious "birthday" spin on my usual green tea latte.

Birthday Matcha. I make my favorite matcha latte into a 'birthday-approved' mug simply by adding one special ingredient: fragrant vanilla bean powder. Rich, blissfully intoxicating vanilla bean marinates, in tiny black specks, into a cheerful green, matcha latte. Vanilla bean provides a flavor that is reminiscent of a vanilla or yellow birthday cake. I absolutely love this calming and cozy spin on a matcha latte. Peppermint is optional, but another nice accent in this mug.

You could use a whole vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out of the pod, or you can use real vanilla bean powder, like I did. I used the leftover vanilla powder from this recipe. Just add about 1/8 tsp of deep black-colored vanilla powder to one large latte, maybe a pinch of sea salt too, and you are good to go. Happy. Day. Mug.



37 Things I Have Learned: Birthday Reflection

1. Hugs can heal.
When someone offers a hug, take it. Return the favor to someone else in need.

2. Sometimes freezing your ass off or sweating like a beast feels strangely AMAZING. Give your system a jolt. Jump in a cold pool. Sweat in a sauna.

3. Creativity is never a waste of time. Expressing yourself through art and creation is a cheap and brilliant form of therapy and self-care. Also never a waste of time: hard work.

4. Challenging yourself is a good idea. You will never know what you are truly capable of, until you do it. (And when you fail...)

5. Every failure is a learning experience. And the sting of failure (or a bruised ego) actually fades pretty quickly if you let it. Resist dwelling on what is in the past. Move on. Learn from it. Think good thoughts.

6. When you are feeling lost or stuck, pulling out a pencil and paper and making a list of options, ideas or goals is a good first step.

7. You can always change your mind. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

8. Girlfriends can change your mood. A night out, adventures in heels, loud music, sparkly dresses, or old pajamas, laughter on the couch.

9. Laugh. When all else fails. Find a way to laugh. Big belly laughs that make the world stop for just a second.

10. Know and stick to your priorities in life. And remember that they will change. Don't let others compromise your goals and values. You know yourself best, stay true to that.

11. "Getting away" is a really great way to reset your mindset, expand your perspective and refocus on your priorities back at home. Also: A vacay or "break" doesn't have to be long, far or expensive to be effective. Sometimes a "change of scenery" is all you need.

12. If you are an introverted extrovert like me, learn to give yourself the alone time you need, but also make an effort to engage, on your own terms. Think of "community" in the same way you think about eating your veggies and exercising. Sometimes you love/crave it, sometimes you hate it, but it is always a good idea to maintain it. Connection is healthy. Even in small, modest doses.

13. If you are running yourself in circles on a problem, shift gears, step away, come back to it later and the answer may reveal itself.

14. Clichés that are pretty spot on: Home-cooked food is good for the soul. Love is blind. Less is more. The truth will come out. All you need is love.

15. Life will have some really shitty days
(or years), don't let them define you. Work past them. Remember to reach your hand back up in the air and grab ahold of what drives you and makes you happy. Like, sunshine and rainbows happy. Go get it. Also: (Re-read this and switch out "shitty days" for "shitty people.")

16. Your body will break. Accidents, trauma, or slowly, self-induced stress - physical or emotional. Give your body time to heal. True, deep healing is a slow process.

17. What brought you joy as a kid, probably still brings you joy as an adult on some level. Remember. Try it.

18. Dance parties for one, in your bedroom, should never be outgrown.

19. Music has the power to touch a part of you that nothing else on this planet can. Embrace it.

20. Cozy pajamas, and bed pillows and sheets are pretty important in life. Go for the good stuff. Your dreams will thank you.

21. The ocean is an endlessly, beautifully, mysterious and healing place on this planet. Stuck inland? Salt lamps are a good idea.

22. Surround yourself with people who get you and make you feel good. "Getting" someone is this crazy unspoken connection and whenever I find it with a friend or family member it makes me feel so full and whole.

23. Move more. Stretch. Go to a yoga class. Hit tennis balls. Toss a frisbee. Walk around the block. Go for an after dinner stroll instead of clicking on Netflix. Use your body in any way possible. Wiggle. Jiggle. In the words of TSwift, Shake it off.

24. Going to the movies is a great way to connect with others when you don't feel like talking.

25. Listening to your "gut"
is the greatest skill you can ever master in life. Sometimes the instincts feel scary or even "wrong" at first, but that little scratch in your stomach that tells you to do it or go for it or say that, should be respected.

26. Posture. Work on your posture.

27. Schedule fun. "Date nights" "girls trips" "Saturday adventures" "pizza night" "Sunday brunch" "family game night" and other similar rituals of fun are a pretty good idea, even if it sounds kinda "Danny Tanner on Full House" cheezy. Don't let the coarse routines of adult life grind their way into everything, take over your schedule and dim your spark. Fill your calendar with things to look forward to - ways to connect, experience joy, adventure and get inspired. Spending QT with people who love you is beyond precious. Bonus points if you turn off your phone.

28. Eat more plants. In a rainbow of colors. Bonus points if you grow your own and can get your fingernails dirty.

29. Drink more water. Your body can't work without it.

30. Hungry? Fruit is always a good idea. Bonus points for choosing organic.

31. Celebrate your accomplishments,
big and small, the same way for yourself as you do for people you love.

32. Negative energy is real.
Sometimes we carry it. Sometimes we are surrounded by it. Figure out how to get rid of it, mend it, laugh it off, or turn it around into something positive.

33. Don't let fear keep you from anything you want in life. One foot in front of the other. Battle. Fight through it. Do it.

34. Spend time with seniors. I marvel at their pristine eye contact and the way they wave hello and give a big smile to a stranger because they know it makes both parties involved feel a little less alone, a little less anxious about their place on this planet. I am in awe of their sense of community and caring for one another. Us young people, have much to learn.

35. Massages are always a good idea. So are hot baths, hot water bottles and tea.

36. Loving animals is a profound gift. My love of animals is an instinct that I will forever value. Animals understand the world and their existence in a way humans fail to. Animals have the capacity to love, feel pain, and experience joy. Pets, have the capacity to give so much unconditional love, in a way we really don't fully understand. My instinct as an animal lover and protector is one of the purest parts of my soul that I forever cherish and act upon in life. Also: Life is better with pets.

and lastly,


37. Birthday cupcakes are better with rainbow sprinkles on top - double chocolate or tuxedo.....






Birthday Cake Matcha Latte

Kathy Patalsky

Published 01/28/2018

Birthday Cake Matcha Latte

This vanilla bean flavored matcha latte is a sweet and delicious way to celebrate your big day - or any day! Dairy free, vegan.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp Encha organic matcha, latte grade
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla bean powder
  • 1 heaping Tbsp coconut sugar (or try agave, maple syrup or honey to taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk (I like to use a blend of soy and pea or almond milk)
  • 1/2 cup water, just under boiling
  • optional: tiny pinch of salt
  • optional: 1/8 tsp peppermint extract
  • optional: vegan rainbow sprinkles on top (mine sunk to the bottom)

Instructions

  1. Boil water. Allow to cool for a few seconds then pour into matcha bowl. Add the matcha and whisk briskly using a bamboo whisker or a hand frothing wand. Or you can use your blender. Blend or whisk until matcha is fully dissolved.
  2. Add in the vanilla powder, sweetener and optional peppermint and salt. Whisk or blend to combine.
  3. Warm milk. You can use a small sauce pot or warm in the microwave.
  4. Pour the warmed milk into the matcha mixture. Blend or whisk until smooth and fluffy. Serve warm.

Yield: 1 latte

Prep Time: 00 hrs. 03 mins.

Cook time: 00 hrs. 05 mins.

Total time: 8 mins.

Tags: matcha latte,cake, birthday,beverage,latte,drink,green tea,breakfast,vanilla bean,matcha,vegan,

Learn how: Get my 7 tips for the best matcha latte!
Matcha tools: Encha's Galaxy matcha bowl is here Encha Flow is here.



Bonus number..

38. More pink sunsets, in far off places, please..


Thank you for being here guys, here's to another year of adventures.

Lots of love, Kathy

YouTube: Watch me make it! This video is part of Kathy's Matcha Chat Video Series, sponsored by Encha..



As usual, my matcha of choice is Encha. Proud brand ambassador for many years now.


Pics of me are from my Croatia post.

disclosure: I am an Encha brand ambassador, but this post is not officially sponsored - the bonus video is sponsored as part of Kathy's Matcha Chat. I also have a vanilla bean product affiliate link included in this post.
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