CSA: Week 2 & Hiking

So for our 2nd week of CSA we got the following: Bok Choy, lettuce, white radishes, garlic scapes, kale and mustard greens!

and from that we made: kale chips (addicted! lemon juice, olive oil, garlic salt, bake); lettuce wraps with shrimps and an avocado mix of: white radishes, carrots, avocado, scapes, tomato, cabbage, lemon; bok choy saute with onions; an avocado dip, and blackcaps for dessert! the only thing we didn’t put a dent in is the mustard greens.  i tried just adding them to a salad. don’t do that. it didn’t work. they clearly need to be cooked, in like vinegar.

Athletic Acheivement #5: Hiking

This weekend we also went hiking in Ricketts Glen, it’s been years since i have been there and it was so pretty!  I made the mistake, the morning of hiking, of walking the lake with my cousin and baby A, so i’m pretty sure i clocked over 11 miles on saturday.  my legs were busted! but it was a great day of activity.

we only got lost once and blame that on parking in a different lot.  which would explain why we started hiking on the complete wrong side of the road! doesn’t explain the circle we hiked in though…. And the steps, ugh! i like the full loop hike cause you see all the falls but my legs were hating steps after that.  we made quite the picture at grotto: eating our weight in pizza and wings then hobbling out cause our legs were so busted. yeah, we’re professionals. great day.

also this week i started training for the transcareyautic.  swam 1 way across, still have to make my way to both ways. in the next 2 weeks.  and after going just across (not back) i was exhausted.  swimming is tough stuff.

my new favorite thing? this running skirt from target:

that obnoxious lime neon green underneath is shortie spandex. and perfectly matches the laces on my sneakers.  nailed it.

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Pocono, CSA and Warrior Dash, Oh My!

Holy busy week last week!

Pocono, aka: Racecar Driver Boyfriend.

So Sunday was the Nascar race at Pocono, an event i often attend with my work and some of our customers.  Am i a huge Nascar fan? no. Do i LOVE the race? yes.  During and after the race i always want to be a race car driver groupie for a while.  i mean seriously, that would have to be the best internship ever.  as far as finding a man, i’m pretty sure it’s the only place with better odds than alaska.  (in case any of you are actively pursuing this goal, Jimmy Johnson has the best looking pit crew. we strolled past there. alot.) but for reals, i can totally see Emily whatshername (the new bachelorette) in this lifestyle.  and seriously, engaged to a Hendricks? wowza.  so if any hot Nascar drivers read this, wanna be my racecar driver boyfriend?

halfway through the race i had to give up on my Nascar crush Casey Mears, and root for Dale Jr.  Fair warning Nascar boys: I’m fickle.

Also got the best souvenir ever: SLAP BRACELET KOOZIE.  just blew your mind didn’t I?  it’s perfect for those of you that don’t have adequate koozie storage facilities.  can be stored flat or round.

CSA- Week 1, aka: Farmers Market in My House

Finally signed up for a CSA! CSA is community supported agriculture, basically you sign on with a local farm for a flat rate and get a box of fresh veggies each week for like 20 weeks.  It helps keep a steady income for farmers in uncertain conditions and also helps us eat more veggies! here is box #1:

Tons of spring mix, kale, bok choy, radishes, garlic scapes, and black bean garlic scape dip.  so what did we do with it all?  made kale chips (olive oil, garlic salt, lil parm cheese, bake till crispy) a salad using the spring mix and radishes, ate the dip with some homemade tortilla chips and saved the rest for later!

i ended up using my bok choy in a veggie stir fry (bit of a fail) and the scapes as a garlic replacement in black bean and corn salsa (raging success) and the spring mix and radishes in more salads.   also i mixed the garlic scape bean dip in with some black bean hummus and it wasn’t as “bitey”.  can’t wait to see what we get tomorrow!  thus far it has made me eat more veggies cause i hate to waste them.  (clearly i don’t mind letting my grocery store veggies get wasted, but i guess that is a different midset?)  for this week i prepped and got some protein (shrimps for the grill) some more veggies in prep for a salad, and have my salsa to compliment everything.  bring it on CSA! btw: it’s with Anthill Farms, delightful people thus far.

WARRIOR DASH, aka: I’m a Badass. kinda.

So the Warrior Dash is fairly similar to the Dirty Girl Mud Run except for 3 things:

1. still an obstacle 5K: now with BOYS!

2. It’s HARD.  dirty girl was not.

3. you get FILTHY. like someone dipped you in a milkshake filthy. except the milkshake is mud.

before:

After:

it was really, really, awesome.  some of the obstacles were easy: dodge swinging tires (altho i totally have my only injury from this, a scrape on my shoulder. tires are mean.), walk over a balance beam type thing, crawl under stuff, jump over fire (sounds cool, really just smokey and stinky, and like a foot high).  Some obstacles were harder: climb up an inclined wall using a rope, float through a mud pit under barbed wire, climb another short wall, scoot along a 1/2″ ledge using rock climbing handholds.  3 were HARD: crawl over a flat cargo net, then go up and over the inclined one- the flat part was hard to balance and hurt your hands; climb up a 15 foot non-inclined wall using a rope and sporadically placed 1/4″ boards, then climb over the wall, step down a few feet and drop from like 10 feet; and our favorite: peaks and valleys (what we named it) huge plywood sheets set up like this: WWWW, and you had to crawl in the valleys, situate yourself so your hands and feet are on different sides and your whole body is parallel to the ground, then scootch your way across and jump out. talk about a core workout.  both that one and the deaddrop wall i misjudged and jumped from too high up.  no injury, but def a thought of “holy crap that was way farther than anticipated!”  it was great, i would totally do it again.  it was also satisfying to pass all these gym guys with huge muscles at our slow trot.  all lifting and no cardio makes a 5K pretty tough for some of them.  suckas.

this was before we got hosed off.  literally: their clean up area is a firetruck with 3 guys spraying people with fire hoses (on minimum pressure i imagine).  that part kinda sucked.  but then i got my free beer and forgave them 🙂

Goal Updates:

3 more down!  (1) Got my house re-painted (it looks loverly now) and at the same time got my (2) Grandmas bench repainted! (and as an added bonus, my porch swing). the guys that did everything are fantastic. my house is looking spiffier than ever, especially since i also got new steps! sayonara rotten wood!

also due to the CSA am (3) eating more veggies!

extra added bonus

I got 2 pairs of TOMS!  i feel like i’m pretty late to this party but oh wells.  they are adorbs. i got these two and they are both so comfy so far! and good karma, for every pair of TOMS shoes you buy, they donate one pair to a child in need.  shoes for everyone!

Celtication: WALES

Wales is, in one word: Charming.

But first we had to get there, just a short jaunt through Scotland and England to reach Wales.  it only took a million hours.  ha. but on our way we stopped at Hadrian’s Wall, a great stone wall 15 feet high that separates Scotland and England.  or it used to…. apparently pillagers and damn tourists chipped away and stole the stones, so now it looks like this:

Finally we arrived in Llandeilo Wales:

interestingly enough, this is the place where we did the most shopping.  We were only here for like 18 hours, and spent a few of them wandering the little town and popping into the little stores.  we also took a picture on Crescent Road, trying to mimic an old postcard that my mom has from her ancestor:

My family is largely welsh, coming from both parents, and while we couldn’t find where the Williams are from (my dads side), we did find this postcard from my moms side (Evans) so this is where we went. 🙂  that hugh williams on my dads side is hard to trace back, but we did find this upon rolling into Llandeilo.   What up cousin of some sort!

pretty sure every third person in Wales is either a Williams or an Evans.

-fun fact: in wales they don’t call them Welsh cookies, they just call them cakes.  and my moms are better.  Wales mascot is also a red dragon which i think is awesome.

Celtication: SCOTLAND

Day 3- Arrive in Scotland
Upon arrival in Cairyryan, we drove our cars off the ferry and up the coast, then over to Edinburgh. You think Ireland is green? Scotland is greener. Seems impossible, but true story. it was so green my camera couldn’t even do it justice, so no pics.  plus off the coast there was a random island that was cool looking.  took a pic for bill cause he was driving, and seriously, everytime you see something cool driving, as soon as the driver looks (ruin! castle! cool island thingy!) up pops a hedgerow, stone wall, hill, or wall of cows to block the view. the burden of the driver.

2 road signs to note in Scotland:(1) HIGH RISK OF BEER IN ROAD.  it may have said *Deer, but we prefer to think it said beer since both Bill and I read it that way… (2) Haste Ye Back- which we don’t know…. the obvious conclusion would be “come back soon” but we saw it literally every 2 miles for like 10 miles then never again.  perhaps it was just a really friendly part of Scotland.  or their tourism bureau is working HARD. or the sign placers were drunk from all the beer in the road, who knows.
Dinner at Fishers- AMAZING seafood. i seriously had fantastic gumbo.  and the brown bread in ireland and scotland is just to die for.
 Day 4- Edinburgh
Went on a tour of Edinburgh Castle which is gorgeous.  it’s right in the middle of the city and they call it Castle Rock cause it is way up on this giant rocky outcropping just chillin in the middle of the city.

The castle is really cool. we saw these guys:

my sister shot a cannon,

we toured the armory museum, saw the royal jewels (which i always feel is a bit of a rip cause they put all the awesome stones in like swords).  also saw the STONE OF DESTINY. which is literally a big square-ish slab of stone with iron handles on either side for easy moving.  apparently it has sat under the throne of every coronation in England for like a million years.  (used to be part of the actual throne until some war busted it apart) so now they transport back to England whenever there is a coronation.  pretty fancy pantsy. for a hunk of rock.  we also saw foog’s gate (what up doug!)


After the castle tour, we walked the Royal mile, and had lunch at The Witchery, which is an awesome restaurant.  really really, cool.


Then we had dinner at The Living Room, and i got the Scottish Plague.  what is it with me and travelling and plagues lately?  altho this one was much preferable to the Icelandic Plague.  trust me.  sore throats are much more conducive to travelling.
 Day 5- Edinburgh / Dalhousie
Recovered from Plague, had a great breakfast at the Red Squirrel (they have tons of fruit parfait options that you can enjoy in a bowl OR they will throw it in the blender and make u a smoothie!)
Walked the Royal Mile again to Hollyrood (where the Queen stays when she is in Scotland) only to have it be closed again.  i Blame the Jubilee.

Had lunch on the mile where we had a Pimms cup, which i LOVE.  and found Pimms at the liqueur store, so Pimms Cup all summer, oh yeah!


it was a very low souvenir buying trip.  but i was determined to get a cool souvenir in Scotland.  and mom bought me a cape (which i will model later at the castle…)
Back in the car, and we drove to Dalhousie Castle!!


i think this was my favorite part of the trip.  spending a day and night at a legit castle is just so cool.  (and really not that crazy expensive)we arrived in the early afternoon, had snacks on the patio, visited the falcony, walked the grounds, took a spin in the spa, then settled down for the main event: Dinner in the Dungeon!

it was incredible.  a five course set menu, the food was delicious, and the plating was so classy! straight off the food network for sure!  we also had a good game of name that tune.  all the background music was literally hits from the 80’s, all instrumental, and slightly jazzier. made for a good game.

Catherine the Ghost- Did i mention the castle was haunted?  By Lady Catherine, a English girl kidnapped by the Scots in the 1800’s (i think) who was brought to Dalhousie and basically forced to serve as a concubine.  so she locked herself in the tower and killed herself by starvation.  her likes- weddings and spas, her dislikes- bagpipers, and men in general.  so dana and i went ghost hunting, but found nada.  but i did wear my cape.

Quick christmas card pic the next morning and then we were off to Wales!

Celtication: IRELAND

For the last few years my family has done an annual ski vacation (aka: skication) when we decided to travel to the British Isles this year, clearly the first thing we needed was a good vacation name, thus: CELTICATION. 8 days, 4 countries, 6 and 1/2 people, 2 cars, and 1 awesome vacation. I could do an in depth day by day recap, but to be honest i slacked on my vacation journal, and slacked on writing this when it was still super fresh, so instead you get a day by day/country recap.
First Stop: IRELAND

Day 1: Arrive in Dublin

after settling into the Beacon Hotel (lovely) we trekked over to the Brazen Head Pub- the oldest Pub in Dublin.

had a little lunch and most importantly, some drinks.  after putting in a full day of work, then flying all night, then having to function as if it was morning all over again, we were tuckered out.  so we tucked into some guinness stew, guinness beer, cider, and fish & chips we were off to our second destination, the Guinness Storehouse, for the full Guinness experience, tour, and tasting. clearly we didn’t get enough at lunch haha.

Now you get a free Guinness at the end, in the bar at the top of the warehouse, and it is rumored to be the “best Guinness in Dublin”.  as all Guinness tastes the same to me, i cannot verify this.  but i CAN say it might be the best view in Dublin!

man, we all look so tired.

Along the way we also stopped into a pretty old church and had a little tour.  They had something called “The Lucky Stone” that you rub for good luck. So we did. and then we left.  good story huh?

Then we went to  pub, had some more drinks, some dessert, watched some rugby, realized none of us understand rugby,  and crashed at the hotel. hard.

Day 2: Kildare & Galway

Headed to Kildare to see the Irish National Stud, where they breed thoroughbreds.  They also have a Japanese Garden there.

This is Jeremey, When the Queen visited 2 weeks agao, he reared up at her, caused Prince Philip to fall backwards into the bushes, and the Queen just clutched her purse tighter.  As our VERY Irish guide said “The Queen is a real horsewoman, that she is”.

We thought this little guy was dead at first (headlines read: and the tourists are horrified…!) but he was just snoozin.

i mean could this place be more beautiful?

After those delights we got back in the car and continued to Galway where we unloaded at the Galway Bay Hotel and had lunch at Lohans.  (i’m assuming no relation to Lindsey cause they had their shit together…)  more beer, cider, guinness/lamb stew and fish and chips.  the food over there was WAY better than anticipated.  we did not have a single bad meal.  After this, half of us got back in the car to go see the Cliffs Of Moher, on what was certainly the scariest drive of my life.  those roads in Ireland are no joke. driving on the wrong side of the road, on the wrong side of the car, where 4 inches to your left you have a stone wall, and 4 inches to your right you have oncoming traffic.  we had a rule that you had to scream inside your head, not outside. each of us broke that rule a few times.

so at the base of the cliffs you can climb up to the right where there is a huge tower, climb back down, and then climb up to the left where there is no big stone fence so you can walk right out to the edge (after you hop the little fence that is ;))  so, to the right:

hey look it’s the left, let’s go over there!

don’t trip:

travelling sherwoods, and tiny tower from the right!

so pretty!

DAY 3: BELFAST TO SCOTLAND

We woke up bright and early again, and hit the road to Belfast to catch our Stena Ferry to Scotland, cars and all baby!

parked the cars and scooted inside to get a sweet spot for the ride. and lunch. and beers.

goodbye Ireland, Hello Scotland!

BONUSES

i have made some good eats from the internets lately.  both were super easy to make and really really delicious.  click the pics to get to the blogs/recipes.

1. Cookie Dough Truffles from Bakerella. i didn’t do the sprinkles or sticks tho.

2. Mexican lettuce Wraps from Peas and Thank You, otherwise known as chickpea tacos to me.  i omitted olives and jicama and added peppers, goat cheese, and cucumber.