Seven Magic Mountains

DSC00505 A childhood legend, for both Chris & I, was Garth Brooks. Both of us grew up on 90s country music & you can’t really talk about 90s country without bringing up Garth. Since I moved to California, Garth had been in Las Vegas performing regularly at his residency at the Wynn. But in 2013, when he left the Wynn to “retire” I didn’t think I’d ever be able to see him perform. So two years ago when he and wife Trisha Yearwood announced their plans for a world tour, we began checking the tour’s website religiously.

So after months of waiting, the last week in June we headed out to Las Vegas with Chris’s dad & his wife to finally see the great Garth. On our trip out there, Chris & I were just about 10 miles outside of the strip when we saw seven neon-painted rock towers, right in the middle of the desert & I knew we had to stop. So Sunday, on our way home, we took a little pit stop in Jean, NV at Seven Magic Mountains.

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El Capitan Canyon Glamping


If you follow me on my Instagram, you know we have been all over the place last weekend. We started Thursday night up in LA at Chris’s family’s house. Then Friday morning we headed up to the Santa Barbara area to have a weekend full of glamping & exploring. We spent Friday at the Santa Barbara Zoo & I can honestly say I don’t know the last time I went to a zoo. It was so much fun! But more about the zoo next week.

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Mock High Tide Salad

While we were in Florida a few months back I faced one of my biggest fears, while doing something I’ve always wanted to do. We spend the morning of Chris’s cousin’s wedding paddle boarding along Jupiter Florida’s intercostal inlet. Now I hate water. I don’t go in if I can’t see my feet, but paddle boarding is something I’ve always wanted to do.

In fairness I’ve always picture somewhere a little more blue. Hawaii, or the Caribbean. Somewhere where if I fell in I wouldn’t be scared of what was lurking underneath my board. But to tell you the truth, it ended up not being so bad.

We were out on the water for about two hours & let me tell you, it was the hottest & sunniest day of our entire vacation. It was an absolutely exhausting experience that I fell in love with. Since we’ve been back in So Cal we have been keeping our eyes peeled for Groupons and Living Social deals to try out our new found muscles here in Orange County. We haven’t gone yet but are hoping to get one ride in before the end of the summer.

After our morning workout we went by the pool at the Jupiter Beach Resort to relax, even out our tans from being out on the water all morning, & veg out. We were all starving so we ordered some salads to eat & I had one of the best, most filling salad ever. Full of quinoa, fennel, cranberries, & topped with salmon. Yum! It was the perfect meal to have after an outdoor, summer workout.

When I got home I knew I wanted to recreate it so I ran to my grocery store & then remembered why I don’t by quinoa. Damn it’s expensive. I figured I’d make my own, budget friendly version of the salad instead. It was just as good the second time as the original. I hope you enjoy!

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2 Salads 

1 lb salmon
1 cup less sodium soy sauce
1 garlic clove
Salt and pepper
½ cup prepared brown rice
2 cups baby greens
2 cups baby spinach
4 marinated artichoke hearts, chopped.

1.  Allow salmon to marinate for 20 minutes in soy sauce, garlic, salt and pepper.
2.  Preheat an oiled grill on medium heat.
3.  Place salmon skin side up and don’t flip.
4.  Grill until ¾ of the fish becomes opaque and the fish begins to curl up from the grill.
5.  Flip and continue cooking.
6.  Assemble salad by making a bed of greens and spinach, add rice and artichokes. Can also top with dried cranberries.
7.  Add store bought white balsamic dressing and top with salmon.