Food We Eat

Breakfast: I'm still working on eating a big breakfast.  I usually have coffee when I first wake up and then eat around 9
 My new favorite thing to eat is Greek Yogurt.  I buy the plain no fat version and top it with fresh fruit, honey and homemade granola.  
 I'm a sucker for a poached egg- top it with a fresh juicy tomato and I'm in heaven. 
Another 'new' favorite in our house- adding bananas to our pancakes. 
I'm the only person in my house who prefers poached eggs so we eat a lot of scrambled. 

 Fish cakes with homemade Nova Scotia 'Chow' made by Dr. J's grandmother and sauteed veggies and  tomatoes.
 Salmon melt made with leftovers
Lunch salad with leftover quinoa
 Homemade sushi- Easiest last minute meal to make if you have some fresh veggies and frozen shrimp
 Leftover meal- make rice into fried rice, add some frozen  veggie, scramble an egg and top with seaweed.

A kids favorite around here-
Chicken cutlet, broccoli and potato 'chips'

 Bean fajita- another easy 'use what you have' meal
  Mushroom/spinach pie
made with homemade bread crumbs 
 I made my first whole BBQ Chicken- It was not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be- turned out amazing- No after photo-
Salmon, peppers and asparagus- Easy dinner to make for a group. 
Ribs, beer and a Texas Twister- at a Rib Festival 
Lobster/Angus beef burger- The Surf and Turf-
  Authentic Chinese- Spicy and no fortune cookie
What have you been eating? 


I Want This: Patio Furniture

Look at how versatile this furniture is.  I am in the market for some awesome outdoor furniture and these would be perfect. 

Made by B-alance a Swiss company with Asian flare

Do you have any outdoor furniture company recommendations or loves? 


Tadao Cern: Strong Wind Photography

These photographs taken by Lithuanian born photographer Tadao Cern catch the facial expressions of his models while being subjected high force winds.  Somewhat appropriately titled 'Blow Job' I still didn't feel comfortable putting this as the title to this post.

First saw them here
and thanks Dani G

Would you ever agree to model for these?
I'm way too self conscious or perhaps vain, to do this!


Finca Ixobel- Ecolodge Guatemala

Finca Ixobel is an ecolodge located in the northern jungles of Guatemala.  Our family spent four wonderful days relaxing, swimming, hiking and eating unbelievably delicious food.  
This self sufficient community was founded by Carole DeVine and Michael Devine, two Americans who travelled in down to Central America in search of a perfect piece of land to purchase.  Since they bought the 400 acres in 1971 the community has evolved to house several houses, outbuilding, barns, natural swim lake, cabins and campgrounds.  The vibe of this place is like no other.  I attribute it to the fact that each detail has been lovingly hand created with the help of volunteers from around the world. 

It is possible to volunteer at the ecolodge for room and board.  We stayed as guests but the boys dove right in to volunteering with the animals. They woke up every morning at 6:30 (often while Dr. J and I slept!) and gathered for the morning meeting where responsibilities were assigned and they worked with the horses, chickens and even fed the turtles one morning.  It was with a great sense of pride that my youngest gathered the chicken eggs each morning and brought them to the kitchen to be used for the days meals.

Ways that Finca Ixobel is eco friendly include it’s self sufficient water supply from natural springs on the property.  They use a RAM PUMP SYSTEM which doesn’t use any energy source save the water and air pressure.  There is a solar clothes dryer.  All the food is composted and they use velmiculture (red worms) to produce black dirt.  There has been an ongoing reforestation program to plant native plants and fruit trees.  

The natural swimming pond is a spring fed and chemical free.  There are several hammock huts around the swimming pond as well as a floating dock and water slide.  To say I enjoyed spending time in the hammocks is an understatement. 

Check out this little friendly guy the boys discovered, the poor fellow ended up in a cup with cellophane and air hole for the better part of the day until I FIRMLY informed my boys that under NO circumstances was he coming into MY cabin. 

We stayed in a Deluxe Cabin which was a free standing building on stilts.  The private bathroom was downstairs and our room consisted of three double beds with mosquito netting as well as a balcony with a private hammock and table with stools.  Needless to say it was perfect. 

There is an un-excavated pyramid on site which we braved
the heat and humidity of the jungle to climb.  We kind of got lost and became very disoriented as the trails are not very obvious.  My older son was worried we would get attacked by guerrillas which my younger son took to mean large monkeys were going to eat us.  We laughed all the way down to safety.

The meals were all served with an honor system.  You could help yourself to many foods and drinks during the day and just record it in the binder under your name.  The evening meal was a family style meal which usually included two choices of main dishes, several side dishes and salads as well as a vegetarian option.  Everything was either produced on site or bought locally so it was all seasonal.  We often ate by candle light and my boys were the official dinner bell ringers during our stay.  Carol the owner and her daughter joined us for most meals and it was very interesting to sit and talk with her, as well as volunteers and guests from around the world. 

These two macaws were at the front of the property.  One was very friendly and talkative, the other was rumored to have bitten a finger or two.  
One of the coolest experiences of my life was going to the jungle bar. 
Picture making your way into a dark jungle, in the middle of the night with the sound of music beats as your only guide.  Dr. J and I did this one night and it was a pretty neat experience to find a bar in the middle of the jungle.  The picture above is what the bar looked like during the day! 

Have you every stayed at an ecolodge? 


Ghost Towns Around The World

I have always been fascinated with ghost towns.  Maybe it's the calm quiet that surrounds them or the many stories of lives that are left behind.
The monkeys love to go fossil hunting around the Mojave Desert where there are several abandoned mining towns.  Some of them are really remote and hard to get to which makes me nervous.  Others have been made into 'Old West' touristy towns and a lot of the solitude that draws me is lost.
We are in the midst of mapping out and planing a few excursions in the coming months to some abandoned (read quiet) ghost towns.
Here are some ghost towns around the world that I would love to visit:

Chaiten, Chile is a fairly new Ghost Town having been abandoned in 2008 when a nearby volcano started spewing ash. Plans to relocate and compensate the residents are still on going. 

Varosha, Cyprus was once a thriving tourist town known as the Maras district until the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.  The whole area was sealed off and became a no man’s land.  To this day a small part of the beach resort is still considered ‘occupied’. 

Prypiat, Ukraine is one of the abandoned Ghost Towns that used to house (over 50,000) workers from the nearby Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.  When disaster struck in 1986 the town was abandoned.  Because of the nuclear contamination residents were only permitted to take paper documents making it a unique glimpse into life in the Soviet era.  (Okay- I wouldn't really want to visit here but the photos fascinate me!)

Belchite, Spain this Ghost Town was the site of war between General Franco’s troops and the Spanish Republican Army in 1937.  Completely destroyed instead of rebuilding a new village was built near the ruins of the old one.  

Do you like Ghost Towns? 
Have you visited any Ghost Towns? 

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