Monthly Archives: April 2013

Straight Grubbin’

Tree Grubbing, that is!

Saturday felt like an elementary school field trip, in a completely great way. 30 students from our campus’ residence life boarded vans and drove to the beautiful Sedona, AZ. Specifically, Slide Rock State Park.

Slide Rock State Park

My roommate and I signed up for this community service project, not knowing that serious manual labor was in store for us! We were told that we would be helping the rangers with the park, and to wear tennis shoes and shorts. First we learned about the history behind the park, which is mainly just known as a natural water “slide” in the gorgeous red mountains.

But the water in this tourist attraction exists because of the original settlers, the Pendley’s, who created the water flow as an irrigation system for their fruit orchards, which we would be working on.

Slide Rock Pendley Homestead

Baby apple trees are planted each year from clones of Mr. Pendley’s originals. They are enclosed in little cages, which had been completely overrun by weeds. Our group split up into pairs and dug up all of the weeds, re-covering the cage with mulch. It wasn’t glamorous, that’s for sure. (Did anyone else ever have to pull weeds as a punishment when they were younger? Guess that finally came in handy.)

Slide Rock Tree Grubbing Project

After a couple of hours of working on the baby orchards, we had free time to picnic and explore the creek. My roommate and I packed these little “GoPicnic” lunch boxes we had found at Target, and it only added to the elementary feel of the day.

Slide Rock Picnic LunchI didn’t realize I had picked the Gluten-Free box, but everything was pretty good. The trip leaders had provided snacks, a selection of donuts, oreos, chips ahoy and cheetos so I was glad we already packed our own healthier alternatives. Apple slices, multigrain crackers, sunflower butter. We were just happy to sit in some shade and relax after a little more manual labor than we had bargained for. We really just wanted to get down to the water though! It had been pretty sunny and warm, and look at how beautiful this creek is:

Slide Rock Creek

Slide Rock Sunshine

All in all a rewarding experience. You can’t go wrong with a day in the sun and water.

Easter Brunch & Lemony Pasta Salad

I couldn’t have picked a better way to spend my Easter Sunday. After rising extra early for a church service with one of my best friends Kerri, we got to enjoy the radiant sunshine and bright blue sky. It was glorious! Knocked out an 8-miler before noon with plenty of time to get ready for our Girl’s Team Easter Brunch.

Easter Girls Team Picture (stronglikemycoffee.com) (stronglikemycoffee.com)

We see each other daily at practice, when we are not trying to impress anyone. T-shirts and spandex. Make-up is minimal. Don’t even ask about my hair. Blatantly mismatched outfits have become normal, especially when it’s getting closer to laundry day…We have mastered getting ready for practice in under 15 minutes. Which is why getting dressed up in our Sunday Best was so fun! Dresses and heels obviously warranted some photographic proof that we can, in fact, look girly.

Kerri and I got a ride from our friends Emily and Carissa……when we got in the car, we noticed that we all happened to be sporting denim jackets. Classic.

Denim Over the Shoulders

The Foursome (stronglikemycoffee.com)

The brunch was potluck style, and our team can cook! The table looked amazing with homemade goodies from everyone. I knew I wanted to bring something light and springy, so I turned to my faithful Pinterest for some recipe-searching. The result:

Light Lemony Pasta Salad.

  • 1 lb. cooked pasta noodles
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • salt and pepper to preference
  • 10 oz. non-fat greek yogurt
  • 12 oz. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup steamed edamame, shelled
  1. Cook and drain pasta; set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in medium sauce pan, brown garlic for about one minute. Add in lemon juice, lemon zest, chicken broth and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add sauce to pasta; add in arugula, tomatoes, and edamame.
  4. Stir in greek yogurt; chill overnight.
  5. Top with fresh lemon slices and serve cold!

Light Lemony Pasta Salad for Easter Brunch (stronglikemycoffee.com)

Our meal was rounded out with some fresh pineapple, kale chips, chicken salad sandwiches, homemade whole wheat cinnamon rolls and other delicious dishes.

Next on the agenda: dyeing eggs! Guess what? Water and food coloring is not a sufficient substitute for vinegar and egg dye. Plan B: Expo Markers!

My Easter Egg (stronglikemycoffee.com)Hope you enjoyed you Easter weekend :) Now it’s back to the grind.

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