Month: June 2012

Summer Swimfest

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/valentines-swimfest/

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2011/12/17/christmas-swimfest-2011/

 

Previously on this blog I posted about Swimfests! This is an idea I cam up with last December to have a swim party with real swimming in it.  It is a casual event, just a fun time to relay and race and be a little goofy.  Today I helped put on our third Swimfest.  We get matching caps and I usually prepare a little goodie bag (part of the fun of it for me).

For the summer goodie bag I found a tie-die cap on clearance and then went to zazzle.com for some cool swim stickers.  I then added some blue candy and swedish fish to make it all tie in. I thought they were super cute and was inordinately proud of them. 🙂

the goodie bag
the stickers

Then my friend Kate put together a set (3 sets actually) and the 5 of us had a good work out for the first half hour.  Thanks Kate!

Next, the fun began…

We did lots of relays including standard, t-shirt swap relay (harder than you’d think to take off a t-shirt and transfer in the water.  I was wearing a tankini and practically took off my suit taking off my shirt! It was funny!).

trying to take the t-shirt off
Etsuko trying to get the shirt on fast!

Then we had the infamous cracker relay (you have to stop after a 50 and eat a salty cracker and then whistle and show your tongue.  It really is harder than you’d think.

Next we did a rickshaw relay where you have one person on a pool noodle treading water and another pushing their feet.  Then we did almost a track and field type relay but with dunk sticks instead of batons.

the dunk stick relay

It was a super fun morning and a great time to swim and hang out with my friends.  Now I just look forward to the next one.  🙂

More photos:

I love this photo
Etsuko with a smile. Her suit matched the cap!

pushing for the relay
Cool water shot
Kate, Aubrey and Etsuko
kind of a cool underwater shot

After our hour + swimming we went to a local diner for a hearty lunch.  My Dad was in the area and joined us and even better paid for lunch.  Thanks Dad!

Now I’ve just got to start thinking about the next Swimfest.  I love party planning and I love swimming!

 

 

 

Smoothie Cubes

So recently I made an exciting purchase.  I finally got a blendtec fancy blender. I’ve been watching craigslist for years to try and find a deal and finally last week one came up.  The lady selling it had only had it for a year but said she never really used it and so she gave me a deal.  I got about a $450 blender for $285.  It’s still a lot of money but well worth it.

My new toy. Blendtec!

But as I started to use my blender I came up with a problem because I couldn’t drink an entire blender of smoothie without going crazy on the calories.  However, I didn’t want to throw away half a pitcher of smoothie.  (Since I live alone I must solely consume all of the food I make unless I have company.)

Hmmmm…what’s a girl to do?

Here’s my solution-

Smoothie Cubes

Pour some for a snack/lunch. Still have a lot left over? What to do?

Take leftover smoothie and put it in silicon ice cube trays

Use silicon ice cube trays to put the smoothie in. The silicon ice cube trays I got at TJ Maxx 2 for $9.95

Takes longer than regular ice to get solid enough.Once it is frozen, press cube out of silicon and put into ziploc or other freezer container.

Smoothie cubes!

Then they are perfect for a quick treat or to make a new smoothie with a little bit of orange juice or coconut water added.

Perfect for a little poppable frozen summer treat!
Delicious!

Ah, best idea ever!

 

Cooking Lesson: Shrimp Tacos

Is it just me or do these shrimp make me look skinny? 🙂

I’ve mentioned on this blog that I have done cooking lessons for my sister and her friends.  I love entertaining, cooking and teaching others.  It is fun to just cook together with others.  My sister is gone to Japan but Taylor and I have kept in touch via facebook.  She asked if I could give her a lesson minus Anna and I said why not! (I told Anna that she is more than welcome to hang out with any of my friends and she laughed 🙂 ).

So we decided to make shrimp tacos with a cole slaw made with a light vinaigrette.  The shrimp was fresh from Harmons and rubbed with chili powder, cumin, cayenne, black pepper and paprika.  Then they were cooked in a cast iron skillet with a little bit of lime juice to deglaze. The cole slaw was made with purple cabbage, cilantro, red bell pepper, radishes, with a vinaigrette of champagne vinegar, agave, lime juice, olive oil.

The taco was made with corn tortillas, and then topped with cole slaw and cotija cheese (new to me, yum!) and avocado.  The shrimp was spicy so you didn’t need a lot of other flavors in the toppings.  It was very fresh, light and flavorful.

If anyone wants to do other cooking lessons let me know.  I love exploring different cultures (our last cooking lesson was Chinese food. Yum!). As any teacher will attest you learn more from the preparation and teaching than your students ever do.  My kitchen is really small but we make it work.

Taylor and Cassie. I love teaching people how to cook. I like teaching anyone just about anything. Taylor is getting ready to put in her mission papers and it was fun to share my memories.
The completed taco
I love the pretty colors of this cole slaw.
Tried something new cotija cheese. Delicious!

Utah Dump Fire

Just thought I would update all of you non-Utahans on the scary turn of events that happened for many Utah residents just 20 or so minutes from my apartment.  Thursday morning the fire was sparked by two target shooters and quickly spread to a current 6,023 acres burned.  Authorities believe the fire was started when a bullet hit a rock setting off a spark.

We’ve had such a dry year and the high temperatures and winds made the ground ripe for a blaze.  There are actually 4 fires in the state of Utah right now but the other 3 are located in less populous regions. The estimates on people and homes evacuated have run the gambit but most of them say around 2,300 homes and in Utah that’s a lot of people!  Mia Love says over a 1/3rd of her city Saratoga Springs is evacuated.

As I watched the reporting yesterday one of the FEMA reps said the response of evacuees in Utah was much more organized and orderly than in Colorado and other areas that have recently been affected by fire.  I have to give some of that credit to my church that regularly focuses on emergency preparedness, having a years supply of food and a 72 hour kit ready to go. For us it isn’t just a good idea but doctrine to live by.

For more information on emergency preparedness go to:

http://www.providentliving.org/

http://www.lds.org/family/family-well-being/emergency-preparedness?lang=eng

Also at the LDS Distribution Store you can purchase food storage at very reasonable prices.

I was also impressed with how quickly the Red Cross, community businesses like Walmart and the Home Depot, The State of Utah and organizations from many churches gathered together to take care of evacuees and firefighters.  I hope I can find a way to help out. The American Red Cross is a particularly amazing organization.  Seemingly instantly they had a shelter set up with donations and food.  It’s comforting to know that if the worst happens your community is ready to support you and get you through it. I love living in Utah.

There were even organizations that quickly came to provide refuge for pets (which are not allowed in Red Cross Shelters).  An animal sanctuary of exotic animals was a great concern but all the animals are safe.

It was also great to see the calm of the evacuees.  I was impressed that so many interviewed weren’t anxious about their possessions but grateful for safety and hopeful that things would be ok. I’m sure they put a brave face before the cameras but still it was impressive.

Anyway, last I read about 30% of the fire was contained but winds were kicking up dust and making it more difficult.  The smoke is palatable.  I live in Draper about 30 minutes away and it is difficult to go outside for any time period.  My friend was hiking up Bell Canyon and had ash fall on her. Same thing happened to friends swimming in the Great Salt Lake. A guy on the news yesterday said he could see the smoke in Park City and some reported smoke as far away as Evanston, WY!

I am not really a gun person but I generally support those who want to own a gun to have that right.  That said common sense and reasonable regulations are appropriate.  Just as a snowboarder is not allowed to go out in avalanche conditions because of the danger to himself and the natural disaster he could cause, gun enthusiasts should be required to follow sensible rules to keep themselves and all around them safe from fire.  This is the 19th fire this year in Utah from gun related spark!  People around here freak out at any kind of gun regulation but why not go somewhere else that isn’t so dry and susceptible to fire?  Is that asking too much?

Anyway, hopefully homes and lives will continue to be protected from the fire.  My thoughts and prayers are with the evacuees and with the brave men and women who are fighting the beast of a fire.

All of these photos are from the Daily Herald.

Could see this smoke as I was driving home from Orem yesterday. Quite dramatic!

You can see how hazy and smokey everything is

Water Camera Fun

So I was goofing off a bit today and having fun with my waterproof camera.  Enjoy! Happy swimming!

This video is shaky but I still thought it was kind of cool. Amazing what you can do.  It wasn’t long ago that a dunk in a pool was death to camera.  I also like the mirrored goggles with these shots.  They kind of look like sunglasses.

Someone asked me what I’m listening to.  Its a speedo mp3 and I love Kelly Clarkson right now (actually always have) especially Stronger, among other songs on my swim playlist. What songs do you like to exercise to?

Japanese Food and Bountiful Lake

Today was a super fun day.  I’ve been working really hard, exercising every day this week, so I decided to take it easy and have a relaxing swim with my friends.  I’ve been wanting to try Bountiful Lake and so when I heard my friends were meeting up there it was a perfect solution.

My friend Tenille wanted to go to our favorite Japanese restaurant Nagoyi Sushi in Midvale.  It’s in a strip mall and you would never guess it was that good.  Somehow my sister and I stumbled upon a couple of years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since.  It is also very reasonably priced.

http://utah.citysearch.com/profile/40097721/midvale_ut/nagoya_sushi_restaurant.html

I had the udon noodle bowl this time but everything I’ve tried there has been delicious.  If anyone wants to give it a try let me know and I will go.

yummy nagoya sushi

Then we went to the lake.  It was beautiful and not the sink hole I’d been warned about!  I wish I could transfer to others the excitement and rush I feel when I dive into the water.  It feels like heaven.  In Lynn Sherr’s book she describes it well:

“Swimming is my salvation. Ask me in the middle of winter, or at the end of a grueling day, or after a long stretch at the computer, where I’d most like to be, and the answer is always the same; in the water, gliding weightless, slicing a silent trail through whatever patch of blue I can find.  Tell me…to think of something pleasant and count backwards and I’m back in the drink, enveloped by an ocean, a lake, or a  turquoise box, carving long and languorous laps that lull me into serenity.”

Perfect description.

I agree with Dory from Finding Nemo:

“When life gets you down, do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do? Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.”

Today I decided to take things a little bit easier.  We had some new swimmers and so I relaxed and wore my more casual bathing suit. It was actually kind of nice to feel pretty in a bathing suit for once :).  My friend Tennille tried it out of the first time.  It wasn’t her favorite thing in the open water but I was proud of her for trying. She did very well.

My new favorite photo

There were 6 or 7 of us in the water and we just did a short swim but it was very pleasant.

Plus I got to try out my new waterproof camera.  I LOVE IT!

pretty suit for once!  Hopefully I’ll be tanned next time I wear it 🙂
Some of the girls in the water

So delicious food, good friends, swimming in beautiful nature, can’t get much better than that! I have such a great life!

 

 

You Know You’re a Swimmer If…

I have been reading Swim: Why We Love the Water by Lynn Sherr and thoroughly enjoying it.  It is exactly the kind of non-fiction that I love.  It explores an aspect of my life in an entertaining way.  Sherr shares her stories of open water swims including journeys in waters from all over the world.

Anyway, I will do a full review once I am finished but in one of the asides she lists You Know You’re a Swimmer If… and I thought some of them were quite funny and true:

You Know You’re a Swimmer If…

1. You’re crossing a bridge and think, “I could swim across this…”

2. People ask you to do a triathlon, and you say you would if it weren’t for the run and bike parts.

3. You put off the decision to color your hair until after the summer swimming season.

4. You have more swimsuits hanging in your closets than dresses

5. You have an emergency swim bag in your car just in case…

6. You can’t remember the last time you took a shower at home (totally true with me in the winter bc I always shower at the gym!)

7. Bugs die of chlorine poisoning when they land on your skin

8. You say to your dog, ‘wanna go for a swim?’ and she gets more excited than offering a walk

9. You find yourself counting strokes instead of sheep to fall asleep at night.  Then, just when you’re about to fall asleep, instead of leg twitching a little bit, it does a full whip kick and you ride the glide to slumberland.

10. You get in the water and feel like an eagle in the sky (so true!)

11. You’re first thought when trying on bathing suits is ‘how will this help me with my stroke’ not ‘Will this make my legs look big?’

12.  Men in speedos is routine…

13. You get physically excited when someone says ‘oh I love to swim too…’.  It’s a match!

(Those last 3 I made up)

Got any to add my friends?

There actually is a whole blog just on this topic http://youknowyoureaswimmer.tumblr.com/