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A Tale of Two Beaches

Coming from Southern Louisiana, the beaches we would often visit were in Alabama/Florida Panhandle or the “Emerald Coast” if you’re fancy like that. Those beaches had silty, white sand that was blazing hot and small waves in cool water. Everyone took a dip in the water, even if it was just to cool off and usually you would be dry again after 20 minutes in the tireless sun.  I spent several long weekends there from my time at college in New Orleans, and I loved those beaches!

August 2009 trip to Orange Beach, Alabama

Now we’re living in Northern California for the time being, and the beaches are definitely different than our “norm”. This is what I’ve learned:

1. They are cold and they have cliffs!

Half Moon Bay

2. The sand is more like gagillions of little pebbles and the waves are BIG! The crashing waves will easily lull you to sleep.

3. FOG! You’re driving to the beach, windows down, music up, blue skies, excited to be almost there….. and it creeps over you and hides the sun.

4. Rocks, seaweed, and dog friendly!!

Carmel, CA

5. You can wear all those linen long sleeve shirts and scarfs that you see fashion models wearing in the magazines on the beach. Back home, I would see these ads and think those women were insane…now I know & I want to throw in one of those “summer sweaters”.

Actually, I love the beaches here, too! I like that I can wear actual clothes to the beach & not leave dripping in sweat. I like that I don’t have to prepare a fake tan for 2 weeks prior to going to Northern California beaches, because I’ll likely never be warm enough to be in a bathing suit. I love that dogs are allowed on several popular beaches and I adore the cute beach towns here. My favorites so far are Carmel and Half Moon Bay, and I’m sure I’ll discover more in the next 2 months.

I do miss swimming in the Gulf, floating on raft, or body boarding and getting tossed in the waves.  The only people going into waves here are under 10 or have a wetsuit and a board. I also long for the “shopping high” after getting deals at the outlets lining the Gulf coast highways.

I’ve always loved being near the water for relaxation, reflection, inspiration, sleep, and drinking. All in all, the beach is one of my favorite places to go, no matter which coast I’m on!


Cabin Fever

As a Southerner, I am now enjoying a Colorado winter. Snowy days remind me of pretending to be sick in grade school. All morning, you’re just excited that you got away with it and happy to lay on the couch watching morning talk shows. But by noon, you’re over it and bored. That’s how I feel today on a snowy Sunday. We were supposed to go skiing, but the amount of snow predicted will make the roads treacherous for this evening. So, as a newcomer to cabin fever, I have developed a day of indoor activities. Firstly, stretchy pants/PJs are suggested, although not required, and make-up is strongly discouraged, why not let your face breathe a little today?

1. Baking, just Funfetti cookies b/c that’s what I had left over in the pantry. Did not follow high altitude instructions, because I was secretly hoping they would come out terrible so that I wouldn’t eat any-no such luck, they are delicious!

2. Wrestle with the dog, in an effort to get her to stop whining and leave me alone. Also, hid her bone so she had to go find it.

Please excuse her eye boogers, she is taking advantage of being snowed in and letting herself go a little. Here we are watching the snow from the window. Ok, so maybe Kerbey isn’t the only one letting herself go.

3. Catch up on your reading. I plan on downloading Kris Carr’s new book, and Chad’s reading a Dean Koontz book.

4. Yoga Practice. I subscribed for a monthly membership to where I can stream live video or do one from my downloads.

5. Catching up on Grey’s Anatomy on Hulu.

6. Making some phone calls to far away family and friends.

7. Fold up our Saint’s Jerseys for the season :(. Our season is over, but I’m still proud to be a New Orleans Saints fan, and happy they made it to the play-offs!

Pandora’s Jack Johnson playlist is bringing some tropical sounds into our chilly apartment.

By tomorrow morning, I’ll be wishing I could call in sick and do this all over again!


My new favorite thing:



Why did it take us so long? Actually I know why it took so long: I don’t LOVE movies (gasp!) I know, I know-what kind of boring, fun-sucking person am I? I mean, movies are ok. At times, it feels like a waste of 2 hours when I could be doing something more productive. Our movie collection (20 dvds, only 4 were mine) did not make the cut for our traveling lifestyle, so enter Netflix (thanks to my husband).

So why is Netflix my new favorite thing? Solely for one reason: documentaries! For some reason, I don’t feel like I’m wasting my time watching a documentary. Maybe because many of them are books and watching them will take less time than reading? Here are two documentaries that are worth your time (even if you read the book!):

The Botany Desire with Michael Pollan

The documentary (book) looks at four plants: apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes from a very different point of view. Pollan has the insight to look into the history of these plants in a way that demonstrates how each plant has seduced the human race into propagating them. Pollan flips the egocentric idea that plants are working for us and instead finds how they have evolved in order to be more desirable. The more desirable a plant, the more it appeals to our genetic or societal ideals, then the more likely we will help that plant to thrive. This documentary covers it all: genetics, history, society, science, and answers questions that I had not thought to ask.

No Impact Man: The Documentary

Love him or hate him, Colin Beavan put together an interesting challenge that translated very well to film.  He has decided to take one year and apply every reduce, reuse, recycle principle (and then some) in order to live “no impact”. His documentary webpage describes the rules of his no impact year:

“It means eating vegetarian, buying only local food, and turning off the refrigerator. It also means no elevators, no television, no cars, busses, or airplanes, no toxic cleaning products, no electricity, no material consumption, and no garbage”

What I loved about this movie (other than the fact its straight up reality TV-which is not at all a waste of time 🙂 ) is that his wife was not 100% on board with all of the rules, but she went along with all the craziness and ended up enjoying the transformation to a “less is more” philosophy. His wife, Michelle Conlin, represents the average woman and their place in this consumer society. Her presence in this documentary made it real and watchable.

Since we are changing location every 3 months, we elected to pay for the “watch instantly” membership for $9.99/month.  It allows us to watch movies without having to worry about updating an address to have movies sent to us. The watch instantly movies are a limited selection, but they are streamed instantly to your computer and can be paused and resumed at any time without keeping the window open. Our membership also allows one movie at a time to be sent to your home, although it’s unlikely we’ll use this option.

disclaimer: Netflix has not paid for this blog post/advertisement in any way.

At Last

There is one thing that I have been missing since we started out on the road…

Green Monsters !!!

Green Monsters (GM) are smoothies with veggies added, usually spinach or kale, to make them green!  You can find more info and recipe ideas here: . The movement was started by healthy living blogger, Angela, at Oh She Glows.

I was seriously missing the GMs! I had sold my blender at the last yard sale we had before we left home and without it, our lives devastatingly smoothie-less. When we packed up all of our things, I gave myself one medium-sized box for kitchen ware. If it didn’t fit in the box, it wasn’t coming with us. My favorite mixing bowl, 3 very sharp, good knives, and a deep skillet/saucepan made the trip and I was happy. Then I started craving spinach, so I put it on pizza, made salads, spinach lasagna, but nothing filled the hole of the Green Monster. So I broke down and bought the smallest blender I could find:

The Magic Bullet

I plan on giving away the 4 “party cups” to Goodwill or if anyone out there wants them. I’m not sure which kitchen item will get voted out of the “kitchen box” to make room for this blender, but I have 3 more weeks to think about it before we pack up again.

Here’s what I put in my GM:

Fresh strawberries
Frozen Mango
Fresh Spinach leaves
Soy Milk
Plain or Vanilla Greek Yogurt

I’ve tried using all frozen fruit and veggies before, but it just doesn’t have as much flavor. I used to think I hated spinach because the only way I had ever tried it was frozen or canned, fresh spinach is so much better. In this smoothie, I don’t even taste the spinach, but I’m glad it’s in there! You can get your 5 servings of fruits and veggies with just one drink!