O is for Ocean

[Pictured: Me when I was my ideal weight. Now goal weight]
[Not pictured: The amazing wave I just caught]

Alright, so I live in an in-land state and I see the actual ocean infrequently but I believe if I lived near it then it would be no less hypnotizing than it is to me now.

For me, merely watching the ocean is enough. It is the same type of trance inducing movement that a campfire invokes.

I also love swimming, floating and being tossed around by [gentle] waves. Body surfing is also FUN.

Another thing I find fascinating about the Ocean is that we keep finding new and amazing stuff that lives in ridiculous extreme underwater environements.

Whether I am walking along, wading, swimming or [failing] at surfing I still think the ocean is fun.

N is for Nail Polish

Okay, so I don’t have quite as many colors as is pictured above. But I love painting my nails. Sometimes you just have to do something super girly and this is the quickest way to get that point across.

That super sexy black strapless may not fit the way it did five years ago, but neon blue will still make your fingers pop!

Getting my nails done at a salon is not as enjoyable, but painting nails at a slumber party is definitely my speed. Conversations about boys, punching someone’s face in, upcoming exams, or life in general.

Nail polish is relatively inexpensive, expresses self/moods and is simply FUN in a bottle!

E is for Eating

Dessert first!

Eating is something I have always loved to do and still love to do. I enjoy most foods: veggies, fruits, grains, meats, sweets, etc :)
This may not be what most people call fun, but I really enjoy it.

I like baking and cooking food and I really love eating it! I’m a grazer while I cook, so often times I’m full by the time everyone else is ready to eat.

I still believe the best way to eat a mango or watermelon is to sit on the back porch in the sunny afternoon with juice dripping down to my elbows and being so sticky and gross that I have to wash my arms in the watering hose outside.
Not every food has to be enjoyed via elbow ingestion, but some of the best experiences are where you can really dive into the food.

don't forget the turkey

Much like cooking and baking I really love to eat with other people. I will go to the extent of skipping an actual meal (only snacking) if I can’t find anyone to eat lunch with me.

I cannot express to you the joy of my taste buds when I first ate Indian food. Curry and lassi melting on my tongue. I ate very slowly, taking sips of icy water to clean my pallet between bites and reintroduce the spicy flavor to my mouth with each forkful.

Eating: You have to do it so often during your life time why not enjoy it? Add a bit of garlic or red pepper and really enjoy the food you’re eating.

C is for Campfires

click for image source

One very important aspect of what I am learning this semester are the seven Leave No Trace principles. One of those is Minimize Campfire Impacts and above is a picture of one of the ways you can do that.

By creating a mound fire or building up a pile of dirt on top of a garbage bag or aluminum foil you can raise the fire off the ground and keep it from scarring the land, addtionally it will help to contain the ashes. So when you’re done burning your fire, which can be larger than the twiggy fire shown in the picture, all you have to do is scatter the ashes.

Having campfires on a trip in the backcountry is a luxury and not a right. Our professors have admitted that we’re the group that most loves to have campfires over the past few years and they allow us to enjoy them because we have good LNT practices.

As a camper and outdoorsy person I can say how much I LOVE campfires and smelling like campfire smoke after a weekend in a tent. And, as an LNT Master Educator I can say I know how to minimize my campfire impacts as best as possible.

Please comment or visit the Leave No Trace website if you have any questions about the seven principles.

B is for Baking/Day Seventy-Four: Bah-Bakin’

loaves of awesome

Besides Blogging, Boardgames, Bubble Baths and Bocce (Bot-chi), I love to bake! I don’t feel that I make enough time for myself for baking, but it’s really really fun. Kneading bread should really be in its own fun category, it’s a work out and tons of fun at the same time.

Not just baking bread, but also…

broccoli/cheese/rice cassThis is one of my favorite comfort foods. Also, it is ridiculous how easy this is to make. Simply throw all of it in the baking dish and give it a few minutes in the oven.

blackberry cobbler

I also like baking sweet stuff from time to time. This is a picture of the cobbler I made last summer using the blackberries on our farm. It was a “drop cobbler” recipe in which spoonful sized bits of dough is dropped among the berries, sugar and cream. Much more even and there wasn’t that evil “crust” area that is so often neglected in pie crusts and some cobblers.

Did I mention I also love photographing my baking projects?