A New Wave

Wow, it’s been awhile ey?

Here I was thinking, start with a bang, keep the momentum and blogging will naturally find a way to squeeze itself  into my life. Whelp. Here’s to a new season and more reasons to rev up the engine again. The blog-block was this precisely: In Oregon you have 9 months of dark, rainy, cold weather. When the sun finally breaks through and summer arrives… the last thing you want to do is sit in front of a computer screen during your time off from spending 8 hours a day at work sitting in front of a computer screen.  So, here we go again!

I do want to update you with a summer in a flash post later this week, summing up my incredible summer in photos.

For now, I’d like to be present because the presently things are on the up and up.

Here’s a fall mix for ya of what I’ve been up to.

Oregon in the Fall

Zombie flash mob dancing to “Thriller” at the Saturday Market. Oh, Eugene.

We discovered some courts nearby that have lights. Here’s a full moon night where we picked up some rackets and had some great matches.

My guy had a pergola and roof COVERED densely with three varieties of delicious grapes. We made pure grape juice for weeks!

We went to a Covered Bridge Festival in Cottage Grove a couple weekends ago. Cheers to silly interests. Its was primarily an excuse to get out of town, head out on a road trip and explore a new place and enjoy new scenery. I got some great shots of old buildings and barns. Great backdrops for upcoming shoots!

I got bangs! I’ve been rocking the side swoop since 6th grade (10+ years) It was time for a change. What a difference!

I built a platform bed! It was super quick, easy and cheap! I’ll do a post on this DIY soon

My guy and I took a much needed trip to the coast. I ran around and played with my girl, Chi and frolicked in the ocean. It started to rain just as we were leaving. It was a complete soul shine.

October is beautiful, poetic, romantic… but also of confluence of sports. One night we brought out the couches, situated them around the fire pit in the backyard, set up a TV screen on the deck. Invited our friends over and got pizza, wings, whiskey, and s’mores. We watched football under the stars.

And… Here’s Chi, modeling her winter sweater

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Summer 2012! The Bucket List

Every summer I do my best to squeeze every bit of joy from the long, warm sunny days. I make a calendar of all the weekends of summer and fill it with fun activities and adventures. This year I made a bucket list to go along with my calendar so whenever I have free time I can make a check off the trusty bucket list! I’m excited to share these adventures with you and hope to inspire you to create your own and maybe spark some ideas.

THE BUCKET LIST

1. Wind Surfing in Hood River

2. Zip Lining in Southern Oregon

3. White Water Rafting

4. Learn how to row in a racing boat at Dexter Lake

5. Bicycle Booze Cruise

6. Surfing on the Oregon coast

7. Bike ride picnic

8. Where the Wild Things Are themed Party

9. Hike Kentucky Falls

10. Make and fly kites

11. Float the McKenzie River in an inner tube with friends and beers

12. Make homemade bread and jam

13. Volunteer

14. Find a drive-in movie theater

15. Go fly fishing

16. Try rock climbing (even if it’s at a gym)

17. Go canoe camping as much as possible

18. Grow garden full of all the veggies and herbs

19. Kayak and surf in San Diego

20. Go berry picking at a U-Pick farm

21. Go sand boarding at the dunes

22. Morning yoga practice on the deck

23. Keep up with work-out routine

24. Bike commute

25. Practice sewing

26. Play more Tennis

27. Spontaneous trip to the beach

28. Play in as many Sunday softballs games as I can

29. Make sun tea, herb berry ice cubes and popsicles

30. Have a water fight

30. Send postcards to friends I haven’t heard from in awhile

31. Go to a first Friday art walk

32. Ride my long board (skateboard) more

33. Go Skydiving

34. Go out Salsa Dancing

35. Go Go-Carting

36. Make my own sushi

37. Go wine tasting

38. Go backpacking

39. Summit Diamond Peak

40. Festivals: Sasquatch, Oregon Country Fair, Eugene Celebration

41. Focus on AquarEye (Become a better blogger, keep shop updated, do more DIY projects, go to flea markets, work on new jewelry styles and techniques. Keep it original and fun)

42. Savor, enjoy, and appreciate every moment

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Skip The Festival Fare and Bring Your Own Deliciousness

I’m in full prep mode for SASQUATCH this weekend and one thing I heard a lot from veteran festival goers is that the food is expensive and mainly just burgers, hot dogs and pizza. I’m hoping to fuel my body for 4 days of moving and grooving in a much more wholesome way. Here’s the plan:

Food Menu:

Friday: Day 1

Breakfast: Acai Energy Bowl

Lunch: Salami Sandwich

Dinner: Fajitas

Saturday: Day 2

Breakfast: Acai Energy Bowl

Lunch: Tuna Sandwich

Late Night: Sausage

Sunday: Day 3

Breakfast: Savory Muffin

Lunch: Salami Sandwich

Dinner: Polenta, tomatoes and parmesan, served with Kale and Mushrooms

Monday: Day 4

Breakfast: Savory Muffin

Lunch: Salmon Pesto Tortellini

Dinner: Festival Food  (Okay, maybe one meal)

Snacks:

PB&J, Goldfish, Granola, Pita and Hummas

Shopping list: 

  • Sambazon Acai Smoothie packets – found in many frozen food aisles
  • 3 Bananas
  • Green Juice – Either Odwalla or Naked brands
  • Sandwich Bread Buns – I like the ones from our market’s bakery
  • Galio Salami Chub Roll
  • Salad Greens/Spinach
  • Jar of Roasted Red Pepper
  • Can of Tuna
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly
  • Sausages
  • Buns
  • Steak (local, grass fed, hormone and antibiotic free if possible)
  • Fajita seasoning packet
  • Garlic
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Can of  black beans
  • Green & red bell pepper
  • Onion
  • Pre-made Polenta Tube
  • Can of crushed tomatoes w/basil
  • Bulk Parmesan (non-refrigerated)
  • Small bunch of fresh kale
  • 5-6 Large Crimini mushrooms
  • 1 Baguette
  • Packet pesto powder – I like the Simply Organic one pictured above
  • Dried tortellini – I find this in our bulk foods section
  • Smoked salmon – I like the vacuumed sealed variety that doesn’t need refrigeration but canned salmon, tuna or chicken works well too.
  • Hummus
  • Pita bread
  • Chia Seeds
  • Coffee
  • Gold Fish crackers

From Home: A few paper towels, garlic press, sea salt, pepper, olive oil, red pepper flakes, homemade granola and savory muffins, a sheet of tin foil.

Directions:

Acai Bowls

{Acai (Ah-sigh-ee) is a berry from the Amazon region in South America. This super fruit is packed full of antioxidants, omega-3s and amino acids and makes for a delicious high energy and nutritious breakfast!}

1.  Put contents of the frozen smoothie packet into a bowl or jar and break up with a spoon.

2.  Add granola and a splash of green juice (depending on your desired consistency) mix and top with sliced bananas and chia seeds.

{Chia are small seeds that can regulate your blood sugar so that you have sustained energy throughout the day. It has a high level of complete protein to raise your energy levels and the gel like substance that forms around the seed when soaked in liquid helps keep you hydrated.}

Salami Sandwiches:

Spread hummus, layer greens, salami on sandwich bun and a few roasted red peppers.

Fajitas:

1.  Put steak in a ziplock bag with olive oil and/or light beer with full packet of fajita seasoning. Marinate and grill to your liking.

2.  Slice peppers and onion (I will do this at home and put in a zip lock to save time) and sauté with garlic in a cast iron skillet over the grill.

3.  Open can of beans, remove paper label and place on grill next to the skillet to heat up.

4.  Serve and assemble with warm tortillas.

Polenta Bites:

1.  Cut polenta tube into ½ thick slices, pat dry with paper towel and brush both sides with olive oil. Place on hot grill and cook on each side for 8-10 minutes until crispy with grill marks.

2.  Chop kale, slice mushrooms and saute with olive oil and garlic (toss in any left over peppers or onion from the fajitas) in the cast iron skillet over the grill. Open can of tomatoes, remove paper label and place on grill to heat up.

3.  Top polenta rounds with a spoon full of tomatoes and parmesan. Serve with veggies.

Salmon Pesto Tortellini:

1.  Bring sauce pan of water to boil on single burner camp stove and cook tortellini.

2.  Prepare pesto as directed on packet.

3.  Add pesto to cooked tortellini, stir in parmesan (I add red pepper flakes too) and crumble smoked salmon on top.

I also made granola (Oats, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and blue berries) for the first time. It came out well but I will need to tweak the recipe in the future to perfect it. I will also make amazing savory muffins before I leave on Thursday (buttermilk muffin with Canadian bacon, scallions and red bell peppers) I seal these in ziplock bags and take them on backpacking trips for a quick meal in a muffin form.

What do you think? Do you have any great camping/festival recipes or food tips and tricks? Any questions?

Enjoy, eat well and be well!

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SASQUATCH! Festival Camping: Packing List

SASQUATCH is next weekend and festival season is upon us! I am bubbling over with excitement.

A. The line-up is AMAZING

B. The Gorge is an incredible venue with beautiful views

C. This will be my first time camping at a festival!

I can’t wait to see:

• The Cave Singers
• Honey Honey
• Alabama Shakes
• Gary Clark Jr.
• The Civil Wars
• Of Monsters and Men
• Silversun Pickups
• Dear Tick
• Vintage Trouble
• Metric
• Trampled by Turtles
• Santigold
• Pretty Lights
• Tenacious D
• The Roots
• Beats Antique
• Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires
• Unknown Mortal Orchestra
• Pickwick
 
 
I wanted to share my packing list for the weekend with you. This is definitely not a minimalist approach. This is more then I ever bring camping with me and I usually prefer to just bring what I can fit in a backpack. BUT I’m thinking it’ll be fun to have a nice set up, be comfortable and the right tools to be well fed, rested and hydrated to have a great experience without being burnt out.  Hopefully it is useful!
 
 

Camp:

  • Tent and Rain Fly–  I’m looking at large two room tents for some privacy and ease. Something like this. Any tent works!
  • STEAKS! It gets super windy out there making steaks for the tent essential. Don’t forget the hammer!
  • Tarp – for under the tent *Make sure the sides don’t stick out past the tent or fold it under to not allow water or condensation to slide under the tent.
  • Bedding – pillows/sleeping bags/sleeping pads – *Tip* If your planning on sleeping with  a special someone, most sleeping bags can zip together! I think we’ll just bring sheets and blankets though beacause our sleeping bags are rated for much colder temps
  • Lantern or LED Battery Lights for camp at night (no campfires!)
  • Garbage/recycling bags
  • Flag – <CRUCIAL> to identify our camp. Connect a glow stick to the top
  • 2 plastic crates  (i.e. milk crates) for storage and tables -These are great for packing and camp. Pack dry food, cooking stuff and other supples in them to organize the car and they double as night stands, camp tables and chairs.
  • Towel
  • Cards, Dice, pingpong balls, a Frisbee and any other games and activites
  • Headlamp  <CRUCIAL>, especially for night trips to the port-o-potties. My friend also has a small light on a necklace so she is never without it.
  • Zip Lock Bags
  • Wash basin (i.e. large stainless steel bowl) – For washing dishes and myself
  • Sponge
  • 5 Gallon water dispenser cooler BRING LOTS OF WATER

Extras (The nice to have stuff if you have room to bring them):

  • Air Mattress – Not crucial, but it is 5 nights and I thought it would be awesome to make the tent like home with a bed, night stands, lights, sheets, pillows and all. Sleeping pad does the trick though and is probably better for your back.
  • Shade Structure and Tapestry, scarves and clips/clamps to hang – This again, is not essential but is wonderful for those long sunny mornings at the camp. Be sure to either steak it down soundly or lower it when you leave for the festival so it doesn’t blow away with the wind!
  • Camp Chairs are nice but coolers and crates work too!
  • A foldable/portable table. Not essentail but great for beer pong.

Food:

  • Camp Cookware – I have a set for backpacking that is small light and includes everything you need – You can find it here
  • Utensils
  • Stove – The boy has a backpacking stove that will work great. It is essentially this – a single burner with fuel.
  • Pocket Knife
  • Can opener
  • Cutting Knife
  • Cutting board
  • 2 bowls
  • 2 small coolers – one for food, one for drinks *Also double as benches! *Tip – it’s a good idea to seperate some ice in a zip lock from the rest of the ice in the cooler to keep it clean for drinks.
  • Cast iron skillet
  • Small grill – I’d like to get what I call a “scoop-a-grill” like this one
  • Charcoal and lighter fluid
  • Coffee maker/filters – We use something like this.

Other:

  • 4 Festival outfits, 2 travel
  • Sleeping clothes – I’m anticipating getting dirty and if it does rain it’s best to not track a day of filth into the sheets.
  • Warm non-bulky layering clothes
  • Camera and extra batteries – I’m bringing disposable cameras and my digital point and shoot
  • Sunglasses  <Crucial>
  • Water Bottle <Crucial>
  • Ear plugs – super necessary for that dub step tent that blares all night!
  • Rain jacket or poncho- Just in case, this IS in Washington
  • Boots and Sandals – broken in, and very comfortable for walking
  • Hat and Jewelry
  • Emergen-C – I never travel without it and great for hangovers, re-hydreation and an extra boost!
  • TP – *Tip: Carefully pull out the cardboard roll and tug the first sheet out a bit. Squeeze the roll to close the gap and put in a zip lock bag with the first sheet sticking out of the top. This makes a great TP dispenser so you don’t need to worry about unrolling it.
  • Dry shampoo – I think I’ll try it. Something like TIGI’s Bed Head Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo and Conditioner. Baby powder works great as well.
  • Dr. Bronners soap – The does-it-all biodegradable soap!
  • Deodorant/toothbrush/tooth paste/chapstick and any other personal items
  • Phone car charger – A solar charger is even better!
  • Ground cloth/blanket – For sitting on in the festival grounds
  • Watch – My watch face is on a necklace so I’m not late for the shows I want to see
  • Bubbles
  • Cleansing wipes – A LOT – to freshen up or to be your shower. I like these and the Berts Bees ones for my face
  • Small gift boxes with earrings and business cards – I’m going to make some gifts for awesome people I see and spread the AquarEye word!
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sun Screen!
  • First aid kit including: Ibuprofen, band-aids, Aloe Vera, wrap, bandages and disinfectant

I’m still working on the food list. I’d like to prepare our own food as much as possible. In the past couple years I’ve really gotten into gourmet, healthy camping and backpacking food. I’ll share some of my recipes and what we are bringing in the next post. Recipes will include: Super Charged Acai Bowls, Pantry Salmon Pesto Tortellini, and Camp Fajitas!

Am I missing anything? Was this helpful? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you!

Looking for festival outfit inspiration? Checkout this post!

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Tuesday Evening Excursion

My smiling pup. Her name is Chimala (Beauty in Mayan) Chi for short (Lifeforce in Chinese culture)

The beginning of an incredible coop from The Chicken Gardener! The Chicken Gardener provides high quality, long lasting, beautiful backyard sustainability products. Specializing in chicken coops and raised garden beds, they also build amazing green houses, compost bins, worm bins and garden benches. Click the photo for more information.

Intelligent design, built thoughtfully by hand.

There it is! Walk-in run, metal roof, window, nest boxes, roost bars, removable cleaning tray and lovely to look at!

Marveling at the magnificent sun soaked forested Oregon landscape with my smiling pup on my right and my best friend on my left listening to bluegrass bouncing from the radio speakers flooding out the sound of the mighty diesel engine. The truck bed is full of fragrant fresh cut cedar and we’re winding down a two lane country highway along the Umpqua River on a Tuesday evening excursion to the coast.

The other night the Boy asked me if I’d like to join him on a trip to make a delivery. Without hesitation I cheered, “YES” with a beaming smile full of excitement.  Whatever shape or form an opportunity presents itself in, it always appears as a tantalizing light that I am drawn to like a moth. The freedom of the road with windblown hair, thoughts rambling and oxygen surging the veins is much need liberation from a day in a windowless office building. I strive to live my life jumping on every chance I get, every opportunity given. It’s that spontaneity, instinct, reaction where adventures are born.

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Cinco de Mayo

I’m so excited to burst with love for my Mexican heritage! The 5th of May was not an especially festive day in our household while growing up but in the past couple of years I have made it a celebratory day of Mexican culture along many other Mexican-Americans. Though Cinco De Mayo is not the Dia de la Revolución (November 20, 1910), it is the day in 1862 that marked the monumental Mexican victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla during the French-Mexican War which lifted the spirits of the Mexican nationalists and came to symbolize unity, hope and pride. Here’s a little snid-bit of history for ya:

“Certain that success would come swiftly, 6,000 French troops under General Charles Latrille de Lorencez (1814-1892) set out to attack Puebla de Los Angeles, a small town in east-central Mexico. From his new headquarters in the north, Juárez rounded up a rag-tag force of 2,000 loyal men—many of them either indigenous Mexicans or of mixed ancestry—and sent them to Puebla. Led by Texas -born General Ignacio Zaragoza (1829-1862), the vastly outnumbered and poorly supplied Mexicans fortified the town and prepared for the French assault. On May 5, 1862, Lorencez drew his army, well provisioned and supported by heavy artillery, before the city of Puebla and led an assault from the north. The battle lasted from daybreak to early evening, and when the French finally retreated they had lost nearly 500 soldiers. Fewer than 100 Mexicans had been killed in the clash” 

– History.com

This year, I am making my family recipe tacos from scratch for a bunch of friends. I can’t wait to sip mojitos, blast mariachi and reggaeton music while dancing salsa and cooking up a beautiful meal to share.

Goodies: Some sweet vintage Mexican pieces for sale on Etsy, a fun DIY decoration for your fiesta from the Free People Blog and one of my favorite reggaeton songs!

*Click to see image larger and let me know if you’d like the link to any of the items for sale*

Click the Photo for instructions to make this fun and festive garland

ahhhh “El Amor” This song brings me back to a club in Arequipa, Peru dancing Salsa in the early morning hours. This song seemed to re-energize the dance floor with smiles.

¡Saludos!

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The Holstee Manifesto

The Holstee Manifesto

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May 2, 2012 · 10:54 pm