Thursday, November 27, 2014

4 Things

I don't think I could get any four, more random things put together into one. But it is about to happen. And I'm about to try to do it real quick. And by real quick, as quick as I can get the words out. Which more times than not, it's not that quick. So here you have it....

1. Worldy Beanies.
We've decided to do a "Black Friday" sale. I laugh at myself thinking about it. I swore I wouldn't make any more hats, but I did it anyway to get rid of the leftover yarn. But then I still went out and found some new yarn with new I "HAD" to buy them. And then I trapped myself into making more hats in those colors. So I haven't slept much in the last few days. That just means you all better buy every single hat because I don't want any more hats lying around in the house. Seriously them all because your child needs one, your friend who is having a baby needs one, they are great stocking stuffers, and I want everybody to share the warmth of these hats. Plus, they will never be this inexpensive ever again. Got it?

2. #EDIC aka Every Day I Crush.
Just a little shout out to my husband. The man who I don't ever #mcm because I crush on him every damn day, all day. The man who has been putting up with all the hat making, all the blogging, holding down a full time job plus coaching, who takes care of chickens in his "spare time," who manages to find time for things that involve our next journey in life, and the man who loves me every day. I'm so incredibly thankful for you. Every day, all day. #EDIC.

3. Nontraditional Thanksgiving.
I work various holiday throughout the year. This year one of them happens to be Thanksgiving. So instead, we had our own mini one with my side of the family last night and I thought you all should know what we had to eat. Because I also think you need to make this next time you have family or friends over for dinner. It's all way to easy, you won't even think you did a darn thing! We mixed a little of LKC with PaleOMG and a side of various fruits to make up our pre-Thanksgiving meal. Click the links below for your menu planning for your next event!
Brazi Bites (just Gluten Free, but great if you're not interested in making paleo rolls...
hit or miss on where these are located)
Mixed Fruit (your choice on fruits, slice and dice, serve in a bowl, and eat up)

PS-get yourself some fun napkins and napkin rings. It dresses up the table without having to do
much of anything. Thanks for the Xmas gift exchange gift, Kait!

4. Chicken Garage WOD.
We don't have turkeys, which would've made the name of this WOD about 100 times better and at such a perfect time. But since we don't, we'll call it what it is. A WOD in the garage with chickens. You may not have chickens in your garage. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee that you don't. But because we do, we'll go with it. This is what is about to are all about to head to your garage (or maybe just a good space you like to workout in somewhere in your home) and get your WOD on. Look below for your pre-meal workout. Get it done early. Trust me. You won't want to do it later. Because later you'll be going back for like the thirds and fourths of Thanksgiving dinner (at least I would if I wasn't working)...and definitely not thinking about working out. So finish reading this and get a move on!

Run 2 miles, then...
For 20 minutes...
on the odd minutes, do 40 double unders (or 160 single jump rope)
and on every even minute, do 12 burpees
(rest with any leftover time in that minute)
Run 2 miles

So those four random things...they obviously just happened. Now it's time for you to get that workout in, feed your face with some good home cooked or store bought Thanksgiving meal, and crush on that one you're so very thankful for. Because sometimes you need all those things in one.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

♡The Stanleys (and our lady chicks)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Meet The Ladies!

Before I get started, let me just give you a little background to what finally became our chicken coop...

When we moved in, there was a place where the previous owners obviously had put a hot tub in our backyard. Surrounding it was a well-built structure that covered it and had a bar along the outside. We knew we were not going to be getting a hot tub, so my cousin and brother helped break it down so we could repurpose the wood. The plan was to use it all for a chicken coop. Well the bar part of it went to being a bench on the deck, some of the wood was cut down and used for fire wood, and the rest of it is still standing behind the garage. Still TBD what we will actually use it for (a makeshift shed, a play house down the road, hold fire wood, etc.)

When we realized it was going to cost us just as much (if not more) to repurpose the wood into a chicken coop, we began to look around to see what was out there. I'll give credit to my dad as he pointed us to a few on Craigslist. Within 10 minutes of searching, I came across a beautiful looking chicken coop in North Portland. My first thought..."How cool. Some guy must be making these locally, trying to sell them for a great deal." And seriously, it was a fabulous deal if you ask us! Ty called the number and the man he spoke with told us that if we come, we must call ahead of time so they can have the showroom ready. My second thought was then, "a legit chicken coop maker and dealer. And he even has his own little shop in No-Po." It wasn't until we actually drove there that I began to realize that my first two thoughts were probably wrong. Next thing we know we're down on Swan Island in a warehouse type building with all sorts of items you could ever possibly think of!

So although it seemed pretty sweet that we were getting this local deal...that's not at all what happened. We ended up buying a coop from a warehouse that was actually made in China. We now joke that it was made in China, sold in the USA, and assembled in Washington. Almost local.
Same difference, right?

Anyway, that's our story. The coop is kinda like Ikea furniture but in a China chicken coop version. 
Now here are our ladies.
Meet Cindy (red/brown), John (black with white spots), Kathy (white), & Mark (brown).

Yes, I know those are male names, but we don't care.
We get more of a kick that they have our parents' names (for those of you who don't know that).
They are beautiful, they've been our garage dwellers (until it warms up), and they will 
(we hope) give us some eggs come spring time!

We will start with 4 in hopes that goes well. If so, then we will add a couple more. If it doesn't
go well...well I'm sure I'll let you in on that!.
That all we've got for ya!
Have a wonderful Monday folks.

♥The Stanleys

Friday, November 21, 2014

More Than Just a Hat: Our Two Special Babes

These hats have more meaning than many of you may even know. I love putting my time into each one, I love the special requests that challenge me to figure out how I'll be able to make it happen, I love that knitting so many hats has made me rest and relax for longer than two minutes a day, and I love that it brings me special reminders with each one I make. And let me tell you all that I have absolutely loved not only making all the hats that are currently floating around the world, but I've loved delivering them here locally. There's nothing like seeing someone who you haven't seen in a long time and briefly catching up. It gets me out and about, brings up old memories, and starts new conversation. I thank you all who have wanted the hats delivered as I thoroughly have enjoyed getting out and about to see everybody.

A few other things I've loved...seeing your photos and/or all your little babes in the hand knit hats. You guys are good looking and all, but those babes of yours....They. Melt. My. Heart. So keep posting photos, I love them. I like really love them. And if you don't have a baby, have one so I can make them a hat. They'll need one ;-)

In all my hat making life, I have very much enjoyed every hat and every photo of people in them. Like I said a minute ago, all your babes are darling and have had a special place in my heart when I've made them. However, there are two little ladies that have touched my heart that I figured needed a little blog post specifically about them. So they are not only the #babesoftheday, #babesinbeanies, etc. But these little gals are our Friday Fighters. Yes, I made it up but it worked perfect for today because they are truly amazing fighters for their young ages. Ready to meet them?

Grace is a lil' babe who came flying into life, ready to take on the world! She was excited meet her family at a very early age I guess you can say. She spent her first part of life in the hospital fighting to get bigger, stronger, and healthy enough to go home. And go home is what she did! She was born prematurely, but she had no doubt she'd be getting herself home....she fought hard enough and well enough because she now spends her time in her new home with her Mommy & Daddy. A fighter she is and I have no doubt, a fighter she will continue to be!

So to her Mommy & Daddy...thank you for giving me the opportunity to make a special hat for your little lady and her brother in heaven. I thoroughly enjoyed my time making them and they will have a special place in my heart. Let's just hope she loves the Ducks as much as her Daddy, or else I may get a call down the road that she needs one for the Beavers ;-)

Our second sweet girl...she's not exactly a little babe like the rest of the the ones you all have seen. In fact, she's not too little at all. Meet Madi. Madi is full of life (if you can't tell by her photo) and a very determined little girl. Today is her big day to fight and then she will fight for many more days to come. You see, Madi was found to have brain tumors that they need to be biopsied and then to tackle chemo therafter. It's a major event in this girl's young life (and her family's life too). So it was my pleasure to make her a hat in honor of her ability to fight and win this battle. Go get 'em Madi!

In honor of our Friday Fighters, will you all pray if you believe in prayer, think good thoughts if that's what you prefer, and continue to support them and all those others out there fighting today. Make it known that they haven't been forgotten and that we will always know them as fighters! Here's to all the premies out there fighting their battle and those little kiddos who fight those much hated tumors and cancers. Not one parent out there expects their child to have to fight battles as they do early in their lives, so for all you parents who have gone through this with your child...we praise you for making it through the battle as well.

Here's to sweet baby Grace and our little gal Madi! Thank you for being great fighters in this world! We pray for your health, we pray for your recovery, and we pray you continue to fight all your life battles that come your way.

♡The Stanleys

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Minor Life Change + A Little Challenge

Hey you all. And by you all, I'm mean the five people that are probably reading this right now. And two of the five who are probably skimming through to find the update. Don't worry, I'll get there.

Over the last few years, my back pain has continued to get worse. At one point, they thought it was ankylosing spondylitis. Praise the Lord, it was not! There are a few things throughout my back that aren't normal, but nothing amongst them needs surgery. Again, thank goodness! The problem with it all is the daily struggles. Pain, pain, and pain. Throw in a few uncomfortables and the feeling that you're not in the right body because of how awkward the feeling can get...and it's a great mix of how I feel just about every day.

I don't complain. It gets me nowhere. But over the years, I haven't stopped. Meaning, I work long hours...I don't take breaks from anything (knit until my hands fall off!)...I would never modify or cut back at CrossFit...and even when we travel we're super active (rock climbing and deep hikes in Thailand or carrying a huge backpack for 6 weeks). It's my nature. I love that about myself, but my back does not. 

A few months after I turned 28, I got a bit wiser. Not sure if it was the age that did it or what, but slowly but surely I began to remove some of those factors...I cut back my hours at work so I'd have one day where I only worked 8 hours instead of 12. I knew that once I finished the CrossFit competition, things would have to I began to modify a few things here and there (of course, not enough per the PT and massage therapist). Then I began to realize that certain movements were causing enough grief for far too many days thereafter the workout. I needed more than just modifying or a few days rest. My body needed a break. I needed a big break, maybe a month or maybe two.

Although I loved the workouts and competition, I sadly and with a little anxiety, left the CrossFit world at the beginning of this month. Trust me, it wasn't easy. It came with a few tears and questions of what in the h*ll am I suppose to do for exercise now?! So the last three weeks have been interesting to say the least. There's been plenty of running (something I never thought I'd ever do this much of again) and a lot of body movements. Some workouts I have yet to break a sweat and if I have, it was probably because I was wearing too many layers in a warm house. Needless to say, it's not quite the same.

(as a little side note, I have to tell you that Ty also left the gym to be my number one supporter at home without even being asked. I think he's quite the guy for that!)

(one of my favorite things about running through the neighborhood...
these old trees, all the leaves, and an empty street on an early run)

What I did decide to do was to take a little challenge though. So besides running, keeping up with weekly physical therapy and every two week massages, and little bits of AHWODs to manage the back situation...I've started what I call the Police Academy Challenge.
What it entails is the following...

150 miles (running)
10,000 push ups
40 hours DT (I call mine PT aka physical therapy because I don't need "wrestling" practice)
1,500 minutes aerobic exercise

All of that is to be completed in the time you're in the academy (about 5 months). I was informed a month into it (my cousin is currently in the academy, which is where I learned about this), so my challenge is to complete it in 4 months. However, with a poor I'm not so sure this will all happen. If it takes me 5 months, then fine. At least the challenge was completed, right?

So if any of you are interested in the civilian version of the Police Academy Challenge, get yourself ready for the beginning of December. Plan out the time it will take you to do it in 5 months and set a goal each day to knock out a few of everything. Even if it's very little, it encourages you to do the smallest bit of exercise on a day you may not have otherwise!

Good luck to you!


Friday, November 14, 2014

Stanley BLD: Inspiration...Cultures of the World!

Sometimes when I write up these blogs, I feel the need to start it with some sort of funny story that's happened or a recent life event. But lately I haven't been as much into blogging as I have been some other things we have going in life. Things much more exciting and bigger. Well, something we think is bigger but I guess it depends on who you talk to. So today, I have no events to tell and I feel the need to keep the funny/embarrassing story to myself (believe it or not, I have some things I don't share with you).

This week we're making it cultural week around our house when it comes to the dinners...sampling out some new recipes that come from all sorts of cultures. We pulled upon our trusty go-to big namers and their online recipes to provide you with a weekly menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus a nice, long grocery list. Here ya have it...

*PaleOMG Mexican Egg Hash Bake with Sliced Grapefruit
(click the link above for the recipe)

*Pumpkin Pie Chia Seed Drink/Pudding with an OEG (over easy egg)
3 mason jars
1 can pumpkin
about 2 1/2 C almond milk
pumpkin pie spice
2-3 tablespoons chia seeds
toppings (walnuts, almond butter, honey, etc)

Split up your pumpkin can into three of your mason jars. Pour your almond milk into each jar evenly. Stir well until mixed. Dump your chia seeds into your mix, put the lid on, shake well. Let it sit for a few minutes, then shake again before putting it into the fridge. Let it sit overnight and pull them out each morning. Put some of your topping ideas over the top of your pudding and enjoy! (Add an egg or two to finish off your breakfast and you'll be set!)

Dinner leftovers. Always leftovers.
Are you sick of me telling you that yet?

(per wikipedia, my trusty guide today)
+ sliced jicama
(click link above for recipe. Grocery list written for lettuce wrapped tacos, ingredients not on 
list for the tacos in this recipe)

(click on link above for recipe)
side salad with carrots, cucumber slices, & tomatoes

*Paleo Leap Tom Kha Gai Soup
(click on link above for recipe)
*I doubled this recipe, added 1-2 chopped lemon grass stalks, and piled more chicken into the recipe (it was heavy on the veggies and needed a little more protein for me).
Pick a fun new fruit for a side that you've never tried before!

(click on link above for recipe)
+ "naan bread"

*AAG Fish Tacos
(click on link above for recipe)

(written for a typical layout of a Winco store)

2 limes
3 grapefruit
melon of any sort (add as a side to any dish)
grapes, apples, pears (add as a side to any dish or as a snack)
pick one fruit you've never tried before!
1 bag shredded cabbage
1 bag salad (your choice in lettuce)
1 small cucumber
1 tomato
1 carrot
1 small jicama
2 red bell peppers
3 yellow onions
1 white onion
1 sweet potato
4 avocados
1 head cauliflower
Butter leaf lettuce (for lettuce wrapped tacos)
1-approx 3lb spaghetti squash
1 bunch cilantro
1 cup button mushrooms
chia seeds (may or may not carry them)
shredded mozzarella cheese (can buy higher quality elsewhere)
ricotta cheese (can buy higher quality elsewhere)
parmesan cheese (can buy higher quality elsewhere)
salsa of your choice
1lb organic, grass fed ground beef
1lb chorizo
3lb pork shoulder (can buy higher quality elsewhere)
2lbs chicken (frozen or thawed)
1lb cod, salmon, or halibut (can buy higher quality elsewhere)
almond milk (unsweetened)
5 dozen eggs
1 can pumpkin
2 cans tomato paste
3 cans tomato puree/sauce
1 large box chicken broth
3 cans full fat coconut milk
1-2 stalks lemon grass (may or may not be at winco)
dried chipotle peppers (mexican section in a bag)

Side notes
*if you don't have almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, unsweetened shredded coconut,
ghee, honey or coconut sugar then you should add that to the list. They are great to have on hand!
*I did not include spices on this list as we have most of them. Be sure to look over the recipes to make sure there's nothing you may need.
*These recipes make enough for the two of us for dinner and lunches, which may differ for your situation

That does it folks! The list looks much larger as I type it out this way than it does when I make it on my phone for the trip to the grocery store. Heaven forbid I forgot something. Blame me if that's the case, but I'm hoping we've got it all covered. Don't forget to read all the side notes!



Monday, November 10, 2014

2 Stanleys, 3 Kiddos!

I'm pretty sure I was more excited about going to this place than the kids were. Then I was even more excited as we drove up to it. It was seriously like a real life Thomas. The giant doors that housed the massive trains. And then the trains that had wheels much larger than I ever even knew. And then, all the knowledge the volunteers share about the trains...I could keep going on and on. Let's just say I'm still excited about it and am partly in love with trains at the moment.

There are a lot of things that make my heart melt. But an evening with Ty and those three kiddos brought such joy to my heart. Sorry to get mushy for a second, but I needed to make sure you understand how much I love those kiddos, my husband, and our date nights we get with them. If you haven't figured it out, being an Aunt to me is one of my most favorite things :-)

But back to the's not a real big place, but they sure have some big items hanging around in there. Be sure to check this place out!

I tell ya...if you ever need experience with children, borrow lots of nieces and nephews or your friends' kids. Pile them in a car, take them somewhere fun, then take them to a grocery store (that is the biggest test of all), get them to all sit and eat dinner at the dinner table, and then find an activity for the evening in the basement (things such as food....Pirates Booty is great, just tell them it's pirate's food and they're super into it). It's doable. Well, one night is doable. Who knows if more than that is possible.
But seriously, give it a try. We wish you luck ;-)


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Monks of SE Asia

Can I just tell you all a few little things we are so thankful for...

1) world travel and the means to do so
2) life experiences such as these
3) cultures (the million of them)
4) traveling partners who were always up for adventures (Ty & Meg for me)
5) the memories, knowledge, and the sensitivity to the cultures thereafter

Ok, I could seriously keep going on and on about traveling, but I'll stop. I just can't be more thankful for everything that comes along with it. After we took our trip to SE Asia, I pulled our photos together to post a travel Tuesday or Thursday travels each week. I was going back through all the blog post drafts (those which I've prepped but not posted) and this was one of them:

The Monks of SE Asia.

I had an obsession with monks...their life, their religion, their devotion. I was partly obsessed with them. Ok fine, I was obsessed with them. I may not have gotten "that perfect photo" I was hoping for, but I sure got plenty. I felt like the monk paparazzi. How annoying I must have been, right?

Skim through the photos to see the SE Asian monks. I highly suggest looking
up more information on them and taking it as an educational experience on this Tuesday!

The Monks of Cambodia

the "traditional" morning alms is much different in Laos due to the Khmer Rouge many years ago.
Unlike the other countries where all the monks file in a line down the street in the early morning (you'll see a photo below), they tend to do it here and there and usually with themselves or with another monk.

Monks are not allowed to drive. They get rides from anybody willing.

Their garments can be all sorts of colors. I read that the color doesn't signify anything anymore and instead, it has more to do with what was donated at each given time.

alms in action down a side street in Cambodia

Monks don't necessarily like to be photographed (as you can see, I have a lot of photos of them behind their back or off to the side). However, every so often you'll run into some younger monks who are all for it. Plus if you catch a chatty one, he will tell you his life story....

each man comes to be a monk at all sorts of times in their lives. Some come and spend up to 5 days after a family member has died to show respect. Some come at a young age because they are either orphaned or the family cannot provide them with anything, so they send them to the city or a rural area to become a monk. And some make that choice on their own.

These kiddos lived out in a rural area and again, many of them were orphaned or were sent in by their families.

The Monks of Laos

typical morning alms

Morning alms was super early each day...and each day we almost missed it. It was a close call, but we made it in order to watch the process. As you can see, each monk carries a beautiful gold bucket or basin of some sort, hung around their necks with the orange fabric. Women must be on their knees to offer while the men can stand. Typically, food and money are given to the monks each morning.

The streets are very quiet during this time, even with all the foot traffic and people that early in the morning.

Every so often, you might catch them doing their chores between their studies, alms, and their normal routine in the temples.

you might even catch them not being so serious...

And who knows, maybe you'll catch one as we did hanging around in a hammock in a super rural area!

Unfortunately I can't seem to find the monks of Thailand, so these will do. Plus, it's probably an
overload of monks in their typical garments in nearly all the same types of photos.
I clearly couldn't contain myself and the photos. Obsessed, intrigued, call it whatever you want.

Hope you enjoyed a little piece of Tuesday Travels from our SE Asia backpacking trip.
Go find some time to do a little research on the monks. It will be worth your time.
Any knowledge is worth your time.