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Do you know Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros?

Well, if not, I recommend you check out this video.

They aren’t exactly my regular favorite type of music, but I dare ya to not tap your foot along to this song.

Want to know what makes me really love the band?

They sell TAMBOURINES at their concert. Do you know how much this would make my life? To go to a concert with my own tambourine? Much. It would make my life much.

And now, on this Friday, I would like to go on record stating that the tambourine is, in my opinion, the greatest instrument ever made.

The end.

Happy Friday All!!

Have a great weekend,

Leah

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First, I want to start off by stating that I’m blogging while watching the show “My Strange Addiction” on TLC. Where the heck does this channel find these people?

The first lady is obsessed with eating chalk. I cannot imagine anything worse to put in my mouth- the texture alone makes me cringe. Every bite she takes makes even my toes tingle thinking about that texture. Oy.

The second guy is addicted to running. He runs 20 miles every single day. Sadly, I suffer from the same addiction (those of you that know me should be laughing hysterically right now).

The third lady is addicted to shopping. She is $85,000 in debt and spends approximately $1500 a week on clothes, shoes, and bags. Wowza.

The fourth girl is addicted to tanning. She belongs to six tanning salons and spends approximately $1000 a month on tanning alone. I don’t even know how that is possible.

Anyhow, I say all this for no real reason at all.

It has nothing to do with anything.

People are fascinating.

Know what else are fascinating?

Sweet potatoes.

Right? Fascinating.

Or not.

At the least, they are pretty darn tasty.

I dig the sweet potato and all of its lovely health benefits. But I do take issue with sweet potato recipes because they seem to usually include some sort of sugary and sweet topping. And some days I’m just not in the mood.

This recipe (if you can even call it that) is my hands-down all-time favorite way to eat sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potato Fries.

Yum-Diddy-Yum-Yum

Start with some sweet potatoes.

These two large taters fed Brad and I, and it allowed for some leftovers.

Set your oven to 400 degrees.

Don’t bother scrubbing them.

Because we’re going to peel them.

Next, is the hardest part of the recipe. Slice the potatoes into fry shape.

They don’t have to be perfect, but you want them to be approximately the same size so they cook evenly.

But, rustic is good.

Put them on a non-stick sheet pan (with sides… you know, so the oil doesn’t drip all over your oven).

Give them a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Then sprinkle on some kosher salt and pepper.

Pop them taters in the oven for about 10 minutes.

Pull them out and give them a flip.

Then, pop them back into the oven for another 10-15 minutes.

I keep mine in there for a little longer because I like it when they get all brown and caramel-y.

Pull them out of the oven. Serve them up immediately with some apple butter if you crave the sweetness.

Or you can always serve them with ketchup if you prefer the savory. That works too.

I had mine with a BLT and some pineapple.

There you have it. Easy and delicious. And pretty healthy too.

And now, because it is my blog and I can do what I want… I’m throwing in a random photo.

This is the first photo that we took of Lola.

I was sitting on a bench outside of a strip mall at a dog rescue event, and I was falling in love with this sweet little pup.

And then I took her home.

And realized that she is stubborn. And she likes to dig holes. And she is a ding-dong.

But gosh darn it. She was (and still is) cute.

Doesn’t that face just say to you, “please ma’am… take me home… I’ll be the perfect little addition… and I’ll never do anything bad… I just want to be loved”?

Maybe I need to work on my dog face interpretation.

Happy Thursday Friends!!

XO,

Leah

There are dog people.

And then there are non-dog people.

I grew up in a household of seven people, and six out of the seven of us are dog people… with the exception of my mom. She is dog tolerant. And that is about it.

Let me paint the picture for you.

Our beloved childhood dog, Skipper, lived a nice long life. And he was a good dog. When he became blind and deaf, my parents dutifully cared for him. Then he stopped eating, and they knew it was time to say goodbye.

It was a sad day for all of us. Even my dad shed a tear, which is a very rare occurrence.

Now, my mom cries at any touching movie, moment, happy news, sad news, exciting news, etc. But not one tear was shed by her for beloved Skipper.

When I asked her, “won’t you miss him?”

She replied that she’ll miss him when she’s cooking because he did scarf up any scraps.

Now, for you dog lovers that may sound cold-hearted. But my mom, I assure you, is not cold-hearted. She just doesn’t care for dogs.

So, that should provide a starting point for you to understand the rest of the story.

Fast forward…. Christmas at the parent’s house in 2010.

All 5 kids were coming home along with two spouses and two boyfriends. That makes for 11 adults in my parents home along with a bunch of drop-in friends.

Add to that the five LARGE dogs that would be accompanying my momma’s darling children on their trip home.

I thought the woman would have a breakdown.

Here is the ding-dong cast of characters.

The grumpy old lady, Miss Jackson:

Miss Ultimate Supreme Ding-a-Ling, Lola (who in this picture looks like she has a lazy eye):

Mr. Bosco, my sister’s very well-behaved (no that isn’t sarcasm… he is a REALLY good good dog) American Bull Dog:

Rosie, the rescue. And Jax, Bosco’s brother. These dogs love treats. Amen.

And this is a little glimpse of what it was like with them around:

http://bshawise.tumblr.com/post/2488922266

They were relegated to the basement. Please note that is only 3 of the 5. Miss was probably on the second floor far away from the action, and I’m sure she was trying to figure out how she was the only dog last year, and this year she was sharing her favorite get away spot with 4 dogs under the age of 1. Pretty sure she hated us for bringing her. And Rosie was probably locked away- Rosie is still working on playing well with others.

Words cannot describe the chaos that 5 grown dogs can create when they are together. For the dog lovers, there were a lot of funny moments with those ding-a-lings. And for my mom, I’m sure she was wishing that she raised her children better- you know, to be those non-dog loving people that don’t bring disruptive and destructive animals into her home.

Thanks be to God for the nearby high school athletic fields. They provided the fenced in space for these dogs to wear themselves out.

Thanks be to the Dog Whisperer, Justin. For it turns out that he really isn’t a whisperer, he is just a good treat bringer and giver.

And thanks be to my momma for her gift of tolerance.

Happy Wednesday people!

Have a good one,

Leah

I’m having a difficult time wrapping my brain around the fact that Christmas has come and gone for another year. How is that possible?

The holiday season flew by.

Now, our house is back to normal.

No more stockings hung by the chimney with care.

Side note: I do love how the house feels bigger and less cluttered once the Christmas cheer is packed away.

However, all that is left of the holiday is warm memories and a nice pile of loot.

I made out like a bandit this year.

I know the real joy is in celebrating the reason for the season, and in giving, and in sharing, and in the blah, blah, blah.

But I’m not going to lie… I also enjoy the getting part of the holiday.

I’m only human after all.

Are we human? Or are we dancers?

(All my love and respect to the person who names that tune).

Anywho, I thought I’d share with you one of my most fun gifts this year:

Those, my friends, are bags of salt.

Fun, right?

My brother and sister-in-law loaded me up with some culinary treats including these salts from the bulk bins at Whole Foods, some vanilla beans and vanilla paste, a bacon cookbook, and a few other treats.

We used a couple of the salts with the family for our Christmas meal.

The Black truffle salt on roasted potatoes was delicious.

My brother and I must be on the same wavelength because I tucked some White Truffle oil into one of his gifts.

So, when we pulled our potatoes out of the oven, we finished them off with a little of the truffle oil.

Double truffle potatoes?

Don’t mind if I do.

When I came home from the whirlwind family tour, I decided to use my brand spankin’ new Le Creuset to make Coq a Vin.

If you know any French at all, you can figure out the two main ingredients in that dish…

Chicken and Wine.

So, the Vintage Merlot salt was the perfect addition to that recipe!

The salt will be a gift that keeps on giving as I try out new recipes with a little salty twist!

If you have a foodie (or someone like me that likes to think she is a foodie) in your life, I think this is the perfect gift!

Plus, it looks so darn pretty.

Next up is either chicken or burgers grilled on an indoor grill pan with the smoked sea salt. I think it may just add that charcoal like flavor without having to stand in front of my charcoal grill in 20 degree weather.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

That’s all for now.

Peace out homies.

XO,

Leah

“Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.”

They are separated by their families.

Even though their love exceeds all boundaries, there is one thing that keeps them apart.

They would give anything to make the boundary disappear.

Alas.

The fence.

It keeps them apart.

Well that, and their owners.

This is Riley.

Riley is Lola’s friend, confidant, love.

Riley is Lola’s everything.

How do I know?

Lola waits by the back door patiently for her love to appear. The moment he is let out, Lola must run to him. There is no option.

She is a smitten kitten.

Or Rather.

A smitten hound.

She runs to Riley.

Ears flopping in the wind.

Only to be stopped dead in her tracks by the one things that keeps her from him.

The fence.

A woman in love cannot be stopped.

Lola will not be kept from Riley.

And Lola will certainly not let material boundaries separate her for long.

Lola must only ruin our yard a little bit more to achieve her reunion with Sir Riley.

What is wrong with me?

I’m tempted to let her try.

Brad wants to fill in the hole and place one of Lola’s lovely poops on top of the hole to discourage her from digging further.

Men.

Sigh.

They just don’t get it.

Happy Monday!!

XO,

Leah

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