Wonderful Ways to Eat Your Greens!

I am on the Kale in the smoothie train, and even though I can’t taste the greens I swear it is making me crave more… well, greens.

I can’t wait to make these Pan-Fried Butter Beans and Greens

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And this Summer Salad is my faaaaaavorite. (Have you tried toasted Halloumi??)

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I make this for every potluck and family party, and even salad-haters are converted by the end of the meal.

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Tripstagram: The Grand Canyon

In April, I went backpacking in THE GRAND CANYON! It was one of the most awe-inspiring experiences I have ever had. It was dangerous and required a lot of planning. We did a three day loop, lugged heavy packs and traversed in heavy boots, and slept inside the canyon with a full moon overhead. Here are some photos from our experience!

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We warmed up before our backcountry trek on the Grand Canyon Rim Hike. We only did a short portion, but it would be a nice hike to do in entirety one day! It is also an easy but long hike, and if I can ever convince my parents to visit the Grand Canyon, it is one they would enjoy. At this point in the hike, we had a clear view of the Colorado River and the strata of the canyon.

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The descent is long and arduous, and it is easy to lose track of how far you have come. These are moments where you look down and can’t believe that you are still hours away from the river, but turn around and realize you are days away from the top. We took the South Kaibab trail in.

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My favorite view of the hike. I only took this photo, even as the colors and angles continued to open up along our descent, because photos don’t capture even a fraction of the majesty revealed in these rural places. South Kaibab is not for the faint-of-heart or weak-kneed individuals, but the views in the bottom quarter of this trail were my favorite part of the entire hike.

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In the dry, rough rock of the canyon, it is hard to believe that there is a river down there, but this vegetation proves it! The interior of the canyon is a small wetland, with a humidity not found in the rest of the west, and leafy trees lining the waters.

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Whenever you are not near the river, you are definitely in the arid desert, as demonstrated by these bright flowering cacti and thistles.

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We hiked out through the popular Bright Angel trail, and while it started somewhat remote, by the time we were finishing our ascent we were surrounded by day-trippers who were astounded at our accomplishment. We felt like heroes!

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It was an amazing trip. I am already plotting more challenging backcountry treks in the Grand Canyon for future trips. We met backpackers inside the canyon who had been down there for weeks, following the Tonto trail. If I found 3 days strengthening and meditative, I wonder how I would be changed by 7 or 20 days.

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Happy trails!

Sweet Spring

Do you participate in community supported agriculture? I’d like to try it out, but I am worried we will be swimming in kale. I would love fresh tomatoes and rhubarb though… oh, sorry, my Midwestern-ness is showing!

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Photo from Wobbly Cart Farm

 

Eyeing this tulip festival in Holland, MI for next weekend!

 

Mascarpone is a new delight in my life. I am dreaming of this tart. How AMAZING would this be with peaches or rhubarb?

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Photo from Food52

 

April Showers bring chilly hours!

It’s getting warmer outside, but it is also getting… wetter. So we all want to expose our kneecaps and elbows… but the rain brings along a bit of a chill!

If you have ever come in from the rain in your light spring clothes only to sit in front of the A/C with no jacket… you know how important it is to have some spare spring sweaters- for your bag, your car, even to keep at your desk! As we are anticipating a drizzly week in the midwest, here are some mood and shoulder warmers to the rescue!

 

Each cardigan below is $25!
For pulling over a light denim dress when you want warm arms and a place to store your phone…. we need some millennial pink with pockets!

But I ALWAYS need a green option, and the mossy short-sleeved choice adds some nice color to my otherwise hunter green choices.

Spring Upgrades and Earth Day!

I am quickly settling into a carefree springtime attitude, and am making lifestyle adjustments to match my demeanor.

  1. Health

    When we “sumitted” the Grand Canyon, I was full of a sense of accomplishment, but also filled with a new determination. Now I had confirmation that I am strong, I wanted to maintain that powerful feeling… so I took the plunge and committed to a month of Brookly Boulder’s (Chicago location) “Beginner to Badass” program.

    This led me to the Earth Day event, Camp BKB. Where I got this amazing shirt:

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    t-shirt photographed by my sister in our tent

  2. Feet!

    Seriously, one of the best things about the warming weather is giving your toes a chance to breathe! I am eyeing these for the business in the front and these for the party in the back.

  3. Bright (healthy) skin

    When I was at Camp BKB ringing in Earth Day, they had representatives from LUSH giving complimentary facials. After being slathered in mango and having my face massaged with a warm towel, I was given a card with a description of my treatment. I had The Sacred Truth mask, which must be purchased at the store so that it remains chilled. Made with fresh mango, this mask has a short shelf life but is soooo worth it! My specialist cleaned that up with the Eau Roma Water as a toner. Finally, and this was a game changer, she used this Vanishing Cream, because I said I wanted more even color and texture on my skin. This was amazing! For the next two days, my face was baby-smooth and an even color all across. I was floored. Now that I am browsing this purchase, I’m swallowing hard at the price but sucking it up because I know the results.