Thursday, October 31, 2013

Five Halloween Movies to Watch

Happy Halloween! There is definitely no shortage of of scary movies. Although I could make a top 20 list I've narrowed it down to five movies worth watching tonight. From classics to not so scary zombies here are my picks.

Top five Halloween movies
  1. Hocus Pocus (1993) -- One of my favorite childhood Halloween movies. This buzzfeed says it all. 
  2. Carrie (1976) -- Teenaged girl with telekinesis gets back at peers when they drop pig blood on her.
  3. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) -- A guy with a mask and chainsaw what's not scary about that. Not sure why, but I love old school horror films. I mean Halloween, Poltergeist, and The Exorcist!
  4. Psycho (1960)-- If you're you're not familiar with this movie rent it tonight. It's an American classic.
  5. Zombieland (2009) -- It's more a comedy than a horror, but what's Halloween without zombies?
What are a few of your favorite Halloween movies? If you like scary movies then check out IMDb's top 100 classic horror movies here or top 100 horror movies of all time here.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips

It was such a gorgeous weekend in Lake Tahoe. We spent it prepping for winter, carving pumpkins, watching football and baking (well I did the baking). You're probably drooling over the above photo. I know I was when I pinned the Crazy for Crust recipe last week. 

I don't know about you, but I've pinned a few pumpkin recipes lately. Lucky me, my weekly Mountain Bounty Farm vegetable share included two pie pumpkins last Thursday. After reviewing recent pins I narrowed it down to this delicious bread. 

This recipe is a must this fall season. Pin today bake later.

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips


1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (nonfat works)
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (I roasted my pie pumpkins, but canned will work)
2 eggs
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice (I love Heart Rock Herb & Spice Co.)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips (I used Milk Chocolate)

Baking Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.

Whisk greek yogurt, pumpkin, eggs, and peanut butter in a large bowl until no lumps remain. Stir in sugars, pumpkin pie spice, and baking soda. Stir in flour. Stir about 3/4 cup chocolate chips into batter.

Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips over the top.
Bake for about 50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean at the edge of the bread. The bread may fall in the middle slightly, that’s okay. If you prefer it to be a little underdone, cook about 30-45 minutes.

Serve alone or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Either way it's delicious and I plan to make it again!

Linking up with Join the Gossip

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Yeah, that just happen...

So have you ever lost your car in a parking lot or walked up to a car that you swore was yours and couldn't understand why it wouldn't unlock? How about getting into a car that you thought was yours only to realize the jacket on the passenger seat didn't belong to you? Well, it just happened to me!

Yesterday after my 6 a.m. spin class (yes you read that correctly) I walked out of the gym and made a beeline to what I thought was my white Rav4. I hit the alarm, heard the beep, and proceeded to climb in. Once inside the toasty car I noticed a black jacket on the passenger seat. My first reaction was I don't recall that being there. Then I realized that's because it wasn't my jacket or my car! Oops! (Blonde moment #789). I immediately jumped out and made my way to my car, which was only two cars over. Either the person had an automatic starter or forgot to lock their car. Funny thing is I've walked up to the same car before thinking it was mine! Zombie gym problems.

Since it happen at the gym here's a little fitness motivation for you!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mission Refinish Cedar Chest

Like many DIYer's I like the look of painted furniture, but I also like natural pieces. A few summers ago I acquired a cedar chest hand crafted by my grandmother's brother at age 18. After living at my mom's for many years she was ready to pass it along. While in her care she decided to paint it. At one time I'm sure the antiqued painted look was popular/in style, but it's not our cup of tea. So after a year or so of talking about refinishing it I finally decided to tackle the project.  

Let's get this party started with a before shot of the beloved chest.

Materials Needed:
  • 2-4 Foam Applicators/paint brushes 
  • Gloves
  • Paint & Epoxy remover and a can to pour it in -- I used a clean soup can
  • Plastic paint scrapper
  • Sand Paper 80, 120 & 220 grit
  • Orbit Sander
  • Tact Cloth
  • Tough Oil
  • 2-3 old rags
Not all Materials are pictured above

Do not skip on the gloves the remover will burn your skin. You may even want to wear a face mask and protective eyewear.

Once I had my gloves on I poured the remover into a metal container and applied with a paint brush to a small area. Making sure to brush in one direction and with the grain.  Next I left the area and let the stripper work it's magic.

 After a few minutes the paint began to bubble. The stripper was working.  

After 15 minutes I tested a small area with the scraper to see if the paint was ready for removal. Once it was ready I removed the loosened finish by gently scraping with the wood grain. I used a toothbrush and toothpick to help remove old finish buried in the edges and grooves. 

We had to repeat step one and two a number of times. Once the majority of paint was removed we busted out the orbit sander and went to town. 

After a few hours of sanding she was ready for a nice coat of tough oil. Of course I though about painting or staining the chest again, but look at how clean and fresh it is now!

Lastly I wiped down the chest with a tack cloth to remove excess dust. Then I applied two coats of tough oil (as directed on the bottle) and called it a day.

Currently it's living behind our sectional in the living room, but who knows where it will be in a year from now.

What are you are currently bringing back to life? Would you have repainted or stained the chest?

Linking up with Sugar and Dots

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Girls Night In :: Tahoe Pasta Making Party

Instead of a "Girls Night Out" last Friday I hosted a "Girls Night In" with a few of my foodie friends to learn how to make pasta. Yup that's right we learned how to make pasta from scratch. Over the summer my girlfriend Arica spent six weeks cooking and eating in Italy and well we tested her skills Friday night. The night was compete with  delicious food, wine and good company. I can't wait to do it again. We learned how to make three different types of pasta and sauces. I'm still dreaming about it.

The menu included Pici (above) with Sausage Sauce, Gnocchi al Pesto and Spinach Ravioli. I'm not sure if I can pick a favorite.

We hand mixed the Pici and Spinach Ravioli dough (above), let it sit for about 15-30 minutes,  then used the pasta maker to roll the dough and cut the Pici (below).

Natasha, DaNae' and Lyndsay

A few hours and a couple glasses of wine later we were ready to dine.

Dinner is ready

What a great way to get the girls together on a Friday night. I would say pasta making was a success. Arica's ready to teach you and your friends how to make pasta too.

Gnocchi al Pesto

30 basil leaves
45 grams Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 garlic clove
15 grams walnuts or pine nuts
30 grams parmesan

Wash the basil leaves and pat dry. Place the basil, EVOO, garlic and nuts in a blender or use an immersion blender to puree. Add the cheese in last and pulse a few more times until smooth.

500 grams of potatoes
150 grams of flour
1 egg

Boil the potatoes with the skin on starting from cold water. Once they very soft, peel them. Mash the potatoes very thoroughly with a food mill, food processor or potato ricer. Mix the flour, potato, salt and egg together until smooth. Roll the dough into long round stripes and then cut the gnocchi. Place in boiling water, when they float they are ready.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Five Must Try Apple Recipes

Growing up in So Cal I never really experienced the changing of seasons, but in Tahoe that's not the case. Last year the girls and I went Apple Picking in Apple Hill, so when my sister said she wanted to go apple picking a few weekends ago I knew just where to take her. The question is, what does one make with all the apples? Over the weekend  I scanned the web and of course pinterest and came up with five recipes that I must try this season. Warning if you're hungry you may want to eat something first.

1. Old Fashion Apple Slab -- Just look at that caramel apple goodness.
2. Homemade Apple Cider Cocktail -- Do I even need a reason?

3. Caramel Apple Dutch Baby -- It's a fall staple!

4. Apple Streusel Muffins -- Because it's not just about dessert.

 5. Apple Toffee Blondies -- Because I love dessert!

And there you have it. The hardest part is deciding what to make first. Do you have a apple recipe that I must try?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fit and Tahoe Tough

I workout....If the title didn't give it away yours truly competed in Tough Mudder, at Northstar California Ski Resort, a few weeks ago. This was my second time! Check out 2012 here
Tough Mudder events are hardcore obstacle courses designed to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie. With the most innovative courses, over one million inspiring participants worldwide to date, and more than $5 million raised for the Wounded Warrior Project, Tough Mudder is the premier adventure challenge series in the world. 
So why would I compete in probably the toughest event on the planet? Because I'm crazy -- I'm an athlete and this event pushes ones limits. Plus, its a fun race to rally the girls, wear tutus and get dirty.

If you follow along on instagram then you saw the progression from clean to very dirty! Yup, that's me before the race. clean, excited, nervous and ready to start running.

Our Six pack.

My girl Arica and I killed it! We made it across the monkey bars without falling in the water. If you're familiar with the obstacles then you know the Funky Monkey is not easy.

Dirty girls! A beer never tasted so good. We conquered 12 miles, 22 obstacles and a 2,000 + ft elevation gain. Not to mention at one point we were running straight up the side of the mountain. I would say that beer was well deserved.

Will I do it again next year? YES! Who wants to join? It was cold, but we pushed through it and finished in 3.5 hours! Next year my goal is to finish in 3 hours and yes I've already started training. Cross training made the biggest difference. Hands down I was in better shape than last year.

What I Wore:
I'm mostly happy with everything I wore. At the end of the day I kept all my clothes and shoes, which all washed up nicely.

  • Merrell Barefoot Run Pace Glove Dash
    • Loved these until I was running over pebbles and rocks. I'll probably order the Barefoot Trail Run Ascend Glove for next year or another type of trail runners.
  • Merrell Siren Sport Sock
    • I typically hike in these socks and LOVE them. They never fell into my shoe, even soaking wet or pushing through muddy pits. I highly recommend these socks. I didn't have any blisters either!
  • The North Face GTD Capri Tights
    • Loved these before and loved them after. I would wear them again. They were warm and didn't hold the water.
  • Old Navy Active Sports Tank (similar)
    • Rocked it last year so figured why not wear it again. However, I'll probably wear some type of performance tank next year with moisture wicking, etc.
  • C9 by Champion seamless cami bra
    • It did the job. Nothing to write home about.
  • Train, train and train some more. It's never too early. And cross train. Run, lift weighs, check out that yoga class, etc.
  • It's not really necessary for gloves, goggles or knee pads. There are a few times you wish you had them but do you really want to carry them for 10-12 miles? No
  • There's plenty of water stops along the way so no need to carry water.
  • Tighten your laces and make sure to double knot (I never stopped because of this) 
  • Leave cotton clothes at home or at least until after the race... remember you're going to get wet. Focus on lightweight pieces with moisture wicking -- think Columbia, The North Face, Patagonia.
  • If you wear contacts bring eye drops.
  • Work together as a team even if you don't know the person remember it's not about your personal time, but teamwork.
  • Encourage other racers around you, it makes them feel good.
  • Lastly, HAVE FUN!