WIAW #47 – Summertime Eats

The past few days have been mighty nice out here in California.  Sunny days + not too warm + lots of outdoor activities = plenty of fun.  Yesterday I shared my thoughts on the art of conversation, especially in terms of my age-group and generation.  But, let’s back up a bit.  On Friday night, I was able to attend my first Dodger game of the season.  We’ve been going since I was a baby, so I’m a die-hard fan.  The recent fan-favorite Puig had a less than impressionable game, but they still came out with a win.  (GO BLUE!)   Continue reading

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The Art of Conversation

Growing up I wasn’t much of the spur of the moment kind of person.  We had our schedules planned out based on the various sporting events, football games, family trips, and whatever homework needed to be accomplished.  This became a problem as I would get set in my ways and wasn’t really open to spontaneous adventure. Continue reading

Top Tips for Hosting a Garage Sale

Let’s go back about 15 years and there I would be, sitting on my front lawn, attempting to make it rich by selling lemonade concentrate drowned in additional sugar. Too bad I didn’t realize that most adults were at work during that time and my lovely concoction wasn’t that appealing to people. I’m sure even the post man would take the complimentary cup from us just to be nice.

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Life’s Little Pleasures

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that bring the most pleasure.

  • Hearing my favorite songs on Pandora while running
  • Catching up with a good friend from college (sometimes talking on the phone is so much better than just a few texts!  Goodness knows we share so much more 🙂 )
  • Eating breakfast out (waffles, eggs, guava juice…too many choices) Continue reading

WIAW #46 – Bring on the Hot Dog

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Yes, Bodie is indeed one hot dog but since it’s WIAW, that’s not what I’m talking about.  Thanks to Meghan, I was alerted that yesterday was actually National Hot Dog day.  Now, it only seems fitting that I would have one, right?  Well that comes later in this week’s edition of What I Ate Wednesday Tuesday.  After our lovely trip to Mammoth, I’ve been helping my family get back into the routine and this included exercising the dog, making meals, scrapbooking, prepping for a yard sale, the works. Let’s just say I’m trying to enjoy my last few weeks of “funemployment,” a term my friend told me about as a joke. 😉

IMG_9390As part of our “funemployment,” we made a spur of the moment decision to have a bonfire at Dockweiler Beach.  Yes, not the most sanitary, but the only one that allows fire pits. I actually will be getting down to business today, doing 
research for my future (not ready to share details just yet) and making countless spreadsheets.  For some reason, spreadsheets are the only documents my dad likes to read.  Go figure.

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As of the last few days, my mom and I have been into iced coffee.  I brew it ahead of time and leave it to chill in the fridge.  Then, in the mornings, we add a bit of cinnamon and milk (regular or almond milk, cream if we are feeling extra special) and start the day.  I only ran about 3 miles due to the fun leg injuries or soreness I’ve been experiencing.  It’s honestly my own fault for running myself into the ground during high school and the early parts of college.  No, I didn’t like listening to my parents say “slow down, you’ll damage your legs.” It felt good and I thought I was invincible.  Hm, not so much anymore.  I still haven’t gotten into the yoga vibe and haven’t found any fitness classes that fit my post-grad, unemployed pocket book.  It can be a bummer sometimes when I remember the days of pounding out 6 or 7 on the daily, but know that taking some time off and cutting back could be beneficial for the long time future.  

IMG_3285Picture perfect muffin with Chobani nonfat Greek yogurt + blueberries. 

After dropping my sister off and walking the dog, I snacked on one of my cherry-banana muffins made with Chobani yogurt.  I was searching for the perfect muffin recipe, but couldn’t settle on one that incorporated yogurt or yielded a half batch.  Because I tend to change up my food selection often, large batches usually go to waste. #issues.

IMG_3288This is more of a realistic picture of my breakfast.  A healthy dose of peanut butter and blackberry jam to accompany my muffin 🙂

Un-pictured snacks of the day: carrots & celery, leftover beet/veggie juice mixed with green tea, Crystal Light orange energy powder w/ water, & watermelon.  Anyone else obsessed with chilled watermelon in the summer?  It’s a staple in our house and really a battle between my sister and I of who can consume the most in a single day.

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TIME FOR A HOT DOG!  Fun fact, did you know that this year’s annual hot dog eating contest at Coney Island, the winner consumed 69 hot dogs?  I don’t know how I feel about that many.  So, in the mindset of a college student still living at home, I decided against driving to Wienerschnitzel and instead settled for the chicken/gouda sausage in the fridge. Although, if I were at my grandpa’s house, I’m sure he would have accompanied me to celebrate the day 🙂

So, hot dog w/ grilled onions, pasta salad, fruit salad and mixed lettuces (no really, from three different leftover bags in the fridge), I was good to go.  Note the additional chilled watermelon at lunch…heaven in a bowl.  The person I really should have celebrated with should have been my grandpa Bob 🙂 Next time.

In the afternoon, I finished scrapbooking, organizing and purging my closet (who knew I could accumulate so much STUFF?!?), and then an evening hike with my mom on the trails.  She had just returned from a teacher’s conference on how to teach the new core standards and was ready to exert some of her pent up energy.  Luckily for us, the weather had cooled down a bit, so the hills behind our house were quite pleasant.  We even spotted two deer on the hills, grazing for food. IMG_3290After the hike, I wasn’t feeling very inspirational, so I went with the classics – grilled veggies (eggplant, pepper, onion), pea pods, grilled chicken, and left over pasta salad.IMG_3292Finished the night with a little sweet (sometimes it’s berries, chia pudding, or ice cream)  This is a recent favorite, which I shared last week – key lime pie ice cream sandwiches. DELISH!  Someone was asking about whether the graham cracker gets soggy, which I guess it does, but it has a different consistency.  I’d say it’s more like a soft cookie that melts into the ice cream.  Definitely worth trying out.

For more information on this wonderful food party, head over to Jenn’s site at Peas & Crayons.  There are more food and fitness blogs to read along with oodles of recipes to look at. 

Any tips for a garage sale?  Do you have a sweet tooth?

Hope y’all have a wonderful Wednesday!

“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be.” – Groucho Marx

Mammoth Mountain Musts

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Every good vacation, whether it’s short or long, deserves a good round of pictures, don’t you agree?  Well, the past couple of days provided a good amount of action shots in the mountains and I thought I’d prolong the relatively relaxing ambience.  We allowed ourselves to sleep in on Sunday, all the way until 8am.  My dad had been up for awhile watching golf and continued to do so as my mom, sister, dog, and I set off on a quick walk to the other side of town.  You might be able to guess our destination…Looney Bean.

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I’ve made it pretty clear that I’ve gotten hooked on coffee, but when in Mammoth, do as the locals do and that means a trip to Looney Bean Coffee, regardless of what you order.  Yesterday my mom and I ordered the frozen vanilla latte, which really turned out to be a milkshake in disguise.  No complaints here, but Sunday I was looking for a bit more of a caffeine punch to start my day.

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First let me say, these are NOT milkshakes.  I perused the menu and decided to go for an iced coffee.  I’m still trying to figure out my drink that I could order whenever and wherever I go.  It’s a pretty good order given the fact that I can customize it with all sorts of flavors and creams on the side.  Well, my mom decided she would do the same, but was a little taken aback when it came out just.black.coffee.  I told her I wasn’t finished and to hold her horses.  With a little bit of cream, cinnamon and whipped cream (I think that’s what my mom really was hinting at…it was our vacation after all), we were ready to go.  I’ve never tried putting cinnamon in my coffee but really liked the creation.  I picked up the trick from my friend Laura when we went to Urth Cafe the other day.

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After breakfast, which consisted of another delicious berry + yogurt parfait, we selected a moderate hike to one of the local lakes and were soon on our way.  It’s a running joke in our family that my dad likes to select the death march hikes, the ones that are rated “more than strenuous,” climb vertically up the mountain, and go on for miles.  We actually haven’t completed one of these hikes in a few years, probably due to the vigorous training schedule my sister is on and the insistance we not do anything out of the ordinary.  So, a hike to Crystal Lake (off the Mammoth Crest trail by Lake George) it was.  According to Meghan, we were hiking for about 1 hr 45 min, and this was not counting the time stopped to gaze longingly at the cool, crisp water, wishing we had packed swimsuits.

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Back down, around around Lake George, and home for lunch.  I mentioned earlier, our “relatively” relaxing ambience.  Among some other issues we ran into, we happened to be surprised by an impromptu rain storm on Sunday afternoon.

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Just as we made it up our first hill to Twin Lakes, we could hear the clouds rumble.  I had thought they might subside as they had yesterday, but alas, as we rounded the corner of our second hill, the drops started to fall pelt us from above.  I knew my dad would say at the end, “well that was fun, wasn’t it?”  Let’s just say it was quite the adventure and never a dull moment in our household.

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As I had mentioned previously, a trip to Mammoth is not complete without a stop by Schat’s bakery.  They are known for their shepherder’s bread but I HIGHLY recommend the cheesy bread.  Paired with some spaghetti and meat sauce in the winter and it’s quite delightful.  Maybe it’s just my obsession with cheese or maybe it truly is the magic of the mountains.  You’ll have to decide for yourself.

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Ah and one thing we could NOT have left without doing…celebrating National Ice Cream day and indulging in an ice cream cone.  When we were in the United Kingdom, our tour guide told us that a vacation is not complete without an ice cream cone.  Well, I guess I’m on vacation every day then. 😉 But really, after battling the wet pavement and hills of the sierras in the rain, Meghan and I were more than happy to stop by the Village on our way home.

IMG_3277My mom had spotted this beauty (Liz Lemon – lemon frozen yogurt with blueberry swirl) the other day and it had to be sampled.  Yes, a perfect blend of summer flavors – tart lemon with just the perfect amount of berry sweetness.  Frozen yogurt also provides the perfect amount of creaminess without being too heavy like some ice creams (though I don’t discriminate) and without being too tart like some sorbets.
IMG_3279Dinner on Sunday was not nearly as gourmet as our feast on Saturday.  My mom had made taco carne asada in the crock pot, which gave way to unbelievably tender meat, perfect for tacos, tostadas, or a quesadilla.  Instead, I settled for a KIND bar, apple, cherries, and carrots.  Followed up by some milk and coconut-chia pudding once we arrived home.  But because the later really doesn’t sound too picture perfect (and it wasn’t) I’ll leave you with this. 
IMG_3259I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend and are avoiding the heat wave.  It was certainly warmer than expected and normal in Mammoth.  A trip to the mountains is always a classic in our family, but I’ve found a list of the top 10 trips you must do in your 20’s.  It’s prepared by Buzzfeed and it’s pretty neat.  Take a look 🙂 

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“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi