Podcast episode #10: Let’s want what we want

Podcast episode #10: Let’s want what we want

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Welcome to episode #10 of the To Do Lists of the Semi-Adult podcast where Rae and I talk about figuring out what you want and how to own it.

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Subscribe to this bi-weekly podcast on iTunesStitcher or by using our feed link.

Rae and I feel like this “semi-adult” stage of our life is all about figuring out what is going to make you happy in life. Sometimes it’s about trying new things, sometimes it’s about realizing that there are things you don’t want, such as working nights or having an inconsistent schedule.  It’s always about  making the best decision for yourself at the time with the information you have.  If later, you change your mind or realize that’s not actually what you want, you can make some changes.  Just because you invest time in a pursuit that ultimately doesn’t make you happy doesn’t mean it was a waste of time.

Internet experts believe part of this whole process is to analyze the feelings behind your desires. Rae and I shared different articles about this including a Huffington Post dating column and an article from Oprah’s website.

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We also mention what to do when people tell you that you shouldn’t want or not want something. One example is Rae’s cool new purple hair  — she was afraid to tell people about her decision before it was done, because she thought someone might talk her out of it. The takeaways from that are: you totally don’t have to tell anyone what you want, it’s OK to keep it to yourself. But if you are put on the spot –like mothers asking me if I want kids — and you want to answer truthfully — “nope, not ever” — realize that people’s doubts of your decision are mostly them justifying their decisions to themselves.

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In the lightning round, Rae talks about finishing up The Magician’s Land, and I’m not reading anything at all, but I am working on an embroidery project of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night.  Rae tried out the ingredient/recipe delivery service Blue Apron last week and loved it, and I made some wonderful banh mi inspired meatballs (that are low-carb, keto-friendly and gluten-free).

So that’s what’s going on this week on the podcast. Will you be our Internet friends? Rae can be found at raesdays.com, on Instagram and Twitter, and at raesdays(at)gmail(dot)com. Jewels is at ovenlovinblog.com, on Instagram and Twitter, and at jewelsphraner(at)gmail(dot)com.

Podcast episode #9: Let’s own our pleasure-pleasures

Podcast episode #9: Let’s own our pleasure-pleasures

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Welcome to episode #9 of the To Do Lists of the Semi-Adult podcast where Rae and I talk about the pleasure-pleasures that is popular culture intended for young adults.

Subscribe to this bi-weekly podcast on iTunesStitcher or by using our feed link.

Rae and I share a love for popular media intended for young adults. We’re talking about ABC Family television series, animated movies and easy, fun, capturing books about terrible romances.

Rae owns it, and I spend a lot of time feeling guilty about it, but she’s right. “There are no guilty pleasures, just pleasure-pleasures.”

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First on the docket is our discussion on the merits of The Secret Life of the American Teenager, of which the entire series is available for all of your viewing pleasures on Netflix.

We also talk about Frozen, the Hunger Games trilogy, Pretty Little Liars, Twilight, Divergent, and Prince of Egypt.

Also, of course, we talk about the Harry Potter series, which might not even count as the young adult genre.

One of the coolest ways to enjoy Harry Potter for a second, third, fourth or fifth time is through the Mark Reads blog, where you can read about his reaction to the books, chapter by chapter.

We also want to thank Xavier for sending us an awesome email, and in that spirit: please send us mail!

Rae can be found at raesdays.com, on Instagram and Twitter, and at raesdays(at)gmail(dot)com. Jewels is at ovenlovinblog.com, on Instagram and Twitter, and at jewelsphraner(at)gmail(dot)com.

 

 

What’s in season: fall

Buying fruits and vegetables that are in season and grown locally is the economical way to save in the produce department. Plus that means they spend less time in transit, so they’re picked when they’re riper and best tasting.

The above map is a look at what’s in season in the U.S. from September 22 to December 21, sorted by region.

Podcast episode #8: Let’s travel

Podcast episode #8: Let’s travel

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Welcome to episode #8 of the To Do Lists of the Semi-Adult podcast where Rae and I talk about traveling and what you can do to help new moms.

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Subscribe to this bi-weekly podcast on iTunesStitcher or by using our feed link.

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For Labor Day weekend, I spent a lovely lunch at the Narcisi Winery in Gibsonia and Rae went to the Field Museum, and also recently said goodbye to Anana the Polar Bear, who’s taking a vacation.

Speaking of vacations, I am taking a trip to California to hang out with my parents for a while. Packing for such a long trip has been overwhelming, so I asked Rae for some traveling tips. There’s also some resources on the Internet for packing (and Real Simple has a list, too) and navigating the stress that is every airport. Mostly, Rae and I agreed get there early.

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(Update: trying to pack your whole closet in two suitcases is not the best idea.)

I also asked Rae for some tips on what to do to help out new moms, and as she predicted, there is tons of advice on the Internet for such a quandary. Rae suggested making yourself available, bringing drugstore supplies and dropping off food on the front porch.

As for the lightning round, Rae is reading Acceptance by Jeff Vandermeer, and I just finished John Green‘s The Fault is in Our Stars.

 Rae can be found at raesdays.com, on Instagram and on Twitter. Jewels is at ovenlovinblog.com, on Instagram and on Twitter.

Podcast episode #7: Happy Birthday to no one

Podcast episode #7: Happy Birthday to no one

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Welcome to episode #7 of the To Do Lists of the Semi-Adult podcast where Rae and I talk about the struggle that is sending birthday cards. We’re really bad at it.

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Subscribe to this bi-weekly podcast on iTunesStitcher or by using our feed link.

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We both struggle significantly with getting birthday cards out on time or, you  know, at all. Once I made a birthday card book that lasted oh, about, four months before I decided it was not the best way to remember birthdays. Rae has tried manila envelopes. Neither one really worked for us.

So here are new tips: keep all your supplies handy; keep your addresses on your phone on accessible on your phone while you’re standing in line at the post office; and set reminders on your phone. She also talked to Michael, who is really good at mail, and he said he adds birthdays to his regular to do list and sometimes sets email reminders. Do you guys have any tips?

We also talked about other organizational systems, like what are you supposed to do with magazine articles you like and tear out and save. Rae suggested Blake Lively’s method which is saving them all in inspiration binders.

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Rae’s currently reading Vampires in the Lemon Grove, and she talks about the book’s decorating inspiration over at her blog. I made Shutterbean’s sriracha chicken recently and it was incredible. (Books are affiliate links.)

 Rae can be found at raesdays.com, on Instagram and on Twitter. Jewels is at ovenlovinblog.com, on Instagram and on Twitter.

Podcast episode #6: Let’s all get some presence

Podcast episode #6: Let’s all get some presence

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Welcome to episode #6 of the To Do Lists of the Semi-Adult podcast where Rae and I talk about having presence, which is like having charisma or poise or gravitas in the workplace.

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Subscribe to this bi-weekly podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or by using our feed link.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We talked about Rae’s final drawing project, which was Twin Peaks inspired. She said she might take another drawing class in the future, but she’s looking forward to taking a break and practicing her new skillz first.

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Then we get into this idea of presence — inspired by a Wall Street Journal article and infographic. Mostly it gives tips on professionalism and how to maintain that professionalism even when things are not that great at work.  Ask a manager is another great resource for maintaining professionalism also.

Rae’s currently reading The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman and Guardians of the Galaxy. And somewhere J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith’s newest book is on her list. I’m reading Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook. I’ve also been watching a ton of Top Chef lately, which has led me on a journey to master the mother sauces.  (Books are affiliate links.)

Rae can be found at raesdays.com, on Instagram and on Twitter. Jewels is at ovenlovinblog.com, on Instagram and on Twitter.

Mom’s fudge brownies

Mom’s fudge brownies

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When I first made these for our picnic in the park, I forgot to take the final photo. So I had to make another batch. Poor us. We had to eat two batches of these delicious fudge brownies. This recipe comes from my mom, and they are the only brownies I had growing up, which probably explains why I can’t eat brownies that come in a box and/or brownies that restaurants serve. None of them can measure up to this goodness.

So people can be really picky about their brownies. Some people like them fluffy and cake like and other people like them gooey and some people like them dense and fudgy. My mom’s are more dense than chocolate cake, but not too dense. They have the right amount of fudge and fluff. And there’s just a sprinkling of walnuts. Just a sprinkling. So you get a little surprise crunch sometimes.

Protip: Line your baking pan with greased parchment paper or foil or something that will allow you to lift the whole baked brownie square out at the same time. It’s a lot easier to slice brownies from the rest if they are out of the pan, than in the pan. [Read more...]

Podcast episode #5: Let’s be friends

Podcast episode #5: Let’s be friends

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Welcome to episode #5 of the To Do Lists of the Semi-Adult podcast where Rae and I talk about making friends.

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Subscribe to this bi-weekly podcast on iTunesStitcher or by using our feed link.

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This week we talked about the silent soap war going on in my house, in which I haven’t won yet, because recently the soap was moved back to the soap dish. I’ll continue battling until victory is mine. We also talked about Rae’s recent vacation to Michigan, where she jet skied and paddle boarded. And I talked about A.J.’s Birthday Week, which included this fun Johnny Cash show at the Pittsburgh CLO Cabaret Theater. (Apparently they also have a Broadway songs singalong every month, so if anyone wants to go to that with me, please let me know!)

 We also talked about making friends and how hard it is. It’s really hard. I referenced a New York Times article about the science of making friends, which involves proximity, a number of unplanned encounters and the feeling of comfort and safety. Rae suggests inviting people out for concrete plans, instead of offering to get coffee sometime. We also talked about proceeding as if you’re already friends with the person and ignoring the insecurities associated with the fear of rejection. But seriously, you guys, it’s hard.

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We also talked about my upcoming trip to the zoo to see the sea dragons, that sometimes puppies play with cheetahs and Rae’s cool new dress that she made, And I learned there’s such a thing as a bias tape maker. She’s reading The Bat right now, and I’m trying to catch up on a stack of magazines, like Rachael Ray‘s magazine and HGTV, which Rae suggested I read. Rae is also making a delicious blueberry/orange salad and A.J.’s peanut butter pie with chocolate covered pretzel crust was a big flop.

 Check out our other episodes on the podcast page.

Flavoring with lemon instead of salt: chicken pasta with a caramelized onion, roasted garlic, thyme-parsley-lemon cream sauce

Flavoring with lemon instead of salt: chicken pasta with a caramelized onion, roasted garlic, thyme-parsley-lemon cream sauce

This post is sponsored by Sunkist lemons. I have been compensated as part of an ad campaign for Sunkist. Posts by others around the Internet will be identified by the hashtags #tablethesalt.

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I think I set a record for the longest title for a blog post ever, but it’s only because I wanted to be able to include every amazing ingredient in this dinner. Let’s list them again. Sweet caramelized onions. Perfectly roasted garlic. Parsley and thyme. Tart lemon. Rich cream. Over pasta, green beans and chicken.

When Sunkist contacted me to participate in their S’alternative — that is a campaign to encourage home food providers to use lemons instead of salt in dishes for the same type of flavor — I tried to think about ways I might overuse salt in our home.

It’s no secret that consuming excess amounts of salt is not healthy. For the vast majority of Americans, the bulk of daily sodium intake comes from heavily processed foods, not from salt added during cooking or at the table. In addition, the Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Americans note that virtually all Americans consume more sodium than needed, at an estimated average intake of 3,400 milligrams per day, when the recommended amount is between 1,500-2,300 milligrams per day, for the average person.

Sunkist lemons are grown in California and Arizona and available all year round. In addition to helping boost flavor and reducing sodium intake, lemons can be used in a number of ways – from household cleaning to healthy living.

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The good news is lemons play on your taste buds the same way as salt, so by using more lemon juice and zest, you can reduce the amount of salt added during the cooking process.

So I use a lot of salt when I’m trying to cut through something dense and heavy, such as potatoes or cream. That’s why I thought making pasta would be a great way to experiment with using more lemon and less salt. And what a grand experiment it was. It couldn’t have turned out more delicious.

chicken pasta with caramelized onion roasted garlic thyme parsley lemon cream sauce

To make this dish, I used Sunkist’s cooking recommendation ratio of salt, lemon and zest. (See the infographic below, for more on that.) [Read more...]

Podcast episode #4: adult milestones

Podcast episode #4: adult milestones

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Welcome to episode #4 of the To Do Lists of the Semi-Adult podcast where Rae and I talk about adult milestones.

Subscribe to this bi-weekly podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or by using our feed link.

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This week we talk about my first adult trip to Costco, where I might have saved money, maybe. FamilyCircle has a slideshow on how to save money at warehouse clubs that includes buying meat in bulk, so I feel validated, and 100 Days of Real Food just came out with a list of nine meals to make with organic ingredients from Costco that I’m excited to try.

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Rae and I really like cooking with friends. Real Simple has tips for that. But, also, we don’t follow any tips, and it all works out OK.

Also, Rae and I discussed our personal milestones of adulthood which include but are not limited to:

  • painting my nails for the first time without getting nail polish everywhere. If you, too, need help with this see an instructables guide on how to do so.
  • eating ice cream for dinner because we can
  • planning vacations (yes, there’s a wikihow for that too)
  • having the forward-thinking ability to think that caffeine now will cause sleeplessness later
  • the realization that it’s ok to speak up and have your needs met, perhaps most eloquently articulated always by captain awkward

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We also talked about Rae finishing up Mr. Mercedes (kindle here). She talks more about the book on her blog here and here. She also just started a new graphic novel series, The Preacher. Jewels just started Ruth Reichl’s Tender At the Bone. She also has been making delicious smoothies.

Check out our other episodes on the podcast page.