Saturday, May 31, 2014

Saturday Horse Shows

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The barn I ride at has casual horse shows  (or schooling shows...) - they are small, involve both English and Western Classes, and seem more like a family riding and goofing off together than something where we have to go all out and all crazy to be the very best. It's not that we don't try...it's just that we don't stress while we're trying!

A few Saturdays ago I had the opportunity to show in one. I showed up alone and was immediately adopted by a mom who's elementary aged son was riding in it, too! (It's hard to show horses on your own...having an "assistant" is completely necessary to get you through the day!) This is just more proof of how calm and laid back these shows are - you can just walk in and you have a crew of people who can jump in and get you where you need to be! My amazing trainer also helped out and ran the show at the same time - she's so talented!

The show went well and I got second place. Thomas Dole of MaxMX Photography was there documenting the whole event and was able to grab a few pictures of me while I was there. Thank you!

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Photo credit to Thomas Dole. You can check out more pictures of the show here or follow him on twitter here. Thanks again!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Twenty Nine!

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I turned twenty-nine at the beginning of this month. I always like birthdays - to me they are similar to New Years. You can make resolutions, change things around, start projects, finish up chapters in your life, and really just enjoy the possibility of a new year of you! 

This is my last year of my twenties. I have been hugely grateful for the things that I've gotten to do this decade. I've done some traveling (would love to do more!) picked up and excelled in some intensive hobbies (classical ballet until the age of 22, cycling starting around the age of 22, and I started horseback riding around my 28th birthday), married the man of my dreams, learned how to dress myself well and look collected, moved to a few different cities. I haven't had the wild ride I expected when I was in my teens but I see every day that I have a good life.

My life is so wonderful, in fact, that I say that to myself all the time. It's not reminder, it's recognition. I notice it when I've just gone grocery shopping and I'm eating from a giant jar of Kimchi, when I've just cantered on Meethie, when I am on the couch next to my husband watching silly TV shows, an especially when I see my friends and feel how much they love me.

Because it's the last year of my twenties I decided I wanted to do a few things this year. Well... nineteen to be exact. This project was inspired by the Thirty Before Thirty projects that so many blogs did...but to be honest... I could only think of one less than twenty things I wanted to do.

So, in no particular order...here they are!

1. Spend a day lounging by a pool
2. Compete in a horse show
3. Learn to take great care of my skin
4. Finish four books
5. Go to a spa for a day 
6. Leave the country
7. Throw a dinner party to honor someone or something 
8. Audition for ten things
9. Feature four other bloggers 
10. Write a 20,000 word story
11. Write a thank you note to the ten most important people in my life
12. Do a makeup step by step tutorial for the blog
13. Surprise my husband with a weekend get-away
14. Catch up with our yearly photo albums
15. Sew a dressage coat
16. Get a motorcycle license endorsement 
17. Memorize a Hip-Hop routine
18. Take a class to learn something new 
19. Fix something on the car

This list might fluctuate. It might change. It may get added to or subtracted from, but the heart is the same: tie up some loose ends, try some new things, keep going where I am content, make every day a celebration of life! 

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

You Should Know: Living Gluten Free: Recipe - Sweet Potato Medallions with Micro Greens, Feta, and Balsamic Glaze

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(Note: This is part two in a gluten free living series! You can see part one here.)

Earlier this month I posted my top five tips for living gluten free. A few weekends ago my friend Stephanie, who blogs over at Sustaining the Powers, and I partnered (well...she cooked...I watched and took photographs and drizzled Balsamic Glaze over the final product!) to work on a very simple gluten free recipe. One of the great things about this recipe is that it is made entirely with foods that are already gluten free. You don't even have to think about replace this or that with expensive or hard to find ingredients.

These sweet potato medallions can be served as a side, main, or appetizer and take very little time to make and prep. The plate up beautifully and can be grabbed one at a time.

Stephanie is a fantastic cook and an amazing multi-tasker. She's also exceptionally skilled at working around dietary needs. Here's an example: one random Wednesdays night, I watched her make seven meals for seven people with different dietary needs on a whim simply because they were hungry. It wasn't even a dinner party! We just showed up and she fed us all. She used basic ingredients in her kitchen and had them all out, plated beautifully and deliciously. I'm still in awe of that skill and she's definitely one of my cooking and hosting inspirations and thrilled that she was willing to partner with me to bring a Gluten-Free Recipe to you!

Sweet Potato Medallions with Goat Cheese, Pecans, Microgreens and a Balsamic Vinegar Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup goat cheese
  • Balsamic vinegar glaze or reduction
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup microgreens (grow your own or find them near the sprouts and lettuce in the veggie section of your grocery)
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450. 
  2. Spread 2-3 tbsp of olive oil on a jelly roll pan. 
  3. Scrub sweet potatoes, but do not peel.  
  4. Slice sweet potatoes crosswise in 1/2 inch thick medallions and place on oiled pan. 
  5. Flip once so both sides get oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake for 15 min. 
  7. Turn over using tongs and bake for another 10 minutes, or until both sides of the potato are blistered and the center is soft. 
  8. Top each medallion with crumbles of goat cheese, pecans, microgreens, and a light drizzle of balsamic reduction or glaze.


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Thursday, May 01, 2014

Modern/Vintage

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I have an extensive closet - I don't think this is any secret. I only rarely get rid of things and I hang onto my clothes for years...decades, even. My style roots are in vintage and I used to wear almost exclusively vintage or vintage style clothing. (Oh my goodness! I was able to make every single word in that sentence a link to a different post featuring vintage clothing and I only looked through half the blog! wow!) Dresses, petticoats, house coats, vintage inspired shoes and jewelry reigned for years. I started wearing vintage in middle school and wore it throughout my early and mid twenties and I've collected a large amount of clothing from various eras ranging from the 1850s to the present. As I've gotten older my taste has evolved and I'm not wearing as much vintage. This is partly because I've taken a more preservationist stance on my originals, but also because my tastes of changed and what is practical and useful for me is different now than what it used to be.

Recently I was standing in my closet thumbing through my suits and blazers and I realized that I had a lot of pieces that just never make it out into daylight that are perfectly sturdy and wearable. I think this is a conundrum for many of us who have left our vintage phase. We can't really part with these one of a kind pieces but we don't really want to wear them, either. My initial solution was Acid Free Boxes but even that couldn't store everything, only the oldest and most fragile or most valuable.

I realized that, given a little thought, it'd be perfectly fine to mix some of my very vintage pieces into my daily wear. So, I did what any other person with too many clothes and not enough ideas did: I played dress up. I pulled out a dozen or so sturdy pieces of vintage clothing out and started trying them on over what I had worn to work that day to see how they would mix and match. Suits got separated, dresses got modern blazers over the top to liven them up, handbags were turned into clutches by turning the handles inside, skirts were given modern shoes and at the end of it all I had a few ideas. 

For date night this week I decided to pull out a vintage clutch from the 1960's and the top of a suit from the mid 1940's that I bought in high school. Both of them are sturdy (the clutch actually was deadstock and had tags on it!) and I wasn't worried about potentially damaging something irreplacable. I paired this uniquely structured blazer with a basic t-shirt, Madewell skinny skinny jeans, and a pair of updated patent pumps from L.K. Bennett. I matched the red clutch to a red bracelet my friend had brought me from Spain and  off we went! 

Do any of you have this type of vintage conundrum? How are you handling it?

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I'm wearing a vintage blazer and carrying a vintage clutch. The bracelet is a small gift ("Petite Cadeau" - My foreign language phrase of the day!) from a friend's trip to Spain. The Pearls are also vintage. The t-shirt is from Caslon (similar cut here - can't find the same color!). The jeans are Madewell's Skinny Skinny cut. The shoes are from L.K. Bennett.

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