Monthly Archives: August 2011

{summer jams}

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Unfortunately for all you preserve lovers, this post isn’t actually about jam.

It seems to me that summer is a magical time which changes my preferences for certain genres of music,
and perhaps even certain songs.
Wouldn’t you agree?

For the sake of conversation, let’s spend our time exploring country music.
In my opinion, country music, like soda pop, best suited for the warmest of months.

1. The Next Album You Should Buy:

{The Band Perry}

I first learned of this trio last summer by chance, from a radio broadcast of their now Grammy Nominated, double-Platinum single “If I Die Young.” You’ve no doubt, heard it more times than you can count, as it’s crossed over to the pop-charts and is still going strong.

Still, this group isn’t a one hit wonder, as several of their songs off their self-titled debut album are download-worthy.

My favorite is called “Independence“.

There’s a road like a long gray ribbon far as I can see,
And it’s pulling Independence out of me.

It really speaks to one of summer’s most signature items: road trips.
Which, for me, have usually led to a livestock show somewhere in the northwest.

Ironically, my next gray-ribbon adventure will lead right to the Oregon State Fair,
where I will be seeing these talented siblings in concert.
*I’m pretty much bubbling-over with excitement.*

 2. The Best Song of Summer 2011:

{"Barefoot Blue Jean Night" by Jake Owen}

If you haven’t heard this summer-lovin’ gem, you are missing out.
Something about the upbeat lyrics, small town references and possibly, Jake’s incredibly long hair
really capture the cherished feeling of sunny days and star-filled nights.
Well done, Jake.

Jake has actually spent time this summer touring with The Band Perry, and will be joining them again
for the announcement of the final CMA nominations September 6th, on Good Morning America.

3. The Best Band You Might’ve Missed:

{The Fleet Foxes}

Truly sporting a sound of their own, the Fleet Foxes are a mellow and enchanting version of folk-country music.
They’ve mastered the art of singing a melody which is sure to resonate throughout your day from a single listening.

Their lack of categorizing is what makes them difficult to describe in text.
Please, don’t over-look this talented, Seattle-based group.
As a newly-devoted fan of only a few months, I’ve already logged them at the top of my itunes favorites.

Stand-out tracks include:
“White Winter Hymnal”
“He Doesn’t Know Why”
“Battery Kinzie”*
“Mykonos”

*featured on the Starbucks 10-song Summer Mix

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Until next time, keep summer turned up. xox.

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{thirsty thursday}

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And really, what topic could be more fitting for a recent college-retiree?
The current heat wave which is engulfing my house further suggests that this is a much needed post.

So for everyone wishing for a summer treat, please indulge in these recipes which I covet.

Say "Yes!" to Breakfast

{photo credit}

My food staples are fresh fruit, Fage 0% greek yogurt and peanut butter. Lots of peanut butter.

Over the last several weeks, I’ve perfected a smoothie combination,
(I use the term ‘combination’ instead of recipe, because like real cooks, I prefer to eye-ball my ingredients),
which combines my best-loved foods:

  • Fage brand 0% plain, Greek style yogurt {23g of protein in a single serving!}
  • Smart Balance *or* The Bee’s Knees peanut butter {if you haven’t tried the Bee’s Knees natural peanut butter, friend, you are missing out.}
  • Blue berries {a must!}
  • Strawberries, or bananas or peaches {tried ’em all, you can’t go wrong.}
  • “Boosts” {any powdered vitamins or minerals, think jamba!}
  • Cinnamon, and if you are feeling gutsy–a sprinkle of ginger or chili power. {I’m not messing with you –cinnamon & chili are an incredible taste sensation which I like to mix into just about anything!}

Blend with a few ice cubes, and baby you have an incredible breakfast that’s going you keep you running on high.

The Perfect Iced Tea

{photo credit}

Anymore, it’s a soft slap-in-the face to walk into Starbucks.

First, I’m an unemployed penny pincher who really shouldn’t be frequenting coffee shops..at all.
Second, I no longer have the raging metabolism of a teenager who can down a Venti Frappucino and
expect to get away with it.

                         So? I finally met Tazo Passion Tea. It’s the uber-satisfying tea which needs no sweetener.
Yes, you read correctly: no honey, no sugar, no kidding.

The best part? It’s around $5 for a box containing 20 servings. {boo-yah.}

{Mango*Mint Mojito}

{photo credit}

Recently, I was alerted to the gold mine of mint growing near my house.
My first thought: ‘what a useful ingredient’. Useful indeed.
The highlight of my day was further sweetened by my talented bartender-wannabe boyfriend.
The surprisingly simple & sweet combination is as follows:

Use as much fresh mint as you’d like. In my case, it equaled a little over a full stalk.
Crush the mint with the back of a spoon and place in a shaker.
(Don’t own a shaker? Use two differently sized glasses–we aren’t here to judge.)
Add 1-2 shots of Cruzan mango rum and club soda to taste.
Shake it up and follow with as creative of garnish as you please.

You, my fellow mint lover, are now the proud owner of a delectable, low-calorie summer refreshment.

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Stay thirsty, my friends. xox.