I'm so excited to share that my article about at-home fermentation is in the current issue of Paleo Magazine! You can find a copy wherever magazines are sold throughout the country or you can view the online version here. I am especially proud that Tyler made the cut in the photo spread. We always knew he would make a fabulous model.
I highly encourage everyone to buy a copy of the magazine and write the editor to tell him how much you loved my article--just kidding...sort of.
I feel like I have so much other news to share but, like everyone else, I have been overloaded lately with end of the year stuff, Christmas shopping, and what seems like a dozen different Christmas parties to go to, and I haven't had much time to write on my blog. I'm looking forward to next week when I will have a little bit of time off to spend with my favorite person in the world and our three furry children and hopefully catch up with all of you.
Happy holidays to all!
My husband and I drove to Charleston, SC this weekend for a quick visit with family and an early Christmas celebration. The weather was perfect: chilly nights and sunny days. We ate at some amazing restaurants, including the much-acclaimed Husk, and shopped up and down King Street for Christmas presents. Overall, it was a lovely trip and can't wait to go back.
Some photos from the weekend...
Palm tree sunset.
I saw this lady at the farm market and she was kind enough to let me take a photo of her beautiful cat :)
Second Presbyterian Church, founded 1809.
It was love at first sight.
A striking resemblance.
I hope everyone had a great weekend!
It is 1921. In a mountain-locked valley, Jessie is on the run.
Born wild and brave, by twenty-six she has already lived life as a circus rider, horse and cattle rustler, and convict. But on this fateful night she is just a woman wanting to survive though there is barely any life left in her.
Two men crash through the bushland, desperate to claim the reward on her head: one her lover, the other the law.
But as it has always been for Jessie, it is death, not a man, who is her closest pursuer and companion. And while all odds are stacked against her, there is one who will never give up on her—her own child, who awaits her.--Goodreads blurb.
There were several things I loved about this book:
1. The unusual narrator.
The Untold is written from the point of view of Jessie's dead child, who, in the beginning of the book, Jessie buries in a shallow grave by the river after he/she was unable to survive a premature birth.
2. The Descriptions of the Landscape
Collins's descriptions of the Australian bush are vivid and striking. You can tell she has intimate knowledge and a deep love for the land.
Jessie is a complete badass and a wonderful heroine. Despite all that happens in the book and her illicit past, I was still pulling for her until the last sentence of the book.
4. It is Inspired by the Life of a Real Woman
Courtney Collins was inspired to write The Untold from the story of Jessie Hickman, a legendary outlaw bushwoman in twentieth century Australia.
Fans of historical fiction will adore this book.
The Spectacular Now is one of the better young adult novels I read this year. It was funny, realistic and didn't make some lame attempt at sugar-coating real life issues or try to wrap up all of the book's conflict neatly within the last couple of chapters.
The book tells a story from the point of view of 18-year-old Sutter Keely, a charming young man with a bad drinking problem. Sutter is a popular guy with a beautiful girlfriend, dozens of ex-girlfriends who still care about him, loads of friends and is always the life of the party. One day, however, Sutter wakes up from a hard night of drinking on a random person's lawn meets his fellow classmate Aimee Finicky.
Aimee is not like Sutter. She loves books, science fiction and she has, in Sutter's opinion, no backbone, and lets her family and friends walk all over her. Sutter takes it upon himself to make Aimme his project, trying to teach her confidence and how to stand up for herself. During this process. he ends up falling for her. The rest of the book details how both Sutter and Aimee change as a result of their new relationship.
The book's ending is a bit controversial but it is one of the main reasons why I loved the book so much. Fans of contemporary young adult fiction should definitely pick this up because it is a great, realistic example of the genre.
The Spectacular Now is also a movie starring Shailene Woodley who seems to have the lock on all young adult book-to-movie adaptations these days. I look forward to watching this over the holidays.
How was your holiday weekend?
I took some time off work and enjoyed spending time with my husband and family. I attempted a little bit of Black Friday shopping and went couch shopping but ended up not finding anything I liked. Wanting to spend money and not being able to=ultimate first world problem.
The rain finally stopped on Thursday and we had beautiful weather. Here are a few photos I took at my husband's grandparents' home out in the country.
I hope everyone has a great week!
My husband often tells me that I complain way too much and, honestly, he's probably right.
Today, instead of complaining, I am focusing on all the wonderful things I have, including my family (furry and otherwise,) my friends, my work and my home.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoys some time off with loved ones.
This was another book club selection for me, although I probably would have read this book eventually on my own. I have only seen Season 1 of Girls, Lena Dunham’s HBO television series, and enjoyed it, but I am more interested in Lena Dunham because of the interviews that I have heard on Fresh Air and The Howard Stern Show. I find her fascinating, especially when she speaks so openly about her struggles with anxiety and OCD.
My mother often called me “obsessive-compulsive” although I was never diagnosed as such and I never had to perform elaborate rituals that interfered with my daily life, although I did harbor strange superstitions (and still do) about certain things. I often believed that items of clothing or pieces of jewelry were “bad luck” and if I wore them, something bad would happen. I also remember at some point in my adolescence thinking that if I didn’t wash my hair a certain way each morning, I would have a bad day. I think these things are more about issues with control than anything, and I never had to take medication like Lena, but I still find it really interesting to hear about other people who had problems where their brain made them behave in odd ways.
Dunham is a wonderful essay-writer. I thought the prose was tight, engaging, and I can honestly say I enjoyed most of the book—even the sections that made me cringe. I felt sorry for her at many points in the book, especially some of the sections where she described making some bad decisions when it came to sex and dating. These all seemed, to me, to come from a place of very low self-esteem and I really felt for her.
People have criticized her for oversharing and I think they do have a point when it comes to certain things in the book, but I also can see how maybe writing all of this was very cathartic for her and, if it helped her heal from any of the harder life experiences, then I think more power to her.
If I could offer some criticism, it is that a good deal of this book could have been edited out. Like, I said before, it is a bit too much Lena. The calorie-counting section taken from her journal was pretty excessive. I think she could have gotten the point across without including the actual logs. I completely skipped over the section where she annotated an email that she wrote years ago to an old boyfriend. I thought it came across as a bit sad, really, and added to that overall feeling I had of pity for her. The other thing that really bothered me was the chapter where she wrote an email to an unnamed person. The description was something like, “what I would say if I had the balls to send this.” So, instead she just writes it in to her book? I thought it was immature, passive-aggressive and not unlike something really childish people do when they post “you know who you are” type updates on Facebook and Twitter.
Overall, though, I enjoyed the book and would read more from Lena. I think as she matures and takes the focus of her art away from herself, she will do some really great things.
Work has been somewhat crazy lately, and I have a lot of projects that need to be finished before Thanksgiving. I am definitely looking forward to next week and things slowing down a little bit. These photos are a bit old, since I haven't had time to post them, but I wanted to share them anyway.
I took advantage of an art sale at World Market a few weeks back and bought some canvas prints for my bedroom and foyer. I love, love, love this bird and tree print in my bedroom. The gold is so nice against all of the whites and beige we have going on in that room.
This print is called "Distant Storm" and fit absolutely perfectly above my new foyer table. Although name sounds ominous, but I find it very soothing and welcoming as I walk in the front door.
The weather had turned chilly and all I want to eat are soups and stews. I made this tomato stew with ground pork from Hilltop Angus, oregano, lots of garlic and a generous helping of swish chard and spinach.
I hope everyone had a great week!
Cauliflower is an extremely nutritious vegetable that is rich in vitamin C and the compound, sulforaphane—which has anti-cancer benefits.
I used to always just steam or sauté my broccoli and cauliflower, until I discovered roasting it. The roasting process creates a nice char on the veggies that is quite delicious. Make sure to cover the veggies with a lot of seasoning. My favorites are sea salt, coarse-ground pepper and smoked paprika.