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10 things that made me happy, Nashville edition!

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1. Our girls trip was a 200% success! Love you, L! I wouldn’t have wanted to run through an airport with anybody else. :)

2. Bonding with new friends over flight delays and spending an AMAZING first night closing down 3 bars.

3. Live music EVERYWHERE! Including the shitty airport restaurant. I’m so stoked to take in what Calgary has to offer for live music from this point on.

4. Walking by Bourbon Street Blues and catching an amazing set mid-day.

5. The shrimp and grits + Southern vegetables at Husk were to die for.

6. While we didn’t get into The Bluebird, we did catch The Jack Pearson Band at 3rd and Lindsley and they rocked. As did the bourbon.

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7. Meeting some really fun peeps at Robert’s who let us hang out with them for the evening, which included singing at an uber divey karaoke bar.

8. New ideas (to me) and lingo: cognitive dissonance and suburbophobe.

9. Napping in the hotel lobby on Sunday even though we had already checked out. Our hotel was so great!

10. I didn’t see any celebs, but most of the locals we met on the streets of Nashville were so friendly. Y’all are a friendly bunch!

10 things that made me happy, part 113

Juliette Barnes, perfecting the ice queen smile.

1. It’s been an absolutely gorgeous and beautiful fall so far. Is it me or are the leaves sticking around a bit longer this year?

2. I booked L and me in to a couple of restaurants in Nashville! OMG, t minus 5 days!

3. After work drinks with my fave twitter friend, E in the Sunnyside sunshine.

4. Girls-night-in that involved copious amounts of sushi, gin, and living room dancing!

5. My new fall boots! They are totally made for walking.

6. Impromptu Wine Wednesdays with my boys at my home away from home.

7. Afternoons spent colouring and chatting over coffee with my mom.

8. Tuesday doubles.

9. Friday night cocktails and convo at Avec.

10. Out with the old, in with the new! :D

This week, follow the rhythm of the earth as it spins under your feet. Follow the rhythm of songs played in supermarkets, in cars, in your head. Follow the thoughts that won’t leave you alone. Follow the images that keep tugging at you, keep speaking to you, keep bothering you. Follow the things that move you, even if they don’t make sense yet, even if you aren’t sure where they’re taking you. It’s not your job right now to know why. All you have to do is honor your own instincts.

Dedicated to the haters. Love you. ~ Madame Clairevoyant.

10 things that made me happy, part 112

It’s Friday, so says the folks at Gin & Tonic Friday! Thanks for the tip, J!

1. I’m happy that youtube exists and I don’t have to buy tapes and dub songs off the AM radio anymore.

2. This fall weather means that I get to wear my Lauren Bagliore fingerless leather gloves again. YES.

3. A much-needed catch up sesh with T.

4. Running into my favourite people at one of my favourite restaurants, Vintage

5. Taking in Advanced Style during CIFF with my momma. 

6. Emails and texts from faraway friends. <3

7. Productive work days.

8. The Saje Quick Study mist is fabulous. Not sure if it really works, but it smells amazing.

9. Being healthy enough to donate blood.

10. One week closer to Nashville!

Monday comfort: Chinese no clay-pot chicken with soy and ginger (aka the recipe with the longest, most descriptive name)

I was planning on going to the gym after work today, but the fact that I had an hour to kill between the end of work and the start of a *choreographed* (read: impossible) class meant that I decided to exercise my culinary muscles instead.

(Photo from The Kitchn)

I pinned this recipe a long time ago from one of the few blogs I still read on a semi-regular basis, The Kitchn. Honestly, I’ve made a few of their recipes that I would never make again, but there are a few gems that are epic (here and here and here). Thankfully, this is one of them.

This came together pretty easily and quickly; the most annoying thing was standing in line at the organic food store for the shiitake mushrooms. Stoked to eat this for lunch tomorrow! 

The Kitchn’s Chinese No Clay-Pot Chicken with Soy and Ginger (reproduced from here)

Serves 6

1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 boneless chicken breasts, about 1 pound, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 scallions, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, roughly grated
2 ounces smoked sausage, such as Chinese lapchang or good Italian salami, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
10 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, caps thinly sliced
1 tablespoon canola or peanut oil
2 cups Chinese long grain rice
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups chicken stock

Heat the oven to 350°F. Whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Stir in the chicken, scallions, garlic and ginger, and toss so that they are coated with the liquid. Place this mixture in the refrigerator and let marinate for at least 15 minutes while you cook the mushrooms.

Place an oven-safe pan, like a 3-quart Dutch oven, over medium high heat on the stove. When it is hot, add the sausage and turn the heat down to medium-low. Let the sausage slowly release its fat. When the bottom of the pot is slick with the sausage fat, add the mushrooms. Turn the heat back up to medium high heat and let the mushrooms cook, without stirring them, for 5 minutes. Flip them over and cook for another 3 minutes.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pot, and sauté the rice briefly to develop some toasty flavor (you don’t want to brown the rice here, just sauté it for 1 minute or so), then add the salt and the chicken mixture from the fridge. Pour in the stock. Bring to a boil.

Turn off the heat, cover with a lid or with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Make sure to taste the rice for doneness before taking it out of the oven. I like my rice a little chewier; some might want it more cooked. Let stand 5 minutes, covered, before serving. Stir up the rice before serving, as the chicken and mushrooms will have risen to the top during baking. Stir thoroughly so that they are incorporated throughout the rice.

Garnish with chopped scallions and serve with extra soy sauce and chili garlic sauce, if desired.

If you start to forget who you are this week, if you start to forget how to live, try to see yourself through other people. Try to see yourself through the friends who believe in you most. Try to see the ways you glow and shine in other people’s eyes. There are so many ways to live and so many ways to see; spend your days with people who help you remember this. You can rebuild your confidence. You can relearn how to love your own self. You can remember the magic in your bones and the light in your heart.

Via here.

10 things that made me happy, part 111

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1. Getting to say “over it” to so many things, not the least being: belting.

2. I took in my first Calgary International Film Festival movie, Preggoland, and it was awesome. 

3. Impromptu Sunday evening patio-ing with L, J, and M.

4. After work Friday drinks with K at Craft is *always* amazing.

5. A full week of gym time, which really feels quite awesome.

6. Getting to spend an evening enjoying bread, cheese, charcuterie, and live performance art with M. I’m gonna miss you, girl!

7. Crunchy fall leaves and getting to wear boots again.

8. Planning my trip to Nashville with L, which is coming up in less than 3 weeks!! :D

9. A Manhattan and some Frank Sinatra at Vintage.

10. My fabulous friends: you guys are da bomb.

Thursday: Link Love