Friday, April 30, 2010

Secret to a Lasting Relationship/Marriage #27

Have your partner completely in charge

of a single "big" chore.
For example:

Shug is the master at laundry,
so that's what he does!

Ruby likes to think she's

helping, too!

I'm in charge of cooking.

It's nice, because we never have to stress about the things we don't have to do!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Natural Beauty: Dry Skin Brushing

So when trying to rid my life of parabens, I've found there is some other nastiness that I needed to throw out, not so much because of the harmful chemicals it contained, but harmful polyethylene, or simply plastic beads.  My favorite exfoliating scrub had these little buggers in them, and that had to GO.  These plastic beads that are so great in scrubbing off dead skin cells gently are also super-pro at collecting in large garbage patches in our water systems and oceans.  YUK.

Enter dry skin brushing.  First of all, it's the cheapest exfoliating agent for the price, once you spring for the $7-10 brush (get one with natural agave or cactus fibers), you're good to go for years.  I like the Yerba Prima Botanicals Skin Brush because it has a removable handle that makes it easy to scrub my back.   Secondly, my skin has never been softer since I started using this method, and last, but definitely not least, it reported that skin brushing can help reduce the appearance of cellulite!!!  Ok, I really haven't seen any changes in the cottage-cheese department, but a girl can dream.

So all you have to do is, before hopping in the shower, start at your appendages and brush in small, short strokes towards your heart.  Dry skin brushing has been reported to stimulate your lymphatic system, so help a girl out and always brush towards your heart, since this helps with lymphatic drainage.  Don't use this brush on your face, decollete, or lady parts, since the skin is super-sensitive, duh!

It will seem super-scratchy, at first, but your skin will start getting used to this mini-massage.  It really does help wake you up!  After you're done brushing, hop in the shower to rinse off all those dead skin cells.  Be sure to wash your skin brush every week with castile soap, I like Dr. Bonner's Magic All-One Soaps, and let it dry with the bristles facing down, so water won't collect in the base of the bristles! 

See, you can get super-smooth skin with no waste and no polyethylene!  Win-win.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bridesmaids Dresses

So I have been a-searchin' for a beautiful yellow summer dress.

It's for a very auspicious event that will occur in July,
also known as Bestest Best's wedding!
I lucked out and get to be a bridesmaid!

I found this at Anthropologie (of course)
and was wondering what you gals think.

Too embelished?
Too bright of a yellow?
Too...too?

I'd love to hear what you think!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

MoMA Live Art - Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present

This is Marina Abramović, she been an avant garde performance artist for decades.  Her current installation at the Museum of Modern Art is titled The Artist is Present.   From the MoMA flickr page:


"Abramović, best known for her durational works, has created a new work for this performance retrospective—The Artist Is Present (2010)—that she will perform daily throughout the run of the exhibition, for 77 days and a total of over 700 hours. For her longest solo piece to date, Abramović sits in silence at a table in the Museum’s Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium during public hours, passively inviting visitors to take the seat across from her for as long as they choose within the timeframe of the Museum’s hours of operation. Although she will not respond, participation by Museum visitors completes the piece and allows them to have a personal experience with the artist and the artwork."

 Pretty intense.  But what's even more intense is that quite a few people are drawn to tears at the experience...You should check out the MoMA flickr page, candid shots are taken of all the people that have participated in the installation.  Some of the people get emotional, some show up repeatedly, and even Sharon Stone and Rufus Wainwright participated, see if you can spot them!

Check it out and tell me what you think...Brilliant or bunk?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Spaghetti Squash with a Quinoa Ragu

Spaghetti squash is one of those amazing things the earth created that is so crazy-delish and crazy-easy to prepare, you'll wonder why you haven't been using this as a base for pasta sauce for your entire life!  As a gluten-free gal, I am always looking for great pasta alternatives and spaghetti squash has almost ALL of the gluten-free pastas beat, hands down.  It can hold up to heavy sauces, but has a delicate enough flavor to hold up to lighter dressing, say a lemon, thyme, and olive oil coat...The options are as endless as what you have chillin' in your fridge.

Spaghetti Squash with a Quinoa Ragu
Serves 4-6 hungry peeps
Ingredients:
One large spaghetti squash, 5-6 pounds
Extra virgin olive oil
3 stalks celery, cleaned and diced
1 large onion, cleaned and diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
Salt and pepper
1 can diced low sodium tomatoes
1/4 cup sun-dried tomato paste
1/4 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
1 cup red or white quinoa
Healthy squirt of Bragg's Liquid Aminos
1 t crushed red pepper
1 t dried oregano
1 t dried basil
1 bay leaf
Shredded Parmesan to garnish if you wish

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Now it's time to squash wrestle.  I will warn you that the spaghetti squash can be a wiley lil' bugger, so use *CAUTION* and *COMMON SENSE* when bashing this open...and you will need to bash.  The most effective way I've found to slice the squash open is to take a heavy cleaver and carefully work the point of it through the rind and into the flesh of the squash.  Work it in until you can't push the cleaver any farther and it seems stuck.  Then take both hands on the handle of the cleaver and bash it down firmly on your chopping board.  This should take the cleaver clean through the squash!  You should have two halves of squash and all fingers left. 

Turn the squash face down on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and place in your preheated oven.  It will need about and hour to bake, so you might want to lollygag with your ragu.

45 minutes before you take your squash out of the oven heat a generous squirt of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onions, carrots, and celery.  Add a little salt to draw the sugars out of the onions to help them soften and caramelize. (FYI this is called a mirepoix, shi shi shoo shoo, right?)  While this is working, start a small saucepan with two cups of water boiling with the cup of rinsed quinoa.  Make sure to rinse it well since the powder on the quinoa is full of saponins that can taste bitter and gross.  Once it's at a boil, reduce to medium heat and cover until the quinoa has absorbed all the water.

Add the bay leaf, basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper to the mirepoix along with the can of un-drained crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and sun-dried tomatoes.  Add Bragg's and pepper to taste.  Add the quinoa and mix until well incorporated.  Let heat on low while you prep your spaghetti squash.

Remove the squash from the oven and turn over the face-down slices with an oven mitt.  You'll need the mitt to hold the slice while you use a fork to scrape the flesh out of the rind and into a medium bowl.  Continue until all the flesh is separated and stringy.  Dress with a little olive oil, Bragg's and pepper.  Portion into bowls and ladle a generous portion of the quinoa ragu on top.  Garnish with Parmesan cheese if you're vegetarian.  Enjoy!

Friday, April 23, 2010

SNL!!!


Rarely do I get super-excited for Saturday Night Live, but Gabourey Sidibe is enough to make me stay in on Saturday. I'm in love with her.

I hope you have a lovely spring weekend!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Tribute to Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson was a woman way ahead of her time.  She studied to become a marine biologist in the 20s, a time when women in science was not only unexpected, but scoffed at.  Her love of writing and of nature helped her create some of the most beautifuly written works about nature, including Under the Sea Wind and The Edge of the Sea.

Silent Spring


What Carson is known for is her book, Silent Spring, in which she attacks the use of petrochemicals in farming and agriculture.  Published in 1962, this book still rings true today about caring for our environment and the adverse effects of using pesticides and fertilizers.  Any environmentalist should read her books, it will renew your love of nature and reinvigorate your resolve to protect the precious resource we have.

Have a happy Earth Day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Quality


Put This On, Episode 2: Shoes from Put This On on Vimeo.

I remember my dad teaching me how to polish shoes when I was just a grom.  And over the course of my childhood I think he purchased maybe one or two pair of dress shoes.  He cared for what he had and made his shoes last.  Do you know anyone that shines their shoes anymore?  It's kinda sad, right?

I love how this clip talks about quality and making things you own "a treasure."  I also appreciate the focus on mastery of a craft...Something that is endangered in this age of technology.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Raw Tomatillo Cilantro Salsa

Shug has been venturing into the kitchen more and more and I couldn't be happier about it!  This salsa is one of his creations via the help of an extremely creepy Rick Bayless.  His pic might seem innocuous, but as soon as you see him on t.v. you'll get the heebie-jeebies, too.  Promise.

Anyway, as the weather transitions to warmer temperatures, Shug and I are transitioning back to more fresh and raw fare.  This fresh tomatillo salsa is a perfect segue.  It's so fresh and GREEN tasting, it'll get you excited for salad season!

Raw Tomatillo Cilantro Salsa
Ingredients:
6-7 fresh husked tomatillos, cut into chunks
1 large bunch fresh cilantro, removed from stalks
1-2 garlic cloves, cleaned and depending on preference
2 serrano chiles, seeded if you can't take the heat*
Generous pinch of salt

Throw all this fresh goodness into your food processor.  Pulse until well blended.  Serve with chips and raw veggie slices.  Try to leave room for dinner!

*When chopping hot chiles, wear plastic gloves if you have sensitive skin.  The capsaicin in the chiles is an irritant even to the toughest skin, but to sensitive kids it can be excruciating to get on your fingers.  And, of course, don't rub your damn eyeballs after handing these chiles...
  

Monday, April 19, 2010

Tongue Kisses are on Hiatus

I am super sick right now.

It seems my body got word that I had a few days off
and decided to MAKE me take a break 
with a horrible cold.
The bum deal is that I still have a ton of papers
and final projects that need to be completed!

Shug and Ruby are only allowed to kiss each other.
I don't want to give anyone else this grossness.

If you would, send some healing thoughts my way.
Pretty please.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Tempeh Fajitas with Adobo-Lime Goodness


Sometimes you gotta have a recipe in your pocket for those nights you get home late.  Your day probably didn't just end late, but it was stacked on waking up waaaay before the sun, working, schooling, freaking out, studying, interviewing, sweating, speeding, interacting, living...You get the idea.

Having to whip up some quasi-healthy grub on some days is a real challenge.  Enter the Tempeh Fajita.  These lil' beauties can be prepped and ready for your facehole in about 15 minutes.  Take THAT Rachel Ray.

Tempeh Fajita with Adobo-Lime Goodness
Serves 4
Ingredients:
One yellow onion, peeled and sliced into large strips
One green bell pepper
One red bell pepper
Once yellow bell pepper
One package of tempeh, sliced into long strips
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Juice of one lime
Two Tablespoons adobo sauce
Corn tortillas
Shredded sharp cheddar or pepper jack
Cotija or sour cream for garnish
Spring greens for garnish

In a large saucepan over medium high heat, saute your sliced onions in a squidge of olive oil and a dash of salt.  As the onions are working, clean and slice all of your peppers into long, thin strips.  You want them to fit nicely in a folded taco, so knife accordingly.  Also, if you only have one color of peppers chilling in your veggie crisper, no worries, just use those!  Add the peppers to the saute pan and make sure the slices get covered with the olive oil.

After about five minutes of sauteing, add the tempeh slices.  You may have to be a little more delicate with the spatula from here on out to keep the slices intact.  Add the juice of one lime and the adobo sauce. Don't add the chiles, just the sauce the chiles be chillin' in (sorry.)  Add more sauce if you like the heat and less if you have a more delicate palate.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and make sure the whole mixture is evenly coated with the adobo-lime goodness.

While the fajita filling is working, warm some corn (or flour) tortillas in the microwave or individually in a dry skillet over medium low heat.  Plate your tacos with a generous amount if the tempeh filling and add cheese and sour cream if desired.  Serve with spring greens to round out your meal.

Enjoy and put your feet up!  You've had a long day!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Les Adages



I love these kooky animal drawings!

Les Adages's images are all originals, too.

The bear just kills me.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

King Khan and the Shrines in Salt Lake City

If you would have told me in high school that in ten years I would enjoy spending my weekends enraptured by a man who can wail like James Brown, wears sequins and a feathered crown, and talks candidly about climbing back into the birth canal...well, I wouldn't have believed you.  Sure there are some other hardly believable changes my high school self would roll her make-up free eyes at (like my penchant for cured meats and a weird phobia of blue underpants, to name a few), but King Khan would have sold my high school self on his act in the time it takes to get an "amen."

The show started early at the Urban Lounge at 1:00am, on the dot.  If there's one thing you can depend on at Urban, it's the early shows.  Have to work the next morning?  Well, don't you worry, Urban has a fine system set up where you can actually just leave the show and head directly to your place of employment after the performance commences!  It's brilliant, really.  My high school self would have been impressed with this scheduling magic.

The show had a ridiculously high energy, but while the Shrines sweated buckets and worked the crowd, King Khan seemed pretty laid back.  As Shug and BBF rehashed the show, they both came to the conclusion that Khan has such a striking voice and presence, he could forego the acrobatic antics and complicated rockstar moves.  And while Khan did indulge in a costume change for the encore (topless, with a lame' cape and charioteer's helmet), his charisma had the crowd dancing and stage-diving (!) from the first note.

Listening to King Khan and the Shrines really is like stepping back in time, their music is familiar and accessible while being wildly danceable.  And just like returning to the past, the benefit of perspective gives the experience a different spin.  The one thing about King Khan my high school self and my modern day self would agree on is the fact that he may be the reincarnated James Brown... Fo realz.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Vices

Unfortunately, we all got em'...some more annoying, controlling, or even downright damaging than others.  One quasi-innocuous vice of mine that has been cultivated over almost my entire lifespan is my affinity for Diet Coke.  Even when traveling to the most remote villages up the Amazon River, I was sure I had a stash of Coca-Cola Light (the vastly superior Latin American version of Diet Coke with thrice the amount of carcinogens, incidentally, but I digress).  I have been true to Diet Coke f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

In my move to quit eating crap I can't pronounce, Diet Coke was on the "ax list."  Instead of quitting cold turkey, I've tried to wean myself off over the course of the last six months.  Granted, I should just be drinking WATER, but that's a whole other hydration battle for another post, but I have been searching for a carbonated replacement to my oldest fizzy friend...It's been a quest, actually.

Here are some of the passable "light" or "calorie-free" natural potions I've sampled thus far: Steaz (I know, the name kills me, too) has a product that is half green tea half carbonated fruit juice and is rather delicious.  Zevia's Black Cherry is a great option, but their other flavors are yuk.

One horrible, and I mean dreck-in-a-can soda, is Blue Sky Free Soda.  I still have four cans in my fridge...One was consumed by myself and the other unfortunate victim was our contractor, who tried valiantly to finish the battery acid to no avail.

But the BEST and most delicious soda I've tried and, of course the most expensive, is DRY Soda.  It's not sugar-free soda, by any means, but it's not crazy sweet and the flavors are aromatic and unique.  My favorite: Lemongrass, it's refreshing and has a bite to it, plus it's crazy fizzy...all a Diet Coke addict could want.

If you have any low sugar sodas you love, let me know!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

7 Things, in no particular order...

  • It's totally ok to make frosting for cupcakes and never get around to the cupcake part.
  • It's not weird to really like your dentist.
  • Staying in your PJ's all day is a totally acceptable form of a day off.
  • Watching an entire season of Dawson's Creek is excellent for your vocabulary.
  • Rereading Ramona Quimby...twenty-odd years later is recommended.
  • Saying "cuss" instead of other favorite expletives can be cute and/or annoying as hell.
  • Telling nosy peeps your zit is a "festering beauty mark" is much more effective than the concealerpowderblotting technique.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mint

YES.

Now quit snowing, so I can wear these!

From here, of course.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Salt Lake Talent - Ello There

I feel pretty lucky to live in an era where I can find local
talent at the drop of a word created JUST for interweb sleuthing.

Ello There is a local wedding invitation shop
that uses windpowered press
and,
I'll tell you,
Labyrinth references getyoueverywhere with me...!
So cute.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Garden-Starting...No, Garden-Trying

Well, it's official: Shug and I (mostly Shug) have decided to give gardening a try.  We've prepped the soil, tilled in the best organic cow poo, and even started a compost bin!  The sun was shining on our efforts last weekend and we had aspirations to get a few hardy plants in the ground yesterday.

But, in our gardening zeal we forgot the most important aspect of a successful garden: good weather.  I don't mean "good weather" as a constant temperature in the mid-80s, a few perfectly formed cumulus clouds floating by being sure to detour around the sun so as not to block its gentle beams, and a cooling breeze that kicks up only when I need to dab the ladylike glow of perspiration from my SPFed 55 brow.  No.  All I'm asking for, in official Spring mind you, is for the ground to quit freezing and the damned snow to stop flying! 

Shug and I awoke to three inches of snow blanketing our prepped earth, with one valiant and reckless scallion plant trying to maintain its posture under the weight of a heavy cap of ice.  Ruby tried to make us feel better by promptly pooping on the mound of lonely soil, letting us know ALL that digging and shoveling and tilling did NOT go to waste - its the perfect doggy potty, she seemed to communicate.

With more snow in the forecast today, Shug and I may have to postpone our planting even longer.  I'll keep you posted on how the gardening battle wages.

Do you like gardening?  Do you have any tips on how to get your veggies to flourish?  Any organic gardening tips?  I will take any and all suggestions!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Weekends!

We must become the change we want to see.

-Mahatma Ghandi

After a year of posting at least once a day, even on weekends,
Goldteef is going to start taking weekends off
to make more time to:

~spend time with people I love
~garden
~cook healthy meals
~do homework
~exercise!
~read books
~be outside
~love a Rubydog
~be an activist

What are you going to do this weekend?
xo

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lighting Situation

I am in love with this globe pendant!

But I will be off to IKEA to find the Designer Impostor Version...

Happy Friday, BTW!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Poisson d'Avril

Nope, this isn't an April Fool's Day joke.

Our kitchen and living room are in a shambles!

But it's a GOOD shambles.

Shug and I decided to knock out a portion of the wall that divided the two rooms.

It's amazing how much bigger the two rooms feel already!

I'll post some legit before and after photos when we get finished with painting!

xo.
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