Favorite Posts of 2013

Recaps of the year’s favorite/most viewed/best posts are so trendy in blogland, I couldn’t resist. I thought it’d be a quick post to crank out, but I’ve managed to put together a significant body of work for this blog’s first year!

It was fun to peruse the posts, cringing at some of the awkwardness (don’t worry it’s not going anywhere), and taking joy in the year’s memories and accomplishments. Check out some of my favorites below, and I hope you join me in 2014 for more fun and shenanigans!

10. My first blog post has to make the list! Just a little bit about the motivation behind my blog and how I finally made the leap to start writing.

9. We moved! We got a cat! We celebrated Christmas with Mom in the new spot! There have been so many positive changes in my life, I loved sharing them in this post.

8. My purpose for the Run to Feed the Hungry race this year was to spend the morning taking some time out for myself and reflecting on the things I’m grateful for…the loved ones in my life and a body that can carry me through a 10K. The Thanksgiving Feast that followed? A minor bonus :).

7. A girls trip to Cabo San Lucas? Memories to treasure. Planning a trip to Cabo? I included a few travel tips as well.

6. My Fave Newbie Runner Moments. Because we all have to start somewhere.

5. There’s been a lot of hiking this year, but exploring Point Reyes National Seashore was one my favorites. It also inspired another post I liked writing, how to survive a wildfire.

4. Weekly Workout Recaps are one of my favorite category of posts. I’m a geek for numbers, data, etc., anything that helps me see progress over time, and they’re a great way to reflect on the progress I’m making (or not making as the case may be). I chose this one to highlight because it was a great week for balance. I got my miles in, took in a ball game with the Mr., and discovered an amazing new brunch place with the girls. That’s the kind of week I want to have every week.

3. Discovering a new to us camping spot in Lake Tahoe was a blast. Fishing, beautiful scenery, a huge meadow and a creek all to ourselves…what’s not to love? Maybe the bug bites..

2. Race Recap: See Jane Run 5K. A huge PR for me of 32:59, and on a warm day to boot. Next 5K goal? Sub-30!

1. Celebrating my Dad on his birthday, the first since he passed. Go tell someone you love how you appreciate them just the way they are!

Here’s to another year full of many more favorites!

Always, Sierra

53 bug bites and an itch ain’t one

Considering I’ve been resisting the itch non-stop for five days, that title is about as catchy as I can get. We spent the Fourth in our new favorite camping spot near South Lake Tahoe, only this time the mosquitoes (and flies and yellow jackets and wasps and bees) were out with a vengeance.

bug bites galore7 bites on my right ankle alone! One of them with a nice little white bump growing on it, and all of them painful as heck with hiking boots on. (Sidenote: I really have to take a non-cankle like picture of my feet one of these days.) Word on the street is that mosquitoes find some people more attractive than others and it’s the women doing all the blood-shedding. Now on my to-do list: researching wild plants to reduce the insane desire to scratch my skin off itch.

Bugs and bites be damned, we still had a grand ole time. There was some off-roading.

20130707_111613 20130707_111405Exploring a new to us spot, Indian Valley in the Tamarack Lakes Recreation Area.

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P1000749 P1000443 P1000481 P1000464We ate like royalty (spanish rice, fajitas, chicken quesadillas, steak and asparagus and beans oh my!) but I was on vacation from everything including excessive picture-taking. Had a sad panda moment when we learned no campfires allowed for the whole weekend. That meant no campfire cones and no hobo packs, but we survived and didn’t lose any bits or pieces to frostbite. I even turned the leftover hobo pack ingredients into some tasty fajitas our first night back (marinade needs a little perfecting before I post the recipe).

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Thanks again to B and J for coming out and spending the weekend with us, and one more Happy Birthday to J!

Always, Sierra

How was your Fourth?

Do mosquitoes eat you alive too?

Any tips to make delicious fajitas?

 

Have a Lovely Friday!

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1. I haven’t tried CrossFit yet, but this Reebok tee is almost motivation enough. I’ll take this and this too.

2. Don’t try to hide it, you know you’ve scared yourself once or twice.

3. The evolution of happiness.

4. Registration is open for Let’s Go 510 – The East Bay 10K. Who’s in?

5. Love is love!

6. A newly discovered beer…so good!

7. Are you a time or distance runner? I usually run for distance, I think being able to track just how many miles I’m pounding out adds to the sense of accomplishment.

8. Life to the Full, a new to me blog that I’m digging. Do you read it?

9. I’ll be camping for Fourth of July weekend, and I guarantee you I will have stories about how amazing these turn out to be. I also plan on making some hobo packs, does anyone have any combinations they recommend trying?

10. I’ll also be ordering Cards Against Humanity for the camping trip. Ever played? It’s an adult version of Apples to Apples, and it’ll change your life.

11. Remember a while back I confessed my love for Extreme Weight Loss? This week’s episode was so good! Ryan’s story will have you hooked in the first few minutes, and he gets extra love in my book for being a Packer’s fan.

So I still haven’t made a change from Google Reader, and I’m quickly running out of time. I was kind of hoping that the general outcry would persuade Google it was worth keeping, but I guess it’s time to make the switch. Bloglovin’? Feedly? I’ve heard great things about both. Anyone know how the Android apps are for both?

Always, Sierra

What are your plans for the weekend?

Any one else camping for Fourth of July? Running a race? BBQ’ing up a storm?

Camping Tip and Confessions

Ever do something for so long you just kind of take it for granted? I was showing my co-worker pictures of my recent camping trip to Tahoe, and he asked, what’s with the tarp under the tent? Let’s discuss!

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Pros:

  • Protects the bottom surface of your tent from any sharp objects missed while throwing back a few welcome to camp beers during tent set up
  • Provides a place outside of the tent to take off shoes, and keeps things inside cleaner (this is my fave pro, anything to reduce the amount of sweeping out the tent I have to do at the end of the trip)
  • Keeps the bottom of the tent dry…although there is debate over whether the tarp should be under the tent, or inside the floor of the tent, or just turned into a slip and slide in case of rain. I vote for the latter.

Cons:

  • If you’re backpacking, tarps can take up precious poundage. I’d rather use that for important things…like Captain Crunch Berries.
  • Things like this can happen, no bueno:

Now, getting to the good stuff.

Confession #1: I eat the same breakfast every day during the week: whole wheat English Muffin, almond butter, 1% Cottage Cheese, and fruit (usually berries but I’ll settle for bananas or something citrus-y).

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Do you think I’m boring? Pffh, no worries here. Just looking at it makes my mouth water. It’s got everything I’m looking for: protein, fat, carbs, a serving of fruits/veggies, and lots of antioxidants. So what keeps me coming back?

Almond butter.

Yeah, I know, you’ve heard it all before.

But the stuff is seriously amazing! When I don’t mind dealing with tiny parking lots and sideswiping vans, my fave is made by Berkeley Bowl. I also pick up MaraNatha on occasion. Chunky or creamy, I love it all (that’s what she said).

MaraNathaThe only downside of almond butter is that it can be kind of pricey. We’re on a kick to be smarter with our household grocery expenditures, and I checked the goods out on Amazon.

Mind. Blown. Do you know how many types of almond butter there are? My new mission in life is to try all of them.

Confession #2: Yesterday was my first time knowing National Running Day was a thing. I was hyped up, I was pepped…and then, I did not run. I tried…

treadmill mizuno…but it was not happening. Shoe issues, long day at work issues, motivation issues, tiredness issues, excuses excuses. But! The nice thing about being tired was I couldn’t work up the energy to mind not running. There are 365 days a year and I celebrate running on at least two-thirds of them. I’m doing just fine, thank you very much.

Always, Sierra

Crunchy or Smooth?

Do you tarp when you tent? Do you tarp and no tent?

What’s your breakfast look like? Same thing every day or switch it up? No breakfast?

What’s your favorite brand of almond butter?

Memorial Day Weekend: Camping in Tahoe

The mountains are calling and I must go.    – John Muir

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Camp was established.

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Fishing commenced.

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Some were released.

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Some were eated.

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Nature was enjoyed.

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P1000472The nights were chilly, the days sunny and brisk. Cell phones were turned off, emails, blogs, and social networks forgotten. There were quiet moments alone basking in the sun, and shared moments of joy over fish caught and full moons. Captain Crunch was consumed and tasted of childhood, fresh trout were consumed and tasted of clean wildness. Carving moments of bliss out of busy schedules is what life is all about.

Always, Sierra

How was your Memorial Day?

What’s your favorite breakfast cereal?

When’s the last time you went camping? Where’d you go?