Hike, Cook, Eat, And Explore….Just A Few Of My Favorite Things

I don’t get a whole lot of down time with being a wife, mother, childcare provider, and a person that will not pass up a day outside if the sun is shining. However, there have been a few things consuming what little free time I do have.

Trip planning…..I should have been a travel agent. Although, do people even use travel agents any more???? Who knows. Anyhow, I have been working hard at planning our next adventure vacation and I am finally at a place where I can say it’s complete. I till have two places to book for the night but for the adventure part of the trip, it’s complete. Sleeping is just details anyhow…right? This vacation is going to be like no other since I am not ready to live the airline HELL again any time soon, so we are driving this one, exploring many places, and of course hiking to some of the places on my bucket list.

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Cooking….again something I have been enjoying but I know will soon become a chore for the next few months with the warmer weather. There is nothing worse than having to come in from outside to cook…uggg. Why do we need to eat in the summer time….its such a waste of good summer time hours? Anyhow, I splurged and bought a spiralizer and have been experimenting with it. My husband is a bit scared of what I may put on the dinner table in the next few weeks and our son has already said to give him notice and he will go out for dinner. Party pooper!!!

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And I have been roasting veggie mixtures like crazy and found that I LOVE roasted lemon slices on my veggies. Lemons turn to sweet slices of heaven when they are roasted. You have to try it!!!

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We are planning frantically for camping season and I could not be more excited. OK, well maybe if it were paddling season but that is still a ways away for me. Waters are still a bit chilly so why not camp instead. I placed and received my yearly order of grab and go camp meals for when the urge hits and we have no time to prepare…we just grab and go.

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I have to mention my new love…..sushi. I have had sushi in the past at a few places but this months dinner out with my brother was for sushi at an actual sushi restaurant here in Green Bay. I was nervous,excited, and a little scared to be honest. They often will serve fish eggs on many items and being married to a avid fisherman, I cannot eat fish eggs from any species. However, we easily worked around this dislike and I was amazed at how wonderful our meal tasted, looked, and I cannot wait to return. We had the chef prepare everything we ordered on one plate to share between the three of us and it was like a party in our mouth, literally!!! Look at this plate of food. I am loving these monthly dinners with my brother, he is an adventurous soul and a great foodie at that. And, I will never again have to try and figure out where to go for my future birthday dinners….without a doubt it will be out for sushi.

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That sums up my free time as of lately. I will leave you all with an end of week rainbow and a wish for a great weekend ahead.

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No Bake Chocolate Energy Bites

These little gems are perfect for before workouts, after workouts, after school snack, or to toss in lunch boxes for your family. They offer healthy ingredients with a bit of chocolate yum added. And the best part is, you literally can throw them together in minutes with common, everyday ingredients.

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Give them a try…

 

Chocolate Energy Bites

1 cup of quick cooking oats

1/2 cup ground flax seed

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup peanut butter

3 tsp. cocoa powder

pinch of cinnamon

pinch of sea salt

In a large bowl, mix the oats, flax seed, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and sea salt together until well combined.

In a microwave safe bowl, mix the honey and peanut butter and heat for 30 seconds or until easier to combine by mixing with a spoon. Mix this well and pour it over the dry mixture.

Combine until no crumbles are left and then form into ball sizes of your desire.

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Store them in the refrigerator for up to a week and enjoy.

Hello March….Your The Month I Wait For All Winter

Although I was feeling a bit unhealthy this week suffering from this nasty virus, it still was a great week for me since it was the beginning to another month…..March. Which means another month closer to summer.

March is a busy month for us here. Birthdays are spread all throughout the month, we have a day trip planned to attend an REI garage sale event for members, I have my first overnighter with a friend planned that I am so looking forward to, and don’t forget….this is the month where daylight gets longer in the evenings since we all change our clocks in a few days……hurraaaayyyy!!!!!

Since I have no workouts to share from this week of rest due to this nasty bug, I thought I would catch up on some of my favorite things lately. However, in all honesty, I did not rest completely…..I got in small workouts here and there because the guilt was worse than the virus plaguing me. Crazy I know, but it is what it is. Anyhow…
Remember those mirrors my son snagged before his employer threw them out….well they are up and I LOVE THEM!!! These will benefit my workouts so much being able to watch my form during yoga and weight lifting.

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Speaking of time changing and girl’s weekends….I have one coming up and we are so excited about it. A friend and I, that I have known for over 20 years, have planned our first over night girls weekend away from life here at home. We both do the same thing for employment….childcare. And if anyone knows anything about childcare you would all agree, winters are LONG! So we decided to take a weekend and go away over night to a near by town, stay at a bed and breakfast type lodge, shop, wander, and eat our way through 48 hours of not caring for anyone but ourselves and celebrate another winter passed. How cool is that? Does anyone else celebrate surviving winter????? Probably not, but that don’t mean we can’t.

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Speaking of surviving winter, it feels so good to be back outside with my kiddos. Fresh air does wonders for nap time, gives us all a new perspective on life, and makes them eat so much more food. I am so ready to pack away the puzzles, coloring books, and the finger paints and change over to sidewalk chalk, critter hunting, and bike riding. What about you?

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A few weeks ago I made a plan to try at least one new recipe a week since I was completely burned out on our dinner rotation. This has been going wonderful. We have tried many new things, some being keepers and some being not so great. However, I have not had to throw any out completely and we have not found ourselves ordering takeout due to any disasters. What have I learned these past few weeks during all this trial and error of meal planning? We LOVE sun dried tomatoes!!!!

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I have also been starting to stock up on our active seasons snack box that we keep stocked for those grab and go trips to who knows where. Typically, I will pick up trail mix, Clif bars, turkey jerky, nuts, chocolate, etc. and have that ready to go all spring, summer, and fall. Although, this year I am trying some new(to us) bars, and ideas for this box since I am not able to eat some of these prior things since surgery for some reason. Recently, I picked up numerous flavors of Larabars and this Nourish snack mix and found we love both and both agree with my new way of eating.

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That’s it for me today. My weekend looks a bit sketchy at the moment with many options, not enough time, and only one of me to be everywhere with everyone. However, I have narrowed it down to spending time with my husband since next weekend I will be gone and plus, we think we may start geocaching this weekend which is one of my favorite things to do together. So exciting….

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Recent Thoughts, Recent Eats, Recent Randomness

Where should I begin…..

Thoughts, ideas, inspirations, dreams….do you all have them rolling around in your brain like I do? Sometimes they drive me a bit crazy but I often wonder if they aren’t meant to do that. Some of the things rolling around in my head range from where to camp this coming summer,

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to what trails I want to hike this year,

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to what state do I want to toss at my family and see if they are on board to go visit.

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I would love to plan a girls weekend where all my girl friends escape the role of wife and mother and just be us for a few hours. No worries where this child is or that child is, what we will be preparing for dinner, how high the dirty dishes are stacking up or how much laundry I need to eventually make time to get done.

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I am not a big shopper but I want to plan a Trader Joe’s trip(2 hours from us is the nearest) and also want to make a trip to the next REI garage sale day for members(again, another 2 hours from us).

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I have a million recipes I want to try in my new dutch oven. However, I have been using it quite a bit with old recipes and so far I am thrilled…it is fabulous. Big huge thank you to one of my daycare families for this wonderful gift.

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I also have a list of places to research for possible destinations to visit and I am really feeling the need for elevation…..a long trail that’s leads up where no one else is typically found when you finally reach the top. In other words, a little peace and quiet to gather all these thoughts and put them in order of importance.

So let’s move onto an easier topic….recent eats. This last week it’s been all about cleaning up the frig and open food in the pantry. I hate leaving home and having to throw out food. So it’s been a bit of random meals but still good meals per say.I have been really enjoying spicy black bean salads for my lunches. I am not a big side salad person but give me a meal salad and I am all in.

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With winter chill in my bones I have been really enjoying oatmeal for lunch also. Oatmeal is not a family favorite so when I get the chance to make it for just me I do.

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We had one bottle of Trader Joe’s curry sauce left and it was time to enjoy it since I had a few chicken breast we needed to eat up. My son and I were in heaven…..hubby…not so much. He had italian chicken breast instead. He is not a fan of curry in anything…party pooper.

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Let’s see, workouts have been going great. I have been concentrating on weekends at the gym and maybe one day during the week since right now it is so crowded it’s more stressful to go that not to go. Weekends are busy but not nearly what Monday thru Friday are at the moment. I have not been outside to exercise in quite sometime….and even though I miss fresh air, I have no urge what so ever to go outside to “play”! Too much snow for this desert loving girl!

I know my husband is waiting patiently to go ice fishing for the first time this winter which really causes me anxiety. Although, this year it seems he is going with someone new and it could prove to be very interesting to hear about when they get home. We shall see….

I am trying to figure out when and how I plan to surprise my boys with something they purchased me for Christmas and of course, I want them to share in the fun of it also. They thought it would be a great gag gift to buy me a brick of ration bars. Why…..who knows??? All I can tell you is, when they least expect good ole mom to have snacks in the snack bag while 10 miles back in the middle of nowhere….this is all I am going to produce and they are going to share in the fun of trying it if they are hungry enough. Fun will be had by all of us;-)

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For now I will leave you with all this. You may not feel better but I feel a bit lighter.

If you feel the need to get something off your mind…feel free in the comment section….I will listen.

 

A Taste Testing Disaster….Among Other Things

A week ago we purchased some highly recommended products that apparently are great on the trail for backpacking (according to fellow backpackers). We got a nice assortment of cheese, meats and snacks.

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This past weekend we decided to have a taste testing lunch to make sure we liked everything before buying more for our upcoming Superior Hiking Trail trip. And let me just say, thank goodness we did. The only items we bought that were edible, in my opinion, were the hummus, coffee beans, and I am sure the salted caramels. Although, we did not try these yet and technically, did not buy these for the trail…..because in all honesty they wont last that long anyhow:)

I made sure not to refrigerate these items since we will not be able to do so on the trail either. I plated the meats, different cheese flavors, and added some olives and peppers to the mix. While cutting the cheese I was a bit leary already since it really felt like Velveeta(which I despise). Although, I had to keep an open mind and try it.

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Well, needless to say, I made something else for lunch and my husband was able to eat a bit more of this test plate but also gave into to making something different for lunch. The ending result was our son tried nothing and the entire plate went in the trash can.

So much for trying what others suggest. I think we have done just fine with our choices of trail food in the past while hiking some very long and difficult trails. This makes me believe we will be sticking to our normal trail menu. I am a true believer that you don’t change what works. For more on what our normal trail menu consists of click here.

Moving on…..did you hike any trails for National Trails Day? We did. Originally, we thought we would be picking up our son’s new kayak for him but since the delivery has been delayed we were home. The weather was not the greatest but not as bad as predicted either, so we headed to a local trail for a few miles. Add this to our 52 Hike trail log and we have almost accomplished our goal. Here is a few pics from our hike.

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There is just something about the serenity of a trail lined with wildflowers or even colorful weeds that can put your mind at peace. Add in some sights of wildlife and a rainbow and the world just looks a bit brighter.

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As for the rest of my weekend, it was a revamping of sorts. I said goodbye to two of my daycare kiddos on Friday after a 4.5 year relationship with them. They are relocating and moving on to another state. Saying goodbye is never an easy thing to do in this profession but it eventually always has to be done. Which means today I start a new child and this is always exciting and a bit overwhelming for all involved. This little guy is only a few months old, so I needed to dig out some baby supplies that have been packed away for awhile and have my husband take down a toddler bed, to then put up an infant pack and play. And since I know this week will ultimately be an adjusting period for everyone, I did some meal preparations so meal time after a long day goes a bit smoother. I am a firm believer in healthy meals for the week and meal prep on the weekends makes this so much easier to accomplish during the week.

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With my veggies and fruit cleaned and cut, hard boiled eggs made, and menu posted on the frig, I feel ready to face the week head on.

 

Do you meal prep on the weekends?

What is your favorite backpacking trail food?