Saturday Snippets: 03.June.2017

Happy June, happy weekend! Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 03.June.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

Well, it’s truth time – is Moby back in our possession??


Desperate times call for desperate measures: Jonty hates speaking on the phone. And this past week, he’s been on the phone with the dealership on an almost-daily basis, hounding them to firm up a date. Someone was not a happy camper. Actually, neither of us have been happy campers or satisfied customers with this whole process.

So, we were promised that it would be back in our possession on Monday. Definitely Monday. Well, probably Monday afternoon. Yup, definitely by end of day on Monday.  :/

Let’s hope we have something more exciting to share with you next week!

Pictures from the week of 03.June.2017:

Last week we had fantastic weather – warm temperatures and blue skies – and we tried to make the most of it. We climbed at Sully’s Hangout (a North Shore local crag in Lynn Canyon) and another one up near Porteau Cove (heading up towards Squamish). We also managed to get in a few great cycles around town, before the rain came. All in all, we tried to make the most of not having Moby to work on 🙂 | Explore Vancouver - Lynn Valley Canyon | Explore Vancouver - Lynn Valley Canyon | Explore Vancouver - Porteau Cove | Explore Vancouver - Olympic village | Explore Vancouver - Lynn Valley Canyon

Happy Weekend!

June 2017 Monthly Word: EXPLORE

I’m sure I’m not alone here, but the first of every month always seems to come as a surprise. So soon? Yes, so soon. May was filled with work and vacation and general meanderings around town, all the while, checking out the world from above. And with that, my Month of From Above has come to an end. I’ll share the full photo round-up in a few days time.

June Month of EXPLORE

Ah, June – it’s a month filled with birthdays, early sunrises, late sunsets, and excitement for the start of summer. It’s often this time of year when we want to be outside, enjoying all our extra daylight. For this reason, I think this will be a great month to EXPLORE.

Whether you stay put in the city, or enjoy the weekend-warrior activities, or live and breath nature, I’m sure there’s something new for all of us to explore. I’m pretty excited about this word! Perhaps this monthly photo challenge will push us to find new climbing crags, cycle around new-to-us areas in town, or try new food. It’s all fair game, I say 🙂

So, I’m dedicating June to my month of EXPLORE, and I would absolutely love to explore through your camera lens, too! 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 #MyMonthOfExplore and #MyMonthOfJune. | June 2017 monthly photo challenge word - EXPLORE

Here’s to a month of EXPLORE!

Cranberry Chia Endurance Bars

In these last few weeks, we have been treated to some gloriously warm weather. We’ve been able to get out climbing every few days and enjoy warm bike rides in the sun – it’s been fantastic! With these days filled with activities, it’s always nice to keep some extra snacks in the freezer for when we know we’ll be doing a lot. Enter our latest granola bar rendition – Cranberry Chia Endurance Bars. This tasty, portable snack has kept us fueled through our first few climbing days of the season. | Cranberry Chia Endurance Bars

These cranberry chia endurance bars have a few great attributes:

  • No refined sugar: These bars use a combination of super sweet Medjool dates as the sticky base, along with dried fruit (cranberries, in this case) and coconut for added sweetness.
  • Good carbs and protein: Rolled oats are a great source of complex carbohydrates, protein and fibre, as are the chia seeds. Both help to ensure your energy levels stay high throughout the day.
  • Anti-cramping secret: Coconut water!! We love this stuff. It’s a great source natural of potassium and electrolytes, and we’ve found it helps us avoid leg cramps after a big day of exercise. | Cranberry Chia Endurance Bars

So here’s the deal with these bars:

You start off by soaking some Medjool dates in the coconut water until they’re really soft (maybe 15 or 20 minutes, depending on how soft your dates are to start). Then you give them a good whiz in the blender or food processor until you end up with a sticky date paste.

Throw in the chia seeds and let that mixture gel while you’re prepping the rest of the mixture. | Cranberry Chia Endurance Bars

For the main granola bar ingredients:

Grab some oats (large flake or quick cook), seeds (I used pumpkin) and nuts (I used walnuts and cashews). These get toasted over a medium heat until they start to get nice and fragrant.

Then, into a bowl they go, along with some dried fruit (cranberries and coconut are always a good pair) and the chia-date puree. | Cranberry Chia Endurance Bars

I’ll say a few things about these bars. If you’re looking for a crunchy, stick-together granola bar, this is not the bar for you. Even after baking, these cranberry chia endurance bars are still fairly soft and, depending on your ingredients, have a tendency to crumble. This is not a deal-breaker in my book, however. We pack these into a small tub and nibble away at them throughout the day.

If you want a nice neat bar, just make sure to chop up your nuts and seeds so they are fairly small in size. This will definitely help make the bars stick together. | Cranberry Chia Endurance Bars

Hopefully you’ll enjoy these bars as much as we do! They also make a great pseudo granola – just crumble them over your favourite yogurt for a little breakfast treat.

Cranberry Chia Endurance Bars
Recipe type: Snacks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Adapted from the Power Hungry cookbook.
  • 125 g (3/4 cup, about 8 large) soft pitted medjool dates, roughly chopped
  • ⅔ cup coconut water
  • 60 g (1/3 cup) chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 165 g (1½ cups) rolled oats
  • 70 g (1/2 cup) pumpkin seeds
  • 45 g (1/2 cup) walnuts, chopped into small pieces
  • 70 g (1/2 cup) cashews, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 70 g (1/2 cup) dried unsweetened cranberries
  • 30 g (1/2 cup) unsweetened flaked coconut
To make the chia-date puree:
  1. Place the chopped pitted dates and coconut water into a high-speed blender and allow them to soak and soften for at least 15 minutes. After this time, puree the mixture until smooth.
  2. Add the chia seeds and vanilla extract and pulse briefly to combine.
  3. Let this mixture set for 10 minutes, to gel.
To make the endurance bars:
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the coconut oil until melted. Add the oats, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and cashews and stir to combine. Toast the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until the mixture becomes fragrant. Add the cinnamon and salt and stir briefly.
  2. In a large bowl, add the oat mixture, cranberries, flaked coconut and chia-date puree. Stir to thoroughly combine.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F and line a 9 x 9-inch pan with parchment paper.
  4. Spoon the oat mixture into the prepared pan and press it down firmly to flatten. You may want to use a wet spatula to firmly press the granola mixture down.
  5. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the top of the mixture looks dry and lightly browned.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow the bars to cool completely, in the pan.
  7. Once completely cold, remove the bars from the pan using the edge of the parchment paper. Use a sharp knife to cut the bars into the size of your liking.
For bars that stick together very well, make sure to chop all your nuts and seeds into small pieces.
These bars freeze very well. Cut them into bars, wrap well with parchment paper and store them in a freezer-friendly ziplock bag.

Enjoy these Cranberry Chia Endurance Bars! | Cranberry Chia Endurance Bars

Saturday Snippets: 27.May.2017

I think Vancouver missed the spring memo, and has jumped straight to summer! We’ve had fantastic weather this week, and it’s supposed to continue through next week. We were able to get outside climbing twice this week (first of the season), and it felt pretty darned good. 🙂

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Our Saturday Snippets for 27.May.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

We took Moby in to the shop to get some work done, at the beginning of last week. It was supposed to be done within the week. No such luck. At the time of writing this, it’s still not done, and their estimate is now by the end of next week! It’s a bit frustrating, but there’s not much we can do. Jonty thinks he might start designing the water / plumbing system for the van, because he’s finished up as much other design work as he can do, before we physically need the van.

So here’s what we’ve been getting organized for when the van IS back:

  • Our kitchen countertop butcher block slab has been purchased! We’ve bought an 8-foot unfinished slab from Yew Woodshop for super cheap (it becomes more expensive, if you want them to do all the work).
  • We’ve purchased our kitchen faucet! I’m pretty sure our van kitchen has officially become more modern and functional than our apartment. 😉
  • Jonty has the CNC cut-outs for the countertop finished – we just need the van to load the wood in and haul it to Maker Labs.
  • We have the walls surrounding the fridge ready to be CNC’d and have added in a cool little design detail (you’ll just have to wait and see!).
  • We’re flipping back and forth between buying a small convection oven and a convection microwave oven. I think we’re leaning towards the oven-only option, as our food lives really revolve around baking/cooking with that. Any thoughts?

Pictures from the week of 27.May.2017:

On the Victoria Day Monday, we cycled up to UBC to look around. We’ve wanted to do this for ages – it’s been 10 years since Jonty finished working up there (eek!) and 12 years since I finished my Masters there (double eek!). We knew things had changed, and it was a glorious day, so thought it would be a good time to check it out.

Because I only did my Masters there, and spent most of that time off-campus, at the cancer centre, I’ve never really spent a lot of time exploring the campus. There were so many streets and buildings that I never knew existed! If you’ve never been around UBC, I’d urge you to take a walk or cycle through the campus. | Vancouver BC - UBC campus | Vancouver BC - UBC campus | Vancouver BC - UBC campus | Vancouver BC - UBC campus | Vancouver BC - UBC campus | Vancouver BC - UBC campus | Vancouver BC - UBC campus

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 20.May.2017

Are you ready for the May long weekend? The May 2-4, Victoria Day, Memorial Day, the official start of camping season… Whatever day you’d like to call it, I think everyone can agree that we’re ready for a long weekend filled with sunshine. 🙂

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 20.May.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

This week, Moby was in the shop, getting a bit of a tune-up, so we haven’t been able to do any physical work on him. BUT, Jonty has been busy getting the CAD finished for the galley – figuring out the cut-out dimensions for the induction cooktop and sink.

We plan on having the cooktop mounted flush with the counter surface, and the sink will be under-mounted. As with everything else we do, we’ll prototype this design with a piece of cheap MDF, tweak the dimensions as necessary, and the CNC the finished product. | Sprinter van conversion - induction cooktop

True Induction 2-burner mini-duo cooktop. | Sprinter van conversion - double sink

Ambassador Marine double sink. | Sprinter van conversion - kitchen galley layout

Side-by-side layout for the cooktop and sink.

Before we started physically on the van, we made an initial design using FreeCAD. As we confirm dimensions, Jonty changes the original model to match reality and then tweaks the design of each part. As an example, here’s what our galley counter should look like in the end! The fridge is already installed, and we are still on the hunt for a convection microwave oven (which may be mounted under the sink as shown). Even thought we work on the van and see these progressions in person, it’s still oddly satisfying to see our van as a 3D model! | Sprinter van conversion - 3D rendering

Pictures from the week of 20.May.2017:

The weather was not quite as bright and sunny this week, as was predicted, but we’ve still been out and about. We spent a lovely Friday afternoon meandering along Jericho beach, taking in all the sights and sounds. The boaters and kayakers and paddle-boarders were all out on the water, and people were desperately willing-on the May long-weekend sunshine. A grey day at the beach is still better than a day in the office, I say! 😉 | Jericho Beach walk in Vancouver BC | Jericho Beach walk in Vancouver BC | Jericho Beach walk in Vancouver BC | Jericho Beach walk in Vancouver BC | Jericho Beach walk in Vancouver BC

Happy (long) weekend!