New Year, New Blog Post

It’s been almost a year since my last blog post. Ha ha! *cough* Sorry. That is going to change! The last year has been full of many changes. My computer died. I switched jobs and apartments. Went from regular internet access to buying coffee and borrowing a friends computer when I desperately needed to email anything longer than a paragraph. (Smart phones are only good for so much.) I just bought a new (refurbished) computer and my friend and I are sharing internet…one of the many perks of living next door to one of your best friends!

This year contained several other significant changes. Like I said, I changed jobs. I found my perfect play job! I get to cook at a place where I have the opportunity to spend my free time hiking during the summer and snowboarding or snowshoeing during the winter. Pretty much perfect! My co-workers aren’t half bad either. Actually, they’re pretty awesome πŸ™‚

Other changes… One of my best friends had a BABY and I moved next door to her and her adorable little son. It’s so much fun! Because my work takes me out of town all the time it is incredible to know I’m coming home to two people who are always excited to see me.

Work has been crazy busy this year and since two of my jobs take me out of town pretty often, I haven’t been able to make it to my home church regularly. That’s been the hardest part of my “perfect job”. Thankfully, when I’m traveling for my catering job, I am able to go to my parents church or some other church in the area where I’m working! I’m pretty sure I’ve been to my parents church more often during the last few months than I have to my own church. I’m extremely thankful for a church family that calls to check up on me when they haven’t seen me in a while! I’ll be there this Sunday!

Here’s to friends, and church family, and family family. Here’s to change, and new beginnings, and fresh starts. Here’s to a whole new year!

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27th Birthday Blog Party!

It’s my birthday! Twenty-seven years ago today I was born in Portland Oregon to the best parents on earth!

Birthdays are interesting things. When I was younger I always thought I would wake up feeling different somehow… Older maybe. I always felt the same – although I usually felt pretty special πŸ™‚ My family has some great birthday traditions… When I was little we would wake up to a bedroom completely covered in crepe paper! We would have to climb out of it like a spy through laser beams or rip our way through in order to get to the door. As I got older my parents decided that toilet paper was cheaper, so from then on we just got our room “toilet-papered”. One year (when I was either 21 or 22) my dad called up my neighbors/good friends and (easily) talked them into toilet-papering my entire apartment! This year I won’t be waking up to a room strewn with toilet paper. I will instead be waking up at 5:00 am to go to work and cook for 10.5 hours. I’m not complaining. I’m grateful to have a job! I’ll be celebrating my birthday with my sisters on Sunday when we go camping! And next week I’ll be able to see my family and have a little family party…

With my brother at my birthday last year!

Another family tradition that we have is that the birthday person always gets to pick what they want to have for dinner. And when I was little we had “moneyΒ  cakes” that were just traditional style cakes with coins stuck in them! (Don’t worry, the coins were thoroughly washed.) We always got really excited if we got anything bigger then a penny πŸ™‚

This year I want to start a new tradition! I want to celebrate with all of you by hosting a little blog party/giveaway! I’m going to give away a gift box filled with stuff from a couple of my favorite local shops (spices, teas, possibly chocolate), simply because it’s my birthday! In order to be entered to receive this gift box of foodie goodies you need to leave me a comment telling me what your favorite birthday tradition is!

It would make my day if I got a whole bunch of comments – so spread the word!

Sunburns and Shade Fishing

I took a much needed trip to see the Fam for Memorial Day! Actually it was a total coincidence that I went over Memorial Day, I only had two nights off from the house and they happened to be Sunday/Monday.

Very little sleep and a long drive ahead. Yay!

Anyhoo – I left at 5:15am in a effort to make it to my destination in time for church. Perfect timing! It was so great to get out of town and see a different part of the state πŸ™‚ Doesn’t happen very often. Even though I wasn’t super thrilled to be up and driving at that early hour, I did get to see a beautiful sunrise!

I had a great visit πŸ™‚ Met new people at church. Made some great lemonade (see previous post). Walked a bunch on some all-around-town trails. Soaked up some SUN!!! Didn’t soak up as much sun as I wanted to – which is probably a good thing because I would have been buuuurnt πŸ˜‰

Had a picnic and went fishing with the family! I gave my littlest brother a real fishing pole for his 7th birthday (it’s better then mine is!), and he couldn’t wait to try it out. He got pretty good at his practice casting before we even got on the water! Even though we spent most of the day in the shade (in hopes that the fish would be there too) I still ended up pretty pink at the end of the day. O.K. by me! The rest of these pictures are of our fishing adventure. If you see a finger in the picture – it’s my Moms πŸ˜‰

First fish of the day and of Patrick’s life!!!

Biggest fish of the day!

Until next time. Keep fishing!

Basil Mint Lemonade – May Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

Exciting stuff! This month I actually GOT something from my newest foodie pen pal πŸ™‚ She sent me a recipe that she recently posted on her blog for Basil Mint Lemonade AND everything I would need to make it! Including a pitcher and two cups… sugar… lemons, basil, mint… Everything!

I waited until I went to visit my family and then made the lemonade for a nice Memorial Day treat πŸ™‚

I’ve included the original post from Smitten Foodie where you can find the recipe and a beautiful picture of her lemonade!

The following is “Lorna’s simplified version of how to make fantastic lemonade”. Enjoy!

First you need to wash and peel several lemons, trying very hard to only get the yellow part and none of the white.

To make the simple syrup combine the basil leaves, mint, lemon peel, sugar and water in a medium pan and bring to a simmer. Take the syrup off the heat and let it the flavors get all infused together for about an hour (or longer if you feel the need to take a Sunday afternoon nap).

My sister Abby was my assistant photographer/chef! She did a good job putting up with my bossiness in the kitchen. Actually – she does pretty well putting up with all of my bossiness πŸ™‚The next step in the lemonade adventure is to find a man with strong hands (aka Dad) or use a lemon juicer to squeeze all of the many lemons and limes needed for this refreshing drink!

Last but not least – combine all ingredients, add water and… Enjoy!

Thank you Connie for this fun package of goodies!

A few extra thoughts about this recipe:

We discovered the fact that the addition of the lemon/basil/mint simple syrup is an out-of-this-world addition to iced tea! Seriously – I think I like it better then the lemonade. The basil is what really does it. SO good.

That’s all!

(OOPS! Totally forgot to add info about the Foodie Pen Pal program! Be sure to go check out The Lean Green Bean and get all the details from Lindsay here —-> Foodie Pen Pals)