127 cool bits of trivia. 13 (for reals?) 21 (kinda cool!) 40 (this needs validation) 51 (Boaty McBoat Face, anyone?) 71 (we should all follow suit!) 87 (so good) 113 (I did not know this) 125 (this sounds like something a grad student would figure out 🙂 )
For Canadians – have you signed up to get your $25 gift card from Loblaws yet? Save-on-Foods is offering the same deal (but they weren’t involved in the bread price-fixing). You can choose to donate BOTH to your local food bank.
On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):
This week we’ve been back in the swing of van work again (not sure if we’re ever NOT in the swing of it, if I’m honest!). We’ve started working on the shower design, picked up the unfinished slab of wood to make our table, and have laser cut another electrical board panel (hopefully one of our last!).
Electrical panel board:
Jonty has rearranged a few of the locations of the buttons, has removed one that we’re not sure we need for the time being, and relabeled some of the buttons, to make them more intuitive (mainly to the wifey).
Like all things, I’m sure there will be another iteration, but for now, this is everything we currently have installed and wired up in the van.
Last week Jonty used the vinyl cutter to make hot and cold arrows for the shower taps. I think they turned out pretty good!
Shower curtain rod: We’re using copper tubing and elbows to make a shower curtain rod that is about 1-inch larger than our shower pan (to give us more elbow room). We wanted to be able to take the curtain rod apart, in order to store it within the foldable shower base, but still wanted to keep the pieces all together. So we’ve put elasticized string through the tubing. This allows us to pull the copper rods out of the elbows (one end of the each tube is glued to one end of each elbow with silicone) and fold the entire apparatus down, like you would with tent poles. The solution is pretty cool, and we should keep all the pieces together!
We have managed to figure out a way to attach all of this to the ceiling, but you’ll have to tune in next week to see the finished product. For now, here’s a quick peak at how it will look (Jonty won’t have to hold it steady) 🙂
Well, it’s 2018 and it’s time to start back on this bandwagon – the food wagon, that is! Yes, I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted a recipe, but we’ve been so darned busy with Moby (the van conversion), and winter in Vancouver doesn’t exactly scream “easy, breezy daylight photos”. So let’s kick off the new year with a new food post, shall we? I started making these Cashew Caramel Go–To Bars last fall, and they’re still a hit on the snack front.
If you have a food processor, these bars are really easy to make. They also don’t require the oven – just a bit of fridge time – which can sometimes be a bonus. Actually, the bigger bonus of these guys is that they freeze really well, and they can even be eaten straight from the freezer (sometimes a girl gets hungry, and needs food pronto!).
I’ve made a few snack bars over the years (here and here and here) and, regardless of what kind of nut / seed / fruit combo I use, the biggest key to the success of these bars (i.e. not having them fall apart) is to make sure the ingredients are finely chopped. This is especially key for any nuts that you use. Give them a good run-through with your knife (or use the food processor again) to make sure that the pieces are about the size of a kernel of popcorn.
Other than that, anything goes, really! The Medjool dates in these bars give a hint of a caramel taste and provide your body with so many good things (vitamins, minerals, fibre). We love peanut butter in our household, but feel free to change to a different nut or seed butter, if you need to.
Keys to making these Cashew Caramel bars easy:
Line your tray with a piece of parchment paper. It makes removing the bars much easier, and it keeps your pan clean! You can also use the same piece of parchment to wrap the bars in for storing.
Use very wet hands to mix the ingredients together. I started with a spatula, and eventually gave up and went with wet hands. Much easier.
Try using the flat bottom of a measuring cup to firmly press the mixture into the pan.
Remember to chop up your nuts and dried fruit. The smaller the pieces, the more you will guarantee to have a bar that won’t crumble on you after it’s set.
We love having bars like this handy during our climbing days and training days. They make the perfect snack to nibble on, and Jonty thinks the flavour combination is probably one of his favourites.
Happy New Year! How many times have you typed 2017 before having to backspace? 🙂 This past week was back to normal, and I’m already looking forward to our next vacation. California, we’re coming for you in a few weeks!
Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 06.January.2018.
On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:
Training for power in climbing is often limited to the campus board (which is good, but sometimes it hurts my elbows!). This article has some points about using the bouldering wall that are always good to keep in mind. The hardest part is not turning it into a fun climbing day! 🙂
We’re always looking for good functional strength exercises. Here are the 8 best functional exercises, if you want to supplement your climbing training (or any training, I think!). We’ve been working on our deadlifts for almost a year now!
If all was successful yesterday at our local mechanics shop, we will have a functioning second alternator! (Update – it was!!) We talked to our mechanics earlier in the week, and asked if they would be willing to put on the belt for our second alternator, and have Jonty there to watch / help. They said, no problem! All they needed to do was make sure the centre of their shop was clear for us, because it was the only spot tall enough for Moby to fit into 🙂 This is a pretty exciting job to have finished, because it means we can charge our batteries while we’re driving, making us only dependent on having access to fill our fresh water tanks. Very cool!
Most of the work we’ve been doing this week has been unphotographable (is that even a word?).
We’re still working on the shower: I’ve ordered a shower curtain, Jonty’s working on making a curtain rod
We’ve decided on a table size: We’re ordering another raw slab of wood from Yew Woodshop and will CNC a table in the same way we did our counter top. The wood is the same, so all our counter top surfaces will match. We pick up the slab on Monday!
I’m looking for a narrow carpet runner. We’ve had a folded sheet laid down over the floor for quite a few months, and we really like the look of it. It’s also nice to have something that can be vacuumed / washed / cleaned, that also saves us marking up the floor too much. So that’s in progress.
Now that all of our electrical components are in (we think…) Jonty is lasering another electrical panel board. He’s changed up a few of the electronics descriptions, and is changing the font size to make everything more readable.
So instead of in-progress pictures, I thought I would share a few from our New Years stay in the van. We definitely enjoyed our breakfast with a view. The Saturday Snippets picture is from the Polar Bear swim (we watched, not swam 🙂 ).
Happy New Year! Did you have fun ringing in 2018? We were social for a bit and had a few drinks at the local craft breweries. Then we headed back to the van, made pizza, watched a movie, and just made it to midnight. Success! 🙂 December, full of buildings and structures and unique design, was My Month of Architecture and has come to an end. I’ll share the full photo round-up in a few days time.
January Month of TYPOGRAPHY
This month might mark my last monthly photo challenge. By the end of the month, I will have done two full years of these monthly photo spreads, and I’m wondering about switching things up again. We’ll see how I feel by the end of the month! I’ve been thinking about trying out this prompt for quite a while, so I’m excited to start snapping pictures. Looking for the neat fonts, quirky signs and sayings, even the graffiti on walls might be part of my monthly typography pictures.
So, I’ll be dedicating January to my month of TYPOGRAPHY I would absolutely love to see what ideas you come up with, too, so if you’d like to join in, please do (as many or as little photos as you’d like). I’ll post my findings on various social media places – Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, tagging #MyMonthOfTypography and #MyMonthOfJanuary.
This holiday week has gone by in blink of an eye. We’ve spent our week eating good food, visiting with family and friends, and probably spending too much time underneath the van. The fact that we’re on the Eve of 2018? Crazy!
Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 30.December.2017.
Unfortunately, I don’t have many pictures for you this week, even though we’ve been hard at work on Moby. The snap below was my attempt at trying a panoramic shot. Please excuse the wobbles, due to my shaky hands 🙂
It’s taken us nearly a week to get the second alternator installed and wired up. We still have to put the belt on, but we’re hoping to get a bit of help with that soon.
Jonty has gotten all the electronics talking to each other and once the alternator belt is properly installed, we should be able to start charging our batteries directly off the second alternator.
This means that as we drive around town, we can charge up (as opposed to plugging into shore power). Or we can run the vehicle at high idle (we made sure to include that option when we ordered the van) and charge the batteries that way, too. A very exciting part of our off-the-grid van design!
Odds and Ends:
In running the wiring for the alternator, we had to make a few changes to the order of our electrical board. This meant we basically dismantled our entire electrical system, re-oriented it, and got it back up and running. So while we had some of that system out of the van, we used that as an opportunity to tackle some of the squeaks and creaks.
We added a few more attachment points for the bedroom divider walls to the galley and electrical box framing. We also attached the ottoman-loo box to the wardrobe divider, to give it a bit more stability. These few screws have totally stopped the vibrations, and our ride is nice and quiet!
Last week I sewed a little cover for the base of the shower, when it’s in its foldable position, to protect the floor from the corners of the shower pan. I didn’t like my first attempt, so it’s back to the drawing board. Once I’m happy with the final product, I’ll share a few pictures.
That’s about it for a quick progress report! Once the second alternator is fully installed, we’ll share some details. And then it will be back to working on the plumbing for the shower.