Halloween Hodgepodge

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Bonjour Mes Amis,

How’s it hanging? I’m currently sitting at home waiting for an incredibly loooong work day to start (1-10:30ish). Ew. However, I’m almost finished with Mockingjay, the final book of The Hunger Games Trilogy, so that’s pretty exciting. Not that it was a particularly difficult read, but I’ve had it on my list for so long I was beginning to get nervous I wouldn’t finish it before the movie came out. Alas, it shall be done!

In the spirit of the impending Halloween holiday, I wanted to share this cool video dubbed “How To Make Jolly Rancher Vodka”. You know that after work tomorrow I am grabbing some candies and vodka and going to town. I’m not really that into drinking, but these could make some banging cocktails. This youtube account actually has some real Halloween themed videos, but I liked this one. Definitely check this guy out.

Speaking of Halloween, does anyone have any cool costumes lined up? I want to be a Game of Thrones character, but a) don’t know which one and b) have no idea where I will find the period costume… unless maybe I go back to King Richard’s Faire and blow a ton of money. Thoughts and advice are welcome!

Okay, so sticking with the Halloween theme, here are some absolutely awesome animal costumes. I won’t post all the pictures, so visit the original article here to see them all. I will definitely be stealing these ideas in the future.

Bat Kitty

Skeleton Horse Skeleton Horse

Classy Crab

Lion Cat

Batpug

Fluffy, The Three-Headed Dog

Bat Cat

You’ve GOT to admit that those are all golden ideas. Of course, being a Harry Potter and overall nerd, I was partial to the themed costumes. If my horse would tolerate me painting him and parading him around, I would totally steal the skeleton horse idea.

Anyway, I should probably go finish getting ready for work now – boo. Have a great day everyone!

Anxiety Reducing Foods

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Hey There Babes,

The other day, I recommended pot to a customer. Don’t get the wrong idea. She was an older woman of about 75+ years with glaucoma and asked me for tips on what to eat/drink to help alleviate stress and calm her nerves. Marijuana sort of came out like word vomit, I couldn’t help it. Seriously though, it’s EXACTLY what would solve her problems, or at least help significantly.

Her response? She laughed and commented that it wasn’t the first time someone said that to her, but she said she couldn’t bring herself to do it. I inquired as to why, and she didn’t really have a legitimate response. My guess is she “doesn’t do drugs”.

Ugh. Why must people still consider this a drug? It makes me sad. This is a plant. Mother nature gave it to us; it’s not cultivated in a lab and there have NEVER been any deaths from this herb.
Maybe someday people will grow some brains, but until then… I guess you can pay pharmaceutical companies your hard earned money to pop pills that contain sketchy chemicals and most likely are doing more harm than good. Take that as you will.

Anyway, since this woman will not take my original advice, I took to the interweb and started doing some research on specific foods that help alleviate stress and reduce anxiety. In case any of you are interested, here’s the list:

1. Asparagus – boosts folic acid
2. Avocado – stress relieving B vitamins
3. Blueberries – stress busting antioxidants and vitamin C
4. Milk – calming antioxidants, protein, calcium, B2 and B12
5. Almonds – stress relieving and immune boosting vitamins B2 and E
6. Oranges – lower stress hormone cortisol, vitamin C
7. Salmon – omega 3 keeps cortisol and adrenaline from spiking
8. Spinach – comforting, promotes well-being and magnesium regulates cortisol
9. Turkey – AA Tryptophan releases serotonin and promotes calmness
10. Oatmeal – serotonin, use thick cut and old fashioned

Encouragingly enough, these are all actually foods that the general public seems to enjoy – so start incorporating some of the above ingredients into your diet! Honestly, you can combine the majority of those into a powerful anxiety reducing smoothie (milk, avocado, blueberries, almonds, orange, spinach and oats).

Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin

Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin

In other news, fall is officially here! Which means that pumpkin beer is now in season. I can’t say I’m the biggest pumpkin fan, but I do enjoy a nice bottled pumpkin brew. I have made it a goal to try as many different pumpkin flavored beers as I can while their around, so that means you guys get to hear about it. The first one was Shipyard’s Smashed Pumpkin. At one pint and 9% ABV, this puppy packs a punch, and is quite damn delicious. Definitely would recommend giving this a try.

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

The next contender was Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale. First of all, the label is awesome. Very Dogfish Head – I love the branding that they do. Pumpkin beer must be high in alcohol percentage or something because this one is 7% ABV, which again falls in step with Dogfish Head. This was another tasty brewski, and I would pick it up if you see it on the shelves!

Gone Girl

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Well, hello.

I don’t think I told you all, but I’m in a book club. Actually, I started the book club and convinced – well, it wasn’t convincing, they were just as eager as myself – two of my lovely reader friends to start it with me. We’re not accepting new members yet, but when we do… all will be welcome. As long as you know how to read and discuss, that is. Books on tape do not entirely count. Unless you’re blind. Sorry.

Anyway, I just finished our first assigned book: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
Excuse my french, but holy merde is that one effed up mother trucking book. People are NUTS. I truly want to believe that nothing like this has happened in real life, but that would be stupid of me to think. Worse things have happened and are probably happening right now. Good god, I hate humanity sometimes. You guys are cool though… at least I hope.

I don’t want to give too much away, so I’m not going to really discuss much detail. If you want to read this book and don’t want any teasers, don’t finish reading this post; just in case. If you want to see some in-depth discussion, I started a forum for our book club because I am a mega nerd, so if you’re really curious ask me for the url. I did, however, want to share a few lines that were particularly interesting to me. Or just quotes that I liked. Whatever. Despite this book being extremely dark and twisted, there were some good tidbits of love snuck in there. Here goes:

…And he’d say, ‘You are better than any storybook, you are better than anything anything could make up.’ Nick fastened me to the earth… Nick just wanted me to be happy, that’s all, very pure. Maybe I mistook that for laziness.

Now isn’t that sweet? Taken out of context, yes, yes it is. I liked the Nick fastened me to the earth bit though… I think that could be a good way to describe love. Normal love. This is not exactly normal love…

It took this awful situation for us to realize it. Nick and I fit together. I am a little too much, and he is a little too little. I am a thornbush, bristling from the overattention of my parents, and he is a man of a million little fatherly stab wounds, and my thorns fit perfectly into them.

NO. I’m sorry, but this is disturbing.

All this time I thought we were strangers, and it turned out we knew each other intuitively, in our bones, in our blood… It was kind of romantic. Catastrophically romantic.

Because you cant be as in love as we were and not have it invade your bone marrow. Out kind of love can go into remission, but it’s always waiting to return. Like the world’s sweetest cancer.

I’ll hold myself to him like a climbing, coiling vine until I have invaded every part of him and made him mine.

Creepy, eh? Ok, here’s a quote that is simply beautiful wording…

…stuck the tines of my fork in my bulbous egg yolk and swirled it, smearing the sun.

Finally, there was this doozy:

I was told love should be unconditional. That’s the rule, everyone says so. But if love has no boundaries, no limits, no conditions, why should anyone try to do the right thing ever? If I know I am loved no matter what, where is the challenge?.. It makes me think that everyone is very wrong, that love should have many conditions. Love should require both partners to be their very best at all times. Unconditional love is an undisciplined love, and as we all have seen, undisciplined love is disastrous.

That’s enough of me sharing quotes for the time being. I definitely would recommend reading Gone Girl if you have the chance, especially now since it will be a movie soon! If anyone wants to talk about it, you know where to electronically find me.

Before I go and watch this episode of Naked and Afraid (there’s a girl from Rhode Island on!!!!!!), I wanted to share a Bo Burnham video with all of you that a friend of mine showed me today. It was pretty ironic considering me just finishing Gone Girl.

 

Have a great night, everyone! Oh also, if anyone has any book recommendations… please share!!! :D

Apples For Days

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Hi!

It’s a bit after noon and I must say, I’ve had a pretty nice day (and previous night) thus far. I stayed at Max’s house in Narragansett last night, where we made a stellar apple crisp with some apples that Max and I picked at Sweet Berry Farm in Middletown over the weekend. Yeah, we’re pretty cool. If any of you feel like crossing the Newport Bridge to check out this farm, I highly recommend it. They are definitely doing it right over there.

Apples

This morning, I met with an old professor of Max’s who teaches business; I figured now is the time to start making some connections, and the meeting went great! We clicked; I will be making that a semi-regular occurrence for sure (look at me, acting all grownup and whatnot).

Anyway, back to the apples. Sweet Berry Farm had seven different varieties for us to pick from this time around, which was awesome. If you aren’t aware, I love apples. I think they are amazing fruits and so versatile, and I like to try as many different types as possible. Also, because I am always thinking of my lovely blog readers, I took pictures of each apple variety and jotted down the names so I could share them with all of you! Cue apples:

Ginger Gold

Ginger Gold

Summer Macintosh

Summer Macintosh

Gala

Gala

Honey Crisp

Honey Crisp

Golden Delicious

Golden Delicious

Macoun

Macoun

Macintosh

Macintosh

… that’s some pretty good stuff, huh? They are all delicious, might I add. Between Max and I, we left with over 20 pounds of apples, oh yes. Sunday night, we put one Mac into our chicken pesto and tortellini soup, which added a sweet twist to the loaded soup.

Then, last night, we used my fancy pants apple peeler/corer/slicer that I bought a few months back and turned 6 apples – Macs, Ginger Golds and Macouns – into a delicious apple crisp! Seriously though guys, easiest thing every to bake. So much so that next time around, I plan on getting more advanced (and healthy). To fancy it up this time, we caramelized the apple skins left from the peeler and combined it in a pan with Jarlsberg cheese and added that as a topping.

Apple Crisp MMMM

Apple Crisp MMMM

Simply line 9″ pan with apples, then evenly coat with 1/2 tsp cinnamon and juice from 1/2 lemon. Then in a separate bowl, mix together 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 1 cup flour and 1 tsp cinnamon. Once mixed, add 3/4 stick of unsalted butter that is chopped in even, small pieces to the bowl. Mix around until butter has been folded in and break down any large chunks with your fingers. Bake for about 35 minutes in an oven at 375 and BOOM! Apple Crisp. All of Max’s roommates approved it, and I may or may not have had two helpings for myself. Next time, be prepared for even more sophisticated magic.

Well, I do have to get ready for work now, so I must leave you drooling over my apple-y goodness. I also snagged two pumpkins during the escapade; if anyone has any ideas what do with them, I’m all ears! Stay awesome, folks.

Doesn't this remind you of the pacman ghosts?

Doesn’t this remind you of the pacman ghosts?

The Colors <3

The Colors <3

Beware Microbead Laden Toothpaste

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Hey There!
Rose2
Today, as I was trolling the interweb for no particular reason, I stumbled upon this article. I must say, I’m pretty horrified about the whole thing; so much so that I felt it necessary to share with all of you. Of course, you could click the article and read it for yourself, but I’ll give you a quick lowdown in case you aren’t in the mood.
Polyethylene
Basically, the microbeads that some toothpaste brands (such as Crest’s Pro-Heath and 3D White) include in their products are absolutely horrible for you, and I strongly recommend that you never purchase this type of toothpaste ever again. I’m doing you a favor here. First of all, the microbeads are just that… micro beads. Teeny tiny synthetic plastic balls. That we willingly put in our mouths – and scrub on our faces! Some face washes have these beads, too. The tiny balls are made from a material called polyethylene, which is the most common plastic in our world; think water bottles and grocery bags.
Rose Petals in a Jar

Rose Petals in a Jar

Seriously though, I don’t want to ingest these things, nor do I want them lodged in my pores or between teeth and under gums. They are non-biodegradable, for Pete’s sake! Illinois has already stepped up to the plate; they have banned products using the beads for polluting the water system and ending up in the bellies of fish and other wildlife. They are also getting lodged in dental patients’ gums, where they collect bacteria, which can cause infection. NICE.

When brushing your teeth with this toothpaste, the gum channel (“sulcus”) is getting scrubbed with pieces of plastic, some of which become trapped. This is one way gingivitis begins. If left untreated, it can lead to infection that can move from the gum into the bone that holds your teeth… that turns into¬†periodontal disease… which is bad news.

Wising up, Crest has agreed to eliminate the plastic beads from products as of March 2016. Until then (and forthright), avoid microbeads!! Tell your friends, too. By not purchasing these products, we are saving the mouths of fellow Americans, helping out the water system and letting fish live another day. To do so, check packaging and look for polyethylene as an ingredient. Avoid product that contains polyethylene.

Well, that’s my informational burst for the day. In other news, I went apple picking today! It was glorious – more on that later. I also went climbing today with Max and Sarah and had a really good climbing day for the second day in a row!! I think maybe I’m actually progressing a little bit.
Finally, I have made another great dehydrator success! Max bought my beautiful roses last week, and once they lost their spark, I dehydrated them. They came out great, and SO fragrant; fruity almost. I definitely have potpourri and rose tea in my future. What else can be done with dried rose petals? Anyone?
Rose1
Good night, turtle doves. Kisses and Hugs.

Perfectly Timed Photographs

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