Saturday, June 30, 2012

Just toss it in .....dinner.

 This is what we had for dinner.  I call it my "Just toss it in" dinner. lol. When I need to use up some produce I usually make a soup.  To start off I had some chicken broth I made.  I had baked a whole chicken for dinner one night and boiled the bones to make broth. I tossed the broth in a pot and on the burner it went.

 Here we have some cabbage, carrots, kale, celery, and asparagus.  All in bite size pieces so it would cook faster.

 I had 3 sweet potatoes my friend Theresa (thanks!) gave me so I throw those in.  I like a mixture of salty and sweet in my soup. 

Then I headed out to the garden and pulled one onion, some chard, some bok chou, 2 burgandy beans, 2 snap pea's and some kale.  My garden is just going so I literally only had a few beans or peas. Can't wait till they give me more. Yummy!  Then I let the food simmer for about 20 minutes. I didn't add any meat becase I forgot to bring some out of the freezer. Instead I tossed in a jar of my already cooked organic white navy beans. Love those beans in soups. All it needed was some salt but I added some herbs in for good measure. Pretty much everything I had on hand.
So there ya go.  My just toss it in dinner. It was good. Damn good if I must say so myself.

Go Green, Get Fit Challenge Week 2 Sore Buns

On Thursday instead of driving up to the store we rode our bikes. When I say we I mean me and the 4 girls in tow. There are many lights, a highway, a under pass and lots of hills involved in this trip.  I packed water and home made dehydrated banana chips for energy and pit stops along  the way. We recently invested in a small bike trailer that I tow behind my bike. And yes that is my bike you see there.  A vintage 1950's with a new paint job but original seat and everything else. Old school brakes, old school single speed and old school hard as hell seat.   In total our trip was about 4 miles.  I'm feeling all 4 miles on my butt today. Can you say sore? But we rocked it and it feels good knowing we had exercise and didn't need a car to get where we wanted. We will do this often!

 This week we will be eating snap pea's.  I just love how they climb up anything you put out or them.

 Bok Choy is starting to bloom so I will be making soup tonight and tossing that in. Should be super yummy!
 I have lots of kale up and growing. Maybe I will dehydrate them into kale chips. Mmmm kale chips!

 I think we will be eating green, yellow wax and burgandy beans later this week. I didn't plant as many this year so we will be eating them fresh and not freezing them.  My kids kinda got sick of them last year. I didn't know there was such a thing as too many beans. Who knew!

 Last year I planted echinacea but it didn't bloom. This year they are twice the size and ready to bloom. Can't wait! I will need to research how to harvest them so I don't have to buy anymore.  We use it often when we are sick.

 One of my blueberry plants is finally giving me some blueberries. And when I say some I really mean about three of them. My girls love eating out of the garden and these are their favorite snacks. I will be heading out to U Pick them very soon. This year I plan to make blueberry jelly and freeze lots of them so we can eat them all year long. My raspberries are full of fruit this week and what the slugs are not eating we are. Slug eaten ones are tossed into the chicken coop for a treat. The chickens love rasperries and strawberries. Heck they love anything!

Last but not least my geraniums are finally blooming. I love the beautiful red color and the sweet smell they give me. It's been a good week and I am happy to report this Go Green Get Fit Challenge has me getting off my butt and up and motivated.

My fitness this week

Taking a 4 mile bike ride with the kids.

Playing Wii 3 Just Dance with my girls. Seriously you can get a good work out with that game.

Turning off the tv and just enjoying the silence.

Opening up all the windows and enjoying this lovely wind blowing through and into our home.

Tonight we are doing our yoga DVD

So have you joined the Go Green Get Fit Challenge yet?

What are you waiting for? Go sign up and start getting your ass on  the move!

Presented by:
Media Partner:
Sponsored by:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Gardening with creativity

Over the years I have come up with some clever gardening idea's.  I have been pretty creative my whole life but these last few years have put me to the test.  I have all but eliminated plastics out of my life and guess what most gardening items are made of now days? Yep plastic.   I not only plant things in my actual garden but I plant many things in my front yard as well.  An idea my husband wasn't a fan of but now loves.  Time for a little show and tell!

 We build some large raised beds last year and I used the left over wood to build some smaller garden beds.  Metal trellis were used for growing pea's and beans up.  Three old wooden boxes I found at my grandmother's place when we were cleaning her property up.  I simply tossed in some soil and my daughter had her very own garden.  Plus I can move them if I want.
 When we first bought our home this whole area was yucky bark dust. First thing we did was eliminate any toxic items from our property.  From replacing the whole fence (original was built with railroad ties) to scraping and hauling away all bark dust. Who knows what kind of chemicals were used on that bark dust and I didn't want to plant anything until it was gone.  Once it was gone I laid organic mulch and made a few areas to plant in. I planted flowers and vegetables everywhere.  I love the idea of mixing the two.  And to top it off I added the old bird bath from my grandmother's place.  Ive never seen anything in it except for hens and chicks so I kept it the way I found it. Only thing missing is green moss up the base.
 Here is a great example of making a border with reclaimed items.  Most rocks I found on our travels, some wood slices I found at my grandmother's and some rocks were given to us. All were completely free. They don't at all match but nothing at our home matches.  Here I grow my strawberries each year and altnerate other plants around them.  This year I have burgandy beans and a squash plant along with many flowers.

 Ive been having issues with my gals being super loud.  I just know one day my neighbors will come over and have a talk with us about it.  I read online that you can make chicken toys to keep them busy in return keeping them quiet. So I hung up a chunk of cabbage and a strand of beans. They paid no attention to the veggies so instead I added a couple shovels of dirt.  They would rather dig in the dirt! Oh well at least they are quiet now. 
 Remember me telling you about this composter I had high hopes for? Yeah it sucked. It sucked big time! The pin broke so it will not keep its position in place and you cannot put very much in it or it will not turn. It's going back to Costco today ASAP! Piece of crap. I have better luck with just a pile in the dirt.
 When we put my green house in we had some extra concrete blocks laying around.  Some broken and some not. I simply layed them down and tossed in some soil.  Here I planted marigolds and smaller sunflowers.
And just to add a personal touch here are my twins putting recently dehydrated banana chips into a old mason jar.  I found a bunch of spotted banana's for only 29 cents a pound.  I do the cutting, the machine does the work and the girls put them into mason jars. Eating half them along the way of course!

So who out there also plants in their front yard?

What are your thoughts on growing in the front yard?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this idea!

Leave a comment!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Go Green, Get Fit Challenge Week 1 Escape

Before I signed up for the Go Green Get Fit Challenge (presented by we had planned a 2 day trip away from our kids.  We only get to do this about once a year so it was a much needed break.  We usually plan our trip well in advance but this year we decided to wing it. Were pretty active and enjoy the outdoors so I knew getting some green fitness wouldn't be a challenge.

We walked into the Hood River Hotel and lucky for us they had one room left which we snatched up quickly. It was their family size room but too much room is better than not enough room.  The room was equiped with a kitchen, 2 beds, 2 bathrooms and even biodegradable hair products and soap. Bonus! Our room had 6 very large old windows which opened up completely with no screens. The fresh air completely relaxed me.

This was the view from our window. Each window had a flower box full of blooming flowers. I could live in this room....really.   The train would pass by our hotel about every hour but you forget this anytime you looked at your view. It's pretty windy in Hood River but it was such a warm day out that it felt amazing.

If you have never been to Hood River Oregon then you must make sure you to visit anytime your in the area.  The streets are steep, the shops are amazing and there are 3 breweries all within blocks of each other. Our hotel was in the middle of town so we walked everywhere.  What a work out! We were going green and getting fit all at once. Sweet!

We took a trip up to the Hood River Panorama Point Park.  The sights were amazing! It was too cloudy to see Mt Hood but we did see the valley and all its amazing hills. 

There were so many vineyards, old barns and apple farms.  Ever have one of those days where you both leave the house not realizing your wearing matching outfits? We both even had blue shoes! Total fail.

So we took a drive through the valley for about an hour.  Stopping only to take pictures of things .

 Okay so this is where things went wrong.  Very wrong!  I had to stop by a small grocery store to get some allergy pills and while I was there I found these.  I have not had RC or Zingers since I was a child so I snatched them up.  I am happy to report I only drink 1/4 the RC and only one of the Zingers. Total waste of food and complete plastic filled food/drink. I felt good at first but within 5 minutes my stomach was feeling pretty crappy.  Lesson learned. Bad Nancy Bad Nancy!
When we got back to our hotel we went for a walk and found this beautiful sight. I have no idea what these are called but it was beautiful watching everyone.  It was so warm and windy out that I could of easily layed down and took a nap. I was so relaxed and it was like my body was thanking me to being there. I have not felt this relaxed in months. All in all this walk was about 2 miles and we held hands 100% of the time. I miss holding hands with my husband and enjoyed it completely.

I was feeling pretty crappy about that soda and Zinger so I wanted to make up for it so in effort to get some fitness in I talked my husband into checking out these stairs we saw by a brewery we ate at.  The stairs were stright up and we had no idea where they went. Thank goodness I had my Brooks with me because my feet were going to be busy.
Little did I know that these stairs would go on and on. And on. And did I mention on? Yeah we climbed all 413 steps to the top and beyond.  What a beautiful set of stairs these were.  Green plants along both sides of the steps with birds singing us music the whole way.  We finished the stairs and walked up the road a bit and found a cute little park at the top of the hill.  I have to admit that it felt great knowing we completed this task and walked back down the steps feeling amazing.
We checked out of our hotel and headed to the Stonehenge which was about 40 minutes away over the Washington border.  My husband had visited this place when he was a teenager and wanted to visit it again. What a great way to end our trip too. Weather was perfect and we enjoyed the quietness.  It's not too often that its quiet in our home so we took note. 

All in all it was an amazing trip.  My goal was to run and do yoga but I ended up doing something completely different.  Walking up and down those roads and stairs was such a work out and I know I will be feeling it for another week.  Even with my total failure to soda/sugar I still think I had an amazing work out and am thankful my husband was with me the whole time. 

A big thank you to my husband! I had an amazing time and am thankful to be married to such an amazing man.  I love you!

So did you get out and get fit?
Are you joining the Go Green Get Fit Challenge?
If so did you complete any of your goals?
Share with me!
Presented by:
Media Partner:
Sponsored by:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Go Green, Get Fit Challenge

I have lost my motivation completely. I signed up for my third half marathon months ago. I tried training like usual but had some major problems with my hips hurting me.  When the day of the race came I sucked it up and ran it anyways because you see I was running with my daughter.  No way was I going to disappoint her. I only made it half way but I did it. My daughter and I had an amazing time but we both suffered afterwards.  It was her first race so of course she was going to be sore. It took me two weeks to get back to normal. And now it seems like ever since I just keep giving excuses why I cannot train.  And now I have another race coming up on the forth of July. This challenge is exactly what I needed to get motivated. That and knowing 29 other bloggers will be watching my every move. MOTIVATION!

Erin from Healthy Home Magazine and Kimberly from EcoMom Alliance came up with this great idea to get some green bloggers to take a GO Green Get Fit Challenge and to write about it over a 12 week period starting June 18th.   When I heard about it it peeked my curiosity.  But I was scared because of my whole hip issue. Then it hit me. ANOTHER EXCUSE! I'm so done with excuses so I said the hell with it and signed myself up. Too late to go back now!

My fitness goals in a nut shell

Running-Suck it up and get my ass out on the pavement. Ive been a casual runner since right out of high school.  It was never a thing I had to work on and I now realize how lucky I really am.  I can run easily 3 or 4 miles with no problem. I would like to be able to run 10 miles easily.   My goal is to push myself a little more each run and report it to you no matter how much or little I run.  Talk about pressure!

Yoga-I took yoga class a few years back because it was a co worker of my husband who was teaching the class.  And for $30 a month I couldn't complain one bit. Well my dear instructor moved away.  Lets just say I'm not in any yoga shape anymore.  My husband purchased a yoga DVD recently and we were doing yoga 2 times a week but stopped.  My goal is to keep at yoga 2 times a week with or without my husband.  Honestly I really love my time with my husband so I'm hoping he will do it with me.  Ya hear that honey? No excuses!

Okay so whose ready to ditch the excuses and get off their asses with me? Good! Go check them out on Twitter  or Pinterest and be sure to leave a comment here so I know to watch you meet your goals.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Cape Look Out Tillamook Oregon

Playing in the sand while mommy enjoys all the colors and textures everywhere.

Several creeks run down the beach and into the ocean. This means exploring time!

Sister time exploring makes mommy happy.

Even daddy gets into the exploring time.

Our whole day was filled with these guys dropping in on the beach. Kids were excited and parents were jealous.

Digging to find the creek which runs under the rocks and into the ocean. You could hear it and she was on a mission to find it. She did!

Hey you, stop getting bigger. It makes me sad. True story.


My husband enjoying view. Swoon.....just one of the reasons I fell in love with him. 15 years together and can't wait to grow old with you. I love you baby!

Daddy went for a walk with the twins and found this beautiful waterfall.

Note to self: Must be in front of the camera as well.  I swear I was there!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Everyone say CHEESE!!!

I have fond memories of going to the Tillamook Cheese Factory when I was a child.  I remember drooling thinking about the squeaky cheese! The Tillamook Cheese Factory has been making history since 1851 and has been bringing us cheese for over a 100 years now. When we planned a day trip along the coast I knew exactly where I wanted to go. CHEESE!!!

Were pretty lucky because the coast is only about an hour and a half away from our home. Just when the kids get annoyed with each other were there. First thing you notice is the smell coming through the vents of your vehicle. Don't even dare to open a window. It's so strong that you can almost taste it. That my friend is good old cow manure. Mmmm lovely isn't it? 

The Tillamook Cheese factory has changed over the years.  They now have a VW bus that you can get inside and take pictures of. Were a VW family so my kids were stoked to get inside.  My oldest is only 2 years away from legally driving....and now I'm sad. Note to self: Stop talking about her growing up!

The fun part of the factory is that you get to watch them make the cheese.  Just about every part of the factory has huge windows that we get to spy through. My husband and oldest daughter were watching the amazing machines while the other kids drooled over all the cheese. 

So this means I can eat all the dairy products I want? For the vitamin A of course. Yeah I'll stick to that theory.

And here is why we come so many times over the years. SQUEAKY CHEESE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GET IN MY BELLY!!!!!! Squeaky cheese are cheese curds that squeak in your mouth when you chew them up.  Don't think any old cheese curds from any store will work.  You have to get the gold from the factory itself. That bag lasted a whole 24 hours in my house. If the kids had their way they would of ate the whole bag at the factory. You know I would of been joining them. Mmm cheese.

Not sure if that's glare from the window or her braces....or my crappy picture taking. I'm gonna go with the first option.  The second reason we go to the Tillamook Cheese Factory is for the ice cream. Mmmm. Here my daughter is enjoying mint chocolate chip.

Crazy for mint here too. Can you see the crazy in her eyes? Yeah you can thank me for that.

Dimples here likes to try new things.  I believe this ice cream is called birthday cake batter. Made me want to puke in my mouth. The sugar content on this one is out of the park. But she said it was amazing so it must be.

Mmmm chocolate. It's a classic and she likes to stick to what she knows. Mmmm! I went with chocolate mocha. Sorry a girls gotta have her coffee! 

And now I must go.  Hubby is getting a few things we can't get in our stores. I have a feeling its going to be cheese that is hotter than heck. And to my local fans-I get our Tillamook Cheese from my local Whole Foods.  They cut the amount I need and wrap it in paper. Yeah plastic free cheese!!! It's a bit more in price but well worth it in my book.  Just get to know your cheese deli worker. Woot!

For those who interested in frugal day trips.  This would be perfect. Here is what we spent.

Tour through the factory-Zip ziltch zero. Woot!
Cheese to take home $16
Ice cream for 5 people-about $6 for small cones.

Obviously you don't have to buy anything and can just enjoy all the samples and pack your own lunch.  Work within your budget and have fun. 

Cheers, Nancy