Make it a good one, a safe one, and a fun one, cherishing family and friends.
If you’ve never been to California’s central coast, you’re missing out. Big time.
Hubby and I celebrated our 4-year wedding anniversary recently and took a trip we’ll cherish forever. From the beauty that is Bug Sur to experiencing farm life and topping it off with some fun in the sand dunes.
Honey tasting, strawberry basil popsicles and meeting great folks at Jack Creek Farms on the way to our B&B:
The lovely grounds and our amazing cottage at A Little Organic Farm & Cottages:
Farm-fresh picnic breakfast:
Warm summer nights make for great start gazing:
Up by dawn to bottle feed the kids (baby goats) and milk the does (adult female goats) – my bucket list just got a little shorter!
A little hiking and exploring:
Stopped by this place (we’ll be back someday to stay!):
Topped it off with a stop at the dunes:
A huge thank you to Gary and Cindy (and shadow and red) of A Little Organic Farm & Cottages for welcoming us with open arms (and wagging tails)! Their organic farm is gorgeous and breakfast amazing, these pictures don’t do any of it justice. And the goats, they’re pretty awesome, too. Thanks for the milk.
Gosh, how I love getting out in nature. It really gives my soul some peace. Beautiful views, fresh air, animals and creatures. It all just comes together for me.
Last month, the Sunday of Memorial weekend to be exact, hubs and I took the dog and set out to hike Sitton Peak.
A nice, leisurely, peak hike right in our backyard. Sitton is not a real high peak, only ranking in at almost 3300 feet, and the trail only approximately 10 miles round trip, out and back. The first four to five miles or so are mostly uphill (nothing too steep), with some places of downhill or level ground. The last section is a bit of a scramble up a pretty steep, not well maintained path. Once you reach the top, you’ll find some nice sitting boulders (where we ended up relaxing and napping on for quite a while) and an old metal can with notepads to sign your declaration (some of which being pretty entertaining!).
Overall, a very pretty hike, that’s not too strenuous, not too long, dog friendly, and close to home. I give it two thumbs up!
Back to the pesto. It goes with almost anything. Burgers, pizza, pasta. Yes, I do eat these on occasion. And I consider them more gourmet with pesto, which by default makes them healthier. Right?
But really, I put this stuff on almost everything. Eggs. Avocados. Toast with eggs and avocados. As a veggie dip. In wraps and sandwiches. On tacos. With roasted eggplant. Or any roasted vegetable really. And even with just a spoon sometimes.
So this pesto I’m talking about. It’s awesome. And hubby approved. Which means it’s actually awesome, not just Tiffany awesome. He even said about the last batch I made that it must have crack in it because he couldn’t get enough.
Funny thing about this recipe, though. It’s more of a ratio built around your preference. I normally eye ball everything then blend it all up in the food processor. Easy as pie. Or should that be pesto?
Oh, and it’s vegan. Simply because I don’t feel the need to add tons of cheese to everything I eat (not because I’m vegan…because I’m not). But don’t be deterred, you dairy eating folk. What it lacks in cheese, it completely makes up for in pure deliciousness. Remember, it’s (carnivorous/dairy loving) hubby approved.
If you’re anything like me, and I hope you are, you’ve probably got most, if not all, of these ingredients in your kitchen already. Greens, check. Nuts, check. Olive oil, check. Fresh garlic and lemon, check. Salt and pepper, check.
Traditional pesto is made with basil and pine nuts, but in true Tiffany fashion, I’ve got to mix it up and make everything my own. So, I use whatever greens I’ve got on hand (normally kale or arugula, sometimes basil), and whatever nuts I’m feeling that day (usually cashews, since they’re creamy like pine nuts, but not as ridiculously expensive, and many times I also use almonds or walnuts). And more than just using fresh lemon juice, I also add in the zest, because why not?
Like I said, just throw it all in the food processor, let it whirl, give it a taste, add a little more of this or that to round it out, and you’re good to go.
But this wouldn’t be a true recipe if I didn’t list it out all pretty with some sort of directions, would it?
VEGAN PESTOIngredients greens (basil, kale, arugula, or anything else you like) nuts (pine nuts, cashews, pecans, walnuts, almonds, or anything else you like) olive oil fresh lemon, juice and zest fresh garlic cloves salt
Throw it all in the food processor (maybe start with half and half, greens to nuts, 1 garlic clove, half the lemon juice and zest, a dash of salt and pepper, then add in the olive oil until you get a nice consistency), let it whirl, give it a taste, add a little more of this or that to round it out, and you’re good to go.
What are you gonna put your pesto on?
At my day job, I’m part of the Green Team for our office and we’re celebrating by reminding people to be good stewards of the earth and raffling off “green” prizes like small succulent plants, reusable water bottles, reusable tote bags and reusable food storage containers. Tomorrow and Thursday, we’re also showing the movie Walle during lunchtime. Lots of fun things!
Off the clock, this week (like every week) I’m being green by limiting my driving and carpooling when possible, composting, recycling, eating organic, using non-toxic products, buying in bulk to reduce packaging and waste, and so much more. But while Earth Week is a good reminder for us to be living “green”, I want to stress that we shouldn’t wait all year until Earth Week, we should be green everyday!
How do you celebrate earth day (everyday)?
Nature. My paradise on earth.
I just can’t get enough of it and was getting an itch to explore, so last weekend hubs and I took the dog and set out.
We took the Ice House Canyon Trail up to the saddle and continued up to Cucamonga Peak. While the trek up was quite the climb, 4300′ elevation gain in about 6 miles (12 miles round trip), reaching the 8859′ peak was well worth the burn.
The beautiful weather I’m sure added to the crowds in the first section on this April Sunday afternoon, but once we headed up to the peak from the saddle, we were in near solitude much of the way. A leisurely nap awaited us at the top, a midst the amazing views.
We plan to hike the SoCal Six Pack of Peaks and build up to some higher ones!
READER FEEDBACK: What peaks have you hiked?
A big thanks to Nat of Vim & Vintage for nominating me and this labor of love I call my blog. Every once in a while I need a little pick me up reminding me why I do it. Please check out Nat’s post to get to know her a little more, then stick around and see what she’s got to offer!
Without further ado, below are my answers to Nat’s questions, followed by my list of nominated blogs.1. Why did you start blogging?
Blogging for me started as a way to market and support my stationery business. As the stationery business became more of a hobby, the blog morphed into a journal of sorts, following my crafting and culinary adventures.2. Name 3 words to describe you.
Active. Outdoorsy. Practical.3. How do you keep your creativity alive?
This is quite a challenge for me. You’d think I’d have a lot of pent up creativity from my desk job, but it’s almost the opposite. By the end of the day and week, I’m mentally exhausted, fresh out of ideas and creative drive. I really have to push myself to get into creative mode, but once I’m there, it’s all good. Browsing Pinterest and reading through some of my favorite craft and foodie blogs gets my creative juices flowing!4. Who is your favorite band/artist?
Country music is always my fallback and anything with folk notes I tend to like, but recently I’ve been getting back into some rock and pop. I don’t really have one favorite, so here are some of my current favorites off the top of my head (I’m sure there are many more): Whiskey Myers, Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, Sara Bareilles, Lorde, Kacey Musgraves, Phillip Phillips.5. When did you realize what you wanted to do with your life? Is it still evolving?
Uh, I haven’t…still working on that one. I’m sure it will be a work in progress as long as I live.6. Who is your hero?
Jesus.7. Vanilla or Chocolate?
Depends on my mood.8. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Wow, another challenging question. I have ideas of where I might want to be, but I try not to “see myself” or plan too much for the future, because even the things I see myself doing a day from now always seem to change and I don’t want to put my life in a box. That being said, one of the big things in life I hope to have experienced 5 years from now is welcoming a kid or two into our family.9. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
Nature.10. Ever met any celebrities? Who would you love to meet?
Never met her, but I respect who she is and would love to meet Taylor Swift. She would probably be a really fun person to hang out with.11. What is the best piece of advice you could give to someone who wants to follow in your career path?
Well, if you mean blogging, this is definitely not a career for me, although that would be nice. The only advice I can give is the same advice I’ve gotten from other bloggers: stay true to yourself.
Check out the awesome blogs below that I’m nominating:
If you’ve been nominated, answer the 11 questions below and don’t forget to link back to me so I can find out more about you! Then take some time to nominate 11 of your favorite new/emerging blogs by leaving a comment on their blog asking them to answer a set of questions you come up with.1. Why do you blog? 2. What’s your favorite past time? 3. Do you have any pets? If so, tell me a little about them! 4. If you had the option of going to the desert, ocean, or mountains, which would you choose hands down and what time of year? 5. Is blogging your full time gig? If not, what is? 6. Sweet or savory? 7. Where did you grow up? 8. What is or would be number one on your bucket list? 9. What kind of music do you normally listen to? 10. Bright colors or neutral tones?
11. Tell us one thing about yourself your readers don’t already know.
Congrats! I’m looking forward to getting to know each of you a little better. Keep up all the hard work!