Wednesday, October 29, 2014

10-Minute Salmon Wrap

With following macros, sometimes you end up with random combinations. I do it all the time because I'll plan out certain foods around what I need and throw it all together in a wrap or a bowl. It's not always the most creative but often times I sacrifice fancy elaborate recipes for convenience. 

Last night for dinner it was just one of those meals where it doesn't seem to be my typical dinner food because I was focusing on hitting my macros.

Which led me to a salmon wrap!

I also was just looking for something fast and simple before Amanda and I had to head out to our Bible study that we go to every Tuesday. Dinner is usually never fancy on those days because we have to be out the door by about 6 at the very latest. We also had plenty of leftovers from Saturday, and I wanted to use some of the roasted vegetable salad that I had made. 

So for dinner I made myself a wrap of sorts with the leftover salad and salmon on a whole wheat tortilla. It came out great and was very filling!

Usually I have chicken as my protein on my wraps but we didn't have any prepped so I used the salmon as a quick substitute. Plus, it's always nice to switch things up a bit!

This wrap had:
1 can of wild caught salmon (Trader Joe's brand)
1 whole wheat tortilla
2 cups of my leftover roasted vegetable salad
sprinkle of sunflower seeds
rice vinegar & soy sauce

I don't usually like canned fish but I do like Trader Joe's brand. It never has that metallic canned taste but I still prefer to saute the fish a bit to get some color and flavor added. I just drain all the juice from the can, put the salmon in a saucepan and brown it for a few minutes on high. I also added pepper, roasted garlic seasoning, and some salt. I get the unsalted salmon so it's only in water. If not, I wouldn't recommend adding extra salt because that stuff is usually salty enough! 

While my salmon was cooking, I prepped the tortilla and salad! There were plenty of leftover roasted carrots and peppers and a few walnut pieces that added some texture to the wrap. 

Then, once the salmon was cooked I added it on top of the lettuce. I sprinkled some sunflower seeds for more crunch, then a splash of rice vinegar and some soy sauce to give the salmon more flavor. 

And voila! A very macro-friendly wrap for my dinner that took me less than 10 minutes to make. 

Macros: 320 calories, 19g carbs, 51g protein, and 6g fat

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Celebrating One Year Home!

This past Saturday, October 25th, marked my mom being home for an entire year. For those of you who don't know, this is hugely significant to me and my family. In May 2013, my mom had a brain aneurysm and suffered from a hemorrhagic stroke. That's just a fancy medical term for saying that her brain started bleeding on itself after the blood vessel ruptured.

I thought a lot about what I might want to write in this post during my long run on Saturday morning. I prayed that I would have the right words because I didn't want to make it seem as though it was super dramatic to get attention or that I was bragging about myself and my sister or that my mom only survived because she had excellent doctors and nurses. Of course, she did have care from one of the top ten hospitals in the nation but even they admitted that they didn't think they could save her. So, as I was thinking on my run of what I wanted to write suddenly the answer seemed so clear to me: it's a celebration so why not celebrate?!

So, yeah, I could talk about the struggles during the past year because believe me there were plenty of them. Again, I get zero credit of that because God got us through it and Amanda did all the tough work by staying home with my mom since I had already started my full-time job. Not trying to be humble or throw a pity party but that is my true opinion because whatever little I may have helped with, it was all through God and His will.

Anyway, I decided that I wanted this to be a post full of celebrating the whole year since my mom had been home because we were fortunate enough to have those moments together that at one point, I thought we'd never have again. God has been nothing but good to us and He gets all the glory!

So, here's a little timeline of all the wonderful things we got to experience this past year!

November 2013: Thanksgiving!

December 2013: Christmas!

 It was such a joy to watch her unwrap her presents, and one of our best Christmases together so far!

And here's a silly one for good measure! 

February 2014: LAYLA :)

 And of course, WE GOT A PUPPY!!!!!

Also, can we please just talk about what a little bean she used to be! I was able to scoop her up in one arm and carry her around like a little football, those were the days! Whenever I look through old pictures of her when we first got her, I literally squeal with delight because I can't handle how adorable she was (is!). Ok sorry for my crazy dog-mom rant, moving on.

She also served as a perfect little alarm clock for my mom :) I mean who doesn't want to wake up to puppy kisses?!

April 2014: Amanda's Birthday and Easter! 

Lalalalaaaa she's gonna kill me for this one ;)

Anyway, my mom loved being able to celebrate Amanda's birthday with her and be a part of the surprise party! I took her shopping with me so that she was able to pick out her own gifts for Amanda and it was precious because afterwards my mom thanked me with tears in her eyes for allowing her to be part of it. 

Once the weather got nicer in the spring, we were able to take my mom for short walks outside as part of her therapy and allowing her to get some sun! And, yes, that is exactly what it looks like: me and Layla photobombing at our finest. 

May 2014: She Made It a Year! 

It was amazing that day because I got so many calls and texts from friends and family talking about how they found out exactly one year ago what had happened. It was truly so loving and kind! 

We celebrated that day by going to a little Greek Food Festival and filling up on gyros and baklava. If that doesn't say celebration then I don't know what does...

Summer 2014

In June, we were actually able to go on vacation to the beach! It was awesome for us to be able to get away and just spend some time together. What was even better was how far my mom had come to be able to travel, stay in a different house, and enjoy herself! In October when she first came home, there was no way she would have been able to go anywhere. Which was just more evidence of how far she has come! 

We also took fun little day trips during the summer around some of our favorite spots. Like Phipps! And based off most of these pictures, I think we can all figure out by now that I'm a little weird. 

Fall 2014

Another blessing throughout the past year is just little moments like this. My mom helping me bake in the kitchen, doing a small craft with us, or coming along to run errands to Target or Sam's Club. When I think back over the past year, yeah it's awesome to have the big milestones like holidays or vacation, but what truly pieces the past year together are the moments like this. The small ones that might get overlooked in the big picture but the ones you'll never forget. 

And this was taken the past Saturday on the 25th, after she had been home a whole year. We threw her a surprise party where all our family and friends came over to celebrate! She absolutely loved it and was so excited that we took the time to plan it out. 

So, all in all, looking over this past year we've been through a lot. Struggles and triumphs, arguments and apologies, tears and laughter but through everything we've loved one another and our God. It's times like this that make me reflect on how beautiful life truly is and how every day is such a gift! 

I'll leave you guys with this: today take a little extra time to be with those you love, to tell them how much they mean to you, or show them that you care. You never know what's around the bend so treasure the moments as they come! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Honesty Hour: Be Kind To Your Body

Lately, I've gotten emails from girls talking about how they are struggling with loving themselves, being comfortable with their body, anxiety over food, etc. The stories that break my heart because I've been there, and some days I'm there myself. There is no instant cure or solution even though I wish there was, not for myself but for other girls who might be struggling. 

I will never claim that I have all the answers but everything that I share on this blog is from my own personal experience. I know I'm no expert but as I've said before if you need someone to talk to please don't hesitate to reach out. We can be so much stronger if we come together! 

With that being said, I wanted to write a post about how I started my own journey to being more comfortable with my body, and actually getting to a point where most days I love my body, exactly as it is. I can say without hesitation that it took me a solid year to get to this point. I was just starting my journey last September and only in October of this year can I say that I'm feeling the strongest mentally that I ever have in my life. I'm not at my goal yet but I'm still on my way. 

I said there's no instant solution but the first step can be simple enough in theory:

1. Be nice to yourself

It sounds silly and insignificant, right? But think about it. Would you say some of the things that you've said to yourself to someone you love? Like your sister, mom, aunt, cousin, friend, grandma or anyone else that you care about for that matter? Of course not! 

So why would you say it to yourself? Someone you are supposed to love and care about, too. 

The day I decided to be nice to myself is the day where things started to change. Yes, it went SLOWLY, and some days I felt as though I had taken two steps back. But I started to make progress where I never had before. I stopped telling myself that I was fat, that I wasn't pretty, that the number on the scale wasn't low enough, I stopped standing in front of the mirror picking out every single little flaw that I wanted to change about myself. Instead, I stood in front of the mirror and forced myself to pick out things I liked about myself. I'll admit in the beginning I felt like I was being insincere, that I was just going through the motions of the exercise. It took a conscious effort for me to make these changes because wearing myself down on a daily basis was a regular habit. 

But little by little, those small changes started to add up. When you start decreasing the number of times you say something mean to yourself, when you start seeing the things you like about yourself rather than your flaws, then pretty soon the changes will be apparent. 

Two of my biggest supporters! :)

2. Food is fuel 

After I started being nice to myself, I began changing my perception of food. Think about it this way: your body needs food to properly function (I mean, duh) but for so long I saw food as the enemy. If you want your metabolism to perform and your body to be able to do its job, then you need to FEED IT. I would not be able to lift what I can in the gym or hit new PRs without giving my muscles what they need a.k.a. fuel! 

What I did is I took a step back and looked at my body objectively. As the biological miracle that it is, and exactly what it needed in order for me to reach my goals. I looked at myself and started to appreciate what a gift and treasure it is to be alive, moving, breathing, as an independent living being. When you start to look at yourself that way, as a delicate creation, suddenly those societal ideals seem so trivial and pointless. The human body is amazing and we need to treat it with respect, and that means taking proper care of ourselves. I used that as a reminder when I felt a binge coming on and desperately wanted to consume all those "forbidden foods". I knew my body wouldn't be happy with me because your body craves homeostasis, it needs things to remain consistent and balanced. That is the key to repairing any metabolism, and I had to keep that in mind. 

I wanted to respect my body and nourish it. That meant stopping all the binging and restricting that was only wrecking my metabolism and thereby impeding my goals. 

3. Don't Place Limits

Once I had a more positive grasp on food, I made the switch to IIFYM, and stopped restricting myself from any foods. For close to two years, I saw certain foods as "banned, forbidden, bad" etc. I mean any label you want to place on them meaning that they weren't allowed. When I started to slowly incorporate those foods back, I realized I felt less inclined to binge because I was allowed to have those foods whenever I wanted. 

I made the switch to IIFYM because it gave me mental freedom and I felt less guilty about incorporating "naughty" foods. I learned that an Oreo or cupcake every once in a while wasn't going to kill me. It wasn't going to make me gain 50 pounds over night or ruin all my hard work. 

I still eat whole and organic foods a majority of my day but every once in a while I allow myself to try incorporating those foods I once thought I could never eat again. In the beginning, I had to get rid of a lot of those trigger foods but as I got stronger mentally, I could slowly bring them back in one food at a time. Right now in my pantry I have Oreos, cookie butter, pumpkin bagels, marshmallow fluff, tortilla chips, graham crackers, about 5 different flavors of whipped peanut butters, dark chocolate, and I ran out of things off the top of my head. The point is, I have access to those foods but I don't always eat them. The huge thing for me at this point is that I can have them around but not have the irresistible urge to gobble them all up. 

Don't worry, I have the chocolate one too ;)

The reason I can do that is I know that I'm allowed to have them when I want them. All I do is look at my macros for the next day and fit in those fun foods. It's no longer the mentality of "I have to eat all of this right now because I won't be able to eat them later when I go back to being 'clean'." It's all about finding balance and what works for you. I know people who do IIFYM while still following Paleo and each week they allow themselves a non-Paleo meal, and it works for them! 

4. Workouts are a reward for your body, not a punishment 

I have always loved exercise and being active. I am a runner to my core who just happened to also find out that I love to lift as well! For me, exercise has always been an important part of my life as a healthy outlet to reduce stress. Before I began restricting, I absolutely loved my runs. They were therapeutic and allowed me to escape the pressures of my schoolwork. Once I began restricting food, though, and feared gaining weight, I saw running and working out as a means to keep the weight coming off. 

Eventually, I used running and workouts as a means of punishment on my body. For whatever I ate or didn't eat, I forced myself to work out extra or run extra miles. My body was wearing down and getting tired but I wouldn't listen to it. I began to dread my runs because I was exhausted so they ended up being terrible but I would force myself to keep running. I would tell myself that if I didn't run the extra miles that I would be fat or if it was after a binge I told myself that I deserved it, that it was what I got after eating those foods. 

Once I began properly fueling my body, had a more positive perception of food, and a better attitude overall about my body, I found that I started enjoying my workouts again. I was getting stronger, faster, leaner, and loved the progress I was seeing. I'm not talking about physique changes but just being able to lift more or increase my mileage. I loved the feeling of being empowered but most importantly I loved having my passion for fitness back. 

It was no longer a chore to do my workouts out of fear of the scale but rather it was fun again! I began looking forward to my workouts, and felt completely refreshed. Right now, I haven't started my official marathon training but I still take the time to have a long run each week just because I love it and find it therapeutic. 

5. Notice your progress and be proud! 

No matter how small or big the changes, celebrate them and be proud! In the beginning, I used to keep a note in my phone of the number of days since I last had a binge. It was encouraging for me to see that little number increase, and all the more motivation to not have it go back to zero. Of course, I had to reset it a lot and go back to zero but eventually that number got bigger and those resets became farther apart. Eventually, I didn't have to keep track anymore because it became so long since my last one. It's all about recognizing your success and rewarding your progress! 

Lastly, don't look back. If you relapse and have a binge, don't sweat it. Yeah I know easier said than done, right? But really, try to look past it. Keep the past in the past and don't try to let it control you in the present or the future. My unhealthy eating was a chapter in my life. I learned from it, I grew from it, but it is in the past. It's something that I want to keep in the past because the more you dwell on something, the more power it holds over you. 

Again, these changes take time and I swear to you that there were days where I wanted to give up, where I stood in front of my pantry fighting back tears because I was disgusted with myself, and there were days where I never thought there would be a way out of all that unhealthy eating. It completely consumed me and controlled my life, and I'm not trying to be dramatic or get sympathy. That's never my goal but I only want to be open and honest because hearing other girls' stories helps me to realize that I'm not alone. I love being able to connect with others who have gone through similar things which is why my door is always open :)

So, please, remember to be nice to yourself. Treat yourself with love, respect, and kindness as you would any other person. No matter what anyone says, you are beautiful and perfect just the way you are designed. Please don't ever forget that <3

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Healthy Choices at Chipotle

Yesterday I had dinner with my best friend. It can hard to see each other because she's finishing up taking classes so she lives on campus while I now live at home out in the suburbs. We try to catch up during the week over dinner since I work close to her apartment. She's been crazy busy lately, though, so I was glad that we finally had the time to catch up!

We decided to go to Chipotle and it's one of my favorite places to go because it's delicious and so easy to work with macro-wise. I don't care what anyone says, you can always find something eating out that works for you! I won't say it'll be easy but it's totally possible. Some guesstimating might be necessary so you have to learn to be flexible.

I needed something lower on the carb side (I was saving a majority of my carbs for protein pancakes because let's be honest pancakes > burritos) but high in protein. So I chose the chicken salad!

My order had romaine lettuce, chicken, fajita vegetables, and the tomato salsa (10g carbs, 35g protein, and 7g fat). I already knew ahead of time what to get because of Chipotle's handy online nutrition calculator. A lot of restaurants will post nutrition facts nowadays plus myfitnesspal has a great database of foods that I can look in there. So it's always a great idea to check there! That way you're not scrambling to make it all fit after you've gotten your order.

Generally, my advice when going to Chipotle is skip the burrito. Yes, I know it's delicious and wonderful and everything you could hope for but it is hardly ever macro-friendly. It's better to stick with a burrito bowl which means you get all the flavor without ruining your macros. In my freshman year of college, I ate the burritos all the time until I looked up the nutrition facts and decided it'd be better to switch off to something else. And I honestly haven't felt as though I've missed out at all!

So, using the online nutrition calculator here are some ideas that you can try out!

- Chicken Burrito Bowl: chicken, rice (white or brown, doesn't matter), fajita vegetables, and fresh tomato salsa
        Macros: 420 calories, 40g carbs, 38g protein, and 14g fat

- Steak Burrito Bowl: steak, black beans, fajita vegetables and green tomatillo salsa
        Macros: 350 calories, 32g carbs, 39g protein, and 8g fat

- Carnitas Salad: carnitas, romaine lettuce, pinto beans, and tomato salsa
        Macros: 365 calories, 27g carbs, 34g protein, and 14g fat

- Barbacoa Salad: barbacoa, romaine lettuce, corn, and fresh tomato salsa
        Macros: 275 calories, 24g carbs, 29g protein, and 8g fat

- Chicken & Steak Salad: 1/2 portion of chicken, 1/2 portion of steak, black beans, romaine lettuce, and red tomatillo salsa
       Macros: 340 calories, 29g carbs, 40g protein, and 9g fat

Just some basic guidelines that I've learned about balancing things out. I usually always try to get chicken as my protein because it's the leanest. Which means I'll get more protein with less fat to account for in my macros. It's perfectly fine to pick a fattier meat like the carnitas but keep in mind of that extra fat which means it might not be the best idea to add sour cream or guacamole as a topping.

I did a quick calculation and just the carnitas and sour cream alone you're looking at over 20g of fat, which is half of my daily intake at the moment. Of course if you have a higher fat macro then you're more than welcome to have it, I'm just saying be careful because things like that can add up quickly.

Another tip is don't get the salad dressing. I find that if I just add a salsa like the fresh tomato or green chili, it's more than enough for a dressing. I just mix it around and it gives the lettuce plenty of flavor and moisture. That's a quick and easy way for me to save calories and macros.

If you need low-carb like I did, steer clear of the rice or beans. You can probably do one or the other but just not both. I would probably go with the beans since they're also lower in fat than the rice but again it's up to your individual macro needs. I hardly ever get the sour cream or cheese because of the extra fat or the guacamole because it's an extra cost. If I didn't have to pay extra for it, though, I'd totally macro hoard to get that to fit ;)

Lastly, don't be afraid to get creative with your toppings to match your macros! If you really want the carnitas but not all the fat then I'd recommend getting a half portion with a less fattier protein. I've done that with the chicken before and it works out great! You get half the fat but can still have the food that you want, win-win situation as far as I'm concerned. I've tried plenty of different combinations before and never had any problems with ordering it. If you have a specialty order just make sure you're nice about asking :)

So, there you have it! Some macro-friendly ideas to try while eating at Chipotle. If you guys want some ideas for other restaurants, let me know and I'd be happy to do more posts on the subject. I love getting suggestions from you guys!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Chocolate Protein Frosty: Healthier Version of Wendy's!

My fridge doesn't have an ice maker which means we don't usually have a lot of ice cubes around unless we use the trays (which we always forget to fill up!). So, I never realized I could make this smoothie until I saw Amanda grab some ice from a bag in the freezer the other morning. 

She was holding out on me and didn't even tell me! I guess she had swiped some from my aunt's house for something else but I had no idea we had ice handy. Although she'll probably tell me that we've had it for ages and that I never properly look or that I just forgot. 

Anyway, finding the ice led me to making this smoothie! I've always wanted to try out my own version because I've seen tons of posts about copycat Wendy's frosty but only healthier. I have absolutely nothing against the original and will still gladly eat one but I needed something higher in protein after my workout the other day. 

For the smoothie you'll need: 
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
couple handfuls of ice cubes (about 6-7)

Combine everything in the blender and blend until smooth! The consistency was definitely a little thinner than the original version but it still tasted really good! I'll probably end up trying different proportions with the ice and almond milk to see what I like better. 

The smoothie made about 2 cups total which is more than this picture shows! It pretty much went to the top of the max fill line which is about 16 oz. 

Overall, the macros were much better for you-- 19g of protein, 7g carbs, and 4g fat for a single serving. 

Happy Wednesday everyone! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hummus Wraps

I made these wraps while I was away for the weekend with my dad and sister. It was meant to just be a use for the leftovers we had and not a specific recipe but they turned out to be really good! I had grabbed some whole wheat tortillas, lettuce, and snap peas while I was packing the food before we left because I just wanted some macro friendly food around.

When we had leftover steak, though, after dinner the first night I realized that I could make wraps for lunch. We had some hummus, lettuce, veggies, quinoa chips, and a protein which sounded like the perfect mix to me! 

For the wraps you'll need: 
1 low-carb whole wheat tortilla
1/4 cup snap peas
1/2 cup lettuce
2 tbsp of hummus (any flavor works, we used roasted pine nut)
3-4 oz of protein of choice (I've used steak or chicken)
2 quinoa chips, crumbled 

Since I've been home I tried out variations of the wraps as well! My latest one is with chicken instead of steak, kale, sunflower seeds, and a sprinkle of rice vinegar along with the regular ingredients from the original ones. I absolutely love it with the rice vinegar as it gives it a fresh taste! 

The wraps are easy enough to assemble. All you do is first spread the hummus out and then add the lettuce, veggies, and protein. Of course, you don't have to add any meat but can keep it vegetarian by adding in other vegetables. 

The quinoa chips aren't necessary either but I like how the crunch gives another texture to the wrap. 

Here are the chicken ones I've made! 


Friday, October 17, 2014

Mmmmmmmountain Pies!

This is going to be a little out of order but who cares because this is a 10 minute recipe for pie! I still haven't posted the recipe for the steak and hummus wraps that we had for lunch on Sunday but I'll skip ahead to the mountain pies that we made Sunday night for dessert.

As I said before I took a break from tracking my macros over the weekend because I wanted to just enjoy my time away and not spend it stressing over hitting the proper grams. I still watched what I ate in the sense of making sure I balanced things out but I honestly have no clue exactly how many carbs, protein, or fats I had. I did my best to eat intuitively and things went fine! 

So, I allowed myself dessert each night without a second thought and one night we made the mountain pies! I know that people usually do the savory route but we literally wanted a pie with the crust and all. It was really simple and only took 2 ingredients! Well technically 3 since we did two different flavors but essentially it only takes 2.

This is the perfect dessert for when you're out camping because it doesn't take a whole lot of ingredients, the pies are easy to assemble, and easy to cook! All it takes to cook is the fire and a cast iron square pan.

What you'll need:
1 store-bought 9 inch pie crust (or homemade)
1 can of pie filling, whichever flavor you want!

We decided on cherry and peach as our fillings because cherry is obviously the best flavor of pie and peach runs a close second. You can pick whichever your favorite is, though, it's pretty flexible!

To make the pies, first take out the crust and cut it in half. Amanda got all fancy and cut off the rounded edges to make a perfect square but you don't always have to do that.

We used two pie crusts so we were able to get 4 mountain pies total. One pie crust will give you 2 mountain pies. 

Then, take about a spoonful of your pie filling and place it on one of the squares. You want to make you don't overstuff the pies or else it'll break as it's cooking. 


Once you have the filling in place, seal up the pie crust. Just fold it in half and then press the edges together. We used a fork and it looked just like the crinkled edges of a real pie crust! 

Once the fire is ready, place each pie into the cast iron square pan. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the crust is crisp and golden brown. You'll want to rotate the pans every few minutes or so. 

I'm sorry that I don't have a proper picture of them completed but we ate the pies out by the fire and the lighting was awful. Trust me, though, they were delicious! 

And here's my excuse for why it took me so long to get this post up. She was napping on my hand and it was too sweet to wake her up. To say she's spoiled is an understatement...

Happy Friday everyone! Have a good weekend :)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Weekend in the Mountains: Day Two! Apple Picking and Hiking!

When we woke up Sunday morning, it was freezing and eerily foggy out. I decided to go outside and take some pictures because it was oddly fascinating to me and of course I had some company. I'm just warning you now but there was a lot of photo-bombing that went on in most of my pictures...

She's lucky she's so stinkin cute and makes a good subject.

After warming up with some coffee and a big breakfast, we headed out for a morning hike! 

We took the trail that's a few miles to our neighbors where the old farm used to be. There are a ton of old apple trees there and we wanted to see what the apple crop was like this year. I remember as a kid we would pick the apples and my grandma would make all kinds of apple crisps with them! 

Layla did really well off the leash both at the house and while we were out hiking. I didn't know how she would do out in the open there and I'll admit I was nervous if she would run off because she'd be gone for sure. There's no one around that would even find her and plenty of wild animals that would. But I'm happy to say that she remembered her training and checked in with us like she was supposed to! In the picture above that's the farthest she would go before turning back around and waiting for us to catch up with her. 

It was still really foggy and cold but it made for some beautiful pictures. 

Once we got to the fields, though, the sun really started to come out! It ended up being an absolutely gorgeous day with hardly any clouds in the sky. My camera definitely does not do the beauty justice!

I had lagged behind to take some more pictures and someone got very concerned that I was not keeping up with the pack. She stood in that exact same place until I caught up with her before checking that I was okay. Amanda and I joke around that she's a stage 5 clinger and that pretty much sums it up!

There ended up being plenty of apples! The only problem-- they were about 15 feet in the air and we had no way of getting them down. 

Our solution? Grab a stick and whack at them pinata style. Oh, while jumping. 

Of course, I had to get Amanda's "action shot". In her defense, though, this was a slightly more action-packed apple picking than our last adventure. And I might be being generous with using slightly. 

Then, my dad found a much longer stick and since he's taller was able to get the apples down! We picked a good bunch and they were much better than the ones we picked from the trees last year.

When we got back it was lunch time so I made us all some steak and hummus wraps. They were seriously amazing and I'll make sure to get that recipe up soon! 

In the afternoon we took another hike out to my favorite location. We call it "the point" because it's the perfect look-out spot where you can see the town miles below. My dad and I actually spotted a bald eagle flying there probably 6ish years ago.

I've noticed that it's been getting more overgrown over the years but it's still a breathtaking sight!

On the way back, we took the back road to our camp that ends up coming behind the yard. There are so many different trails that unless you know they're there you would never guess to take them. Luckily I've been using them since I was pretty young or else my bad memory would forget half of them!

I absolutely loved how the light from the sun caught the tops of the ferns! 

There was another old camp from ages ago behind ours that burned down. All that's left is the metal from the bed frame. My dad said it's been there since before he was born and he's 51 now. I love hearing my dad's stories of how he remembers things and the subtle changes over the years. The best thing, though, is that it hasn't changed too much as it's always the way I remember it.

Bonus points if you can spot Layla checking in with me! 

This is the view I got to come back to from our front porch. I mean, how much better does that get?!

After we got back from the second hike, we did some yard work, made dinner, and then had mountain pies out in the fire! And I'm not talking about the meat, cheese, and bread type of mountain pies. I'm talking about a legit pie with the crust and all :) I'll work on getting that recipe up soon, too!