Day Drinkin’

I spent a recent afternoon at a distillery. This, if you know me IRL, doesn’t sound like that far-fetched of an activity — but it kind of was at this time of year, when I am knee deep in preparations for the upcoming academic year, and I’ve been trying to do all that I can to be efficient at work and make my tough situation better. However, every now and then a girl has to just say screw it and go drink some vodka in the afternoon.

I had purchased a Groupon for a tour of Artisan on Alamo Distillery here in San Antonio a number of months back. After some email exchanges with a super nice guy named Nick, I had my booking for a 4:00pm tour. Upon arrival downtown, I walked in to a very cool, unpretentious looking small bar, with interesting seating and cool light fixtures (I’m obsessed with light fixtures). Nick introduced himself, checked me in and scanned my Groupon, handed me a set of souvenir glasses and said we’d be starting shortly. A few other people drifted in, making up our motley crew of vodka drinkers, and Nick began teaching us his art.

Let’s start with that, shall we? This dude is an artist….not just with the pieces he has created to decorate the place, but in the spirits that he’s making. He has come up with a way to make vodka out of the cacti that grow rampant around here. I’m serious. Cactus vodka. And, before you traditionalists turn up your sweet, snobby noses, listen to me for a moment: it’s delicious. And a brilliant idea. And I, too, am jealous as hell that I didn’t think of it. GREAT job, Nick! Anyway, I, getting ahead of myself – back to the tour.

Nick explained the theories and ideas behind the art of distilling, and how he came into this line of work. (I’m not sure if he refers to it as a calling or not, but he should) He answered questions, kept the flow going, and was an excellent host. He took us into the back area, showed us the cacti he harvests and uses, and demonstrated the fermentation process. Next, we saw the stills he had going, and he did a brilliant job of breaking down the chemistry of the operation into something that could be easily understood by a bunch of day drinkers in south Texas. From there, we went to his bottling station, where he filled a bottle, capped that bad boy, and had a label slapped on it in less than a minute. He explained that he does that part of the distribution operation himself, so no wonder efficiency is key.

Spike Vodka was the product made from prickly pear cactus, and it had a lovely taste, reminiscent of tequila, perhaps. He gave us taste samples of his products straight, which is the only way to taste vodka if you ask me. As well, he offered suggestions of different ways to drink them (he suggested Spike, for example, in a Bloody Mary, and let me tell you, I cannot wait to give that a whirl – except I’m Canadian, so I will be making mine a Caesar and using Clamato juice and calling it a day) and explained how the different flavors pair well with different things. The other vodka we sampled, Texas Pride, was a really delicious, straight forward vodka that didn’t quite have the richness of flavors that was present in the Spike, but would certainly be an excellent choice for preparing mixed drinks.

At the end of the tour, I ordered a couple drinks from the bar – it was Happy Hour, and I was damn happy to be there! The drinks were delicious (I had a coconut concoction that was so delightful from beginning to end that I weep at the memory of it), and the bar was really relaxed, a great place to end the day. I decided to buy a bottle of Spike to bring home (those Caesars and Bloody Marys won’t make themselves), and Nick was kind enough to sign the bottle for me. Love that. ❤️

If you’re in the area, please go and give this place a try – you won’t be disappointed. As well, you can buy both Texas Pride and Spike at Total Wine and other liquor stores, so please give them a whirl and support a local business. You’ll be getting a yummy product, and supporting your own community. Everybody wins!

Cheers!

Xxx

PS: Click here to read a San Antonio Current feature on this place – yaa!!!

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If I Knew You Were Comin’, I’d Have Baked a Cake

I’m posting the original recipes photo, as it is SO pretty – but, no lie here, mine totally looks like this (minus the carrot hearts). Delicious!

Since having some health issues last fall (massive gall bladder infection/emergency surgery/near-death experience), I have had a miserable time eating. This has been sad, as I am a girl who LOVES food (check out the width of my arse to validate that statement). I have been going through a process of elimination kind of thing, and have determined that wheat/gluten and dairy were causing my issues – so about 7 weeks ago, I quit both. Cold turkey. It sucked. I nearly wept for cheese (okay, I totally did), and I began looking at dinner rolls like they were lined with gold and stuffed with diamonds, but I stuck to my guns (and my restrictive diet). It made a MASSIVE difference – I felt 168% better – woohoo! I am hoping that this change isn’t forever, but that, after a reboot of sorts, I will be able to return to my regularly-scheduled eating. However, in the meantime, I am learning a whole new way of cooking and eating – and, honestly, it ain’t been that bad. I came across this recipe for Healthified Carrot Cake this weekend, and it turned out frighteningly delicious – who knew? My kid even ate some – woohoo!!! Double success!! Here’s the recipe:

Cake Ingredients:
1 cup + 6 tbsp of my gf flour mix {1/2 cup brown rice flour, ½ cup tapioca starch, 6 tbsp sweet sticky rice flour/glutinous rice flour, ½ tsp guar gum}{or, if using a store-bought mix I recommend using 1¼ cups of Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend}.
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
1½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 cup maple syrup {or another liquid sweetener like agave, etc.}
½ cup unsweetened applesauce {for a homemade version, see here}
1 tbsp lemon juice
1½ cups finely grated carrots
1 cup of add-ins of your choice: I used ½ cup raisins, ½ cup walnuts {other traditional add-ins you can try: other nuts or dried fruit, shredded coconut}

Frosting Ingredients:
1½ cups cashews, presoaked for at least a few hours {or for 15 mins in boiled water, if in a rush}
⅓ cup water or non-dairy milk, warm or at room temperature {milk would give it a slightly whiter look}
¼ cup maple syrup, at room temperature {or liquid sweetener of your choice}
3 – 4 tbsp coconut oil, softened
2 tbsp lemon juice, at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Optional Carrot Hearts Topping:
a few extra carrots and a tiny heart cookie cutter {I used the one that came with my linzer cookie cutters set}

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350F. Generously butter an 8″ x 12″ cake pan {or anything of a similar size} and set aside.
Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Add in sweetener, applesauce, and lemon juice and use a mixer to mix everything together. Add in the grated carrots mix through once more to incorporate. Fold in the add-in items. Transfer this batter into the prepared cake pan. Level the top using a spatula to even out the surface.
Bake in a preheated oven for approximately 23 minutes until the top becomes golden and a skewer inserted down the center comes out dry. Remove from oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely.
Prepare the frosting by placing all ingredients in a good blender and process until completely smooth {I used my Vitamix for this}. Adjust the sweetness to taste. Feel free to add a hint more water/milk to help blending as needed. Note that if your ingredients are not at room temp here, the coconut oil will begin to set before the frosting is blended through.
Once the cake has completely cooled, spread the frosting over the top evenly. Place the cake in the fridge for at least an hour or two to help the frosting set a little {unless you don’t mind a very soft frosting, of course 😉 }.
If using the carrot heart topping, simply slice the carrots into thin rounds {1/16″ of an inch or so}, and then use a little heart cutter to cut out a heart out of each slice. Sprinkle the hearts over the top of the cake, cut the cake into slices and serve! {Note: the carrots will brown up after a few hours, so best to make them & decorate with them right before serving}. Enjoy!

I didn’t make the heart-shaped carrots (I know my limitations), but I did pull off the rest of this recipe – and I’m totally pleased with how it turned out. Yaa! Even if you aren’t having to stick to a restrictive diet for health reasons, I would totally recommend the carrot cake – it’s pretty healthy, and dammmmmn delicious. Yum. Enjoy!

xxx

In the Mood

Check out this commercial from French supermarket chain Intermarché – it’s adorable:

I miss French thinking – the simplest things in life can be extraordinarily romantic…I don’t seem to see much of that here in the United States. What do you think? Has today’s top speed pace of life, with all its technology and “convenience” killed romance and love and making connections? Sometimes I wonder.

xxx

PS: If you fancy bringing a bit more love into your life, grab yourself one of these Heart Projectors from Urban Outfitters – they are on sale now, and I WANT ONE!!! 🙂

The Sound of Silence

I’ve been in Houston for a couple of days on a work trip – it was an easy, peaceful drive here on Wednesday (I FINALLY got around to listening to the first season of ‘Serial’, and OMG am I hooked! LOVE it!!), I had a great walk around and shop at the Galleria (which is right across the street from my hotel), my conference sessions have been tolerable…it’s been a pretty decent time. I decided to spend my Thursday evening exploring Houston’s Museum District, and am I ever glad I did! WOW!! I can’t wait to come back!! Have you been?

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I started at the Rothko Chapel, where something very strange happened. Are you familiar with this place? If not, here’s a brief description:

The Rothko Chapel is a non-denominational chapel in Houston, Texas, founded by John and Dominique de Menil. The interior serves not only as a chapel, but also as a major work of modern art. On its walls are fourteen black but color hued paintings by Mark Rothko. The shape of the building, an octagon inscribed in a Greek cross, and the design of the chapel was largely influenced by the artist.

Susan J. Barnes states “The Rothko Chapel…became the world’s first broadly ecumenical center, a holy place open to all religions and belonging to none. It became a center for international cultural, religious, and philosophical exchanges, for colloquia and performances. And it became a place of private prayer for individuals of all faiths” 

On September 16, 2000, the Rothko Chapel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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I entered the octagonal room and found a bunch of benches, and a few people in the room, some on the benches and one on the floor. It was absolutely quiet. I took a seat on one of the benches, picked a direction to face, and got comfortable – I wasn’t prepared for what happened to me next. I lowered my head and closed my eyes, and just sat. About 2579 thoughts roared through my head (as per usual), but then they slowed down…and nearly stopped. I’ve never experienced this before. I felt instantly uncomfortable, as if I could smell smoke somewhere nearby and needed to get out of the way of an impending inferno – but I didn’t move. I didn’t even open my eyes. I kept sitting there, thinking about all of the things that have been going on lately, and what I can do to change them. Then I started thinking about all of the good things that I have going on – and that was when the tears started. I still didn’t open my eyes or raise, my head – I just sat there, head down, moisture leaking out the sides of my eyes and dropping onto the floor. For whatever reason, this starkly simple, small room had somehow affected me in much grander ways…I’m still struggling to explain the experience.

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Once I pulled myself together, I sat up and opened my eyes – new people had joined us in the chapel, and I hadn’t even heard the doors open. I studied all of the paintings, moving a complete 360, to ensure that I had the chance to look at each one – and then I silently collected my belongings, and left. As I walked out of the chapel, I felt a calm and peace that I have rarely felt in my life…I think some of it is still lingering. What an absolutely magical place..and I’m hard-pressed to explain exactly where the magic came from.

From there, I moved on to the Museum of Fine Arts – what a gorgeous institution! It was open until 9:00pm on Thursday nights (woohoo!), and it was FREE! Double Woohoo! I LOVED this museum, and wish I’d had the time to explore the entire collection – but now I have an excuse to come back! I focused my efforts on the Impressionists (of course), and I found some true beauties! LOVE!!!! Here’s just a couple:

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I loved my trip to this museum so much, I can’t even tell you! It reminded me of visiting museums in Paris, London or New York (I don’t mean to be a name dropper, but it’s true!) – I can’t wait to plan a weekend here, and come back with the Wee Muppet! 🙂 Yaaa! 🙂

I’ve always had a rather negative opinion of Houston (too hot, too humid, too crowded, etc) – but I need to seriously revise my opinion. Yes, it is all of those things – but it is SO MUCH MORE….I can’t wait to come back and see what other treasures I can find! 🙂

xxx

 

To Make You Feel My Love

Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching, and love is (hopefully) in your air – here are some ideas of goodies to give to your lady love, your BFF, or even yourself. Happy shopping! 🙂

I want one of these! LOVE!
Parisian Love Lock & Key — I want one of these! LOVE! Available from Olive and Cocoa
I'm so taken with the simplicity of this necklace :-)
I’m so taken with the simplicity of this necklace 🙂 Available from Olive and Cocoa
Amethyst Air Plant - I'm crazy for these and want to get a couple for mi casa...maybe I can actually keep these babies alive! ;-)
Amethyst Air Plant – I’m crazy for these and want to get a couple for mi casa…maybe I can actually keep these babies alive! 😉 Available from Etsy

 

I will never get over my love for magnetic poetry
I will never get over my love for magnetic poetry. Available from Amazon

 

You can never go wrong with perfume - this is one of my all-time favorites!
You can never go wrong with perfume – this is one of my all-time favorites! Available wherever fine fragrances are sold

 

Another great perfume!
Another great perfume! Available wherever fine fragrances are sold

 

You will never go wrong with a Kate Spade purse - this lovely is on sale at Zappos for $209...or check out the sales at your local Kate Spade Outlet store!
You will never go wrong with a Kate Spade purse – this lovely is on sale at Zappos for $209…or check out the sales at your local Kate Spade Outlet store!

 

If jewelry is something you’re thinking is in the cards for you and your Valentine this year, how about giving a moonstone ring some thought?? I am WILD about moonstone – check out these stunning options (all available on Etsy):

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So. Beautiful.

Hopefully I’ve given you a few ideas for the lady in your life (or yourself!) — check back again soon to see my roundup of suggestions for the men you know and love! 🙂

xxx

Time Out

This whole farewell to the Obamas/inauguration/new president thing has taken a hell of a toll on me…I just can’t get on board with that man (he who shall not be named, and I don’t mean Lord Voldemort) and the things that he stands for.  I’m wearing mostly black like I’m in mourning (not that big of a stretch, as my inner French girl has me wearing black most of the time anyway), I’ve completely shut off from social media (can’t recommend that enough, actually), I’ve drastically cut my consumption of news – I just can’t bring myself to hear the tales of our lives and cultures being separated and torn apart. It’s depressing as hell – and I am just not feeling it. In his first week, Trump has targeted women, people of color, immigrants, transparency and our values – how could anyone possibly feel positive about this? Take a look at this article from the Washington Post:

The way President Trump tells it, the meandering, falsehood-filled, self-involved speech that he gave at the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters was one of the greatest addresses ever given.

“That speech was a home run,” Trump told ABC News just a few minutes into his first major television interview since moving into the White House. “See what Fox said. They said it was one of the great speeches. They showed the people applauding and screaming. … I got a standing ovation. In fact, they said it was the biggest standing ovation since Peyton Manning had won the Super Bowl, and they said it was equal. I got a standing ovation. It lasted for a long period of time.”

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I refuse to post pictures of Donald Trump – instead, we will use Voldemort images. Seems an appropriate substitution to me.

The most powerful man in the world continued: “You probably ran it live. I know when I do good speeches. I know when I do bad speeches. That speech was a total home run. They loved it. … People loved it. They loved it. They gave me a standing ovation for a long period of time. They never even sat down, most of them, during the speech. There was love in the room. You and other networks covered it very inaccurately. … That speech was a good speech. And you and a couple of other networks tried to downplay that speech. And it was very, very unfortunate that you did.”

The lengthy interview, which aired late Wednesday night, provided a glimpse of the president and his state of mind on his fifth full day in office. It revealed a man who is obsessed with his own popularity and eager to provide evidence of his likability, even if that information doesn’t match reality.

Trump insisted that he could have “very, very easily” won the popular vote in the election — which concluded more than 11 weeks ago — had he simply tried. He again suggested that Democrat Hillary Clinton won the popular vote because of widespread voter fraud, of which there is no evidence. He hinted that he thinks voter fraud might have also helped elect former president Barack Obama, whose favorability ratings were higher than his on Inauguration Day. He justified some of his unsubstantiated claims by saying that millions of his supporters agree with him. He did acknowledge that his own approval rating is “pretty bad,” but he blamed that on the media.

Trump plugged an “extraordinary poll” that he said found that people “loved and liked” his inaugural address. He again claimed to have “the biggest crowd in the history of inaugural speeches” and accused the media of demeaning his supporters by underreporting turnout. Trump also took credit for the Dow Jones industrial average closing above 20,000 for the first time on Wednesday, referred to a former rival as “one of the combatants that I fought to get here” and said that a recent visitor told him that their meeting “was the single greatest meeting I’ve ever had with anybody.”

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Even some of the discussion of policy seemed to come back to the fight for popularity. At one point, Trump summed up his plan to replace the Affordable Care Act by saying: “Millions of people will be happy. Right now, you have millions and millions and millions of people that are unhappy.”

Four times, the president referred to himself in the third-person.

The interview revealed just how preoccupied Trump is with two variables that are gumming up his claim of being widely beloved: Losing the popular vote to Clinton and hosting an inauguration crowd that was smaller than in previous years.

I would’ve won the popular vote if I was campaigning for the popular vote,” Trump said. “I would’ve gone to California, where I didn’t go at all. I would’ve gone to New York, where I didn’t campaign at all. I would’ve gone to a couple of places that I didn’t go to. And I would’ve won that much easier than winning the electoral college.”


And even without trying to win the popular vote, Trump has said that he did win the popular vote — if you don’t count the millions of fraudulent votes he believes were cast, although state elections officials say they have seen no evidence of that. On Wednesday, Trump called for a “major investigation” into allegations of voter fraud, but gave no details on how such a probe would be carried out.

You have people that are registered who are dead, who are illegals,” Trump said. “You have people registered in two states. They’re registered in New York and New Jersey. They vote twice. There are millions of votes, in my opinion.”

When pressed to back up his accusations, Trump pointed to a 2012 Pew Center report. When ABC’s David Muir said the author of that report found “no evidence of voter fraud,” Trump attacked that author.

Excuse me,” the president snapped. “Then why did he write the report?”

“Part of my whole victory was that the men and women of this country who have been forgotten will never be forgotten again,” Trump said. “We had a massive crowd of people. We had a crowd. I looked over that sea of people and I said to myself: ‘Wow.’ And I’ve seen crowds before. Big, big crowds. That was some crowd. When I looked at the numbers that happened to come in from all of the various sources, we had the biggest audience in the history of inaugural speeches. I said, the men and women that I was talking to who came out and voted will never be forgotten again. Therefore, I won’t allow you or other people like you to demean that crowd and to demean the people that came to Washington, D.C., from faraway places because they like me. But more importantly, they like what I’m saying.”

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Shocking, don’t you think? With the state of affairs that we have going on these days, how on earth can his priority be his own popularity and being perceived as being “right”? There are so many issues that are considerably more important – yet this petulant, spoiled brat of a man wants to be right and wants to be liked. Pathetic. Instead of being right, perhaps he would be better served to focus on actually doing what is right for people. Rant over – I shall step off my soapbox now. 😉

 

Back to what I’ve been up to…I’ve been reading a whole ton, watching movies, and spending time on myself and the things that matter to me. I’m drinking mint tea like it’s my damn job, cuddling on the couch more than usual, and it feels great. I’ve also been doing a lot of cooking with my magical new crockpot (whoever invented the crockpot deserves a hug and a sticker – there are few things better than coming home from yet-another crap day at work to the smells of delicious food. Yum. Check out this recipe that I tried a couple of weeks ago – delish! 🙂

Orange Glazed Meatballs:

(Serves 8-10)
28 oz bag of frozen meatballs

12 oz jar of orange marmalade

1/2 small jalapeno, diced

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup beef broth

3-4 green onions, chopped

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1. In the crockpot, mix together marmalade, orange juice, jalapeno, onion, broth, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.

2. Add meatballs and mix to coat.

3. Set crockpot on LOW for 4.5 – 5 hours.

 

Yummy!

 

I hope that your week is going well, my friends – Happy Friday Eve!! One more day – we got this! 🙂

xxx

PS: If you’ve got any kickass crockpot recipes to share, send them my way – yaa! 🙂

Take Me Away

I saw this article on Lifehack, and thought that I would share it with you:

Removing These 8 Things From Life Can Make You More Successful
By Amy Johnson

Lots of people think that the best way to become successful is to pick up lots of new habits and skills. While this can help, sometimes the best thing you can do is give up the things that distract you from your goals.

Instead of adding more things to your life, try removing some negative things that hold you back from success. Some are very easy to give up, while others require a little more time and effort.

Here are 8 things that you should remove from your life to be more successful:

1. Remove Excuses
Successful people don’t try to blame their family, their friends, their boss or their co-workers for their life. Instead, they understand that they are fully responsible for their own life and situation. They see this as a good thing as it means that they hold the power to significantly improve their life. When you make up excuses you are lying to yourself, which will hold you back from achieving your goals.

2. Remove Perfectionism
Perfection is unattainable, so trying to achieve it is a waste of your time. Instead of worrying about mistakes that you have made or physical flaws that bother you, simply focus on trying to better yourself with small steps. No one is perfect, but anyone can make the decision to be a better person.

Playing Twister is an excellent way to be successful, don't you think?!
Playing Twister is an excellent way to be successful, don’t you think?!

3. Remove Fear
Lots of people make themselves smaller without realizing; they keep quiet during discussions when they want to say something; they avoid taking risks; and they always think about the worst-case scenario. This fearful attitude will stop you from achieving your full potential, so remove it from your life and be brave instead; speak up, voice your thoughts and actively chase your dreams and goals.

4. Remove The Need To Control Everything
You can’t control everything, and trying to do so is a futile task. It won’t help you to become more successful, but it will make you feel stressed, upset and frustrated. Instead of trying to control everything around you, make an effort to care less about the things you can’t control and focus on the things that you can.

5. Remove A Fixed Mindset
Lots of people have a fixed mindset and they make no effort to learn more or change their perception. This makes it hard for them to become more successful as their mindset is stuck in the past. Try to embrace knowledge and learning, and remember that you can always become wiser.

6. Remove The Desire For Overnight Success
Some people believe that the majority of successful people became successful overnight, or that they became successful by chance. While luck can certainly play its part, you can’t rely on luck to become successful. In reality success takes time and dedication, so you should plan for the future as well as the day ahead of you.

I drank this on Christmas Day. Straight out of the bottle, no glass needed. I was VERY successful!
I drank this on Christmas Day. Straight out of the bottle, no glass needed. Never been more successful in my life!

7. Remove Toxic People
If the people around you are negative and pessimistic, over time you will start to become negative and pessimistic too. Remove the toxic people from your life and replace them with optimistic, supportive people who genuinely care about you and your dreams. You will find that you are more motivated to work on your goals, and you will be happier and less stressed.

8. Remove The Need To Say Yes (When Really You Want To Say No)
Some people struggle to say no to the people around them, even if they want to say no. This normally means that they end up wasting time doing things that they don’t want to do, and other people might start to take advantage of them. Be brave and say no when you want to; only you can make your dreams a priority, and it is difficult to do that if you are too busy helping other people with their dreams.

 

This list is golden, don’t you think? Instead of telling you all the things that you need to learn to do and add to your already-overflowing life, this one suggests removing the things that don’t feel good. I LOVE this. I am crazy about the idea of not doing the things that don’t make you happy – for example, I don’t hang out with people who make me feel shitty anymore. I’ve known people who used to like spending time with me because they would put me down, and in the process build themselves up – which is no way to treat a friend, if you ask me. I’m done with it. I didn’t have a dramatic scene where I spelled out just how bloody much they sucked – instead, I always found reasons to say no to making plans with them…and eventually they took the hint. Done with that crap.

I’ve written before of my refusal to keep saying ‘yes’ to every single damn thing that comes my way – if I don’t want to do something (and I don’t have to for work/life), I don’t. Again, no big dramatic moments ever go down…I just say no. It’s liberating! I’m master of my own domaine, and I get to decide how I spend my time and how I am going to feel about it. Woohoo!! 🙂 Just say no – you should try it! 🙂

I’ve never had the perfectionist gene, and I’m pretty good at taking responsibility for my shit and not offering up lame excuses. I am addressing the fear issue at the moment, as this is a biggie for me. I avoid doing all sorts of things that would probably revolutionize my life and how I live it  – all because I am afraid…which is silly. I have gone back to Gabrielle Bernstein’s book “May Cause Miracles” and I am working my way through it, day by day – I’m even doing the exercises and everything! Yaa me! This week, the focus was on being the witness of my thoughts, actions, and energy – and choosing love over fear. I love that. When things get shady and the fight or flight instinct kicks in – take a step back, and choose love. I will keep you posted on how this works out – I am a girl who could realllllllly use a miracle!

Have a good day, mes amis!!! 🙂

xxx

This stuff will definitely make your life better!
This stuff will definitely make your life better!

Yummy Yummy Yummy

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I made these roasted sea salt and vinegar chickpeas last night, and oh lord were they a game changer! YUMMY!! Delicious!! Here’s the recipe:

Sea Salt & Vinegar Chickpeas
Author: Baylie Martin

Ingredients
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas
3-4 cups white vinegar
1 Tbsp Flaked sea salt
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Instructions
Drain & rinse chickpeas.
Place chickpeas and vinegar and place in a medium sized pot.
Bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Let sit in pot for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400F
Drain the chickpeas.
Place on a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil and flaked sea salt.
Roll the chickpeas around on the pan until fully coated.
Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring once half way through.
Keep a careful eye on them after 25 minutes of cooking to ensure they don’t burn. The goal here is crispy and golden chickpeas, not black.
Enjoy as a high protein snack or as a side to a lunch or dinner.

They were easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy to make, and they tasted pretty great! When you eat them hot, they are still crunchy – the texture changes somewhat as they cool, and, while still good, I think I prefer them hot from the oven. I used a Mrs Dash spice that was HEAVEN on top of them in place of the salt (new year – new health plan, y’all), and I plan to do some experimenting with different seasonings and flavors. They were SO good – yum. Chickpeas- who knew?!? 😉

xxx

 

PS: A little something funny for you:

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The First Noel

The First Noel the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds
in fields as they lay;
In fields as they lay, keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

 

Happy Christmas Eve, my friends! I hope that this finds you surrounded by friends and family, the people you love most in this world, with a gorgeous feeling of peace around you. I’m planning to spend the next couple of days with my folks and my Wee One, doing nothing too terribly exciting – but enjoying every moment that I have with them. We always have appetizers on Christmas Eve, and this year we are bypassing the traditional Christmas dinner and having fondue instead – yaa! Fondue is one of my favorite meals – I am pumped! 🙂

I hope that you are well, my darlings – Merry Christmas. 🙂

xxx

 

PS: I made this dip for our meal this evening – it’s HEAVENLY, and so so so easy! Enjoy!!

 

Dill Pickle Dip
Recipe from: Created by Cathy Pollak for NoblePig.com. | Serves: 3 cups
Ingredients

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup pickle juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
2 cups diced pickles
Directions
In a large bowl add cream cheese, red onion, pickle juice, garlic, Old Bay seasoning and pepper. Combine with a hand mixer. Add pickles and continue mixing until fully combined. Refrigerate at least 3 hours and up to three days before serving.