Three Recommendations for Music Lovers/Nerds

star30,000 feet above middle America is not normally the place to have a private dance party. I found myself, much to the chagrin of my neighbor, doing just that this past January. While flying back to California from one of my trips to Georgia, I decided to check out the critically recommended documentary 20 Feet From Stardom. For those not with the knowing, it is a documentary celebrating the voices you know from some of the most memorable songs, but whose face/name you’ve never seen/heard. With interviews from Mick Jagger to Bruce Springsteen there isn’t a moment that was boring. After watching it, I recommended it to everyone who would listen, and wasn’t surprised when it won an Oscar the following February. I was so excited to see that it was on Netflix instant streaming and made a point to share it with my music-loving family on this PAST trip to Georgia. Guess what? They ALSO loved it! So, if you have already heard of it and were waiting for a sign to watch it… then this is your sign. If this is the first you are hearing of it, then let this be me telling you that if you love music then this is something you need to watch. STAT.

muscleAfter watching 20 Feet From Stardom with my family, the geniuses who code the recommendations algorithm for Netflix suggested that I might also enjoy the music documentary Muscle Shoals. They were correct. This movie was also fantastic. “Now Muscle Shoals has got The Swampers… And they be known to pick a song, or two…” Sound familiar? Music history aficionados should already know about the legendary music production scene happening in small-town Alabama during the 60′s, 70′s, and 80′s, but this documentary delves so much deeper. The list of artists and albums produced there is staggering. There was some kind of mystical, primal energy by the Tennessee River that facilitated some amazing music. The soundtrack is (obviously) killer.

My third recommendation is for those of you with cable/satellite television out there. Sorry, Coralie- though Netflix also has a ton of awesome music coverage, obviously. If pslyou ARE lucky enough to get it, however, the Palladia channel is totally worth your time. Where else can you see Daryl Hall (From Hall and Oates) and his awesome house band (literally, house band… there are at his house) jam with some of the biggest names in music? There is also a cooking segment. Yes, Virginia, a cooking segment. Palladia also plays old concerts and has music festival coverage. It is pretty surreal to watch a concert on television that you attended… except this time with awesome sound, no mud/heat/humidity, legitimate camera work, and no drunk girls throwing up in front of you. Lollapalooza actually looked better from my couch. Palladia has some misses, but isn’t that makes the world go ’round? Hey! Here’s Mayer Hawthorne (my summer recommendation) killing it with Daryl Hall on Live From Daryl’s House!

Although there is nothing like going to see your favorite musician live, there is a long history of amazing collaborations between film and music:  Living in the Material World, The Last Waltz, It Might Get Loud, the list goes on and on. Just as music elevates film, sometimes film can elevate music. What do you think? What are your favorite music movies? Do you get the Palladia channel? What are your favorite alternative ways to get music? As always, let us know!



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Brown Sugar and Coconut Oil Body Scrub

Last December I detailed my favorite things of 2013. One of those things was Clinique’s Sparkle Skin body exfoliator. I used it in the shower on my legs in conjunction with my homemade shaving cream. As it happens, I eventually ran out of the Sparkle Skin. My Mom bought me another exfoliator, this time a sugar scrub. It was no where near as awesome.

The new sugar scrub was made with coarse sugar and using it felt less like luxury and more like torture!  And then it dawned on me- sugar scrub, I can make one of those using less coarse sugar and coconut oil and it would be an all over win!

I took to the information super highway and found that the basic formula is a 1:2 ratio. One part coconut oil to two parts sugar. I also found that brown sugar would be a good sugar for me to make a body scrub- it is pretty soft and fairly fine and a far, far cry from coarse, raw sugar.

Because coconut oil is in a solid form at room temperature, I put it in the microwave for about 15 seconds to get  it into liquid form. I put the coconut oil and brown sugar plus about 3 tablespoons of baby oil ( for good measure), 2 tablespoons of vanilla and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon into my Magic Bullet and blended it together.

blendingAfter it was all said and done, I do not think blending it was necessary- but, it did not hurt. And the smell is so yummy! If you have never shaved your legs with an exfoliator and shaving cream, homemade or store bought- you need to try it because it makes your legs so slick! It is just an awesome feeling. Body Scrub

The above picture was taken right after I finished making it, once the coconut oil returns to solid it is not anywhere near as juicy as the above picture. I put the plastic container in the shower and use every time I shave my legs. The next batch, I am going to add pumpkin pie spice- after all, Fall is right around the corner!

Brown Sugar and Coconut Oil Body Scrub
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • ⅓- 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2-3 tbsp baby oil, optional
  • 2-3 tbsp. vanilla
  • 2-3 tbsp. spice, cinnamon or pumpkin pie or nutmeg or etc
  1. Warm the coconut oil for 15 seconds in the microwave and then combine with all the other ingredients
  2. Massage into your skin.
  3. Rinse

Do you have any at-home spa regimes that you enjoy? As always, please share!


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The Hidden Truth

In the year 1806, a well-dressed man in his twenties visited a doctor who was renowned throughout London for being able to treat what nowadays we’d call depression, but back then was called melancholia.
The patient explained that he felt overcome by a terrible sadness, that he didn’t want to get up in the morning. He could not see any point in his existence.
“With your condition I would normally prescribe a course of my patent powders,” said the doctor, “but it so happens that I have recently come across something which will alleviate your condition much more quickly.
“You must,” he continued, “go to the Covent Garden theatre to see the pantomime, Harlequin and Mother Goose. This is the happiest thing I have ever seen performed on a stage, tears of laugher ran down my face. Why, sir, I can almost guarantee that watching Grimaldi the clown will cure you completely!”
“Ah, but doctor,” said the man sadly, “I am Grimaldi the clown.”

It has been two weeks since Robin Williams’s untimely death. He leaves behind an enormous legacy eclipsed only in size by his worldwide, all-ages fan base. He possessed fame, wealth, a storied career– things to which many of us aspire– and yet, unbeknownst to many he also possessed crippling depression and addictive tendencies.  Along with the countless brilliant moments he gave the world, his passing also gave us another gift. He brought the discussion of depression and mental illness to the world’s forefront. In the days after Williams’s death, answers and explanations were given to a world struggling to understand why someone so gifted, so lucky, would choose to leave it so violently. It seemed almost incomprehensible to the world that someone with so much could be hurting so bad. And yet. We are reminded again what a real and deadly disease depression is. It can affect anyone, no matter their stature, or how much or little they possess. Williams’s passing left us at FTTDWYW, like so many, with a spectrum of emotions: from heartbreak and anger to confusion and fear. We mourned for his family and friends but also for the loss of such a great resource and it’s future potential. It is fitting that even in his death, much like in his life, he was a gift to us. For there is no other or better way to combat darkness than to shed light upon it.

Since the inception of this blog, we have wanted and planned for today’s post. It was always robin-williams-5-660something on the horizon we wanted to discuss, but the time was never quite right. Williams’s passing made now the right time, for us. Discussing depression and mental illness is not a fun thing to do, we acknowledge, but it is certainly of the utmost importance. Depression is something that has touched both of our lives. If sharing that information touches even one set of eyes looking for encouragement or acceptance that they aren’t alone, then this post will not have been for naught. Even in such an age of advanced science/research and forward thinking, the truth of depression is still shrouded in so much shame and misinformation.

The reality is that so many people around you are plagued by the dark underbelly of depression, yet, so many choose to keep it a secret… as if it is something of which to be ashamed. So many people hide behind a smiling mask, exhausted by the effort; concerned with expectations not with their health. Why is no one dumping  ice buckets full of water over their heads for one of the world’s most prolific diseases? It is critical that we as a society talk about it. Depression and asking for help does not show weaknesses. A disease is not a deficiency in character. Every time we share our truth, without shame, the stigma lessens. It is a disease, not a choice. Often the most brilliant and the least likely, are the ones who hide behind the mask or normality.

Depressed people are often told to, “get over it,” or “deal with it.” Those words, although mostly well-intentioned, are meant to shame one into thinking that the pain isn’t serious or real. No matter your situation (whether you have everything or nothing), pain is real and feeling pain is truth. Even if your feelings seem irrational to other people, the fact that the pain is within you makes it real and true. Whether it is caused by a chemical imbalance, whether it is temporary or long-term, whether it is a matter of neurogenesis… it is doesn’t matter. It is real and it is scary.

At the very end of the day, we both generally operate in a no-judgment zone. As long as what a person is doing doesn’t hurt themselves or anybody else- we’re generally cool with them. This precedent carries on over to our blog. In no way are we judging anybody on either side of the issue, least we be judged. But. We do expect everybody to champion for their best selves and if that means taking daily meds, that means taking daily meds. If that means being courageous enough to ask for help while wading through dark waters, then do that thing.

If you are plagued by depression it is absolutely necessary to address it. Seek help however you can. If you have a headache, few people think twice about taking medicine to make the pain go away. Why isn’t this same logic applied to depression? When, where and who assigned shame in taking medicine to make ourselves feel better?

The world is so much brighter and better for having you IN it.

We both loved Robin Williams’ body of work and are deeply saddened by the fact that the punctuation at the end of his life is suicide. It is indicative that he was so lost in his own head that he could not see the long-term effects suicide would have on his family and friends. Suicide is never the best or only choice.

Depression can be a nasty beast. But is it one that can be tamed? You should stick around to find out.




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Blueberry and Lemon Ooey Gooey Bars- Heaven in Your Mouth

Ok, I am well aware that I have been blowing up the blueberry recipes. It started with the almost homemade blueberry turnovers and then was quickly followed by the blueberry French toast. However, I cannot stop now while the getting is good. I might wager that this is the best one yet! I am not going to beat around the bush any longer- what I have today is blueberry and lemon ooey gooey bars!

This recipe appears in my mom’s cookbook but, I do not really remember her ever making them. I was introduced to them by boss at Cosmo’s in Orange Beach. I was so proud to introduce Moma to a new recipe and I think her exact words were “Please! That recipe’s older than dirt!” So, there you have it. My boss did lemon ones, she did strawberry ones and for me, she did chocolate peanut butter ones. So, this recipe is very easy to personalize to your favorite tastes. I am getting ahead of myself though.

Lemon Ooey Gooey bars are Bub’s favorite. And if I am being honest, I do not make them very often because I can’t stay out of them! But, we had a bunch of friends coming to town- and I knew Bub would be so excited. After the blueberry French toast, I knew baked blueberries are awesome, so I decided to up the ante and make Lemon-Blueberry Ooey Gooey bars.

To begin you make the crust and to do that, you need a lemon cake mix. All cake mixes are not created equal- you need one in the 18 ounce range. You combine the lemon cake mix with one stick of melted butter and one egg and just for good measure, some lemon zest- and press this into the bottom of a greased 9×13 Pyrex.

ooey goey crustFor the ooey gooey portion of this bar, you need to beat together a softened 8 ounce package of cream cheese, 2 eggs, a 16 ounce box of powdered sugar, a stick of butter and a teaspoon of vanilla and the zest of pretty much a whole lemon. Once it is nice and creamy, you pour it over the crust. And this time, I sprinkled blueberries all over the top.

ooey goey middle and bluesBake this on 350 F for 40-50 minutes. Your house will smell divine! When it comes out of the oven, the center will be soft, but it will firm up as it cools.

fresh from the ovenI am telling you, Dear Reader, this recipe is a homerun knocked out of the ball park! It is a crowd-pleaser. They will be begging for seconds and some to take home! Yes, it is that good! Yes, it would make you the most popular person at a tailgate party. Yes, it would make you the life of the party at any Friday night social club. Yes, your co-workers would suddenly be able to do whatever you needed. Yes, your Bub Honey would complete the “Honey-Do” list.

Blueberry and Lemon Ooey Gooey Bars- Heaven in Your Mouth
  • 1 (18 oz) cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 sticks butter, melted and divided
  • 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (16 oz) box of powdered sugar
  1. Combine cake mix, 1 stick of melted butter and 1 egg, and press into the bottom of a greased 9x13 Pyrex
  2. Beat softened cream cheese, 1 stick of melted butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth and then pour over crust
  3. Bake on 350F for 40-50 minutes. Center will be soft but will firm up as it cools

L-B Ooey Gooey BarsTo make your own variety, change up the flavor of the cake mix and then add which ever toppings you think would best suit the crust. For instance, strawberry cake mix for the crust, fresh strawberries and white chocolate chips in the filling. Or chocolate crust and peanut butter in the filling. I have made ooey gooey bars with orange cake mix for the crust and then added white chocolate chips in the filling. It would be hard to mess these up.

Do you have a recipe this is your go-to knock out? You know we want to hear about it!

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A Close Shave: A Thrift Store/Wardrobe Lifehack

I mentioned before how awesome the thrift stores are in my neighborhood. As someone who has donated a ton of clothes in the past, I feel like whenever I find an awesome piece at a thrift store, it is just good karma coming back. I am always amazed at what people donate… and not just in the bizarre items way… but in the, “seriously… did you not know how to sew on a button and that’s why you donated it?” way. I can’t complain though because people not knowing/or not caring enough to learn/do some simple wardrobe maintenance tips means that I get to reap the rewards. For example, I found an amazing maxi dress at my local thrift store. I haven’t found many maxi dresses that I liked (or that fit right) so finding this one was a coup! Especially since the price tag was $7 and (after researching the brand) I found that these dresses normally START at the $175 mark. The fit was great… the look was right… the only reason I could figure that someone would donate this dress was because (as jersey does) there were some fuzzies (or pilling) on the fabric. Pilling normally indicates that it had been washed (and dried) carelessly, I guess. Which is why I wanted to share this super cheap, super effective tip in wardrobe maintenance.

It really is simple. Buy a cheap, disposable razor. You probably already have some around your house. Hold the fabric taught (this is mucho importante) and shave your fabric. That’s it. I am always surprised at how few people know this trick though. It makes such a difference and shaving your fabric can make it look brand new again. Take a look at this before and after of the brown band around my maxi dress:


I think the difference is pretty noticeable. Check it out in action!


The fuzz in the last picture is just from that little section. Imagine how much I shaved off from doing the entire dress. By shaving the dress, the colors were more vibrant and less muddled. The fabric lost its look of wear. It became a new dress for me. It took maybe 45 minutes to get the parts of the dress I was concerned about, but still. Wardrobe maintenance takes a little time and a little effort, but the dividends are huge and, obviously, end up saving you money in the end.

Check out me rocking this dress with my sweet family at one of our annual reunions:


Hey, LOOK! It’s my cousin Elizabeth (top picture, with my arm around her)! You may remember her from the awesome article she did about fun things to do while you are waiting with kids!

I will, once again, note that when shaving your fabric, hold it taught and be careful not to nick the fabric with the razor. Fabric, like skin, can be easily nicked if you aren’t careful or don’t have a feel for it. If you are new to this technique, I suggest practicing on a less obvious part of the fabric.

That’s it! Have you ever tried this technique? Are you a thrift store shopper? As always, let us know!



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Dallas or Bust!

Bub and I just got back last week from Dallas. We went for AdvoCare’s Success School. This year, rather than flying and renting a car when we got there- we drove… all 650 miles out there and all 650 miles back. (We have been road warriors this summer!) Bub drove the entire time, he is so good that way. Alece and her husband, Matt, rode with us- they are the couple that shared AdvoCare with us and seeing how they are our neighbors and good friends- we rode together. protein1300 miles in the car with the 4 of us- we were completely serious the entire time… well, not so much. Matt found us some tasty jerky at one of the many pit stops. We were also able to stop and have lunch in Jackson, Mississippi at one of my old favorites- Keifers. I started thinking about having lunch there when I figured out we would be passing through Jackson during lunch time. After lunch, it was Spark-thirty! (Spark is an energy drink loaded with daily vitamins and amino acids- Bub and I drink it every day- we love it.) spark thirty Our first night in Dallas/ Fort Worth- we went out to dinner in the Fort Worth Stockyards district. We ate at Cattle Men’s Steak House- Alece and I ate there when we were in Fort Worth in February and thought the guys and our other friends would enjoy it too. After dinner, some of us wondered down to the White Elephant Saloon- long enough to for Alece and I to take a bull #stalkie… bull stalkieSuccess School did not start until the afternoon of the next day, so we basically had all day to be tourist! Last year, Bub and I toured all things JFK, this year we knocked around Fort Worth. We went to the Fort Worth Water Gardens and they were really cool! We all enjoyed checking them out. I think our favorite was the quiet pool- it was beautiful. quiet pondBub and I learned last summer that there needs to be at least a loose plan when it comes to touring Dallas/Fort Worth. It is not like New Orleans or Charleston where you can just park your car and wonder around and find cool stuff instantly. But, there is a ton of cool stuff in the Dallas/Fort Worth area- the cities are just so spread out- you need a plan. And then, the whole reason we went- Success School- it was just first class. AdvoCare, in my experience with the company, is a company that dots all its I’s and crosses all its T’s. This year’s National Success School was no exception. I am sure if you asked everyone in attendance (in Cowboy Stadium) what the highlight of the weekend was- you would get a bunch of different answers. Some might say watching Rich Froning, (Crossfit’s 4 time World’s Strongest man and an AdvoCare endorser) beat his personal best at Heavy Grace (dead lifting 225 lb 30 times in a little more than 3 minutes!), some might say hearing all the stories was the highlight. But, the highlight this year, to me was the release of the new skin care line. SYSYes. I am super pumped about the new skin care line! But, all good things must come to an end and Success School was no expection. On the return trip, we broke it up by stopping in Shreveport for the night. We again stopped in Jackson on the way home to enjoy a meal. We ate at Iron Horse- it was delicious. And as a bonus, we got to see Patti, Justin and Owen, who we shared our trip to Charleston with. So, as summer is winding down, have you logged any road trips this year? As alwsys, let us know.

All the Best, Coralie

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