Here’s one of the funny love songs that we love. xo
I’ve been volunteering my time quite a bit lately and as always, it feels wonderful. I’m republishing this post in hopes that you’ll research a new volunteering opportunity in your area and field of interest. If you have any experience volunteering or suggestions for others, throw them in the comments.
Happy Monday! Over a year ago, when Katie and I started this blog, we had intended for our Mondays to be inspiring. We thought, what better to read on a Monday morning than something that will amp you up for the rest of the week or at the very least, make your Monday a bit better. We’ve strayed a little bit from that scheduling because we realized we have so much to share in all spheres, but today we’re going back to our roots and inspiring you to help out a little. You know, volunteer a few hours or a few days, whatever you can. Today I’m sharing my two cents on why you should volunteer followed by a recap of my recent volunteer experience on the Appalachian Trail that includes a remembrance of our dear hiking friend.
Oh man, I admit that I’m overwhelmed by the state of the US government right now and the population of Americans supporting them. I want to acknowledge that we are not OK with the sh*t going down right now. We believe in a country and world that’s so much better than what we’re reading about in the news, and we’re doing our best to lead by example.
As a result of the hostility that we’re observing, I’m feeling a deep need to hibernate and create a sense of peace, calm, and compassion at home (do you know how hard that is with two crazy little guys?!). Anyway, something that’s helping is taking the time to prepare nourishing dinners. So, to help me (and maybe you?) do that, I wanted to pick up on my farmshare dinner series.
… now that I’ve successfully created the most dismal post introduction ever, on with the food!
These dinners are from back in October, and as you’ll see, the pictures are getting worse and worse. It’s so hard to photograph dinner on dark winter evenings.
blah. (Cheer the f’ up, am I right?)
The table below lists the variety of foods that we’ve received for the past month. I don’t know the exact quantity of vegetables we receive each week (it’s a large grocery bag filled with veggies, and I would say it’s about 20+ lbs), definitely enough to feed our family for the week. During the month of September, the vegetables have been some combination of those on the list below. In the protein category, we receive about 3-5 lbs of meat each week, made up of a combination of the items on the list. The tofu and tempeh each arrive once per month. Under the dairy & misc. category, we receive the yogurt & cheeses each week, we receive 1 lb of coffee once per month, and approximately two canned goods each week. While in season, we receive fresh fruit and some variety of fresh herbs.
|veggies||proteins||dairy & misc.||fruit & herbs|
|cucumbers||stewing chickens||herbed goat cheese||pears|
|potatoes||hot German sausage||camembert||apples|
|eggplant||ground beef||fruit jam||dill|
|variety of squash||eggs||rosemary|
|chard, kale, bok choy|
Above each photograph, I list the farm share ingredients used for the dish and, where available, I’ve linked to the recipes. Where necessary, I also include some notes about that day’s meal.
chicken sandwiches with burnt eggplant & pomegranate spread : lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, parsley
I make some variation of this sandwich fairly often – it’s sliced chicken thighs with a variety of seasonal veggies, and a spread or dressing, all wrapped in warmed naan. For the spread on these sandwiches, we made the burnt eggplant with pomegranate from Jerusalem. It’s considered a salad to be served as part of a meze platter, but decided to add it as a spread to these sandwiches, and it was amazing!
shrimp tacos & jalapeno poppers : carrots, kohlrabi, cilantro, jalapeno
Jalapenos must grow well in Colorado, because every fall we get a bunch in our share and see them at the markets. I love poppers, but had never made them until this year, and guys, it was so easy! Give it a shot this Sunday and heat up your Super Bowl party.
mushroom & pea soba noodles, chard, and poached fish : mushrooms, green onions, bell pepper, kale
This is another dish that I make fairly regularly. It’s inspired by the poached cod with shiitake recipe from the Wagamama cookbook (why isn’t there a CO location yet? why!). I poach tilapia or cod with a variety of fresh veggies (mushrooms, bell pepper, leeks or onions), and I vary the sauce to my taste on any given day.
pumpkin pasta : butternut squash, onions, mushrooms, kale
We found these cute pumpkin pasta shapes from TJs and had to turn them into a squash and pasta dish.
gratin : potatoes, kale, spinach, beet greens, dill, parsley, leeks, sausage, goat cheese
gratin v2 : pumpkin, potatoes, kale, parsley, sage, leeks, onion, sausage, goat cheese, yellow squash
shrimp coconut curry : green onions, carrot, green pepper, butternut squash, lemongrass
salmon, corn, and mashed kohlrabi : corn, kohlrabi
Mashed kohlrabi! Where have you been my whole life?
cauliflower salad : cauliflower, parsley
grilled chicken thighs with peach BBQ sauce, yellow lentils with carrot & potatoes, rice : peaches, onions, carrots, potatoes
teriyaki tempeh with braised cabbage and fried rice : tempeh, cabbage, onions, carrots, bell pepper
The teriyaki tempeh is a repeat recipe from month 2. It’s really delicious.
beef stew : beef, potatoes, carrots, onion, ketchup
This is a little trick from our mom – add ketchup to your beef stew, if it’s homemade, even better.
sausage & eggs~
tuna ramen with mushrooms, chard, and giardiniera (scroll down) : mushrooms, chard, broccoli, carrots, bell pepper, onion
quiche! : tomatoes, spinach, leeks
homemade pizza : mushrooms, onion, bell peppers, variety of cheeses
Ack, going back through that month of delicious and nourishing food was cathartic. What are you cooking this week?
Don’t forget that one way to get to know another culture is to cook and eat their food. Now’s the time to expand your horizons.
Traveling extensively really comes down to a few factors: time, money, and willingness. If you’re willing, you are capable of creating the time and funds to take a trip. If I, the least motivated money maker on the planet, can scrape together enough cash to travel to 15+ countries, you can too. I absolutely despise money and trading my precious time for work (some people read this as being lazy, but I assure you I’m not), but travel motivates me to make paper. Traveling is a drug and I am in the throws of addiction. Life feels dull if I’m not exploring. Here’s how I motivate myself to maintain a life revolving around travel.
Howdy! Nine days until I fly to Ecuador and I can tell you, I’m not ready! I’m just beginning to pull out my backpack and lazily toss things inside. I’ll be in Ecuador for about two weeks. The first week, I’ll be attending and working at a yoga retreat. The second week, I’m planning on climbing a couple mountains. While packing, I always think back to this article and while I can’t pack quite as light as that couple, I’m really going to try to take only the bare minimal on this trip. I’ll need some equipment for trekking and a few gadgets for my photo work, but otherwise not much.
Last weekend we packed up the van and headed into Rocky Mountain National Park for an overnight adventure! Since winter camping is not a common past time, especially if you have little kids, I thought I’d share some details about our adventure, and hopefully encourage you to take off into the snowy mountains for a weekend of fun.
Within RMNP, Moraine Park is the only campground that’s open year-round, and in the winter it offers 77 sites on a first-come-first-served basis (for only $18/night!). When we arrived on Saturday, there were a handful of other campers, but most of the sites were open!… at that point, Calder and I considered this trip a success, because it’s often impossible to get a campsite in Colorado without reservations made months in advance.
The Moraine Park area is a wide valley within the park that’s great year-round for wildlife watching and in the winter, it provides a beautiful backdrop for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
What do you do during a winter camping trip? Much of the same stuff that you do in the summer. Instead of just hiking, you do it with snowshoes, and instead of shorts and a t-shirt, you do it with plenty of layers.
We arrived Saturday afternoon, set up our site and let the boys explore, and then went out for an adventure. Calder skied with Alex on his back while I snowshoed with Luc. Once we got back to the van, we lit a fire and started in on dinner. After breakfast the next day, we headed out to the Fern Lake Trailhead for a long hike, and then we hopped in the car, drove into Estes for lunch, and headed home.
What gear did we take? Great question. Since we were van-camping, we had the luxury of being able to bring more gear than we would on a hiking trip, but even so, we keep it very simple.
CLOTHES : We are notoriously light packers, and even for this trip we kept it simple. Since we already do a lot of winter day-trips, it’s easy for us to pack our bags with the exact winter layers that each person needs. For each of us, that includes good boots, a hat, gloves, coat, snow pants, and an under-layer. We brought a change of clothes for everyone, but honestly, Alex is the only person that needed extra clothes because he has a knack for covered himself in muck. The rest of us were too lazy and warm to change out of our clothes for day two.
SNOW GEAR : We brought the chains for our van (they are always packed), a snow shovel, a sled, snowshoes, and a pair of skis fitted with AT bindings and skins.
CAMPING GEAR : I talked about most of this gear in another post on van camping, but I’ll give you a quick run-down here. We brought our camping box that contains all the basic necessities for eating – matches, cookware, camping stove, silverware, french press, can opener, etc. During the winter, we’re serious about a warm and cozy bed set-up, so we bring two extra large thermarests that cover the van bed, and two down comforters, one for under us and one for over. Luc sleeps in the bed with us, while Alex sleeps in his own nest on the floor (he is snuggled into one big down comforter).
ENTERTAINMENT : We rely on nature to keep the kiddos happy while the sun’s out. When we go into the van for the night, we’ve started playing Go Fish and other card games with Alex (while Luc makes it his goal to disrupt the games in any way possible). We also packed a few good books for everyone, knitting for me, and podcasts for Calder.
FOOD : Just as with the clothes, we keep it simple. For this quick trip, I’ll tell you exactly what we brought (all packed in one large cooler).
The soup was leftovers from the previous week. It was actually a blend of this broccoli & cheddar and this creamy chicken – we had a little of both, and the mixture turned out to be delicious! Does that seem weird? We’re soup-mixers from way back (we’re guilty of making soup cocktails at every soup bar we visit). Soup is great for a winter trip because you’ll want something warm, and having it pre-made makes reheating really easy.
I love to take the fixings for G&Ts on camping trips. The easiest way I’ve found to do it, particularly for a short overnight trip, is to take just the shot (or two) of gin in a flask, and the appropriate number of 8oz cans of tonic from Trader Joes. Those cans are the perfect size for a single drink. And they’re cute.
The smoked oysters may seem a bit random, but they are a common Schu-family appetizer. They are particularly awesome on a cold-weather camping trip when the extra calories may come in handy and when you need something quick to eat while you’re waiting for the fire to get going and your drinks are already flowing.
Our boys love smoked oysters, but I’m sure many wouldn’t even want to try them. Although as all parents know, kids are more risky eaters on camping trips, so if your kids have never had them, your next camping trip is the perfect time to introduce them to this little piece of oily heaven.
Most of the photos above were from our first day of our trip. The photos below are from our second day. Hot Chocolate in the van, followed by our hike on the Fern Lake trail. The trail is so well-traveled that on the day we went, snowshoes were unnecessary.
This was our first winter camping trip with two kids, and it was a major success. As I’m writing this post, Alex is talking to Calder about the trip and wondering when we can go again (soon, little guy, soon!). We had a great time, and I’m so happy that we’re introducing the little guys to year-round camping adventures.
I know that getting out into the snow with kids can be daunting on a typical day, so camping may seem like an absurd idea, but really, if you have the right clothes to keep everyone warm, and you’re ready for a weekend of adventure in the snow, you’ll have an amazing time!
These are photos from a hike that we took a few months ago, and I just happened to find them here in an unpublished post. I was so sure that I wrote about this hike, but a few searches finally convinced me that I’m crazy.
I have this thing where once a season full hits, I have a hard time remembering what other seasons are like. When we’re covered in snow, I can’t remember exactly what a hot summer day feels like. And vice versa. You would think that looking at pics would help, but I’m just confused and trying so hard to remember what this hike felt like. Welcome to my twilight zone.
This is a hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, and this page has a great description of the trail and details about getting to the trail head, so I won’t repeat those details. The one thing I will emphasize is that RMNP is CRAZY PACKED during any nice day, including this particular one. It can be really difficult to find parking. They have a park shuttle that will take you to many of the roadside trail heads. If you are flexible, that may be the way to go. Since we had the boys, two packs, and other gear, we chanced it and luckily we found a parking spot, but it was touch and go.
This hike was particularly nice because the trails take you past a number of small lakes and there are plenty of scenic overlooks. On the day we were there, the weather was in flux. It started out sunny but windy, then there was a light rain, and at the top of the mountain, snow! It made for some pretty beautiful and dramatic scenes, but it’s also a reminder to be prepared for any weather when hiking in the mountains. We dressed in layers, and were comfortable throughout the hike.
As you can see, we hiked with both boys in packs, which had become our m.o. last fall. Many of the hikes we were doing were well over a couple of miles and involved patches of rugged or steep terrain, so to keep everyone happy, it made sense to carry the kiddos. Even though our boys are bursting with energy, they both were happy to be carried (who wouldn’t be?!).
I love for the kids to be awake and experience nature as we hike, but with some of these longer hikes, it can be nice to plan the hike so that it overlaps with naptime. That’s what happened here. Calder and I still had a beautiful hike, and the boys were happy to nap for a portion of the hike.
Of course, when you get to the lake, it’s beautiful. There’s nothing quite like an alpine lake. The water is clear, cold, and this particular one was slightly green/blue in color. We sat on the rocky banks and ate a little snack before heading back down the trail. We didn’t pack a full lunch because we were saving our appetites for some mountain dogs.
Ahhh, seeing this photos, I really can’t wait to get back to the park for a winter visit! It’s going to happen one day soon…
Hi booboos! This year is off to a lovely start. I enjoyed a warm and sunny new year celebration in Florida last weekend and this coming week I’ll drive to the arctic temps of Pennsylvania. The good news? I’ll be practicing and teaching yoga in Shamokin. Come hang with me!
Here’s more info.
I know everyone’s not in the same boat, but I love setting intentions and goals for the new year. I like that it creates a challenge within a timeframe. I’m always trying to better myself and create a better home for our family in a number of ways, but saying and writing specific ideas down at the beginning of the year gives me a bit of focus that I don’t have when I just say “become more healthy”, “do more of this or that with the boys”, etc.
I also like that when creating the coming year’s resolutions, we take a moment to look back and reassess how we did the previous year (who am I kidding, since I live with the Resolution Master, our assessing starts in August!). With that in mind, I thought a little looking back would be nice before diving into 2017.
As I titled last year’s resolution post, it’s always a lot of same same, but different. I’m so SO happy with how well-nourished our family was in all aspects of mind, body, and soul. We ate so well (did you see those farm share posts?!). The boys are growing and learning new physical and mental skills left and right. As a family, we spent so much time outdoors. We filled every weekend and many weekdays with adventures, some big and some little, just like I wanted. Personally, I ended the year feeling really happy and content, and I think this is a reflection of how much I was able to take care of myself with exercise, creative projects, and doing it all while taking care of the day-to-day business without feeling overwhelmed. So, while the world seemed to be crashing down around us (I’m looking at you, presidential election), in our home, all is well.
This year, my biggest goal is just to keep on, keeping on. I want to keep doing all that good stuff, and improve it with a few key goals.
Those are my big goals for the year. I think it’s such a manageable list, but what’s not on it are some of the goals that I keep setting and then not finishing. I’m looking at you, room full of instruments. I would really love to spend more time practicing the piano and violin. I decided not to make it a specific resolution this year, but I’m hoping that as I spend less time changing diapers, I’ll eventually find more time for making music.
I’ve also taken this excitement of the new year to make a few simple changes. I was getting tired of my old exfoliating face wash, so I picked up an alternative that I’m loving (more on that after a few more weeks of testing). I also decided that I want to drink more water, but somehow this seems too lame to be a resolution. I’m doing it and tracking my progress in Streaks (also tracking my daily sun salutations and how much I read), and I hope that’s enough to make me more aware of my water intake, and that in a few weeks it’ll just become habit… hope springs eternal (ha! pun intended).
What about you? Any resolutions that you’re excited about this year? Any that you’re re-doing from last year?
What a winter break we’ve had! We have one more day left tomorrow, and we’re going to do what we’ve been doing the past couple of weeks – spend it outside. It seems like we’ve really hit our stride this year when it comes to embracing the winter. Of course, it’s all about good clothes, a good spirit, and just doing it, but I’ll talk about that in another post. Today, I’m sharing just a glimpse of what we’ve been up to these past few weeks.
We started our break in Steamboat Springs, CO (one of our favorite ski towns in the state!). We arrived at the start of a snowstorm that lasted well into the next day and maybe the day after? I can’t remember. But we still had a great time skiing and snowshoeing all over the mountain.
On our third, and final, day in town, we visited Strawberry Park Hot Springs before driving home. We had been here once last winter, and it was just as magical as I remembered.
We arrived home the same day that Sarah and our family flew into town, and then every pitched in and helped us prepare to host a big party for C’s office. There was definitely a moment of “what are we doing?!” the night before, but in the end, the party was awesome, the food delicious, the company amazing, and the music pumping.
The party was followed by a day of rest and then it was off to the mountains to ride the Georgetown Loop Railroad with Santa! We did this last year and I was really excited to do it again. When you arrive at the station, there’s hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts to munch on. Then you board the train and start riding with the excitement of knowing that Santa’s going to come and sit with you to say hi. It’s such a nice way to visit Santa, because there are no lines – you just wait in your seat on the train until Santa gets to you, meanwhile, the train’s moving through the beautiful Colorado mountains.
Back in Boulder, we did more hiking.
And snowball throwing.
And then it was off to the mountains again for more skiing and snowshoeing!
Home for more hiking…
And here we are, relaxing, making our list of resolutions, and preparing for one more day on the slopes before we’re back to a regularly scheduled week.
I hope your break was full of warmth, family, food, and all of that holiday magic. xo