So, when I started this blog, I didn’t realize that there was a difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org. After trying to figure out how to change themes and do all the things I wanted to do with my blog I realized that I was in the wrong place. If you have been enjoying my posts and want to keep up with me and read more (we’re moving to Alaska in 2 months and will have an awesome road trip chocked full of pictures) please visit me at www.lifeallover.com! It’s way better over there. Thanks for the support and we’ll see you at the new site!
I really wish you could hear this guy singing. Bluegrass/blues/something else that I don’t think has its own genre. He was in his own world, and what was coming out of it was groovy. Just out of frame is his doggie, thumping along with his tail. What a cool place.
You just never know who you will run into around the next doorway.
Photos copyrighted Payje Bier Photography 2011, all rights reserved (www.p-b-photography.com)
Here is what I was going for with this outfit:
Smoke/Taupe/Slate have been killer colors this winter. So I made the winter elements of the outfit smoke.
Tangerine is a GLORIOUS color that is just on its way in for the summer. So I made the summer elements of the outfit tangerine.
The result is a delightful springtime getup that says “I’m ready for rain puddles and iced tea and sunshine… but it’s still cold outside.”
I love this outfit, it was really fun to make because I was picturing myself riding a motorcycle through the desert the whole time.
Haha what a dork.
But seriously, I love all this stuff, I love the neutral colors, I love the fringe, I love the leather and tribal, I love the boots. And I love the legwarmers/bootsocks!!!
The ancient Maya believed that cenotes were portals to another world, and they treated them as such, tossing untold amounts of gold, jewels, and people into these mysterious holes in the ground as offerings to the gods. I learned that in my Mesoamerican Prehistory class (my Archaeology degree may seem worthless to some, but I did get to spend all of my time learning interesting tidbits like this). Since the time of the Maya, we have learned a lot more about cenotes (sin-oat-ays). The jungle of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico is riddled with these incredible landmarks, which are actually an intricate interconnected series of underground freshwater lakes that have created jillions of caves and caverns.
So let me describe to you in picture words what a cenote is and why I am so very taken with them.
My sister and I visited a cenote near Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We were given our safety gear (hard hats) and marched along on a short trek through the jungle. In the picture above, I cut out half of the German guy standing behind me’s face because he had a very judgmental look in his eyes. I don’t mind if people look at me like I’m crazy, but I wouldn’t care for a photographic reminder.
We walked down some stairs into a big ol’ cave entrance (my sister is making the descent in the picture above, being sure to mind her head), and were pretty much at a loss for words at what we immediately saw. Stalactites dangle all around you, and you are greeted by a lake filled with literally the most crystal clear water you will ever see in the whole wide world. Rock formations of all types poke up out of the pool, and altogether it creates a scene that you really thought couldn’t quite exist in real life. And if it did you never thought that you would get to see it. It’s that kind of thing.
Unfortunately the lighting was poor (duh we were underground) and I didn’t have any equipment with me other than the camera around my neck, so I didn’t get any good pickies of the water-meets-cave factor, so if you want to see that you’ll have to just make your own cenote excursion… or google it I guess.
Being the lucky ducks that we are, we got to swim in the ever so inviting crystal clear water. When I say swim I mean we got to bob around in life jackets. It was real cold, but we’re from Colorado and we didn’t want to seem like Sallyanns so we kept our mouths shut and shrieked inwardly at the bodily shock. We also had to be quiet so we didn’t wake the bats. For real. Our guide took us on a bobbing tour of the cave, and pointed out to us the tunnels and ropes that the cave divers use, 30 feet below us. Yes, 30 feet. You could see it like it was right in front of your eyeballs. I have never seen anything like it. Cave floating is enough for me however, I have absolutely no ambition to swim into a cramped tunnel that is not only 30 feet down in the water, but ALSO underground, with no real idea if it is going to spit you out anywhere else or if you are just going to perish in the abyss.
Dramatic? Maybe. I am happy in my life jacket.
I think the reason that I am so fond of the cenotes is that they have multiple excitement factors for me. First, they are archaeologically historical, which really tickles the nerd in me. I love nothing more than standing somewhere and thinking about the people that were standing there before I was. Second, it was kind of adventurous in a not so dangerous way. I am no spelunker, so I found this thrilling. Finally, it was so stinking beautiful! It just knocks my socks off that God’s arts and crafts are so amazing. I felt like I was in an episode of Planet Earth or something, all that was missing was Sigourney Weaver’s voice-over.
Do me a favor, if you go down to Mexico, try taking a little break from your resort and do something different there. Disregard the cautionary warnings (to an extent) because for the most part they are way overblown. There is so much to do and see there, and the vast majority of people are so nice, helpful and informative, and they are genuinely happy to have us there exploring their country. Check it out!
Though I am embarrassed by this, I will go ahead and say it. 9 days out of 10 my boyfriend eats a frozen waffle with Nutella on it for breakfast. I make lots of cookies and other sugary treats (which he also sometimes eats for breakfast), but for the majority of the time it’s waffle and Nutella. I know, I know, I’m terrible. That is not an acceptable daily breakfast. But I’m working on it!
I was like “What can I make that will be tasty and delicious, fulfill it’s required sweetness level on the Justin scale, and also sneak in a little bit of nutrition?” BINGO: MUFFINS. Justin calls muffins “breakfast cupcakes” or “cupcakes that are missing their frosting”. I knew that was the right choice. Also, they are easy to grab in the morning. You can even stick them in the microwave on the way out the door.
This recipe covered all of my bases: the muffins are moist, sweet and delicious. They also are chocked full of fresh fruit. I love being sneakily healthy. Get em when they don’t know it’s coming. They came out perfectly the first time I tried them, which I consider a plus (the oven in our house is from FOREVER ago, and doesn’t heat things the way it should. You never know what’s going to happen. Sometimes it burns things, and sometimes it leaves them raw. Oh well, at least it keeps things interesting.) Are you sold yet? Here we go with the recipe!
Fresh Strawberry Banana Muffins
From Sweet Pea’s Kitchen
What you need:
1 stick butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large ripe bananas, mashed up
1 cup strawberries, cut into bite sized pieces
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
What you do:
Preheat oven to 350. Put 12 cupcake liners into cupcake tins, or grease the tins instead
Melt the butter in a small dish
In one bowl whisk together brown sugar, eggs, bananas and vanilla. Squash them all together until combined. Add the melted butter and stir until combined
In a different bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the berries in, making sure that they get coated in flour.
Add in the wet ingredients, stirring until combined. Batter will be THICK!
Divide all of the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups. Bake 20 to 24 minutes until muffin tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
Cool muffins on a wire rack so that the bottoms don’t get mushy!