If The Bears Are Ready, I Should Be Too

Did you hear the bears in Yellowstone National Park are starting to come out of hibernation already? The officials feel it’s because of the recent warm weather in the area. I suppose that means I need to start thinking about crawling out of my den too.

Last week was the first time we took a walk outdoors in months and actually enjoyed it. It was about 32 degrees and the sun was still shining after work so we went with it and gave it a try. I did need my big winter jacket, hat and gloves yet, but I did not shiver one shake.

I’m also on a mission to seek out a double stroller to purchase. As soon as it hits a comfortable temperature we will get back to our daily walks and I can’t wait. With two infants in tow, I will need to make an investment in one of these two seaters real soon. However, my luck of finding one so far has not been good. The search continues…..

We have also started stocking up on some of our favorite snack foods for our trail and river journey’s. We have a box we keep fully stocked for our active months. This way I can avoid running to the store every time we get the urge to just pick up and go. I plan to do a post on all our favorites, especially since the epic Pop-Tart fail of 2015. You can watch for this post in the upcoming week or so.

As for the upcoming weekend, we have a few options on the list to take advantage of. It’s my birthday and I am hoping to spend a portion of it outside. We may attempt snowshoeing for the first time this winter if the temperatures cooperate. We could also give ice skating a try since our son just purchased new skates last weekend. Although, I am not an ice skater, I don’t mind watching. I also have a new restaurant picked out for us to visit for lunch on Saturday. All this should be fun and something to look forward to. I  overheard my husband mention that the end of ice fishing season is getting near, so he is hoping to spend Sunday on the ice. This is something he is on his own for. I am not a fan of ice fishing…..way to cold, and neither is our son. Again, we’ll see if all this actually happens. We are really good at over planning and for some reason we run out of hours on the weekends.

With all this and many plans already made for the upcoming months, I feel that it may be time to start poking my head out and getting a little glimpse of life again. What about you?

What is the one thing you can’t wait to do when Spring arrives?





March Health Challenge

Hello Everyone,

It’s another new month which means a new health challenge is starting today. Are you ready?

March is : Make and Take Lunch Month

Relax, you can do this one. It’s really quite simple. Not only will you be eating healthier than if you were grabbing lunch on the go but you will save SO MUCH MONEY by doing this for a month. Now who does not love having extra money?

Your goal should be to make and take your lunch Monday through Friday everyday this month. I would love to know who makes it, how much money you all save and if you will continue to do this after you see how easy and affordable doing this really can be.

Good Luck!


Confession Time….I Finally Bought Pop-Tarts

I have something to tell you all. I still can’t believe I actually spent good money on this product. I have been debating and wondering about pop-tarts for some time now since I see many, many others that hike/kayak eat these. I remember as a child my mom buying these for my brother and I and they did not go over so well. Although, that was many years ago, maybe they are new and improved. I know peer pressure should not be a factor, but they are cheap. Plus the store I bought them at had an additional coupon to use and my husband said,”just buy some we will never know until we try them.” So we stood there looking at all the flavors and finally grabbed three boxes(the amount needed to use the coupon).


Yep, I paid money for Pop-tarts! I was almost embarrassed to stand in the checkout line with these in my cart. However, the guy in front of us was clearly single with the amount of processed food he was purchasing, so this helped a little. At least this was the only horrible thing I had in my cart.

When it came time to try them my husband made sure to tell me that he wanted to be home to witness this ordeal. Not for support, mind you, he was hoping for a good chuckle I think. I chose the blueberry to be my pastry of choice. I did not heat the first one since on a trail or a river bank I will not have access to a toaster. I took two bites and passed it on to my husband. They are just as pasty and dry as I recall from my childhood days. The next one I heated as directed on the package. Heating helped, I was able to get down one pastry but needed water to wash it down by the last few bites. I just can’t get over how dry and chalk like they are!!!!

So would I buy them for a fast, easy thing to pack for us while kayaking or hiking? Ahhhh, I don’t know. There are certainly much better options that have been working for us for some time now. Maybe if it was a multi day trip on a trail like the PCT then I may consider it but probably not. I would have to be pretty darn hungry to go this route!

I give all you fellow sports enthusiasts credit in this category. If you can stomach these tasty looking, sprinkled, chalk like food panels, you have my deepest regards.

What are your favorite trail/paddling foods?

Do you like Pop-tarts?

Let’s Reminisce Again….

Every year about this time I look back through my photos and just reminisce. Winters are very long, lonely, and cold for me. I try and keep myself busy, however, winters drag on as if they last forever. My summer photos give me something to look forward to so let’s reminisce together.

I miss grilled food


I hope to utilize this box this summer.


Maybe I will try outdoor yoga in the park.


We are hoping to make another visit to a friends cabin.


I miss relaxing on my front porch almost as much as I miss the beach.


Don’t forget the sunsets of summer


Disc golf, one of our family favorite games.


This year our son’s brand new kayak will get a real taste of summer now that he is completely healed up.


Just to see green leaves and grass again would be an improvement over snow, slush and yuck that is covering everything right about now.


Summer can not come fast enough for me.









What do you miss about summer?

Meal Planning

Hello hello, how is your weekend going?

It’s time to share what’s on the menu for our week ahead. This is quite the crazy week for us so my trusty crock pot will be very busy (as you will see below).

Sunday: chicken brats, baked beans, homemade napa cabbage salad

Monday: baked boneless pork chops with sriracha BBQ sauce, asparagus, perogies

Tuesday: crock pot shredded taco chicken salads

Wednesday: orzo pasta salad with kale and assorted veggies with hummus

Thursday: crock pot beef and broccoli over rice

Friday: crock pot asian chicken thighs, sauteed bok choy over rice noodles

Saturday: we may try and visit a new BBQ restaurant in a near by town

As always, if you see something that sounds good and you would like the recipe, comment or email me at rednatural1973@gmail.com and I will be happy to share it with you.


Favorite Quotes

“Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong.” – George Carlin

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore


“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Milton Berle

“Be yourself.  Everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

“Be the mom you want them to remember.” – Unknown

Whitewater kayaking with our son


“A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work.” -John Lubbock

“There are two gifts we should give our children: roots, and wings.” – Unknown

“Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.”- Ed Viesturs

Angel’s Landing,Zion National Park, Utah


“Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery why we climb.”- Greg Child

“Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy.” – Robert A. Heinlein

”You are afraid to die, and you’re afraid to live. What a way to exist.” – Neale Donald Walsch

Do you give as much energy to your dreams as you do to your fears?  – Unknown





Watching: The new season of Scorpion. My husband got me hooked on this program and I can even stay awake through the entire hour.

Reading: Hikertrash: Life on the Pacific Crest Trail by Erin Miller   I highly recommend it if your looking for a few laughs and love hiking. I can put myself in her shoes many, many times.

Anticipating: Another glamping trip(glamorous camping) we have planned. Take a look at our last glamping trip


Eating: We have been enjoying our first ever farm fresh eggs. I am a complete city girl, born and raised. (Not entirely proud of it though) When my husband said he could get farm fresh eggs from a fellow co worker I was excited to give these a try. I have heard they are better but who knew…..I do now.

Researching: The different snake boots and/or snake gators that are out on the market. Yes, I believe I may need these for our next vacation. My only hope is that I end up purchasing them and they become a complete waste of money when we DON’T cross paths with a snake. This would be the very best scenario there could be.

Struggling With: Lately, workouts have been a battle. I am tired of dealing with a jam packed gym during the week, I am bored walking our area mall, and my afternoon workout is a hit or miss depending on my two newborns sleep schedules right now. I think I just need Spring to arrive, the snow to melt ,and to get outside and breathe some fresh air. All in good time:)

Worried About: A close friend’s health. We are all praying for good results.

Making Me Smile: The three year old I take care of everyday is as excited as I am about making another trip to the beach when the snow melts. She brings this topic up almost daily which brings a smile to my face.


Need: A date night with my hubby.

Thinking About: I have been debating taking a NOLS Wilderness First Aid Certification class.