6.29.2015

Truckin' Around - Food Truck Extravaganza

Food Truckin

On Saturday, June 20, our family went to a food truck rally with Lisa's family. We met a group of friends there and got to sample some delicious treats! I'd never been to a food truck event before, but Lisa and friends were veterans, so I was able to get some pro tips along the way...

The "Truckin' Around Food Truck Extravaganza" was held in the parking lot of the Schaumburg Boomers stadium in Schaumburg, IL. Unfortunately, it was a super cloudy and foreboding "Will it rain?" kind of a day, so not a whole lot of people showed up (this was previously a regular monthly event) - but this meant NO lines for us, so that part was really good. From their Facebook page though, it looks like this lack of customers may have been the nail in the coffin for this event... unclear whether or not it'll happen again. Be on the lookout, just in case. I know I'd like to go back.

Food Truckin
This is the first time I've ever eaten elote. It was freakin delicious!

There were probably close to 20 different food trucks at this event, from all over. Trucks included Toasty Cheese, Piko, Doner Men, La Cocinita, Haute Sausage, Pierogi Wagon, Jerk, and at least four different cupcake trucks (!!!). It was a little overwhelming at first, trying to decide where to start! (I went with a lobster roll.)

Food Truckin
La Cocinita had rum raisin bread pudding. BREAD PUDDING. Yes. 

The portions were all pretty much FULL portions, which made sampling a little difficult... unless you're with your husband, like I was, so we could share everything. That helped! A couple of places had options for smaller portions, like Piko, who offered tiny sliders in sets of 1, 2, or 3, or the Toasty Cheese truck, who offered half sandwiches - this was a life-saver for a mom of a 3-1/2 year old!

Food Truckin
Yep, it sounds delicious, but I was too full by this point.

So, we started with a lobster roll, and shared some pierogi with Lisa. Then I went for the corn (pictured at the top of this post), although I couldn't even eat half of it before I was feeling too full, so I had to sit and settle for a while.

Thankfully, Lisa and friends were super prepared with collapsible chairs - Lisa' husband even had this freakin sweet collapsible BENCH we could all share! And the whole event is fenced in, so our group of four little boys had a blast running around and kicking a soccer ball.

There is beer at this event, but I can't really do beer anymore, so I missed out on that part. Whomp whomp. Most trucks had other alternate options though, like sodas and water.

Food Truckin

Todd got the most amazing teriyaki tofu slider at Piko. I became so obsessed with it that I made my own version the following week at home, which I hope to share with you on the blog soon!

There were several good options for vegetarians at the event - Piko offered tofu as a protein on any of their options, the Pierogi Wagon had three different non-meat options, and Doner Men (below) had a vegan sausage option - which I purchased, but had wrapped to-go for later. Oh man it was delicious!

Food Truckin

I think Doner Men was my favorite truck of the day. Not only was their food delicious, they had awesome vegetarian/vegan options, AND the truck was itself was INCREDIBLE! So heavy metal!

Food Truckin

This mural gives me Metalocalypse vibes. Oh yeah, they had curry fries. Ughhh now I'm hungry. I checked their schedule and they're all over Chicago, if you're the city type. I wish I was, but I'm such a wussy suburbs girl...

Food Truckin

I did grab some of that bread pudding (mentioned earlier in the post) before we left. It's nearly impossible for me to turn down bread pudding. Or carrot cake for that matter.

Food Truckin
By the way, we're sitting on the ridiculously huge but awesome collapsible bench right here. 

We were lucky because it ended up not raining, and it wasn't too sunny until the very end when we were leaving. What did we do after we left? Cupcake store. Because four cupcake food truck options weren't adequate? Nerds.

Food Truckin
Hey I know that girl! She's not actively blogging, but she's still around. :)

This was a super fun day. We actually traveled around a bunch after this, stopping at a toy store, resale shop, and winery before finally crashing back at Lisa's house. And then it finally started raining!

Do you have a favorite food truck, or type of food truck?

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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6.26.2015

Urban Composting for a Healthier Garden

 photo Title_zpsjmetvb7u.jpgHallelujah, Summer is HERE!!!! FINALLY! Took long enough! I'm excited for fresh veggies and herbs from my garden. As you know, I grew up on a farm and am used to WAY more space...So, I've started researching how to make the most to of the limited space I have for a successful yield. If you live in the city or the suburbs (like me), you may not have a ton of space either...Don't fret! With a little effort and some organization, you can still create a healthy and successful garden this summer.  photo Backyard Garden_zpsbjzxeumu.jpg
I have a tiny garden planted next to my shed...The most important thing is to make sure it gets the right nutrients and enough sun. One way to get sufficient nutrients is composting...I know, I know, it sounds scary, but it's actually not terrifying if you do your research. I earned a lot from the Green Education Foundation. They have plenty of resources available if you have questions. First things first...What is Composting and why do I want to do it? photo veggies_zpsiz942eoe.jpg
Composting is nature's process of recycling decomposed organic materials into a rich soil known as compost. Anything that was once living will decompose. Basically, backyard composting is an acceleration of the same process nature uses. I opted to compost because when I started eating healthier this year and I notice how much natural waste I was producing. I was filling up trash bags and trashcans faster than ever before and it was just going into landfills taking up space. I did a little research and found that I can use compost in my garden, potted plants, yard, etc... AND it will keep pesticides and chemicals off of my veggies. You can use it as a mulch, or add it to the dirt to your existing garden instead of buying all of those heavy bags at the nursery. It's a great solution for keeping the environment, your home, and your family healthy.  photo Container_zpspi3sflbb.jpg
What can I compost? SO many things veggie & fruit peels, egg shells, tea bags, coffee grounds, and dryer lint to name a few! NEVER COMPOST dairy, bones, meat, dog/cat or human excrement, diseased plants, weeds that take over, or cooked veggies. For a list of things you CAN and CAN'T compost, visit GetComposting.com. Here is a little excerpt from their site & guide about how to keep a healthy compost pile!

"Like any recipe, your compost relies on the right ingredients to make it work. Good things you can compost include vegetable peelings, fruit waste, teabags, plant prunings and grass cuttings. These are considered "greens." Greens are quick to rot and they provide important nitrogen and moisture. Other things you can compost include cardboard egg boxes, scrunched up paper and small twigs. These are considered "browns" and are slower to rot. They provide fibre and carbon and also allow important air pockets to form in the mixture. Crushed eggshells can be included to add useful minerals."

 photo 32-Gallon-Mighty-Tuff-Trashcan-2_zpsxhtjesmb.jpgNow, if you Google Composters...you're going to say, "Damn Stephanie, this shit is expensive!"...Don't worry! I have a thrifty solution for you! Go to your local hardware store and invest $10-$13 into a 20 gallon trashcan with a lid and two $2.00 rubber bungie cords. Compost loves a little air and a little moisture so you're going to need a drill. Drill holes 4 to 6 inches apart (see what I did pictured above) into the top, bottom, and sides of your trashcan (big enough to let a little air and water in, but to keep critters out). You can secure your lid with the rubber bungie cords to keep rascally raccoons. Once you're drilled your holes and secured your lid, place your new composter on top of some bricks, rocks, etc...to insure that your compost can drain sufficently. Then, add some sticks and earth (I just used a few shovels full of old dirt form my garden) and get composting! You will also need to mix up your compost when you add new stuff (this is the other nice perk to the bungie cords). Instead of mixing it up with a stick or shovel, you just secure the bungie cords and give it a little kick around your yard. Mixing DONE!
 photo Screen Shot 2015-06-25 at 2_zpsbyod09hj.jpg To get scraps from my kitchen to the backyard, I purchased a compost collector from World Market for $14.99 (my most expensive investment into this whole thing). I take scraps out to my composter every 2 days. I also tear up and add any paper junk mail we get (like the newspaper ads etc..) to help balance my browns and greens.
 photo tractor_zpsseo0pasv.jpg
Hot girls compost! ;)
Composting times will vary due to differences in climate, geographical area, rain, etc...If you have more questions about your specific area, Google "Composting (my town)" OR your town community center might have some info for you!  If you just need more information START HERE for the basics and a composting 101from Planet Natural. 

Stay healthy my friends! ;)

Until next time!
~Steph @ Calamity Layne


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6.24.2015

#OWWWA: Tim Burton

OWWWA: Tim Burton - OOTD
dress - Kohls / shoes - Dr. Scholl's via Zappos / glasses - ASOS / parisol - Amazon / hair flower - Hell Razor / bracelets - Tarina Tarantino / necklace - Curiology Jewellery via Etsy / crinoline - Domino Dollhouse

I'm combining this week's #OWWWA #OnWednesdaysWeWearArt theme with my Hearse Show OOTD post, because I am very much inspired by the Tim Burton aesthetic in all of my artwork, and especially my outfit on this day!

It's no secret that I LOVE stripes, especially high contrast black and white. It's a pattern I'm drawn to in almost everything I do/make/wear, and it is a theme that also shows up in Tim Burton's art as well.

OWWWA: Tim Burton - OOTD

But wait - Tim Burton - he's the guy that directs movies, right? Yep, that's what he's most famous for, but he is also an amazing visual artist (clearly shown in the aesthetic of his movies) - MOMA in New York even gave him a retrospective in 2010. I would have killed to have been able to go!

Among Tim Burton's most famous movies are: Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Batman, Corpse Bride, Big Eyes, Frankenweenie, Mars Attacks!, and Pee Wee's Big Adventure. They all have an underlying darkness to them, a slight goth edge. Some more than others, but if you think about it, they're all there. I love that his style is so recognizable.

OWWWA: Tim Burton - OOTD
one of Burton's sketches.

Tim Burton's work is dark, but with a playful, whimsical side to it that softens it and gives it a humorous edge - his work is not the goth kid who takes himself so seriously that you worry whether or not you should report him to the guidance counselor. You know he's doing ok and just having fun with it. He's not afraid to laugh at himself or to be seen a little bit vulnerable or awkward.

OWWWA: Tim Burton - OOTD

This dark comedy kind of style is very much what I am drawn to, and what I emulate in my own work. I love colorful, cheerful, cute designs, but with a creepy undertone to it. I think that's why I love Day of the Dead themes.

So, for the Hearse Show, I decided to wear this black and white striped dress that I found at Kohls - it's part of their Milly for DesigNation collection. When I tried it on in the store, I realized how much the cut was like a pin-up-y, Hell Bunny-ish type of dress, only it was on sale and cost much less than one of those dresses! So I put a black crinoline underneath and it became even more awesomely fun and retro in style.

As I was going to be on my feet all day long, I didn't opt to wear heels. Instead, I went with my trusty striped ballet flats from Dr. Scholls. It was a good choice!

OWWWA: Tim Burton - OOTD
I match my tablecloths in the Hell Razor booth!

I always like to advertise my own products when I'm at a show, so I was sure to wear a Hell Razor flower in my hair, but I also wore a really awesome necklace from Curiology Jewellery on Etsy of a death's-head moth. It's made of black laser-cut acrylic with a white inlaid skull. I also wore a couple of my stretchy Tarina Tarantino bracelets to give a little pop of color and cuteness to all of the goth.

OWWWA: Tim Burton - OOTD
Tim Burton's blue girl has a striped dress, too.

Below is a closer peek at my Hell Razor hair flower. This is one that I made probably over a year ago, and never listed - I've just kept it for myself as my own personal piece I wear to shows. That doesn't mean, however, that I wouldn't make you a black and cheetah hair flower of your very own, or that I wouldn't sell you this one right off of my head if you saw me in person at a show!

OWWWA: Tim Burton - OOTD

I bought these round sunglasses from ASOS last year in the summer, and they've remained one of my favorites. I have to be careful though, because the arms and nose bridge are metal and could bend easily. So I keep them for special occasions, because if I stored them in my purse as an everyday pair, I'd surely bend them all up!

OWWWA: Tim Burton - OOTD

My parasol was probably one of the most popular conversation items at the show! I bought it as an afterthought, when I realized that I'd be out in the sun all day, and I wanted a way to beat the heat. I wish that I had bought a half-dozen of them and re-sold them at twice the price - I'd have made a ton! The parasol was a great way to avoid the harsh sun, and also make a fashionable statement. Plus, it's oh-so goth. :)

OWWWA: Tim Burton - OOTD

Here's a peek at my black crinoline - I think it's a great way to take a lightweight summer dress and make it look more retro and fun. Plus, you can change up the colors of your crinoline for different effects! I was worried that pairing a crinoline under the dress would make a hot day even hotter, but it was really no big deal!

I hope that you've been enjoying the return of #OnWednesdaysWeWearArt! If you're interested in participating, let me know and we can coordinate topics to see how we interpret the themes on our own!

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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