THE pepper EXPRESS: April 2017

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Backpacking Essentials

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MoreMomentsWithExcedrin #CollectiveBias
For my husband’s birthday we drove all the way up to Big Trees in Calaveras County. We didn’t expect snow and I am very glad I packed my backpacking essentials just in case. Over the years we have gone on some courageous escapades: Driving around the United States with our entire family packed in a mini van. Hiking up Half Dome in Yosemite. And even backpacking through Costa Rica when I was seven months pregnant. There have been a few things brought along during these exhausting trips and I have learned what is necessary and what I can leave at home. I find there are a few things I can't live without. Chapstick and sunblock are a given. I always have those in my purse no matter what. It's the little things I forget that make me lose out on those special moments. There have been times when my headaches were pounding and I had to hike to the nearest convenience store to get a pain reliever. Not anymore, I bring along Excedrin® Tension Headache (aspirin-free and for tension headaches) and Excedrin® PM Headache (nighttime headache relief to help you sleep). Usually when I have had a tough day and we have finally settled into a cozy Bed & Breakfast, that's when I take advantage of Excedrin® PM Headache. It gives me nighttime headache relief that helps me sleep. With Excedrin® it provides fast relief for different types of headaches:
What I have done is compiled a list of some of my backpacking essentials. I believe it is important to bring along each and every one of these items. I do want to make a note and inform you that these are usually only for a day hike. When I go on longer trips the list goes on and on.
  1. Map and a Compass: Before we start on our hike I usually stop at the ranger station and grab a map. This allows us to find our campsite, water or even an exit route in case an accident occurs.
  2. Excedrin®: a pain reliever that can provide fast headache relief when you really need it. I prefer to use Excedrin® because my headache demands a headache solution and I trust Excedrin® for fast headache relief. *Use as directed.
  3. Water Purifying Tablets and an Extra Foldable Water Bottle: I can store the foldable water bottle in my day back and if I run out of water I can use the tablets to purify the water. The problem with purifying the water is it takes some time before you can drink it.
  4. Bug Spray and Medicine for the After Bite: For some reason I am susceptible to mosquitos attacking me and they tend to leave my husband alone.  
  5. Biodegradable Toilet Paper: Because when nature calls it's better to have this, than to use nothing at all.
  6. Mirror: This is not for vanity. In the case of an emergency you can use the mirror to flag down someone!
  7. Soap: Another item that should be biodegradable!
  8. First Aid Kit: I like to pack my own first aid kit full of bandages, blister treatments, tweezers, multipurpose tools, whistle, and sometimes I even bring a fire starter... you will never be sorry if you end up needing that!

The list can go on and on. Honestly, I usually pack some chocolate into my backpack as well. So if you bring along these few items you won't be disappointed in your adventure!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Not a Plant Lady

My husband is creating a food forrest in our back yard. We our searching for a couple pistachio trees (male & female) plus a few kiwi vines. So far we have found grapevines and even more apple trees to add to our collection. Honey crisp and golden delicious are my all time favorites. There is something about going to a nursery. I love to admire all of the gorgeous plants and how lush they are. I have never had a green thumb and I am currently trying to keep my snake plant alive. Not doing so well. My three year old daughter decided to take the scissors and give my snake plant a new hair cut... I was devastated. My husband thought it would be a good idea to tape the snake plant together. The plant wilted and died soon after. And then there was that one time when we moved and my poor fiddle leaf fig wasn't doing so well. We put him on the front porch, then again my toddler took mother nature into her own hands and fed the leaves to our goats! True Story. I might stick with annuals or even try planting bulbs later this year. But I am truly not a plant lady guys. I tried and failed:
If anything I can keep a succulent alive :)
Sometimes he just indulges me and posses for the picture:
After spending over two hours at the nursery I went home empty handed. My husband left with a few more bare root seedless Thompsons.
Although I really wanted all of these pepper plants:

Monday, April 3, 2017

10 Year Anniversary in Nevada City

The Broad Street Inn is located in Nevada City about an hour past Sacramento. It was our destination for our ten year anniversary. We have made a tradition of staying in little towns and accommodating their B&Bs for our wedding anniversary; since we were married in Loomis, CA at the Flower Farm Inn. My mother in law recommended Nevada City and how charming the city was and yes this town is absolutely darling! My husband chose to stay here because we would be within walking distance of all of the shops and restaurants. We made ourselves at home and hit the town for some appetizers and drinks. The inn keeper recommended eating at Lefty's Grill which is less than half a mile away. We walked downhill to the grill to have polenta fried cakes with balsamic vinegar and sun-dried tomatoes ( best thing I've ever tasted) and then we tried some beer on tap. The next morning was groggy and a little hazy, maybe it was because I was hungover, but I needed coffee ASAP. Luckily, they had wonderful accommodations and directed us to the sun room to have some coffee and tea before check out:
My husband doesn't drink coffee but he sure knows how to hold my cup and his iced chamomile tea :)
RJ said our breakfast destination would be unique and when we encountered Ike's Quarter Cafe I was very interested in trying some Cajun-Creole Breakfast. What intrigued my husband about this place was the vegan and vegetarian options that were available. Walking up to the Quarter Cafe you are taken back by the view of an enormous cherry tree in full bloom. These pictures don't even do it justice. The entire court yard is canopied with gorgeous blooms that fall upon you when the wind blows. It's something that only happens during spring. Please take note of my husbands blogger pose:
Ike's Quarter Cafe is decorated to make you feel like your are in New Orleans. And it was spot on:
Since there was such a variety of vegetarian food we ordered Vegan Biscuits and Gravy plus French Toast covered with bananas, pecans and brown sugar:
When my husband surprised me and said that we would be going on a hike. I was a little upset at first. Because going on a hike isn't something you surprise someone with. I didn't even bring tennis shoes. I was stuck hiking in those adorable booties that ended up giving me blisters. But the hike yea, it was beautiful:
My not so pleased face...
We goofed around with the camera timer. All of these photos came out blurry. But they are my favorite:
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