Category: Uncategorized (4)

No matter what religious beliefs you fall into, this is the perfect time to do your spring cleaning--body, mind, closet, and home.  With all the gluttonous behaviors we engage in from Thanksgiving to Mardi Gras, it almost seems imperative to take a step back and reassess things and figure out what you need to give up and what you need to change.

BODY

I have a passionate love for fountain drinks. The wonderful carbonated bubbles are so magical in my massive styrofoam cup, BUT my favorite beverage completely wrecks the body, from the empty calories to the sugary syrup it takes to make it.  To reboot my body, I have banned myself from it completely for the next several weeks and replaced it with water, infused water, and...a side of water with my water.  While the first couple of days were torturous, I have noticed a boost of energy.  I also have been trying tons of different combos to infuse my water. After some trial and error, I've settled upon lemon and mint as my faves (quick side note: it goes amazing with my vodka!!!).  This small change in my daily beverage has done wonders for how my body feels. 

MIND

I am hyper and high strung by nature, so falling asleep at night is the great battle of my life.  I try to watch mindless TV to the wee hours, and just when I think that I’m finally ready to fall asleep, I turn off the TV and, without fail, I am again wide awake.  I try counting and before I can get to ten, my mind wanders through the million things I should do, could do, and will do.  I have finally come up with a two-fold perfect plan to bring my insomnia down ten notches to finally sleep like normal people.  After much research on supplements, the only thing I have found that works is Natural Vitality Calm.  It’s an amazing magnesium supplement that helps a ton of things, but most importantly, it actually makes my mind calm enough to relax and fall asleep.  The second thing that works for me is, instead of tossing and turning, to get out of bed and work until I get tired. Accomplishing more helps me shut my brain off to what I need to get done because I’ve already done most of it. By only getting into bed once I'm truly mentally worn out, it creates a habit of bed signaling sleep instead of triggering restlessness.

CLOSET

Somehow about this time every year my closet gets overrun by fall/winter of last year and new spring finds of the current year.  Fortunately I have a good size walk-in closet; however, I’m not a Kardashian, so space starts getting really limited.  Spring is the perfect time to pull everything out and edit your wardrobe.  To do this, I pull everything out and make two piles--one for fall/winter and one for spring.  From there I take my fall/winter and make two piles from that--one pile to donate and a second pile to pack up and put away.  Removing the bulk of last season gives me a good idea of what I lack for the new season.

Spring Staples:

  • Great white T-Shirt
  • White Button Down
  • White Jean
  • 1 great pair of blue jeans for everyday
  • 1 trending blue jean shape
  • Thin spring jacket
  • Nice beach sweater
  • Body-friendly bathing suit
  • Great pair of shorts that makes my rear end less tragic looking

Once I get through it all, I bring my donations to a local orphanage or family in need and go home and reorganize what’s left behind.

HOME

While spring isn’t quite here, here in the south, we are close enough!  This is the time to redo your bulky feeling interior décor and revisit your flower beds and shrubbery.  I need to mention one thing that absolutely kills me, and please bear with me during this rant, but I can't stand the butchering of Crepe Myrtles. 

PLEASE GIVE THAT UP.  PLEASE STOP LEAVING NUBBINS OF BRANCHES LEFT BEHIND!  Have you ever went for a haircut and asked for a trim and came out with a SEVERE CUT? Remember how you felt walking out feeling scalped???  This is how your tree feels.  

So how are you supposed to trim? When in doubt on how much to trim off from your trees branches, follow this article on Crepe Murder (ha!) from Southern Living, it will make you and your tree happy! 

Once your tree is trimmed and happy, tackle the inside.  Pick up the furry pillows and chunky throw blankets and find some lighter options.  Think linen and cotton for your linens, and lighter rustic baskets. Add some whimsical florals, pastels, or bright colors--whatever makes you happy.  Bring in some touches of gold and leafy live plants and herbs.  Your home will both smelly yummy and feel refreshed.

Green Juice has nothing on this cleanse!

Nov
26

ON THE BIAS

Interpretations of style that runs against the grain

As a little girl I would pour over every fashion magazine that I could get into my hands, longing for the beautiful clothing that stared back at me.  Unfortunately for me, being in a small town in the South, searching out these gems (more like the mass produced replica of) was always a task.  Heartbroken and defeated, this was me stomping through the local mall without seeing even an inkling of anything I saw in the latest Seventeen magazine.  Little did I know then, that this was the thing that would help me define my style later in life. This frustration forced me to be creative with what I did have at my fingertips.  It also pushed me to mixing pieces that were quite different than the actual outfit the store told me went together.  I would choose the skirt from this set with a different top and a wild card pair of shoes. 

My dad would cringe to see me walk out of my room at times, telling me to turn back around and change the outlandishness.  I can remember, specifically, a romper with pink, purple, mint green and yellow that I paired with hot pink tights and purple Chuck Taylors.  I looked in the mirror and admired my perfect blending of colors and texture in an unexpected way.  Bouncing out the door on cloud nine, I got 20 steps out the door before my dad beckoned me back in to change.  Not that he wanted to crush my fashion dreams or even know how fabulous this confection was; he was just stopping me from being outlandish in my small town school surroundings.  You would think his pleading would have stopped my adventurous wears, but it didn’t—especially after seeing Andy, AKA Molly Ringwald, wow in her one-of-a-kind ensembles.  This is where I really felt my against-the-grain fashion sense wasn’t so off the beaten path.  To this day, I wear what I love and what makes sense to me in my artful eye.  My favorite compliment/not-so-compliment is “Only you could pull that off”, which really means “This outfit makes no sense to me, but you are wearing it with a confidence that I’m questioning. Are you on to something or if it’s still just weird?”  If someone had to ask me what my style is, I couldn’t answer because it changes every day.  Sometimes I feel boho chic, sometimes it may be classic Jackie O, and other days I may feel like a rockstar.  It’s ever changing.  The only constant in terms of my style, is knowing how to dress my body, how to put colors and textures together, and wear it with 200% confidence.  Once I put it on and walk out the door, I’m totally committed to the look.

The take away point is that it’s not about what others tell you is stylish or what you should wear, it’s about what you love and feel comfortable in.  Only then can you really be in style.

FALLING FOR THE SEASON

Here in South Louisiana, we may not get much of a seasonal change but for some reason I always feel like Fall is the best time of the year.  We go from a sweltering 100 degree weather to a manageable 70-80’s.  Believe it or not, we literally break out the boots at 74 like a snow storm is coming.  I wait in anticipation for the first cool front to come, and once it does I scour through my seasonal recipes to stay in, cook and veg out with my family.  It’s a season of Comfort Food Superstars in the produce section, my particular favorite being the apple.  

Ah yes…the apple.  The apple is such a versatile little fruit.  From the clean mildly sweet flavor of the Honey crisp to the tried and true Granny Smith.  Over the years our options have expanded from the “Red” and “Green” of our childhood as well as the myriad of recipes to broaden your horizons.  Here are a couple to inspire your creative side and wow your friends:

Cocktail Hour

Ringo Star (courtesy of Food and Wine)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ounces dry sake
  • 1 1/2 ounces apple cider
  • 1/2 ounce caramel sauce
  • 1 cinnamon stick

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

In a saucepan, gently warm the sake, cider and caramel sauce. Stir well, pour into a martini glass and garnish with the cinnamon stick.

Quick Bites

Turkey Sandwiches With Apple and Walnut Mayo

(courtesy of RealSimple.Com) 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼cup walnuts
  • 1tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • ⅓cup mayonnaise
  • 8slices wheat bread
  • sliced turkey
  • 1green apple, cored and thinly sliced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix the mustard, walnuts, and parsley into the mayonnaise. (For extra flavor, mix in a few drops of hot sauce.)
  2. Spread it on the bread, then make sandwiches with the sliced turkey and apple.

NOTE:  I think an aged cheddar would be a great addition to this sandwich -SH

These are apples I think anyone would like!

ARE YOU PREPARED?

There’s nothing chic or trendy about hurricane season (and we aren’t talking about the New Orleans drink staple), but if you're living in the South near the Gulf of Mexico, it is definitely a part of life.  If we have learned anything from Katrina, it’s that we must always hope for the best, but prepare for the worst (and the unpredictable).  With hurricane season upon us, I think now is the perfect time to get a checklist and make sure you have everything in place for when the time comes to make your grand exit. 

Here’s my quick list of things to do:

  • Know your evacuation routes for each direction you may be heading
  • Have a detailed list of your home items and values (I find it helpful to take yearly pictures of my home contents).
  • Verify your insurance, what it covers, and keep all policies in one location for grab and go should you need to evacuate
  • Have all necessary supplies stocked at home, should you not need to evacuate, as there is a possibility of power outages, stores being shut down, or no stock available (items such as water, batteries, canned food items, flashlights, etc).
  • If you have a generator, now is the time to make sure it is in perfect running condition.  This should actually be tested every month.
  • Have all personal items that are sentimental to you, irreplaceable, or important documents in a grab and go case so there is no worries about what was left behind.  You can replace a home but you can’t replace certain items (not to mention your mom's guilt trip for leaving your grandmother's heirloom ring behind).
  • Make sure you have all the items necessary to board your house up and/or make sure all workable hurricane shutters are in good working condition.
  • If you have pets, please make sure you have arrangements for them as well.
  • Most importantly, always use your best judgement!  When in doubt, check out the resource links below.

www.redcross.org

www.ready.gov

www.nhc.noaa.gov

Being safe is always in style and fabulous!