Happy Labor Day… Now get to Work

Sep 5, 2014 by

We were lamenting whether it was worth going out or not.  My wife hemmed and hawed and suggested we just stay home.

I insisted we go and packed up the car with wife, dog, kid and chairs for 6 as we were bringing extras for friends and family we were meeting there.   We pulled out of the drive way as the sun was setting and headed toward the beach.  There was a free movie night at the pier and they were showing the Lego movie, which I had not seen yet and I love Lego’s.

More importantly, I love those fun community events like outdoor movies and how awesome is it that we get to watch movies at the ocean?  So we were packed up and we trudged on.  I was contemplating my wife’s offers of just calling it off and staying home as it was late and by the time we got there our child would be asleep and couldn’t care less about any movie at all, and we also hadn’t had any dinner yet.  I was determined to make it happen.  We threw out suggestions of fast food that didn’t sound appealing, but was close by that we could grab for dinner.  We picked something close by and paid way too much for some crappy food and found our way to park.

At this point we now had to figure out how we were going to get ourselves, a small dog, a small child, 6 chairs, a diaper bag, and our fast food dinner from the parking lot down to the pier.  With 6 chairs strapped to my shoulders, a fast food bag in one hand and the dogs leash in the other I was wishing I had listened to my wife as we began our trek.   Then midway through our journey my oh so cute dog decided to stop mid way and take a giant crap on the sidewalk full of people.  It was at this point that I was cursing me and my good ideas.  I handed my wife the fast food, and dogs leash, put down all 6 chairs and scooped up the poop with haste as to not block all of the foot traffic around us.  We repacked all the equipment onto us and made our way to our destination.

Grumbling and complaining I setup the chairs for the movie which had just started and we sat down.  We met up with our other family and friends who took their seats next to us and all of a sudden all was well.  We settled into our spots and I held my son on my lap as my wife held our dog and had a fantastic evening.

It was all worth it.  It was a pain in the ass in the making, but it made a fantastic moment.


The epiphany then struck me that we must work to create fun.  You have to put in the effort to plan and coordinate with friends and family to make meaningful events and moments happen.  It’s because of the work that you can truly enjoy the moments you create.   I could have stayed at home and taken it easy, but I would have missed out on the great memories waiting for me.  I could have not done the work and I would have not gotten the rewards.

It’s just that simple.

So Labor Day has come and gone.  It’s now time to get to work.  Go out and create some fun memories for you and your friends and family.  Plan a camping trip.  Invite some friends over for dinner.  Go for a hike.  Plan and do something.  It is so worth it and so much better than just staying home.


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Any Day Now…

Sep 5, 2013 by

Any day now…

That’s the latest on the baby front.  Any day now we will have a baby.  Any day now our family will grow 33% and we will have a new little on in our lives.  No longer will it be just my beautiful wife and me.

Any day now, everything will change…and I am so thankful.

We’ve been going through the last minute preparations, packing the bags, making sure we have everything we think we might need for a baby etc.  In going through part of that process we’ve had 5 baby showers of various sizes (my wife wanted zero baby showers), and have received so much from everyone.  We went from having no baby items to having a house full of baby items and it’s a little overwhelming, but its also amazing.

As my wife diligently wrote out wonderful thank you cards to everyone as I set up all the baby gear I was so thankful to everyone who was so gracious with their gifts for our new little boy.  He will be well loved.

While all the cute onesies and baby furniture are wonderful and appreciated I am just very grateful for everything and everyone in my life and its from that gratefulness that springs about an abundance of happiness.


If you are looking for a shortcut to happiness, it can be found via the path of gratitude.  If you are thankful for who and what you have in your life you will find yourself overcome with happiness.  It’s just that simple.


If you think you are lacking in some areas of your life you are focusing on the wrong things.  Look to all that you do have and those shortcomings won’t seem so short, and will soon disappear by the abundance of everything you do have.

Finally, I have to show this off.  12 years ago when we moved into our house our new neighbor Don told us that when we have kids, he would build us a cradle.  12 years later when we told him we were having a baby, I don’t think there was anyone more excited than Don.  He got to work right away and spent a month in his garage making this most amazing and beautiful cradle.  He made every inch of this by hand including the design.


Another quick story.  Not only did our neighbor Don make this cradle, but our other neighbor Ann made the bedding for it.  She knew we liked Calvin and Hobbles and went to look for that material at the store but when she got there forgot what she was looking for and was instead asking for Cheech and Chong material.   She couldn’t find either, so we settled on trucks.  Good times.

I am very thankful for all the great people in my life and that is where my happiness comes from.

Very soon I will have a new little one to be thankful for.

Any day now…



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Dutch oven cobbler over a campfire

Jul 17, 2013 by

Camping food just tastes better.  It’s a fact.

Some of my best and favorite recipes are camping food recipes.  On the heels of our yearly camping adventure where all my friends from all over get together and go camping I am relishing in the great times and awesome food we ate.

We may be getting a little overboard with the food though.  Our camping meals are getting to the beyond epic proportions and we may need to dial it back, but I’ve never dined on such amazing food as this last trip.  We had crepes, we had amazing breakfast sandwiches grilled over the fire, we had amazing street tacos, and chicken and dumplings in the dutch oven.  It got a little nuts for camping, but this year’s camping was a bit more luxurious as we actually camped in an RV as my wife is 8 months pregnant.

We had planned to hike through Zion in Utah, but for some reason my wife didn’t want to hike through 115 degree canyons.  Go figure.  So we went the other way and rented an RV so she would be comfortable and headed back to one of our favorite spots, Pismo Beach.

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In addition to all the aforementioned food I set out to make a cobbler for dessert one night and it was awesome.  And if you’ve read any of this site, or even just the name of the site you know I like to keep it simple and it doesn’t get much more simple than this.

For this recipe, all you’ll need is fruit, sprite, a cake mix and a little butter.

I cooked this in our dutch oven over a fire, but you can do this in the oven at home too if you’d like.


I threw a couple pats of butter in the crock pot and rubbed it around to get it all good and buttery


Throw in your fruit of choice.  Peaches and blueberries are in season and were available at the local fruit stand.  You can use any fruit you like.


For the cobbler part all you need is a cake mix and a sprite.  I made a huge batch so I used the whole cake mix and a 12 fl oz sprite.  You may want to use half of each if you are making a normal amount.  We had 11 hungry campers so I made a big batch.


Add the sprite to the cake mix.  Stir, stir, stir, and spoon over the fruit.  Add a few pats of butter on top.


Throw the dutch oven on the fire and put the coals on top of the lid.  Ideally You’d like more coals on top than on bottom at a 2:1 ratio.


Cook the cobbler in the dutch oven until the top is cooked through and smells awesome.  The time to cook will depend on your fire, but its about 10-15 minutes.  Keep checking it as you go.

As usual I don’t have a good picture of the final product out of the dutch oven as it was devoured by the hungry campers around the fire.




But here’s a picture of the gang with the dogs enjoying running around the sand dunes.  And yes my wife kicks ass and hiked the very steep sand dunes at 8 months pregnant.

As always, we had a great time camping and can’t wait to do it again next year with our kid.

If you haven’t planned a camping trip in a while, take a minute and plan one now.  Find a weekend, or even a day and get out and go have fun.

Plus nothing tastes as good as camping food.  Here are some other great camping recipes for you:

Happy camping


P.S. if you’ve got a favorite camping recipe, let me know in the comments.  I’m always looking for some good new ones.


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This is Water

May 9, 2013 by

This is just simply awesome.  Enjoy

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3 Simple Ways to Stay Motivated

Mar 11, 2013 by

If you’ve been reading this blog, received my emails or followed me on Facebook lately you’ve probably noticed some changes.   I’ve been posting a lot less recipes and such and a lot more simple tips and ways to make your life better.   I’m still cooking and such, but have been motivated to really help people improve their lives and the lives of all those around them.  That is the whole point of these Truly Simple Action posts.  It’s one simple action each week to improve your life.  I believe we all could make our lives a little better and that is what I am trying to do.

The thing about motivation though is that it doesn’t always last. It can come and go.  It can show up when you are not expecting it and it can be lacking when you need it.   So lately I’ve been really digging into finding motivation each day and trying to pass that along to others. If this is something you’d like to see, please visit my Facebook page.

Motivation is an awesome force to help propel you forward toward your goals, but we don’t always have the wind at our sails to keep us moving.  So this week’s Truly Simple Action is actually 3 simple ways to get and keep yourself motivated.

1. Move forward

Motivation requires action on our part.  We can’t sit back and wait to be motivated.  We can’t sit around and wait for the mood or the energy to hit so we can get going.


You need to get moving.  Action spurs more action. If you are sitting on the couch thinking you should work out, you probably won’t. But if you just get up and get moving you may actually get something accomplished.  Just get up. Just get moving.  Do something toward your goal.  Move one inch closer to where you want to be and you will find new motivation to keep that momentum going.  This is a big part of these TSA posts.  Changing the world can seem like a daunting task, but if you set out to change just one simple thing each week to improve your life you will soon start to see real positive changes coming from those small simple steps.  Get started and the motivation will find you.

2. Surround yourself with people that motivate and inspire you

This is a big one for me.  You need to surround yourself with good people.  You need to find those that inspire you and encourage you to be awesome and be around those people.


They may be friends, colleagues or others you’ve found online or in a good book.  Find those inspirational people and spend time with them.  I am currently at SXSW in Austin TX and one of my favoriate reasons to come to this conference each year is to be around so many friends and strangers who are all passionate about what they are doing and inspire me.  Find events and places where people who inspire you gather and go there.  Call up your friends who are positive influences in your life and make plans to hang out with them.  Surround yourself with motivated people and you will feel motivated.

3. Seek out motivation

The thing about motivation is that it doesn’t last.


You need to seek out motivation.  It will not find you unless you are looking for it.  This should be a daily search.  Find those inspirational people, stories, images in your life and incorporate them daily.   Read some inspirational blogs.  Listen to a motivational podcast.  Play your best workout song as loud as you can when you get up in the morning.  Inject motivation into your day every day and let that energy move you forward toward your goals and dreams.

Today is Monday.  Let today be the day you take simple actions toward making your life better.  Go out and conquer it.


If you’d like to stay motivated with me, please subscribe to my email newsletter to get new simple ways to improve your life each week and like my Facebook page to see some fun motivational inspirations throughout the week.


Truly Simple Actions The goal of the TSA project is to improve your life and help make this world a better place, one simple action at a time.  Take time this week to do this one simple thing. Previous TSA’s:


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