Monday, April 28, 2014

Cookbook - Almost there!

I'm almost done with my cookbook. I have just a few more recipes to cook and take photos of, then add some stories in, and then that's it! I've got to cover done, almost all the veggie recipes filled in and I'm so excited for it to be finally done.

I have been working on this since March, making my dream become a reality, and it has been so much fun! There are definitely a few things I've learned:

-I need to pace myself better. Somedays I will cook 4 or 5 dishes, and others I won't cook any. I'm going to give myself 3 months for my next book, which means only 2 recipes per day, not 3.

- I need to add stuff in to the cookbook as I create and not wait until the end. Although, I did "lose" all the recipes I had typed in somehow (they just disappeared on me!) so I might just type up the recipes somewhere else and then copy and paste.

- I realized that I did not end up with the recipes I started out with. Most of them were winners the first time around, but I decided early on that if the recipe I made did not excite me and make me want to eat all of the leftovers, then I wouldn't put it in my book. (Like the kiwi sorbet.. tasted good, but the color was yucky!)

-I also need to figure out what to do with the leftovers. Mark has been helping me eat them, but I swear I have gained at least 10 lbs since I started this book with all the good food I have been eating (well, the lack of good hiking weather hasn't helped, but I'm sure I'll work it off this summer!) Sooo... if you would like to help eat the leftovers, let me know and maybe you can come over for dinner!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Post Office Tour Update

I have really been enjoying my post office tour of Washington. I am only at 4.5%, but it's fun planning the adventures and actually going on the adventures. 

One of the mini trips I did was along the 167 highway, starting in Sumner and hitting Pacific, Auburn, Kent and Renton. It was raining out, but I definitely got a lot of funny looks when I stood in front of the buildings! It's something I haven't quite gotten used to.

On the way back from New Years Eve up at Crystal, I hit Enumclaw, Buckley and Bonney Lake. The Buckley post office was really hard to find and didn't have the town name on it. I learned that many are like that, including the Redmond one.

I did a quick trip to Tacoma to get the one off Proctor street. I just love that area!

I hit Issaquah after a nice hike to Anti-Aircraft Peak from Redtown Trail head. It was a great hike!

I had my dad and brother stop in Ferndale so I could check that one off my list. I wanted Bellingham too, but I didn't push my luck.

My latest trip was a short jaunt out to Orting, then South Prairie, Wilkeson and Carbonado. It was during Daffodil Days, so there were a ton of cool shop and stalls to look at in Orting. I love Orting, especially the bakery! The South Prairie post office has been one of my favorites. It was just so cute!

While I was in Canada, I got my picture taken in front of the Whistler post office and the Pemberton post office. I love that part of the world!

Next on my tour, I'm hoping to venture out and hit more that are further away. I'm hoping to get a lot of the towns along US 2 from Monroe to Stevens Pass.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Winter Trips

This winter I went on a few trips that were lots of fun. I figure its about time I write about them!

I did a few hikes this winter with the gang. The first hike was on a pouring down rainy day. We hiked to Bullitt Fireplace on Squak Mountain and were going to go further but then it really started to rain so we just headed back to the cars. There were signs everywhere about laminated root rot and that we needed to watch for falling trees. The forest sure smelled... interesting!

We also did a hike from Redtown Meadow to Anti-Aircraft Peak on Cougar Mountain that was a nice easy hike on a beautiful sunny day. At the view point, we could see Lake Sammamish and the snow covered Cascades and it was gorgeous!

I did a few nice hikes with Tina, around Cougar Mountain, to Poo Poo Point and we also wandered around Dash Point State Park. Those were a lot of fun!

I went up to Mt. Rainier to take a walk along the Paradise Valley Road. I took some cool pictures and got to enjoy the snow in October. I was hoping to ski a lot after that, but then the snow melted :(

I didn't get around to snowshoeing too much this year, which was a little disappointing, but I still had a lot of fun walking to the Denny Creek Campground while it was lightly snowing. 

I went on a ski trip to Whistler with my dad and brother in January, and the amount of snow was not a lot but it was still fun. We mostly skied easy and intermediate runs, but it was so beautiful there that I didn't mind!

I went again to Whistler in March and it was amazing! The first day was snowing heavily but it was a great day of powder runs. The second day was a gorgeous bluebird day with lots of fast steep runs.

Oh! I almost forgot! I went tubing at Snoqualmie which was a lot of fun, but there was not much snow so it was like tubing on snow mixed with gravel. I still had a great time with the ladies!

Mostly I have been skiing at Snoqualmie and Crystal with a few trips to Stevens Pass. My latest trip to Stevens Pass was exciting because my niece Caprielle got to ski down a ski run for the first time! She is so cute!

So far I have had a great winter. As much as I love winter skiing and snowshoeing, I am really ready for hiking this summer. And spring skiing. I'm so torn! So I guess I will do both :)

Did you have any fun trips this winter?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Speeding up and slowing down

Life has been going at warp speed while I have been learning to slow down. I'm learning how to relax for the first time in my life and it has been wonderful! I'm so happy I quit my job back in November. 

So here's an update: I've been writing a cookbook on spring produce that I should have finished by the end of April. I'm so excited and so proud of the work I have been doing. I have also had a hard time reining in my creativity. I have so many recipes planned for so many more books and I am so excited about it! It's hard to keep a smile off my face when I talk about it!

I've also been skiing some, not as much as most years because of the lack of snow at the beginning of this season, but I've been getting in some great ski days, especially up at Whistler (and now you can hear the sound of me checking off one of my 2014 goals, which was to ski Whistler twice this year!). I have also officially skied every run at East, Central and West at Snoqualmie, finalizing this accomplishment with Ripcord at Central, which I had dreaded because snowboarders (and some skiers) scrape it clean so its like an ice skating rink, but I went down on a really warm slushy day and it was actually kind of fun! Now all I have left is some double blacks at Alpental, which will have to wait until next year.

This year I've also decided to start peakbagging more, especially along the I-90 corridor, and to get serious about my hiking list. Being the uber list maker that I am, I've already planned all my hikes out to almost 2040. I'm gonna be a busy woman in the next few years!

Another exciting travel goal that I've made is that I want to start high pointing, that is, climb, hike, walk or drive to the highest point in each state, with the exception of Denali. That's the one that scares me the most and that I don't even want to touch. So I'm going for 49, starting this summer with Mt. Whitney. Life is going to be busy, but good!

And for last words, here is my hiking list for the year:

-Deception Pass
-Julia Butler Hansen National Wildlife Refuge
-Green Lake
-High Rock
-Double Bluff
-Bare Mountain
-Lime Kiln Trail
-Grand Park
-Harstine Island State Park
-Mount Beljica
-Grieder Lakes
-Mount Washington
-Mount Higgins
-Sunrise Lake
-Wynoochee Lake
-Narada Falls to Reflection Lakes
-Spencer Butte
-Josephine Lake
-Commonwealth Basin
-Deer Creek Falls
-Chenuis Falls
-Horseshoe Bend
-Big Creek
-Shoe Lake
-Minotaur Lake

Long list, but I want to be hiking almost every Sunday from April 20th to October!

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