I've already told you that I've been lucky enough to be tagged to participate in two of my dearestfriends' nuptials this summer, but what I haven't told you is that I get to head to San Diego for both of their bachelorette parties!
I'm leaving tomorrow for Supermodel's shindig and was wondering if you have any suggestions for restaurants and amazing shopping spots? We'll be there for the weekend and while the weather forecast looks a little chilly, that won't stop us from having an amazing time!
If you could, send some ideas of where to eat and what to do in San Diego my way!
Chili has been the center of heated debate in my house for years...There are some who believe a good chili consists of only meat and tomato goodness, while others scoff at the idea of tainting their chili bowl with anything remotely bovine.
Time taken to concoct a good chili has also been the center of many culinary arguments. Should the chili simmer all day long, only to marry its flavors after 8 hours of slow cooking? Or should the chili be easily whipped up as a hearty and filling finish to a long and arduous day? I don't know about you, but most of my days seem to trend towards the "long and arduous" and slow cooking anything seems like an impossibility.
Enter this easy vegan and gluten-free chili that takes about a half-an-hour to prep. It's a dump-everything-in-the-pot-and-walk-away kind of dish, as well, so you'll have time to whip up some biscuits to dunk in your chili in the meantime.
Vegan Chili Serves 6 hungries
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
2-4 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 1/2 t ground cumin
1 T chili powder
1/2 t cinnamon
1-2 T adobo sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium zucchini, diced
6 oz. can tomato paste
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 4 oz. can diced green chiles
Crema mexicana to garnish
Corn tortillas to garnish
In a large pot heat your olive oil, onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook until the onions become translucent. Add your cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon, saute until fragrant. Add your adobo sauce, more or less depending on how spicy you like your chili. I'd recommend going easy on the adobo, as you can always add more after you get all of your ingredients together.
Add the diced zucchini with a little salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste and cook until the paste becomes a deep brick red. This deepens the tomato flavor and adds a great dimension to the chili. Add the black, pinto, and white beans to the pot along with the diced tomatoes and green chiles. Add 2 cups of water and bring pot to boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Let the pot simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the zucchini and carrots are tender. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with crema mexicana for a vegetarian chili or folded tortillas.
The skincare biz is a multi-bajillion-dollar industry and it's not surprising: people have dealt with skin issues that have hundreds of creams, serums, and potions that promise to fix whatever problem you might have. I have to admit that I have funneled quite a bit of my own income into this snake oil business.
As a teenager, I was one of those terribly lucky girls who had porcelain perfect skin. I got maybe two zits a year and they seemed to come and go with the new fashion statement I was making. I also was a lifeguard, which meant hours upon hours in the sun with minimal amounts of clothing on. While I did wear sunblock, I usually only applied it once in the morning. I was always so ridiculously tan by the end of the summer. Gross.
All of the skin issues I was spared from in high school seemed to take their vengeance on me as an adult: sun spots, acne, sun damage, photo-aging, melasma, THE WORKS. And while I was lured into the creams and potions way of dealing with these new fun issues, I found myself turning to root causes of many of these problems when the topical treatments fell short.
Enter vitamins. While antibiotics are the go-to treatment for dermatologists, I have real issues constantly consuming antibiotics to deal with non-life threatening issues, i.e. my skin. I have been using a more holistic approach to dealing with the horrible way I treated my skin ten years ago. Here's a list of supplements that have worked well for me:
L-Lysine - helps with healing and inflammation of the skin
CoQ10 - functions as an antioxidant
Zinc - aids in healing and immunity
Probiotics - maintains your body's "good" bacteria and helps prevent skin infections
Flax Seed Oil - great for overall skin health
**Of course, I am not a doctor, so consult your physician before you start taking any supplements or vitamins, since there may be side effects when taking these supplements with other medications. Dosages are also a personal decision and should be discussed with your physician, as well!**
Learning to care for my skin from the inside out was a true paradigm shift for me. In a culture where miracle creams are being pushed to 9-year olds, it was liberating to realize my skin is a part of a bigger system that I should be taking good care of also: my body.
Being a seventeen-year old girl seems to never have been easy, in any walk of life or your global position on the planet. It's the grey area between childhood and adulthood, where everything is fresh and lovely, but also terrifying. Now think of being seventeen back in the early 60s in England, where getting "an education" at Oxford guarantees you, as a female, a position in teaching or social service...or as a wifeypoo. Um, yeah.
An Education takes us on a journey with Jenny, an English schoolgirl, who is "very clever" and dreams in French. I don't want to spoil this coming-of-age story, but I will say Carey Mulligan practically effervesces off the screen. Listening to her talk about a new singer she discovered or art she likes made me think of the fervor and conviction I had as a teenager that seems to get burnished away with time.
I liked that this story also gave us examples of women toeing the lines of their "proper places" in society. Miss Stubbs, Jenny's English teacher, seems textbook in her appearance and demeanor as a teacher, but we come to find out she is single by choice and a world traveler. Helen, Jenny's compatriot on her jaunts with her new beau, doesn't test the waters of truth, but chooses to drink greedily from the seemingly bottomless glass of that in-between world of mistress and girlfriend. Even Jenny's mother, who seems conventional in her role, shows a backbone and opinion, bending her husband sweetly to her decisions.
Jenny, herself, tests the waters of a non-conventional lifestyle and while she admits she "feels old," she doesn't "feel very wise." This line embodies the spirit of the film: of growing up and growing in to the new roles allowed to women by society. Do I agree with the definite lines drawn around the roles for women in this film? Of course not. But, do I identify with the excitement and wonder discovery and growing up can entail? Of course.
It's been almost a year since Shug and I bought our first home! A lot of hard work has gone into this house, but sometimes it seems like it's taking us forever to reach our goals...
But, we are proud to announce our plans to start a garden this year, plans that had been waylaid by a silly little summer planning and carrying out our wedding last year! This summer, while already filling itself up with plans and events, has us in supporting roles rather than the glaring spotlight which allows us just enough time to cultivate a little backyard garden.
So we (actually, Shug) wrestled the old planter boxes apart and readied a patch in the backyard for some sprouted plants. Our sprouts sadly perished in the sunshine, so we will have to be purchase some from a reputable organic greenhouse here in Salt Lake City. Have any suggestions?
I'll keep you posted on our green thumbage factor increases...!