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Bucket List Item #24: Catch a Fish

We took our fishing poles and tackle box out to various Idaho rivers and ponds all throughout 2022. I think the first time I tried fishing for this bucket list item was in May during our Father’s Day camping trip. We took Zeb’s boat out on Lake Cascade and spent a while casting and reeling with absolutely nothing to show for it.

Another weekend, we took the opportunity to bring Brynnley in her stroller with us along the Boise River. The spot was also fruitless, and we made a second stop at a local park’s pond. Again, we left empty-handed.

I know they call it “fishing” and not “catching” because you don’t always hook a fish, and that’s why it’s meant to just be an enjoyable pasttime outside. Which it is. But it’s frustrating to devote so much time to an activity that I’m trying to complete for the list and have no guarantee of when it will finally be accomplished!

I am so happy to report that this afternoon, I caught a little fish and brought him home.

Meet Dragon!

A veiltail betta fish, this little guy is our very first family pet ☺️

We have steered away from committing to any pets because we already feel limited on time and flexibility with Zeb’s work schedule and a baby. If I weren’t allergic though, I would absolutely have a cat. I do really like cats (especially their low maintenance…) but too long around one and my arms break out in itchy hives, my eyes start watering and I sneeze like crazy. Boo.

When capturing a fish in the Idaho waters proved more elusive than I imagined, I got creative with the interpretation of this bucket list item.

This guy’s bright blue tail was so pretty to me, and he also made direct eye contact when I was picking out my fish. He was very active and swam around the most. I’m not sure what other criteria makes a great pet fish, so I decided that was enough to make him my #1 pick.

I did a little bit of research and watched a couple YouTube videos before I went to the store with Brynnley to pick up all our supplies. I got a little tank that has a reservoir and makes cycling in new water really easy. He’s also got a little heater suctioned to the side, which is what that black power cord is for. I mixed in two types of rock, added a decorative Asian temple for cover and a little greenery. I also got fish food, tap water treatment drops, and a vacation feeder in case we go on another long weekend soon.

So far the little guy seems impressed with his new digs. When Brynnley and I come up to his tank to watch him swim, he comes and stares right back at us.

I would like to figure out how to get less bubbles along the glass, so if you have any tips, please let me know! :)

Gone Fishin’ + My First Blue Apron Meal

Good morning, coffee lovers! In case you missed it, yesterday was National Coffee Day. This is a serious holiday on my calendar which required careful calculation and strategy for hitting up the main coffee shops without over-caffeinating myself ;)

Dutch Bros. is a main coffee drive-thru in the PNW and as part of their National Coffee Day celebration, profit from every drink went to our local Boys and Girls Club charity. PLUS customers were given a full “punch card’ which can be redeemed for a free drink on your next visit. Another coffee hut was offering 4 drinks for $10, and my office even created their own coffee bar in the break room. There were flavored foam pumps (I did not even know that existed!), whip cream, fancy creamers, sprinkles, and coffee-flavored chocolates. My heart was very very happy yesterday.

The coffee love just KEPT ON COMING this morning because a brand new coffee shop literally right down the street from me had its Grand Opening today. They advertised free coffee all day, so of course I pulled in on my way to work. I expected the free drink to be black coffee. Nope! ANY drink, fancy as you want, all for free. They have Oreo Chillers and Rockstar Freezes and Pumpkin Spice Lattes and something called a “Caramel Blondie.” Creature of habit, I went with an iced nonfat vanilla americano but I just might go back after work for something a little more festive. Depends on if I feel like going for a run first or not ;)

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Anyways, what I’m REALLY here for is to share the last bit of fun from my weekend that included a fishing trip and my very first Blue Apron meal. Last summer, my family vacationed in Mammoth Lakes, California and went fishing very early in the morning. I caught nothing. This trip, I caught so many fish that I had to take a break to let my dad fish without having to continually re-set my line! :)

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We mostly caught trout, and threw them right back in the river (after snapping a picture first, duh. It’s 2016.) It was so peaceful to stand in the river, look out into the forest and just appreciate the autumn day.

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That night, we got home feeling drained and lazy. Then I remembered that my first Blue Apron box had arrived on Friday and I had 3 different meals to choose from! I love that they come in refrigerated boxes with all of the ingredients pre-portioned. The recipe cards are so detailed and I really appreciate the photos of each step. I picked the “Summer Pepper Shakshuka” with eggs and za’atar. This was the first time I’ve ever cooked a Middle Eastern dish myself, and I think it turned out pretty dang close to the picture!

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There was something relaxing about dicing up all of the fresh vegetables. I threw them into a large pan and added the seasonings that came with my delivery. The best part? PITA BREAD. You know how much I love my carbs. The actual pita was already cooked, but it came in a circle like pizza crust. I got to slice it into triangles, toast in the oven and add the za’atar seasoning. They came out flavorful and toasty, just like they should!

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Fresh pea shoots brought some color into this dish! The protein came from farm-fresh eggs that were added to the pan at the last few minutes. It seemed like a savory breakfast-for-dinner meal, but breakfast is my favorite so I was completely onboard for that!

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My favorite part of cooking Blue Apron meals is how aesthetic they are plated! I know I’m not the only one who’s always proud when I serve a dish that looks restaurant-worthy. Especially with the Instagram food porn that makes a bowl of oatmeal look like pure art. Taking an extra minute for the presentation is one of those simple little things that is so satisfying, and I think every Blue Apron meal includes a very beautiful presentation.

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A little feta sprinkled on top and voila! I think the whole meal took between 30-40 minutes to create. It was bursting with flavors that were somewhat foreign to me. I’d never cooked with za’atar, shallots, or pea shoots before. Cost-wise, Blue Apron meals are considerably less expensive than eating at a restaurant. The meals are less than $10 each, but seasonal specials and discounts are always popping up in my inbox. Plus everything is delivered to your door and pre-measured. I’m at that weird transitional phase between an on-campus college student with a meal plan and dozens of campus dining options to living completely on my own and “fending for myself.” Since health and nutrition are so important to me, I hardly want to get into that bad habit of resorting to microwave meals for dinner every night.

I learned about Blue Apron through fellow bloggers PBFingers.com and HungryRunnerGirl.com & I think it is the perfect transition for me to start learning to cook whole nutritious meals!

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There are two more new-to-me meals from my last delivery to create this weekend and I can’t wait to try the Summer Udon Salad! (I opted for the vegetarian meal plan.) After a whole week of 5:00am workouts, I want nothing more than a lazy Friday night at home with yoga pants, Grey’s Anatomy, decaf coffee, and some time in the kitchen with a new healthy recipe. Plus all those Udon noodles will serve as my carbo-loading for tomorrow’s long run! Shelby, my running teammate, and I are going to try to get in 13 miles before the weather turns dreary tomorrow morning.

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Happy Free-Coffee-Friday!

XO Kenz.

 

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