Tuesday, November 26, 2013

There's Not Much Better Than Live Music

At least, according to my toddler, there's not.  It's safe to say that Jones is pretty obsessed with listening to music, and playing musical instruments, and singing, but most especially hearing music live.  I have to admit that his father and I are pretty over-the-moon about this obsession with music.  The video above is him jamming out to The Kernal at the most recent Columbia Jam Room Festival.

At this same festival, we were listening to Dear Blanca, when we hear the lead singer give a shout out to our son.  By name.  James and I looked at each other.  I looked at Jones who was perched on James' shoulders, and then looked back at the lead singer.  I thought, um, how do you know our child's name?!  (He then said into the microphone that he works at Jones' daycare).   But seriously, our 2 year old got a shout-out at a concert.  We've never been prouder!  And Jones took it in stride, no big deal to him.  "Oh yeah, that's Mr. Dyyan."  (He's still working on pronouncing his 'l's correctly...)

taking in some music from the best viewpoint in the house
The hubs is a certifiable musician, and by that, I mean he actually plays instruments and can read music and all that jazz.  I, on the other hand, cannot.  I am woefully very musically-un-inclined, but I sure do appreciate it.  I never even took a Music Appreciation class in school, but if I had, I'm pretty sure I would've aced it.

Thankfully for our family of music-lovers, there is ample opportunity in Columbia to take in some live music, even during the day-when we must enjoy if we're going to take the toddler along for the trip.  We have attended a couple concerts at EdVenture Children's Museum.  Jones asked me the other day if we could "go to the museum to hear some music?"  Alas, the concerts at EdVenture were only scheduled for Fridays during the summer.  Maybe they'll schedule some more for the Fall too, hint, hint...

Lunch Money is a kindie-band favorite--they have dubbed themselves "Indie Rock for the Whole Family," and I would agree.  It's kid-music for people who hate kid-music.  We own a couple CDs and we've heard them twice now at KD's Treehouse in town.  They don't disappoint. 

Here's to more family-friendly live music in the Midlands for my music-lovin' babe!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Word for Wednesday


lake: to allay (thirst) by satisfying

via here

As in: "We slake our thirst, let the warm water pour over our itching bodies."  I read this line in Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy, last night, and was struck by the word.  I'd never heard it before.

The hubs and I are going on a 5-year-anniversary-date this Saturday evening.  First stop, the early showing of Catching Fire, the movie, then on to Cellar on Greene for drinks and dinner. I was a bit slow to the Hunger Games party, but I am hooked now and can't wait to see this!

Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische.
Definition via dictionary.com.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Don't We All Deserve A Place at the Table?

One of my favorite spots in Columbia, one of our city's gems, I think, is The Nickelodeon Theater.  Before I had children, (when my nights were a seemingly endless barrage of opportunities to go out and experience the city), my girlfriends and I went to see at least a movie a  month, sometimes more, at The Nick. 

image via here
Fast forward a few years; we all now have children, and getting a babysitter is reserved to 1-2 nights a month.  Jaunts to The Nick aren't nearly as regular.  However, they showed A Place at the Table this past Monday, and I told my social work students that I'd give them extra credit to attend this poignant documentary film.  And in doing so, I got to go to The Nick on a weeknight.  And I got to see this raw and smart and provocative film about hunger in America.  (Side note: The film's soundtrack features The Civil Wars, who are amazing.  I blogged about them here.)

The problem is getting worse, not better.  And, you know that obesity problem that our country has, well it's inextricably tied to our hunger problem.  And our factory farm problem.  And the problem we have in our country of taking care of big corporations as if they are people, and caring not for the people themselves.

No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, having 1 out of 2 children in our country experiencing hunger is good for no one.  Hunger affects a child's brain development and health and learning capability...and that affects everyone's future.

Next week is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.  Please do something to help the kids and families experiencing hunger and homelessness.  Watch this film.  Call, e-mail, or tweet your representative and let them know that you don't want them to cut food stamps (SNAP)Do something locally to help combat these problems. 

A quote I posted on the blog I write for St. Lawrence Place a few weeks ago puts words to this issue as succinctly as I can imagine: "The future which we hold in trust for our own children will be shaped by our fairness to other people's children,"  Marian Wright Edelman.

Hunger is a social justice issue.  Do something.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Word for Wednesday


orosity:  the state or quality of being porous.

As in: "I love the rain. I love when we haven't seen a drop in weeks and then it arrives with fury. The porosity of the soil can't keep pace.  I love existing in it."  This is a quote from this post by this amazing blogger, whom I love reading.  Her writing is exquisite.

Definition via here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Easiest Vegetable Recipe Ever (swear!)

This is nothing earth-shattering, I realize, but it is a new-to-me way to cook broccoli, and I am addicted.  And it's as easy as it gets.

In the past, I have shied away from cooking broccoli because to me it was a pain in the ass to cut it up and boil it, just to have a semi-ok-tasting end product that I was really only eating because I knew it was good for me. 

But now, my broccoli-avoidin' days are over.  Since finding this bag of pre-cut broccoli  from Trader Joe's, my vegetable repertoire has expanded.

 Just empty out this bag on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with some red pepper flakes, and shave some Parmesan cheese on top.  (Pretty much every savory recipe I cook includes Parmesan).

 Roast in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, (depending on how much toothsome you like your veggies), and that's it.  Healthy veggies that are super-easy and tasty.  Why did I not think of this sooner??

What are your favorite easy-to-make, yet semi-healthy veggie recipes?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Swizzle Sticks

Can we bring swizzle sticks back, please? I mean besides the fact that the term 'swizzle sticks' is pretty eff-ing cool, each one is unique, and not to mention useful.

Since adding the bar cart to the den, I have been working on displaying some cool vintage finds on it, and I've decided it needs some swizzle sticks.

I mean the plastic, kitschy kind that hotels and bars used to give out freely in every mixed drink.  My parents had them, and growing up I always liked to open the drawer where they were kept and look at the different designs and logos and colors.  I mean, they are really cool.  But, no one stocks these serviceable souvenirs anymore, do they?

Here are a few swizzle stick finds from my internet search...probably going to go digging in my parents drawer soon too.

via here
via here
via here-- I am dying over that fox!

Wouldn't it be cool if local bars and hotels and even restaurants had their own unique swizzle stick?!  According to this LA Times article from 2010, swizzle sticks are making a comeback.  This company is still making custom-molded and custom-printed swizzle sticks...so, how 'bout it Columbia businesses?  It's pretty genius marketing, if you ask me.

Wouldn't it be cool if swizzle sticks made a comeback?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Old Furniture Memories and a Bar Cart DIY

We recently had two pieces of antique furniture recovered for our den.  This furniture has been in my house for over 5 years now, since my sweet, sweet grandmother, Mammy, passed away and left us these gems.

bad lighting, but the fabric is a gorgeous gray velvet from Forest Lake Fabrics

I love this couch because I have memories from when I was 10, and later a teenager, sleeping on it in my grandmother's condo on the river in Beaufort.  It was in her den, just steps away from the tiny kitchen where she and my grandfather always left the radio on, 24 hours a day.  It was not loud enough to be distracting, very low, but it was always on, and always on the classical station.  To this day classical music makes me think of that condo and my grandparents.

awesome blue & emerald green textured fabric that I found on ebay

I don't have any before photos of the couch and chair, but I am in love with the afters...Mr. Shannon of Shannon Upholstery in Eastover, SC is amazing.  He not only did an impeccable job refurbishing (the couch needed lots of repairs) and recovering this furniture, but he truly gets why pieces like this mean so much to people.  They don't have a website or a showroom, but he's the best of the best, take my word for it!

With the addition of these beauties into our already mid-century-modern-eclectic den, I had been feeling the need for a bar cart.  After searching Pinterest for bar carts that suited my taste, I was mostly coming up with options that were way out of our price range.  Until I found this list of DIY bar cart hacks.

We bought the IKEA BYGEL utility cart for $25:

image via here
Then, spray painted the metal pieces with this $8 can of spray paint:

And voila:

this is all the liquor that is only seldom drunk, as all the popular stuff is "out of stock" in our house...

A very affordable bar cart for our very eclectic den.