Showing posts from February, 2014

Utah Vacation: Zion National Park - The Narrows

Back in October Christian and I ran away for two weeks of adventure in the gorgeous state of Utah. I'd like to share some highlights from that trip because it really is a beautiful place.
We were lucky enough to get permits to thru-hike the Virgin River Narrows in Zion National Park. The Narrows is considered one of those must-do hikes. It's like no other place on Earth. Here's a description from ZAC's website:
Wall Street is a 2-mile section of slot canyon where the walls become as narrow as 22-feet apart and tower 600 feet overhead. No road or trail can take you to this awesome place; you must walk through the Virgin River to see it for yourself. To get there, you may hike the shorter Bottom-Up route, or the full 16-mile Thru-Hike.  Whichever way you choose to hike the Narrows, you will have an incredible experience. Smoothly carved sandstone walls, beautifully fluted, twisting slots, and towering walls await you in myriad sections of the 16-mile Narrows corridor.
We hi…

Utah Vacation: Zion National Park - Angels Landing

Back in October Christian and I ran away for two weeks of adventure in the gorgeous state of Utah. I'd like to share some highlights from that trip because it really is a beautiful place.
After our full day of canyoneering my body was pretty wiped out. What better way to relax than to tackle Angels Landing! LOL. From Zion's Hiking Guide:

Yep - a nice relaxing hike: 1,488 feet of elevation gain in 5.4 miles! We hiked Angels in December of 2006 so we knew what we were getting into. Angels Landing is the premier hike in Zion National Park. A must-do. So, we knew we wanted to hike it again, despite how badly my knees shook the last time. There are some scary drop-offs on that hike but the scenery is awesome.

Compared to hiking in December, there was a ton of people on the trail. We often had to wait for people to pass on the chained sections. Also, many people were on their cell phones at the top. Talk about annoying. We go on vacation to get away from all that crap. I noticed that I…

RECIPE: Buckwheat Banana Pancakes with Blueberries (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Oil-Free)

Since we've been married, my husband and I have pancakes every Saturday morning. When I had to switch to a gluten-free diet, I was afraid that our pancake tradition would die. In addition to having to avoid gluten, I also cannot have rice or chickpeas - two ingredients that are common in gluten-free all-purpose flour mixes. I tried numerous buckwheat pancake recipes but they just weren't the same as the fluffy pancakes we were used to. That's when I discovered that by adding bananas to the batter, I could get a fluffier, sweeter pancake, and, as an added bonus, it's healthier too!
Buckwheat Banana Pancakes with Blueberries (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Oil-Free)
2 bananas 2 C. buckwheat flour 4 tsp. baking powder 2 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. salt 4 tsp. sugar 2 eggs 1-2/3 C. milk of your choice (I use almond milk) 10 oz. package frozen blueberries
Preheat a large skillet over medium-low heat. 
Mash the bananas in a large bowl. Then add the flour, ba…

Refinished Floors

I mentioned last week that we ripped the carpet out of the living room and found hardwood floors underneath. Christian's friend refinishes floors so we had him come out to look at what we found. Turns out it's Birdseye Maple which you can't buy these days and is, therefore, worth a nice chunk of change. What a surprise! I wanted to stain the floors darker but, apparently, you don't stain that type of wood because it will come out blotchy. Knowing that I was okay with keeping the floors au natural. So yesterday we went to work and when we came home, we had gorgeous new floors. Check out the before and after shots!

We had the dining room floor buffed and sealed at the same time. Why not?

The guys cleaned up the transition by laying a few new pieces of maple. These will eventually turn the same honey color as the dining room as the wood ages.

Next up: Installing new trim boards! Christian is going to tackle that project himself.

Yarn Along: Pom-Pom Longbourn

I'm linking up withGinnyfor this week's Yarn Along.

Knitting: Shoulder Cape
The diagonal stripe that I envisioned for this wrap is turning out nicely. Isn't it nice when things work out as you planned? I've only been working on this on Fridays so I haven't made much progress since I last posted.
Pattern: Shoulder Cape by Debbie Bliss
Yarn: My own handspun

Also Knitting: Square Knitted Baby Hat with Pom-Poms
My husband's cousin requested this knit hat for her little girl, Amelia. The pattern is written for a newborn and Amelia will be a toddler when she wears it so I've had to do quite a bit of adjusting to make the pattern work. After 5 tries, I think I finally have the right number of stitches and right size needles for it to turn out.
Pattern: Square Knitted Baby Hat with Pom-Poms by Janet Ballweber (free on Rav)
Yarn: Cascade Sunseeker (Personally, I can't stand this color but she wanted pink, so pink she gets.)

Also Knitting: Follow Your Arrow Mystery KAL
I d…

When one thing leads to another...

The carpet in our living room is nasty. I think the previous owners did not know how to use spot cleaner or just didn't care. Well, last weekend we bought a pellet stove to go in our living room. I told Christian that at the very least we were going to get the carpet professionally cleaned before the stove is installed. So, we had the carpet cleaned but, just as I was expecting, it didn't make much difference. This led to a discussion about whether there is hardwood floor underneath the carpet, ripping the carpet out, replacing the carpet, etc. On Friday night I made the call. We would rip the carpet out. If we found hardwood under there that is in decent shape, we would refinish the floors. If there wasn't hardwood, we would put new carpet in even though we both don't really care for carpet. And so the fun began.

And what did we find? Hardwood floors!

The wood is in very good shape but, for some reason, the morons that painted the walls did not fully cover the floor so …