8.30.2014

Give PEAS a chance.............Vegan English Pea soup!

I am a sucker for peas, I can eat a can of "Le Sueur Peas" as a dessert. One day at Trader Joe's I saw that they sold fresh English Peas so I snatched them right up. Usually I would serve them just steamed or throw them into a rice dish. Instead when I got home I decided to google and see if I could find a fresh and healthy recipe that would really utilize their flavor and the result was a Vegan creamy minted fresh pea soup!
stuff!

What you will need:

10 oz of fresh peas (you can get frozen, but I think they could get extra mushy)
1/2 cup of RAW cashews (soaked for at least 4 hours)
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 sprigs of mint leaves
3 Tbs nutritional yeast
pepper to taste

soaking and slicing

This is an easy PEAsy (went there) recipe.

Steam your peas.

Next take your cashews and rinse them till the water turns clear and drain.

Chop up your mint. See my fancy gadget? A shower gift that I love. It's a fresh herb mincer and I do not know how I cooked without it.

decadence

Want to up your game? If you have any white truffle oil you will want to add this to your soup as well. It's optional but encouraged!

layering and mixing

This can be made in a food processor but I think it would be best in a high powered blender like my Nutribullet (another awesome gift!).

All you have to do now is add the cashews, steamed peas, salt, nutritional yeast and one cup of water and then blend away. I also added a splash of the truffle oil.

EAT!

Since the peas are hot you can serve immediately. I added yet another drizzle of the white truffle oil and a sprinkling of my favorite smoked salt to add more dimension to the flavor. I really love how creamy this came out which is amazing as there is no dairy. We had it with a summer salad for dinner and it was perfect and light (about 150 calories a serving, this recipe makes three).

Stay Sweet,
Lisa
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8.29.2014

ModCloth #FASHIONTRUTH Casting Call For All!

ModCloth Casting Call for All

** This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. **

Fashion mavens, rejoice! ModCloth is inviting you to come showcase your unique style at their #FASHIONTRUTH Casting Call for ALL event in New York City on September 3rd. All you have to do is show up in your cutest outfit and you could be featured on ModCloth and across their social platforms. Anyone and everyone is invited, so if you’re in the area, grab your friends and go -- this is an event you won’t want to miss! Head to the ModCloth blog for more details and RSVP info.


Unfortunately, I don't live in the New York area, but if you do, you should check it out! However, if I did live in the area, I might show up in one of these numbers:


ModCloth Casting Call for All
Left to right: An Afternoon With You dress in grey, Address Rehearsal dress, Pretty on the Park Bench dress in dots.

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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Mark Your Calendars!

 photo sky_zps0a147069.jpgThere are BIG things in store for Calamity Layne over the next few months! I've been planning and conspiring to breath new life into something I'm really truly passionate about and I couldn't be more excited! I will be sprucing up the Etsy shop, revving up the online presence, and (possibly the most important thing) attending more events and flea markets as a vendor. With this in mind, make sure to mark your calendars for:

September 21st - I'll be at Vintage Garage! This time, their theme is 1984. I don't have a lot of 80s merch but, I will be fun either way!

October 4th & 5th - I'll be at Kane County Flea Market in St. Charles! It will be my first time vending at the Kane County flea market and I'm super stoked! It's a two day long market and I'm inside!!! YAY!!!!

We'll see you soon!
Until next time!
~Steph @ Calamity Layne

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8.27.2014

Simple Garden Ideas + Tips!

Easy Garden Ideas

I usually like to document my garden each year, and I realized that I hadn't done any sharing yet about this year's progress. And since I'm not exactly a "green thumb," I thought that I'd share some of my best tips for "easy" gardening... meaning that it requires little effort, but looks good or grows well!

Easy Garden Ideas

My first general rule is that I've pretty much given up growing any kind of actual vegetable. Almost every time I try, I fail pretty miserably. I have an idea to try cherry tomatoes in a big pot next year, but I'm not convince it'll pan out. So I typically stick to an herb garden. So far, chives are taking over the land... those come back every year, bigger and bigger...

Easy Garden Ideas

My parsley is doing quite well, and I have a boatload of oregano because I didn't realize that it's one of those plants that comes back every year! Woo hoo, free plants! I love that. But it does get insane - I dug up like half of the plant because it was getting out of control.

Easy Garden Ideas

Do you like my ceramic plant stakes? I made them myself out of a clay slab that I cut, and then used alphabet stamps to put the names of herbs on them. I glazed them with blue because I had some at school, and blue glaze turns out nice. I made these last spring, so I'm excited to finally get to use them!

Easy Garden Ideas

One vegetable that I DO have good luck with are these banana peppers. It's going insane. And these peppers here are the tiny ones. They get even bigger. And this is just one plant. That's all I bought.

So, my "garden" consists of oregano, parsley, chives, basil, and some cilantro that went downhill real fast. It bolted, and there was no stopping it. Maybe I'll try again next year. Oh, and the solo pepper plant.

I actually attempted to grow stuff from seeds: mint, broccoli, basil, cilantro... and NONE of it got past the baby shoot stage. I'm a plant killer.

Easy Garden Ideas

Here's a new plant I bought for the yard and it seems to be doing very well. It's a decorative grass that has horizontal yellow-ish stripes. We planted it in the back corner of the yard, and now my gnome has a place to live. In the grass.

Easy Garden Ideas

This was an amazing dutch oven cast-iron pot... until it cracked and peeled on the bottom. WTF?! So I turned it into a planter for these cute little cacti that I had on the porch. I really love the color of this pot, so I was glad to be able to find a new use for it.

Easy Garden Ideas

And this square planter held a flower arrangement at a family funeral. You never quite know what to do with all of those flowers afterwards... so I volunteered to take this particular arrangement home with us, specifically because I pictured an aloe plant living inside the square pot. I'm a big fan of this.

Easy Garden Ideas

More unusual planters! My "Vic the Velociraptor" dino planter (first featured in my home/bathroom tour) has been re-planted with a new tiny succulent. Since my mint seeds never grew, I bought a plant and put it in this pot on the porch. I'm currently teaching myself how to trim it so that it gets more bushy, like you can do with basil. So far, so good.

My succulent on the right is going insane! I planted it in my whale teacup that got weird and cracked and crazed and would no longer function as a teacup. Again, I loved it too much to toss, so I found a new use for it. Next to my whale cup is a couple of air plants that we're trying not to kill.

Easy Garden Ideas

Lastly, here is another cute little succulent arrangement from our front porch! This planter is actually plastic! I bought it from Target several years ago, and only now thought to put these cute little guys in it. It looks so nice on our front porch ledge when you walk up. I'm hoping that my succulent gardens will transition indoors in the wintertime and last through the cold...

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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8.25.2014

Monday Love, V.2

Monday Love, V.2

Welcome to another installment of Monday Loves, where I attempt to cheer myself up on a Monday by talking about things I like and good things that have happened. Let's go!

I hit up a few estate sales a few weekends back. Mostly a bust, except for this cool deck of Gypsy Witch playing cards (see above) for only $1! So, then I stopped by my favorite local antique stores and treated myself to a few new Pyrex pieces. Retail therapy!

Monday Love, V.2
Monday Love, V.2

These flowers from The Bouqs (called "Fortified") are simply gorgeous. $40 for a dozen, shipped! How awesome! You can read more about The Bouqs here.


Monday Love, V.2

Back-to-school shopping. Ugh. At least the fashion is good! Here are three pieces I've been eyeballing: one, two, three.


Monday Love, V.2
These are a few of my favorite Abe's Market goodies: one, two, three. I've also been totally digging the "Try for $2" offers ever since Lisa mentioned them. I've found several yummy treats through that deal!

In other news...

Betsey Johnson wallpaper is my new iPad background image!

Keiko Lynn has a line of glasses available on Bonlook and I really want a pair of them.

*** This post contains affiliate links, which helps to keep Betties N Brimstone up and running! ***

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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8.23.2014

Back from NY...again.

Pizza

I am back from my "vacation" in NY. I put that in quotes because as much fun as I had it was also a lot of work. Getting everything together for a wedding, especially one that is in a state you do not currently live in is nuts. I have been back in Illinois for almost two weeks now and it seems that is how long it takes for me to become "human" and adjusted again!

 Of course I had pizza from my favorite pizza place  "Little Vincents". Do not worry! That is cooked...they are known for "cold cheese". I never tried it like that before and I am so glad I finally did.
 
ROY

One of the tasks at hand was meeting with my friend Roy and go over the wedding music. Roy leads a Rockabilly band called "The Buzzards". I was fortunate that they were playing the weekend I arrived and I was able to get a bunch of family members and friends to come see them perform. I have loved their music for a long time so it was a no brainer to hire Roy and the boys to play the wedding. They do shows mostly on the East coast but also play at "Viva Las Vegas" in the Spring. If you go...seek them out, you will not be sorry.
  RD

Another "job" (which it wasn't because I had way too much fun with her) was to FINALLY meet my incredible officiant "The Reverend D". I ventured out to Queens to have some Thai get some face time with  her and honestly I cannot believe we are having someone THIS awesome perform our ceremony. "D" is well known on "The Knot" and "Offbeat Bride" for her "out of the box" ceremonies. Since that is the direction we are going she got us completely. As a bonus her husband is a schooled mixologist and made me drinks to help me find our signature one for the wedding and "D" works for a tasty gourmet mayonnaise company that I will be featuring on the blog soon.
  stuff

In between wedding biz and stuffing my face with all things NY I did my fair share of thrifting for Pyrex and bringing Gunnar to the beach. He is a total beach kid, I cannot believe what a little maniac he was by the water. He is for sure going to keep me on my toes.
  shower

kinky

Last but not least my amazing bridal shower and bachelorette parties were held for me. I was blown away by all the details and planning my family and friends put together for my "Pink and Orange" (which are the wedding colors) shower. I was so happy to see so many people I love in one brightly decorated room. Shane and I received many amazing gifts mostly to cook with so you will see these items featured in recipes I post soon. My bachelorette day was spent in the City. We all saw "Kinky Boots" on Broadway, had an incredible dinner and then went to the Russian Samovar to cap off the evening with some crazy flaming vodka drinks.

 All in all a great trip, but like I said...back to the land of the living. I am looking forward to sharing some cool new recipes. Tonight I attempted a vegan cheesecake with the help of my new nutribullet. Hoping it works out and I can share the recipe.

 Stay Sweet,
 Lisa
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8.22.2014

10 New Uses for a Vintage Household Item

 photo Frog_zps40de2013.jpg
Hiya all!
You may remember KickAss Frog from such shows as Vintage Garage 2014 1 & 2...Well, he's back...Starring in this blog post and showing you 10 new ways to use a vintage household item!

Use #1 
Toothbrush and soap holder (the original intended use).
 photo Toothbrush_zpsc9de5bdc.jpg
Use #2
His and hers razor holder.
 photo Shave_zpse2c1dc76.jpg
Use #3
Makeup and makeup brush holder.
 photo makeup_zps27952080.jpg
Use #4
Daily skincare caddy.
 photo skincare_zps37e693b2.jpg
Use #5
Ring holder
 photo rings_zpsca709ba9.jpg
Use #6
Business card and pen holder.
 photo businesscards_zps3ea8c3cd.jpg
Use #7
Spoon holder.
 photo spoon_zps0aa7c416.jpg
Use #8
Office caddy.  photo officepostit_zpsf722902d.jpg
Use #9
Napkin & individual cutlery holder.  photo picnic_zpsa8c17299.jpg
Use #10
Tea bag and tea spoon holder.
 photo tea_zps01f8bc08.jpg
Let's have a round of applause for KickAss Frog...he's exhausted! Now I challenge you! Pick any vintage item of your choice can you think of any new uses for it??

Until next time!
~Steph @ Calamity Layne

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8.20.2014

Pot Luck: Vegetarian Corn Salad

Vegetarian Corn Salad

Last week, I mentioned a corn salad that I made for our block party. Today, I'd like to bring you an adaptation of that recipe, with added protein (since protein is the #1 thing "sleevers," or weight-loss surgery patients, have to consider in their diet.

Protein is not a huge deal for vegetarians, but if you talk to a non-vegetarian, it boggles their minds (see my interview with Natalie of Bake & Destroy for confirmation on that). There are LOTS of sources of protein that are not meat! Imagine that!

So, here's a delicious cold corn salad, with lots of protein, and fake bacon! Although, I suppose if you're not vegetarian and love making huge splattery messes on your stove with bacon grease, you could use the regular kind...

Vegetarian Corn Salad

Corn Salad
adapted from this recipe
(perfect for potlucks and BBQ parties, or if you're like me, dinner in a bowl!)

Ingredients (main salad):

  • 3 ears fresh sweet corn
  • 1/2 of an onion, red or sweet
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 avocado, ripe
  • fake bacon, about 2/3 of a package, frozen
  • 1 pint cherry/grape tomatoes
Ingredients (dressing):
  • 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions:
  1. Cook bacon according to package directions. I made the whole box and just let my son and husband pick at the rest. Set aside to cool and get crispy. If you undercook the bacon, it will be chewy. Don't be afraid to crisp it up!
  2. Cut corn off of the cobs into a large (seriously, grab a big one) bowl. I like to cut corn off right in the bowl. It goes everywhere otherwise. Did you know that you can eat corn off of the cob raw? I didn't before this recipe. It's freaking delicious! (Side note: I suppose you could use frozen corn, thawed, once fresh corn is no longer available. Maybe cook that a little then?)
  3. Drain and rinse the can of black beans. Put into big bowl with cut corn.
  4. Cut your cherry tomatoes in half. Put those in the big bowl, too.
  5. Dice up your avocado. Put them in the same big bowl. Does anyone else have trouble getting avocados that are just ripe? Mine always tend to be too firm, or too brown. Hmm.
  6. Whoops, forgot about the onion... No matter. Dice it up and chuck that into the bowl, too.
  7. I used a knife to chop/crush/crumble up the bacon. Seriously, I used like 2/3 of the package. Put that into the big bowl, too. 
  8. Stir it all up.
For the dressing:
  1. Zest the outside of your lime into a separate med/small bowl. (I use one of these guys for steps 1 and 2. Totally worth the money!)
  2. Now, chop the lime in half and squeeze all of the juice out into that same bowl.
  3. Add olive oil and chopped fresh cilantro. 
  4. Whisk it all up. 
  5. Dump it into the big bowl with the salad. Stir it all up really well.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Vegetarian Corn Salad

There are 2g of protein in every 2 strips of fake bacon. There are 42 grams of protein in a cup of black beans! A cup of avocado has 2.9g of protein, and corn has 16g of protein in a cup. That's pretty good for a salad!

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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8.18.2014

Interview with Hard Rock Chick!

Hard Rock Chick Interview!

Hard Rock Chick is Jamie Harvey, a blogger who attends a ton of shows and writes all about them. So many, in fact, that the GRAMMYs recruited her in an official capacity to cover their events! She is a regular contributor to GRAMMY.com, and also their official Rock Blogger.

You can read all about the variety of concerts she attends by visiting HardRockChick.com. She's also recently published a memoir entitled Head Like A Hole. You can pick it up via Amazon, Nook, and iBooks.

I was pretty psyched when she agreed to be interviewed for the Betties N Brimstone blog, as I've been a fan of hers for a few years now, and just finished reading her book. You can also find Hard Rock Chick on twitter, facebook, and instagram where she posts from shows in real time if you’re into that kind of thing. 

Check out our interview below!

Jen: First of all, congratulations on your book! It must be really exciting to complete a major project like this. Being that you go to so many shows, how did you choose which concert experiences to include in your book?

HRC: Thank you! It was a multi-year endeavor, and when you're used to blogging and having your words 'out there' within minutes of writing them, it was a very different and challenging process for me. For the shows I chose: I worked within the timeframe of the book, and then just sat down and thought about what shows came to mind as important ones in that time period from my memory. It's unfortunate that an Insane Clown Posse show I went to as a 'joke' will forever be engrained in my memory. Then I went back and read my blog pieces for those shows and made sure they fit well within the context of the book. These are the shows that played a key role in my digestion of what was happening to me. I then edited them further for the book.

Jen: My husband lost his father six years ago within a very short, unexpected period of time, right before we got married. Your struggle with the death of your mother was very real, as I vividly remember my own personal experiences with death. I can still see the effect it has on him each day. Besides music, do you have any other outlets that keep you sane when you're feeling overwhelmed with it all?

HRC: I'm sorry to hear that, but very glad you have each other. The other huge component of the book is that I traveled extensively. A change of scenery- whether it be the other side of the globe or another zip code- has always been a huge help for me. I re-realized how big the world is, how my problems paled in comparison to others, and, in retrospect, kept my mind incredibly busy trying to navigate and tackle my itinerary and marvel at my favorite artist- Mother Nature- rather than wallowing in sorrow in my bedroom. Having a good group of friends helps, too. I've always been a loner, but during the time during and after my mom's death, I found myself in a great circle of friends. They provided a lot of good distractions.

Jen: Your working relationship with the Grammys sounds like a dream job! I've always wondered though, how do you remember everyone's names? Have you ever had an embarrassing moment?

HRC: Haha, great question! I really lucked out to have this role as the Rock Blogger for the GRAMMYs for the past 5 years. The short answer is that it is impossible to remember everyone's names. However, over time I have learned the cheats. If it's a red (or black) carpet situation, you are provided with cheat sheets a lot of the time, and press people also walk the artists down the carpet with a sign or verbally tell you who it is, and the last line of defense is to simply ask the outlets next to you who it is. I'll be honest; I have interviewed people before who I had no idea who the hell they are, especially in GRAMMY situations where I am working outside my core genres. As for calling out names when doing social media, a funny story comes to mind. I was seeing Motörhead in the early days of tweeting, and my iPhone autocorrected 'Lemmy' to 'Lenny'. It's funny how (almost) no one replies to you to say nice things; but when they think you've made an idiotic mistake, they are sure glad to point it out!!! Obviously I know who LEMMY is.

Hard Rock Chick Interview!
The HRC blog!

Jen: (What seemed like) shortly after your book was released, I saw via Instagram that you got married! Congratulations again! (I almost felt like an addendum to your book was in order!) Care to tell us a little about this new adventure?

HRC: Thanks! I thought about that. Truth is, I got married a week before my book was released. It just worked out like that! Because it was self-published, by the time I finished the manuscript with the professional editor I hired, and had it professionally designed to fit my vision of what an e-book should be, it was approaching a year after I had finished writing it. My husband and I were set up by my Pilates instructor/friend... once we got around to dating, right when I finished my book, it was a pretty fast courtship. We're older and knew what we were looking for. But, considering the end of the book, it's kind of poetic!

Jen: Your husband is a musician. Do you still get to see each other a lot? Do you get to travel together?

HRC: I snagged the rare form of musician who doesn't tour much! So we'll have to cross that bridge when we get there. He's had a couple of bands- formerly the GT350s and currently Bryce Wayt & The Silver Wolves. He also plays with some other bands and records with others at times.

Jen: One of the things that you and I share is our love for all things Nine Inch Nails-related. Which NIN show was your all-time favorite, and why?

HRC: It's hard to pick a favorite!! Part of me wants to say the Webster Hall show where they surprised us by playing The Downward Spiral, part of me wants to say the Bridge School Benefit (which isn't exactly a NIN show), part of me wants to say the GRAMMY's performance earlier this year because *flicks hair* I got to be right there for it and nobody else did (even those trying to watch it on TV)... BUT the show I probably enjoyed the most was the 'Wave Goodbye' (HA!) Fonda Theater show. Grrrreat setlist and special guests, and it was a whirlwind day as I scored a ticket last minute, booked a flight leaving in an hour, walked into my VP's office at the time and told him I had to leave, and barely made the show. I used to do crazy things like that!

However, NIN fans- and even non-fans- generally like to hear my story about Mr. Reznor sneaking up on me in the San Diego airport using the NIN app. It's a great demonstration of how current technology has lead to fans meeting their musical idols!

Hard Rock Chick Interview!
Left: HRC meets TR and NIN. Right: Todd and I had our own NIN adventure, too, right before we got married! But that's for another blog post...

Jen: Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to get involved in the music blogging world?
HRC: Yes.... in my opinion, it is hard to start fresh these days, as an independent writer. I lucked out and was doing this very early on, so I didn't have a lot of competition when I started. I would recommend finding a blog you like and try to write for them. If you're going to blog on your own, I think it's key to just keep writing a lot, and putting it out there. And edit!! I see so many badly written things out there- you've really got to take the extra time to make it readable, or take a course or two about writing/copy editing. I know a lot of people who have tried to start blogging and just simply don't have the drive to keep it up. People will say 'you're so lucky!' to me, but just take a look at my site: I've maintained it for almost 8 years by myself, and have written about over 700 shows. You do the math. One blog a month won't cut it. Secondly, you need to have your own unique voice. I am fully aware that a lot of the time I sound crazy... but I have branded my own crazy voice and it contrasts immensely with the form and style of other bloggers in my genres, who tend to go the humorous/snarky route, the technical/music geek route, or the elitist route. Also, it helps to work within a defined genre, or have a very specific focus. I run the gamut, which is why my site has never been super successful. That and it's just me, and it's just my hobby- I have 2 day jobs! Also, don't expect any money. Free shows, yes- and tons of great memories!

Thank you so much for answering our questions! Don't forget to visit HardRockChick.com for all of HRC's latest adventures, and to snag a copy of  Head Like A Hole via AmazonNook, or iBooks!

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor
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8.15.2014

Steph's Rancho Deluxe Thrift Store Finds

 photo title1_zps31e6bd0b.jpg Hi there!
This week I was able to go thrifting in 2 different states and I found some spectacular stuff! As you can see above, the steer horns (surprisingly enough) I found in Illinois. I have been looking for affordable steer horns for YEARS...I think they are amazing. These were handmade and they were only $19.99 and they go anywhere from $60 to $200!
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I found this vintage trunk for $3.99 at Goodwill. I think it was supposed to be used as a toy chest, but I think it would make a pretty cool coffee table (right now, I'm using it as craft supplies storage). It has a very cool craftsman style look to it and it's pretty well made! You really can't beat $4...
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I found these milk glass vases for $2.99 a piece in Ohio. I found 2 of each, so I am hoping to use them as display pieces at shows...and I'll probably keep these guys...I kinda like how these look in my kitchen...;)
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I found a set of these film books from 1969 for a buck a piece...Obviously, I had to snatch them up! They would make really neat coffee table books! I also bought Tarzan, Bad Guys, and Rebels in film. photo Photo-4_zps4403855d.jpg
This picture is a giant vintage calendar page from the 70s. This guy was free...I found it sifting through some old picture frames at work. I got the frame at Michael's on sale for $19.99 in the college section...I think it's a 16x20 inch frame if I remember correctly.
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I couldn't pass this up...A vintage Old Grand-Dad Kentucky Bourbon bar sign!!! Glass and gold foil with a bright orange label...Gorgeous. I picked it up for $12!

Stay tuned until Next time!

~Steph @ Calamity Layne

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