Friday, July 18, 2014

Five for Friday

1.  Thanks for the help grocery shopping!  I know it's hard sometimes to get out and about but I appreciate it when you do come with me :)

2.  I hope you're having a good time with my renewed interest in an old game, haha.

3.  Fiats are fun!

4.  I'm glad we had a doctor's appointment that at least didn't have any bad news.  Hopefully that referral will go through quickly.

5.  I think starting the journal is a great idea and we should definitely keep at it.  It can only help!

ily <3

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hamburger Pie

When I was growing up, I was definitely a picky eater along with one of my brothers.  I know my mom struggled with this as well as my grandmother, but when they actually did find a recipe we enjoyed eating, they stuck with it, like this recipe for hamburger pie.

It's quick and simple straight up comfort food that really reminds me of home.  In my grandmother's original version of it, she used dried bell peppers and almost minced the onions so we wouldn't be able to tell there were vegetables even in this dish.  However, now that I'm not so entirely picky with my food, I kept the veggies at a nice, chunky dice to add a good crunch.  If you've got a picky eater though, feel free to use my grandmother's method instead :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Ten for Friday

(Sorry I missed last week!  Our vacation got to my head, haha.  Love you!)

1.  I'm so glad Miss Gwen likes you!  I knew she would.  Dogs love being around you!

2.  Exploring Volcanoes National Park and other parts of the Big Island with you was incredible.  I can't wait to go back with you and of course eventually retire there, haha :)

3.  Also, I seriously think the fireplace was definitely the nicest part of that room.  Fireplaces in Hawaii are amazing!

4.  I think I'll remember for the rest of my life that we walked on ground younger than us together.  Thank you for sticking it out so we both could fulfill a bucket list item.

5.  I'm actually excited for you to start work on your CLEP studying.  I think having something immediate like this to work towards will be really good and motivating for you!  And don't worry, I'll be your study buddy always!

6.  I'm sorry this last week was pretty crappy.  But you're all right and that's all that matters (and ever will).  I love you!!

7.  We have some super awesome friends, don't we??

8.  I'm so happy some of your less than stellar side effects have worn off now that you're on the new meds.  It's nice to have some things go back to normal!

9.  I'm glad that you're okay with me possibly having a girls' trip in the works.  You're just awesome like that and I'm not sure that I tell you I appreciate it enough!

10.  I'm looking forward to a nice, relaxing weekend with you :)

ily <3

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Getting to Know Hawaii: Sunrise at Haleakala Crater


The Need to Knows:
  • Haleakala National Park is located off State Highway 378 in Kula, HI on Maui.  The exact location of the park's Summit Visitor Center is here:
  • The park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  The Visitor Center at the summit is open from 6AM to 3PM local time. 
  • Folks with respiratory issues, heart conditions, or anything similar who cannot handle high altitudes should stay away from this activity.
  • Dressing warmly is an absolute necessity since you will be at 9,000 feet plus in elevation for this activity.  Do not try to come up here in shorts and slippers!  The temperature can easily reach below freezing depending on the time of year.  Mr. L and I wore long socks, long pants, sneakers, gloves, a beanie, a long sleeve undershirt, a T-shirt over that, a lightweight jacket, and a hoodie for this trip in May.  As the summit got warmer, we would take off another layer of clothing and still be able to remain comfortable.  (Also keep in mind that Mr. L and I are FULLY adapted to a tropical climate, so it may seem much colder on the summit to us than it would to some of you snowbirds out there, but expect temperatures in the range of 30 to 40 degrees or so.)
  • Food and gas are not sold within the park itself, so plan accordingly.  Fill up and bring snacks!
  • You definitely need to stay hydrated at this altitude.  Altitude sickness is real and can be quickly brought on by dehydration, so bring plenty of water for everyone.  Sunblock is also a really, really good idea if you plan on exploring after the sunrise.
  • Make sure to be aware of any kinds of changes in your own body or your loved ones', especially if you start to feel dizzy, lightheaded, nauseous, or you get a headache.  Walk slowly and take it easy up here!
  • Please keep in mind that you are in a delicate environment.  Endangered species are quite prevalent here, so drive slowly, walk carefully, and never remove anything from the park you didn't put there yourself!
  • A flashlight is a good idea so you can navigate well in the dark (we should have brought one), and binoculars would be great for stargazing and checking out the rest of Maui around you after the sunrise.
  • If you plan on taking photos of the sunrise, two important tips are to turn off your camera's flash and keep your camera steady.  If possible, stabilize your camera on a railing or even a tripod to reduce the chance of blurry pictures.
  • I go into some detail in the post about the driving times from Ka'anapali, but if you're located elsewhere on the island, plan out ahead of time which routes to take and how long your drive will end up being so you can wake up accordingly.  Don't sleep as late as you can and rush to get to the summit -- you'll miss on the stargazing ahead of time which can be some of the best in the entire world.  An extra 30-45 minutes of time up here can make a world of difference on your experience, plus you can always sleep later on the beach ;)  
  • If you're coming from the mainland, it may be easiest to do this activity within your first day or two on Maui due to jet lag.
  • Tours are available for this activity, but it was actually really easy to DIY.  The road to the summit is paved the entire way and it isn't a strenuous drive at all, even in the dark.  Plus being able to do whatever you want after the sunrise is really great!
  • If you need more information on Haleakala, check out the NPS website for Haleakala National Park here.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Chicken Parmesan Sliders

Thanks to this great recipe from the Slow Roasted Italian, I was able to throw together a yummy and fun weeknight meal back a few weeks ago.  Mr. L and I both loved the flavor of them (I'm a sucker for chicken parm) and decided they were a refreshing take on dinner.  These would be great as party appetizers as well, especially for any sporting events coming up -- I'm filing these away for football season for sure!

Recipe via the Slow Roasted Italian

Friday, June 27, 2014

Five for Friday

1.  I hope you're enjoying the World Cup so far!  Go USA :)

2.  Thanks for going with me to Costco!  I appreciated the help and I know you appreciate the energy drinks, haha.

3.  And thank you for the new rug!  I think it really lightens up the living room and looks great.

4.  I'm hoping everything we talked about with your PCM pans out over the next few weeks.  I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed!

5.  I'm glad we're back to playing our game together, even if I have to take breaks because of the motion sickness.  Yuck!

ily <3

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Getting to Know Hawaii: Dragon's Teeth Lava


The Need to Knows:
  • Dragon's Teeth Lava can be found at the intersection of Office Road and Lower Honoapiilani Road, Lahaina, HI, 96761.  Its exact location is here:
  • There is no cost to park or to visit Dragon's Teeth Lava.
  • I'd definitely recommend wearing sturdy shoes since it's rocky and uneven terrain.
  • There are no restroom facilities here.
  • There is also no shade, so wear your sunscreen and bring your water.  You'll need it!

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