I'd been planning to write a Good Stuff Tuesday post today, but when I woke up to the news of the bombs in Boston, I thought I'd skip it. It didn't seem like the right time.
But then I read more about what was happening there. Marathoners going straight from running 26.2 miles to the hospital to donate blood. Bystanders applying pressure to wounds. Locals offering their homes, food, phones, and comfort to strangers stuck in the area. The bad is the work of one person or a very few, but good is the first instinct of the majority of people. So. Good Stuff Tuesday it is.
This is just a beautiful piece of writing, called How To Be In Love about long-term love, as opposed to that initial firework butterfly falling in love stage. Seriously, some of the best writing I've read in a while.
I've pinned a couple of recipes for overnight oats. I like oatmeal for breakfast, but it's going to be a long while before it's cool enough here to want a hot breakfast. And there are a lot of options for flavor combinations. I made a single serving using equal parts blueberry Greek yogurt and old-fashioned oats, plus skim milk. It was ok, but could have really used some fresh blueberries. My more successful attempt was also pretty much my first recipe invention, overnight oats pie:
Mix 1 1/4 c old-fashioned (not quick) oats with 4 tbsp peanut butter (crunchy, as God intended). Mix in 1 c milk, then add 2-3 mashed very ripe bananas. Stir in any extras you want. Dump into a pie pan or 8x8, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Enjoy.
I say 2-3 bananas because I had 3, but part of one was bad, so I really used about 2.5 bananas. The extras I put in mine consisted of Craisins and a lot of cinnamon. You could also use berries, chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, coconut, maple syrup, honey, cocoa, or any number of other stir ins. I've seen lots of recipes that call for protein powder or chia seeds, but probably you'd have to adjust the liquid content for these. (I'm not sure if our chia seeds got packed, so I didn't want to buy more. I do plan to try this with them and can report back later.) I'd also like to try it with apple sauce or pureed pumpkin in place of the bananas.
Recipes I did not invent, but do recommend include this seared steak with eggplant saute, these Asian lettuce wraps, and this foil-baked lemon garlic fish and asparagus. And I've been eating some of a "recipe" I posted about a while back where you take some cooked shrimp and add some lime juice, feta, and mint. Then you eat it. That's the whole recipe. Similarly simple: 3-2-1 Cake. Dump the dry mix from a boxed angel food cake mix in with another mix of your choosing (I picked devil's food so it would be a balanced meal) and shake it up in a Ziploc bag. When you feel like some cake, put 3 tbsp of the powder, 2 tbsp of water into a bowl and stir, then microwave for 1 minute. 3...2...1...Cake!
I've been thinking that I'll post at some point about how I packed for backpacking. For the moment though I'll tell you about the good stuff I bought for the trip, namely the Whatever and Wherever skorts from Athleta. Here's a photo of the Whatever skort with the Cairn tank, which I also bought and like very much.
The Whenever skort looks a bit dressier. The beauty part of both is that while they're (business casual, at least) work appropriate, they're also made of thin wicking material that's perfect for packing and for being active. Or just being really hot. (My take on the weather in Bagan: "It's hot, but it's not crazy stupid hot like Yangon." So yeah, the wicking was useful.) They're cute with flip flops, but assuming I get a job, I'll wear them to work with flats or boots as well. The only downside to these for travel was that the shorts underneath made squat toilets something of a challenge.
Not so with the ad hoc skirt. Not only is it a true skirt, it's also a dress. This seemed ideal for backpacking since it could be so versatile and it really did come through. I wore it with the top folded over as a regular skirt, with the top around my waist as a maxi skirt, and up top as a halter dress. It would make a cute swimsuit cover up too, if you were concerned with cuteness for the beach. I was very sick by the time we got to the beach and went around in a tank top and running shorts. Here I am wearing the ad hoc skirt as a dress for dinner.
There it is as a maxi skirt. Fair warning: if you have a butt, this will be quite tight on it when worn as a skirt. Which could be a distinct advantage if you've got a great butt, you lucky duck, you.
On an impluse, when I was at REI to buy a new Nalgene bottle for Raj, I picked up a ChicoBag Vita Reusable bag, which stores inside itself all tiny and then expands to become what I referred to as my Poppins bag. As in, I'm pretty sure a hat rack would fit inside, along with sunscreen, bug spray, Nalgene bottle, snacks, wallet, hat, long-sleeved shirt and/or rain jacket, sunglasses, camera, longhi, maps, brochures, pen and paper, Lonely Planet Burma, sometimes Doris Kearns Goodwin's bricklike Team of Rivals, and on one occasion, two laquerware platters and a vase. Plus a carbeaner to hang my flip flops off the strap when touring Buddhist temples. I plan to use it for groceries, as soon as I get it back from our friends in Korea where I accidentally left it.
I was going to include a photo here, but Typepad is uninterested in uploading it. So you'll just have to click the link if you want to take a look at this packing marvel.
Also good: tomorrow is Wednesday, which for us is New Girl and Mindy Project night. If you're not already watching these, then I don't know what to tell you. Well, except that you should start watching them. (They're on Tuesday night in the States.)
You should also watch the movie Butter. It was an option on one of our plane rides and it is genius. Not at all what I was expecting, given that it's about butter carving and stars Jennifer Garner. It's rated R for a reason (or several) but is really and truly hilarious in a decidedly odd way.
SLEEP. My body has recently decided that it only requires it between 3 and 7am. This is, as you may imagine, not ideal. Last night though, I slept eight hours and am hoping to do the same starting in just a few minutes.
I saved the best for last, Internet. In the next week, I'll have my man back and all of our belongings! Now that's some good stuff.