Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

This year all I want for Christmas is nothing. With this little bundle of joy around, it feels wrong to even ask for more. I'm going to relish in being content, not lusting after a thing but quality time with loved ones.

May your Christmas be filled with joy, beautiful memories, and giving.

"Christmas is a tonic for our souls. It moves us to think of others rather than of ourselves. It directs our thoughts to giving."
B. C. Forbes

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

In the Kitchen: Fish Taco Recipe

Today I'm posting a wonderful fish taco recipe. The mixture of sweet and spicy in this dish will leave your taste buds thanking you. Here's how you make it:
  • Thinly coat pan with olive oil on medium heat
  • Begin cooking fish (I use mahi mahi, tilapia works as well) over medium heat and add fresh lemon juice
  • Season fish heavily with pre-made blackening season, or make your own using paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, black pepper, and chili powder
  • heat tortilla in separate skillet over thin layer of olive oil on medium
  • when fish and tortilla are done add shredded cabbage, pineapple chunks, raw spinach,  mexican crema, and sriracha sauce
Enjoy! This pairs well with mango juice and black beans and rice. To make this dish vegan, swap fish for black beans.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Eating to Live

For the past few weeks I've been feeling a bit under the weather. I'll spare you the gory details, but it turns out a part of my problem is that I'm suffering from chronic inflammation. This condition is a risk factor for several serious illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and heart disease, among others.

I've been doing a ton of research on the topic, and can't believe what a serious and widespread condition it is, and how much of the epidemic appears to be attributed to diet. I'll openly admit I haven't been the most healthy eater. Fast food, processed food, sugary drinks, fried dishes, and more have happily made their way into my tummy. However, as I come face to face with the consequences of my poor eating habits, I'm realizing these temporary highs are just not worth it.

So I'm embarking on a lifestyle change. I'm giving up the bad foods (for the most part), and learning how to eat to live. It's important to me to set a good example for my daughter, and hopefully kick this inflammation's ass. So wish me luck, and if you have any awesome healthy recipes please share. I'll be posting new tasty anti-inflammatory recipes in the weeks to come.

"People kill themselves with their knives and their forks." ~Jack LaLane

“A wise man should consider that health is the greatest 
of human blessings, and learn how by his own 
thought to derive benefit from his illnesses.” 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Hosting Overnight Guests in a Small Space

This time of year many people find themselves entertaining overnight guests. With a new baby in tow, we have even more visitors this year. Because we live in a small(er) sized home we have to get creative when family and friends come to visit. Though tempting, we've firmly agreed not to upsize to gain more guest space, that we'd rarely use. We just can't seem to justify the increase in housing expense. So to get around our size restrictions we've devised a few strategies, which you can try too:

1) GIVE UP YOUR BEDROOM. When a dedicated guest bedroom isn't an option, it's always nice to give up your bedroom to guests. This ensures they will feel welcomed, cozy, and have a little privacy. You can sleep on a sofa or pull out bed tucked away in another part of the house.

2) HAVE FRESH GREENERY. A few flowers on hand for guests to enjoy during their visit are always appreciated.

3) PROVIDE NICE TOWELS. Nice guest towels give guests a hotel experience for free. You don't have to spend an arm and a leg for high-quality towels. You can pick up nice ones at discount stores like TUESDAY MORNING.

4) HAVE SOME OF THEIR FAVORITE THINGS AVAILABLE. Presumably if someone is coming from out of town to stay at your home you know them pretty well. Use some of your knowledge about them to ensure they have a few of the favorite things hanging around, i.e. magazines, books, tea, snacks, adult beverages, etc.

5) OFFER ENTERTAINMENT.  This could be a television, movies, or access to your iTunes or Amazon account.

6) MAKE SURE SLEEPING QUARTERS SMELL WELCOMING. Fresh linens of course are a must, but you can also have a few scented candles on hand.

7) OFFER MINI TOILETRIES. You know all those bottles of lotion, shampoo, and conditioner you've been collecting from your travels? Well now's the time to offer them up to your house guests.

What do you do to make your guests feel welcome?

“That boy is your company. And if he wants to eat up that tablecloth, you let him, you hear?” ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Around Town: Antique Exchange

 A while back when I first started blogging I did a post about ANTIQUE EXCHANGE. I wanted to update things because since that time I've gotten a better camera, and the store's merchandise has significantly changed. The store is located in Baltimore's Hampden neighborhood at 3545 Chestnut Avenue. They're one of my go to sources for accessories (after scouring the clearance section at Homegoods and local thrift stores of course). They typically carry decent priced vintage/antique occasional tables,  storage pieces, and art. The owner also stocks a large selection of stunning textiles, though they can be somewhat pricey. There's a little sale section tucked away on the second floor in the back where you can frequently find discounts up to 50 percent off. Have a look around.

Monday, December 1, 2014

What I Learned in November

1) Babies are messy

When someone in a house with a baby yells, "oh shit!", they might mean it literally :-(

2) How to unclog old kitchen pipes

If you live in an older home and clog your kitchen sink pipes, try pouring one cup of vinegar down the drain. Let it sit for a minute, then run hot water for one minute down the clogged drain. After that, use a plunger to pump the sink drain, preferably on the unclogged side if you have a two-sided sink.

3) Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds is the bomb!

It has to be for me to be willing to publicly use such a corny phrase. I see DR. BRONNER'S products all over blogs these days, and now I know why...because it really works! I've been using it to do dishes and am very happy with the results. You can also use it as an all-purpose cleaner. A little goes a long way, and it doesn't contain any harsh chemicals.

What did you learn in November? See what others have learned at CHATTING AT THE SKY.