30 Days of New – Day 15

Well, I’m halfway through with my ’30 Days of New’ challenge and I have actually done something new each day! Accomplishment – check! (If you can’t tell, I’m pretty proud of myself.)

On day 15 of my challenge the weather was just too beautiful to be inside. So we went kayaking, which I have done many times before. But since I have this lovely little challenge going on, I wanted to do a new stretch of the Tippecanoe River. So we set out on a little adventure. We put in at the Tippecanoe River State Park and floated to Haschel’s Bridge. One word – beautiful! Not that most floats on the river aren’t beautiful, but I’ve never been on one so (pause, lots of thinking going on here to try to find the right word) . . . . . natural. Ok, I know that sounds strange. Maybe serene is a better description. But there weren’t any homes or people until near the very end. The only signs of life you saw were from the wildlife that you caught a glimpse of along the way.

The river was at normal current and it only took us 2 1/2 hours to complete with a little paddling along the way. I will definitely do this stretch of the Tippecanoe River again. For those of you who don’t own your own kayak or have a way to coordinate vehicles for put in and get out, I believe this is the stretch that Tippy-Canoe Rentals does.

30 Days of New – Day 14

sushi

I FINALLY did it! I tried sushi! Wow, this has been on my list of things to try for a LONG time, but I could never quite bring myself to do it. So on the 14th day of my ’30 Days of New’ challenge I did it! My husband was shocked, as I never eat anything unless it’s well done. I heard through the grapevine that a local restaurant, The Lakehouse Grille, has good sushi. So away we went. Luckily, I was accompanied by my sister-in-law who loves sushi and knew all about it. So I gave her the menu and asked her to order. We got spicy tuna and smoked salmon. For my first bite I had the spicy tuna and dipped it in soy sauce with wasabi. I though – ok, not too bad. So I tried the salmon without any dipping sauce. Didn’t care for that bite quite as much, but I did it! These were quite a mouthful and more filling than I thought they would be. I definitely liked the one dipped in the sauce better, but the second one was ok. Not sure if I’d order just for myself, but I would try again with a friend. Do you have any recommendations for a newbie sushi eater?

30 Days of New – Day 13

Paper Pinwheels

Paper Pinwheels

For my 13th ’30 Days of New’ challenge I decided to do a little crafting.  I made some paper pinwheels for decorations. I haven’t attached them to a stick yet, but they’re going to be super cute in a vase for my summer decor. This simple little project has been on my ‘want to do list’ for quite some time, but I just didn’t take the time to do it. I kept letting work or laundry or something silly like that get in the way. Now that I’ve done them and I see how easy and fun they are, I can think of all kinds of uses for them (birthday parties and baby showers). You can make them any color or size you want to coordinate with just about any theme.

I watched a couple of YouTube videos and used my Silhouette Cameo to make these. It is a quick project and I’m sure I will be making more.

30 Days of New – Day 12

kayakFor day 12 of my ’30 Days of New’ challenge I tried a new form of exercise. I went kayaking upstream. While I have been out on the water many, many times, this was my first time going upstream. My husband convinced me to try it as a form of exercise and stress relief. It was challenging, but I did enjoy it. It’s great for the shoulders, arms and abs. I learned a few things along the way too! Like to look for the calmer water when possible and to not go directly in the middle when there’s a strong current. And that an island in the middle of the river can provide some relief to the current if you paddle toward it.

The best part is when you’re done giving it your all paddling upstream, you can relax and float back downstream and enjoy being surrounded by mother nature. I hear there is a neat area at the Tippecanoe River State Park to kayak upstream. I think I need to add that to my to-do list.

30 Days of New – Day 11

To continue the adventure of experiencing new things on my ’30 Days of New’ challenge I decided to again go somewhere I had not been before. We went to Ruhl’s Blueberry Patch in Star City, IN.  Now this is the heart of Midwest Living! We were very fortunate with the weather, as it was only mid seventies and no humidity. When we arrived the owner was riding around on a 4-wheeler. He kindly approached us, gave a warm welcome and then showed us the best bushes to pick. We picked blueberries for about an hour. Then we checked ourselves out on the honor system and weighed our blueberries and placed our payment in the container on the table. And then we headed home with lots of tasty blueberries to enjoy. I left wanting to plant my own blueberry bush (of course)!

Do you have any recipe ideas for my blueberry pickin’s?

30 Days of New – Day 10

On day 10 of my ’30 Days of New’ challenge we rode on the North Judson Bike Trail. This is another one where I don’t know why it took me so long to do it. It is a quaint 9 mile trail (one way). I am not coordinated enough to take photos while riding a bike, so I couldn’t use my camera to capture everything on this adventure. I can note we saw wild turkeys, deer, bunnies, blue birds and dragon flies (along with a lot of other insects). This bike trail has a bit more of a scenic view compared to the Winamac trail and it does not follow along the course of a highway. However, it is still mostly a straight shot. There are just a few curves in it. I do recommend locals to try it. However, we went after some recent storms and I must say that it is not (at that time) well maintained as the Winamac trail. We started at the end (on US Hwy 35) and rode toward North Judson. We went about 5 miles and decided to head back. You could start in North Judson and begin or end with a meal or beverage somewhere in the area. They do have a good bakery there!

If you know of any other bike trails in Northern Indiana, please let me know. I would enjoy exploring others!

30 Days of New – Day 9

Breakfast BurritoWell, when I set out to do my ’30 Days of New’ challenge, I knew I would have to find some things that were a part of my regular routine that I could add some new elements to. Needless to say, my family is getting to try some new recipes thanks to this! For day 9 of my ’30 Days of New’ challenge, I made some breakfast burritos. And for once this recipe idea did not come from an online source! I have been trying to come up with new things that I can make ahead and my family can eat for breakfast throughout the week. I purchased a package of Jennie-O frozen breakfast turkey sausage links and found a recipe on the back. It looked good so I thought I would give it a try.

Now here’s the bad news . . . I didn’t get the chance to write down the recipe, the box from the sausage is gone, and I can’t find the recipe on the Jennie-O website. (But when I went looking for it I found a lot of other recipes I want to try!)  Here’s what I can remember: eggs, chili powder, turkey links, corn, sausage, cilantro and pepper jack sausage. I wrapped them up and put some in the fridge and some in the freezer. We haven’t tried the freezer ones yet. Sometimes when I freeze breakfast things they don’t turn out so great after being warmed up. I will update you when that happens. As for the ones in the fridge for breakfast this week – thumbs up!

If I come across the original recipe I will post. My sincere apologies for a blog post without it, but I had to keep to my ’30 Days of New’ reporting!

30 Days of New – Day 8

Repainted HutchOn the 8th day of my ’30 Days of New’ challenge I began working on a new project. Upcycling is one of my favorite things to do. That’s just a process of taking something old and updating it or turning it into something new. I recently bought a hutch at an auction. It’s dark wood with dated hardware. I decided I wanted to paint it white. However, I did not want to have to completely sand it down in order to paint it. It has a lot of curves and some intricate details. So sanding it just seemed too time consuming. I knew since it was so dark and I want it white I would have to prime it anyway. In my online research and conversations with others who re-do furniture, Zinsser primer has come up many times. There’s even rumor it can be used on laminate furniture! So I decided to give it a try. On day 8 I started a new project and used a new product. I was only able to get the top of the hutch primed. No painting, as I wanted to let the primer fully dry – and my arms were getting tired! That’s as far as I made it for this day.

When I resume this project I will let you know how this primer worked out for me. Thanks for stopping by! And please let me know if you have any  tips or tricks (or questions) for painting furniture.

 

 

30 Days of New – Day 7

Day 7 of my ’30 Days of New’ challenge was great! After a very busy 4th of July, we decided to do something relaxing. We spent the day in the Monticello, IN area. This is only about 30 minutes from where I live. I usually end up at the Wal-mart or Kroger there. But on this day I was motivated to do new things for my challenge. We ate lunch at a restaurant called the Sand Bar. While I have been there before, I did try something new on the menu – chicken quesadillas. I would recommend the location and the food to others to try. You can sit outside right along the water’s edge and watch the boats go by. Be ready to wave at passerby’s, as they all eagerly greet you as they pass.

After our stop at the Sand Bar we headed over to Whyte Horse Winery. I am quite a fan of wine, so I’m really not sure why I never took the time to stop by this little gem in Northern Indiana. (Probably because I’m in a rush to get home with my groceries in the back of the car! But not today!) The setting is beautiful and the staff is so nice and knowledgeable. I walked out a wine club member and I definitely plan to be back. It is my understanding that they have live music on Friday evenings in the summer. That is now on my to-do list too!

If you live in Northwest Indiana, I would recommend an afternoon in the Monticello area. What other areas would you recommend exploring?

30 Days of New – Day 6

For day six of my ’30 Days of New’ challenge I decided to try a new recipe for the 4th of July celebration we had. I wanted to make burgers, but I wanted to mix it up a bit. After skimming my go-to resource Pinterest, I came across two recipes that sounded pretty tasty to me. So I mixed them together and came out with a crowd pleasing hamburger recipe that will now be permanently added to my recipe box!

Seasoning – inspiration from recipe #1 (I have some extra of this left over)
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Burger – inspiration from recipe #2
2 lbs. ground beef
3 chipotles in adobo, seeded and chopped
2 cups fresh cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
1/3 cup finely grated onion (I omitted this)
2 tablespoons minced garlic from a jar (I added this)
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I added this)

Mix all ingredients together (I only used 1/4 of the seasoning since I had the addition of the other ingredients) and form into patties of your desired thickness. I also sprinkled some seasoning on the top before putting on the grill.

Garnish as desired. We served with a variety of cheeses, sautéed red onion and lettuce. They went so fast that I didn’t even have the chance to get a picture! I plan to make again this week and will update with a photo then. Please let me know if you have a go-to burger recipe or cookout favorite. I plan to have a few more this summer and would love to know what others do.

Thanks to these recipes we came up with a tasty burger!

Recipe Inspiration #1
Recipe Inspiration #2