Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New shoooes

Happy Tuesday, Happy Spring, Happiness and peace to you :)

Went on another Mt Baldy hike- went barefoot from the altar where I drop my kisses to Brutus' Lookout. Made it all the way up to Bear Flats! We saw a giant lizard- had to be a good 10 inches long. Brutus drank some snow melt water that I figured would be fine and was sick the whole next day :( Won't do that again.

There is a little clearing in a wooded area before you break out into the meadow of Bear Flats where a big tree is surrounded by cleared ground. The tree seems to umbrella the whole place making it feel like a natural sanctuary. Definitely somewhere that would be great for more visiting and perhaps some photos! Here are some photos from other folks of this hike

view from Brutus' Lookout

This is the tree and clearing I was talking about

Made it to Bear Flats! :)

Anyway, on to my new shoooes! I got the Merrell Barefoot Serene Glove- when I first ordered a pair, they seemed too big- my feet slid around a bit, and for such a minimalist shoe, it didn't seem right to be extra roomy. I was nervous about blisters from the friction of my foot moving so much within the shoe. I got 1/2 size down, and my toes bump the front of the shoe when I walk. When I stand they gently touch it, if I kick my heels to the back of the shoe they don't. When I do my standard walk, it feels like I am stomping horribly and mashing my toes on the front uncomfortably, but I have read that when you try barefoot shoes you pay more attention and even adjust the way you walk. The stomping hurts my whole foot! So I am trying to walk more gingerly and carefully and as long as I do, I think they will be fine. I know I need to work up to them, not wear them all day every day right away or I will be quite sore and uncomfortable. Walking in minimalist shoes or barefoot works different and less-used muscles in your feet. I have been rolling a baseball under my feet at work to help stretch those muscles and felt sore afterwards, so I know I've warmed up a little. 

I wanted some flats- feminine shoes for girly jeans and cute tops that don't have some bow on them (harder than it sounds to find, especially in my large size). I wanted barefoot shoes, and I found a perfect blend of the two. There is even an optional ankle ribbon that makes them look extra girly that I wear under my jeans for now just to keep them held up and secure. They are very flexible and there is tread on the bottom. I will continue to report back on them :)

Not my feet, but pretty similar :)

No shampoo continues to go great. I am definitely down to using baking soda and vinegar about 3 times a week and just hot water and a good scrub with my fingers the rest of the time. I don't use any product, but I do blowdry my hair sometimes, as I got a new haircut :) I continue to use organic soap as well, and a tea tree oil Trader Joes face wash.

So I had great success with my roast beef coming out pink all the way through on the first try and it tastes great hot, cold, and even after freezing. I am having a party Sunday and have a big menu planned! Tonight is my first try at beef ribs in the oven!

 Life is good and I am very grateful for my many blessings, this Earth, my loving support system, my health, my happiness, and so much more. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

House/Room Inspiration

Every now and again I think of things I want to eventually have in/around my home. I like to document them somehow, so that I can come back to them and keep them in the back of my mind.

I like vertical succulent gardens/green roofs - using the roof of a shed for a garden for inside and out!

I like bringing trees/branches into the house - especially in the bedroom

This one above is probably my favorite, and possibly an easier one to come by!

I like funky windows and doors- go outside of the general definition of shapes and boundaries

I like bird houses- bunched together- here is an example in my parent's backyard

I like oddly shaped doors - I love wood that isn't necessarily square- turned wood, etc


I also like the view from the kitchen sink to either look outside or at my fish tank :P
I like lots of sunlight in the kitchen- big fan of sunlights in a home. I would like to actually use solar tubes for a nice sized reef tank someday (probably about 6-8' long)

Anyway, just wanted to jot some of this down. More to come :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Cooking Adventures!

Thought it was about time to check in again!

Taking advantage of my active friends to work in walks, hikes, and camping trips! I have only brought a few people on my Mt Baldy Hike, and I look forward to the opportunity to introduce new people to it. Perhaps my hike-a-holic brother will want to go when he visits later this month!

Last night I made a 4lb meat loaf! It was so big with all the fixings, I could barely fit it in my mixing bowl. Hence I forgot to add eggs :P So it didn't hold together as well as it could of, yet it was quite scrumtious. I covered it with bacon and emptied the precious grease twice while cooking to make sure it finished, yet the loaf remained moist and tasty.

I also made my second attempt at my tasty orange soup. Unfortunately "1 butternut squash and 1 sweet potato" are not the most specific, and my ratio was off and it was way too carroty, but I read that salt and some oil (cream or butter) could counteract the sugary carrots. I added some cream and salt, and though better, it still wasn't quite right. I also read you could add a little white vinegar, but I added too much. I then researched counteracting the vinegar taste. I added a box of organic butternut squash soup to help, and a bit of baking soda. Though better, it was still a bit off, but after some more cinnamon and nutmeg and corrainder and a dash more cream, we got it pretty good. Unfortunately, the first time I made this soup, it was incredible so there were high expectations :)

I also made a bacon crusted quiche! I made my cheesy bacon caulifolower, but used frozen cauliflower and it caused it to come out liquidy and mushy, though not too shabby when reheated. We had tried to blanch and freeze a bunch of farmer's market veggies, and I am learning which worked well and which didn't and how to cook with them - mostly pan fry or steam. For asparagus, blanching and freezing seems to have gone terribly- roasted or pan fried the come out shriveled and limp (and I didn't trim them first).

I also made a turkey pot pie soup that was quite good! I LOOOVE chicken/turkey pot pie, so this really hit the spot.

I look forward to some more green tea mouse and other treats. We may be making sweet potato pancakes or banana bread french toast this weekend OoOooO!

Anyhow, just wanted to talk about food for a bit :)

I tried my first duck breast which was so tender and moist. It was truly excellent. I also ordered some new teas- I am really into tea right now. I am getting another tea strainer and liking loose leaf tea. I mostly like black tea and herbal warm spice dessert teas. My favorite continues to be Tazo Focus - black tea, yerba mate, cocoa, and orage MMMM.

I am so grateful today- so happy for this beautiful place I live, for getting to drive through the desert and experience the crisp cold of Taos spring air and a warm bed at night. For the ease that general-lack-of-weather most of us Californians enjoy (no scraping windshields or shoveling snow). For the grass to walk and sit on, and the nuts I have to crack. For the animals who snuggle me and my loving support system. For my happy hands to type and eyes to read, for the paleosphere and the interenet and blogs that let me find and share and gather recipes and info and ideas. :) Happy Friday all!!