Thursday, July 25, 2013

Three Things Thursday - conventioning, SUPing, and graining

1.  Guess where I am headed this weekend?!?!?!?

That's right - the 2013 Blackhawks Convention takes place this weekend!!!

This year will be my second year attending the festivities.  I first attended the convention in 2010 after the Hawks won their fourth Stanley Cup.  How cool that I'll be attending again after they won their fifth Cup this year!

(For the record - I do NOT cherry-pick the years that I attend.  The convention passes go on sale early in the season and sell out very quickly.  The passes are long gone MONTHS before you know whether or not the team will even make the playoffs, let alone win the championship.)

Here are some flashback photos from the 2010 Hawks convention:

Upper left: Adam and me with the Stanley Cup
Bottom left: me as Hawks goalie Antti Niemi
Right: Trying on some authentic game-worn gear

Details and pictures from this year's convention soon to come after this weekend.  =D

2.  This is old news now, but I have been meaning to write about my stand-up paddleboarding lesson from two weekends ago.  Better late than never, though, right?

A picture of all of us lesson-goers, courtesy of Declan:

From L to R: Erin, Xaarlin, me, Maggie, and Anne

As you can see, the weather was gorgeous that day.

Paddleboarding is quite a workout.  I thought the one-hour lesson wouldn't be enough time.  But you really use your legs and core to stabilize yourself and keep your balance, plus obviously you use your arms to paddle.  Within 20 minutes my quads and shins were burning.

Here's another action photo that Declan took:

Riding the waves on Lake Michigan

It turns out that the trick for standing up on the board is to keep your eyes on the horizon the whole time instead of looking down.  It works like a charm!  Even so, I did fall off three times during the hour. Thankfully the water was very refreshing and it wasn't too difficult to get back up on the board.

I really enjoyed stand-up paddleboarding and would love to do more of it in the future!

3.  In my ever-lasting attempt to keep my food and cooking diverse, I've been on a grains-experimentation kick.

Enough with pasta, rice, potatoes, and even couscous or quinoa.  Last week I made a caprese farro salad, a couple of days ago I made mushroom barley, and right now I've got a bag of bulgur wheat waiting in the cupboard waiting to be transformed into something delicioso.

Any other suggestions on new grains to whirl up?  This is fun!


  1. Look at you getting down with those crazy grains! I'm a rice and quinoa girl, although not together. I've tried to get in to couscous, but I only like the pearly kind, not the couscous-y kind.

    1. Oooh, I've never thought about eating rice and quinoa together! Now THAT would be a carbo-load combination match made in heaven. =) I do love the pearly Israeli couscous as well as the couscousy couscous. I'm an equal-opportunity couscous eater. (Btw, Adam always jokes about whether he can just have cous as opposed to having couscous. =D )

  2. Glad you enjoyed the SUP! Happy to provide the action photos for ya'll!!

    Have fun at the convention!

    1. Next time you'll have to join in the SUPing fun!!! I think you would really enjoy it!!!

  3. That picture of you in the gear is too funny!! That's pretty awesome that they have that stuff out for you to check out, too.

    Jason hates quinoa but I can occasionally get him to eat bulgur. This is a pretty good recipe that I like to take in my lunch.

    1. Seeing the hockey gear up close and personal is really cool, indeed. Especially the goalie pads. Each leg pad looks like an individual child car-seat. Literally.

      Thanks for sharing the bulgar recipe! I will definitely give it a whirl soon!!!

  4. Oh man, I'll be too chickened for the paddleboarding. Glad you had fun.

    I've tried black rice. Hmm, not as tasty as I would like it to be. I've been meaning to try quinoa and a friend of mine sent me a recipe for a Southwest Salad (with corn and black beans) and a creamy avocado dressing.

    1. Thankfully the paddleboarding can be done in relatively shallow water, plus they make us all wear lifejackets. So all in all, conditions are pretty controlled for first-timers. =)

      Oooh, black rice! I once tried a Thai black rice pudding which was good (although the addition of lots of sugar and coconut milk helps, I'm sure). I've tried a similar quinoa recipe with corn, tomatoes, and black beans - but never with a creamy avocado dressing! Avocado makes EVERYTHING better. =)

  5. That's a mantra for life: "keep your eyes on the horizon instead of looking down!" :)

    1. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! You are so smart!!!

  6. Enough with quinoa?! I could never quit it. Though I guess it may be fun to experiment with new grains and sides, or at least new ways to cook them.

    Hope you had fun at the Hawks convention! It's pretty cool that it's worked out for you to go both times they've won the championship!

    1. Please share more of your quinoa recipes!!! I really only have about five ways that I cook quinoa so I am always up for suggestions on new and different preparation methods. =)

      I'd like to think that I am a good luck charm for the Hawks winning the championship. ;-) I.e. when I get a convention pass, they win! (If only...)