Snowmageddon / Snowpocalypse

Snowmageddon, snowpocalypse, snowzilla, kaisersnoze, snOMG, what ever you want to call it, we had it.  From 12″-18″ of snow overnight…

snow on tree limbs

Fluffy pow pow!

…to freezing rain, sleet, hail and high winds the next few days, it was a mess.  Ice Ice Baby, you got that right Mr. Vanilla!

tree with ice

tree limbs ice

pine tree ice

pine needle ice

icicle christmas lights

icicle at night on tree limb branch

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Bang Bang Cauliflower

 An all time favorite appetizer of ours is the Bang Bang Shrimp from Bonefish Grill.  If you don’t know what I am talking about, then do yourself a huge favor the next time you roll by a Bonefish, stop in for a drink (which are usually awesome!) and order the shrimp.  I have not met a single person who has disliked the bang bang.

BoneFish Grill's Bang Bang Shrimp

After making a batch of shrimp for a recent luau party, I had a lot of leftover sauce that I couldn’t let go to waste.  What to put it on we pondered?  That head of cauliflower being neglected in the back of the fridge?

“Who… me?”

Yes you , you big, beautiful, white, brain-looking, hunk of anti cancer phyto-chemical nutrition you!

Chopped up the Cauliflower into fairly small, uniform florets.  I believe Bonefish deep fries their shrimp, which I had thought about doing, but didn’t feel like making a big mess with the breading and the grease.  So I sauteed the cauliflower in a little bit of olive oil in a large wok until nice and golden.  Then I folded in the sauce to coat the florets.

Voilà!

For the sauce:   You will find a lot of recipes floating around on the web, some with honey, some with peanut butter, some with soy, some with sriracha.  The main ingredients are basically just a mix of mayo and sweet chili sauce (Mae Ploy).  Experiment on your own to see what you dig on!

FREEcycling

For years we have both been recycling as much as possible as well as selling or donating all of our old clothing and household items.  I have always hated seeing perfectly good objects being thrown out in the trash.  At my last job, I noticed a LOT of things though very old, still very usable to somebody (somewhere) being tossed into the dumpster (some still in the original packaging!!).

This is when I stumbled across a great resource called FREECYCLE.  Straight from their website:

“It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.”

Essentially what you do is, log on to Freecycle, post on their forum what it is you have with the word “OFFER” in the title and wait for someone to respond saying they want it.  Likewise, if you are looking for something for yourself, you post what it is you want with “WANTED” in the title.

Through Freecycle I have found lots of good homes for old bikes, stickers, posters, boxes, appliances, shirts, odd trinkets and parts.  I even helped out a local school teaching kids about urban city gardening with my donation of about 40 used 5 gallon oil buckets.

Signs, signs everywhere a sign!

state signs

Just a few of the signs we passed

Our adventure took us 4000 miles through 16 states and even into part of Canada.  We saw some jaw-dropping beautiful scenery along the way as well as some, oh… “less picturesque” stretches of highway.  It really makes one appreciate all that this great nation has to offer.

Favorite parts:  Western Montana and Glacier National Park (more about those in another post).

Avoid if possible:  US-212 W in Eastern Montana there is literally nothing to see but flat land for almost 200 miles.  Eastern Washington was a surprising letdown of similar scenery.

West Coast Move (Part 2)

After much research and debate we finally decide to go with PODS for moving our possessions across country.  I couldn’t have be happier with the decision especially after our road trip was over, when I realized just how much of a pain in the rear it would have been to drive a U-Hual (with car in tow) almost 4000 miles over the varying terrain and elevation changes.  The fuel alone would have ended up costing us more than anything. Full service shipping companies were out of the question because parking was tight in our little townhome community not to mention the expense.  PODS dropped off their container at our doorstep, we filled it at our leisure and called them when we were done.  They sent out a truck to pick up the pod and shipped it to our new location.  Simple (although the packing part wasn’t so fun!).

{POD party!}

Parting was such bittersweet sorrow.  Though ecstatic about moving on to a new life in a place that is world renowned for its beauty, we couldn’t help but feel sad to leave.  We were leaving behind some great friends, two solid jobs and lots of good memories.

We traded in the beach cruisers and surfboards for mountain bikes and snowboards, down sized and donated a TON of stuff to local charities.  It was tough to let go of things at first, and some even made the trip out west before we decided to let go, but ultimately we knew we wanted to simplify our lives and that meant taking a stand (against ourselves) and saying adios!

I finally let go of my baby, my first and only vehicle, a ’92 Toyota pickup.  Something I never thought I would part with.  Loved that truck.  Equally as hard for Deb, was locking the door and saying goodbye to her first house.

{tears of joy…and sadness}

Our West Coast Move (Part 1)

{sunrise on “The World’s Most Famous” Daytona Beach}

After 10 years in the great, sunshine armpit of the United States (Florida), we packed our bags and headed for greener pastures.   Okay, so Florida was not that bad, the sunshine was amazing and we had a nice lifestyle biking alongside the ocean, morning BOOTCAMPS on the beach with Jen, yoga with our girls at  – RENEW YOGA, mojitos on the deck overlooking the ocean with spectacular sunrises, quick trips to Key West, Bike Week and Biktoberfest (always great people watching), and let’s not forget about our amazing friends!

{cruising down the intracoastal waterway in the boat on weekends}

{custom cruisers}

But we always felt somewhat trapped there as if there were literally only one road out.  Which wasn’t far from the truth and you would know it come hurricane season when the traffic was bumper to bumper on I-95 with everyone trying to head north…the only direction one could go!

A good friend of ours said it best when she noted that the ocean is unstable and ever changing giving you that wild and restless feeling while the mountains, on the other hand, are strong, stable, immoveable.  While we really love both, we felt that it was time to feel settled and grounded and now was the time to move on to a place that offered us both mountains and ocean within a short distance and offered a little more depth and character than Daytona Beach.  I like to think of it more as, “becoming one with nature!”

{sunset over the ICW…goodbye duck family}

Granola Defined

Why Granola Wannabes?  Lets examine the definitions:

Granola |grəˈnōlə|- [as adj.] – chiefly derogatory denoting those with environmentalist political views, typified as eating health foods (i.e. “granola bars”).

[noun] – a kind of breakfast cereal consisting typically of rolled oats, brown sugar or honey, dried fruit, and nuts.

Wannabe |ˈwänəbē; ˈwô-| – [noun] – informal derogatory a person who tries to be like someone else or to fit in with a particular group of people.  ORIGIN 1980s:

Granola is typically an adjective used to describe people who are environmentally aware (flower child, tree-hugger), open-minded, left-winged, socially aware and active, anti-oppressive/discriminatory (racial, sexual, gender, class, age, etc.) with an organic and natural emphasis on living, who will usually refrain from consuming or using anything containing animals and animal by-products (for health and/or environmental reasons), as well as limit consumption of what he or she does consume, as granola people are usually concerned about wasting resources. Usually they buy only fair-trade goods and refrain from buying from large corporations, as most exploit the environment as well as their workers, which goes against granola core values. The choice of not removing body hair and drug use are not characteristics that define granola people.  And people, regardless of granola status, may or may not partake in said activities. This definition is sometimes confused with hippie.

Tree-huggers, hippies, granolas, whatever you want to call us, the two of us have opened our eyes to how beautiful the world is and have pledged to ourselves to help keep it that way for future generations.  We will try our best to do our part to keep it clean and live sustainably supporting things that are local and organic.  It admittedly will not be a complete lifestyle change and that is why we are just a bunch of wannabes, as we will always be trying to “keep up with the Johnsons” (zero-waste family).