Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Leap Second

I'm super fascinated by this Leap Second deal today. Due to my hibernation last week, I had no idea this was a thing until this morning. Have you read much about it?

Here's a few links!

*Leap Second via Wikipedia

*From the New York Times.

*From The Guardian.

Not quite sure why I'm so into this. But it does make me think of Cam's Leap Year birthday episode of Modern Family. Remember that? What if some little kid is born during that second? Hahaha!

Have a truly, scientifically wonderful day!

Breaking the Radio Silence

Y'all, last week was the lost week for me. You know that phrase "everything that can go wrong, did go wrong"? It was a lot like that except it seemed like it was only about human interaction. There were dramas, arguments, near-rampages and a myriad of other salty, pointy, jabby interactions.

Other than the full moon tomorrow, I haven't a clue what was going on- but due to that intense energy all week long, I just kind of needed a break. To be real, my head was so fuzzy from it that I had nothing of value to say to anyone anyway. I wanted to crawl into a sensory deprivation tank.

But this week is a new week, and today is a new day, I'm happy to report. Things are back on the upswing minus a few moody so's-and-so's at work. What else is new there, amiright? So here are some happy things that have happened over the past week, to remind me (and you, if you're into it) that positivity is still all around even if it feels like everyone is out to get you.

*Dogs all across Nepal showered with love and gifts on June 27th, the day to celebrate dogs! That is so rad.

*In the first three months of this year, Scottish wind turbines produced enough electricity to power 960,000 Scottish homes for an entire year! That's amazing!

*This guy turned eight. Happy birthday, Comodino!

*And the ruling for Marriage Equality! I and my little family are thrilled for it and send all the best wishes and congratulations out there to the throngs of new brides and grooms out there!

I hope y'all have a truly wonderful day, friends! I promise I will be back to somewhat normal soon!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Wine Smoothies...

Image from High Heels to Hot Wheels

Last week I was looking for a recipe to help me get through my (tiny) freezer full of frozen fruit. I love smoothies, but just haven't been in the mood in the mornings to make them. I didn't want to bake any cakes or casseroles with the fruit because I don't want sweets around the house. Then I stumbled upon a recipe for wine smoothies. Whuh? Yes, wine smoothies. The hubs and I aren't really feeling drinking much (it's too dang hot here in the South right now), but I did brew up a glass last night to see what the hubbub was about. The result? Those things are delicious!

Here are a few recipes from around the web:
*Cooking with Curls. The Classic.
*Dessert for Two. Peach White Wine Slushies.
*High Heels to Hot Wheels. Red Wine Smoothie.

If you're looking for a lovely and light summer indulgence, then this may just be the ticket. But remember to stay hydrated, it's way too hot for over-indulgence! Would you try wine smoothies?

I hope you're having a truly wonderful day!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Happies!

It's over y'all. You've made it to another weekend! Got any plans for Father's Day? I have to work all weekend, but I'll be calling my Papa in Nashville (can't say his gift on here because my folks are my most devoted readers- you cutie patooties) and spending time with my B after I get off work on Sunday (I'm lucky enough to have two men in my life to honor- though with wildly differing tastes). So, in honor of those great men in our lives, I've put a few fun gift ideas, some inspirations and some regular ole Friday Happy regulars to get you stoked for your weekend! I hope you enjoy!

*I <3 Dad chocolates! Because he's sweet and deserves a treat!

*This homemade shirt for Father's Day too, because Awww!

*James Taylor releases his first new album in over 13 years! It's great and what a good gift for a Papa in your life (or really anyone, because its so good!).

*How about keeping his favorite radio station pumping out the great music he loves? Donate here!

*A modern classic for him to enjoy. 

*A classic classic for him to enjoy.

*Why not make him a watermelon grill? He may just laugh himself silly! I almost did.

*A great cookbook for him too (as he loves to experiment in the kitchen)! I'm partial to the John Besh one myself.

*Awesome site of dads and kids! Like Iron Man & Iron Son above. Sooooo good!

Now on to the rest of the list!

*I want to try Graze.com's snack line!

*This is a great article not only on the tiny house movement, but on the "New Old" house movement (of which I am super into!).

*The cast of Gilmore Girls reflect back on one of the best episodes of the series, the dance marathon episode (*geek out*).

*Meet Lenore. She is 99 years old, and very interesting and self-sufficient.

*Have y'all heard of a She-Shed? Let's all go have these now, please!

*Well, here's one way to make lemonade. Due to her dog's rampant stealing of food, this photographer created an adorable series of...her dog stealing beautifully photographed food.

*I saw Jurassic World this week. I loved the action, could not ignore the sexism (really Hollywood?) and delighted in the references and Easter eggs hidden throughout. Oh, and I LOVED Jimmy Buffet's cameo! Loved it!!

*Then zookeepers around the globe began making memes teasing at the the image of Owen and the Velociraptors from that very film. It's called Prattkeeping. Silly and fun!

*I am super intrigued by this group of boys (The Wolfpack) and this documentary about their entire young lives spent locked in a tiny apartment together in NYC. Fascinating and resilient young men.

*Why is this photograph of Professor Sydney Engleberg holding a student's infant child during his lecture sparking conversations on parenting? Check it out for yourself, it's pretty great!

*The Elf Whisperer of Iceland?! Yes please!

*There is a facility/day school in Seattle that is for the very young and elderly to be together. It is awesome and makes me very happy to know it exists.

*This restaurant decided to restructure their financial system by barring tips April 1st. What happened? Their profits tripled, y'all! Their employees and customers all report better experiences all the way around. Check out their cool story!

I hope you have a truly wonderful weekend, y'all! Don't forget the first day of Summer is this weekend!

 Keep the love and positivity flowing. Pour your gratitude out every day and make sure you always tell those special people in your life that you love and appreciate them. 'Specially those daddies! Ciao!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

New Obsession

Admission. When I was a little bean I took my handy dandy faerie identification guide out into Grandma's gardens and spent HOURS looking for signs of faerie life. I built houses and left flowers and fruit and it was genuinely magical.

As I've gotten older, I've always kept them in my pocket. The idea of faeries. But I never liked the tattooes (thanks Britney) or the hokey tchotchkes that forced me to keep my love of that childhood magic a secret.

In fact I've even been known to roll my eyes and scoff at the myriad of faerie accoutrements I've seen in my local favorite nursery...until recently.

Recently I've been thinking of making a seasonal planter to celebrate the changing of the seasons. See, I come from a long line of decorators. My mother, grandmother and great-grandmother's seasonal decor was something to be wonderstruck by. I've never been good at that whole-hog type of decorating because- quite frankly- I don't want clutter and I don't want to store a lot of things.

However, I believe celebrating the seasonal changes is beautiful and simple and kind and good for the heart. I want to do that like the women before me.

But in case you haven't noticed a trend with me...I gotta do it my way!

All of this to say, I want to make a Summer faerie planter for the first day of Summer, this weekend!! I'm super geeking out about it and have been researching like a lunatic about it. Ahem. At least I'm honest about my lunacy.

Check out these awesome sites for making faerie gardens or "miniature gardens" as the grown-ups would say...

*The Garden Glove.
*The Juice. (Or gardening with adorable little ones!)
*The Magic Onions (great name for a gardening site!!)
*This, That & Everything In Between.

Would you do something fun and whimsical like this or is your garden a more structured type of homage to the seasons? How do you acknowledge the passing of the months? I'd love to know!

Monday, June 15, 2015

For the win!

Post yard sale glow...and celebratory breakfast time!

Well, we had the yard sale on Saturday. Boy, does it ever feel good to have that over. I feel like I could get rid of a whole lot more too. I reckon I'll be making a few more passes through the ole storage unit over the next few weeks.

This was the storage unit before we loaded it up. I have to say even after eleven boxes, an enormous painting, some furniture and some odds and ends- it didn't look as empty as I'd hoped. I'm getting back in there over the next few weeks because I really want to downgrade.

Two truckloads of stuff! I also have a cute photo of my sweet friend who helped me, but the sun was shining right in his eyes and I didn't want to put a picture up without his approval ('cause I lurve ya hunneh).

You see...it was SO busy so early, that by 9:30 a.m., we had almost sold out of everything worth anything. When it died down, we called a local charity and they picked it all up for us while we went and had cold beers. Anyway, I wanted to get a picture of the hullaballoo, but this is what I got instead.

And then I made that cheddar y'all! It was my 3rd most successful yard sale, but I'm grateful for it and I'm thankful to be rid of so much stuff. I think there had to be at least an actual ton of stuff we got rid of. It feels good! And ridding myself of the unnecessary is rather addictive!

So what did y'all do with your weekend? I'd love to know! I hope you have a wonderful day!!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday Happies!

Throwback. Savannah, 2008. I simply cannot believe that was seven years ago. Seriously!

Hello friends! How was your week? Mine went by in an utter blur! This weekend is the BIG yard sale. I am so excited to get rid of all the stuff I've gone through during my KonMari adventure. I have a sneaking feeling I will be getting rid of much more afterward. Anyway, here's this week's list of happies, funs, interestings and what-nots to get you stoked for your weekend adventures!

*An anonymous man donated his wife's wedding dress after she passed. He pinned the sweetest note to it and now it's gained worldwide attention.

*Fascinating. A woman vowed to wear the same outfit every day for the month of May as an experiment with "Decision Fatigue". Here is what she had to say!

*Where you lead... GILMORE GIRLS REUNION!

*This mom owned the dance floor at her son's wedding.

*I (and everyone else on the planet) love this little girl's sassy dance recital! Work it girl!

*Heh. Harry Potter and grownups.

*These guys described what they'd like to see their girlfriend's makeup look like to a makeup artist. The results were...mixed.

*I have been drawn to these simple linen aprons lately.

*I tried this scarf trick yesterday at work and we are all obsessed now.

*I'm going to make these for the hubs for his morning nosh this week.

*Coffee ground soap...I'm super intrigued.

*Every time I find this on the interwebs, I get so dang tickled my eyes water. Mischief managed!

*You know I love these "100 years of" videos! The '05 outfit was straight up Lorelai Gilmore!

*The kitchen registry items we still use today (and the ones we wished we had and hadn't registered for).

*"I tried living like every Instagram fashion girl".

Have a great weekend y'all!!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Plated Recipe #3, or Lulu's Adventure with Tamarind!

I finally completed the third recipe from my Plated order last week and it was my favorite of the three!

Seriously, it was so delicious, my staff at work all asked if they could try the recipe. We're going in together on tamarind paste this week!

Anyway, here is the proof. As rice and peas are not Paleo and they caused my tummy to swell to look as if I were three months pregnant, I will be making it with cauliflower "rice" and broccoli next time. But man oh man, was it good!!

There was a lot more prep for this recipe, but it was well worth it!

I'd never made fried rice before. It was kinda fun!

Best way to make chicken, hands down. 

Ta da!!!

Have you ever cooked with tamarind before? It was a first for me and I'm hooked. It tasted, in its packaged form, almost like a savory apple butter that has been reduced to a thick paste. It was incredible. 

Seriously, y'all need to try Plated! And no, this is (still) not a sponsored post. Have a truly great day y'all!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Friday Happies!

Hey y'all! What do you have planned for the weekend? I have a family reunion here and I'm going to take off a few days for myself to recover from the insanity of the past month as well. Yay! I most likely will be going to see this one afternoon to snort laugh by myself. Anyway, here's this week's list of funs, happies, pretties, interestings and what-nots to get you geared up for your weekend whatever you may have going on!

*Have you had fish grilled in pineapple bark? What the what?! It sounds amazing!

*Some guy took a picture of a woman nursing her infant at a restaurant (a total stranger mind you) and posted it to his Facebook, shaming her for feeding her kid in public. She wrote back.

*I love this summer time gift wrap! So cheeky!

*Now that is how I'd wear a one-piece swimsuit (add high wedge heels and dramatic hat and shades).

*I have to bring something to the family reunion this weekend that can get warm and not kill anyone. I'm thinking this. Any standby recipes you make for gatherings like that? I'd love to know!

*It has been said at times I have the sense of humor of a frat boy. National Lampoon's anything, 21 and Over- those are my movies I watch alone while I laugh like Beavis & Butthead. All of this is to say, THERE IS A NEW VACATION coming out!!!

*And the bluegrass side of Ed Helms (who happens to be in the new Vacation film). He's so talented!

*Molly Ringwald at 47. She's so cool!

*This was so sweet! A dad stops the father-daughter dance at his daughter's wedding to play catch with her. Ack! I ugly cried.

*The British Prince and Princess's debut photographs side by side.

*Fifteen words to eliminate from your vocabulary to sound smarter! Yeeeeah, I pretty much use them all...

*A sweet video of an expectant family and their dogs. Aw!

*For the new front porch (my house is yellow).

*Smart kid. He gets paid to wait in line at one of the most popular barbecue joints in Austin.

*This picnic blanket is awesome!

Have a wonderful weekend, y'all!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Plated Experiment #2, or Lu's Adventures with Pork Banh Mi

Happy Thursday, y'all! I have another Plated experiment for you. So, I had no idea going into this thing what the heck Pork Banh Mi is. I was a little intimidated because I have never cooked anything remotely Vietnamese and my husband is a particular fan of the cuisine, as he hails from Biloxi. Well, it's basically a meatball sub but instead of tomato sauce and cheese it has basil, sriracha, herbs and an onion (or shallot) jam. It's delicious!


So this is how it all arrived...

Me chopping away while watching Game of Thrones (those horrible White Walkers!).

The pork meatballs after they came out of the oven. Sidenote, I loved how simple this was to make. It was a really quick meal to put together. I'm going to serve it with sweet potato fries or garlic broccoli next time.

The shallot jam. Now here is the only thing I would Lulu-ify here. It needed a bit more sweetness to round out the intensity of the lime, and sriracha. So, when I make this again, and I will, I will tweak that recipe a little bit. 

I'll also not serve it on buns as I'm just not a bread-eater anymore and it was the only thing about it I didn't enjoy or finish.

Perhaps I'll figure out a way to make it more of an appetizer or serve it on skewers with the basil and mint and carrot...gotta think on that a little.

The blurry picture of the recipe card...things were getting heavy on Game of Thrones, sorry!

My finished product with a "prop" beer so it could look like the photograph a little more. Oh, and it was  an Abita Seersucker, if you wanted to know. Delicious!

And here I am, Miss Cheesecake 2015. Don't mind the exercise equipment in the background or the red face either. I'd just had a stellar workout. Thankyouverymuch!

All in all, it's a total keeper, but needed tweaks to suit our palettes better. As I am trying to break my endless desire to tweak every recipe ever, I did make it exactly how the recipe said. Progress, right?

I would recommend something like this during the summer especially because it is light for a meatball sandwich and the Thai basil and mint work very nicely instead of the American go-to of lettuce on a sandwich.

Would you try it?!

Have a truly wonderful day!!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Plated Experiment #1

Hey y'all! Last week I was feeling a bit unorganized and an email popped up directing me to the food delivery service, Plated. I had a discount code so I browsed their weekly menu and selected three dishes to try this week.

What is Plated? Well, it is a really cool site that creates a menu every week. You select what meals you would like delivered and it comes as a serving for two pre-measured with comic strip-style directions.

Last week we ordered Tamarind Chicken with vegetable "fried rice", Salmon with Asparagus, Charred Lemons and Couscous and Vietnamese Pork Buns. I waited all week with baited breath for this package to arrive and it did this Saturday!

The first recipe we made was the Salmon. Here's how it went!

My beautifully photographed recipe cards.

My not as beautifully photographed ingredients.

Nothing against the Hellman's they sent us for the mustard sauce, but Duke's is all we use in our house.

Mustard sauce with thyme and lemon zest. So yummy!

Browning the couscous (I know, not Paleo, but there aren't a tremendous amount of Paleo options, my only complaint).

Seasoned Salmon cooking away. Doesn't that look good?!

Charring the lemons and cooking the asparagus.

So what do y'all think? It turned out pretty and just like the picture!

All in all, I'd say it was a rousing success. The flavors were great, the directions were simple and the recipe says it serves two, but we had a serving leftover for the hubs' lunch the next day.  I can't wait to try the other recipes. I think we'll start picking one or two a week (it keeps me more organized so I don't go to the grocery store and waste money on food I don't prepare).

Would you guys try something like this? It was a little out of my comfort zone and I felt a wee bit silly ordering food, but I"m glad I tried it. Oh, and this post is in no ways sponsored by Plated. I just like it.

Have a wonderful day y'all!!