Friends, friends –
It’s certainly been a minute, hasn’t it? A lot of things have happened, but I’ll spare you the nitty gritty details… for now anyway.
The biggest change is that I am now a Michigan resident! Saginaw to be exact. Kyle got a one-year assistant professor gig teaching economics at Saginaw Valley State University, and since my full-time job (another change) is 100% remote, I was easily able to make the move with him.
It’s been tiring furnishing a new apartment and takes some adjusting, as I’ve never lived with a significant other before, but it’s easier than I thought it would be. Thankfully we seem to coexist pretty well together. We also brought my lovely demon cat – Luna – with us, and I’m being a nervous cat mom and consistently worry about how she is adjusting. Side note: she’s fine, though has picked up a new habit of burrito-ing herself under the covers and is very pissed about her new diet.
However, there is one definite perk about being in a new area… and that’s exploring and discovering what Michigan has to offer! Cue the resurrection of my lovely blog. So, keep your eyes peeled for new posts about the adventures I am having, places I am visiting, and food I am cooking. I’ll do my best to keep yah intrigued 😉
I’ve also started playing around with these fun things called story maps, which is a really nice complement to my current career as a Geospatial Analyst. It’s more or less a way for me to document my various travels. I’ve completed one so far and have another two in the works. I have a link for the finished one under the “GIS Portfolio” umbrella of my blog, but I’ll post the link here for you guys to check out as well. I would also love to hear what you think!
That’s it for now. Stay tuned!
Beautiful Humans –
I came across this post years ago, and it just kept slipping through the cracks. It may be outdated, but it is still such a powerfully relevant topic, that it would be wrong not to pass on.
A quote from the artist sums up my thoughts pretty perfectly:
We pass people in the street every day and only see their veneer. What they feel comfortable showing to the world often tells a different story to their private battles. Under the Red Dress is a project which attempts to tell those silent stories that people are not only wanting to tell, but that people want to hear. Everybody likes to be reminded that the person next door is only human, as they are.
In today’s day and age, it is so hard not to get caught up in the superficial way of life. It’s no ones fault, but it doesn’t make it right. We can be so cruel to one another, so quick to judge, and you never know the effect you are having on another person by acting a specific way. This goes for the positive side of the spectrum as well; you really do not know how much your words or actions can influence another soul.
At the end of the day… just be kind. We all have our battles and burdens, and it really does make a difference when you know you have people rooting for you.
I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July and three-day weekend. I worked yesterday… but it was my own decision, so I can’t really complain. Plus, I managed to work in some sun time and firepit time regardless so let’s call it a win.
I’m just taking a quick work break, therefore this can’t be a long post, but I thought I would jot down some of the Summer Events I have been attending since I got back from London (hard life, I know…), as well as a few upcoming ones in case anyone is interested.
- 2nd Annual “Hi Neighbor!” Block Party (6/15/16). Given the name, you can’t attend this until next year, but it was a good time and I recommend you at it into your calendar. It was a statewide free block party held at The Steel Yard, which is a great location I never knew about. Food and beers and other beverages were available and they encouraged you to picnic, so Kyle and I went with a blanket and basket in tow and we just ate and listened to the Reggae band that was playing. Great success.
- 5th Annual Incredible Ice Cream Throwdown (6/26/16). Yes. You read that right. A lot of my friends have been asking me lately how I find these things and the truth is, I’m not really sure. However, you guys get to reap the benefits since I pass it all along to you! Albeit, too late for this one. I brought my bestie Mandy and basically, this event was a beerfest, for ice cream. You get in and have 2 hours to taste as many ice creams from various vendors as you can stomach. It was located outside at the Eye Institute. It was a wonderful time but my two complaints were 1) not as much shade as we were expecting… hellllooooo it’s ice cream, we need shade! and 2) some of the lines were painfully long.
- 1st Annual New England Quahog Festival (6/25/16). Again, I’m sorry I’m reporting this too late, it was a hoot! There was a sea creature parade and then it ended at NK Town Beach with activities, vendors, and live music. I was in heaven, being able to eat fresh, local oysters while sitting on the beach. Definitely keep this in mind for next year, and plan your mermaid costume (I will).
- Samba and East Coast Salsa Dancing (Wednesday Evenings). Kyle took me on a date to these two dance classes and it was a really fun time. Classes are located in The Towers in Narragansett, which is a beautiful location that overlooks the beach; quite stunning, really. Classes have changed for July and we’re planning on going again. No experience necessary.. I highly recommend it!
- Yoga. Yoga. Yoga. (Every Damn Day). I think my new addiction this summer is yoga, but I’m hoping the addiction is more a lifelong one. I’ve been bouncing between Hot Yoga at my usual spot and then community yoga at various locations across the state. My sights are also set on beach yoga, sometime in the hopefully near future. If you need recommendations, let me know! I’ve got a list (duh).
- Beekeeping Seminars. The obsession continues. Last week, I went to the Newport Public Library for a free backyard beekeeping seminar and learned some more fun facts.
- Learn to Quahog. Sooo, I’m a Rhode Islander and had never actually gone quahogging. For shame, I know. Until now, that is! I forced Kyle to come with me after a friend couldn’t go, and we drove up to Buzzards Bay in Dartmouth, Mass where we were taught by some lovely individuals how to properly quahog. Everything was provided, and it was free! Events are still happening, so click the link to register. The weather was beautiful and it was a perfect way to spend a Saturday morning.
- Shakespeare on the Saugatucket. I love Shakespeare and I love being outdoors, so this is a wonderful amalgamation of interests. This only started up on Sunday; I haven’t made it there yet, but for the month of July the lovely people of the Contemporary Theater Company are performing Comedy of Errors, and in August the show is Antony and Cleopatra. They do various other performances as well, so be sure to check the link.
- Movies. I saw Finding Dory last week and it did not disappoint. The week before, I saw Captain America: Civil War. It was good but I must say, I really disliked the ending.
Okay, boos – that’s all I can afford to share for now. Back to work! I’ll try and touch down again sometime soon. x’s and o’s.
Raising the New York minimum wage in several steps to $15 would restore its value to a level that ensures full-time work is a means to escape poverty—and would provide more than a third of New York’s workers with a long-overdue improvement in their standard of living.
Source: Raising the New York state minimum wage to $15 by July 2021 would lift wages for 3.2 million workers
First and foremost, I suggest you Google that phrase (“you’re doing it wrong”). People these days…
Also, for a second I would like to admit that I have gained an appreciation for audio books, while at the same time becoming in love once more with the library (why did I ever stop?!). I work walking distance from my town’s library, so I have now made it a habit to stop by at least once a week and a) check out many, many beautiful books, b) rent movies, and c) gain an appreciation for books on tape. Don’t get me wrong, reading is still superior – when you are actually reading the words on pages, but audio has its place in the world. I spend a lot of time in my beloved car – especially commuting to campus – so audio books are sort of a win-win for me. The time passes much quicker, and I get to have a story read to me! It’s fantastic. So far I’ve listened to a crap ton of Stephen King novels (see my “books” section for a full list). There’s no explanation for the random King binge; it’s just happening and is long overdue.
Now. The point of this post is to share with you all 10 foods that are commonly ingested in the wrong way; hence the title. So pay close attention as this will only be of benefit.
Note: Doing It Wrong is derived from the work of two registered dietitians who addressed the biggest mistakes, which are preventing the public from extracting the most vitamins and minerals from certain foods.
- Asparagus. Don’t zap it! Aka cook in the microwave. First of all, microwaves are mildly sketchy to begin with, so avoid them if you can. This method has also been found to deplete this vegetable’s vitamin C content due to being water-soluble. Try steaming or stir-frying instead, and eat when it is tender and crisp and not mushy and soft. Also, save the leftover water! It happens to be rich in vitamins and minerals and can make a great addition to sauce or soup.
- Grilled Meat. Apparently, grilling meat at high temperatures over an open flame may increase cancer risk; but honestly, what doesn’t these days? The worst method of meat cooking seems to be char-grilling, so maybe stick to a less intense heated grille. They also recommend you use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your meat instead of relying on looks.
- Tomatoes. In order to maximize the absorption of lycopene (a phyronutrient in these bad boys that is supposedly cancer and heart disease fighting), it’s best to cook them. This will also increase their antioxidant content. Honestly, though, I like ’em raw.
- Flaxseeds. These puppies are high in fiber, rich in lignans and heart-healthy omega-3s, BUT you only reap these benefits if they are ground! You’re body can’t digest them otherwise. They sell them pre-ground, but it’s also easy to do it yourself.
- Black Tea. Don’t add milk; just don’t do it. First of all, it taints the flavor (*gasp*), but more importantly, milk – or any dairy – has been shown to negate any cardiovascular benefits; the protein in milk binds to the catechins in tea, making it much harder for your body to absorb this beneficial compound.
- Broccoli. Try not to boil or fry them (but really, who fries broccoli?), because much like asparagus, these methods will not keep the Vitamin C, chlorophyll, antioxidant and anticarcinogenic components intact. Instead, go for the steam method.
- Strawberries. Try not to slice them; or at least avoid cutting them for as long as you possibly can… nutrients within these tasty morsels such as Vitamin C are sensitive to light and oxygen and deplete rather quickly. Frozen fruits and veggies are not a horrible idea, too, since they harbor the majority of their original nutrients.
- Garlic. I LOVE garlic; I love it in my food, in my juices, and just overall in my life. The allicin (cancer fighter) in garlic benefits from air exposure, so try letting chopped garlic sit out for a few minutes before utilizing. This makes sure the compound can become fully activated.
- Whole Grains & Beans. Soak ’em overnight to help release the phytates, increase absorption of nutrients such as iron and zinc while also giving your digestive tract a break.
- Yogurt. Honestly, I wish I liked yogurt, and I’ve really tried to get myself to love it; I just can’t. At least not yet. Anyway: don’t dump the watery substance you often find atop your Greek yogurt – stir it in! It is called whey, and it contains protein and vitamin B12, along with minerals like calcium and phosphorus. *Fact* You’re not going to get yogurt’s probiotic benefits if you’re cooking a heated dish, because live and active cultures can’t stand up to heat and become destroyed in the cooking process.
There you have it, ladies and gents. I’m off to rest and read a little bit before an event tonight down in Tucson, Arizona. 😀
Bonjour Babies –
Fact: I love hot pepper jelly. I first came to know about this delicious dip/spread a few years ago when my friend’s mom sent him a few jars of her homemade jelly. From that point on I was hooked; a little sweet, a little spicy is the combination for me!
When I shopped at the URI Holiday Bazaar this season, there was a local company – Terry’s Tasty Treasures – where this powerhouse woman makes a variety of different delicious jellies. I bought a few different flavors, and they all kick ass. I also snagged a hot pepper jelly recipe card, which is what I’m going to share with you meow (more can also be found on her website via link):
Pepper Jelly Cheese Cake
Ingredients: 8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
2 garlic cloves, minced
5 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 ounces hot pepper jelly
Directions: Mix all ingredients in food processor.
Spray individual pie pan or 6″ spring form pan with nonstick cooking spray or 4″ spring forms divided into 2.
Pour mixture into pan(s).
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.
Cool in refrigerator for several hours.
Spread with more pepper jelly. Serve with crackers.
Red Pepper Habanero Pepper Jelly Chicken over Kale
– Red hot habenero pepper jelly mixed with soy sauce, honey, pour over boneless skinless chicken thighs- bake 425 for 25-30 min, serve over kale sautéed with chopped bacon and shao Shing rice vinegar
Mini Philo Shells with Goat Cheese
Fill Shells with Cranberry, Apple or Peach hot pepper jelly. Crumble Goat cheese over each and top with a candied walnut.
Crescent Roll Bake with Brie
Spread out the Crescent Rolls on a baking sheet; do not pull apart.
Put piece of Brie in the center; cover with your pepper Jelly of choice.
Fold over the crescent rolls and bake according to the instructions on the package. Serve with crackers
I’ll stop there, but there really are many more recipes on the website, so click the link and take a gander. Go local, lovelies.