Thursday Things

Time for a few Thursday Things.  A few eye-catching and noteworthy items this week include:

1. Rancho La Puerta in Baja California, Mexico.  Less than 90 minutes south of San Diego.

They have everything from cooking classes to spa treatments, massage, Reiki, acupuncture


Yoga classes, mountain hikes, and more.

Not that far from San Diego and they do have some day trips/day classes.  I’d love to try a day trip sometime in 2012.

2. Speaking of travel and trips, we leave for Aruba very soon.  Like in 48 hours

Scott just got his passport back yesterday.  His passport was coming up on the 10 year renewal and he sent it in for renewal about two months ago; which should have been ample time.  Nothing like white knuckling it down to the wire.

The beach has my name written all over it and if his passport wouldn’t have come in time, we agreed that he’d meet Skylar and I down there so that we only would have only had to change one airline ticket (his) rather than three.  Thank goodness we didn’t have to cross that bridge!

3. I made our 2011 holiday cards already.

But if you want to make photo books, calendars, and more using you Mac, you can.

I’m all about the gifts that you don’t have to go to the mall for.

4. Homemade Kombucha Coffee

You need to first have be brewing your own ‘booch and have (an extra) SCOBY, but this looks interesting.

I’m going to try it with one of my extra Scoby’s when I get back.

Because once you use the Scoby for coffee, they’re done and you can’t use them for brewing plain kombucha anymore.

But that’s okay because they multiply like weeds like bacteria.

5. Backup your entire computer for less than $5 bucks per month with Backblaze

More info


6. I’ve posted about this before that I back up with an external drive but recently I attempted to recover a Word Doc from an older external drive of mine.

However, when I plugged it in, realized that the Word Doc that I needed ‘was not found’.


What if you spilled coffee on your computer or your laptop was stolen or you got a virus?  What would you do about your lost photos, files, music, documents, and information.  <— Panic much?

And what about when external drives fail.  Because I just experienced a failure.

I researched more options for backing up my machine; all my files, music, and photos.

Some photographer friends told me about Backblaze.

It’s a simple download, it backs everything up, and it’s $5 bucks a month. Do yourself a favor and sign up.  What if you lost everything? Photos, music, documents?

The document I needed was not life or death but did cost me major scrambling and a total make work project but a lesson learned that external backup drives are not 100%.

7. Pumpkin Season is over.  A sad day, I know, for all the pumpkin fiends but please put down the pumpkin and pick up the Peppermint.  It’s holiday baking season!

 Mint Chocolate Coconut Snowballs (No-Bake, Vegan, GF).  Melted chocolate, coconut, melted coconut oil, and mint.  Scott loves these things.

8. The winner of the $50 Asian Foods Prize Pack Giveaway is:

Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather November 29, 2011 at 4:52 pm
Awesome giveaway! Ever since making sushi a couple weeks ago I’ve been loving Asian flavors. But homemade Mexican probably steals my heart :)

Congrats, Heather!

9. Holiday Baking Season is just around the corner and that makes me really excited.  It’s not even around the corner.  It’s here.  Happy December 1st!

10. I’d recommend starting off baking with a batch of Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Chewy, easy, chocolatey and a good way to kick off holiday baking because who doesn’t like a warm chocolate chip cookie.


1. Have you seen any things lately that have you excited?  Food, products, people, places, trips, tips?  What are your things?

2. Can you believe it’s already December 1?  Where did this year go?  Anything you want to accomplish with the remainder of the year?

I’d like to just get on the plane.  If I can get that handled, the rest of December and rest of 2011 should go pretty well!


  1. hi averie!! am i really the first one to comment?? i’ve had a wonderful day yesterday bc it was my bday! i spent the day in nyc with the bf. we went to eat at this vegan resto called soy n deelish!! that retreat place looks amazing!! i need to go to one of those!! i still haven’t gotten my iphone4s…it’s always in back order…so def looking out for that!! :)) have a great time in aruba!! sheesh so jelly rite now! xx

  2. SO excited for you guys!! Is it a short trip or longer?

  3. Yay – getting so close to that beach my friend. I know you guys must all be getting excited.

  4. Oooh, that spa looks like an excellent day trip…yoga, reiki, acupuncture…sounds like a dream!

    I’m so glad that Scott got his passport in time! Whew! When Andrew and I were dating, he LOST his passport like 3 days before we went on a trip to Spain. I freaked out, because the same thing happened to my best friend before we studied abroad there. Luckily, everyone got their passports on time, but talk about panic!!

    Enjoy Aruba! And I’m interested in that kombucha coffee…not sure how I feel about the two combined, but it could be tasty?

    I actually just posted a list similar to this about all the things I’m excited about this week — yesterday I went to an art opening for a super amazing gallery that is featuring some of my art…I’m honored to be among local artists who I’ve admired for so long, it feels like it’s not really happening.

  5. I live pumpkin season from September to March. ;)

  6. Whew– glad Scott got his passport back!!! Ryan and I went through that a few years ago– sometimes they take FOREVER!!!

  7. kombucha coffee?! i am very intrigued. i just got a heating pad for my booch since its cold here, so now its at a constant temp and comes out so good :)
    have a safe trip over!! looking forward to the pictures while i sit here bundled up and frozen hahaha

  8. SO much left to accomplish: applications, life goals, you name it! You know, normal-average-everyday stuff. ;) And thanks to amazon promo certificates (from complaining because they screwed up a couple of my orders) I’m excited about the new goodies that have been coming my way for free (headphones, shoes, personal blender, etc)! :)

  9. have a great time on your trip. I am supposed to go to Rancho La Puerta next year… Maybe i’ll come see you first

  10. Started December the right way over here – baked some cookies the first thing in the morning, using white chocolate and MINT! Best holiday flavor combo ever.

  11. I am excited because everything is new to me back in my home town, which I have been gone for 4 years so alot has changed. Before the year ends I want to get at least 10 followers on my blog, that’s my hope. Good Luck with your trip

  12. Yikes on the passport, that is pulling it close! We’re getting ready for a trip too and I’ve been scrambling this week with work and packing.

    Who says pumpkin season is over? :-)

    Scary that December is here already, this year flew by.

  13. So cool about the kombucha coffee… I’ve been dying to try to make my own for a long time but have never gotten around to it. Do you still brew kombucha on a regular basis?
    What has me excited today… the promise of the weekend only a few days away and my roommates and I are going to get a real tree for the apartment. Along with a fun friends christmas swap and party… very fun! I can’t wait to see sunny aruba pics and live vicariously through you for a while!!

  14. I think it’s insane that it’s already December! Some years seem to go by slowly, but I think this is one of the fastest years yet. So many things that have just passed me by. I want to pay attention more next year!

  15. That Backblaze is a great idea, thanks for the tip! We just invested in a Time Capsule – it’s the best router we’ve ever had as well as a permanent back-up for all networked laptops/computers in my house – but if anyone asks I would love to recommend Backblaze as that’s just a bargain, and sounds really no hassle.

    Have a safe trip!

  16. My ‘things’ right now – Jasmine green tea. Oh my gosh I love that stuff! I just discovered it a couple days ago.

  17. I’m starting December with cookies too! My plan is to veganize some Martha Stewart Christmas cookie recipes, I think that’s a great way to spend the rest of the year!

    That beach looks amazing, enjoy!

  18. I LOVE the idea of kombucha coffee! Totally going to have to give that a shot!

  19. have SO much fun in aruba!!

  20. So jealous of your trip to a warm place! :)

  21. Ah, I can’t believe you leave so soon! I hope you guys have a fantastic trip!

  22. Thanks for the info on Backblaze. I have been in serious need of a better back up process.

    Hooray for the beach, sun, sand, vaca, & family. Aruba looks so amazing.

  23. This year has been somewhat of a whirlwind, especially the past couple of months. 2012 should prove to be interesting too! I’m so excited to hear about your trip, good luck getting last minute things together. But you seem so organized I’m sure you don’t need the luck! I really think I’ll use Backblaze. I lost everything a couple years ago when my hard drive crashed, and now everything’s on an external but, as you said, they’re not 100%!

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  26. I cannot believe we are in December already – I only have 14 days left with my students before Christmas! I don’t know where the time goes.

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  29. Hi Avery! I’ve been searching the internet for someone who makes Kombucha with a wooden cask and wooden spigot. Yay! I found you! Anyways, I’m wondering how often you have to clean it, how hard it is to clean, and how you do it? Have you found any problems with the wooden spigot? How much Kombucha do you get out of your barrel in a week. How big is your barrel and where did you get it from? What cycle of taking it out have you found to work best? Any other questions I should be asking?

    Thanks a zillion!

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