I originally bought this skirt from Modcloth to try and wear it to an upcoming wedding. I wanted something to wear that would hide my tattoo. Not that I am trying to hide who I am, but I just feel like someone else’s wedding isn’t where I want to reveal my ink. Anyways, I love the skirt, though it doesn’t quite match the longer sleeved shirt I originally got it for. Oops.
My friend Ian has a problem- Tom Collins. Every time he orders it, it never gets made right. I suggested one night that we go to a bar in Philadelphia called The Farmer’s Cabinet. It is a throwback speakeasy that has an impressive list of cocktails. I suggested we go there, since I figured if there was going to be a bar who knew how to make a Tom Collins, it would be this. We all drank this yummy bubbly concoction, and loved it. Alexa asked why Ian never made it himself, and his response was “it is too complicated to make at home.”
I beg to differ!
This is actually pretty easy, though I might suggest to make or prep a few things ahead of time. All a Tom Collins is composed of is gin, sugar, lemon, and fizz. So it is basically a spiked-fizzy-lemon-aid. It is such a great drink since it is so simple, yet steeped in such a rich history. Wikipedia has a lot of fun information on the drink, talking about how it changed over the years. Being a history nerd, I loves it. Continue reading
As I wrote down all the clothing, I just noticed I own a lot of leather considering I don’t eat meat. All have been gifted, vintage, or hand-me downs. I guess I don’t like the idea that an animal died just to have it be thrown out. But I am glad to have such a stylish Mother-in-Law (who has the same shoe size), otherwise I wouldn’t get these great boots. They have been a lifesaver this winter.
Snow came down again, which made my walk to work really cold. Not to mention my work is back to it’s freezer status, which is the downside of older buildings. This sweater is super wonderful. I bought it for under $20 from some ebay site with low expectations. I just wanted something cute and warm. What I got was a fuzzy and warm sweater. I actually come home sweaty because it is so warm. And I as I write this I am sad that I didn’t take a photo of the back. As it has the same striping from the sleeves on the back, even with a little orange mixed in there.
I will hopefully have another great recipe to post tomorrow. And by recipe I mean just a cocktail. But hey, who doesn’t love a drink?
I don’t mind recipes that require a lot of time, but have little work. I find it nice to prepare a meal, and have an hour or so to clean up, or prepare upcoming lunches (and still have time to sit around and check emails). So from time to time I try and dabble in casseroles. I picked this dish for our withdrawal diet. At the time we introduced soy, but still couldn’t have any wheat.
This recipe was adapted by a curry cauliflower-fennel toss, but most of those spices were removed. The flavor is most emphasized by balsamic vinegar. Gourmet balsamic vinegars are becoming very popular, and I have two locals stores that make their very own. I HIGHLY recommend using a higher end vinegar. I used a white orange balsamic vinegar for the one featured in the photo. Continue reading
I can’t help but laugh a little. I made a pretty big vow to whip myself into blogging shape. I made a few recipes but waited to post so I could spread out my work. What happened? My husband’s new diet.
See, my husband, Jon, has always had a sensitive stomach. We constantly went back and forth about what ailed his stomach. We blamed the usual suspects like cabbage, beans, etc. So I left these foods out of his lunch. But the stomach did not subside. It reached a crescendo during Super Bowl week when my husband described the pain as unbearable. So we are in a current food overhaul. I’ve heard of some diets where people cut out common food intolerances to try and pinpoint the culprit.
Okay so let me back up- what the fudge am I talking about? Most of us are aware of Food allergies (IgE). Doctors test for these allergies by pricking a needle on your skin and waiting for signs of irritation. This is an immediate response to the allergy trigger, and most people have a general sense of their allergies. That seasonal allergy? IgE. That girl who carries around an EpiPen just in case of “nut-dust”? IgE. These allergies are easy to identify.
But food sensitivities (IgG), are more difficult to identify. Food “sensitivities” can be called allergies or intolerance. Testing for these allergies is usually done with a blood sample. Information about this is relatively new, and sadly, that means that most insurance companies don’t currently cover this testing. Basically it is a delayed reaction to the “bad foods.”
Symptoms can be a little vague. They range from digestion issues (IBS, bloating, blood in stool, constipation) to skin irritations (acne, eczema, hives) or even general aches (fatigue, headaches, puffy eyes). Many symptoms can be passed off as side effects of other ailments, so knowing that you may actually have any food sensitivities isn’t simple.
My past few workouts have been a struggle. I have a feeling my allergies have been bad and breathing is a little more difficult. So today when working out I asked my husband to turn on some music to help me keep motivated. The result was sometimes good, sometimes terrible, but overall an odd mix.
It started out by me saying he should play the Totoro theme. It was creepy. It was the perfect song for my warm up, as I swung my arms in perfect rhythm. I felt a little like doing morning warm ups at a Japanese school. Then Jon’s picked some nice songs, coupled with wildly different ones…
Azumi Inoue - Tonari no Totoro
Aaliyah – Are You That Somebody?
Aretha Franklin – Baby, I Love You
The Band – The Weight
Barenaked Ladies – Who Needs Sleep?
The Beach Boys – California Girls
Betty Everett – It’s in His Kiss (The Shoop Shoop Song)
Billy Ocean – Get Out Of My Dreams, Get Into My Car
Billy Preston – Nothing from Nothing
Cake – Short Skirt/Long Jacket
House of Pain – Jump Around
That said, my husband did make his own real workout mix. This one is more consistent. He took some of the best upbeat songs and wrapped them around with the tackiest dance sounds out there. It is like the high end comfort food of workout playlists.
Daft Punk – One More Time
Jamiroquai – Canned Heat
Prince – 1999
Haddaway – What is Love?
MIKA – We Are Golden
Fatboy Slim – Praise You
Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal
Prince – Trust
Electric Light Orchestra – Do Ya
Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now
Oliver Adams – Techno Syndrome (Mortal Kombat)
Night Ranger – Sister Christian
The Hit Crew – Jump On It
The Edgar Winter Group – Free Ride
Awhile ago one of my favorite bloggers, Annika of The Pineneedle Collective, decided to sell some of her old clothes. They were super cheap so I bought a shirt and a dress. They arrived in great condition and with a little bonus necklace. Well, if you live in the USA (or read a blog that is in the USA) you’ve probably heard about the “polar vortex.” The temperature in New Jersey doesn’t really get down to 10 degrees (-12 celsius). Couple that with me working in building that was an old victorian post office that has no insulation, I have been wearing mostly sweatshirts and leggings.
Then the unspeakable happened- it got above freezing. I realized I could wear a cardigan at my job and not freeze! I grabbed my new shirt and paired it with my super old American Apparel skirt. I also added a cream cardigan (those photos didn’t come out), grey leggings, and shoes (which I didn’t put on since I had an hour before work).
I super recommend shopping at Annika’s Little Pineneedle Shop. Her clothes are in great condition. I didn’t even notice how old the shirt was that I bought- she wore in 2011! Okay that might not be the oldest, but hey, things are looking sad for some clothes that I’ve worn in less time. As for the dress I bought, it will probably sit in my closet until May. The fabric is super light. I guess that is what happens when you buy clothes from an Australian.
One of my daily morning rituals is having a cup of apple cider tonic. The habit started when my husband wanted to use apple cider vinegar to help clear out his sinuses. There are lots of claims of what apple cider vinegar can do for you, some make sense, while others are a little outlandish.
Vegans should try having a glass of apple cider vinegar tonic every morning since it helps increase the absorption of calcium. Apple cider vinegar is high in acetic acid, which can increase the body’s ability to absorb vital minerals. Some other most substantial health claims of apple cider vinegar are improved digestion, increased reception to insulin, weight control, and help cleaning sinuses.
I stick to Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar since they keep the mother. This means that the bacteria that helped turn apple juice into vinegar are still in there. Think of it like that poop-gurt that Jamie Lee Curtis keeps trying to sell you. Although the bacteria cultures are different, the effect is similar.
I usually make a simple drink using just water, vinegar, and a sweetener (honey, agave, or stevia) But it came become boring. A simple remedy is just to use iced tea instead. But I woke up one morning and decided to try a little more. I brewed a big pitcher of iced yerba mate, and squeezed some limes in there. The result was amazing.
I’ve been a busy beaver today. I have been putting off launching this blog forever. I woke up and thought, I should really be productive. I did a bunch of cleaning around the house, and put together this cute outfit. I bought this wool dress from H&M years ago and it is a little bit confusing when to wear it. Today was perfect. Just enough comfort and warmth for inside the house.
In the process of taking my photo I learned fast that there is a skill to taking fashion photos. Well, I already knew this, but the reality of it set in. I am out of focus, but I will learn my lesson next time.
Irish Potatoes are a weird snack. Being from North Jersey, I never heard of them. You wouldn’t think driving an hour and half south would make such a cultural difference. Apparently, I was the only person in Philadelphia who didn’t know what an Irish Potato was. It’s such a big treat that there is a local factory that makes pre-made Irish Potatoes for the yearly demand during Saint Patrick’s Day. And I see them in every single supermarket.
My roommates insisted to break my “Irish Potato” cherry and make some. To my surprise, there wasn’t anything Irish about it, nor was there any potatoes in there. The recipe was pretty simple, crisco (or butter if you are fancy), cream cheese, and coconut. Roll it in cinnamon. Bam! Done. If I remember correctly not liking them much, but I couldn’t help but grab more.
But I am a sucker for local traditions. And seeing the popularity of cake pops and oreo truffles, I feel like it time for Irish Potatoes to shine. But I think they could be more creative, and more flavorful. I cut down on the fats, and added some leftover mashed potatoes. Sounds crazy, but this idea isn’t new. It is the basis for the Needham candies that are made in Maine.
The result? I told my husband to take to candies to work and give them out. Nobody knew. Everyone commented on how they were some of the best Irish Potatoes, so as far as I can tell I improved on the recipe. One person said that they could taste a little bit of the potato once I revealed my recipe, and I agree. But I think it add a nice velvety layer to it, and makes them a little less rich (which means you can eat more right?)