Super Simple Salads and Chorus Geeks

>> Monday, January 31, 2011

Congratulations to our lucky iHerb giveaway winner Melissa (Contagious Health) who writes: "I love to juice and blend my greens as well as sneak them into unsuspecting dishes!"

WANT A CHEAP, FAST LUNCH?

I think we all do -- at least at times. Though it may not look like much (I mean, it's really just beans and veggies), when you're pressed for time, making a healthy, satisfying lunch can be difficult. So, this is my new go-to meal for the PM hours when I'm away from home at work. The best part: It's full of protein and healthy calories.

Oh, and did I mention it's CHEAP?
And FAST?!


SUPER SIMPLE LUNCHTIME SALAD

What you'll need . . .
  • 1 bag of mixed frozen veggies (I used an Asian variety)
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oil of your choice
Method . . .
  1. Toss your frozen veggies into a pot with the oil and soy sauce. Heat over medium-high heat until warmed.
  2. Toss the warmed veggies into a storage container and mix with the beans.
  3. Just heat and eat when lunchtime comes!
  4. It's that easy. Season more if you like. Mix up the veggie and bean varieties when you get bored.
We didn't get a ton of time to cook over the weekend with all the 10K PR-ing, in-law visiting, and bed-buying. On the list for this week: Homemade pesto. Bread. Cookies. Probably a carb-fest, so I'm warning you now.

On tonight's agenda: MY FIRST CHORUS REHEARSAL. The last time I sang in a group, I looked like this (sorry, friends in this photo, I couldn't resist):


What are your favorite frozen foods? I'm growing a new appreciation for the non-rotting, frozen-at-the-peak-of-freshness, oh-so adaptable stuff. Just leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com.

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Three PRs, One Race

Remember our last Freeze 10K? The one where Stephen and I both PRed? Well, we ran the last one in the series on Saturday . . . and we beat our previous times (I came in at 47:51, 7:42 pace; Stephen finished in 34:38, 5:35 pace). It's been a good month for racing!

The temperature was right around 23 degrees F with very little -- if any -- wind. But that didn't keep me from bundling. (Thanks go out to my mother-in-law for taking these great photos!)


Despite training for the Boston Marathon, Stephen has seriously raced his 10Ks this month. Some of you will be interested to know that he's running almost exclusively in Vibrams these days (And has been -- high-mileage -- for a while now). I'm trying to get him to write a post on the whole experience.

In short (and in his words): Once you go barefoot, you never go back.



I'm still sporting Nike Free (I'm just as enthusiastic about this shoe as Stephen is about his finger feet) -- and I'm happy to report that during the race, I experienced zero knee or IT-band pain.

Z.E.R.O.



Get this: Our friend Dani also PRed yesterday.


(You remember Dani, right? She's the gal who ran my last half marathon with me.) Basically, I think conditions were perfect for a January race in the Northeast!




Oh, yeah. And not to brag . . . though, it's definitely brag-worthy. Stephen didn't just win the race yesterday. He won the entire SERIES. A lot of our other runners club friends did well in the overall, category, too.

A BIG CONGRATS to everyone!


I'm still out-of-this-world shocked that I was able to break into the 47s at this race. Last year, my best time was 49:00. So, I've said it before . . . and I'll say it again: SWIMMING is to thank for my improvement. Sunday, Stephen and I both headed to the gym for a thank-you-we-love-you-pool mile swim.

Stay tuned for the iHerb giveaway winner -- as well as a tasty and incredibly easy lunch-time recipe. And if you have questions about running in Nike Frees or Vibrams, just leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com.

Like what you just read? You can subscribe to the feed of these posts or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to be the first to know what the (never home)makers are up to. And we’ll love you forever!

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To Cook or Not To Cook. The From-Scratch Debate

>> Friday, January 28, 2011

Lacy asks: You bake and cook so much stuff all the time, and it all looks good (and healthy to boot)! Do you make every meal you eat from scratch? I want to know what you eat in a typical day/week (and if you could send some motivation to cook over my way - haha!).


When we received Lacy's email, I read it aloud to Stephen and almost fell over laughing. Why exactly? I mean, it's a valid question! You see, the circumstances were just too much to take. At the time, I was elbow deep in a plastic container of Chinese takeout (bean curd with garlic sauce, with a side of MSG probably -- thanks for asking). I was supplementing it with an ice-cold beer. And for dessert, I was planning on eating a peanut butter cup.

It was just one of those nights. So -- in short, Lacy -- no, I do not toil over every meal.

It's not all green banana scramble and cacao energy chunks here at our casa. We do not (repeat: do not) 100% abide by a whole foods, made-from-scratch, granola-or-bust diet. We don't mill all our own flours. We don't make Stephen's seitan every time we want wheat meat. We don't even bake cookies every time we need a chocolate fix. It just isn't practical for our busy lifestyle. So, we do what we can when we can (Stephen eats probably far better than I do, truth be told).


We like to show you all the highlights and most memorable moments on the blog, probably making us look like we feast on only the most good-for-you stuff the world has to offer. All the time. No matter what. Um. Not true. So very NOT true!!!

That doesn't mean we don't try to eat well as often as possible. I've already written all about my stance on junk foods and how I don't fret about 'em. That being said, we try our best to choose foods that are healthy. I definitely make room for dessert every single day (and usually more than one). But if we're talking about general intake. What we usually eat . . . it's pretty boring, which is why we don't take the time to write about it. That's right: Eating well doesn't have to mean hours in the kitchen following tricky, photo-worthy recipes.

If it did, our kitchen would always look like this:


O.M.G. No thank you, because we STILL haven't purchased our dishwasher.

For this post, I'll focus on my own habits (because Lacy asks what we eat in a typical day). Stephen can fill his in another time. For me, it goes a little something like this . . . and I'll give the three MVMs (most valuable meals) for each, well, meal.

Breakfast:
  • Oatmeal with peanut butter and banana
  • Smoothies
  • Cereal (current favorite: Autumn Wheat)
Lunch:
  • Spinach salad with apples, walnuts, and kidney beans
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat
  • Leftovers from dinner the night before
Dinner:
For snacks, I eat Greek yogurt (current favorite: Chobani Black Cherry). Graham crackers. Carrot sticks. Anything I can toss into a bag on the go, really. You can take a peek inside our fridge, if you like. Notice how there isn't anything that's terribly time-consuming on this list. I rarely break out new recipes during the week unless I know they'll be quick. That's what the weekend is for -- learning and practicing. Maybe even preparing ahead of time.


Working full time and having a full life outside of work requires planning. (We are called never homemaker for a reason, because it really does seem sometimes like we're never home!) It also demands tried-and-true recipes that can be made in minutes. Foods that are sustaining enough to give energy to get through all those crazy moments. Finding the right balance is totally up to you and your circumstances.

What do I recommend if you are having trouble preparing more than microwave meals (though, you can up the nutritional value on those, too)? Well, I challenge you to carve out an hour on Sunday afternoon and make something new and different that you can save for the week. Like how we make our Pumpkin Chili. I personally love to cook and spend time in the kitchen, so this time for me is mind-clearing and fantastic. If you don't love it so much, play some music or have a movie playing in the background.

It's just like exercise, really. You just need to find what makes it work for you.


SOME TIPS:
  • Start small, but yield big. If you take the time to make a full crock pot full of something, you'll either have lunches for two most of the week. Or dinner for a couple nights. It's fantastic. More bang for your time-buck. (Uh. That doesn't work, but you know what I mean!)
  • Create a list of go-to meals. Those ones I listed above are totally the ones we go after on nights when we feel there's just no time. Or crazy mornings. I mean, pouring a bowl of cereal takes two seconds. (And yes -- this includes a list of healthy-ish takeout places for those especially insane days.)
  • Create a list of go-to ingredients. Maybe you're comfortable cooking with eggs, for example, and you know you can whip up something healthy and fast with them (like a protein-packed omelet). Maybe you dig sesame oil and soy sauce (like us) and know if you steam some broccoli and add the sauce to it, you'll get your fill. Whatever it is, getting to know ingredients that are easy to work with or that you and your family enjoy is super helpful.
  • Find the fun in it. I find that a lot of people associate cooking with work. And we don't want to do work when we're returning or going to work, right? Try to find something about being in the kitchen that brings you joy. It will make your stomach AND your mind happy.
  • When all else fails: Eat Simply. Carrot sticks require basically no time to prepare. Apples are a healthy snack on the go. Keep peanut butter and a loaf of whole grain bread at your desk for in-a-pinch lunches. Do what you can when you can. And ENJOY the food you do eat.

FRIDAY STYLE

More dark, colorless clothing items today. (But at least I have one color on!) I must have enjoyed wearing my shawl yesterday -- I broke out the other one I have (and haven't worn in months).


Dress and necklaces: Target
Leggings: Gap
Vest: TJ Max
Belt: Kohl's
Boots: Gabriella Rocha (via Zappos)


Is from-scratch at all times best? I'm taking a wild guess, but I'm thinking a lot of you who read our blog love to cook. But I'm also thinking some of you find it exhausting/annoying/etc. or feel it's not your favorite activity of all time. Love it or hate it, we want to know!

Just leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com.


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Green Eggs, er, Banana Scramble . . .

>> Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's been a while since we posted a banana scramble recipe. And it's also been a while, as some of you have pointed out, since we've posted a vegan recipe. It's not that we've forgotten about that part of the site. Far from it. We've just been eating a TON of plain fruits and veggies, and when we've made something recipe-worthy, it's had eggs, cheese, or yogurt in it.

It happens. But all you vegans (and vegan-lovers) out there should appreciate this breakfast.


SAVORY BANANA SCRAMBLE -- OPEN-FACED

What you'll need . . .
  • 1 large banana, mashed
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 (or so) scoop Midori Greens (or other greens supplement)
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Chopped green pepper
  • Hot sauce
  • Whole wheat English muffin, toasted

Method . . .
  1. Mash your banana well -- until egg-y. Then mix in the cornmeal, paprika, Greens, and black pepper. Set aside.
  2. Spritz a bit of canola or olive oil into a frying pan over medium-high heat and toss in your green pepper. Cook for a few minutes -- until softened and lightly browned. Then toss these into the banana mixture.
  3. Lower the heat a bit and spritz in a bit more oil. Pour in the banana mixture and cook -- lightly mixing with a pancake flipper (the technical name isn't with me right now). Toss around until lightly browned.
  4. Lay out your English muffin on a plate and divide your banana mixture into two sections. Top each muffin with half the mixture. Top with hot sauce.
  5. Enjoy.

If you don't have a greens supplement, I imagine if you pulsed the banana in a food processor with some spinach or kale, that'd do the trick as well. It's sort of like making a green smoothie.

BLOGTASTIC "OPEN MIC"

We're SUPER DUPER excited at all the interest in the Blogtastic "Open Mic" that's we're hosing on February 25th. For more information, see our previous post with all the details.

And if you'd like to sign up officially (don't be scared -- we're all in this together!), rather than emailing us -- please add your name and blog name to this list (feed readers may need to hop on to neverhomemaker.com). We're thinking we'll post a similar list the day of so you may link to your specific post.



THURSDAY STYLE

I have a feeling opinions will be split on this one. I tried pairing my loose-fitting top with a thicker belt than usual. I also tried not wearing jeans to work. I like it -- but there's probably something wrong with wearing a brown belt and black shoes.

I don't really have brown shoes (well, I have boots), and I'm not planning on buying any anytime soon.


Shirt: J. Crew (clearance)
Sweater vest and shoes: Target
Belt: Kohl's
Cords: Gap


My knitting project is coming right along. It's going to be at least double what you see in this photo. Another eternity scarf. Just really exaggerated for extra warmth.

If you'd like to catch up on my style transformation, just click these links:


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2011. The Year of No-Biggie Races.

>> Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I have a confession to make. Something that's been bothering me for months now. Three lllooonnnggg months. I thought it'd just go away if I kept living life with a positive attitude. If I kept working on the problem. If I rested. But here I am at the beginning of the year, and I'm absolutely TERRIFIED to sign up for any spring or summer races.


That's right: I have no races on the horizon. Z.e.r.o. The Boilermaker 15K, which is one of my favorites, is filling up fast. So is the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon. And I could save some major dough if I preregister for others. I also haven't even begun thinking about fall marathon plans. I -- gasp!!! -- may not even train for one this year.

WHAT?! What about your sub-4 hour goal, Ashley?!
Friends: I somehow don't care right now. I'm just happy to be running.

My knee is getting better. That's for sure. But there's this unshakable fear that's taken hold of me. It's keeping me from training for anything seriously. At all. Right now: I just run to run. And there's nothing wrong with that. But it's not like me. I'm so terribly worried the pain will return. Or that the hydrocortisone is only covering the issue and running is only making it worse.

I may be right.
I may be wrong.
There's really no way of telling.


Something good: I did successfully complete an 11-miler two Sundays ago. With only slight discomfort. 8 miles were run in the chilly outdoors and the other 3 were run comfortably on our treadmill. I ran another 10-miler on the treadmill this past Saturday. Sunday, I braved the elements (above, you can see my running-when-it's-negative-nine-degrees-Fahrenheit style) and ran 5 outdoor miles atop snow with absolutely no pain. Generally, I'm keeping my weekly total between 20 and 30 miles a week.

My PT even told me at our last appointment that I was "set free" because there's not much else he can do for me. Panic set it, and I quickly asked begged him to see me just a few more times. He said: "Unnecessary." So, I don't have regularly scheduled appointments now. I'm on my own. Scary!


Still -- the fear. It's decided: 2011 is the year of no-biggie races for me. I'm sticking with local stuff. Sign-up-the-day-of-the-race events. And probably not trying anything above the half marathon distance. What's this, though? This odd sense of calm? Yeah. I'm feeling OK about it -- good, even -- despite how I may sound. A.c.c.e.p.t.a.n.c.e. Liberation. Yes -- there's something so liberating about not HAVING to run a long run on a Sunday if I'd rather swim or bike or walk or REST.

I've been cross-training still. Swimming. Biking. Walking. 30-Day shredding. Aqua-jogging. Yoga-ing. Knitting. Guitar-playing. Auditioning (for our university chorus -- I got in! Go altos!). Photographing. Becoming more of a whole human being, really. Slowly, I'm learning to chill out.

It's OK to not run races.
It's OK to run just to run. To make my own schedule.
It's OK to take breaks.
It's OK (and good) to change up the routine.
It's even OK to enjoy other things in life besides exercise.
It's all going to be OK, OK, OK.

Races I do have in mind include a 5K in February. A 4-miler and 15K in March. And a half marathon in April and May. But we'll see. I'm taking each day (and race) at a time. Keeping my expectations low and my spirits high. I know I'm still in great shape . . . I just don't need a number on a time-clock to solidify that for me. At least not this season.

Again, so very liberating.

But that's just me. I want to know: What do YOU have on your spring and summer schedules? We'll definitely be at Boston this year for Stephen's first run of the course. Can't wait! Just leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com.

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Fish, Cornbread, and Jean Skirts

>> Tuesday, January 25, 2011

We've received some emails asking how my fish-eating experiment is going. And after posting my intentions and an Orange-Cayenne Baked Tilapia recipe . . . there's been absolutely no mention of it. At all. Sorry about that, peoples!


I do very much intend to give fish a chance. However, I don't want to go about it in the same way I set out to at the beginning of the year. My plan: 12 weeks. 12 types of seafood. Equals 12 times to evaluate if I want to move from vegetarian to pescatarian (like Stephen, though we don't love labeling our diets).

It's way too regimented -- at least for me. At this point, I don't find myself craving fish. I don't find myself sick at the thought of eating fish. And the way I feel -- if I don't feel particularly compelled to eat it, I don't want to force it. If I did, I think I'd develop some negative associations. Instead, I am open to the choice. I am open to trying. (Just like when I became un-vegan.) And I will be trying more, just not in a regularly scheduled format.


HEARTY CORNBREAD CASSEROLE
(Print this Recipe!)

What you'll need . . .

For the veggies:
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 (16-ounce) can kidney beans (or more, if desired)
  • A pinch or two of Kosher salt
  • Tablespoon (or so) of your favorite hot sauce
For the cornbread:
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • A pinch or two of Kosher salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can of corn kernels, drained and rinsed


Method . . .
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable (or other) oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Toss in your onions, garlic, and green peppers.
  2. Cook until soft and lightly browned. Then toss in the tomatoes, spinach, and kidney beans. Cook for a few minutes until the spinach is wilting. Then stir in the pumpkin puree, hot sauce, and salt. Continue cooking for a couple more minutes -- until well combined.
  3. Then spritz a 9 x 13 baking pan (I used a glass one) with oil and pour everything into it.
  4. (Now make the cornbread): In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, black pepper, baking powder, and baking soda.
  5. Add in the canola oil, lightly beaten eggs, and almond mild. Mix until everything is moistened. (There will be some lumps. You may use an electric mixer, but hand mixing is also fine.)
  6. Fold the cheddar cheese and corn into the mixture. Pour this mixture over the veggies in the prepared pan.
  7. Put everything in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes. The cornbread will firm up and be slightly browned when done.
It may seem like a lot of effort and time. But the cooking/baking actually goes pretty quickly. Plus, the yield is enough for two meals for two -- minimum. We some for dinner last night, I'm eating some for lunch today, and we'll have more for dinner tonight. Done and done!

TUESDAY "STYLE"

Today's outfit is far from exciting. But at least it's a (jean) skirt. Right? Ugh. I lost some momentum with the dressing pretty thing this week. Blame it on the negative temps. Blame it on my unwillingness to get used to working 9-to-5 again (oh, how I miss getting out before dark!).

But, really, it's my laziness creeping up on me.


Sweater: TJ Max find
Shirt and skirt: Gap
Tights: DKNY
Flats: Earth Origins (biodegradable and SUPER comfy!)


I think the hardest part of this whole style journey has been so wildly opening myself up to criticism (some of it has been very helpful -- don't get me wrong!) based on how I look. Nevertheless: If you'd like to catch up on my style transformation, just click these links:
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Weekend Happenings, Part 2: Food and Friends

>> Monday, January 24, 2011

Forget pumpkin garlic knots. Well . . . not entirely. The minute I got home Friday night, I made some pumpkin pizza dough.

After two long hours or rising, we whipped up a basic cheese pizza. But on Saturday, instead of making the usual garlic knots -- we dumped a huge helping (1/4 cup) of pesto into a bowl with about 1 tablespoon of extra olive oil.


Really. That's all you need to do.


Pesto knots will rock your world. I promise. Make them tonight. If you haven't noticed: We're on a pesto kick lately (Basil Pesto French Toast and Pesto Quiche, anyone?).

BEST FRIENDS PLUS ONE

Our best friends Lindsey and John welcomed their little guy (baby Gavin) into the world last week. Naturally, we went to visit them ASAP. And I had some fun with my new 50 mm lens.

What a gorgeous family:


Even Stephen got in on the baby-holding action. I couldn't resist snapping this shot:


I think the little guy got a bit irked with me toward the end. I mean. I did shove a huge camera in his face for the better part of his afternoon meal time. But we love him lots.

Congrats to Lindsey and John!


FUN LUNCH TRICK

I'm notoriously bad at packing my lunch for work. Recently, I picked up some frozen entrees (not a ton, just a couple for those especially rushed mornings). I usually don't like to eat these meals because they have high sodium content and -- though they're getting way better -- don't always the best nutritional profile.


Yeah. I could have picked something with veggies. But -- confession time -- one of my all-time favorites is the mac 'n cheese. Smart girl that I am, I thought of a way to up the nutrition a bit.

Remember our Pumpkin Mac 'n Cheese recipe? I thought: Why not do THAT?!
  1. So, I grabbed a sweet potato on my way out the door. 
  2. Then at lunch time, I poked the tines of a fork into it a few times and microwaved on high for around 5 minutes. 
  3. Then, I scooped out the soft potato, mashed it, and mixed it in with my Lean Cuisine (after it was warmed).
Served with some fruit and carrots (other fast-to-items), I was set. Have you made over a pre-packaged meal? If so, what'd you do? Just leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com.


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Weekend Happenings, Part 1: New Wardrobe

(No! I didn't get all new clothes. I'm still really excited to buy nothing new in 2011. We're talking wardrobe -- furniture-style!)

A lot of you probably don't remember how our "master" bedroom looked a couple years ago. It's one of those rooms in our home that's always in flux. We borrow from it from time to time (like when we stole our nightstands for end tables in our recently changed living room/dining room setup).

Actually, the entire upstairs of our house isn't exactly showroom-ready because we're always picking at it.


Oh, well! Here's how the wall and closet area looked way back when. (I don't know what we were thinking with those purple curtains. Maybe my inner-child picked those out.)

No. We didn't overhaul the whole thing this weekend. I want to -- and soon. Though, I'm still not sure about colors. Also -- and here's a fun piece of information -- we have never, ever had a real bed. We just have our mattress and box spring on the floor. It appears to be a platform bed. But . . . no. That's on the list before anything else.

What DID we change? The storage situation! Our closets are wicked small. So, my clothes have always been in the "master" bedroom closet. Stephen's have always been in the guest bedroom. A guest bedroom which is now a gym. We decided this weekend to relocate all our active wear (and there's a lot of it!) to this new gym.


The bedroom now happily houses both our wardrobes. And though this new setup may not be pretty -- it works.


We've had the dresser for a while. It's full of my stuff. But we bought a cheap-o wardrobe from Home Depot (only $95!) and assembled it Saturday afternoon. It wasn't the easiest thing to deal with . . . but -- ultimately -- we're happy with it.

I tend to let my laundry get out of control and pile on the floor. Now, picking out my clothing in the morning is WAY easier. (Sorry for the blurry-ness.)


I agree with a lot of you who said the whole boots/jeans combo works on me (I'm so humble, right?). So, I did it again. This time with a turtleneck sweater from J. Crew. Eternity scarf from TJ Max. And glasses. I am still having trouble popping my contacts in. Ick.

If you'd like to catch up on my style transformation, just click these links:

Like what you just read? You can subscribe to the feed of these posts or follow us on Twitter or Facebook to be the first to know what the (never home)makers are up to. And we’ll love you forever!

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Blogtastic "Open Mic" and Friday Style

>> Friday, January 21, 2011

One of my goals this year is to be more creative. To develop my inner-artist -- which, for me, is mostly through music. I'm auditioning for our campus's community chorus next week. So, that's a start -- and I'm super excited about it. I've also been playing guitar/singing for at least 15 minutes per day.

I'm not great, but I'm slowly re-gaining my range. Re-learning chords. Re-discovering my voice. My brother is even going to teach me some fingerpicking (I never really learned). Which leads me to something scary: I really want to do an open mic night . . . like: A LOT. I've wanted to do one pretty much since . . . forever.

BUT I'm absolutely terrified to sing alone in public.


It's not that I can't do it (I was in musicals, had solos in chorus concerts, and performed in a variety of other events throughout the years, including some karaoke hits). It's just extremely, extremely difficult for me.

Lights shining in my eyes.
Mic in front of me.
Crowd hushed.
FROZEN. Forgetting words and chords.
Suck-y singing. Ahh!

SOLUTION: The Blogtastic "Open Mic" event!

S.e.r.i.o.u.s.l.y. I haven't hammered out all the details yet, but I'm completely dedicated to making this happen. Many of you expressed your own desires to grow your creative sides this year. And here's your chance to showcase your progress!
  • Anyone can participate. Singers. Instrument players. Poets. Fiction and other writers. Painters. Photographers. Crafters. Style gurus. If it's creative and can be shown online -- you're in.
  • It's a Date: Friday, February 25th. This give y'all an entire month to create your piece and figure out a way to share. (Video is best -- even if you're just holding up your painting, for example, and briefly explaining it -- because we're at our most vulnerable . . . In other words: I challenge you to go outside your comfort zone. However, video isn't required to participate. Photos will do the trick, too.).
  • What I need from you is a promise that you'll participate. A virtual pinky swear. A promise that you'll post your submission on Thursday, February 24th by midnight. That way, everyone can have the weekend to check out all the "performances" -- how fun!
  • I'll also need your first name, blog name, and link to your blog -- in advance (you can just email us), please -- so I may create a list of stops on the Open Mic circuit. As well, it'd be nice if you could include the title or type of "performance" you are going to give.
  • First round of folks will need to let us know by February 15th if they plan to participate. If all goes well, we'll host another event in March!
  • Am I forgetting anything? Probably. If you have questions -- just email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com.
I guess at this point I'm looking to see if there's any interest in this type of thing. (Comment if you are!) If no one else wants to -- I may just post a video of myself singing and playing guitar. (Yikes! You've been warned.) Mostly for me, I guess. I can already hear you all laughing and turning down your speaker volume. Hah!

FRIDAY STYLE


Less than a week after I challenge myself to dress up more -- to stop wearing my active wear to work -- I'm sporting Luon again. But I figure it's Friday. The day after a minor snow storm. I've been prettied up all week.

Go easy on me!



Hoodie: Lululemon -- I know. I know!
Shirt (underneath) and jeans: Gap
Boots: Keen

If you'd like to catch up on my style transformation, just click these links:
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