Saturday, June 21, 2014

Currently

Happy Saturday! Here are my "current" currently's.

Current Book:
"If I Stay". It's an easy summer read...which I'm in dire need of, with my poor reading skills lately. It's about the outer-body experience of a teenager who got in a tragic car accident. She's watching her body in the ICU, and trying to decide whether to stay or go. It's really interesting to the nurse in me.

Current Excitement:
 It is looking like the next guarenteed weekend Ryan & I will have together is in August when we go to Minnesota for a week @ the lakes w/ family! Lame that he works so much during July, but I'm focusing on the positive!! Cannot wait to see family and meet my niece/God-daughter Evelyn!

Current Fashion:
I'm really loving the maxi dresses. Only for evenings out. It's too damn hot to wear a maxi dress during the day in Tucson (for this girl, anyhow).

Current Drink:
Iced Green tea with Raspberry @ Starbucks. I've sipping that as I write this blog.

Also Gin & Tonic is my alcoholic DOC (drink of choice) lately.

Current Love:
My Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday runs with my girlfriends. Our group has built up to an "wolf pack" of 6 of us! It's such a great energy to start the day!

Current Food:
Hmm...Last night I made a really delicious thai recipe with chicken, broccoli, peppers, and pad thai noodles. The smells it fills our home with is so savory and delicious!

Current Indulgence:
Frost - a gelato shop about 10 minutes from our house. It's my weekly treat. There are so many flavors, I want to try them all by the end of the year! (What a goal, huh?) Last week I tried Peach Bellini - it has real chunks of peach in it. Mmm....

Currently Pondering
What I want to be when I grow up. I plan to stay in this current role for about 3 more years. It's scary and exciting to think about where the road will take me....

Current Mood
Joyful. I have to say over the past few months, I've been in a really good place in my life. Love my job, my marriage is happy, I'm surrounded by amazing friendships, there's plans to see family in the near future.....cannot complain

Current New Find
The Soma Half Ironman in Phoenix this October. I wanted to do it last year, but we were still suck in Texas. This week a few of my friends & I decided we are doing it! Training begins Monday!

Current Outfit
Currently I'm wearing pink jean shorts and a navy sleeveless button down.

Current Peeve
We're getting our house painted (exterior) - and we picked a company 1 month ago. They showed up with their pressure washers on Tuesday morning without any notification. I'm happy they are getting started, but we wish they would have notified us! We are hosting a pool party tomorrow, and our backyard looks like a construction zone.

Current Triumph
I did an acrylic painting this week! Okay, don't start calling me an artist. My girlfriends and I went to a place called "Brush & Bottle". It's BYOB (and snacks) - and an art teachers walks you through a painting. It was so much fun!! Will definitely do it again!





Current Wish List
A wet suit for my triathlon. I really don't want to spend $100. Luckily, I have until October - so I am going to start with Goodwill :)

Currently delaying
Getting my PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support) re-cert. I can no longer work in the ER unless I get that. I need to start picking up a shift here and there to stay current.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Camping Survival Tips: The Good and the Ugly

I think it's been established, but Ryan and I are a bit spontaneous when it comes to weekend get-aways.

Back in May, we had planned on going to San Diego for a 3-day-weekend last weekend. But Ryan's work scheduled changed 6 times (I'm not exaggerating). So we decided to put that dream on hold for while. We didn't know if he was going to have the weekend free until 3:45 pm on Friday. And when he called with the news that he did - I started packing like a mad-woman. We had the car loaded up, and we were headed up the mountain by 5:30 pm for a camping trip!

We were having a discussion with someone recently about camping, and how it's so much work and planning. But we have proved that theory wrong! But our "camping skills" did not happen overnight. Here are a few tips about camping, that I've found help tremendously.

And I will finish off with a short rant about the "ugly" of camping.

1.  Heavy duty plastic containers will be your best friend. Emphasis on "heavy duty". Don't go cheap. We have 2 large plastic bins that hold all our "tools". 1 bin has: cast-iron pots/pans, cooking utensils, cutting board, coffee percolator, paper plates, dish soap, dish basin, etc. Bin #2 has: matches, playing cards, saw (for cutting wood), hammer (for building tent), lanterns, flashlights, and any other tools that may be useful.

2.  A clean campsite is a happy campsite. There are no sinks out in the wild. So washing dishes, etc is tricky. But not if you have a descent set of supplies. I always bring a basin, a bottle of dish-soap, sponges, bottle of spray Lysol, and chlorox-wipes. With these tools - you are set. Most campgrounds have water-spigots so you can wash. (Oh, I also bring my hand vacuum cleaner to vacuum the tent. That's a little excessive, though)

3.  A clean body is a happy camper. My 1st few times camping, I got crabby near the end. I felt dirty and gross. I wanted to crawl out of my skin. Until I discovered baby-wipes. I use these frequently to wash my face, etc. It seriously makes the world of difference. (I also bring hairspray, because I like to look pretty. Ha!)

4.  Freeze any meat before your trip. It will eventually thaw in the cooler - and it also serves as an ice pack to keep your cooler cold!

5.  Have ear plugs in your bag, just in case. Ear plugs help to eliminate that nuisance. See below.

6.  Have a bag of "camping spices". We always have: S & P, oregano, Old Bay, Cumin, Cayenne, Crushed Red Pepper, garlic powder, & Basil. Keep them in a large plastic bag, and it's easy to take with you! (We now take this bag with us on a lot of our vacations since we prefer to do VRBO's/Turn Key properties lately...)

7.  When you return home from your trip, take the extra time to make sure everything was put away nicely (and organized!). We take an inventory of what we have, and what we need. The things we need, we will replace them immediately. Then on our next camping trip we don't have to try remembering what we need.

Now for my quick rant:

Why do people find it necessary to get absolutely schnockered drunk while camping? I don't understand it. You are not within close proximity to a bathroom (and alcohol is a diuretic). You don't have a comfortable sleeping quarters, so a hangover would be awfully rough on a camping trip!

And what also perplexes me, is this "stereotypical drunk camper" - is quiet all day long. All day they could be drinking their Miller Lights or Whiskey Cokes. All day long! And then as the sun starts going down, they could sleep during the night like other humans do. But no. They choose to do "God knows what" all day long, and start drinking like a fish as the sun is going down. They then choose to keep other campers up by laughing and howling at the moon all night.

And why do people howl at moons? This is not a one-time occurrence. We have camped at various campgrounds, and various times. There always seems to be that one guy, who out-of-no-where lets out a loud "Owwwwwwwwwwwww".....at 2 in the morning.

Okay, rant complete. I really love camping. However, backpacking out in the wild compared to camping at a campground with drunk moon-howlers, really does make me appreciate "roughing it".


We are happy campers :)





Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Eggplant Caprese Sandwiches

I've been finding my "mojo" in the kitchen again lately, and we've been cooking some really fun stuff! I made a recipe last week that I had to share. It was so fun and delicious. I thought this would make a really good dinner party appetizer. Especially in the summertime.

How I came up with it:

We bought our 1st "produce share" through a Groupon this month. It was $20 for a basket of fresh, organic, local produce. In the basket, we got eggplant (and green beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, oranges, and garlic. Mmmm). I'm not a big eggplant fan, but was determined to find a way to like it. So I decided that basil and tomatoes (and cheese) make everything good.

Ingredients: (super easy!)
  • 1 eggplant, sliced
  • handful of fresh basil leaves
  • sliced tomatoes
  • whole mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup balsalmic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • s & p to taste
How to make:
  • Slice the eggplants, and soak in a container with the olive oil & balsalmic (10 min)
  • Grill for about 2 minutes each side to get nice grill marks, and to soften the eggplant.
  • Build your "sandwiches" - Eggplant, Basil leave, Slice of tomato, slice of mozzarella cheese, eggplant.
  • Wrap in foil or place in grill pan.
  • Return to grill for about 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
Recommendations
I do think this would be really good with some sort of marinara sauce for a meal, so would like to try that next time! Just a light drizzle of red sauce, maybe? These are super good!!


Check out my basil "garden"! I am so happy that my little basil plants are turning into a "bush". I made my 1st batch of pesto last Friday!

 
These are the "caprese sandwiches" before I put them on the grill for the final "cook"!

 
Do you like eggplant? I've just never been crazy about it. But I did like it in this manner!