Sunday, June 20, 2010

Borrowing the Forest

I have decided that since I live in the great outdoors, I should probably bring some more "natural" stuff into my house. I want to develop my own style which I have decided to call "natural modern."

So yesterday on my hike I gathered a ton of these little sequoia pinecones, as well as a big piece of wood. I'm not quite sure what to do with it all yet . . . so likely this will all change, but here's how it's sitting in my house as of now.

Hiking Sugarbowl Trail

Just a few miles from my home is the largest concentration of Giant Sequoias in the world. Crazy huh? I had no idea. So yesterday afternoon Katie and Aaron and I set off on the 6 1/2 mile Sugarbowl Trail in Redwood Canyon to see this sight for ourselves. It really was impressive. Every tree was just enormous and we could get right in there and touch them and walk under them. This is very unlike seeing the General Sherman tree which has fences around it and concrete paths which you aren't allowed to leave.

This is a much better way to experience nature.

Starting off. Look at us all matchy-matchy.


So many of these trees have burned sections, and some have holes like this underneath.

Little flower.

One of the views as we started descending down into the canyon. Eventually we were on the bottom. Coming back up - not so easy.

I found this piece of wood that I really liked and thought would be fun home decor. We took turns carrying it for probably 4 or 5 miles.

All ready to go!

Roots from a fallen giant sequoia.

Then we climbed on the tree. It was huge!

A ring of giant sequoias.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Today's Menu: Cinnamon and Sugar Biscotti

To make up for my not-so-sensational scones, today I made cinnamon and sugar biscotti. I actually haven't eaten one yet, so I hope they're good. If you're interested in the recipe I used click here. It calls for 1 egg and 1 egg white but I just used 2 eggs. I also didn't brush the loaves with an egg white before baking like the recipe calls for. But I think they turned out fine.

My Not So Sensational Scones

Baking has been one of my new-found loves in life. Mind you . . . my interest seems to only be in unusual fancy things like cream puffs and truffles, and the things that go with coffee and tea. Go figure. Biscotti is what I usually make, but this week I decided to branch out into the world of scones. I was inspired by Katie's delicious blueberry muffins, so I made my first scone attempt and made blueberry ones. The recipe called for half and half . . . which I had none of and opted for regular milk instead. Not that I'm going to blame it on that . . . but my scones looked nice, tasted ok, but had an awful rubbery texture. They were topped with sugar and a yummy tart lemony glaze that I made, but it wasn't enough to salvage them. They are in the trash. Well, I guess you can't win everything huh? Onwards and upwards from here!

I would welcome any tips on making yummy scones :-)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cream and Sugar

Being the coffee and tea freak that I am . . . it has always surprised me that I don't own a cream and sugar bowl set. Whenever I have people over for coffee, I end up giving them my big baking container of sugar. Definitely not very classy, and not the type of coffee lover I want to be. It's not that I haven't wanted a cream and sugar set. Believe me, I have. I just hadn't found the right one yet. I've been casually looking for probably the last 8 months or so. And I finally got one! Since I have paid off my student loans, I decided to splurge and buy a set from Anthropologie that I really liked. So here you go, this is it! It's kind of hard to tell, but the glass has a wavy pattern to it and the designs are a coral colored leaf/plant thing. You should come over for tea so you can try it out! (the ants in my house have definitely arrived to try it out.)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Meet My Childhood Friends

Ready for another dose of my life? This past weekend I got to spend time with my oldest group of friends. Not old friends . . . but the friends that have been in my life the longest - since elementary school for most of them. We went to school together, went to church together, were in cabins together at camp, went to college together (for a few of us), went to each other's weddings (for 3 from the group so far) . . . . Anyways . . . . these guys are great and every single one of them is quality. We had a great weekend soaking up the sun by the pool, dancing, napping, eating and just hanging out. The 14 hours of driving for one weekend was definitely worth it!

Jessica, Kelly, Me and Leslie gettin' our groove on!

Alyssa, Meghan, Kelly and Me . . . it was too hot to be outside of the pool.

All of us . . minus Alyssa who's taking the picture.

The pool felt so nice!

Out to eat.