Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween at the Beach

Happy Halloween!

(from a vampire and Miss Muffett)

What are your plans?
Other Halloween surfs: 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Polaroids of Vegetarian Food

farro soup: h2o+ vegetable bouillon cube, farro, kale, tofu, mushrooms, onions, garlic // spicy tomato soup
apple slices and almond butter mixed with dark chocolate chips // ricecakes w/ cheese, lentils, onions and liquid aminos (weird, but good!) 
raw spiked kale quinoa salad // brown rice pasta and chopped cherry tomatoes sauteed with lentils, capers, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, feta cheese, yum, this was so good, you guys. 

+for other vegetarian meal ideas, visit the veggie page. I tried to organize it more.

+p.s. how many people would be interested in a vegetarian recipe link-up? Maybe a bi-monthly "Meatless Monday" kinda thing where we can share new recipes we've tried? Anyone? Anyone? I've been thinking about this lately, but I'm not sure about it yet. Especially if no one is interested! :) I've also thought of expanding it to include all kinds of homemade things (art projects as well). Thoughts? 

Monday, October 28, 2013

An Old Port for Me

Newport Beach, California. 

I was born about 700 feet from here. Obviously, I don't remember that moment of my life, but I have so many other memories from this area. My Nonny and Poppy lived here. My Grandma and Grandpa and my parent's boat still do. Some friends, too. 

The first time I ever remember noticing the moon was on my Poppy's shoulders in his backyard here. Every time I look at it now I still think of that night when I first saw the man in the moon; now I think the man in the moon is my Poppy. I love the moon. 

I worked here for three summers during college, teaching little kids to surf. My boss was crazy. One time he screamed in my face and told me I wasn't worth the money he was paying me because one of the camp counselor kids I was in charge of lost a surfboard. Then, I had to drive this 11 year old camper home. She was so sweet and told me she thought I didn't deserve to be yelled at. I remember thinking she was so empathetic and mature for her age. Another time, on the last day of camp, my boss took us to a fancy Mexican restaurant and bought us shots of top shelf tequila to celebrate the end of camp. Then he left me with the bill. 

It's funny though, because when Scott and I came to surf at the same beach where the surf camp used to be, I could only think of this time fondly. I remember there were some kids from Las Vegas who were given the gift of surf camp for Christmas. They were some of the most stoked people I'd ever seen. They really appreciated the ocean because it was the first time they'd ever seen it. I remember carrying several foam surf boards on my head across 300 yards of sand just so I could prove I was as strong as the boy counselors. I remember driving my dad's 1972 GMC Jimmy through Laguna at 5 a.m. so I could surf the river jetties in the dark before camp started. I remember surfing the foamies during the lunch break and bonding with my fellow counselors at The Big Belly Deli after work. 

I have hundreds of memories from camp, and taking the boat out with my family, and pulling pranks with my sisters and cousins, and being at Nonny and Poppy's house which felt like another home, and going to my Grandparent's wedding, and to Nonny and Poppy's funerals. All of these memories came from this area and they all came back to me this weekend when I paddled out at tower 68. 

You can practically get hepatitis a, b, c, d and e, from surfing this close to the Santa Ana river mouth and the dog beach, but the waves were crappy and the weather was foggy, so it was, of course, worth the risk. Or at least, it was worth the memories. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

#Love, #Mamming

It's been kind of a crazy week around here. I feel like I've been saying that a lot lately (waah, waah). It's becoming very obvious that there's no getting out of this being an adult thing now. I'm in it for the long haul (or at least until the weekend). It's hard sometimes, but when I think about what it would be like to find out you have breast cancer like my cousin Michelle did almost a year ago, it really puts things into perspective. Talk about having to deal with something like a grown-up.

I wanted to follow-up on my post in March about Michelle's battle with breast cancer.

I was crying one night when I saw how many of you stopped over to Michelle's blog, left comments and have continued reading and supporting her on this scary, crazy journey. It's obvious why you'd like her blog. It's still better than the book I'm reading now and all the books I read this summer. She tells it like it is. She's inspiring and thoughtful. But I want to thank you for supporting someone I love so much. Someone you probably don't even know. Your actions remind me of the intrinsic good in people and I'm sure they have made Michelle happy.

Now, on to the best news of all the news in all the world (or at least in mine). Michelle is in remission! Yeah. Michelle is cancer free!

Michelle is healing and Michelle is stronger and Michelle is moving forward. Not just that, but even with all the havoc a disease like cancer can wreak on your life, Michelle has been doing a lot of good. Not just with her blog, but through her work as a copywriter.

You may have heard of #Mamming. Maybe you've done it. Michelle helped with that campaign! Below is the video. It's a very creative and funny way to take the awkwardness out of mammograms. It's a very constructive way to spread the word about the importance of checking yourself for breast cancer. Or as Michelle put it, "It’s much cooler than a pink ribbon on a salsa jar." Yes.

p.s. check out Brianne's page for the 3 day cancer walk. She's raised about 68% of the funds needed for the walk and she was partially inspired to do it because of Michelle.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tuesday 10-22-13

Today is the first day I didn't have little buddy on a Tuesday in almost two years. I have my first day with a new little guy tomorrow. For a while I just lay in bed, even though I have things I need to do. Dealing with an issue related to my property management job is at the top of that list. I watch the Today show for a while. I recall it being on most mornings when I was growing up and, although my parents watch CBS News now, it still seems like what I should do to start my day. 

I decide to do art next. I want to explore my creative mind more. I feel I'm always grasping for a creative enlightenment I never quite seem to reach. A part of me is happy about that. If you really arrived at your creative boundary that would probably be really depressing. I'm actually not sure such a thing exists. I think you can always grow as a person, forever.

There's a fine point pen I need to buy to finish my drawing of a hot air balloon. I decide to drive to the art shop down the road. I pick out a black pen with a .08 felt tip. I draw with it for a minute on provided test paper, putting the pen through a bit of a trial before I decide if it's the one for the job. It is. When I pay, the girl says "Can I tell you something kind of weird?" I'm nervous, but curious to hear what it is. She says "You smell like the Caribbean." None of the options I considered were even close.  I laugh a little and she wonders if it's perhaps because of my shampoo. I tell her I haven't showered today and we both awkwardly laugh. Then she says, "Well that's good then". 

Next, I go to CVS to pickup a few things. The only people in the store are me, the workers and an elderly couple looking at candles. I'm used to waiting in a line so long I can usually get through my whole instagram feed, but today I stroll right up to the pharmacy counter. As I leave, I decide to go down the holiday isle so I can be surrounded by the Halloween decorations, but they have already been replaced with Christmas ornaments and trees. What a bunch of crap. 

On the way home, I notice things in my town I've never seen before. The coffee shop sells boiled peanuts? Are those any good?

Then I'm home and I feel the urge to write this all down. It's an ordinary day, but that makes it all the more likely to fizzle away in my mind. I don't want it to. I like this day so far. It's random, but typical. I'm on my own schedule. On my own adventure, in a way.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Watch Your Step

I could tell it was early fall just by the temperature of the sand and water. The sand was cool, while the water temperature was hovering around 70º. It almost seemed like the ocean was defrosting your feet once you stepped in.

The waves were so small I had surf down the beach from my usual spot to pick up more of the south swell. I caught a couple as a man observed from the beach with a cup of coffee in hand. Even with the distant company, I felt like I was all by myself out there. Or at least I felt like it was just me and the animals. A pod of dolphin swam by. I dunked under the water because I heard my friend Todd tell someone once that you can hear them talking when they swim past if you submerge your own ears. I couldn't hear them today, though. The only audible noise was the muffled sound of the crashing waves. Everything sounds so different under there. It made me wonder if those dolphin were popping their heads up to see if they could hear what I sounded like. I was singing at some point, but I'm not sure they really wanted to listen to that.

I rode my last wave in and began walking up the beach. Because of the high tide, I had to wade in the water to get around a seawall and it was then that I stepped on a stingray. It's never happened to me before, by some miracle I think, but when it happened I knew immediately what it was. He didn't get me too bad. Just a little prick on my left toe, but it was already throbbing like a bee sting once I got to my parents' house. 

I thought maybe, just maybe, those guys might leave me alone because I try to pick up trash to keep them safe, but really it was me that stepped on him. A part of me is glad the stingrays haven't changed their ways despite the increase in beach goers over time. I want them to keep on doing as they do. Eating where they need to eat, sunbathing where they like. I'm the one entering their home, so I guess I need to remember to watch my step. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Thankful Things

1. I jumped in the ocean on my way home from work Tuesday and found these treasures while I was in there
2. sometimes I just love it when nobody's around
3. watching my surf students surf
4. afternoon snack
5. surfing for my students :)
6. waiting for Scott to come home on Fridays feels like waiting for Christmas morning
7. I wonder if this bird thinks its feathers are pretty?
8. this one afternoon for about three minutes a corner of our house looked different than I'd ever seen it look before 
9. A last walk with a person I realize now has become one of my favorites. I guess I'm just thankful for the time we had together over the last two years, because the goodbye was really hard.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Spicy Tomato Soup

I once ate hot soup on a day with 90% humidity while we were sailing in the Caribbean. Scott shook his head, opened an ice cold beer and took a bite of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (of course). Yesterday when I made soup it was about 80º outside, but it's one of my favorite things so I eat it when I want. 

This soup recipe is simple and cheap. If the spiciness isn't your thing, you can easily omit some of the ingredients to suit your palate (or your family's). The other thing that's great about this soup is that it's high in potassium and vitamins A and C. Plus, making it yourself allows it to have far less sodium than the pre-packaged varieties, which are typically pretty high in that category. 

I used a VitaMix to make this recipe, but all you really need is something to liquify the ingredients below and then heat them. I got my VitaMix for Christmas a few years back and I think it's worth mentioning that I bought it (with my mom) online on Black Friday, so it was half-off. This might be something you want to keep in mind in case you're interested in giving or getting one for the holidays. I will say it's a great thing to have if you want to make large quantities of something, for cleansing and detoxing, and because it's easier for the body to digest blended raw foods. Plus, when making soup it heats it for you, which is awesome. 

Here's the recipe I created, along with the VitaMix instructions for blending it that can hopefully be adapted to other appliances if necessary.

serving size: 3-4 

3 beef steak tomatoes
2 cups of spicy tomato juice (or not spicy)
1 red bell pepper, seeded 
1 clove of garlic
1/4-1/2 jalapeño (depending on how spicy you like it)
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
a few sprinkles-1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you like it, again)
a pinch of sea salt

green onions for garnish, chopped and set aside
Parmesan cheese

Place all ingredients, except the toppings, into the VitaMix container. Secure lid. Select variable speed #1. Turn on VitaMix and quickly increase the speed to #10; then flip switch to high. Run for four-six minutes until smooth and steamy. Sprinkle green onions and cheese on top and serve immediately. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Taco Trek

My dad and Scott have talked about doing a "taco trek" through our town for a number of years now. This is San Diego after all, Mexico is just around the corner, and we have Mexican restaurants on almost every corner! In our town alone we have approximately 10 taco shops within two miles. So the idea of walking to all of them and trying one taco at each was born a few years back and finally put into action on Saturday.
You can always count on Pacific Coast Highway to deliver some interesting sights.
Out of about a dozen taco stands, (thankfully) only six were open. I managed to eat a total of two tacos during the trek, which has made it so I still want one when I look at these pictures now (I can't say the same for my dad and Scott). This one was a bean taco with fresh lettuce, two kinds of cheese, tomatoes and a crunchy shell.

The best was the first taco we tried, but I'm not sure if that had more to do with our empty stomachs or the actual taco. We decided crunchy shells were best and actually tasted lighter than the soft tacos doubled up with two tortillas. The walking made the eating easier (and healthier) and now we can say with a bit of authority which restaurant has the best tacos in town. 
Now what's next? A beer at every bar? We have a lot of those too.