Sunday, March 6, 2016

february aka the month of handstands

You guys, 2016 has been fabulous so far.  2016, the year of making shit happen, has been happening all the fuck over the place.  And thus, February: A Summary. I LOVE beer school.  I have learned so much, I have met so many people and networked with them and gossiped with them about the industry and I know so much SCIENCE.  My actual brewing is on a whole different level than it was even just last year.  I was never much of a science/chemistry/biology person before, but I am soaking this up and it’s fascinating.
  • I put beer in my barrel for the first time!  My lil’ eggnog porter child is soaking in those delicious charred bourbon flavors & coming along very nicely.  This weekend I’m going to give it another little boost of vanilla, and hopefully by April we can bottle.
  • I went, on a total whim, to a sour beer blending seminar in Westland on Valentine’s Day, sponsored by Fermenta (more on this later).  I was on my own because fuck it, I’m an independent adult and I can do things that interest me without needing someone to tag along, and I ended up seeing someone else who was alone and deciding we were going to be instant best friends AND THEN WE WERE, and by the end of the day we had drank all the Belgian beers, watched all the hockey, and then gone to another new-to-us brewery in Dearborn.  I’ve never in my life had a local, female friend as into beer (and hockey!) as I am, and I am over the moon about it.  We instantly decided that we were going to become immediately more active within Fermenta (okay, fine – Fermenta is a nonprofit Michigan-based society, basically, committed to camaraderie, networking, and education of women within the craft beer industry and it’s FABULOUS and full of so many awesome people & opportunities), which led to being involved in 2 brew days for the upcoming International Women’s Collaboration Day – so within the next week I’m going to have 2x actual large scale brewhouse experience (one of which we even got to be involved in planning the recipe for, and guys it sounds brilliant). Making shit happen!
Pretending like I didn't blend/drink two flights like this...

  • Also beer(ish) related – in lieu of Winter Beer Festival, said friend and I went on a mini beer tour (Griffin Claw, M-Brew, Michigan Growler Company, & then duck legs at The Bird & The Bread) which also included a stop at Valentine Vodka!  I’m much more of a beer girl, but first of all that place is amazing inside and second of all bourbon/brown sugar/cherry. And gin. All the gin.  Plus a complimentary tour and a little bit of knowledge about distilling?? Yes.
This weird yet badass thing at M-Brew.....okay sure??
Valentine Distillery old school looking bar.
The ambiance of this place was just fantastic.
Learning some distilling ;)
Gin/basil/cucumber + bourbon/brown sugar/cherry.
Nightcap Pine Drops IPA.
  •  In the gym, I’ve still been doing boot camp 3-4x a week and yoga 2x, which is phenomenal and I can actually feel myself getting stronger, using heavier weights, feeling better during workouts, nailing balancing postures better.  I did a one on one session with my boot camp trainer to get more comfortable with barbells (not the movements themselves so much, but more so how to structure a workout, how to check my form, when to go heavier and how much), and now I’ve added in 2x a week sessions with the bar, and I can’t even begin to explain how good it feels to have a barbell on my back. (My super tight hip flexors tend to disagree, though).  I have a couple new lifting buddies, and our boot camp group has really started to coalesce into the fit fam I’ve been craving so much that I don’t even mind how insanely expensive it is on top of my (already expensive) membership.
Bootcamp Fit Fam <3
What a good shot I am!
  • I also decided February was the month of handstands.  I’ve been wanting to do them for AGES now, and when I finally started being able to get them on a total fluke in late January, I instantly decided I was going to practice EVERY DAY in February in hopes of getting some more consistency.  I still struggle with pushing up into them without having momentum behind me, and it’s still a toss up as to how long I can hold them, but it’s progressing. I’ve even started trying without a wall behind me – but that hasn’t been so pretty.  It’s coming!
  • I’ve mentioned before but my mother is a CPA, so during the heavy tax season months I cook two meals a week for my parents so that they don’t starve – and this year’s have been SPECTACULAR as seen below: (Grilled Cuban wraps & curry cauliflower, honey sriracha IPA & lime ginger wings, some badass superbowl pizzas [shrimp/onion/bacon/garlic & chorizo/spinach/mushroom], chicken thigh & chickpea tagine cinnamon roasted carrots, Thai turkey/chorizo meatballs with peanut butter sauce over sautéed kale & brussels with coconut aminos, Mongolian beef with cauli rice mushrooms & broccoli, smoked paprika shrimp & andouille sausage kebabs with grilled baby bok choy, and tomatillo pork chili verde so far. I’ve never cooked this many things so consecutively delicious & I’m dying.

So that’s it! February, you were badass.  March, bring it on – heavy back squats, heavy deadlifts, handstand pushups, a trip to NYC & ALL the brewing experience <3

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