Thirsty Thursday- Ginger Limeade

The weather is warming up, the itch for the weekend begins a little sooner, it’s patio season, need I say more?

It’s (almost) summer and tis the season for refreshing cocktails and sun tea – whatever you’re into.

After last week’s Cinco de Mayo gathering, I found myself with a few too many limes than I knew what to do with and a craving for a drink that didn’t include tequila. After browsing my library of recipes on Pinterest, I finally stumbled upon a Ginger Limeade recipe that looked amazing with or without alcohol.

Since this was such a success and I realized I have a plethora of “saucy” recipes to attempt that have been stacking up over the years, I figured I’d give it a go and begin a weekly series sharing drink recipes to start your weekend off right for the summer season.

Ginger Limeade

Ingredients:
1.5 cups of fresh lime juice (I used about 10 -12 limes, but this may vary)
3 oz fresh ginger, roughly chopped
3 tbsp water
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
Pinch of salt
3 cups of ice cold soda water or water to dilute

Method
Ginger-Lime Concentrate
1. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat over medium heat to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a simmer. Once all the sugar has dissolved and the syrup starts to boil, set it aside to cool.

2. Place the fresh ginger and water in a mini processor or blender (which I used), and pulse until well blended and pureed. Strain the ginger juice through a sieve, pressing down on the pulp to get the most out of the ginger. Set aside ¼ cup of this ginger juice.
NOTE: If you don’t have a sieve, I was able to use a fine mesh strainer and spoon to press the juice out of the pulp into a bowl.

3.Mix the ginger and salt with the lime juice. Add up to 1 – 1.5 cups of sugar syrup to sweeten the ginger lime juice (change the amount of sugar you add according to your tastes).

4.Pour into a clean bottle/jar with a closeable cap and leave in the fridge to chill until needed.

To make a beverage:
1. Make sure all components are chilled. You can use ice, but remember to add less liquid to compensate for the melting ice.

2.Mix the ginger lime syrup with water or soda water at a 1:1 ratio (or a little less water). If you’re feeling saucy, add vodka, gin, or tequila. Enjoy!

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Hope you’re all out hiking, biking, climbing, and still skiing.

k.

Start Saying Yes

About a year ago when I was traveling often and alone, I started listening to the Dirtbag Diares. I know, I know, I was a little late to the party, but made it nonetheless! As an outdoorswoman, I was immediately hooked and inspired. One of my favorite episodes, Start Saying Yes, really hit home and got me thinking.

For those of you who haven’t listened to the podcast, this episode is about Katie Crafts, a woman with a stable job working in the private industry who was “fine” with her life, but after treating herself to a trip to Antarctica for her thirtieth birthday, she got a glimpse into a life that brought excitement and joy. As Dirtbag Diaries describes the episode as a story about what it takes to see the person you want to be, and then become that person. It starts with saying ‘yes’.

The goals and ideas of who and where we want to be differ for us all. I truly believe that we are only limited by our own decisions and constraints. Conversely, we have the option to take the opportunities offered to us or create our own.

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My dad on top of his first 14er at age 61.
Mt Elbert, Colorado.

In the past year I have traveled so consistently that many people have lost track of where I actually live. For those of you out there that are still confused, I live in Salt Lake City. The majority of this travel was based around me working out of an office in California, an opportunity that I decided was worth the challenge, worth the distance from my friends, and worth the 5000+ miles on my Subi. In return, I met some amazing people, explored California extensively, and an experience that helped me grow personally and professionally. It all started from a simple question: Do you want to go work in California? And a simple, yet terrifying, answer: Yes.

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Still one of my favorite moments of the last year –
Watching the sunset on Half Dome from North Dome.

Like Katie Crafts describes – if you want to start making progress towards becoming the person you’d like to be, then start taking the steps needed to get there. We all have our limits, so know yourself and then push yourself.

This will be uncomfortable. You will feel vulnerable at times. You do not grow in a comfort zone.

Things that have happened in the last year:
-Applied for a position and got the job.
-Applied for a position and did not get the job.
-Found a new favorite place.
-Ended a relationship.
-Started a new relationship.
-Visited Yosemite 4x – this is significant because 2 years ago I don’t think Yosemite was even a bucket list item because California seemed daunting and I just wasn’t sure if I was ready to deal with domesticated black bears and Californians – oh how things have changed.
-Gained 10+ new scars (thanks mountain biking).
-Became a dog mom.
-Succeeded.

Life hurts…at times. But then we grow. My advice would be to start reflecting on the things you are saying “no” to and why.

Two weeks ago we rode 27 miles on my 27th Birthday outside of Zion National Park which I proposed hesitantly thinking I wouldn’t be able to actually finish in one day. Jared assured me that YES we would make this happen – Lily included.

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Mile 2 into the 27+ mile day.
The Whole Enchilada.
Virgin, Utah.

Go listen to Start Saying Yes because Dirtbag Diaries is a rad podcast and I care about sharing brainfood with you all – http://dirtbagdiaries.com/start-saying-yes/

Parting thoughts:
Download podcasts BEFORE you leave on a road trip.
Always keep snacks handy.
Go. Somewhere. New.

k.

Vacation Diet

We’ve all been there, done that. The love/hate thing that is the Vacation Diet.
For those not familiar with the Vacation Diet, it is when you embrace the fact that you are on vacation and you enjoy all of the food and drink that is around you wherever you’ve traveled to.

Some may try to avoid the Vacation Diet and continue to attempt to consume protein shakes for breakfast instead of a breakfast burrito when you’re in the heart of New Mexico or opt for a salad while at a BBQ joint in Kansas City.

If this sounds like you, please, STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING.
Embrace the Vacation Diet.
Soon enough you’ll be back home exercising regularly, meal prepping, and not regretting ordering that amazing cheese board and bottle of wine you and your friend finished… before dinner.

Having just gotten back from spending five weeks on the road – I was able to successfully put together a Vacation Diet for three different states that coincide with recreational activities. It’s all about balance, right?

On the Road
Fuel Needed:
La Croix – variety of flavors, at least an 8-pack at all times
Annie’s Bunny Cookies (the GF Snickerdoodle flavor is the best)
Apples
Kettle Chips – Korean BBQ, Pepperoncini, Buffalo Bleu
PB&J
Activities:
Frequent stretching
Occasional short hikes en route- do your research ahead of time!

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Lily’s first time to Colorado

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Hiking pit stop in Fruita, CO

Ice Climbing in Ouray, Colorado
Fuel Needed:
Bacon
Coffee
PB&J
Chips & Salsa
Homemade cookies
Beer
Activities:
Ice Climbing
Heavy pack hiking in crampons
Snowshoeing in deep powder with your dog
Aggressive board & card game playing
Soaking in hot springs

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Skiing in Big Sky, Montana
Fuel Needed:
Bacon
Beer – lots
Water – even more
PB&J toast
Chips & Salsa
La Croix
Fries & Queso
Red Bull
Activities:
Powder Skiing
Skiing and avoiding large hidden scree fields
XC Skiing
Dancing
Playing pool after a lot of Coldsmoke

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Smiles for powder.

Work trips to Sonora, CA & Reno, NV
Fuel Needed:
All the California wine you can get
Old fashioned donuts
Anything from Alicia’s Sugar Shack
Sonoma Brinery Pickles
Pizza & Frachos (fry nachos!) from Noble Pie
Activities:
Bouldering in Columbia State Park
Ski Mt Rose
Climb at BaseCamp
Karaoke at Cal-Neva

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Mt Rose with Erica!

The travel, food comas, lack of sleep, and physical activity will surely leave you a little run down on the days you’re behind the wheel. If you’re looking for a laugh, I highly recommend the podcast “My Dad Wrote A Porno”. A little humor goes a long way when you’re chipping away at a 8-12 hour drive.

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Time to stay put for a little while…but I feel a desert trip coming on soon.

Have fun out there in the snow/dirt/rock – whatever makes you happy.

k

The Best of 2016

Technology is such a love/hate in my life. I am posting this a couple days late thanks to a technological hiccup. Turns out, trying to figure out why my post was seemingly “blank” when I went to publish on December 31st, it was actually more important to put my phone away and enjoy the final hours of 2016 with friends. So here we are, a few days into the new year, after a day skiing powder and dodging humans at Costco, my 2016 wrap-up:

Some say that 2016 has been a terrible year.
Some also drink decaf coffee.
I do not agree with either of these.

It’s been a whirlwind of a year… but they all are.

For me, 2016 has been a wonderful year full of adventure, new experiences, challenges, callused hands, bloody legs, big smiles, and lots of stories to tell.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to talk, have conversation, and tell stories. For this post, I think it is best to keep it short and highlight the better moments.

The best of this year:

Best Recipe:

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

Ingredients:
3 over-ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup melted butter (Not margarine!)
3/4 cup coconut sugar (better for you!)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

For the swirl:
1/4 cup sugar (any kind)
1 Tbs cinnamon

Method:
1.Preheat oven to 350. Butter and four a loaf pan.
2. Mix bananas, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla together. sprinkle baking soda and salt around on top of the banana mixture. Then gently stir in flour. Be careful not to over-mix!
3. In a small dish, mix together the 1/3 cup sugar and 1 Tbs cinnamon.
4. Add 1/2 of the batter to the loaf pan and then sprinkle half, or a little more than half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture all over the batter in the pan. Add the rest of the batter, and then sprinkle the leftover cinnamon-sugar on top.
5. Bake for 50-60 minutes, but remember, if you’re using a different-sized loaf pan, be careful and keep a close eyeball on it!

This is by far the best banana bread I’ve had and made myself. Not going to lie, I probably baked and consumed (with some help) 7+ loaves of this bread in 2016. Looking forward to setting a new record for 2017.

Best Books:
Admittedly, I only read four books this year, which is historically low for me.  However, I listened to six audiobooks due to me being on the road a good part of the year. I can’t wait to read more in 2017. These two books stood out amongst the rest in 2016:
1. The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey
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There is something magical about reading a story written about places you have experienced or lived. This tale hit home with its land defending, wild gang of characters based primarily in Southern Utah and the Southwest. I found this book even more meaningful having read it with a good friend of mine. We shared our different perspectives, thoughts, and favorite characters. I highly recommend reading a book “book club style” with someone in the coming year.

2. The New American Road Trip Mixtape by Brendan Leonard
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I have never read a story that I have felt more familiar with. Okay – I didn’t live out of my car for months after being heartbroken – but like Leonard, I went to school at the University of Montana, I have visited/lived in at least 80% of the locations he writes about, and I respect the brutal honesty of him unveiling who he really is. My life experiences have been similar to his and I believe he acknowledges and discusses the struggles of love and life that people in their mid to late twenties go through. Many of you may know Brendan for his blog, Semi-Rad. I have heard that his new book, “Sixty Meters to Anywhere” is a good read too. Check it out!

Lily:
Lily. Also known as Lily Monster, Fox Badger, Pig, Gila.

Joining me in July, my little corgi/heeler pup has jumped right in and changed my life. She brings such joy to my life, while also constantly testing my ability to be patient and selfless.

Climbing & Mountain Biking:

I had always said I didn’t have the time to take on any new sports – especially any sports that were gear heavy.

It’s amazing how turning a new page can change a stubborn mind. These sports have taught me patience, pain is gain, and that practice is the single only way to improve. To more pulling and pedaling ahead.

Best Climb: Rush Wall, June Lake, CA

Best Bike Trail: Horseshoe Canyon, Driggs, Idaho

Hiking:

Hiking will always be my true love in recreation. In 2016, trails have taken me to the most beautiful vistas. Every mile, every step making me thankful for my health and the freedom that public lands represent. It is truly amazing where your feet can take you.

Best Trails:
Sky Pond, Rocky Mountain NP
North Dome, Yosemite NP
Fairyland, Bryce Canyon NP
Yosemite Falls in the Spring, Yosemite NP
Chesler Park Loop, Needles District, Canyonlands NP
Delta Lake, Grand Teton NP

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Pals:

Between weddings, road trips, concerts, “adult spring break”, and backyard barbecues – I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to spend time with. Near and far, old and new – you guys rock. I’m also thankful for Jared, who is the best dog-dad to Lily, helps me the aforementioned seven loaves of banana bread, and inspires me every day to excel and be the best person I can be.

As many of you know, I make goals for the coming year rather than resolutions. Goals are something we work towards to achieve. Resolutions can be broken.

This year my list includes travel, reading, and fitness goals, along with expanding my creativity. Write your goals down and keep them close.

Here’s to 2017…

Happy trails,

k.

Travel & the Art of Dog Walking

It’s true, life changes when you get a dog – especially a puppy.
Since July when I picked up Lily, my routine changed forever – in the best way.

Changes to a routine can be hard, but if embraced the right way – doors will open to a new way of living.

The Art of Dog Walking by Kayla
– Wear your PJ’s and bring your coffee on the morning walk – It is liberating.
– Carry poop bags. Pick up after your dog. Don’t be a dick.
– Use walking as a training opportunity for your dog outside of the house.
– Have an adult beverage in hand for evening walks. You will be happy. Your dog will be happy. You will make friends with your neighbors. They will envy you.
– Use this opportunity to listen to podcasts or catch up on an audiobook. Dirtbag Diaries and Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History are a couple of my favorites.
– Embrace the fact that you are getting additional exercise while fulfilling the need to be a good dog mom/dad.
-Enjoy being outside with your dog. Simple as that.

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Lily & I on a morning jog.

We just made it back to Salt Lake from spending the last five weeks in California getting our fill of all the things we love about the fall.

I have been traveling almost non-stop since July. I never thought I’d say this, but I am tired and more than happy to be back home.

The BEST part about traveling, however, is the experience. In Lily’s five short, but lively, months on this earth, she has been to six states, hiked in six wilderness areas, and visited Grand Teton and Yosemite National Parks.

What will you see in the next five months? I know we are looking forward to them.

Highlights of this California trip:
– Wine in Murphys (always makes the list).
– Bouldering outside for the first time – BONUS being able to identify poison oak because it was everywhere.
– Puppy Training!
– June Lake Briefest.
– 10 mile hike to see the best sunset view of Half Dome – chips & wine in tow.
– Eastern Sierra fall foliage.
– 3rd tire blowout – in the middle of Yosemite.
– Lily’s first trip to a climbing gym and a brewery.
– First crack climb (ouch), first time climbing in Yosemite (yay!).
– Subaru hit 100,000 miles in Yosemite!

Some of my favorite moments:

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Welcome to the Labyrinth

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Lily at Pipeworks in Sacramento

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Boozehound at Track 7 Brewing

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Crystal Lake – Mammoth

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Lundy Canyon

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Burro Falls

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Sunset view of Half Dome

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My first crack

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At 100k Miles

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Upper Cathedral Lake – Where I fell in love with Yosemite a year ago

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On top of our climb near June Lake, CA.

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Sleepy Lily

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Lily loves the Salt Flats.

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Wolf T-Shirt Worthy

Soaking up the remaining days of my favorite season with sweaters, dog park visits, leg workouts, searching for soup recipes, and settling back into “book season”.

More fun to come. Enjoy!

k.

Remedy in Miles

Since May, I’ve put upwards of 4,000 miles on my Subi. Needless to say – it explains my lack of presence on the blog. As always – I’m really good at getting everyone up to speed on my fast-paced, here-there-and-everywhere life.

After returning from California in May, summer started and life got a little busy.

It could have been that I started rock climbing. Or that I invested my time and money in this new, painful addiction that is mountain biking. Both climbing and mountain biking are amazing – to be fair – more on that later. As if I didn’t already have enough extra curricular activities to keep me busy, I made the decision and got myself a puppy. Lily, aka the Lily Monster, is my now 4 month old corgi/heeler pup that I adore.

 

A trip to California got squeezed in with a visit from Jory, my first sailing experience (capsized twice), and many miles of hiking with Lily.

Making it back to SLC for just a few days, I started off on my journey that I refer to as “The Wedding Road Trip”. 3 weeks. 3 Weddings. ReadySetGo. Of course I had a little fun planned in between.

The road trip started in Colorado. I had been planning to hike Elbert this summer and thought it would be great if my dad joined. 4700 foot elevation gain later, we summited the tallest 14er in Colorado, my dad bagged his first 14er, and we nursed our sore muscles with – Colorado beer of course.

The next day I was off to Estes Park for my first wedding of the trip. Brittany and Kyle’s wedding was fabulous. The storm parted for the ceremony, the sun came out the next day, and I headed into Rocky Mountain National Park. The next best thing to skiing after a night of drinking is a long hike – call me crazy.

Next, I headed North to South Dakota for my second wedding weekend. I played my first nine holes of golf, hiked the tallest peak in South Dakota (which is actually the tallest peak east of the Rockies until the Pyrenees in Spain!), and attended my good friend Claire’s wedding. A great week in the Black Hills.

Last, but not least, I started my journey south again towards Jackson for my third and final(beautiful) wedding of my good college friends, Mandy and Chase. Thankful for spending some time in the area before the festivities began, I checked off one of my dream hikes I had on my list for about 5 years. After the long, sweaty hike, we bathed in Jackson Lake, and woke up two days in a row to the Tetons staring us in the face. It doesn’t get much better than that.

After 3 weeks on the road & a 28 hour audiobook later, Lily and I made it back to SLC. In 5 days we squeezed in hikes, dog dates, climbing, & lots of laundry.

700 miles west of Salt Lake we have found ourselves back in California.

I’ve said it before and I know I’ll say it again – but I’ll do my best to not let so much time pass before my next post.

I aspire to get back to giving you recipes, my new favorite hikes, and my rankings of best gas station snacks (currently obsessed with Starbucks Refreshers & Brownie Bark if you must know…)

Until then – I’m trying to wrap my head around this dog-mom role, enjoying a break from my pedal wounded shins, & searching for my next favorite coffee shop (oh wait – I found it outside of Jackson!).

When in doubt, seek the remedy in miles.

k.

Reunited

Sunny, springy, California. We meet for the first time.
When I was living in California last fall, I thought that I had come at the perfect time. The weather was perfect, leaves were turning, and the crowds had left Yosemite. The only thing missing was water. The state was in a severe drought (what’s new) and the water levels in the lakes, rivers, falls, and towns were low… really low.

After my first weekend heading to Yosemite and falling in love, someone said to me: “If you loved Yosemite in the fall, come back in the spring to see the falls.” No need to tempt me with a good time.

So after taking another work opportunity to head back to California, Yosemite was on my to-do list. I was also itching to spend some time in Tahoe since it was still spring and I was hoping that I would beat the tourists who didn’t want to deal with the cold or hike in the snow.

My three weeks in California flew by, but were well spent. Here’s a recap:

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Hetch Metchy Reservoir from Wapama Falls

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Nevada Falls

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Looking like a kindergartener on top of Yosemite Falls. 

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Yosemite Falls – to think I was standing at the mouth of that waterfall…

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East Shore, Tahoe

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Desolation Wilderness 

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If only I had a sled for this descent. 

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North Shore, sunset reading perfection. 

Yosemite and Tahoe were both great trips full of laughs, beauty, and good times. For those of you who follow my blog, I ate dinner in Buck Meadows while in Yosemite – the $4 schooners were still there. As you saw above, the falls were all in full force, which is what people had said I needed to come back for. Even though the days were a little socked in – Half Dome popped out for a hot minute and that made me smile. I can’t wait to head back to that magical place later this summer.

In Tahoe, I found my new favorite spot, Mellow Fellow. If you’re ever on the north shore, near the Nevada line, you can’t miss this place. 40 beers on tap, homemade sausages, corn hole, darts, and Jenga. Good times. Tahoe City offered some of the best yoga, nice people, and awesome local markets. I loved it there.

The Last Revel was playing a free show at the Crystal Bay Club in Incline Village which I was able to see in Tahoe. It was great to see a band that played with Lil Smokies in California, for free.

I finally finished my most recent book Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey. I’d say it’s a must-read for anyone past or presently living in Utah. I’m really passionate about the southern desert and what’s currently going on in the statewide public lands initiative. Don’t worry, I won’t get political – but educate yourselves. Even though this book is fiction, the places and issues are real and it sheds a lot of light in an essence of foreshadowing. It’s a tough time to be a lover of public lands and a Utah resident right now – so all I have to say is support what you believe in and get involved.

I’m back in Utah until the end of July before heading back to Cali. Can’t wait to see what kind of trouble we can get ourselves into.

ps. I’m officially counting down the days until I can get a dog. It’s near people.

k.

Southern Utah Spring

I know, I know. I went on that hiatus I said that I wouldn’t go on again. But honestly I’ve been traveling and having too much fun. Please forgive me.

I want to share what I have been up to the last six weeks along with some delicious recipes I have whipped up while exploring new dishes throughout March and April. Here we go.

Recap:
The first three weekends in March I was busy doing the annual (S)heJumps into the Canyon at Alta with the amazing non-profit, SheJumps. If I didn’t mention last year – SheJumps is a non-profit that focuses on getting girls, women, and in this case everyone, outdoors. Each year we bring teenagers from the Boys and Girls Club of the Salt Lake Valley up to Alta for four Saturdays skiing.

This year most of our kids had never skied in their life, which was awesome. Watching the kids progress week-by-week was so neat. While most of the volunteers are not ski-instructors by trade, I think we did a pretty stellar job going from the bunny hill to going off small jumps. Can’t wait until next year.

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Two of our students at Alta

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That one time Murph came to Alta and we celebrated St Patty’s Day with Car Bombs.

Since the end of March, I’ve made three trips to the desert aka Southern Utah. I was able to make it to so many new places that I can’t wait to return and explore more of. The best part about these 3 trips is that I was able to make them with friends and some of my oldest at that.

My best friend Melody came on her annual visit to Salt Lake at the end of March and we packed up the car and headed straight south which landed us in Bryce Canyon and Escalante National Monument. Here’s an album of our trip.

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Fairyland- Bryce Canyon NP

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Fairyland – Bryce Canyon NP

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Camp Cooking

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Zebra Slot – Escalante NM

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Camp Life

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China Wall – Bryce Canyon NP

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Almost to Lower Calf Creek Falls – Escalante NM

I’m so thankful to have friends like her in my life. The ones that will always make the trip to visit and who are up for anything. Not to mention, her and I share a weird humor that not many understand – like me loving the stitched LDS Temple pillow she gave me for my birthday. Again, you may just never understand.

The following week I headed down to Moab to meet my old friend from Missoula, Cody for his first trip to Southern Utah. Although I showed him ‘the ropes’ of Moab repeating a lot of hikes that everyone should see, we were able to explore some new zones in Canyonlands which were amazing. Our trip recap is here:

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The Joint – Canyonlands NP

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Sunset in Arches

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The Joint

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Devils Castle – Canyonlands

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Chesler Park – Canyonlands

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CHEESIN’ TOO HARD at Corona Arch (told you I need to work on my GoPro skills)

I love showing people new places. Cody and I both love talking, hiking, and shooting the shit – it made for an amazing weekend. I think he’ll hike with me again even when we turned our 11 mile hike into a 16 miler by accident…

Side note, I recently got a GoPro and I’m a real amateur using it. Stay tuned for my progress. Right now I look like a total goon using it.

Finally, last week I made yet one more trip into the desert for my birthday weekend. I had been planning to go to Goblin Valley and the San Rafael Swell for weeks but the weather turned and had other plans for the tri-state region. Spencer, myself, and my roommate’s girlfriend’s (that’s a mouthful) puppy Remy made it down to St. George, Utah in attempt to escape the rain. We may have escaped the rain/snow, but the wind got the best of us. We were still able to explore some new areas and spend loads of time playing fetch and getting our fill of puppy snuggles. Recap of the weekend:

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Remy’s first arch!

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Cacti in bloom in Snow Canyon!

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Kolob Canyon – Zion NP

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Remy’s first camping adventure!

As promised, here are some of my favorite recipes that I made in the last month.

First, I can thank my friend Heather for getting me this recipe she’s been making for some time. I have made it this recipe several times now and I couldn’t be more happy to share, thanks again Heather!

Curried Chicken Salad

This recipe isn’t a recipe for those who need exact measures. It’s more about how much you’d like to make and your desired level of seasoning and texture. I’ll include the measurements I used.

Ingredients:

Chicken breasts (1-2 breasts)
Carrots (1/2 cup chopped)
Celery (1/2 cup chopped
Broccoli (1/2-1 cup florets chopped)
Mayo (1/4 cup or more to taste – please note I really dislike mayo so you may need much more than this)
White wine vinegar (to taste/for consistency)
Curry powder (several tablespoons)
Hot sauce of your choice (I use Sriracha)
salt & pepper to season

scallions (optional)
craisins (optional)
slivered almonds (optional)

Saute chicken with desired amount of curry powder (1-2 tablespoons) let cool.
Chop carrots, celery, and broccoli. For the dressing combine mayo and vinegar to taste + more curry powder if desired + hot sauce + salt and pepper.

Combine all ingredients plus any other optional add ins. Enough plain, on a bed of lettuce, in a sandwich, or with crackers.

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Last but not least this is a great vegetarian recipe that I found recently. I usually look for recipes that I can eat for multiple days that are healthy and filling. I stumbled upon this great recipe from Cookie and Kate.

Spicy Green Rice Sweet Potato Burrito Bowls

I highly suggest prepping what you can in the recipe for chopping vegetable and such especially if you plan on cooking this after work. Cooking rice and roasting vegetables take some time.

You could add any protein to this dish and make it great.

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I’d like to say that it won’t be another month before I post again, but I think it’s best to not make any promises, but I’ll do my best. I accepted an offer that has given me an opportunity to go on another exciting adventure. In the next year I’ll be exploring more of California than I was able to before while I continue to check Utah destinations off my list as well.

There is a lot of love in the air this summer and I’ll be traveling around for several of my dear friends’ weddings.

I’m excited for what the summer has to bring. Get outside, do things with your friends, fire up the grill, and live a little.

Until next time…

k

Everywhere But Home

The last few weeks have me feeling like a real weekend warrior. Always on the move and rarely home. As much as it’s nice to have a relaxing weekend at home every once in a while, the beginning to the change in season has me on the move. Plus, gas is so cheap right now that it doesn’t make sense to not take a trip out of town.

The two most important kinds of trips you’re ever going to take in life are the trips with your friends and the trips by yourself.

Fortunately in the last couple of weeks I’ve been able to do both. Two very different trips, both equally as fun and necessary, but most importantly have made me say “I don’t want to go home”- which is the tell tale sign of a good trip.

Part 1: Trips With Your Friends: Jackson, Wyoming

The best parts about trips with your friends are… well spending time with your friends. Endless laughs, jenga competitions, hotel breakfast creations, and shake-a-day wagers.

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Spring Break 2016

Thankfully our group hit Jackson right after a storm came through on Thursday night. Friday Jackson became what we came to know as “South Beach” and South Beach as we knew it was pretty playful.

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Not too shabby, JH.

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The rest of the weekend became pretty playful. Spending two days in Jackson and having some final fun at Grand Targhee on Sunday. I can’t wait to make it back there. Incredible views, double chairs, and fun terrain.

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A backside, bluebird view.

Trips with your friends are a good reminder of what it means to compromise, communicate, and that if you commit to playing shake-a-day with a group you may end up quickly spending $50 on shots – all valuable learning experiences – thanks Jacob!

Tetons, we’ll be back for ya!

Part 2: Trips by Yourself – Moab, Utah

With a lull in storms in the Wasatch and the final week before March Madness hits Moab, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to make a trip to the desert.

Realizing that I’ve been in Utah over a year but hadn’t been to any of the National Parks yet was a little upsetting. I have to admit, this state has so much to offer that it’s been keeping me busy elsewhere. Nonetheless it was time to make things happen.

If you drive into Moab with snow tires and a ski rack on your vehicle, then you’re probably me. Hey, it’s still February (sorry snow tires…).

A lot of you know that I travel a lot on my own. Some people don’t understand it and most of the time it is because we all have busy lives and it makes it difficult for schedules to align and people having the same desires. Here are my thoughts: why would I sacrifice not experiencing the things I want to do and seeing the places I want to see just because I didn’t have someone to go with?

Here are the reasons I believe taking trips alone are important:

1. You’re on your own schedule. You decide when and what you do – it’s great.
2. Driving alone gives you time to think, sing to yourself, or listen to that audiobook you’ve been putting off for months.
3. You understand how to eat alone at a restaurant. You also understand then how to make friends at a restaurant. In Moab I met another gal who was there alone and she ended up buying a beer for me just for chatting with her.
4. Whatever activity you’ve traveled to do, you realize that your love for that activity is so great that you’ve gone somewhere alone to experience it – and I think that’s pretty neat.

Now that you’ve gotten my two cents, here are some photos from my trip to Moab. I finally did Arches National Park and then another day of some shorter hikes on BLM land. It felt good to get my hiking legs under me again. 25 miles later I had seen some pretty awesome landscapes, enjoy.

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I have to admit that it was pretty incredible to see Delicate Arch at sunrise. It was also pretty cool to see snow in Moab down in the red rock. The snow-capped La Sal range was beautiful and I saw my obligatory desert animal – the lizard.

 

Lastly – here is a recipe that I’ve probably blogged about at some point because it’s such a go-to in my life for hiking, camping, daily snacking, and any other occasion in between.

No Bake Peanut Butter Energy Bites

Ingredients:

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter**
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 ish cup chia seeds
1/4-1/2 cup of honey or agave
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I like mini chips!)

Combine all ingredients. If your mixture is too sticky, add more oats, flaxseed, or chia seed. If too dry, add more honey or peanut butter. Refrigerate for one hour. Mold into small ping pong or smaller sized balls. Place in airtight container and store in fridge for 5-7 days.

This recipe is all about a little bit of this and that. Don’t feel like you need to follow it exactly.

^^any nut butter/Earth Balance may be used for this recipe, just keep in mind that more dry ingredients may be needed to balance out the oil content of some butters.

This year I’m thankful for Leap Day as it’s given me an extra day in February to finish Shantaram before a couple girlfriends and I start a book club book tomorrow.

March is a new and busy month and is sure to bring some excitement. Do a little more of what makes you happy..

k.

Time Flies

Time flies, so keep having fun – whatever that means to you. Skiing, drinking, knitting, climbing, playing cribbage, eating your weight in queso dip… all of the above.

So all of a sudden it’s February. The last two months have been filled with so much fun, travel, happiness, food, and friendship that (thankfully) those days didn’t seem to pass by. I’m thankful for the snow January brought and being reunited in Big Sky with some of my oldest friends, Coldsmoke, and ski joring.

Over a year ago I moved to Utah in search of bigger mountains that were close to home. Although last year didn’t deliver much, so the locals told me, I was content with the challenge of steep mountains, new terrain, and the accelerated speed I came to realize I needed to keep up with my roommates.

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Soft turns after a morning ski tour up Big Cottonwood. 

 

I don’t need to tell you how great the snow has been this year for anyone who enjoys winter and has an Instagram account. I couldn’t be more happy to have the people I have around me for this second winter. Spirits are high. Greater snow pack means that my tour guides (roommates and/or boyfriend) have been able to take me to spots we couldn’t go last year. It. Is. Awesome.

I will take this moment to comment on my least favorite part of El Nino: the lack of creativity in Instagram captions at this point in the season. The world of IG (and my personal feed) has seen basically everyone “Exiting the #whiteroom after the goods were delivered by Mother Nature. #snorkelneeded #faceshots #altaisforskiers #nuketown” Maybe I just don’t hang with the cool kids that find this awesome. Sue me that I find it a little more entertaining to have some wit or humor – like when my roommate comments on my yoga photos #basicwhitegirl . Good times.

In other news, I have a great new recipe for you all:

Pesto Spaghetti Squash Boats (with Chicken or Vegetarian)

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 spaghetti squash
basil pesto
2-3 cloves garlic
2-3 large carrots (peeled sliced)
couple handfuls of mushrooms (baby bellas or crimini, sliced)
medium sized head of broccoli (cut into florets)
basil pesto (as much as you want)
pound of chicken breasts (cut into small pieces, optional)
olive oil
Parmesan (for sprinkling on top,optional)
salt and pepper

Method:

Cut squash in half and scrape the seeds/membrane in the center out with a spoon. Fill a microwaveable dish (9×9 if you have it) with about a half inch of water and place the squash skin side down so the flesh isn’t in the water. Microwave on high for 10 minutes or until the flesh is tender and can be easily scraped out with a fork.

If you’re using chicken, cut, season with salt and pepper, and brown in a saucepan. Then set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

While the squash is in the microwave, heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan and saute garlic. Add carrots and broccoli and cook for 3-4 minutes until tender. Add spinach and cook an additional minute. Remove from heat.

Scrape squash from the rind, and place the rinds on a baking sheet. Combine squash, veggies, and chicken into the large saucepan. Add pesto (as much as you’d like) and mix. Place mixture back into the two squash rinds. Top with parmesan if desired and pop them into the preheated oven for 5-7 minutes until golden brown.

Enjoy!

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Chicken Pesto Squash Boats

Listen up
So I’m still making my way through Shantaram, my 900 page book I need to conquer…soon.

In the meantime I listened to The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson on my trip to Big Sky last week. This book had been on my list for awhile and as much as I like reading actual books, I find myself traveling so often that it can become a challenge. I’m a big fan of audiobooks. This book is a great read for a little fiction and a little history as my friend Taylor put it. The premise is based around the making of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and a serial killer.

If you’re into podcasts, awesome. Me too. My newest addition to my library is Serial, by This American Life. The podcast is new enough that there are only two stories which are broken into many hour-ish long epidsodes. If you’ve seen Making a Murderer on Netflix, it has that similar theme of diving into unique court cases that ask the questions “Did they actually do it?” and “why?”. I’m hooked.

If crime isn’t really your thing, I recommend the “SYSK: Stuff You Should Know” series. These guys have tons of topics in hour long podcasts ranging from “How Drug Dogs Work”, to “How Wine Fraud Works”, to “How Grimm’s Fairy Tales Work”.

If I’m missing out on something great, someone please enlighten me.

Despite getting a wisdom tooth pulled on Friday, Saturday Night one of my life concert goals was reached: Third Eye Blind.

Say what you want, but it was an amazing show in a small venue that was full of stoked fans. I realize a lot of people just know the 3-4 songs that have shaped every 90’s kids life…but most bands have more to offer than just that. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just point out that the lead singer is 51 (hard to believe), and still killing it. Another good show in the books.

I love the freshness the beginning of a new month brings. New recipes, books, and ski lines to be had.

k.