Wednesday, January 30, 2013

the weekly juice

Still juicing like a maniac over here--it has officially become part of our after school routine....
get home
throw stuff on floor
yell at tell them nicely to take stuff to their rooms
juice and snack
yell at tell them ever so sweetly to stop goofing around and just get their homework done.....(this part goes on forever)
all while drinking our juice.

This juice has quickly become a favorite, and it's very easy with hardly any prep at all. Spinach doesn't yield a whole lot of juice, so we each get a smaller glass, but it's tasty and refreshing and loaded with vitamins A and K.
We all love this juice--no complaints at all from the kiddos.
Bonus: I like it extra tart, and sometimes add a little more lemon. 
Double Bonus: Sometimes I throw a few carrots in to this mix--it makes it muddy and brown, but still tastes great.
TRIPLE BONUS! I love when I have pulp from greens like spinach and kale. I juice these first, and then set the green pulp aside. Saute' it up in some olive oil with garlic, pine nuts, sundried tomatoes and throw some pasta and parmesean or goat cheese in.....dinner!

Spinach Shots
3 large handfuls spinach
1/4 of a lemon, with peel (if it's organic)
1 green apple

What are YOU juicing this week?

more juice!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

between a rock and a........rock


rock climbing.
a first for me.

We have been climbing at an indoor wall the last few months with the kids, and it has quickly become one of our new favorite ways to spend time as a family. It's something we can all do together, it's a great way to be active in the winter, and I have found it to be an excellent workout for my (lack of) upper body.

When we went south last week, we spent a day climbing in Snow Canyon. I had been looking forward to it all week and as I stepped into the harness my nerves started to flutter.....deeeeeep breathe.
I could do it....right? I'd watched Ali scurry right up like it was nothing, so it couldn't be too scary....could it? I put my trust in my husband that he wouldn't drop me (I think??!!) and started up the massive wall in front of me.

Up up, all good.....up up....peeking down......ohhh. down. 
It's so far DOWN! eeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaa. ooooo. down.
I wanted down, yes. That sounded good. Let's go down.
But guess what.....that loving husband of mine wouldn't let me down. nope.
So I had to keep going......up. Without looking down to the millions of feet I could have fallen....I kept going up.
And I loved it.
So I went up some more. and some more.
And then I came dowwwwwwwnnn and did it all again.
It was quite the feeling being up on that sunset colored rock, learning to trust myself, and how to move up and across it's nooks and crannies, as I was careful and took my time.
When can we do this again?

Monday, January 28, 2013

how we weekend : january

Can you believe we just went through our last weekend in January?! I was lucky enough to be celebrating my birthday all weekend. Friday Robby took me to Cooper Onion (mmmmm). Saturday we spent some time downtown, ate Ruby Snap  until we burst, and stayed cozy all evening by the fire. Sunday we welcomed a blanket of fresh fluffy snow that washed away our dirty air and painted our world white. It really was a perfect, wintry weekend.

me and my customary tower-o-rubysnap for my birthday.
A few weeks ago I asked you to tag your weekend photos #howweweekend on instagram. I have loved taking a peek at so many different weekends around the globe. It was a month filled with snowy adventures and cozy comfort food. 
Here are a few of my favorites from the month of was so hard to choose....
weekend photos brought to you by: 
@littlepenelopelane / @kylieturley
@darcyparker / @haygardi
@mylifeatplaytime / @skwebb
@amyrachel / @birchtreesandpinecones
@ziziadventures / @ericaleaphotos
@amsullivan / @alliefinch
@rachellewilliams / @haygardi
@alidachrista / @thelittleredhouse
@ziziadventures / @hancooper
@hancooper / @edendaygreer
@olyaya / @dearcaralou
@thelittleredhouse / @alidachrista
@lindseyjparry / @olyaya

Thanks so much to everyone who played along! I'm already excited to see what February weekends will bring. 

How was YOUR weekend?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

here we go

a happy happy moment riding on a bike path through Zion National Park with my kiddos....I know I look a little crazy....but I was pretty excited to be in Zion. 
Here I sit.
I write this with only a few hours left in my twenties.
My hair is pulled up, I'm sporting one of Robby's Ts (oh, and his socks), and I feel the green face mask starting to dry on my cheeks.
I'm drinking fresh made juice--a muddy combination of spinach, carrots, apple, and lemon. 
It's extra tart, and I like it.
And just in case you think I'm so healthy sitting here at night with my green juice, it's only because I ate half a salty dark chocolate bar my grandma sent I'm trying to balance it know?
I'm looking at my (very lady-like....cough..) legs, still bruised from rock climbing over the weekend.
I hear giggles from the other room of kids who are making birthday cards 
(and think I have no idea what they are up to).

I am excited.
For 30.
It's here (finally!)

I've had so many people ask if I was dreading it......NO! 
I welcome it.

Twenty-nine was rough. 
We had some great moments--yes we did. 
We visited some incredible places and saw God's beauty all over this wild West. 
We were blessed and blessed and blessed.
But as I've found in my wise old age (ha), there are good years and there are bad, and twenty-nine kind of piled up on me--I earned a few wrinkles last year, fair and square.

So I say bring on 30! Let's go! 
I can feel that things are going to happen this year. Wonderful things. A few years ago had you asked me where I'd be at 30, I'd have told you 4 kids (I was dead set), and feeling a whole lot more settled than we are now.
I have learned that life doesn't always go as planned (bummer!).....but I'm starting this year knowing who I am and what makes me tick.....and that right there is good enough.
I will continue to surround myself with worthwhile things and fantastic people, and work on sifting out poor influences and time wasters. 

Only good things for this 30 year old. 

whoa. that sounds old.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

in color

Last weekend we loaded up the car with light jackets, hats, smiles on our faces, and left our frozen land for sunshine and color. A few months back, Robby asked me what I wanted to do for my upcoming big birthday, and I couldn't think of anything I'd rather do then head to the desert and soak up it's sun. My friend Ali's birthday is the day right after mine, so we turned it into one big family birthday three day weekend bash. The best.

We shed our coats and boots, and welcomed the 50° like it were summer (it practically was). I was in awe of all the color around us--oranges! reds! the bluest sky you have ever seen! 
This is the coldest winter we have ever had since we've lived in Utah......single digits every morning when I wake up--and it's been like this for the last few weeks. I can get over the temperature--but I just can't get over the inversion. What's inversion? It's NASTY. It's when a layer of warm air over the valley traps in all the cold smoggy air and pollution...right on top of us. I can't see my mountains. It smells. It's so bad I haven't even ran since we've been back from California. It turns our world gray and dirty and colorless--so to be standing in a desert full of vibrant color and warm life......well, it was an amazing feeling. I felt like Dorothy when she first landed in Oz. 
I stood there soaking up it's life and recharging my winter battery.

This is our crew. We are kind of a sight to see..... 
Snow Canyon.
We explored the lava fields and the kids played and played and ran and rolled and dug for hours in the sand. Over and over again. They could not have been happier. We took them (all nine) on a sunset bike ride, and then brought them back for the night and dumped the sand out of their socks and ears.
please tell me you saw her fall. heehee. 

Zion National Park.
I just can't believe that this magical place is in our backyard. It has quickly become my very favorite place to be, and I love feeling so small within it's grand towering walls.
We roamed around a bit, and took the kids on a little bike ride through the sunshine and rock.
We ended our trip with a visit to Oscars. 
a few tips: Want to go to the desert in the winter? We weren't quite up for camping (too cold at night still), and since there were three families going we decided to split a condo. We went through Coral Ridge, and I can't recommend them enough. The house was fully stocked with everything we needed, so we could grocery shop and prepare all of our meals there (the boys made THE best grilled salmon and steak I have ever had in my life). There was more than enough room for all of us, and the kids loved having a pool and hot tub to play in at the end of the day. We look forward to doing it again.

Oh desert, I love you. 
I might have to run away with you again soon.

Monday, January 21, 2013

over the weekend.....

our first desert trip of the year! zion national park
over the weekend we played and climbed and explored and filled our shoes with sand.
we soaked in the desert sun and breathed it's clean air.
we had a reallllly hard time really is the best place to be. 

back with more soon!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

5 Things (and then some.....)

If you're on Instagram you've likely seen the little 5 Things game going around where you're supposed to share a picture + 5 random facts. 
I thought I'd share here.....and then share a few extras for the blog.
1. My graduating high school class had 37 students.
2. I tried very hard for a few years to be a city girl, but I am a country girl at heart....I long to get back to my roots.
3. I have never been further East than Wyoming. This needs to change. (we are always traveling up and down THIS side of the country.....we need to move laterally next time!)
4. I knew my husband for 6 months the day we got married.....but hey! We are still here, alive and well. 
5. I love the smell of fresh cut hay, cows, and skunk (see #2)
6. Yes, my bathroom is pink.
7. I grew up with my (boy) cousins and all their (boy) friends. I have played every sport and feel happiest and most comfortable when I'm doing something physical. 
8. I want my own bees.
9. I loved college. I LOVED taking tests. I want to go back for more school and study environmental science.
10. I like long drives. I will drive across the country some day (this would help with #3)
11. I'm turning 30 in exactly one week. ONE WEEK!! I am so excited....let's get these 20s over with!

Feel free to share your 5 Things on your own blog or on Instagram!
and don't forget to tag your weekend photos #howweweekend

happy weekend!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

taco talk

I love tacos.....I've always loved tacos. I played basketball in high school and there would be Saturday nights where we had games away (waaaaaay away in Montana). I wouldn't get home until after midnight, and be starving from the evening's events. My favorite nights were those that my mom had saved tacos from dinner and I would sit in the kitchen in the wee hours of the morning, and cram as many tacos and homemade salsa as I could into my scrawny boyish figure. aaaaahhh memories.

We eat tacos about once a week here. I mix it up--some have meat-chicken or slow cooked beef. I LOVE fish tacos, which for some reason seem most appropriate in the summer when the grill is hot and the tomatoes are ripe for picking. We have egg tacos, different assortment of bean and veggie tacos. I came across Erin's recipe for chipotle and sweet potato tacos, and knew I had to make these tacos! Lucky for me I had everything I needed already on hand.
Aren't they pretty? They brighten up a cold winter day. 
We will definitely be adding these into our taco rotation.
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos
recipe adapted from Naturally Ella
this recipe is awesome and I hardly changed a thing! just added a few more spices, used my own guac recipe and added the cabbage (I love cabbage)

2 tablespoons olive oil
½ medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sweet potato, cut into ½” cubes
2 cups black beans
1 chipotle in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons adobo sauce
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoky paprika
2 tablespoons honey
juice from two limes
corn tortillas
1 cup of red cabbage, shredded and splashed with a bit of vinegar and salt and pepper

2 avocados
2TBS minced red onion
juice from 1 lime
handful of finely chopped cilantro
salt to taste

Heat olive oil over medium heat in skillet. Add onions and let cook until onions begin to soften, 3-4 minutes. Next, stir in sweet potatoes and garlic, and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes. In a mortar and pestle, combine the chipotle, adobo sauce, honey, cumin, paprika, and lime juice. Break apart the chipotle into small pieces (alternatively, you can cut up the chipotle.) Pour into the pan with the sweet potatoes and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add beans and continue to cook until sweet potatoes have softened, 10-15 minutes. 
While sweet potatoes cook, scoop out the insides of the avocado. Add onion, cilantro, lime, and salt and mash together.   

Toast corn tortillas over an open flame and fill with sweet potato mixture, top with guacamole and cabbage. 


What are your favorite taco recipes?

black bean, bulgur, and lentil tacos HERE
dutch oven chicken tacos HERE

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

the weekly juice

Everyone needs to stop being sick! I feel like we are surrounded. I guess Utah is having record numbers of people with the flu this season, and I don't want our family to be a number. We don't do flu shots, so we are keeping the sickness away with extra juice, tons of veggies, and lots of exercise and fresh air. (knock on wood). 
This is my kids' very favorite juice right now. They drink it down so fast and I love that their little bodies are getting blasted with sickness-fighting vitamins and nutrients like Vitamin C and Vitamin A. 
The verdict: 
We all love this one!
Instant hit.
Bonus: Did you know that ginger has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties? It's true! I've been adding it in to many of our juices lately. 
Double Bonus: This juice is also fantastic with some beet thrown in.
Super C Juice
(makes one large glass)
-1 grapefruit, peeled
-4 mandarins (or 1 orange), peeled. We are still using up our supply of mandarins we brought back from California.
-1/2 lemon, partially peeled. (I left a little peel on the (organic) lemon for extra lemony-ness)
-2 large carrots
-1/2" piece of ginger (play around with amounts of ginger. It really adds such a nice little zing when you get it right. Add too much and your sinuses will be cleared for days (this happened....ouch!)
It tastes like a glass full of sunshine.
What are you juicing this week?

try last week's juice: sweet beet

Sunday, January 13, 2013

when it's cold outside...

as in, degrees.
you know, collllddd.

Growing up on the blustery plains of Montana, icy cold winters are something that we experienced every year....but you still never get used to it. Waiting for the school bus in below zero temperatures, nose freezing shut and fear your face will never thaw.

School was only canceled if the buses wouldn't start or if the roads were too drifted over with snow. Some people may not realize that we actually plugged our cars in so they would start in the morning.....have you ever heard of such a thing?! If it got to be colder than 20 below (20 degrees below zero!!) my mom wouldn't make us go to school....isn't that...nice...of her...?

Despite the fact that I basically grew up in Antarctica, I have still really struggled with winters in the past. A few years ago I hated.....HATED winter. I'd sit inside and wish for spring, ignoring the freshly powdered mountains outside my windows. When the temperatures dropped down I would curl up with a blanket and never leave the house.

But last year.... last year we decided to get out and play more--why not? And this year we are enjoying winter even more. We had planned on spending Saturday inside--the kids had a pajama party at our church in the morning, and afterwards we came home with no intention of getting dressed for the rest of day....I mean weekend. But doing things as we do, we made (very) last minute plans, and after lunch headed up to the hills where friends were waiting to play.

Ali and I decided to try our hand feet at cross country skiing. eeeeeeeek!! 
So much fun--I was laughing and screaming, loving the climbing, and falling down the hills. 

The kids got to sled and freeeeeeeze their faces off....but loved it.
And we did it all in zero degrees. 
And survived!
It was such a fun day and I'm so happy that we've decided to venture out beyond the couch when the world is frozen over.
photos from mine and ali's phones

Sunday was adventurous in it's own way--walking to church wearing heels was harder than my afternoon skiing. 
We hunkered down in the afternoon with soup, cookies and a fire. 
My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle
(also blogged here)

2 sticks of butter (1c), at room temp
1/2 c white sugar
1 3/4 c brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups of chocolate chips
(this time I used half milk chocolate and half dark chocolate)

Cream the butter and the sugars until light and fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Continue mixing while adding the eggs one at time--mix each egg for about a minute. Add the vanilla. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Combine the flour, soda and salt in another bowl, and slowly add flour mixture. Mix until just combined, taking care not to over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Drop by spoonful onto parchment lined cookie sheet.

Give a little sprinkle of sea salt before you pop them in the oven......PERFECTION!

Bake at 350° for 11-13 minutes. They should be lightly golden on the outside, but still a bit soft in the middle.

How was your weekend? Do you get out and play in the winter?
ps. thank you thank you for tagging all your weekend instagram photos #howweweekend. 
I've loved peeking at all of them and can't wait to share a few here and there.