Friday, September 23, 2011

Too Much

This is how I feel right now. A little stressed. A little overwhelmed. A little like I want to just cover my face and hide somewhere. Too much is going on but I promise to be back with more posts soon.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hands All Over

Sorry, no time to post. I have been extremely busy but here is the album I am listening to at the moment. It's Maroon 5's new album Hands All Over. I love Adam Levine's voice. It's so soulful. It puts me in a really good place, so I have been listening to it when I'm working out and trying to get stuff done around the house. Hands All Over helps me when I feel like I need some extra hands to get everything done. I hope you enjoy it if you haven't already heard the whole album.

Play me and Put me Away

For whatever reason "Moves Like Jagger" isn't included in the last link so here is that track. Have fun!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back in Action!

Sorry, for the delay in posting. It has been a very hectic couple of days. But I'm back and ready to post!

I realize that before my hiatus, I had taken on the VegPledge. I was able to do it successfully for the entire 60 days, but at the end I was very burnt out. It had been hard constantly planning dinners for myself around what the rest of my family was eating, when I already have a busy schedule with little down time. Since the VegPledge, I have been eating meat again. As always, it isn't everyday and it's always small in portion. At first, I felt bad about eating meat. I felt like I was letting myself down because I know that meat is hard on our environment and my body. The fact that I had started eating meat again contributed a lot to my hiatus because I knew that I had taken a step backwards. I have realized since then that although I would like to become a full vegetarian at some point, it will have to be on my own time, when I have my own apartment where I can choose what is in my refrigerator.

I have since decided that I can't let eating meat be a set back and stop me from remembering why I write this blog. I have realized that if you see everything you do as not enough, you will ultimately only be left feeling discouraged. I know now that I need to see all the steps I'm taking as progress and as a positive. If you don't let yourself win the small battles, you will give up the war.

I have decided to make a new pledge, though. The new pledge is, since I plan to continue eating meat, now I am only going to eat Grass-fed Beef. For any that don't know, this is apposed to corn-fed beef. I decided to do this after watching King Corn, a documentary about two men who move to Iowa in the hopes of growing one acre of corn. Once their corn is grown, they attempt to discover where their corn crop will go and what will be produced from it. What they learn is that much of the corn we produce is inedible, other then for cow feed and corn syrup, both of which contribute to our countries problems with obesity. After watching this documentary, I remembered how bad the beef we consume is; not only for our environment but for our bodies. Corn feed is bad for cow's stomachs and the meat their bodies produce is mostly saturated fat because of it. I have decided that I am pledging to only eat Grass-fed beef and I am going to stop drinking soda everyday. I'm going to cut way, way back.

Here is a clip from the movie, which you can watch for free on Hulu and Youtube. I highly recommend it.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Inspiration Strikes!

Remember awhile back when I posted a picture of one little, lone tomato? Well, he was the beginning of my adventures in organic gardening but a lot has happened since then! The garden has really started to take shape and I've had a lot of success. That one little tomato turned into lots and LOTS of tomatoes. My cup runneth over...with tomatoes.

As you can see, these are my Tomato Children and there are many of them! The big, green guy in the front, I like to call him Morty. I know I am sounding ridiculous right now, which is my intention, but it's funny the attachment that you get to something when you watch it grow and mature slowly before your eyes each day. Oh, Motherhood!!

Anywho, enough silliness. I am currently enrolled in a Jazz class and we have been doing a lot of talking about the history of Jazz the last two weeks. All this talk of jazz, the South, and New Orleans has really inspired me. Inspired me not to take up jazz or even listen to jazz, but rather... to make JAMBALAYA! So, that's exactly what I did. I used some Zatarains® and a few of the tomatoes I had laying around (literally) and had it for dinner tonight. I thought I would share this very, very humble recipe.


1 box of Zatarains® Jambalaya Mix
4 medium organic tomatoes, diced
4 stalks organic celery, chopped
1/2 organic white onion, chopped
1 lean pork sausage link, sliced into 1/4 inch slivers
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper
A little extra Creole seasoning (optional)

This recipe is so easy that one of my Tomato Children could do it!

1. Cook sausage slices in a pan on low heat. When one side gets nice and cooked to your liking, flip. Once sausage is finished, remove from heat.

2. Chop and dice all veggies and set aside.

3. Follow the instructions on the Zatarains® box, which will instruct you to let the water boil and then dump in the contents of the rice packet. From there, add veggies so they will cook down, sausage and sausage juice from pan (for flavor).
4. Let the goodies start to boil again, then stir, turn to low heat, and cover with a lid. Stir occasionally, then about 25 minutes later.. WAM-BAM you've got JAMBALAYA!
5. Stir the rice to stop it from sticking to the bottom. Add in the extra spices if you feel you need them, let sit another 5 minutes, fluff again, and then EAT! Eating experience may also be greatly improved if done while listening to jazz music ;)


Sorry about the photo. I tried to get a good one but the lighting was off and the only one I even remotely liked was this one.. with the potato making a guest appearance. Oh well. A little more silliness never hurt anyone. Also, let me know if in the picture you see THE FACE...

I know this recipe is definitely not "from scratch" like I like my recipes to be, but sometimes you're just too damn tired to not get a little help from Zatarains®. I post this mostly because I really enjoyed this humble meal that was brought on by a little inspiration. My only hope is that you will see this and think, "Okay, I don't want to make that but that does make me want to make my great recipe for....". Whatever that recipe may be, let yourself be inspired, and if you are, feel free to pass your recipe along to me so that I can be inspired by you in return.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


The Weepies have a new video! The video is for "Be my Honeypie" off of their newest album Be My Thrill. I really love this song. I had the chance to hear it live at The Troubadour and it was truly amazing. Steve Tannen wrote this song for Deb Talan, and knowing that, the lyrics of this song mean even more to me when I hear them. I wish the two of them were in this video but unfortunately they're never present in their videos. Ever. Still, this video is wonderful and I'm grateful for any videos from the Weepies, since they have so few. It's just sort of silly and puts a smile to my face, so I hope you'll like it.

I have been listening to the solo records that Deb Talan and Steve Tannen created before becoming The Weepies. Deb Talan had three albums and Steve Tannen had two. All five are really wonderful and carry their signature sound. Since these albums are a little harder to find, but are still absolutely worth listening to, I will post one from each of them. Steve Tannen and Deb Talan are able to write lyrics that feel so at home to me. I feel like they have written these lyrics just for me, like they have read my inner thoughts and wrote a song about it. I only feel that way about their music so here are two albums of theirs that mean a lot to me.

"I hold your heart like the sky holds the moon"

"Well she, she gave me the big 'See ya Later' but I, I don't think I will"

"No longer young and not that pretty, How will he ever find me?"

PS. If you can't open the RAR file for Deb's album, use the link given in my Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. post
"The city lights are dancing for you"

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Putting on my Face

In my attempts to take a little bit better care of my body and the Earth, I have been trying to switch out my cosmetics for ones that are better for the environment. I have been using up my old cosmetics, and as they run out, I have been switching them for products that are chemical-free, vegan, and cruelty-free. So far, I have been really successful. I have found two new brands that I really like and plan to switch to permanently.

After looking up a few brands on EWG, I decided to start using ZuZu Luxe® mascara and liquid eyeliner. I had been using L'Oreal® mascara for a long time, and although it is cheaper than the Zuzu® brand, it doesn't have all the same benefits. The Zuzu® mascara doesn't smudge, it fairly water resistant, and looks just about the same as my old brand, so I'd say its been a good switch. I haven't been using liquid eyeliner very long, since I'm make-up challenged most days, so I was only using the E.L.F.® brand before. I had opted for that one in the past since it was only a buck, but when it runs out, I plan to switch to the Zuzu® brand since I had such success with the mascara.

The second brand that I have fallen in love with is Honeybee Gardens®. This brand is really fantastic. The ingredients in their products are organic and chemical-free. The prices are reasonable and they were able to make me a believer in eyeliner pencil again! I had been using an eyeliner by Almay® that I was really, really sad to part with since it wasn't pencil and was easy to use, but the Honeybee Gardens® eyeliner is wonderful too. I am also curious to try the Honeybee mascara once my Zuzu® mascara runs out, since the Honeybee is a little cheaper.. well, actually a lot cheaper. I will keep you posted on that when it happens.
Until then, I would recommend both of these brands highly! I hope you will make the switch to cosmetic products that are better for your body as well as the environment. If you have any other brands you would like to suggest, please let me know!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

I've just started listening to this band lately, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., and I really love their sound. When I say, "Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.", I'm talking about these guys...

Not this guy.

The band is made up of Daniel Zott and Joshua Epstein, two dudes from Detroit who came together to make a really great indie-pop sound. They have two albums, Horse Power EP and It's a Corporate World. I downloaded both but the full length album has all the songs that the EP has, with the exception of their cover of the song "God Only Knows", by The Beach Boys.

I'm completely in love with their song "We Almost Lost Detroit", which is a cover/rework of the original song done by Gil Scott Heron, but the entire album is worth listening to. Here is the video for that song, and if you like it, download their album from the link below and then go see them at The Troubadour this Friday! Only $16.30 with tax! Be there, buddy!

☊ It's a Corporate World!
Oh and if you have a Mac®, you'll need to download this first...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Israeli Couscous and Corn Salad


After two long, relaxing Summer months, I am finally ready to start blogging again. I will start off slow, but hopefully I can just keep a steady flow of posts coming. Today I will start with a post that is delicious, as well as vegetarian and vegan friendly! Enjoy and tell me how you like it

3 c. Israeli couscous
3 c. vegetable broth
3 ears of corn, shucked, kernels cut off
1/2 c. pine nuts, toasted
1/2 bunch of cilantro, leaves chopped finely

For dressing:
3/4 c. fresh lime juice
1/8 c. virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

1. In a medium sauce pan, bring the veggie stock to a boil. Add the couscous and turn the heat down to low. Cover the couscous for about 15 minutes, stirring it occasionally. When finished steaming, you may want to add salt and/or pepper to the couscous.
2. If your pine nuts are not pre-toasted, toast them in a non-stick pan until lightly toasted. In the same pan, remove the pine nuts and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add your corn kernels and let them cook about 3 minutes on low, or until they are as crispy and as charred as desired.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together your fresh lime juice, olive oil, and salt/pepper. Then set aside.
4. In a larger bowl, combine your couscous, pine nuts, corn, and chopped cilantro. Slowly, add about half of your dressing mixture to the couscous salad. Mix until the dressing is well incorporated. Taste the salad and add more dressing as you feel necessary. How much dressing the salad needs will be based on your preference, as well as how tart the limes were.
5. This salad can be enjoyed warm, or chilled which I prefer. If you are having it warm, serve immediately. If you are having the salad chilled, cover bowl and place in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. When removed from the refrigerator, stir and add another tablespoon or so of dressing if the couscous has become dry.

Sorry that there is no picture with this post :(