Strawberry Summer

It’s summer. I’m calling it even though we’ve had a smattering of rain and the mornings and evenings are still jacket weather. (Although it’s light jacket weather which is an improvement.) The sun always seems to warm up the afternoons and more importantly it’s the middle of strawberry season!

Few things make me happier than when the summer berries start making their appearance at the Farmer’s Market. One of those things is getting to pick berries and taking home all the berries. Then I proceed to eat as many as I can until my stomach tells me that that wasn’t my smartest move. But still. Berries.

This weather always triggers a craving for ice cream. While I have so many great options in Portland (really I’m spoiled by all the amazing ice cream. If you come to visit I will give you the official, unofficial, ice cream tour. It’s delicious.) sometimes I want something that doesn’t have a ton of added sugar and dairy. So I whipped up my own concoction.

Presenting: The Fresh Strawberry Milkshake! (minus the milk)

Homemade strawberry milkshakes in the summer afternoon.

Recipe: Fresh Strawberry Milkshake

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint “So Delicious” brand No Sugar Added Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream
  • 1 pint of fresh strawberries (or more depending on how strawberry tasting you want it), with the tops cut off if that’s up your alley
  • Milk of choice for thinning. I use coconut but hemp, and nut milks are good options. (I try to avoid soy milk but if that’s your jam have at it.)

Directions:

  1. Dump your strawberries in your blender
  2. Add at least half your ice cream
  3. Blend
  4. Add the rest of your ice cream and milk if needed
  5. Taste and add more milk or strawberries to suit your preference.

It’s super simple to make and at the end you have enough milkshake for two glasses to enjoy on a hot summer day!

**Note: This is great with all berries, not just strawberries. Right now it’s just strawberry season so that’s my focus. But please enjoy this with blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, all other berries. Or even a mix of berries would taste fantastic!

What do you think? Would this make it on your summer treat list?

 

The debacle

Wednesday was a quiet night. I spent my time watching Psych reruns while editing photos from my recent trip and writing up a post about that trip. I set up everything up to publish and went to bed. Then I get to work Thursday morning and go to log into my site to work on another post that I have prepped to go on Monday. Except I couldn’t get into my dashboard because my account was suspended.

I look through my email and I have no notices from my hosting company about suspending my account. I’m pretty irritated but I think maybe my auto payment didn’t go through or something to that nature. I log into my billing and nope, everything is up-to-date including the most recent payment 10 days ago.

I send in a help ticket and get an answer that same day. My site was shut down for spending spam. I’m irritated no one notified me but I figure it’s not the worst thing in the world as I figured that a company that hosts websites can handle this. I reply to their question (which was: “what scripts are you running?”) and wait.

Then I continue to wait for 4 more days. With radio silence on their end. I’m beyond frustrated that I’m paying for hosting and was 1) not contacted about my account suspension and 2) left me for days without contact. I ask Vahid to draft me up a professional sounding response that also let them know I’m pretty pissed that no one bothered to reply to my request to you know have my site work like I pay for it to.

Eventually I get a reply that of course this wasn’t their fault but they would be happy(ish) to help me with my issue.

Thankfully I have a guy who’s pretty tech savvy and while I was at work he managed to get a backup of my site and delete all the funky stuff so I can start over. But my hosting company wasn’t as helpful as I’d hoped considered I’ve been with them for nearly seven years.

But I’m back and armed with knowledge of where to take my services if I should need to in the future.

It was a very irritating weekend but in the end everything was resolved and I get to continue writing here. So that’s actually a very good thing.

Spring Escape

With my new work schedule I only work Monday through Thursday. I get a three day weekend at the end of every week. This past Monday was Memorial Day and the office was closed. Vahid also scored a four day weekend and that meant only one thing. We had to get away for a quick vacation.

Lighthouse on the rocks
We headed South to the California Coast. We stayed in a funky little motel made out of a single redwood tree. The coast was a short walk away. It wasn’t warm enough to swim but it was warm enough to walk with my feet in the water.
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The fog rolled in thick and fast that first night. It hovered around for a couple hours in the morning but the afternoon was warm and bright. I spent that day hiking among the redwoods and finding a hidden beach. It was amazing being among trees that are older than the founding of this country.
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We walked the sea wall in the bay, despite the signs saying “Danger.” We saw a group of grey whales playing in the bay within feet of the Light House we were at. It was amazing to be so close to amazing animals.

Driving among the mountains, the sun and trees whizzing by, was dreamy. We saw an elk herd grazing in the sun. Driving further down the road we actually came within fifteen feet of more elk. It was so great to be so close. They are amazing animals, huge and powerful.
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Once our time in the California sun was done we headed up the 101 to the Southern Oregon beaches. Bandon by-the-sea is a cute town and apparently a popular fishing spot for salmon. We headed to the botanical gardens in Coos Bay, which is worth the stop if you ever find yourself in that part of the world. It’s a beautiful garden by the ocean.
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The trip ended too soon. There wasn’t enough time among the redwoods, enough time with the ocean, enough time breathing in the universe. As short as the trip was it was the perfect spring trip.

It was refreshing, wonderful, and I feel like I have been rejuvenated by the earth. I spent a lot of time in contact with the earth, feeling her power. I took so many photos that will never quite capture the beauty of it all.
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It was a great weekend and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my birthday. It was perfect.

May Monthly Triumphs

Accomplishments are important. We should all take more time to relish in the things we accomplish and not just the big things but the small things too. Here’s my list of May Triumphs.

    • I got a new job. It’s part-time, but I stopped caring about full-time work. The days are Monday through Thursday. It’s a receptionist job. I’m really excited for those three day weekends.
    • I credit this job to the goal I set for myself in April. One particularly frustrating day in April I just told myself that I was going to find and apply for one job everyday through the end of April. I didn’t expect interviews. I just said everyday (Monday-Friday) I was going to apply for one job. I did this for two weeks until I get an interview. After the interview I told the universe that if I was meant to have that job I would get it. If not, then it wasn’t meant to be and that was okay. Turns out I was their first choice for the job.
    • I was able to be frugal and put my final paycheck from the Bank job into savings. I’ll probably have to dip into it at some point this next month as my new job only pays once a month but I feel good being able to beef up my savings for bit.
    • I also have started wedding planning. I have a solid venue I’m looking at, made decisions about the ceremony, bridesmaids, and a few other things. A wedding is really going to happen. It feels good.

What about you guys? What are some things you’ve accomplished this May?

Shot of Joy 2

View from the top

Vahid and I have a ritual every Saturday. We wake up early and get ready and head to brunch. Brunch is one of my favorite meals. Often Vahid will find a new place for us to try. But we have our favorites. One of my favorite breakfast dishes is a fish hash. I have found a few places that do fish for breakfast and I will choose it over my previous favorite of French Toast any day. That’s something I never thought I’d say.

I’m loving the warmer weather. I’ll probably end up like a broken record soon but I love Spring here in the Pacific Northwest. The sunny days, the perfect warmth. The tulips blooming. The farmer’s markets. The fruit starting to be in season. This is definitely my favorite time of year.

A surprise $20 gift card from work. It came in right at the perfect time because I had to get the protective screen replaced on my phone and I didn’t have to pay for it! I also got a smoothie out of it as well and lunch. It was a nice little boon.

Reading. I am reading so many books that I am loving and that are changing the way I see myself, the world, life in general. Once I finish any of them I’ll be sharing more. It’s a great time to curl up with a good book.

Talking with my friends and catching up. It was my best friend’s birthday recently and while I still haven’t sent her gift it was fun catching up. Sometimes it’s hard to find the time to connect and be present in each other’s lives but I’m glad that even though we moved to different states 4 years ago we still make time for each other in our lives. The visits help with that too.

Slowly getting rid of the junk in my diet. This has been good as I’ve been consuming way too much sugar and other nasty stuff. I see it in my skin and I feel it in my bones. Eating more whole foods and good food in general has really helped me get back on the healthy band wagon I fell off of.

Seriously it’s gorgeous outside!