Now, Ain’t That Some Shit?!!?

The Bus I had house guests for 2 weeks. It was awesome. It was crazy. I seriously had so much fun- but now, I am so glad to be getting back to normal. Let me explain that- when we have guests, our routines are just thrown out the window. It is probably why I enjoy having guests so much- it breaks up the routine. But, with that being said, it is nice to get back settled into our old familiar ways.

Faithful Reader, I feel like I need to just be transparent. I cannot be nailed down to a routine this summer- I kind of feel like I have got to throw that all out the window for the summer. You may hear from me on Fridays or not- it may be some other random day- you just won’t hear from me on a day that Leigh is posting. And I will try to keep up with some Way Back Wednesdays too.

I have been thinking about what I would post about for like the last 3 years. And just could not settle on anything substantial- like a project or a recipe. I have had some cool shiz going on in my life in the last 2-3 weeks and I wanted to share all that but, just random stuff has been going on and that has been going through my head. It’s small things but when clumped together, a bunch of stuff.

It came to me to do a list, you know I love a list, and just say a little bit about all the random stuff going on in my world these days… sound familiar? Then I tried to think of a connecting theme- just recently, I have been marinating on the phrase “Ain’t that some shit!??!” So, there’s the name. And the more I think about it the more I like the idea of this being the summer of lists— I am going to just see how it comes as it goes.

So, 10 summer weeks of lists of 10 things I have been up to or what is crossing my mind. Like I said, I do love a list. And I do love a plan- even a loose one. So here goes this first week.

Ain't That Some Shit

the baptism 1.Baby Bub’s Christening:

It is so hard to believe that it has already been almost 3 weeks since we had Baby Bub Christened on the beach. It was perfect for us. We were surrounded by our friends and family and we were on the beach- it was a win-win. Baby Bub has 5 Godparents, 4 of which were there. If it were left solely up to me, Baby Bub would have had about 50 Godparents. Bub thought 5 was pushing it. Ain’t that some shit but,I think the biggest responsibility of Godparents is maintaining the health and wellness of their Godchild(ren)’s soul. If something were to happen to Bert and I, I think these 5 would take great care of Baby Bub’s soul and I also think the other 50 people I would have asked to be Godparents would take good care of his soul too. It was a precious day.

2. Party People:

For Baby Bub’s Christening and for having a ton of folks in town, Bub and I took off 5 days and let me be frank, we did it up right. I have a few things to say-I feel like I pretended I was 25 for a couple days- complete with an air-brushed neon yellow trucker hat and how in the hell did I survive my twenties?  I mean, ain’t that some shit?

3. Leigh’s Bday:

I am so, way behind in acknowledging Leigh’s 35th birthday. May 4 will always live in infamy because it is the day that Leigh made her grand appearance on earth. Yeah, it’s kind of a bid deal. 35 years, Leigh. I have known you almost 20 years- ain’t that some shit? Leigh, I am so glad you were born 35 years ago- and I knew when I met you we were soul mates- and our friendship is one of my most treasured. I truly hope you had a nice birthday. Next year we can talk about our trip to Chattanooga and the singing waiter- you probably remember more than I do.

4. Russell:

I would imagine to say that part of the reason that Leigh’s birthday has yet to be mentioned for this year is because she has lots going on in her personal life. She is living in Georgia so as to be closer to her family and her brother in particular. Russell has begun the bone marrow transfer process and let me just be straight up- it ain’t awesome. That’s what has always struck me with cancer- it magnifies how intricate, delicate and complicated the human body is- cancer is just an abnormal cell but when it comes to cancer, abnormal can mean incredibly destructive. But yet, modern medicine has come far enough to know that Russell needs new bone marrow- the matter that is inside your bones- ain’t that some shit?

Memorial Day5. Memorial Day has already come and gone:

Here on the Alabama Gulf Coast, Memorial Day weekend is the official kick off of the summer. It is hard to believe that summer has officially started! I worked most of Memorial Day weekend- ain’t that some shit?!? On another note, Bub and I were talking last night and he said our generation would be the last to remember how awesome the WWII era was/is. And I immediately responded with life during the Depression was probably not cool. And there’s this ugly, nasty underbelly of war called killed in the line of duty. I know, I just poured a big can of Debbie Downer all over the place- but, I am not sure how a 3 day, full-length party weekend is supposed to honor those that were killed protecting my freedom. I am in no way saying we shouldn’t have a party weekend, but I am saying we could mos likely come up with a better way to honor those that gave their lives to protect out freedom- I’m just sayin’.

6.  The Village:

There is this group of friends all linked together that has decided that one day we will all live in a commune together. I decided to rename it, The Village because it takes a village to raise a child and really that’s all we are. But, anyway- each of us that are going to live in the Village each bring a skill set that will enhance the group as a whole.  In reality, I would settle for us all living in the same town. But, ain’t that some shit.

Hangout Fest7. Hangout Fest:

I went to the first Hangout Fest and then swore I would never return- too many people in too small a space with too much sand. Yes, I love a festival. No, crowds don’t bother me and yes, I have embraced the sand. However, Hangout proved to be too much for me. I have had friends go every year and my sister and brother-in-law go every year. This is the second year I have gone on Thursday night to see a band or tow. But, Bub and I decided to start looking for cheap tickets to get in Sunday night to see My Morning Jacket and Beck. Kids under 10 get in free… Soooooo, our friend was given one and we bought one for $30- so, I gave in and went back to Hangout Fest on Sunday night. Everything was going well until we went to settle into the sand to watch My Morning Jacket— Baby Bub rolled around and covered himself in the sand and then began launching himself in a cannon ball manner at me—- ain’t that some shit! My fun meter was at zero. I was covered in sand, I wanted to go home. But, I regrouped and got a new perspective, got out of the sand and got to hear Beck- which was a bucket list show.

cinco de mayo8. the Camino:

Have you ever heard of the Camino hike before? Me either, well, that is until my loves, TJ and Michelle decided they were going to hike it. And even then, I had to Google it. It’s full name is Camino de Santiago, the way of St. James. It is supposed to be symbolic a pilgrimage. TJ is keeping up a blog, you can find it here. The pictures they are posting are just spectacular. But, at the end of the day, they are planning on hiking over 600 miles in 6 weeks… now, ain’t that some shit?!

tomato buckets9. CSA Boxes and Tomato Buckets:

The time has come once again for the Community Supported Agriculture or CSA boxes! Yes! I love summer veggies! I love putting up all the goodness so that it will there to enjoy this fall and winter. I especially love homegrown tomatoes! One of my regulars has been showing me pictures of his tomato plants that he’s growing in buckets- been there done that and my plants did not produce. But, he told me he made special tomato growing buckets and he asked me if I wanted one or two… I mean my mouth waters at the thought of a tomato and mayo sammich, so I said I would like a bucket or two… When he brought me the buckets I asked him how he came up with this idea for the bucket and he said from the internet… and then later he told Bub he spent too much time watching YouTube… ain’t that some shit. I don’t really know how he made these buckets- you are looking at 4 buckets- and that white pipe is where I am supposed to water them every day and there are holes drilled and there is a run off hole… but I sure do hope I get some of my very own homegrown tomatoes this year!

10. Kat Von D eye make-up and net worth:

I went to Sephora last week to get some new eyeliner. And I have mentioned before that I love the Lancome liquid liners- I do. It is a great liquid pen. But, I asked the consultant what was her favorite liner and she headed straight for the Kat Von D section. I mean, did you even know Kat Von D of L.A. Ink fame even had a make-up line? Well, maybe you did, but- I had no clue. And lo and behold, her liquid liners are awesome! They are are so wonderful. I can finally do a barely there black line. Move over Lancome. And then I have developed this habit of looking up celebrities’ net worth… had to check to see what Kat’s worth- 5 mil. Ain’t that some shit? But, all things considered, not too shabby for a tattoo artist.

And this concludes this first list of the summer- now, ain’t that some shit!

All the Best, Coralie

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The Deal: Caffeine

Low Battery Coffee

 

Trash the DecafI recently read an article on Mental Floss (and you guys know how much I love Mental Floss) that I wanted to share with you guys. The article concerns the science behind caffeine. I guess I never really sat down and thought about the whys and the hows of caffeine, but this article brings some really interesting facts to the table.

 

Lucas Reilly, Associate Editor at Mental Floss explains:

Caffeine isn’t the kickstarting jitter-drug you think it is. If anything, it’s a sneaky imposter.

First, a little biology. As your neurons fire throughout the day, a neurochemical called adenosine builds up in your body. The nervous system uses special receptors to monitor your body’s adenosine levels. As the day wears on, more and more adenosine passes through those receptors—and it makes you sleepy. It’s one of the reasons you get tired at night.

Very Seriously from Twisted DoodlesCaffeine, however, is a stealthy impersonator. It’s the same size and shape as adenosine, and when you sip your morning joe, your adenosine receptors can’t tell the difference. Specifically, caffeine attaches to the A1 receptor. With caffeine docked at the receptor, a lot of your body’s adenosine molecules can’t enter. It creates a traffic jam of sorts. With all that adenosine blocked, the caffeine keeps you from getting tired.

But that’s not where coffee’s kick comes from. With the adenosine receptor clogged, neurotransmitters like dopamine and glutamate can get a head start. Your dopamine levels swell, giving you a mild jolt of energy. In a way, caffeine is like a bouncer. It blocks the door, keeping the tired molecules out while the more stimulating molecules party on.

But the party can last for only so long. Caffeine may give you that much-needed morning boost, but it can also make you crash—hard. It takes about four cups of coffee to block half of the brain’s A1 receptors. With that many receptors clogged, the adenosine mounting in your body has nowhere to go. So when the caffeine wears off, all that extra adenosine rushes through your receptors. It takes a long time for your body to process the huge flow of new metabolites. And guess what? It leaves you feeling even groggier than you felt before. 

 

Coffee Now

Fascinating, right? It really got me thinking about my caffeine consumption. Will it make me stop drinking coffee? Probably not.  But, it will certainly make me stop drinking coffee to wake up, or get an energy boost. I love the coffee ritual: the warmth, the introspection, and the taste (once you add enough cream and sugar, that is). But, I don’t love the crash. Knowing the science behind the reaction is fascinating. To me, at least. The more you know, right? To read the comments, or view the original article, click here.

What do you think? Do you depend on the jolt of coffee? Are you addicted to caffeine? Is coffee part of your ritual? As always, let us know in the comments!

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T-Shirt Mod: Five-Minute Draped Vest

Before and After collage from WobiSobi

Today, I wanted to share one of my favorite t-shirt mods! It (sadly) isn’t one that I came up with, but it is the one that (when I wear it) I get asked about the most. It is one of the quickest, easiest t-shirt mods out there, and it is such a cool look. This mod comes from (or, at least where I found it) a website called WobiSobi.

All you need for this is a t-shirt (preferably one that is slightly larger than you are– I used one of Josh’s that had a burn hole which was hidden by this mod) and a pair of scissors. That’s it! Here are the cutting instructions:

Cutting Collage from WobiSobi.comCut off the neck binding, the sleeves, and down each side. When unfolded and placed flat, it will look like the picture on the upper right. If you still have some questions, here is her video tutorial:

The only cut that will make or break your vest is the neck hole. That is what will impact the size of your back hole. Like all t-shirt mods, start by cutting small, try it on, and then cut larger, if needed. You can always cut more; you can never cut less.

Front and back final looks from WobiSobi.com

Wearing it is simple. Just thread your arms through the hole with the strap behind your neck. Make sure you line up what were the shoulder seams on the back of your neck and lower back so that it doesn’t look askew. Also (like all other t-shirt mods), snip/even out any jagged or funky edges to your liking. Again, all credit for this mod goes to WobiSobi.com

Sadly, because I’m a bad blogger, I have no pictures of my wearing my vest. When I get back to California, I’ll rectify this. But, for now, I will tell you that this vest works particularly well with boat-neck necklines. But, it is so versatile, I would love to hear how YOU would wear it.

What do you think? Would you wear this? Do you have an oversized t-shirt perfect for this mod? As always, let us know in the comments!

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A Fun Things the Blog Recommendation: NatureBox

I am a snacker. I said it. It’s something I’m working on, but left to my own devices, I’ll snack #alldaylong. I try to either limit my snacks or surround myself with better snacking options. NatureBox LogoAlthough I love fresh fruit, “healthier options” generally conjures up an image of something bland, flavorless, or less than delicious. Although we’ve found and shared some at home-DIY exceptions to this rule on the blog, it generally seems that you have to choose between either great tasting or healthy. Which is where today’s recommendation comes in. You guys know how much Coralie and I dig subscription based services like Birchbox. But, did you know that there are subscription based services for just about everything. You probably did. In fact, now that I think of it, I guess this has been going on since WAY before the internet: i.e. jelly of the month clubs, etc. BUT, I want to tell you about my new favorite: NatureBox.

bags

NatureBox is a monthly (or more, depending on your subscription level) subscription service that delivers carefully-sourced, nutritionist approved, and super-delicious snacks with great stats and a low glycemic index to your door. I was first introduced to the service when (shortly after my brother was diagnosed with leukemia) we decided to eat healthier and a wonderful friend of mine and Russell’s (and long-time bestie of Coralies) Bridgette got Russell a subscription to help him with that goal. I was so impressed by how yummy the snacks were that upon returning to California, I set Josh and I up with a subscription as well. Even Josh loves it… which is about as high an endorsement on yummy/healthy snacks as they come! You can customize your account to your nutrition and taste preferences (i.e. gluten-free, or lower calorie, or a subscription with more of a slant towards the sweet tooth) but the snacks really are awesome. Each month, they will ship you a box with five bags of delicious snacks that (more than likely) won’t disappoint. Additionally, unlike other subscription services, you can request certain items and organize which snacks you receive. Or, you can throw caution to the wind and let them ship their customer favorites for the month. Either way, you are going to get some yummy stuff!

naturebox-snacksontable

Some of my favorites (so far) are their Lemon Tea Biscuits, Southern BBQ Sunflower Kernels, Pistachio Power Clusters, Blueberry Greek Yogurt Covered Pretzels, and any variety of their pretzel pops. I mean, how good do those sound?! If you have heard of this service and are on the fence, let me tell you that it is fantastic. And if this is the first time you are hearing of it, take my word for it and pull the trigger… this service is fantastic!

Are you a NatureBox subscriber? Do you have any go-to snacks that are both healthy AND delicious? As always, let us know in the comments!

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Paula Deen’s Banana Pudding

I probably make banana puddin’ about once or twice of year. Yep, banana puddin’. Everybody has their own banana pudding preferences. Some people like homemade pudding with meringue- and some people like instant pudding with Cool Whip. I lean toward the second group. I decided last week that I needed some banana pudding in my life. I remembered that I had an acquaintance that once made banana pudding with Paula Deen’s recipe and it was so yummy.

So, I looked it up and the only part of the recipe that did not jive with me was that Paula used Chess cookies instead of Nilla Waffers. And I will say this- one piece of cooking advice that I remember Paula giving (yesh, we are on a first name basis) was that any time you try a new recipe to follow it without tweaking it and then the second time you make it, make your tweaks. But- in this instance, I made the swap from the Chess squares to mini Nilla Waffers.

The assembly of Paula’s banana pudding is just like the classic, lay out a layer of Nilla Waffers on the bottom of your chosen dish. I chose a 3 quart Pyrex.

Nilla Waffers laid out

In the mean time, you need to prepare the instant vanilla pudding according to the directions on the package. In a separate bowl combine a softened 8 ounce block of cream cheese, a 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk and a 12 ounce container of Cool Whip and then fold into the pudding.

folding

And then, it’s time to layer your banana pudding into your chosen dish. Nilla Waffers, sliced bananas, pudding and then another layer of Nilla Waffers. What you come to in the end is the most decadent banana puddin’ ever!

banana pudding Yes, it’s worth the effort! It is so good!

Paula Deen's Banana Pudding
 
Ingredients
  • 1 box of (mini) Nilla Waffers
  • 4-5 bananas
  • 1 (8oz) block of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12 oz) tub of Cool Whip
Instructions
  1. Mix pudding with according to directions
  2. Blend the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and cool whip together in a seperate bowl
  3. Fold the pudding and cool whip mixture together
  4. Put a layer of Nilla Waffers on the bottom of your chosen dish
  5. Cover with a layer of bananas
  6. Cover with a layer of Pudding and Repeat the layers

 

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35: No Jive

Who am I kidding? For as long as I live, there will always be jive in my life– in all of its forms. Today is my 35th birthday. Some years go flying past without much to note. This was not one of those years. Like every year, there were laughter and tears… but this past year was particularly perspective changing. Previously “important” things were rendered trivial and other priorities became hyper focused. I suppose that is just par for the course and the price of doing business as I make my way one more time around the sun. As in years past, this year finds me super contemplative. As I’ve mentioned, I’m currently in Georgia; surrounded by my family. Few things make me happier. As Josh is flying in this coming weekend, I feel like my cup runneth over. In recent years, I haven’t felt too celebratory– wanting little attention called to the occasion. I’m still kind of in that mindset, but this year has really reminded me what a gift birthdays are. Taking birthdays for granted is not something I do anymore. Turning another year older isn’t always a given. So, today, for my birthday, my only request is that you send some love out into the universe. Tell those around you how much you love them. You should be doing this anyways, but now you have an official excuse. How could you say, “no” to this girl?

A collage of school pics

Until next year… hopefully!

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