When life gives you rain, stay inside.// Remix 21

 

Shirt: vintage; jeggings & shoes: Target; belt: The Fainting Goat.

 

Hello! Today was cold, wet, and stormy in GA. Therefore, I did not go outside. Not to get the mail, not to walk the dog, not even to take pictures. I did poke my head out onto the front porch when I realizes that a gutter fell off my house, but then I quickly ducked back in and nestled up with my pets on the couch next to the Christmas tree.

Since I knew I wouldn’t be leaving the house, I didn’t have to dress for the weather today. Hence the open toed shoes and no sweater. It also meant that I would have to find a place indoors to take some decent photos. After a few failed attempts in my living room, bedroom, kitchen, and office, I finally discovered the great lighting in my sun room. Then I had to figure out what would become my makeshift tripod for the day. And the winner was… the telescope! Turns out the back end has these little compartments that my camera fit in quite nicely. I was afraid to know what would happen if it fell out though, which of course it did. The batteries and the memory card fell out, but otherwise the camera was fine!

The outfit. This is the second time I’ve worn this shirt in the challenge. I wasn’t planning on belting it today, but untucked it felt a little too much like pajamas, and my objective for the day was to NOT take a nap! (which I didn’t!) I felt very 1970’s glam today, what with my leggings, the blousy shirt, and heels. Very Naomi from Momma’s Family. I love that show.

Six days in a row wearing my glasses, I think this is a first! I decided I wanted to do heavy eye makeup today, to go with the 70’s look. Unfortunately, I can’t really see to put on makeup when I’m not wearing my contacts. I can’t really get close enough to the mirror to see and still have room to actually apply the makeup. I forgot this fun fact until after I started applying the heavy liner though. Good thing there are no close ups.

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Artists I Love: The Civil Wars// The List

I’m so excited to share with you guys the first of twelve artists that I have loved this year, The Civil Wars!

If you’ve been around me for long at all you know how much I love this duo. They’ve been performing together for just over a year, and I’ve already seen them 4 times! Every time I’ve taken at least two friends, and every one of them has left as in love with them as I am!

Genre: Folk/acoustic/Americana

How I heard of them: Joy Williams (the girl) has been performing as a solo artist for years. I saw her play a show here in Atlanta about a year ago with a group of other artists from Nashville, called Ten out of Tenn. Actually, I met her before the show in the ladies’ room before I knew she was performing that night. She commented on how pretty my tattoo was while I was washing my hands, and so we chatted a bit about tattoos. When I got back to my table, I told my friend that I had just met the nicest girl in the bathroom. When she walked up on the stage a few minutes later, I had to laugh!

Anyway, I was pretty impressed with her performance that night. When I looked her up online when I got home, I discovered that she had just started performing with this guy John Paul White as The Civil Wars. I downloaded their live album and absolutely fell in love! I swear I think I listened to it in my car non-stop for at least a month.

Dance, sit, or stand: Sit. This is group you will want to listen to. Amazing vocals like these are best appreciated sitting down.

Buy the cd?: Yes!… when it comes out in February. In the meantime, they have a 4 song EP you can purchase on iTunes. They also have a full length live recording that you can download for free here. This was recorded here in Atlanta at Eddie’s Attic (which just so happens to be my favorite venue for live music). If that wasn’t enough free music, they just added two Christmas songs for download on their MySpace page as well.

Favorite song: This is a tough one… I like so many of them! How about I pick my top three instead?

1) If I Didn’t Know Better

2) Barton Hollow

3) Falling

Favorite video: Poison & Wine

There are tons of YouTube videos of The Civil Wars performing, I could sit here and link to them all day!

They will be playing some shows out on the West Coast in December, so all of my California readers should go check them out! I seriously considered flying out to LA to visit my old roommate in a few weeks just so I could take her to their Hotel Cafe show, but then I reminded myself that I’m unemployed and broke, so probably not the best idea for my pocketbook right now.

Pomegranate Oatmeal// What I Eat

I’ve never been much of a breakfast girl. Having celiac doesn’t help; most of the “healthy” cereals are full of wheat and barley.  At my old office, all the girls in my department ate cereal. Every morning they would come in, pull out their bowl and box of choice from their overhead bin, go back to the kitchen and add their milk of choice from the fridge. To be part of the crowd, I decided to find a breakfast food that I could eat. For a few years I ate this cereal called Nutty Flax (my coworkers called it bird seed) mixed with vanilla yogurt. Then I switched to a mashed banana and some peanut butter for a while. At my last job, I would eat a gluten-free english muffin with vegan cheese, tomato and avocado. Once I started “working from home” back in September though, any breakfast habits I had cultivated went right out the window. I found myself getting by on coffee alone until 3 or 4pm everyday. Not a good way to live.

So a few weeks back I set out to find a yummy, healthy way to start my day. I’ve watched enough Dr. Oz to know that steel-cut oatmeal is about as healthy as you can get. Luckily, Bob’s Red Mill makes a gluten-free steel-cut oat and they sell it at my local grocery store. (Bob’s also makes GF rolled outs and quick cooking oats, but I prefer the steel-cut for this recipe. I use the rolled ones in granola and cookies though.) Oats are naturally GF, but almost all are cross-contaminated during growth and production. It may not sound like a big deal, but trust me, it is. Fun fact, oats were the one food that was actually painful for me to eat when I was first diagnosed with celiac. It actually HURT to eat them. So finding a certified GF producer was a huge day of happiness in my home.

The down side of oats is that they take a while to cook. I tried to find ways to get around this, but then I realized that I have all the time in the world so what does it matter. I decided to use the waiting to my advantage and work it into my morning routine. I get up and go straight for the coffee, of course. While I drink this, I usually check email, read blogs, make to do lists for the day, etc. Once my first cup is down, I head back into the kitchen and get the oatmeal started. It takes all of 10 seconds to measure the oats and water in the pan and turn it on high heat. While I wait for it to boil, I make a cup of herbal tea and clean my kitchen. Once it goes back down to a simmer, I put the lid on it, grab my tea and head back to work. Then I forget about the oatmeal. Seriously, every day I forget about it. It takes about 45 minutes to cook, which is plenty of time for my mind to have moved on to other things. The good thing I’ve discovered is that getting it good and sticky (to the pan) actually works better!

Enough chatter, how about I just give you the recipe? I’ve added lots of ingredients to my oatmeal, but I promise it’s really simple to make. Plus each thing adds so many healthy benefits, I swear you feel like a superhero after you eat this! You can of course substitute for taste preferences, but this tastes amazing as it, and its so nutritious you could seriously stop eating for the rest of the day and be good. Ok, maybe not, but it’s definitely a great start!

Yeah for B12!

Cinnamon is great for boosting metabolism; maple sugar doesn't give you a sugar rush... plus both are yummy!

I can get about a weeks worth of seeds out of 1 pomegranate

This is so yummy, plus it makes you feel amazing! Its full of Omegas and fiber and antioxidants and all of those other things that do a body good. Plus, by using maple sugar and pomegranate seeds as a sweetener, you don’t get that sugar rush that comes with eating most pre-sweetened oatmeal. Click on the links in the ingredient lists to see all the health benefits that each item brings!

Pomegranate Oatmeal

Makes 1 serving

1/4 c steel-cut oats

3/4 hot water

Dash of sea salt

Combine in small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cover with lid. Wait until it’s really simmering and no longer boiling to put the lid on, otherwise you’ll have a real mess. This way you can leave it while it cooks.

Go do something else. Read, check email, do chores, take a walk. Forget about the oatmeal. After about 45 minutes, suddenly remember it, shout out-loud, OH NO!! THE OATMEAL!!! and run back into the kitchen. At this point, it will be perfectly cooked. If it’s stuck to the pan a bit, just give it a stir. We’ll take care of that in the next step.

Add to the pan:

about 1/2 c unsweetened vanilla hemp milk

1 tsp Earth Balance “butter”

1 heaping tbls ground flax seed

Stir it all together. Adding the milk will correct whatever overcooking you may have done in step one. Likewise, the flax seed will help absorb any extra moisture that’s in the oatmeal.

Its supposed to look like a hot mess at this point.

Turn the heat up to medium and cook until thick, about 2-3 minutes. While its cooking, add the following:

1 tsp maple sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

about 1/3 c pomegranate seeds (about a handful for me)

Stir, stir, stir!

Once the oatmeal is thick and everything is well combined, pour into a pretty bowl and enjoy!

Artists I Love// The List

Last week I shared with you guys my list of things to do this year, and my pitiful performance accomplishing said list to date. One of the items that I said I was going to do this year was take someone to a concert each month. I actually did this 3 or 4 times this year, but definitely not every month. To make up for my missed months, I’m going to share with you all some of the great artists that I would love to take you all to see one day! Since that probably won’t be possible until I win the lottery, I figured I would introduce you to the sounds of these up and coming musicians that I’ve found one way or another, in hopes that you’ll love them too and go see them when they visit your town! (And maybe even take a friend. :))

I’ve picked 12 artists that I’ll be sharing with you over the next 5 weeks. I picked them based on a two criteria. One, they are all artists I’ve actually seen perform live within the past two years; and two, none are considered major artists (yet). The reason that I decided to start taking people to concerts with me was that I kept running across these great musicians that none of my friends knew of and hence no one would pay to go to shows with me. By buying their ticket for them, I get to not only share music that I love with my friends, I also get to help support up and coming musicians. There are some really great musicians playing the bar scene right now, and I’m lucky enough to live in a city with a lot of bars (and other great venues, too).

Check back tomorrow for my first selection!

 

Little Matchstick Lady// Remix 20

Jacket: The Fainting Goat Boutique; Dress & clogs: Target; hat:vintage; scarf: Old Navy.

I braved the cold yet again to bring you all my remix pics today. You’re welcome. I decided to work the hat and scarf into the outfit. Maybe if I could have managed some gloves and a coat as well, I may have more pictures of me smiling.

I am quite proud of outfit today for one huge reason: Clogs + Skirt! If you remember, I included these shoe in the remix because I was forced to buy them a few months ago, even though I’m not that hot for clogs. I was determined to figure out a few ways to wear them other than the typical bootleg jean look. So today, I started with my shoes and worked upwards.

This is the third time I’ve worn this dress in the remix, and the first look I actually like! I really wanted to wear a short, full skirt instead… but I didn’t include of those in my items. The sweater dress look worked pretty well in its place.

Pretty day, huh? I almost took my dog for a run this afternoon, but a test walk out to the mailbox cleared that nonsense right out of my head.

I think tomorrow I’m going to make another outfit with these shoes. Or my purple flats, I’ve only worn them once so far. I still have one shirt that I haven’t even worn yet! This may wind up being a 29 for 30 challenge instead.

Tonight I’m going to finish decorating my tree! I got the tree up and lights on over the weekend. (I think decorating is best done in stages.)