Camping weekend

My camping weekend was exactly what I needed after a stressful month. I was up in Killington, VT – my first time in the area, and 3 nights was my longest camping trip yet.

On our first full day, we did some hiking on the Appalachian Trail! The sights were gorgeous. It was definitely the most lush forest and most scenic hike I had ever seen.

Appalachian Trail - Vermont

We started at the top of this waterfall and trekked down along the side. It was tough but worth it.

waterfall on Appalachian Trail

More pictures and sights…

Continue reading

Chicken Labeling and Fast Food Lies

Panera has rolled out a new ad campaign touting their “all natural, antibiotic-free chicken” and blogger Carrie has a great rundown on why it’s all a farce. Thanks to that post, I learned a lot more about chicken labelling and it’s not as hard as complicated as you think.

We all know that “all natural” is a bogus term that can mean anything, but did you know that technically, ALL CHICKEN is considered natural, farm raised, and hormone-free? Yup, so everyone from the mega market grocery store to McDonald’s and KFC can try to sell you on that bull. This information is straight from the Natural Chicken Council:

natural – USDA guidelines say that as long as it has no artificial ingredients, basically any raw food can be labelled natural

farm raised – all chicken comes from a farm, no matter how disgusting it might be

hormone-free – Hormone use is actually prohibited from all poultry raised in the US.

The next two are just slightly more complicated

antibiotic-free – The term “antibiotic-free” is unregulated. The Chicken Council even points out that “All chicken is “antibiotic-free” in the sense that no antibiotic residues are present in the meat due to the withdrawal periods and other precautions required by the government and observed by the chicken companies.” So everyone could also label their stuff antibiotic-free.

raised without antibiotics – If a company says “Raised without antibiotics” it does in have to mean that they have not used animal antibiotics, though they may have used other medicines. I can’t remember where I read this, but I heard that small indie farmers sometimes struggle with the decision to use antibiotics. Imagine being a small farmer who knows your animals personally, but then when it is sick you can’t give it medicine. It’s up to you and your meat source to consider.

Now that I know this, I will be less likely to get duped by “greenwash” marketing and I hope you do too. Let me know if you come across any other examples of bogus marketing.

Review: Ava Anderson Lemon Sugar Body Scrub

I received this Ava Anderson Lemon Sugar Body Scrub in an event gift bag in December (!) and am just now trying it out for review.
ava anderson body scrub

The ingredients are excellent: Sucrose (Organic Cane Sugar), Butyrospermum Parkii (Organic Shea) Butter, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Oryza Sativa (Organic Rice Bran) Oil CocosbNucifera (Organic Coconut) Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (lemon) Peel Oil, Melia Azadirachta (Neem) Seed Extract

Continue reading

Camping Menu

I am off camping this weekend! We are arriving Friday night, leaving Monday. This is my menu so far, cooking for 4 adults & 1 kid.

Breakfasts: bagels (hopefully imported from NY), egg burritos, campfire “donuts” (biscuits on a stick rolled in cinnamon sugar)

Lunch: sandwiches on leftover hamburger buns, ?

Dinners: burgers w/ sauteed corn & tomatoes, kielbasa and zucchini, ?

Snacks: carrot sticks & almond butter, Luna bars. My sis is in charge of the snacks & the most important thing: s’mores.

I left one dinner and one lunch open that we can eat out but I also prepped extra food so we could also do a “leftovers” meal for one of them.

Things I prepped ahead: fresh burgers, corn side dish, breakfast burritos (frozen), mix cinnamon & sugar, chop carrot sticks, freeze water in jars for ice/drinking.

All of this prepping and packing all of the gear was exhausting! I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to go camping after all of that work. I still have to work 6 am – noon Friday too.

cold vermont summer

Camping last year in Vermont: wool sweater, hat, gloves, and rain jacket. It was June! Also, at this moment I hadn’t even considered that I’d be coming back in 7 weeks to get married. /shrug

I planned the camping trip not realizing that Monday is my one year wedding anniversary. But it’s fine, we’re low key; we eloped in Vermont and the Harpoon Brewery was one of our favorite stops during Wedding Weekend so we can visit again on the way home. I could have made fancy plans for an anniversary dinner on Monday night but I didn’t want us to have the pressure of having to drive home to Rhode Island, unpack, change into fancy clothes, etc. Just like our wedding, we’ll just go by whatever we feel like doing at that moment.