Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Random Recap {a quick update for our month of February}

// Well it's been a while since I've shared our daily life here on the blog, but I'm trying to get back in the habit of sharing the random details of our life, to reflect on our experiences and just get back to that blogging mentality so here's a glance at our February and our current life.
Slightly warmer weather means I'm able to go outside and actually hang out with our chickens, check for eggs and feel a little sunshine.
My henna has been at the top of my list lately and I adorned this beautiful belly just a few days before her daughter arrived.
Since our garden has been busy growing lemons, we decided to juice them and make some honey lemonade.
we juiced all the lemons we could reach and then I added water and honey - I never measure anything.
we got dressed up for a gala dinner for our school and I snapped a photo of Husband in front of these monochromatic map prints at the Phoenix Art Museum.
I've been trying to get back to a more plant based diet so I tried my hand at coconut curry last week, I didn't love the way it came out but I did love trying spices that we hardly use.
look at that turmeric color!
Anyone have a perfect curry recipe?! I need it!
We also took our first trip to Dig It an urban nursery.
The girls had a hard time picking out flowers for their garden...
I decided on these bright gold and red vibrant ones to add to some planters in our back yard.
Sonja loved the velvet feel of each flower petal.
I was also happy to visit some bees in the nursery, always happy to see these little guys. 
The girls however were even more exited once they saw the parrots. Vera even made a friend with a little boy name Xander (could have been Alexander - she wasn't too sure of her answer).
//more bees and blooms
Life is full of difficult choices, espically when it comes to which plant you want to bring home with you, ultimately the girls both decided on succulents, which they planted as soon as we got home.
Remember how I said henna is my main creative drive right now?  Well I recently hosted a workshop with Kristen Fagan and we worked on a watercolor mandala and then I drew matching henna on our participants.  It was a lot of fun and totally brought me back to the paintings I love creating. 
A post shared by LA LUNA HENNA☽ L.L.C. (@lalunahenna) on
I wouldn't have thought to do the moons if it hadn't been for the moon phases tattoos form one of our participants, I knew I wanted to incoprortate a moon somehow, but once I realized there were 8 "quadrants" to my mandala I knew I wanted the cycle, and when I saw Cassie's leaf in the center of her mandala I mistook if for an eye and then realized I wanted to do that too, it's so fun the creative energy you experience around other creative people.  
Just wanted to include this image of Husband cooking dinner because he literally makes dinner for me and the girls every single night.  We appreciate that.
But moving on, as we wrap up February we move into March which means Devour week! Sunday we attended the Bartending competition which my brother in law wrote about here, and I documented at Bitches Food Club.  I'll be the first to admit I took on too much too quick, should have taken a snack break like Gretchen. 
But who could resists drinks this good?

Anywa,y that's a peek into our lives (and I'm sure there were plenty of typos in there too, oh well), I'll make sure to post another monthly update sometime at the end of March.  You can always follow along at @jenniferlindschutsky on instagram and see what we're up to on the daily.  


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Apache Trails Adventures and how we learned what a mountain lion sounded like...

The past couple weekends Husband has been fixated on camping, and while I love camping I hate being cold.  But we didn't go in November or December so I finally agreed to go, knowing I'd need lots of layers and feet warmers. He chose the Apache Trial since we'd never been and was hoping we'd see some water along the way.
Which we did.  
There was a full lake at Tortilla Flats and the weather was perfect but as we rounded the corner though the small town, we saw a road barricade for a flowing wash into the road. 
 Unfortunately, we had to turn around find somewhere else to camp, after driving up and down the highway no less than 3 times, we settled on a dirt road.
We drove through one lane bridges, a much different experience than in Kauai.  Here, it's just expected that you know what 's going on and how to wait, in Hawaii, there are signs saying that local courtesy is 3-5 cars, and so on.  Here in the Wild West? There's no signs or suggestions, just figure it out friends!
Once we found a spot, we set up our fire pit right away and enjoyed a relaxing evening under the stars. 
My Kachula 2.0 Blanket/Poncho from Coalatree arrived literally as we were pulling out of the driveway in the morning and was the perfect top layer over all my jackets, it was like walking around with a blanket wrapped around me! I'm pretty excited to break it in properly on our summer road trip to the pacific northwest!  In other news, I had left over french bread, ricotta and pistachios from our cheese board Friday night so I threw together some bruschetta at our campfire.  Foodies like to camp too you guys!
The next morning, we woke up later than expected (woohoo!) after sleeping though the cold and we started our morning off with some breakfast burritos.
One of our favorite easiest camping breakfasts. 
We climbed up a small hill to see our site below and were able to spot a small waterfall behind us. 
a little creek from all the rainfall the week before formed the perfect little waterfall flowing into the gorge below.
I thought I was being silly getting rain boots in Arizona, but I honestly have used these so much on our adventures and in my garden daily!
After our dog Lola passed our old man Brutus has been super bummed at home.  So, we brought him along and he had a blast on the trails.  He's a natural trail dog, leading our kids and friends down the path to the waterfall to find us, and guarding our campsite, alerting us to wanderers and wildlife. We had such a great time on our first adventure into the Apache trail but wanted to set off deeper into the wilderness and explore the closed off area.
 So, the next weekend we set off again (just our family of four and Brut) and headed back in.  This time the road was only slightly obstructed by water and we were able to go all the way to Apache Lake. There were lots of cliffs and one way bridges on the way, and the roads were surprisingly crowded for how far we were in the middle of no where.  They were narrow and if someone didn't pull over two cars definitely wouldn't fit in some areas.
we backed into a pull off of a dirt road and set up our tent for the night.

Husband cracked open a beer and I made fun of him for drinking Miller, what can I say as a #bitchesbrewclub member I can only support craft bears.
You can hear our kids fighting and see our site, in this video. This is where we heard Mountain Lions in the middle of the night, we decided to forgo the tent and sleep in the car just to be safe.  It was pretty crowded 2 kids, 2 adults and a dog in the back of a two door jeep. but we did it, and will probably do it again this Summer in Montana and Wyoming, because I am terrified of bears and don't want to be mauled in my sleep.
It felt like we were in Mad Max, with these walls and waterfalls.
Husband pulled over every 10 minutes on our way back to Phoenix to get another photo.  He's a little more adventurous than me, climbing over guard rails and cliff faces to get a shot.  I might consider the same risks if one of us didn't have to survive for the kids.
These memories of our adventures are probably my favorite thing to share here on this blog.  I love to go back and reread all these posts of places we go and what our experiences were.  I like to look back and remember where we camped and when.  I know some people think that Arizona is all cacti and desert, and while that's true, there desert is so much more lively than people give it credit for, but also as completely desolate as they say.  It's a weird eco-system supercharged my monsoons and desert storms, complete with flash floods and dangerous trails. but there's something welcoming about the otherwise desolate landscape, something clean and inviting. Every time we set off into the Arizona landscape with lots of water and close friends and family, we reconsider that move to Hawaii, 2 and a half years is starting to sound a lot closer...