Healthy food shipped straight to your lazy, global warming ass.

A review on healthy, fresh food delivered directly to your home.

A look at recycling and actually being healthy.

   Last week I signed up for one of those subscriptions that sends fresh food to your door along with recipes. It was supposed to make life easy, and healthy. Please continue to read about how it’s secretly just killing the world... Really!
  We’re pretty busy people. We like eating healthy. But balancing long work days with getting to the grocery store and looking up healthy recipes for your new half ass vegetarian life style can be over whelming.
   I had a coupon code to try this system out with a company that will remain anonymous, because in all fairness, they did do everything they claimed they would do. From here on out I will refer to said company as Box Food. So I signed up for my subscription with Box Food. They would send me fresh food in order to make 3 meals for 2 people every week for $60 a week, with free shipping and full instructions and recipes for each meal.
   Ok deal, right? Free recipes, fresh food, healthy, vegetarian... that was worth $60 to me considering we can drop $150 in one week at the store.

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   I was so pumped. No shopping, no trying to figure out what to cook. No driving, no fighting crowds. No thinking. <--- And there lies the problem. No Thinking. Carry on!
   I opted for the vegetarian box, because like I said, we want to try to eat less meat.  This would really help us do that in a healthy, easy way. The box came nicely packaged exactly when it said it would. I was really excited to bring in the huge heavy box and reveal our next week, and what I thought would continue to be a weekly thing.
   I pulled out 3 smaller boxes, one for every meal. I will admit- I was surprised everything we would need to cook a meal for 2 grown adults would be in these little boxes. But I continued to unpack. Everything was wrapped in a huge insulated bubble wrap bag. Hhmm. That's smart, I thought, we could reuse it to bring home freezer groceries.  The top was separated from the bottom with cardboard and underneath that cardboard was 4 ice ice packs. That's why it was so heavy. Not full of food, but ice. The label suggested I could save them, so I stuck them in my freezer excited we got 4 ice packs out of the deal too.
   Then I looked around.
   I would break down the cardboard and recycle that. I could also recycle the smaller boxes and the paper packs the spices came in. But what would I do with 4 new ice packs wrapped in plastic the next week? And what would I do with that damn bubble wrap week after week?
  Then it hit me.
   I, personally, would recycle what I could. But how many people wouldn’t!? How many people would get this box, or bigger, weekly, and throw all of it’s contents contents / packaging away?
   I was horrified. This healthier, easy alternative was going to end up in a landfill, just because my lazy ass wouldn't leave the house. No.
   I haven’t tried any of the meals yet, but I’ve already canceled my subscription, immediately, with a comment that read how bummed I was about the packaging.
   Again- is "Box Food" in the wrong? Not really. They did exactly what they promised to do. It’s lazy people like me who are looking for ways to cut corners and in the process- killing ourselves and the earth by giving the world another reason to send us more superfluous crap we don't need. We are in the wrong.
   All I really need is a grocery list, and recipes. I can sacrifice 1 hour a week at the grocery store. I just need help on what to get. And guess what. It’s called Pinterest, or an app. And it’s free. No paper, no plastic. No waste. And in the process, I'll get out, I'll move, like people should.
   If it's too easy, and too good to be true, it's not easy and it's not good. So don't do it.

Leland Fish Town leads us to remote South Manitou Island- Day 4-7 staycation vacation

You hop in a car and you just drive. That’s how it all starts.

You have no pressing, threatening need in life to do this other than the need to fulfill that itch you get when you’ve sat for too long. Many may classify that itch as a want in life, but I can honestly tell you, that itch would kill Jake and I if it wasn’t eventually scratched. It would irritate our skin to the point where it would eventually seep in to our blood and kill us, I’m sure of it. You see, everything will die unless it moves. The stagnant life leads to rot. And we all know what it’s like to find a rotten potato burried at the bottom of a bag. You couldn't be more pissed off at yourself for letting that potato get that bad, and you couldn’t be more grossed out about it either. I don’t know about you but I don’t want my life to end up like a rotten potato. So every once in awhile, we hop in the car, and we go.

Day 5 of our staycation started out in the car. Snacks, singing, laughing, and sun gazing. 4 hours later we landed in Leland, Michigan, the coolest little fishing village from the 1900s that literally still floats on top of Lake Michigan.  The first time we visited the area there was a chill in the air, it was raining, the scene was painted blue and gray with fog and that fish smell was strong as we ran from shop to dingy lit, floating shop, loving it. This time it was sunny, hot, and fish were being shipped in to back doors by the cart full.

This is where we would catch our hour ferry ride that would take us across the lake and drop us off at the remote South Manitou Island. No cars, only old dirt roads left from the abandoned farm, limited electricity, and an over abundance of untouched nature.

We were going to spend the next 2 nights camping out in the middle of nowhere on this remote island, perched on top of Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, relying 50% on mother nature to provide for us and the other 50% on our common sense in hopes that we had packed appropriately.

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If you’ve been camping before, you know what it’s like. Whatever you normally need in life you try to break it down to the basics and how you can make it most convenient. I’m not talking about you rolling up in your 30ft home on wheels either, that’s fake camping. I’m talking about real camping. Now imagine only having a bag and your back to provide you with what you need for the weekend. That’s what backpacking is like.

You take your life and throw all the bullshit away. You bring ONLY what you need because anything more than that is weight you will have to carry, strapped to your back, for miles, in the heat. Want to feel cleansed of the figurative weight in your life? Go backpacking. It strips your life down to the essentials, the basics, the only true things that man really needs to survive.


We took 1 step off the ferry and on to the weathered dock. Start Chapter 1- the adventure had officially begun. At that point, If we wanted off that island we would have needed to turn right back around, or wait until the boat decided to come get us the next morning. We had taken the last boat out, and the ferry only comes at 2 scheduled times each day. Or, sometimes, like on Day 6, the boat decides to not come get you at all because the waves won’t allow it. You’re not in a safe square that the camp office has numbered and checked you in to. You can’t ride your bike to the camp store and get whatever you might have forgotten. There’s no showers, running water, hell, some nights there aren’t even neighbors. You are staying with Mother Nature, and although she has been known to be beautiful, she can sometimes be a relentless bitch. Next we tell you exactly what happened Day 5-7. You don’t want to miss this adventure.


So, what was in our packs?

We spent Day 4 packing and splitting this long list between the two of us (some items doubled, one for each of us.)

Light weight, 2 person, warm weather Eureka! tent with rain cover.
(We failed to bring rain covers for our packs or a ground tarp for the tent. Remember this part of the story later. Advice- always be prepared for rain, regardless of the sunny forecast.)
North Face Backpack (youth size for Autumn) and REI Traverse 85 Backpack (for Jake.)
Therm-a-rest sleeping pads
Light weight 40 degree rating Gander Mountain Mummy Sleeping Bag
Therm-a-rest Compressible pillows.
ENO hammocks.
Zipka and Tikka Headlamps by Petzl
SteriPEN water purifier
Stainless Steel Canteens
Metal lightweight Pot
Sea to Summit Collapsable cups
Light weight REI silverware
MSR PocketRocket baby propane stove
Mountain House freeze dried food
Baby bell cheese (bc we are obsessed with cheese)
Extra smartwool socks (wet feet = misery)
Go-pro
Bear Grylls Knife
Lighter
Magnesium fire starter
REI Trail Chair
Small trash bags to hike your trash back out
Mini first aide survival kit: bandaids, advil, ace bandage, benadryl, allergy meds, emergency blanket, compass, whistle, map of the area, cell phones (turned off to keep power), bug spray, sunscreen.
You should also bring some poison ivy wipes that will remove oil immediately in case you run in to a patch of bad luck (please also remember this item we failed to bring for later in the story!)
A few basic toiletry items Yes- I am also that girl who brings my mascara in to the woods with me. Sorry... not sorry.
Bathing suits
Change of clothes for cold / warm weather and flipflops. Whatever you wear, make sure it’s breathable and will dry quickly.
I bring pjs too bc I have this thing- I hate sleeping in my clothes
Things to pass the time- Cards, books, my journal, frisbee
Most important- comfortable, ankle covering boots. We rocked Asolo and Salewa
We got the majority of the stuff on our list from Bartlet, REI, and Gander Mountain.


standing barefoot in the fog

   This morning I stood outside in the cold, barefoot, with my feet firmly planted on the ground and took a deep breath in. The fog had coaxed me out and now I watched as it sat on everything just in front of me. It was a taunting mystery that had told me to come out and play, and I obeyed. 
   The earth was still. I heard no birds, no people, not even the wind. There looked as though nothing existed outside of my bubble, and during that exact moment in time, nothing did, at least not to me.  
   My feet started to tingle, or better yet, come alive. They had no protection from shoes, or even socks. My world of convenience has shielded me from these feelings, but I was liking the difference, so I didn't run inside seeking protection, because I knew I didn't actually need it. I would be just fine. Instead, I stood outside seeking what mattered most, myself. I haven't talked to her in awhile.
   Our world of convenience has made things so easy and so fast paced that we forget what it feels like when our senses come alive. Because if our senses start to come alive, we become alert, and if we are alert, we are aware, and if we are aware we start to think, and too much thinking can lead to... a life we live for ourselves and not for them.

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   This was all at 7:30 a.m. At 6:30 I was oblivious to what was happening outside my walls. It was dark, it was early, and for some reason, this morning, I decided to take a little time for myself. I got out of bed, plugged in our Christmas lights, lit a candle, and before I decided to get distracted by anything else, I was on my mat doing yoga for the first time in well over 6 months.
   You understand that’s half a year, right? And I LIKE yoga. It gives me an amazing feeling. I’m calm, I’m open, I feel uplifted and I can breath better after doing yoga. For a person who is stressed 75% of the time, I’m not sure why I wouldn’t do one of the things that helps me find peace in the last 182 days.
   But I’m sure that’s your story too, right? How often do you do something that’s just for you? It might only last 30 minutes like my yoga did, but it’s now setting the pace for my whole day.
   That 30 minutes of yoga lead me to the fog, which lead me to my camera, which lead me here. But what I share with you today isn’t for work, or photos, or any of those things. To be honest, it was another step in doing something I love for myself- writing. So I urge you to take the time to think about yourself, reawaken your senses, think about your life, and be happy.
   Be. you.
   Seek yourself.

Come with us.

Let the land and I sleep while there is snow

   Jake walked back in to the bedroom and told me get out of bed and close my eyes. He told me not to peek while he lead me to our front door. As I walked down the hallway I could tell the light was different, even through my eye lids. I began smiling, hoping what I was picturing in my abrupt state of darkness would end up being real. And it was. It was snowing.

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   The sun was shining just right as to light up each individual snowflake like glitter. I knew it meant two things, 1- winter was finally here to switch up our surroundings and 2- it was cold, and it would be cold for months, but number 1 pushed out the thoughts of number 2 and I soaked in the magic.
   That day we went out, spent countless hours at a local coffee shop doing some work, and then went and saw a movie. When we came home it was dark out and the snow had really accumulated.
   We started to pull down our driveway when we noticed all the trees were bowing their heads, either for us, or for themselves, I’m still not sure. It sure did feel like it was for us though. Our driveway is long and twisty, and with every turn we took it just kept getting better. The snow made a clean path that cut between the forest of trees that were making a low hanging arch over us. I much rather would have gotten out and walked but I wasn’t dressed for it and my socks were already soaked just from walking to the car through the slush.
   The next morning the snow was still there and so was that unfamiliar light. Winter light is different then summer light. The sun hides a bit to put a calm tone to the earth. Everything drops it’s competing colors and goes dormant, as to say, “We’re in this together.” And we are.
   I miss the sun, and I miss the thick air at night. I miss the flowers, and I miss the smell of grass. But. If I’m being honest, I secretly look forward to the entrapment and short days of winter.
   Let me tell you why.
   All together the natural world decides for one full season it’s going to sleep. It’s not going to grow, it’s not going to produce, it’s not going to rush around, and no one is looking to be a show off. The trees are sleeping, the sun is napping, and the animals are hiding. Sure, they all come out here and there, but for the most part, they sleep.
   I look at winter as a time for us to sleep too. In all reality I think it’s because Jake and I are always doing SOMETHING. Bored... I have NO CLUE what that word even begins to mean. I literally can not remember the last time I was bored. I was probably 19, right before we got engaged, right before we combined our lives and vowed to live in utter chaos till death do us part.
   When I say chaos, I mean it in a good way. Chaos consists of really good things! We’re building, renovating, planting, growing, trimming, creating, working, imagining, digging, traveling...
   But there comes a time when the old saying “too much of a good thing” can come in to play, and it’s usually right before winter hits. So when winter does hit and the ground is frozen and covered with snow, well, that eliminates half our chaos. Maybe, just maybe, we can recoup.
   As I sit here and write this I have a calm about me. I can see out the windows and hear nothing. The colors are soothing and everything feels still. If I step outside for a bit that crisp air takes my breath away and I’m reminded things aren’t always comfortable all the time, but I should try my best so when I turn around and go back in my home, that I am happy there.
   Today, I’m going to make a pot of coffee and fold the endless amounts of laundry I need to put away. Who knows, tonight I might build a fire in the fireplace and watch he flame dance for hours instead of watching the tv. And that’s ok. Sure, we didn’t move a mountain or sculpt a masterpiece, but I think it’s a good accomplishment for the day.
   You see, I’m slowly learning that. Jake and I, we have creative minds. And if I could guess, many creatives have issues with always wanting to be in a project, never finishing projects, and then getting stressed when they are in over their heads, things aren't finished, and they still have new ideas coming.
   Maybe you can relate on some level, when it comes to your work, or school. Maybe having kids with all their school and sports throws you overboard. Or maybe it's finances, friendships, family or a relationship.
   But the snow helps. The sleep of the world, it helps. And that crisp air in our lungs, Well, I’ll be damned if I live with that icy feeling both outside AND inside.

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    So on that note, I have coffee to make. And a mountain to move. Oh shit. That’s just the laundry. Sorry... no mountains today. Maybe next week!

The Detroit Zoo- Staycation Day 3

When was the last time you tickled your babies? When was the last time you laid under the open sky with your mate? When was the last time you dropped your human expectations and went back to your pure animal instincts?


This year my (Autumn) parents planned a trip to Detroit and took us to The Zoo as an Anniversary gift. The last time we were there as A family I was 3. It's been YEARS that we've been saying we needed to go back. Finally, it happened.

The Detroit Zoo Michigan

Out of all the things I saw that day, the apes were what really captivated me. I could have stayed in that little room watching them just live all day. At one point I realized I had been hogging the front row of the glass for so long an entirely new group of people had entered the room trying to see, and I was still in the same spot with my camera, hogging the best view in the place. 

I apologize for getting all "religious" or "not politically correct" when I say this, but my god, evolution has got to be real.
As I watched through the glass I was in complete aw of how their bodies moved just like mine, how their bodies looked just like mine. The wrinkles in their knuckles, their watery eyes, their little folded ears, and the small of their back. The similarities in how they walked around, if they would just simply stand up a little taller and arch their back... it really entertained me. How they weren't like other animals and just flop themselves, they would sit and move around until comfortable, just like you or I, folding a leg under the other, or rolling over on their back and lifting their feet up against the wall. They would sit in their windows and stare out at their friends, as if contemplating things we'll never know they are contemplating, because we simply can't speak the same language. we give them less credit then humans simply because we can't understand them. But maybe we should try to. We might learn something.

The Detroit Zoo Apes
The Detroit Zoo Michigan Gorilla Apes Chimps

I can't imagine what the apes would think of us if you put us behind glass.
Why are they always looking down at little boxes? How did their fingers learn to move so quickly but the rest of their bodies so slow? Why don't any of them... talk? Why don't any of them... touch?

My absolute top moment that day was watching a little baby chase after his mom, hopping on her back and mom rolling him off and poking him with one finger, over and over.

Mom Ape and her Baby playing The Detroit Zoo
The Detroit Zoo Michigan two apes playing outside

Humans are so busy listening to only themselves talk, competing, worrying about what others think, pressured to do what is right... We forget, often, about the most important thing in life- joyful, physical interaction with another of our kind for nothing more than to enjoy each other.
At the end of the day we are still animals and our top priorities should be the same as these "wild beasts":
Survive. Love. Repeat.
Ya know- Life is pretty simple when you think of it like that.

The Detroit Zoo Wild Animals Michigan

(Going forward, I don't want to bombard you with every animal we saw that day, but we loves animals and want to share them with you! That being said- I think Jake and I feel the same way about photographing animals at the zoo... it's really an unfair advantage us humans have. It's not like out in the wild. Wildlife photographers spend HOURS, DAYS, WEEKS waiting quietly to photograph animals in their true environment. Know we're not trying to win any awards with what we got that day.. but look at how adorable these guys are!)

Penguin Swimming at The Detroit Zoo Michigan
The Detroit Zoo frog house
The Detroit Zoo Michigan reptiles
Detroit Zoo Snake sleeping
The Detroit Zoo Reptile Exhibit
The Detroit Zoo Outdoors Pink Flamingos
Brown Bear Den Detroit Zoo Michigan
Monkeys Detroit Zoo Summer
Male and Female Lion Lovers The Detroit Zoo
Lion summer Detroit Zoo
The Detroit Zoo small animals digging holes
Aquarium The Detroit Zoo Michigan swimming
Aquarium The Detroit Zoo