Thursday, January 29, 2015

Early Morning, Early Weekend

Well, today is a good day. 

I was up and out the door at 5:40 AM to take Chandler on a long walk around town. Our agenda is like this: Pee, Walk, Play tug-of-war with leash, Poop, Walk, Dog Park, Fetch for 25 minutes, Walk, Pee, Poop, Coffee Stop, Walk Home and give a hot coffee to a sleeping Jay. Get ready for work. Catch train at 7:20. Arrive at work at 7:45. 

Phew. And now, it's time to get crackin' on my day job.

But that's gonna be all good because today is my Friday. I'm off tomorrow to explore Central Oregon with our group of friends. For those of you not familiar with my state, Central Oregon is the sought-after staycation retreat. It's gorgeous as evidenced by a few older pictures of mine from other visits:
^Maddie, my Sister dog (dog I grew up with) in Sunriver in 2012. She's 14 now and I love her.
^Driving through Central Oregon and looking at Mt. Hood.
^Snowmobiling at Mt. Bachelor in Central Oregon.
^Stunning Smith Rock
So enjoy your day today and I look forward to catching up next week! Also, have a safe & fun Superbowl. I'm not sure who I'm rooting for, perhaps no one. I don't dislike either team but I don't like either team either. Meh. I'll be there for some good beer.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

10 Reasons Why I'll Never Get A Tattoo

1. Because at one point, I thought it was perfectly great to wear a scarf, a denim mini, 700-degree Uggs and BARE LEGS out into the world.

2. Because at one point, I may have suggested that you too should rock these awesome Disco gold sleeves while making a kissy face...

3. Because I spent over $70 on this Ed Hardy Tank Top. And probably would have suggested you spend your money on it too.

4. Because I rocked-out Orange Skin like it was my job.
^Spirit of full-disclosure: I still have a soft spot for orange skin. #Early2000sTeenager4Life
5. Because there was a point in my life when I decided to wear a turkey platter bejeweled belt with low-cut pale-blue corduroys with a "Queen of Rock" mini-shirt when I'm fairly certain I only had Britney Spears/Aguilera in my CD player at that time.

6. Because I not only found it appropriate to get brunch in this outfit back in the mid-2000s but I also thought that somehow, in someway, in some realm - I should be doing reverse peace-signs in photos.

7. Because I put this outfit together for myself at 24-years-old. And it wasn't for a Jersey Shore themed party.

8. Because in my past, I decided I should fry my hair yellow and then accent it with black roots. Perf! 

9. Because I actually owned and proudly wore multiple versions of those huge grandma sunglasses. I hate them more than anything.

10. Because I somehow told myself that I should dye my hair the color/texture of hay and start wearing cheap hats that clearly came from some place like Claire's.

So... as you can tell from my years of fashion disasters and creative flaws that I thought at the time were fabulous, there is no way I'll ever be smart enough to pick a tattoo for myself that I won't utterly hate the year later. And that's why my skin is as pure as can be: Because I consistently hate my style choices of the past.

Except that orange skin. Oh how I miss the sweet allure of some 2002 tanning beds.

Tats for you?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Yummy Eats: 2-Ingredient Homemade Fruit Roll-Ups

Fruit Roll-Ups/Fruit by the Foot/Gushers, etc. were, hands down, one of the highlights of my youth. I remember how easily I could unmask and tear through an entire new box of anything in that family. They were fun to stretch over my face while I ate, fun to eat over my finger or to just simply devour (all that body & eating part sounds pretty disgusting now). Yum!
However, I had to work hard to get THESE kinds of fruit roll-ups growing up as my Mom generally always made us buy the healthier version. You know, the roll-ups like THIS and the fruit leather like THIS. Though I liked them, I always secretly hoped to get the less nutritional kind into the cart without her noticing.

Well, no more. Health is the name of the game (most of the time, basically on weekdays for me) and I'm always looking for the more healthy alternative to most things. So these completely homemade, natural fruit roll-ups are right up my alley. Let us begin:

First, grab any kind of fruit you want and prep it for eating (something in the berry family seems to work best).  For this post, I did blackberries, raspberries, blueberries & strawberries.
Next, take your clean fruit and put it in your food processor and then graciously drizzle with natural honey.
Is there anything more beautiful than fruit? My oh my! 

Next, run the food processor until your fruit is a liquidy purée. When that is done, take a baking sheet and spread saran wrap across the entire thing.
Then pour said purée gently over the baking sheet until it fills the entire pan.
Make sure that you spread the liquid around evenly throughout the pan (otherwise, it will bake unevenly). Smooth it out until everything is covered.

When the pan is ready, put it in a 170 degree oven for about 7-9 hours. 
Yes, you read that right: Hours. If you try to cook it fast, the saran wrap will melt in a heavier heat. For these snacks, slow and steady wins the race. ***Also, I don't trust bargain saran wrap in the oven. I'd pay more for quality.***

Begin checking on it every 30 min after the 7 hours. When the sheet is ready, the entire thing will evenly and easily peel away from the saran wrap.

When this happens, transfer the entire sheet onto a piece of parchment paper.
It will look like a huge version of fruit leather.
Roll it tight to create your 'by the foot' setting.

Now's the fun part: Take kitchen scissors and slice those babies up.
You'll be left with your very own fruit roll-ups made as healthy as they could be and perfect for packing into to-go lunches. Or just snacks at home.

I highly recommend you give these a shot!

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Best Workout Song Effect

I'm sure you have heard this song: "Till I Collapse" by Eminem:

A few years ago, I decided that it was, without a doubt, the best workout song of all time.
^Motivation to lift! Me a few months ago. Working towards getting that back with holiday eat fest 2014 behind  me.

This due to the fact that when exercising to it, you will begin to feel that you are the fastest, most powerful human who has ever graced earth with their presence. Through hardened lyrics and a chant that amps you up, you will find yourself imagining that by continuing to lift those weights, you are saving the world from disaster. It becomes a ballad of you vs. yourself. It truly manages to take me 'next level' in my workout, no matter what I'm doing and God bless it for that because motivation is half the battle. Here are a few things I always picture.

When I'm running...
^Image VIA
^Image VIA

^Image VIA

When I'm lifting weights...
^Image VIA
^Image VIA
^Image VIA
^Image VIA
^Image VIA

For real, it makes me unstoppable in my mind. And that's just what I need from it during that time. Thanks, Eminem!

What's your favorite workout song? 
I'm always looking for new ones in the ongoing battle of me vs. an aging metabolism.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Blue Hour Beach

So Portlanders love to boast about the fact that the ocean is just an hour away. It's truly one of our pride and joys as we suffer through a dampy, soggy, evergreeny existence. No guys, it's fine: THE OCEAN IS JUST AN HOUR'S DRIVE. Which I'm sure makes Californians laugh as they sip their martinis (or Pabst Beer, depending on which part of California we're talking) and sink their feet in the sand from the comfort of their back porch.

And another difference: Our coastline is generally pretty chilly. It's breezy (like Monica), it's windy (I didn't just have a stroke, that's a different thing!) and it's usually chilly. But on top of that, it's pretty, it's oh so pretty (as coastlines inherently are), and it's a mahhhhveloussss escape any time of year: Rainy (cozy!), Sunny (typical beach fun!), Windy (What are cute ponytails for!) or Dreary (So Twilighty). Does it sound like I'm naming the 7 Dwarves of the Oregon Coast? Cause I think that's a good start.

Anyway, in conclusion: The Oregon Coast is in fact every bit worth the shortish drive because it is as stunning as one would hope. Different from other coastlines, but magnificently beautiful in its own right. And when you catch it at blue hour (which is my favorite thing in the entire world) on a nice evening, it basically squashes any regret you felt for paying for accommodations for the weekend out of hard-earned money, just as we found last summer.

Upon arrival at about 6 PM on a Friday, we checked-in to our hotel and immediately ran to the beach to catch some evening light and let our Chandler stretch his little legs.
It was the culmination of everything I love: Family, Chandler, Outdoors, Some Exercise, Blue Hour, Camera and the Oregon Coast. Just the very best.

That was the night of our arrival (Friday). We enjoyed the next night at Blue Hour similarly but with a little bit of a vacationy mode. We grabbed a local bottle of wine we had picked-up earlier, a blanket we brought and cozied up in warm clothes to sit, reboot, chat and take in that scenery.

It may not have had a bevvy of hot people playing volleyball on it, but oh how I love our Oregon Coast.

(This is straight up turning into a dog blog. Whoooops!)