Fun and Food in PA

First Motorcycle Ride with the GoPro

I've been getting a lot of exposure with the motorcycle, be it on the back of my dad's 2003 Suzuki 1400 Intruder or practicing the basics in the driveway on the Yamaha Virago. I had my first ride in the rain the other day coming home from the store, I was glad to have my dad in the driver seat, and I was happy enjoying the experience and paying attention to any subtle movements I needed to make to ensure I did my part to ensure we made it home safely. I also like to have a little fun and wear the helmet around the house (I was actually testing it out to see if it would give me a headache), and I've found that the expensive gloves I bought for scuba diving (and only used a few times) work amazing as my riding gloves, super excited that they aren't going to waste. I love my creative mind sometimes and the things it thinks of. It hasn't all been fun, unfortunately. In an amateur move, I had my glasses case in my pocket with my favorite black rimmed specs, and somewhere along the way on our ride home, they fell out. My dad went back out on his bike to retrace our steps to see if we could find them, and then we both went out so I could put another set of eyes on the road, but to no avail.  I'm grateful to have had another "good" pair as a backup, but I was sad to see them go, and kicking myself for such a dumb move. Live and learn. But I digress, back to the topic.

We busted out the GoPro and made a first attempt to get some footage through the back roads, making our way closer to major landmarks like Shippensberg or Gettysburg. Check it out here on my YouTube Channel. I will post more videos once we capture more footage and I can put together a nice compilation.  For now, here's a little video to transport you into my world traveling in the woods of central Pennsylvania with my dad on his bike. I created the video with the intent of using Don Henley's "Boys of Summer" as the background track, but YouTube won't allow me to use it for copyright reasons.  To get the full experience with music, use the link to the song to play it while you watch my video. 

DIY Projects

Since having more time to devote to arts and crafts projects, I've been tapping into my creative side. When I started thinking about making my own Almond milk, I thought about purchasing some mason jars.  There are tons of Pinterest ideas out there about different things you can do with them, and storing the milk I made was one practical use. I'm not sure when or how it hit me, but I started looking in my fridge at the many, many jars that were available from condiments, pickles and sauces, realizing that I could utilize these as my make shift mason jars.  This then game me the idea to paint and "age" the lids to give them a cool antique look.  I plan to use these in my future tiny home but putting magnet strip under a shelf and hang these jars, filled with anything my heart desires.    

 

Good Eatin' // Old School and New School 

20140605_174223.jpg

I had forgotten how amazing pizza fries are, but I was reminded one night at the local Italian eatery, Ciao Bella, an establishment who definitely do them right! If that wasn't enough, I'd been looking forward to a good "grinder" hoagie (it's great to say hoagie and not get strange looks), and again, I wasn't disappointed.  Extra crispy, with Mozzarella cheese instead of stinky Provolone, I was in heaven with this delicious east coast staple. I have never seen these done on the west coast, and if they do, I know they wouldn't taste the same.  To be honest, I've never really loved or appreciated these foods in the past, but have a new found respect for these old school eats. Funny what time and perspective will do to you. 

I've been cooking a lot at home lately, expanding my palette and skills, while also bringing back some old school favorites. I wanted to share some of my "concoctions" and recipes for these new and old school treats.

Chips and Salsa, turned up! 

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread Large Tortilla Chips out on a shallow pan (I used a pizza stone), that is covered with aluminum foil to avoid them from sticking. Next, I like to mix a little bit of Salsa with my Refried Beans, making it thinner and easier to slop on the chips. So go on, slop the beans and salsa on top of the chips as evenly as possible.  Now, take the salsa and drizzle it on top of the chips and beans mixture.  Before throwing them in the oven for about 20 minutes, top it off with Mozzarella Cheese. When the cheese is melted and chips have browned around the edges, take it out and serve it up.  As a final, and most crucial step in the recipe, put a dollop of Sour Cream on top of your sloppy snack and enjoy. Don't forget a napkin, you'll need it!

Mixin' it up with home-made Almond Milk

With extra time on my hands and the motivation to live a healthier lifestyle and change my eating habits, I've been interested in trying out this recipe, since I have never been a fan of "moo moo" milk. I took the plunge and ordered my very own "nut bag" (hehe) and was excited to try my luck at creating Almond Milk. It was a quick and easy process, and I know the strainer (nut bag) will be put to good use in other projects. So after all was said and done, I knew I wouldn't love it, but I think I could get used it every now and then. Since it only stays fresh for a few days, I decided to pour the remaining milk into an ice cube tray and saved it to use in my daily smoothies.

Smoothies... Errryy-day!

I started making daily smoothies at the start of this year after seeing my co-worker with them religiously, day-in and day-out. I inquired and barraged her with all kinds of questions about what she puts in it, and the best ways to mix it up, creating the perfect smoothies.   I started with ordering my Hamilton Beach Blender, which I highly recommend to anyone who is on the go; it has certainly been a work horse for me, as it's still going strong to-date. Needless to say, I'm still going strong, making what I call the ultimate smoothie, errrryy-day.  I've even gotten my dad into them; seldom a day goes by where I don't hear "are you going to make a smoothie today", which is my cue that he's also lovin' them.  He's told me how much he can tell a difference since he's been drinking them.  In another moment of role reversal, I made him take part in the making of them, showing him the ropes so he can fend for himself when I'm not around.

My main ingredients at the moment include (I'm always mixing it up) Carrot juice, Daily Roots juice, Green Goddess juice, Keifer yogurt, frozen fruit medley (strawberries, peaches, pineapple, mango), frozen blueberries, local California bee pollen, fresh apple slices, raw shredded carrots, kale/spinach mix, and of course, my supplements.  

I've done a lot of research, and am always open to trying new things, but I always stay true to using chia and flax seeds, both great for your body and blend extremely well.  I also try to include a superfood powder supplement, and having experimented with a few, I can't say I'm in love with any particular one yet. I strive to find one that packs a punch nutritionally and not financially, but sometimes they go hand-in-hand.  I want to try Athletic Greens, it's gotten great reviews and I'm attracted to the fact that people really feel the difference from this mix, but it's super expensive.  That's the trouble with eating healthy, it doesn't come cheap. I recently found a great deal on a GNC brand superfood powder, which I like mainly because it doesn't overpower the taste of the shake.  It's definitely a gamble when you try new things, sometimes they are just a bust and don't work for you; I know I've had my fair share.  I also like to keep protein shake powder around for after workouts, I'm currently using Six Star Pro Nutrition, a Plant-Based Shake with Greens and can't complain.   

iHealth Blood Pressure 

BloodPressure_06.01.14.png

My dad bought a iHealth blood pressure monitor a few months ago, and so we've been having some "healthy" competition, which has been super fun for me, however frustrating for the ol' man.  I understand he is 30+ years older than me, but still, he can't deny my crazy results and overall trends. All I can say is that I have good genes, and I must be doing something right. The reading I took a screenshot of is not a fluke.  I was just looking through my list, and three days later, my reading was 114/70 with a pulse of 53. Grant it, my average is in the low 60's, but it's great to see numbers like this. 

Now when I saw the snake for the second time, out on the deck, 10 feet from me, I decided to take my blood pressure to see how much I was affected by the experience. Mind you, I took the reading about 10 minutes after it happened; the test showed 111/72, which is still excellent, but my pulse was a whopping 98, holy moly. Fear is real. One of the hardest things for me to overcome.  


The Time is Now!

For the past month, my life has been so crazy with visiting family, friends, traveling to Cancun for Mandy's wedding, a Tiny House two-day seminar in Asheville, NC, making design plans and decisions for my Tiny House, and preparing for my two-week Design/Build class in Waitsville, VT. I leave tomorrow (Saturday) and head to my old roomies parent's house, a perfect halfway stop-over to my 8+ hour trip to "Yestermorrow".

I have been looking forward to this class since the moment I put down the deposit and scooped up the last space in the class. After I secured my spot, I came across a YouTube video, and saw all of the major faces in the Tiny House movement congregatted at Yestermorrow to discuss design tips for Tiny Houses. I've been working hard trying to get a final design plan together so I can take full advantage of making an accurate model and plans I can use for my home. I put together a design journal for the project, and it's filling up nicely.

More on all of this later. One last thing, if that wasn't enough, the final workshop I booked (after being heavily influenced by my dad) is in September.  I'll be heading back down to North Carolina for a week of learning how to build cabinets from, what I hear, one of the most well known woodworkers in the business (I'll take his word for it). And I like that it's a small class; I will be learning along side five other students and will get plenty of attention (we all know I need a lot of that sometimes). I feel blessed and grateful for all of these experiences, growing and discovering so much about myself, I am remembering to enjoy every moment.