Thursday, March 12, 2015

My fabulous new painting room!

I posted a while ago that my husband had built me an eisel and it right away made me feel much more at home (I also just finished his painting so I'll post that soon, though you will see it here in progress in a second!) 

This was the eisel when it was nearly put together. All freshly decorated and ready to be used!

Shortly after he built me some shelves so that I can organize all of my supplies and finally get them out of a box and in a place where I can see them. I have this thing about needing to be able to see my stuff....I really love to be able to look at my collected things (such as all of my art supplies or my super full book shelf. That's why I never get rid of any!)

I believe these were made out of Mahogany from the Hawaii Reuse store. This is great because the wood was cheap and they gave the shelves a very weathered and authentic sort of look to them. I didn't do any decorating because i really liked the rough texture of the wood.

On the shelf next to my eisel I placed the palletes, the gesso, paint thinner, varnish, and linseed oil. (I'm about to start experimenting with oil paints so that should be interesting.)
Plus an extra canvas that husband put together for me. 

Behind the eisel is all of the stuff I'm constantly reaching for- a variety of paints, a super cool brush holder, bottles for brush cleaning, and empty jars for left over paint color. (I hate when you mix a perfect color and then don't have enough it!)

I really love this brush holder. It was a super random find at the craft store and its just a weird glass piece with three tubes- perfect for all my different brushes!

And all put together......

Is this perfect little niche where I can paint by the window!

Taste of Home Cilantro Lime Cod

This recipe has ended up being something I have made several times!
For anybody that knows me, I know that may seem like a shocker because I have been an avid seafood hater for my entire life.
However! Now that I have moved to an island I figured I should start attempting to change my taste buds at least a little bit- turns out I actually do like fish (I've even eaten some sushi) and this recipe has been a pretty solid go-to. Plus, fish is so good for you, and makes for a great low calorie and high lean protein meal.

I'm sure you can make it as fancy as you want, but I've been able to buy the cheap frozen fillets for 6 bucks and have it at least for 3-4 meals.

Here's the link to the recipe:

Now in the past I have used cod but in this example I decided to use Tilapia instead. My husband liked the cod better (I liked the Tilapia) but honestly I think a white fish is probably going to taste very similar.
If you prep the fish a little ahead of time and let it marinate for a bit its even tastier- though typically you prep it and throw it in the oven (only takes about 45 min to complete. which is a bonus!)

Here I went ahead a laid out the Tilapia in the foil. You can wrap them individually or put them all on one big sheet- the result comes out just the same. 

Saute the garlic and onion, then stir in cumin and spread over the fillets. 

In this case I used onion powder instead so only the garlic was sauteed. (I also vastly underestimated how much I was going to need so I need a little extra garlic powder. I do love garlic!)

Chop up some cilantro and sprinkle over the top ( I also can never have enough cilantro) and then squeeze the lime juice across the fillets. Leave the limes in there, and after drizzling with melted butter, fold over the tin foil so it makes a nice little packet.

It bakes at 375* for about 35-40 min. Typically while this is baking I have made cilantro lime rice to go with it (just make some rice and toss in limes and cilantro while its boiling to get some nice flavor) but last night we changed it up. I made some whole grain pasta with cheesey alfredo sauce.
The fish is about 118 calories for a 4 oz. piece and 18 g of protein. Whole grain pasta made for a delicious pairing, a great carb fix, and is a fast burning carb to break down the proteins!

All in all pretty healthy.

But most importantly, pair it with a delicious white wine.

This has become one of my absolute favorites (yes....the bottle is empty.)
It is a blend of riesling, pinot grigio, and chardonnay. It is a masterpiece <3

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Good morning breakfast!

One of my favorites! Oatmeal with peaches, blueberries, almonds, and a little brown sugar. My new favorite honey Chia bread with coconut peanut butter, and some hazelnut coffee.
We are looking at 11 of protein, 15 percent daily fiber, and 280 calories.


Monday, March 9, 2015

4 things I love about my job!

I think everyone can agree that work kind of sucks, regardless of what you do for a living. At the end of the day, work is work. There are a lot of physically demanding aspects to my job but there's a lot of things I love about it as well.

#1: First of all, let's start with the pig. This here is Wilma. She is a wild boar (still a baby) that lives out in the pen with the horses. She had a family at one point out in the jungle area and somehow she got separated from them. Instead she adopted the horses as her family and she hangs out with with them, eats their scrap food, and runs from pen to pen. Some times she comes with on the trail rides and will cruise along with the group down the beach, or she will follow the group up to the tacking area. She really likes to be brushed and the other day she let me pet her nose (shown below haha.) So we have adopted a wild pig.

 #2: The people are awesome. We get a bunch of weird people from all kinds of different cultures that come in to ride, but I also work with a bunch of great people that are all super nice. Alex (the girl I work with on Saturdays) used to live in Fiji and is an amazing marathon runner. She told me she ran a race that was 34 miles and I about died...
Sarah is an island native and has only ever left one time. She rides rodeo and has taught me all kinds of new Hawaiian lingo, as well as weird food, and showed me how to ninja up onto a horse's back. 
Javier, the polo trainer, is pretty much amazing (I'm a naming a child after him) First of all, he is an absolutely incredible horseman and has taught me so much. He's always so patient and is a great teacher, to both people and horses. He's hilarious and always has stories (one of his horses was a baby and somehow ended up climbing on top of his car. He also came back from surfing one day and had to rescue some poor guy that got tipped over in an outhouse!) His horses love him and he's always joking around. Not to mention he's from Argentina, so his accent makes everything that much better.   Over here he has a string of polo horses. I was trying to get a picture of him in action but they were all blurry. Instead of trotting sets (like he has us do) he took this string and was hauling ass around the polo field. You haven't seen someone ride until they are at a gallop and flipping around turns while leading four other horses!

Gary, our maintenance guy, is also awesome. He's super sweet and hilarious- a little bit crazy sounding and off beat with a super funny laugh. He also loves his cat and takes him for walks on the beach.  (This is Dewey the cat)

#3: The horses of course. The trail horses (and the polo horses) are so full of personality and are all super fun to ride. We ride several different horses a day and my favorite part is ponying everybody to and from the beach (especially at night when it's moonlit...even though you can't see anything) We always jump on bareback and in a little rope halter, pony along two or three horses with us, and ride in a huge pack up from the beach. I've had to really practice some new skills-it's one thing to ride one horse and another to lead several others at the same time!
A lot of people ask if it's dangerous- yes it probably is! My old boss back home would have a shit fit. For the most part everyone is extremely well behaved and we don't have any issues. However, it is important to keep them in a certain order. One time I was riding a horse that I usually don't and he got competitive with the other two I was leading (while heading home for dinner.) Next thing I knew he takes off and we are flying down the beach at a run (I let go of the other two since I figured they would run alongside anyway until we got to the gate) we jumped a sand hill and came to a stop at the gate. I was gripping on so hard! It would be a real shame to fall off and get stepped on- but he had a super bony back so that wasn't great. Once we all stopped I yelled at everyone because I'm pretty sure they planned the whole thing. 

 A few of my favorites- Angelo, Blossom, Papi, and Clara.

Riding the polo horses is also fun. We do what are called "sets" which is where you ride one and pony a few with you, and do a fast trot around the polo field for conditioning. For an hour or so. (It conditions us just as much as the horses!

#4: Feeding. Weird to say, but we take the ATV loaded up with feed and go flying down the beach and over sand dunes. Feeding is a total pain but its pretty exhilarating to get done!

(this is about what it feels like.)

Anyway. Happy tales from the trail!

The Beach Dilemma

It has been a while since I blogged anything about work!
 I'm a little behind on my tales from the trail.
 As of lately we have had a surprising amount of very normal people (a couple from Australia, several from Utah, Minnesota...) and as usual, a massive amount of selfies. So many people take selfies on horseback (we take a picture of you on the beach at the end....) I've even had someone face timing while they were riding! Last week we had a very touching group of people- they were all siblings that were on vacation because the one sister had a husband who recently passed away. She had really been struggling with his passing and decided she needed to get out and enjoy her life- so she bought tickets for all of her siblings to fly with her and vacation in Hawaii!
How awesome is that?

Anyway, we have had to deal with a number of issues involving weather. Many days have been rainy and we have been caught in the pouring rain (completely drenched. That's how my phone broke a while ago) as well as super high winds. (the trees were creaking so we had to ride behind them the best we could and we eventually convinced our boss he was an idiot for having people ride in the wind and he canceled.) Good thing too because three trees came down that night!

So this week, we are cruising along with our little trail group, and about 1/4 of the way up the beach I am suddenly surprised by our trail. There is a fricking crater dug out in the beach! They had dug a trench from the ocean in order to create a river that will irrigate the fields so water can flow right through. Except nobody told us this was in the middle of our trail, so there is this huge trench with steep sandy slopes and ocean water crashing in through it. I attempted a couple ways around it, but there was none, and the other guide was attempting to get her horse through it. 
Problem #1: The horses absolutely would not let the water touch them and were starting to get nervous about it
Problem #2: The other guide started attempting to cross and her horse sunk to his knees like it was quick sand.

(This is the next day after our maintenance guy spent four hours digging. Imagine this even more steep with the ocean crashing through it. It is hard to tell but its about a 10-15 foot drop down this hill)

We shook our heads at each other, rather upset that our boss failed to mention this, and had to turn our group of riders around. We apologized because they had spent a great deal of money on this ride and we couldn't even complete it. Sarah (the other guide) told the polo trainer Javier what happened and he went to go talk to the boss.

On a side note my boss is a little ridiculous. He's a super nice guy but doesn't listen well and tends to make bad decisions.

Our boss could not believe that this trench was such a problem and went down to investigate. Once he came back he was all freaking out about how that needs fixed because we have to have trail rides going. He said that instead of running sets with the polo horses, he wanted me and Sara to pony them all and run laps across the trench in order to pack down the sand.

I have never seen Javier (the polo trainer) so angry! He just started yelling at our boss in Spanish- he's a very patient guy so when he loses his temper it is bad. We absolutely adore him by the way.

After being thoroughly scolded we all ended up riding a few trail horses down to it and crossing it (which was quite the adventure) Luckily Gary, our maintenance guy, had started frantically digging a bridge for us and trying to pack sand. 

There was a lot of fighting that went on that day between our boss and well...pretty much everyone else.  It was very unsafe for him to expect us to take anybody across this thing that had no experience!

The next day while we were bringing horses in, I was told to go down and test the beach since Gary had been working on it all morning. I swung up on Blossom (bareback and halter..for the record) and we cruised down there.

Much better! He had built us a bridge, but it was still a very steep decline. (Hard to tell, but still about a 6-8 foot vertical drop) 
Well someone had to test it out before we attempted to get people across this.
I grabbed onto Blossom's mane and gave her as much lead rope as she needed in order to pick her way down this very steep hill. She was a very brave lady- snorting and carrying on the whole way. We were able to cross without sinking and as long as we instructed people how to balance we would be just fine. The best part was riding back up the super steep hill because they get speed walking and start really climbing (it's a weird feeling to be vertical on a horse!)

Our first trail ride across went pretty well- only one horse didn't want to cross it and we were able to pony her down the sand dune. As guides we were able to let out a huge sigh of relief because we were able to get everyone to cross safely- and the people loved it. The other guide (Alex this time) led the way and I was in the back pushing everybody across like a cattle drive. Everyone was excited because they had to hang on and go through the water- very rural.

Nothing quite like the ocean to cause a huge disrupt in your day!