Preparing My Own Spices

Hi everyone, it’s Dee!

I’ve always thought that preparing my own spices is so much better than the ones I pick up and buy from the store. I already have thyme and oregano in my backyard but my fiancee’s mother gave me some bay leaves from her own garden. She loves to make soups and stews and I have no doubt in my mind that her fresh bay leaves help to elevate the taste. Having my own bay leaves got me excited so I just wanted to share what I did to preserve them. It is more ideal to use the fresh ones, of course, but I opted to preserve them since I don’t have a tree myself where I could just pick from whenever the culinary need arises.

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Here is what the bay leaves look like when they’re still fresh and just got picked from the actual tree.

 

 

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I cut the leaves from the main bark and then washed and dried them. I would have to pick the good quality ones from the bad ones that might have already been damaged by bacteria or some insects.

 

 

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Here is an example of a good quality bay leaf.

 

 

 

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Here is a leaf that I will be tossing out because of the damage that can be seen near its stalk.

 

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Since I don’t have a dehydrator, the next best thing I could do is to lay them out in a cookie sheet or baking plan like this. This process is very simple and cost-friendly, but the only negative is that it would take a while before the bay leaves would completely dry out. These leaves would be ready to be kept in a jar after about three to four weeks. Dried bay leaves can be stored for about a year so I’m looking forward to making soups and stews all throughout the year with these.

 

Have you prepared or made your own spices? What process did you do and what were the results? Hope you enjoyed the process as much as I did!

-Dee

Got a new bike!

So for the longest time I’ve been using my dad’s old road bike from 1983, and while it works great, it’s still a bit past it’s prime.  So, when I got my new (free) bike mailed to me it was a glorious moment.

Say hello to my new Trek Lexa 2 🙂

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The blue bag my dad made for his ride to Yosemite and I’ve kind of hijacked it cause it’s awesome. Even has a clear section on the top, originally for a map, that surprisingly allows me to use my phone. 10/10 my dad is awesome.

I never even noticed how rickety the old bike is until I road on a nice new, never touched the road before, bike. I’ll be sad to give it up after my 4K is over but I’m glad I’ll have it to bike across the country! 🙂

151.4/1770 miles completed

Callsito ☾

 

Volleyball

Signing in with Sunfield Lee.

Volleyball has always been a sport that relieves stress. Without volleyball in high school, I honestly would be nothing. It has made me happy and healthy throughout my years, and as of right now too. If I was able to show the emotion of how passionate I am with this sport, I would want you guys to feel the same. Honestly, volleyball has helped me through rough times, but also helped me through the good times also. If you have something you enjoy, tell me? I would like to know, what is your passion?

Signing off with Sunfield Lee. 🙂

A Series of Fabulous Outfits

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Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events has been out on the streaming site for a little over a month now and if you haven’t seen it, then make time this weekend to binge watch it. It’s only eight episodes! It’s a visually stunning show with a great cast based on Daniel Handler’s book series of the same name and actually closely follows the original books. I, of course, adore the children for their different quirks as I did when I was a child reading the many novels but surprisingly, Patrick Warburton’s portrayal of Lemony Snicket might be my favorite; unlike the 2004 film and the books, the character of Snicket is not just the author or a narrator but one that appears frequently throughout the story to give his many monologues in a deadpan or matter of fact delivery. I’m sure Sunny could bite her way to number one in my heart if she wanted to!

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The 2004 movie to book adaptation is a truly beautiful piece that reminds us of Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hallow while the 2017 Netflix show reminds us of Burton’s Edward Scissorhands; both ASOUE screen adaptations have drawn inspiration from the same director so the two have a dark feel but the Netflix show has pops of bright colors and pastels like the town in Edward Scissorhands. Personally, I love this take on Burton aesthetics on Handler’s story because it’s metaphorical—the children suffer from many tragedies from the evil Count Olaf but they are still the bright, wonderful, and kind children they were before their parents’ death.

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As you watch the show, it’s apparent that the Baudelaire children endure many unfortunate events throughout the eight episodes in the first season, but a lack of style is not one of their problems. To paraphrase a famous poet, “I got 99 problems but fabulous clothes ain’t one!” For the sake of time, I just want to focus on the oldest Baudelaire child, Violet. She is shown wearing many bright as well as pastel colors, specifically pink; I love when film and TV show makers can give me a female character that can rock pink and isn’t stereotyped as the “girly girl”. Violet, a crafty girl, doesn’t mind getting her hands (or her pink collar dress) dirty to invent or improve a device.

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Her many looks are perfect for the spring and the first look we see her in is a great starting point. Violet wears a pastel pink collared whale print dress with a baby blue knit open sweater and (her soon to be) signature pout. Collar dresses never seem to go out of style and this would be the perfect, chic staple to add to your wardrobe. You could find a similar style dress at your favorite store or go thrifting; same goes for the knit sweater but pop on a cute whale brooch if you are going for a more authentic Violet look. For her pouty lips, I suggest Buxom’s new Plumpline Lip Liner and their Full-On Lip Cream both in the nude pinky shade “White Russian”.

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Don’t forget your ribbon!

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You know mine but I love to know, in your opinion, which Baudelaire child has the best style?  Let me know and I’ll see y’all next week!!!

Xoxo

Anna

Chicken anyone?

Hey all! It’s your girl Margo, and I’m back to share with you one of my very favorite dishes. Remember to check back every Tuesday for another excited meal you can try at home. I love your feedback, so let me know what you think. Grab a glass of wine and an apron and lets get this party started…..

Today I will be making : Herb lemon chicken

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For this recipe you will need the following:

  • chicken breasts
  • garlic
  • onion
  • green onion
  • fresh basil(finely chopped)
  • garnish with sliced lemons

First drizzle chicken with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), then season to taste with salt and pepper. Place chicken in a pan and sprinkle on your herbs and spices. Finely chop the onion and garlic finally adding to the top. Finish with a small piece of lemon on top of each breast.  Season again and cover before baking at 350 for about 35-45 minutes) depending on the amount of breasts your cooking. Uncover for the last 10 minutes to add that lovely golden brown color and to caramelize those onions even further.

With this meal I would make a lovely garden salad and asparagus. Get creative with your meals. Have your family and loved ones help you in the kitchen. Nothing tastes better than a meal you had a hand in.

Until we meet again!

Happy cooking…..

 

Meet my Dog

Today, I would be introducing my incredibly adorable dog named Bear. He’s a seven-year-old german shepherd and even though his appearance may suggest that he’s a husky or a mixed breed, I have positively confirmed from his previous owners that both of his parents are indeed german shepherds. I also did my own research online and was surprised to find out that white german shepherds were “usually bred to have an overall softer, more mellow, more sensitive personality than traditionally colored (black and tan) German Shepherds” (yourpurebredpuppy.com). This is actually true because Bear is such a sweetheart and prefers to cuddle and nuzzle all the time. He’s also very intelligent because it only takes a few times to teach him new commands or tricks. He can do all of the basic commands like “stay”, “sit”, ”lie down”, “come here”, and “give me your paw”. His favorite game is fetch and he likes to sleep with his stuff toys in his bed. He acts like he’s a little puppy when he wants some attention and puts his head where your hand is. He also thinks he’s perfectly suited to be a lapdog despite his 90+ pounds weight. He likes to receive affection from our guests and charms them with his sweetness and good behavior. I would be posting more adventures with my dog here in the following weeks and hope that you enjoy my dog’s cuteness as much as I do!

Here are a few pics of Bear:

Just look IMG_0211.JPGCan anyone resist this super cute face? This is how he looks like when he wants to go outside and play fetch.

 

10646907_10205299811391109_1278235209233095323_n.jpgThis is where Bear and I usually go for our walks. We live near a park that’s about a five-minute walk from the house.

 

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This is my brother with Bear. He’s usually the one who takes care of him when the fiancee and I go out of town or travel for an extended amount of time.

 

 

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This is Bear’s favorite position whenever he takes his afternoon naps. He cracks me up whenever he does things like this that are funny and endearing.

 

Happy Sunday everyone!

-Dee

Passionate Sex

Signing in with Sunfield Lee.
Hello, the hot topic of this week: Passionate Sex. Regardless of your sexuality, sex is so much more special with that person you can connect with , and truly love. During sex, the first thing we feel is excitement. The excitement creates the heart beat to go faster, which is why men become more romantic and kind, temporarily. And women become nervous, but giggly. With this comfortable connection, they often start to get to know each others body. Having sexual intercourse with someone you are passionate with only creates trust, love, and more sexual desire. Yes, one night stands are present and easy to come by, but will never feel like passionate sex.
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Signing off,
Sunfield Lee.

And the training continues…

I finally sucked it up and went for a ride in the rain. Of course, I left my house with a light sprinkle but, during my ride, a storm decided to roll in.

IMG_5833.JPGDefinitely not ominous at all.

Instead of being upset about the change, I decided to fully embrace it. It actually ended up being one of the easiest rides since I wasn’t constantly focused on my speed or how exhausted my legs felt.

After a while I did start to focus on the big puddle that my shoes became. Just helps me to plan for the future. In the end, I’m happy with the ride. Weren’t too many cars, I didn’t fall into any puddles, and I got the distance I wanted. 10/10 will ride again.

96/1770 miles completed

Callsito ☾

Lady Gaga Slays Us All at Super Bowl 2017

It has been days since Lady Gaga gave us an unforgettable, life changing, and theatrical show at the super bowl; she patriotically preached about unity and love, danced her ass off, sang on point LIVE, and looked fabulous all while doing it all. I think I’ll never get over this gravity of this particular performance because she went against the current of the obvious way to attack Trump but sang a message of inclusion and she did it in style.

The Grammy and Golden Globe winner started off the show singing a mash up of God Bless America and This Land is Your Land with a sea of drones behind her as stood on the top of the stadium. What came after was Internet meme gold!
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When the angel in a custom Atelier Versace beaded jumpsuit was finally down on our level, Mother Monster sang a medley of her greatest hits: Just Dance, Poker Face, and Million Reasons! She even sang Telephone but of course not with Beyoncé, never with Beyoncé. Fellow Little Monsters, did y’all love her updated disco stick?!

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In a not subtle way, the bisexual artist and LGBTQ+ activist sang one of her most powerful songs about love in a room with our homophobic vice president. Try and tell me that wasn’t a political statement.

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Sara Tanno dolled up our super bowl stunner with Marc Jacobs Highlighter Gel in Blacquer, Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara, and Le Marc Lip Crème Lipstick in the shade Dashing. I have never ventured out and tried anything from Marc Jacobs’ beauty line but maybe I should! Her makeup looked very futuristic with the sparkly purple eyes and yet classic with her cherry red lipstick! With Marc Jacobs’ products, the work of the makeup artist Tanno, and custom Versace costumes, Lady Gaga looked like her old iconic self and yet she is still setting trends!

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I have already seen a few friends and makeup lovers in general sport a purple, sparkly lid and flame colored lip since the show; tell me if you see anyone wearing a simple, subdued version of Gaga’s look.  Also, who else is pumped for her Joanne World Tour!?

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Check back next Wednesday!

xoxo,

Anna