Friday, January 27, 2012

Winter Gorge Adventures

Still on our vacation, we figured we would take advantage of some of this beautiful blue sky(minus the chemtrails). We decided to head out to the Columbia River Gorge. We sped past all of the major tourist spots, and went on to our new favorite spot- Rowena Crest. The viewpoint is phenomenal! In the spring and summer there are hiking trails(we have yet to do). We are so impressed with the fact that the deer seem to be pets in peoples yards, and that this place isn't constantly blowing up with people like Vista House, or Multnomah Falls. It is really a sight to be seen.. We plan to go back in the spring when the flowers are in bloom. There are over 200 plant species on the preserve. April or May seem to be the best times to go- So I read. The preserve attracts wildflower enthusiasts from around the Northwest. Alot of photo ops to be had..
"Located in the transition zone between the moist, heavily-forested west side of the Cascades and the drier bunch grass prairies of the east, Tom McCall Preserve comes into spectacular bloom every spring. Lava flows, catastrophic floods and volcanic ash deposits shaped a mound-and-swale topography that perplexes the experts. Earthquake sorting, freezing and thawing, erosion, soil accumulations by plants and wildlife burrowing activities have all been suggested as having caused the mounds."
Now you want to go, don't you? Plan your trip. See our last Rowena Crest trip 2 months ago here.

Source: Here

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Coast Cabins Christmas Adventure

Wayne and I decided that it would be a bad idea to get eachother gifts for Christmas this year. One- because we are trying to declutter our lives to eventually move into a tiny cozy cabin, and Two- because we have just about everything we need. We see the pointlessness in getting something for someone else just so they have something to open. We don't see things that way. It makes more sense to create memories, and go some place we love. We had no idea that Coast Cabins would be our destination till just the day before. All we knew is that we were going to go on vacation, and with our luck the weather would suck. For the most part it did. This is our third stay at Coast Cabins, and second time in the North Tower Cabin 3. It is 425 sq ft- simple and adorable. Inspiration for our future cabin. Our rainy day activities for the last two days have been spent building fires, soaking in the hot tub, watching movies, taking tons of pictures(over 500), made smores, chased the sun and sipped coffee. It was wonderful to just sit back warm in our tiny cabin in a bamboo forest, and listen to the waves crash in the distance. Also we eat for the most part only organic food, so alot of the food we ate we brought from home. It saved us some extra cash, which in times like these we need.
This is our adventure.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Another Dream Cabin Design..

I thought I would express my slight obsession with this cabin. It is quite the dream.. It is the exact design I want minus the lookout tower, But the lookout tower is definitely alot of fun. It would be amazing if it is big enough to have guests over for candlelit dinners up top. I can just see the twinkly lights strung around it. Hmm..
"The owners have a 400 acre farm in Yolo County near the town of Winters (a vibrant farming community in the Sacramento Valley), the owners of the Yolo Cabin asked their SF-based architect son Lewis Butler of Butler Armsden (and a Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory member) to create a modern, simple, and practical space from which to continue a long family tradition of farming; cultivating the land around them. Knowing they would eventually move the cabin to another part of the property, the owners requested that the cabin be mobile: the structure is based on two large glu-lam beams and can literally be picked up and moved by a truck, resulting in a very light footprint on the surrounding area."
See Remodelista(link) for the full article, and more pictures.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Yet Another Juice Recipe, Also How to Open a Pomegranate The Right Way!

I bought a pomegranate about a week ago and I have been dreading pulling that baby apart to get the seeds out. I figured I could do a photo tutorial on the right way to open up a pomegranate in case some of you don't know how. I didn't grow up with pomegranates so when I first saw one.. I was scared, and rather interested. Also something interesting I just found out is a pomegranate will last 3 months in the fridge!.. I had no idea.

Step 1. Put that baby on a plate. Pomegranates stain everything! Wear clothes you don't care much about, and do not use a cutting board.
Step 2. Cut a hole around the crown- top is shown in the first picture. Don't cut across- cut downwards into a circle.
Step 3. Once the top is off slice 3 slits down the sides along the pith to reduce cutting the seeds.
Step 4. Pull the pomegranate apart- pick off some of the large pieces of pith and membrane.
Step 5. Put cold water into a larger bowl for the pomegaranate to sit in. While pulling apart the pomegranate face it downwards or into the water, it reduces the amount of juice that will spray out while you pick them off of the piths. As you pull the seeds off they will sink to the bottom of the bowl, making it easy for you to skim the water and throw out any pith floating.
Step 5. Drain the water using the back side of the plate you previously used to cut the pomegranate. Hold it together with your bowl and let only the water out.

Next you can either eat the seeds/ put them in a blender with other fruits, or juice it!

By juicing the pomegranate and 2 apples it came out to about a full glass and a half. The health benefits to this juice recipe are impressive! Pomegranates are proven to prevent breast cancer/destroy breast cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. Prevents lung cancer, Slows the growth of prostate cancer, Prevents osteoarthritis, Protects arteries, Prevents alzheimer's disease, Lowers cholesterol, Lowers blood pressure, Also prevents dental plaque. That is a tiny list of just one of the ingredients in this juice! Plus because it is juiced, you absorb all of the nutrients right away. Your body doesn't have to do any of the work!

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Discovery of 2 Coffee Related Products I Must Have!

Have I have been living under a shell? I feel like I know coffee pretty well. I mean we do spend every morning together till lunch time, and often again we will hang inbetween meals. Most times during our adventures coffee is always there. I am pretty picky when it comes to qualities coffee has to have. Shade grown and organic, not too dark- Hate french roast. The reason behind having shade grown coffee is because that is what a coffee plant is! Genetically altered plants are the only ones that can grow in the sun. I prefer no altering, or pesticides & herbicides. I want the bean the way it is supposed to be- mother nature's blend.
Moving on..

With our plan to minimize our "stuff" for our tiny cabin. We are always looking for "manual" things. Things we can use by hand that use up no electricity. Things that are heavy duty and will last a lifetime. Possibly multi-purpose items. Two American Made products I discovered are the Chemex Coffee Carafe, and the Camano Coffee Mill.

Photo Credits: &

The Chemex Coffee Carafe arguably brews the best and cleanest tasting coffee. Invented by a German doctor of Chemistry in 1941. You simply place a Chemex-bonded coffee filter in the cone at the top of the Chemex, making sure the thicker side of the filter is toward the pouring spout. Pour one rounded tablespoon of ground coffee (ground for regular or automatic) per every 5 oz. cup into the filter cone. Feel free to pour a bit more if you prefer stronger tasting coffee. Bring a pot or kettle of water to a boil, removing from heat once it starts to boil vigorously. Pour a small amount of water over the coffee grounds just enough to wet them without floating. It is important to wet them just enough so the grounds can "bloom." After the first wetting, pour more water, making sure to soak the grounds as much as possible but keeping the water level well below the top of the coffeemaker. Once the desired amount of coffee is brewed, dispose of the grounds and voila! Your coffee is ready. You can also brew tea in the Chemex! Follow the same instructions using your favorite loose tea in place of coffee grounds, measured at one level teaspoon per cup.

The Camano Coffee Mill is as beautiful as it is functional. Holds enough coffee beans to make 4-5 cups of drip coffee. Need to make more? Just refill the hopper, shut the lid and keep grinding. Made of Cast Iron, Walnut and Glass. Medium sized Ball Jar is included however, the upper half will fit any regular sized Mason Jar opening.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

DIY Hanging Basket- Gift Under $15!

Refinery29 is a fashion website that covered 3 DIY Christmas gifts under $15. This hanging basket was one of them. I do not think I would have gone with the pink rope unless it was for my 12 year old niece.. But I like the idea alot. Very creative, and simple! I am inspired.. It would make a great housewarming gift!
Check out the entire step by step photo tutorial here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wit & Whistle Chalkboard Serving Platter DIY Project

Wit & Whistle completed yet another DIY project last month. I think her blog was getting so many hits- she went on a porcelain chalkboard painting frenzie. (I don't mind : ) She went with a chalkboard serving platter this time. I will leave it to her to tell you how she did it. Head over to her blog post here. I like these DIY projects so much because I hope to bring out the creativity in all of us. Especially when it comes to small gatherings/dinners/gifting. The most important thing to all of us is our loved ones. I think what you do to make them remember you the way you are right now is important. Tell them how much you adore them in as many ways as possible. We only get one chance to live this life. Make it a good one, and one for all of us to remember. The one that gives/makes/creates and smiles doing it. That is the way I see things..
Now carry on. Let's get our craft on!

Love Is In The Air!

Today I was planning on a snow day. Snow angels-snow man-photos. There were probably 3 inches by the time I fell asleep last night, and when I woke up it had rained and everything melted! So my tradition has not continued.. It is funny because it has only snowed while I work, and at night. So I guess I will just move on to upcoming events. It is almost my parents 25th wedding anniversary, and Valentine's Day is coming up. I figured today I could post some healthy "love" brownies. The left photo is by Martha Stewart. She cut her brownies out of heart shaped cookie cutters. On the right the 2 photos are by My New Roots. Her brownies are extremely healthy. You could make her recipe instead and let it cool in the fridge, then cut into hearts and then sprinkle with cacao! With the left over brownie pieces you could roll them into small balls(oh my) and then roll them in raw cacao powder. Powder coated brownie balls. (hehe) Yum!
See Both Recipes Here, and Here.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Snow Fun!

The snow is coming to Oregon! The weather is all anyone is talking about. I am so excited to bundle up and run outside to take our "first snow" pictures. These are the ones we took last year. Can't wait to see what we come up with in the next few days : )
A tradition is born.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I Am Juicing For Better Health!

I have been juicing! There are so many health benefits to juicing. Here are a few: "The body can quickly absorb larger amounts of nutrients from juices than from solid foods because the process of digestion that is necessary when you eat whole foods is bypassed. Another one of the major health benefits of juicing is that it is an easy way to get beneficial enzymes, which are primarily found in raw foods, into the body. Enzymes in fresh fruits and vegetables have the vital role of converting food into body tissue and energy. Enzymes are also involved in metabolism, so one of the more valuable health benefits of juicing is that it can increase metabolic rate. Juicing also ensures that the body is getting sufficient amounts of phytochemicals, substances in plants that are considered among the most powerful ways to fight disease. While most people do not eat enough raw fruits and vegetables to obtain the amount of phytochemicals that would make a difference, it is relatively easy to drink enough juice to obtain sufficient amounts of these powerful nutrients. In addition, antioxidants and other immune enhancing properties are concentrated in juices. Juicing can therefore help to accelerate recovery from illness. In fact, juicing with specific combinations of fruits or vegetables can target particular conditions and improve or alleviate symptoms."(Source- link)

The Health Benefits to This Recipe Are:
Grapefruit contains citric acid, natural sugars, essential oils like limonene, pinene and citral.  It has high amounts of vitamin C, and smaller amounts of vitamin A, B complex, E and K.  In the minerals it has larger amounts of calcium, folic acid, phosphorus, and potassium.  The nutritive phytonutrients of this voluptuous fruit- liminoids, flavonoids, lycopene and glucarates- help fight cancer and various diseases.
Carrot is one of the most healing foods that provides the finest and highest quality in nutrients, especially from its juice.  It is an excellent source of pro-vitamin A, vitamins C, D, E, K, B1 and B6. It is rich with biotin, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, organic sodium and some trace minerals. The known phytonutrients in carrots are lutein, lycopene, anti-oxidants alpha, beta and gamma carotenes, zeaxanthin and xanthophyll.  You don't need to remember these fancy names, but just remember that phytonutrients are nature's marvelous provision for healing of various diseases.
Ginger is known to have more than twelve types of anti-oxidants, making it useful for treatment of many disorders.  Like other spices, it has aphrodisiac properties and is used widely for medicinal purposes. This herb contains essential oils, protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin C, choline, folic acid, inositol, manganese, panthotenic acid, silicon, and a small amount of vitamin B3.
Apples are known for their excellent source of pectin and fibers.  They are high in vitamin A and C and a good source of potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus.  Most of an apple's nutrients are stored on the skin or just under the skin.  There are the phytonutrients: ellagic acid, malic acid, chlorogenic acid, and quercetin.  There are many more phytonutrients in an apple, some yet to be discovered and named.  These compounds are high in anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.
(Source- link-type in each fruit/veg/spice)

The only issue I had with my beverage is I added wayyyy too much ginger. That baby tates like a spicy grapefruit gin concoction. My advice is keeping the ginger to a very minimal amount. Although it is worth drinking knowing how many amazing nutrients I am absorbing. I hope I can inspire you to get a juicer and start experimenting!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The inspiration for my life and goals has been found.

It is funny because I have only been "blogging" since May and I can already see the evolution of my blog. Instead of just posting about something I am slightly interested in- just to have a regular post.. I am losing interest in hunting for things. That explains why I am posting less frequently. I am naturally turning my blog into a hunt for things I want in the future. Examples are: crafts, DIY projects, road trips, photography, family festivities, gardening, canning, long term food storage, eating seasonally and healthy, juicing, raising a few animals, building a cozy cabin, living for the most part off the grid, and saving enough money for all of these things to be possible.

My life feels like it has a focus. I am driven. I can't wait to see where my blog has gone another year from now.
Follow me on me journey.  Also follow my Pinterest- That is where I found all of these photos! Individual links are posted below each photo. To my followers- Thanks for following! To my family- I can't wait for the movie nights in the yard, Juicing parties, Canning parties, Freshly harvested dinners. We are going to have a fun retreat for all of us to gather. Kristy- If you keep holding off the wedding- I'll have a place for that too : )
 Black Cabin- here, Open Kitchen Shelving- here

 Perfect Fireplace- here, Tiny Cozy Cabin- here

 Built-in Desk and Lots of Book Shelves- here, Tiny Cozy Cabin- here

 Wood Shelf on Wheels- here, Hallway Pantry- here

 Relaxed Bedroom with Vintage Textiles- here, Cute Tiny Cabin- here

Perfect Wood Burning Fireplace- here, The Perfect Rocking Chair- here

Potting Shed and Garden- here, Apple Picking- here, Raising Chickens- here

Holding Rabbits- here, Raising Chickens- here, Raising a Pig- here

Thursday, January 5, 2012

From Farm to Table, and Inspirational Photo Shoot from Lou Mora

The relationship between us and our food, and fresh food from farm-to-table is so important. Many vegetables begin to lose their vitamins as soon as they are harvested. nearly half the vitamins may be lost within a few days unless the produce is kept cool or preserved. Within one to two weeks, even refrigerated produce loses half or more of certain vitamins. The important question is how far did your food have to travel to get to you? Eating locally grown food supports the local economy, it's fresher, helps the environment, eat seasonally(as we are meant to-this is one of the main reasons we are so disconnected from our food), also encourage variety in our diets. Eating organic is just as important environmentally. According to the EPA, agriculture is responsible for 70 percent of the pollution in U.S. streams and rivers. Organic farmers don't use the synthetic pesticides and fertilizers that cause pollution. Organics are proven to taste better, better nutrition(higher levels of lycopene, polyphenols,and flavonols), and fewer health risks(pesticides have been linked to cancer and other diseases). Whether you go to the garden, the pantry, or the market for your food, remember the work that went into its growth and preparation and you will begin to see food not only as a necessity and a pleasure, but also as a great gift.
Bash, Please(event planners) teamed up with Lou Mora(photographer) for a photo shoot taken for Kinfolk Magazine. Kinfolk is a growing community of artists with a shared interest in small gatherings. See all of Bash, Please 's favorite photos here

References are all from the book Homesteading by Abigail R. Gehring.