The Roof Is On Fire

27 February 2013

The best kind of birthday is the kind that lasts all. . . week. . . long.  While we were in Florida we decided we would start celebrating my 29th a little early.










What can I say...?  We love birthdays.

Hello, Sunshine!

26 February 2013

We decided to go soak up some Florida sunshine for a change of scenery.


This is definitely a big change from 9 layers of clothes, toboggans, scarves, gloves, and boots.  


We left 18 degree weather for 81 degree weather in Orlando for a few days.


We got to spend some time with good friends,


a sweet swimming pool,


and some much needed sunshine.

My Sister Is My Drug Dealer

21 February 2013

All Natural Muti-Purpose Cleaner; See My Sister's Recipe Below!

My sister and I were talking the other day about how difficult and expensive it is to find natural products.  Recently she took up an awesome hobby of making several skin care products using only organic, natural, fair-trade ingredients.  Lucky for me I've gotten to be her guinea pig for all of her products over the past couple of months while she has been perfecting them.  At this point I think I may actually have formed an addiction to them, and as soon as I get low I'm begging her for more.

Featured in this picture is B's Jasmine scented lotion, Ginger facial scrub, and Coconut body scrub


She uses organic coconut oil as the base for her products, which is a beauty God-send as far as I'm concerned.  Coconut oil is an awesome skin moisturizer, emollient, and nourisher.  As an antimicrobial and antiseptic it is a natural solution for acne, AND it contains powerful antioxidants that give it anti-aging properties which help smooth away wrinkles and prevent new ones.  How can you beat that?  


In B's Kitchen While She Whips Up a Batch of Lotion and a Batch of Facial Scrub

Aside from the coconut oil base, her lotions are made with a few other different oils that provide many other benefits to your skin as well.  She scents them with different essential oils to your liking (some that she even makes herself), and can make them according to your needs; for harsh conditions (such as harsh winters spent living aboard in Boston), or for lighter every day use (such as hot humid summers spent in the tropics).  The facial scrub she makes is my personal favorite... perhaps "obsession" may be the more appropriate word.  It serves as a 3-in-1; cleanser, exfoliant, and nourishing moisturizer.  After using the scrub your face will maintain a thin layer of the oil that will moisturize your skin beautifully.  Within just a day or two of using it I saw major improvements in my skin, and to use it long term will only make it more beautiful by the day.  

I am pushing 30 years old and still fight with breakouts and have recently started fighting with wrinkles.  I thought there would be a little break between "young skin" and "older skin" where I wouldn't have either... *sigh*  I was wrong.  I have spent years trying to find the perfect face wash and facial moisturizer to balance my skin.  This several-year long battle was exhausting, frustrating, and expensive.  This is not to mention the tons of money I have spent trying to find effective "all-natural" and organic soaps and lotions at specialty stores.  Living and traveling on a boat in the sun and salt air can cause major damage to your skin, so having good, chemical-free soap and moisturizer is extremely important to me. 

Sis & Me Being Silly Girls

And now my sister is making something so incredibly simple that works so incredibly well.  The best part?  She will soon have a website where YOU can order these products (including facial scrub, customized hand & body lotions, soaps, hand scrubs, body scrubs, and more) at a great price, and as soon as she does I will post it here so that you can check it out!

As promised, here is the recipe for  B's All Natural Multi-Purpose Cleaner!

  • Citrus Peels
  • Salt
  • Vinegar


  1. Salt the citrus peels, and let sit for one hour.
  2. Put peels in a mason jar, and fill with vinegar.
  3. Let sit for two weeks, shaking vigorously once a day for the whole two weeks.

Go With The (air) Flow

19 February 2013


We have noticed that the compartments around the boat have been damp and musty-smelling.  This has been an issue in our head compartment and under the V-berth, so we decided to add vents in these places.


This is the bulkhead between the salon and the head.


This is V-berth before.


V-berth after.

As soon as we had this vent installed we could feel cool air pouring out from under the berth, so clearly the goal is being accomplished!

To Wrap or Not To Wrap. . . ?

18 February 2013

That was the question. . .


The boats in the background are all wrapped.  Ours obviously is not.

We stayed on the fence with this almost the entire two months we have been here.  Shrink wrapping your boat as a live-aboard in the winter time is a great way to keep snow off your boat and out of your cockpit, as well as keep your boat a good bit warmer due to the greenhouse effect.  Our main concern on our boat has been moisture; we have good heat that keeps the boat nice and warm, but the condensation is what drives us completely bonkers.  We spent a lot of time asking other live-aboards what they thought, and most suggested that we get her wrapped.  Moisture, however, is not something that the shrink wrap will help; it will only help in keeping the boat warmer and snow free.  

After doing our homework, we decided shrink wrapping for us would be an expensive luxury considering that: we stay very warm onboard without it, wrapping would not help our moisture issue, we would be on our own for disposal of the plastic, and we would only get 8 weeks out of an almost $2,000 throw-away investment.  We spent a little time on other boats that were shrink wrapped, and I will say that it is AWESOME to be able to enjoy your warm cockpit even in 15 degree weather, and yes I was envious when I saw it from that perspective!  Had we been planning to spend an entire fall, winter, and early spring on the boat we most definitely would have made the investment- if not for us then at least for Johnny who does not like being cooped up inside or freezing outside one bit.  This time, however, we simply couldn't justify the cost for only 8 weeks of something we didn't necessarily need.

Any one else have any experience or opinions with shrink wrapping boats?

Scraps

17 February 2013

I've been trying to use up everything in the galley the past few days in order to not waste any food when we go back to work.  Tonight I found myself in the galley facing 10 onions, 2 avocados, a butternut squash, a $#!@ load of ginger, a few cloves of garlic, a cup of quinoa, and half a bottle of red wine.  So I did what any girl would do... I poured myself a glass of wine.  Then I began trying to figure out what to do with such random ingredients.


Unfortunately for the Captain there was no meat with dinner tonight, but I was able to cook up some quinoa cakes with what I had available to me, as well as what I will call Spiced Butternut Squash Soup- which is really just a modified version of the Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato, Ginger and Coconut Soup.  Tonight's soup had way more ginger in it (I told you I had a $#!@ load of ginger to use), and no sweet potato; I also tossed in some cinnamon, cumin, cloves, turmeric and a dash of nutmeg to spice it up a bit.  The ginger in the soup has a nice warming effect on such a cold, dreary day.  


Even after making the soup I still had a lot of ginger, so I grated a couple inches or so up and steeped it along with our fruity rooibos tea tonight.


More Snow Today. . .

17 February 2013

Today is a cold snowy Sunday to end the cold snowy weekend.  

Picture courtesy of Ahmet aboard S/V Waterdancer

During the winter months our Marina covers and heats the swimming pool to have hot tub parties every Friday evening, giving us live-aboards a chance to get off our boats, have some drinks, and socialize without freezing.  This past Friday was no exception, and we found ourselves sharing drinks and boat stories with new friends.  

Saturday night our neighbors Ahmet (S/V WATERDANCER), Lisa and Brian (S/V Just Married) invited us out for dinner and margaritas at Rudy's tequila bar & Mexican restaurant.  The margaritas, food, and company were all wonderful.


Picture courtesy of Ahmet aboard S/V Waterdancer

Today we are enjoying this gloomy day (courtesy of Winter Storm Plato) as a chance to clean up around the boat and relax.  

Precious Space

16 February 2013

This may not seem like a big deal but we just made a very simple modification on the boat that just changed our living space drastically.  Endeavours were built to pack in as many crew members as possible, and therefore we have more than enough places to sleep guests and crew- more than we will probably ever have onboard at one time.  Below is a photo of our starboard side settee, and the sea berth behind it.  




We concluded this morning that this space is probably only going to ever be used for storage, and no one with remotely any tiny little bit of claustrophobia would ever sleep in this sea berth anyway.  The 5 inch mattress was removed, and let me say for those of you who don't know, this five inches of mattress is A LOT of space on a boat.  



Additionally, the mattress was holding a lot of condensation underneath it, so removing it will also remedy that problem.  What am I going to do with all of this newly discovered space?  I'm sure when May rolls around and we are provisioning for cruising that I will have every inch of this space packed tight with stuff.  


During the process of removing the mattress we woke our third crew member from his daily 20 hour nap.  Luckily he agreed that this was a good change- more room for doggie treats while underway.

Antsy in our Pantsy

15 February 2013

Ok Mommy, I'm ready to go cruising!

We have been getting asked what our upcoming plans are a lot lately.  I'm sure most of our family, friends, followers, etc. have started wondering if we are ever going to get cruising again, but believe it or not our plan to head south in May is actually still our plan.  Amazing that we have finally made plans that seem to be unfolding gracefully (knock on wood).  

The captain has been upgrading, replacing, and improving little odds and ins around the boat while I have been turning this old boat into home sweet home over the past several weeks.  Strangely enough we have found ourselves.... RELAXING more than anything.  Being newly-weds, sleeping in, exploring Boston, reading, cooking, indulging in our hobbies have all been a part of our daily routine while we are off work.  Why do I say this with such enthusiasm?  Because we are finally not a slave to constant boat work, and it feels great.  I honestly thought we would have regrets about selling the old steel boat and moving on, but I still have yet to actually feel that way.  With all this relaxing down time we have had plenty of time to plan and daydream about the next big step- to finally return to the cruising life this Spring!  To actually know that nothing is stopping us (fingers crossed) from leaving the dock in May is an amazing feeling and something so sweet to look forward to while we are away at work for six weeks.

So what is our rough plan??

Once we leave the dock we will take a mooring and play tourist for a week in Boston.  This will be mostly to take a few daysails for mini-shakedowns and to check that all of the systems and equipment are working properly.  After Boston we will head toward Cape Cod Canal, and from there making stops in Rhode Island and Connecticut on our way toward New York City.  After the Big Apple we'll hit Philadelphia, and then onto the Chesapeake.  A bit further along we will have a haul-out for some minor maintenance (bottom job, thru-hulls, paint, and zincs) in Beaufort, NC.  From that point on we'll be running through our old stomping grounds; Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Beaufort SC, Savannah, and Jacksonville, catching up with friends and family along the way.  Once we get to St. Augustine we plan to stay put for hurricane season.  Come the end of the storm and work season hopefully we will finally be island bound!

Any suggestions or tips from voices of experience for our south-bound sail?

More Boston Bits

13 Feb 2013

Here are a few more sights and memories of our adventure in Boston.

USS Constitution

Hot espresso on a cold day

Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge

Paul Revere Park in Charlestown

The Garden

Bunker Hill Monument

New Years Eve

Customs House

Union House
Any recommendations of places or things we are missing out on?



Food Day Tuesday: Veggie Lasagna

12 February 2013


When the Captain requested lasagna for dinner as I was making out my menu and grocery list for the week, I cringed.  I have never liked the heaviness of traditional lasagna, so I started thinking of a way to make us both happy.  I decided to try lasagna with zucchini, eggplant, and portabella mushroom.  He accepted this compromise as long as I agreed to make a "real" dessert (and not some healthy concoction disguised as dessert) to finish the meal.  We gave the veggie lasagna a whirl; lighter than regular lasagna and still tasty.



Ingredients:
  • 1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise
  • 2 or 3 zucchinis, sliced
  • 4 portabella mushroom caps, stemmed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 cups part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (I use Almond Cheese)
  • 8 ounce package brown rice lasagna noodles, COOKED
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes



Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Sprinkle eggplant slices with a little salt.  Set aside and let stand for 15 minutes.
  3. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high.  Add onion and garlic and saute, stirring frequently for 2 to 3 minutes.  Add in 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, oregano, red pepper, and tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Mix basil, ricotta cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together well in a separate bowl.  
  5. In an oiled baking dish, spread just enough tomato and onion mix to just barely cover the bottom.  
  6. Place lasagna noodles over top of the tomato mix.
  7. Arrange two mushroom caps, half of the zucchini slices, and half of the eggplant slices on top of the noodles (I find it easier to spread the ricotta cheese over the veggies when they are layered in this particular order).  
  8. Spread the entire ricotta mix over the veggies.
  9. Top the cheese with a second layer of noodles.
  10. Layer the rest of the veggies on top of the noodles.
  11. Top veggies with a third layer of noodles.
  12. Spread remaining tomato and onion mix over the noodles.
  13. Distribute the mozzarella cheese evenly, covering the entire top of the dish.  Cover with oiled foil.
  14. Bake for 30 minutes, and uncover.  Continue to bake for another 30 minutes, until browned on top.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.  

And as promised, peach cobbler for dessert.




Let's Be Frank (a short story about friends, a birthday, and too many cocktails)

10 February 2013

Once upon a time it was Frank's birthday...



We celebrated in St. Augustine at Frank and Yu's boat with Matt and Jessica where Yu made tacos and margaritas.  















Red wine and Guiness followed margaritas.  




Soon there were zombies, a clown nose, and lots of dancing. 






 In the morning there were headaches and too many pictures and evidence.  



Headaches wore off and a second night was spent eating and drinking. 



 More zombies.  And a zombie response team.

 




We love birthdays.  The End.

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