What I’m Listening To Wednesday: Panic! At the Disco

Do they still have the exclamation mark in their name? I’m not totally sure . . .

Panic! is one of the bands that was the soundtrack to my high school years. (Yes, I’m a millennial.) So their earlier stuff has a certain amount of nostalgia for me. I haven’t listened to them much for years, but for some reason I went on a Youtube rabbit trail the other night and listened to them while I was working into the wee hours of the morning.

They’re not exactly a family-friendly band, so it was good that Little Bit was already in bed.

I won’t pick a particular song that I’ve been listening to, just more Panic! in general, but if you want some absolutely bizarre music videos, check them out!

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Let It Go

You know those things that the universe tries to show you that you keep resisting? Yeah. I’m there.

I’ve been clinging to perfection, and it’s time for me to let it go.

I can’t do and be everything. It’s not healthy for me (or you) to try.

We’ve got to give ourselves grace.

I’ve been clinging to this fantasy that I can do it all – have a Pinterest perfectly decorated house, always swept, mopped, and organized. Having pre-planned perfect family dinners, exercising the right amount, and maintaining my ideal weight.

Basically, I’ve been clinging to the idea that I’ve got to be the perfect mom, wife, and business owner.

Want to guess how many of those things are actually happening in completion? You guessed it. None. Some of them aren’t even partially happening!

It’s too much to do it all.

Instead, we need to focus on doing the important things and giving ourselves grace on the things we can’t do.

I’m really leaning into this as I start an amazing new chapter my life and business, and I’m valuing my TIME more than ever.

Do I still want all those things? Sure!

BUT I’m not beating myself up over having them. I’d like to encourage you to do the same!

white daisy flowers



Yea or Nay?

Alright y’all, I want you to weigh in.

I must’ve watched the movie, Burlesque, 150 times, Moulin Rouge 1,500, and The Phantom of the Opera an infinite number of times.

If I LOVE a movie or a show, I’ll watch it more than once. With some of my favorites, I can quote nearly the entire thing.

Magnet: The Princess Bride - My Name is Inigo Montoya for sale online

I’ve spent whole summers existing solely on orange soda, pretzel rods, and watching the same 3 movies on repeat, and I have 0 shame about it.

I’m like that with my music too. I’ll listen to the same song multiple times, sometimes in a row!

The Fellow on the other hand, does NOT.

He doesn’t re-watch things.

Basically ever.

(With the exception of Labyrinth, but really who doesn’t’ want to watch that movie more than once?)

Labyrinth Movie - Home | Facebook

He doesn’t re-watch things to the point that if he saw something in the theaters, he doesn’t want to watch it again, even if it came out in the ’90s!

I just don’t get it. I don’t care that I know how Clue ends (or ya know, that there are multiple endings all of which I already know the outcome of). I watch for Tim Curry as Wadsworth!

clue 1985 | Tumblr

What about you? What camp are you in? Watch it until you can quote it, or one and done?

Weigh in in the comments below!

Quarantine Blues

Hey There!

Sorry for all of the #quarantine posts, but that’s been the reality of the last month or so.

Quarantine is definitely taking its toll. Little Bit is growing, and the closest thing she’s getting to grandparent visits are Zoom calls.

It still seems crazy to me the way the world has shifted almost overnight, but it’s getting more real day by day.

About this time of the year I REALLY start looking forward to our vacations. I love and enjoy fall and all of its holidays; then we have Christmas, New Years, and even Valentine’s Day to get us through the winter, but come May my soul starts longing for saltwater and campfire smoke, and it’s looking like it may be another year before I get them.

Our yearly medieval reenactment camping trip has been canceled. Campgrounds and beaches are closed, and when things do open up again, will we even want to risk the exposure and start venturing out?

I don’t know when things will start to open back up, but our reality has likely been permanently altered. I’m sure that we will quickly adjust and find a new normal, but right now I’ve just got a case of the Quarantine Blues.

Quarantine Self-Haircut

Hey There!

Oh. My. You. Guys.

This whole 2-week lockdown has certainly turned into more of a long-term deal. Even I’m starting to get a liiiittle bit of cabin fever. (Not that I went out much before, but I did enjoy my few outings.)

One thing that I was really looking forward to was going to get a haircut with my mother and grandmother. We had decided to make a day of it, so we could spend some time together and they could watch Little Bit while I got a new do. (I haven’t had a haircut since before she was born.)

I’m bad for just letting my hair go until I realize I need it cut and from that time onward it drives me CRAZY until I get it trimmed. So I was pretty bummed we had to cancel, and each day past our canceled appointment date my hair bugged me more and more.

I’m not the only one out there dealing with quarantine maintenance issues. A bunch of ladies on my news feed were talking about buzzing their hair completely off!

Note: If you want to do this, really ponder if you can handle the growing out process. It’s a long-term investment. Go for a faded pixie cut rather than a straight buzz cut. It’s less harsh and difficult to adjust to. That’s all I have to say on the matter – may the odds be ever in your favor.

I decided – what the heck. It’s not like I don’t keep my hair in a #mombun most of the time anyway. Plus I lived through the side-swept bangs of the mid-2000s. I’m well acquainted with cutting my own hair, albeit, generally not the entire thing.

A few hours of Pinterest scrolling and tutorial searching, and I decided to go for it and give myself a hair cut.

The overwhelming search result I found was the pony-tail method. Pull your hair into a high ponytail at the top of your forehead and chop the end, which I did by cutting a very conservative amount. (I’m glad!) It made choppy, uneven layers which I then felt the need to fix.

I found THIS tutorial by Brad Mondo, who apparently is a YouTube famous hair stylist. (Y’all, YouTube hasn’t been my Internet hangout spot since the side-swept bangs days, so I had NO CLUE who this dude was.) I decided to give it a whirl, and I think it came out great!

If you go a little quarancrazy and decide to join me on the self-haircut bandwagon, I should mention I did like 6 ponytails instead of the 4 he used, but my hair is INSANELY thick.

You should also watch THIS video because it’s hilarious, and I almost used the tutorial girl’s method before finding Brad’s.

Let me know if you decide to take the plunge and chop your own hair!

Sourdough Doughnuts

Hey There!

I don’t know why, but doughnuts are one of my FAVORITE treats. So being stuck at home (and no longer working in an office where people bring in doughnuts), I got a craving.

Luckily, our dear friend L recently gifted us some sourdough starter. You can get geeky about what sourdough starter is and how it works HERE.

The problem with making things yourself is that suddenly you have a dozen doughnuts all to yourself . Oops.

Annnnyway, here’s the recipe I used, and they were pretty tasty! If you haven’t made doughnuts before, no worry, they’re not too tricky to make, be it a sourdough doughnut, cake, fried, or baked variety. You should totally give it a try!

What are your quarantine cravings? Let me know in the comments!

Quarantine

Hey There!

Oof. Things are CRAZY. People are sewing masks. We haven’t been able to get toilet paper in 3 weeks (No joke. We may need to request donations if this goes on too much longer.), and I think companies with dress codes are in for a rebellion when this is all over.

I’ve really had to turn my brain off and ditch what little news I read. It’s overwhelming how upside down the world has gotten right now. I feel like Alice looking through the looking glass.

One of my long time nerdoms has been zombies. I don’t know why, but they absolutely TERRIFY me. (Okay. I do know why. They’re scary.) Back in the day, I played an online text-based game called Urban Dead, and I have had so many conversations about how to survive a zombie apocalypse. One common theme in most zombie films/stories is the sudden onset, and it always struck me what the world looked like with everything interrupted mid-life.

I wonder what future archaeologists will make of this time. Is it going to look apocalyptic, the sudden number of tins of food and masks entered into landfills at the same time? When they look at our newspapers, internet searches, purchases, and even memes what will they think of it?

Will we just forget this troubling time ever happened? Or will we talk about it forever with the Great Depression, Y2K or the 2008 Recession? I guess none of us know what events will be marked by history and what will be forgotten. All I know is that it’s a cold and rainy day, and I think I’ve been pondering life a bit too much for today. So let’s brighten it up a bit for the rest of this post! (Also, so sorry for making an apocalyptic comparison. I’m certain we’re not heading anywhere near that direction!)

  1. We’re fortunate that so far our circumstances have not changed. The Fellow is still working and gets to work from home, so Little Bit is enjoying Papa snuggles on his lunch and breaks, and none of my clients have had to cut hours.
  2. We haven’t been able to get toilet paper or yeast, but then we were gifted some sourdough starter, and I’ve apparently been hoarding yeast for a long while now (I found several envelopes in my baking cupboard), so we’ve had yummy baked goods in the house these past few weeks.
  3. I picked some beautiful wild violets to make violet jelly . . . which turned into violet Jell-o, but it’s still pretty purple, and I got to spend some relaxing time in the sunshine picking flowers so #iaintmad.
  4. I made a book. It pokes fun at today’s situation, so fair warning.

Talk to me. Tell me your happy quarantine things. What’s getting you through each day? Share in the comments!

Ramp Chicken Salad

Hey There!

Mmm, this recipe was probably my favorite one that I made this ramp season.

I love chicken salad any which way you make it, so this was a no-brainer for me. Bonus was we had some homemade bread for our sandwiches. Who cares if the restaurants are closed due to the quarantine when we’re eating like this!

Ingredients:

1 large chicken breast
6-8 ramps
Seedless red grapes
Onion powder
Salt and pepper
2 heaping T. mayo

  1. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil.
  2. While the water is boiling, clean and prepare your ramps. (See instructions in last blog’s recipe if you’ve never prepped ramps before.)
  3. Blanch ramps for 10-15 seconds, then run under cold water.
  4. Boil chicken until cooked . (I usually let it cook for an hour, and it’s good.)
  5. Chop ramps and grapes and set aside.
  6. Transfer chicken to a metal mixing bowl and use a hand mixer to shred. (No, really. This is HANDS DOWN the easiest way to shred ANY meat.)
  7. Add all ingredients to the bowl (Salt, pepper and onion powder to taste. Sorry – y’all know how I roll.)
  8. Mix thoroughly, chill, and serve!

We ate ours topped with lettuce and tomato; you could also add toasted pecans to this or top with avocado. For a protein-heavy alternative, you could use avocado in place of the mayo.

So, have you ever cooked with ramps before? What are your favorite recipes? Let me know!

Ramp Butter

Hey There!

Remember a few years back when I went to the Ramps and Rails festival? Well, it’s that time of year again, except we’re all quarantined!

Thankfully, some folks live far enough out in the hills that they can still go outdoors and enjoy mother nature. (Did you know that the Appalachian Trail is closed?!)

I was fortunate enough to be given (by way of a drive-by door stoop drop off) a quart bag of ramps, and I’ve been enjoying them. You’d be amazed how far one bag of ramps can stretch!

So far I’ve made Honey Dijon Ramp Chicken, Ramp Butter, Ramp Chicken Salad, and our roommate made a pasta dish with them as well.

I thought I’d share at least a few of those recipes with you if you’re lucky enough to have a ramp supply. In years where we’re not all housebound, you might find these at a farmer’s market, so keep your eyes peeled for them!

Today I’m sharing how to make ramp butter, and trust me, this is easy peasy because with Little Bit, my clients, and The Fellow now working from home, I really don’t have time for complicated recipes!

Ingredients:

2 Sticks butter, softened
Ramps (I used about 8 ramps, but use as many or as few as you like based on your taste preference.)
Splash of Lemon Juice
Sprinkle of Salt

(Sorry y’all! It’s one of those types of recipes!)

  1. Take your butter out of the fridge and let it soften.
  2. Clean and shuck (?) your ramps. I don’t know if “shuck” is the right term, but I’m going for it. You basically pull down this little skin sleeve and snap the roots off.
  3. Blanch your ramps in a pot of boiling water for about 10-15 seconds, then immediately dunk in cold water. **
  4. Add the butter, ramps, salt and lemon juice into a metal mixing bowl.
  5. Using a mixer, blend all of the ingredients together.
  6. Spoon out onto plastic wrap into a log shape.
  7. Refrigerate
  8. Enjoy!

** I actually skipped the blanching step but shouldn’t have. We accidentally melted the ramp butter when we tried to soften it up the next day, and it’s waaay better with the ramps having been cooked a little bit. But if you like a more intense bright flavor, you can use them raw.

This delicious ramp butter is especially tasty on fresh homemade bread still warm, or toasted!

Enjoy and stay safe, friends!

Plum Deluxe Tea Review: Part II

Hey There!

Today I’m finishing up the review of Plum Deluxe that I started on Wednesday. I love trying new flavor combinations so this entire experience was AMAZING. Seriously, how lucky am I that a killer company like Plum Deluxe reached out and let me try their yummy goodies? (So lucky is the answer!)

The next cuppa that I tried out was their Delightful Morning Black Tea. The package said to “fill your morning moments with love,” and I did sipping this while snuggling Little Bit!

Black teas are my go-to when I try teas, so I was anxious to taste this one. 

This tea does taste similar to the Mindful Morning Black Tea, but with lavender instead of vanilla. It’s a robust black tea and truly delicious.

Paul Hollywood on the Great British Baking show may come down a little hard on lavender as a flavor, but I love it! That being said, I know that it can be overpowering at times. The lavender in this tea comes through as more of an afterthought. If I didn’t see it in the ingredient list, I don’t know that I’d have put my finger on the flavor. It adds just the right floral hint to the mix! 

Side note: I love that they use Oregon lavender, supporting US agriculture!

The Delightful Morning Black Tea definitely pairs well with your morning scone or breakfast. It has such a rich flavor that makes it a hearty start to your day.

Caramel Almond Black Tea

“Bold and sweet: a delicious attitude to have.”

You.

Guys.

This stuff was amazing!

The first thing you notice is the smell. It smells warm and cozy and kind of like cookies. Like you can almost imagine the gooey deliciousness and brown sugar and taste the toasted almonds . . . mmmmm.

That’s all I have to say about that.

I’m too busy sipping to type!

But seriously guys, you should all check out these amazing teas, maybe indulge in a subscription box or send a care package to someone. They’re an amazing US-based company with a phenomenal product! Check them out!