Buy Local Fair Roundup

Last Sunday was the 4th Annual Buy Local Fair here in Louisville, KY. This is a big event where local businesses set up booths in one of our beautiful parks and Louisvillians flock to get coupons, drink bourbon and discover cool things to do in our hometown.  Any chance I get to learn about my awesome city, I take! I was so excited to explore the fair and find some neat things to do this summer.
I am terrible about taking pictures when I’m out having fun, but I did collect a lot of literature, so I just wanted to share with you a couple of places I discovered that are really neat in Louisville right now. There were what seemed like hundreds of businesses, from restaurants and boutiques, to wineries and yoga studios and hometown tour companies. The possibilities really are endless in Possibility City. I am only going to cover 6 places that I’m really interested in, but I’d love to hear about your favorite “hometown tourist” spots here in Louisville.

1. Louisville Salt Caves

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The Louisville Salt Cave is something I’ve been interested in for a while. They carted in 5 tons of 250 million year old Himalayan Salt and a halogenerator to create a pure air environment that is allergen free and saturated in negative ions, which increase your serotonin levels, making you happy! Additionally, salt therapy, or “halotherapy” helps with a plethora of health issues, including respiratory issues, dermatological issues, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and more. This one is definitely on my list to check out soon.

2. 502 Power Yoga

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I have been wanting to join a yoga studio for a while now, but there are so many different types I didn’t know what to choose. I saw a lot of studios at the fair, but 502 Power Yoga  stood out to me. They are the only studio in the state that teaches the Baptiste Method, and I love how they talk about yoga as a lifestyle, and community. On their website it says their goal is “to empower people to transform their bodies, minds, lives, and communities one breath and one pose at a time.” That sounds like something I want to be a part of. They have a new student introductory package of unlimited classes for 40 days for 40$ and that’s really freakin’ good. My first class is this Saturday! So look for an update on this cool new studio.

3. Tattoo Charlies

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To be honest, I didn’t just discover Tattoo Charlies. I’ve been a fan for a long time, and I actually have two gorgeous tattoos from them, and my sister has one. They have amazingly talented artists who really work with you to create the perfect image. This goes for the Tattoo Charlies on Dixie Hwy, too! Also, they have vegan ink, and that’s really neat.

4. University of Louisville Art Scene

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We all know University of Louisville  is a great place to get an education, but this summer I want you to remember that UofL also has loads of different activities and exhibits to entertain you, some at very little to no cost. While I was at the Buy Local fair I got several pamphlets from UofL. One was for one of their current art exhibitions, called Summer Breaks: Labor, Leisure, Lust… Y’all know how much I love art and alliteration! That’s going in until August 5th, I’m definitely gonna check it out. The Hite Art Institute at UofL actually has 6 art galleries they maintain. That’s an entire day worth of culture and entertainment! Additionally, they have enough art on the campus itself, there’s a tour revolved around it. Its called the Art Walk.

5. Louisville Vegan Jerky Company

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Ok, to be honest, I didn’t see the Louisville Vegan Jerky Co. at the Buy Local Fair, I saw them at the Flea Off Market, which is another fun local event we have. But I reallllly wanted to share this awesome product with you. It is gluten-free,  non-gmo certified, soy based jerky and it is seriously yummy. Plus, they have a Jerky of the Month Club, where you can subscribe to get 3 bags of jerky delivered to your door for 20$ a month. PLUS, 1$ of each month goes to an animal sanctuary that needs funding.  So many pluses!

6. PlayThink Movement and FlowArts Festival

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The 5th annual PlayThink Festival is going down June 15-19 this year in Berea, Ky, about two hours from Louisville. It includes a lot of really cool things to do, learn ,watch, and buy. Though I won’t be able to attend this festival,  it looks like it would be perfect for my hippie self, and anyone who considers themselves a hippie or a free spirit. It looks like tickets are selling out fast, though, so I would hurry over to their website and get one if you’re interested.

 

This is only a tiny taste of what Louisville has to offer. I tried to showcase a variety of things to entertain you this summer, but trust me there is SOOO much more Louisville has to offer, so keep checking my blog throughout the summer for more fun things to do in Possibility City! And as always, I would love to hear about your favorite spots in The Ville!

From Possibility City,

Rachael

xo

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The Arctic Scoop: A Review

I had a rough morning today. It’s been raining for a month straight and I just started my period. I’m hormonal, exhausted, and then ready for this weekend. After spending about an hour moping and feeling sorry for myself, I decided to head to work early, rather than continue the one-woman pity party I was currently throwing.

As I drove down Hurstebourne Lane I passed a shopping center with a gym and a bookstore and a purple fronted store called The Arctic Scoop. I had heard this name in passing and decided that ice cream would be the perfect comfort food for me on this rainy, yucky day.

The shop was open and warm, with murals on the walls and paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling. It smelled like cold, sweet, cream. There were friendly, hand drawn chalk board signs displaying the different options

for building your ice cream and cute little signs recommending combinations of flavors and mix ins.

I had never been to this shop before and I expected the normal set up: a counter with tubs of ice cream, a couple types of cones and maybe some yummy toppers. This was not the case at The Arctic Scoop. They are a nitrogen ice cream shop, which is, apparently, all the rage right now. I was instructed to pick a “base” from different milk products. I chose almond milk. I was tickled that they had so many non-dairy options when it came to bases. After the “base” I got to choose two flavors. I chose white chocolate and coconut.

For my “add-ins” I got to choose two. It was a difficult to choose from all the amazing choices, but I picked almonds and vanilla wafers. The attendant took all my ingredients and threw them in a metal bowl and swirled them around with a bunch of smoke and magic and created a milkshake.

I don’t honestly know the benefits of nitrogen made ice cream, if there are any, but I know that milkshake was the bomb dot com!!! Creamy and full of flavor and piled high with homemade whipped cream. Smooth and sweet and just what I needed.

Milkshakes are $5.99 for a nice size shake, I honestly don’t know how big it was. They also had ice cream cones, cups, sundaes, ice cream sandwiches, banana splits, and other sweet stuff.

It seemed like the perfect place to take a date or bring the kids. I love the fact that it is open until 11 on the weekends. I would love to catch a late night scoop with my hubby one day soon.

 

ColourPop Cosmetics Review

I recently went vegetarian (again…) and I have also been thinking about other aspects of my life and how I can make them cruelty-free and animal friendly. Of course, this is really just an excuse for me to go shopping and buy more stuff, which isn’t sustainable at all… but I digress.

So a friend told me about ColourPop. She mentioned that they were cruelty free and best of all, for your first purchase you got 5$ off! This paid for the shipping when I ordered 3 items from their website.

The website was full of gorgeous, deep colors and a great selection in lip colors, the main cosmetic I was shopping for. I found the Ultra Matte Lip line to be full of rich, pretty colors. I picked out the deepest red I could find, called LAX. I love how each shade of Matte Lip featured a corresponding Lippie Pencil so you could order both and not worry so much about the colors not matching. I ordered the Lippie pencil in Creature.

I have bought and returned several lipsticks from different drugstores because I didn’t like the texture or it rubbed off too quickly. I did not have this problem with the Ultra Matte Lip or the Lippie pencil. The color was very rich and true to the color on the website. It last a really long time, too. After two hours of continuous talking at work my lips had only just started fading and the color was still really vibrant. I was really impressed with how good it looked after a couple hours and I only had to do a little touchup.

The only complaint I have on the Lippie Pencil is that it is plastic-covered and it requires a sharpener. I wish it was the kind that you twist to refill, instead of sharpening it because it is an odd size and doesn’t quite fit my sharpener.

I also bought the Super Shock Cheek Matte Powder in “Bon Voyage.” I just wanted a face powder that could give me even coverage and help my foundation to stay all day. I love that the powder is super matte and it is really soft, almost moist. I use a simple blush brush to apply to my whole face and the color matches really well and applies evenly. After two hours I did have to reapply, but my face wasn’t as shiny as it normally is.

Overall, I loved all the cosmetics I ordered from ColourPop and I LOOOVE that they are cruelty free! Compared to some of the big makeup names, ColourPop is really affordable, each piece was only eight dollars a piece and the coupon code paid for the shipping and handling. I will definitely be ordering more of the Ultra Matte Lip Colors and I would like to try their Cream Gel Liners, too!

I am trying to  live a more earth friendly life. I’m not giving up my lipstick, but I’m proud to buy cruelty-free cosmetics and other products. As I do so, I will  continue to review them. I would love to hear what products you swear by that come from cruelty-free, vegan, and earth conscious companies.

Positive Vibes

xo

Rachael

A Blog About Books

I am so sorry! I have been absent for far too long and I really have no excuse. In November I took a break to do NaNoWriMo. While I did not complete it, I did learn a lot about making and keeping writing habits. Now I just have to put this into practice. As you may have noticed, it’s almost March, so my track record is not great. That being said, I am working every day to be a better writer and make better habits in general, so I present to you a blog post. Aren’t you lucky? 🙂
One of the many things I have been doing lately is reading, of course. I got a couple of good books for Christmas, and have hit a couple of my favorite used book stores in the last couple months, too. So this blog  contains a list of the books I’ve read lately, with a brief overview and recomendation.  These are in no particular order and  they have nothing in common, except that they are all fiction.
The 12 Tribes of Hattie By Ayana Mathis
This book is a novel but, it is also 12 short stories. Each chapter is one of Hattie’s childrens’ stories. Hattie herself is quiite aloof as a character. We learn more about her through her sons and daughters then through direct cotact with Hattie. In this way, Hattie haunts the reader as much as as she haunts her children. Mathis writes beautifully, capturing the feeling of toughness and love Hattie attempts to bestow on her children, while also giving the reader an idea of the impact of the political, social, or economic issues going on during the decade each chapter, or story, is told in. This book deals with class, race, place, family, motherhood, and so many more really good themes. I reccomend it for anyone who likes to read books on Oprah’s List.
The Bean Trees By Barbara Kingsolver
I adored this book, like I adore all Kingsolver books, but this one even more so. She explores themes of identity, through names, family, place, people, race, and food. She also tackles the extremely current topic of immigration. To me, this book is a modern classic and should be required reading in high schools. The characters are familiar and lovable. The feelings evoked are universal. A very basic plot summary, no spoilers, is that a young woman fresh out of high school leaves home to find herself, finds a toddler, breaks down in a podunk town, and discovers a life. I reccomend it for anyone in their twenties who feels like they have no idea where their life is going.
Fun fact! There is also a sequel called Pigs in Heaven. I’ll let you know what I think when I get to it 🙂
A Shiver of Light By Laurell K Hamilton
Mom! Stop reading now! Skip down to the next book!
Ok, A Shiver of Light is the 8th book in the Merry Gentry Series. They are… a bit of a guilty pleasure. They revolve around Merry Gentry, first fairy princess born on American soil. She’s also the reincarnation of a fertility and love goddess, she has a bunch of hott guards, and she is allowed to sleep with all of  them. Yeah, these are steamy romance novels, and they are freaking hot! Even better than that, they are actually well developed and have really likeable characters, and a cool supernatural element. Hamilton also writes the Anita Blake series, which I have heard are also steaming hot, but very well written. I reccomend this for anyone looking for a bit of hanky panky with their literature.
Wither, Fever, Sever The Chemical Garden Trilogy By Lauren DeStefano
I really liked these books for what they were: A bit over the top, totally cliche, young adult novels. The idea that sometime in the future a virus would kill everyone once they reached 20 (girls) or 25 (guys) is compelling and I really enjoyed reading this series, but I felt like something was missing. Themes tackled were sickness, cost of health, mortality, time, adulthood, maturity, motherhood, siblings, friendship, and freedom, but none of the themes were explored as fully as they could have been. When I finished the book I felt lacking in answers, or wanting more from the story.
The Kept By James Scott
This book starts out with Elspeth, our main character, coming home to her entire family dead. It is a very serious thriller and pageturner. You never know what’s going to happen but you’re dying to find out. You can’t stop rooting for poor Elspeth and Caleb, from the tragic beginning to the tragic end. This book explores many themes including indentity through names, gender, family, religion, as well as nature vs. nurture, revenge, violence, isolation, good vs. evil, and motherhood.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Hollow City By Ransom Riggs
I originally saw these books on the shelf at the bookstore and they caught my eye because of the black and white photos sprinkled throughout. They were all oddities and trick of the light pictures, and that intrigued me. I soon discovered the story was not only equally interesting, but it coincided well with the pictures. It doesn’t even feel forced. This is a very rare art to get right and I value it highly, coupling visual and literary arts in a novel, because I’d like to do it one day. This novel has magic and the supernatural, but is grounded in history and emotion. Additionally, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is going to be coming out in theaters this year so you know you’re probably about to love it. I reccomend it if you love to have a jump on the newest trends.
The All Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion By Fannie Flagg
This book is a classic Fannie Flagg book, maybe minus some of the lesbian undertones. Full of middle aged identity crisis coupled with an exciting hidden story from the past. A story that involves fierce female bonding and women succeeding in a man’s world, in any ways they can. Fannie Flagg may be formulaic, but sometimes it’s exactly what you need. I love to pick up one of her books for some easy, feel-good reading.

That’s all I have for now. Til next time,
Rach

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New Undercut Hair!

I have been talking about making a change for a couple months now, but couldn’t buck up the courage to actually do something. Thursday a friend of mine came over with trimmers and I let her start shaving before i could change my mind. She gave me a undercut with a design shaved in it.
I freakin love it. I can’t stop rubbing the back of my head and begging my husband to take a couple more pictures. I am really excited about the fact that every time I get it touched up I can have a different design shaved into it.
I’ve been so obsessed with my hair lately, it even got me thinking about it from a feminist and sociological position. I’m going to try and write a paper about the politics of hair in 2015 and how people use their hair to define themselves. I’d love to hear your thoughts on your own hair, or in the politics of hair.

Wishing you good hair days forever,
Rach

NaNoWriMo 2015

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Today is November 1st! I am so excited because it is the first day of a brand new opportunity. Today is day one of NaNoWriMo and I have fully and compltely committed to completing the challenge this year. NaNoWriMo is a fantastic opportunity to challenge myself and to set new routines and goals. I woke at a decent time this morning, despite the debauchery of Halloween night, and felt motivated enough to set my desk up and start my novel. Before three O’clock I wrote over 2000 words, more than my goal of 1,667, the prescribed wordcount on the NaNoWriMo website. I typed these, referring to the journal I’ve been writing in to prepare.
I’ve spent the last few weeks preparing for this moment, this true beginning, the first pages to my novel. I have used Pinterest as a tool to learn about story structure and outlining my novel. I also used it to research some of the history and mythology I was originally inspired by. I loved how I could create Pinterest Boards on several different subjects and I’ve realized in the last few weeks that there is a trick to Pinterest. The trick is to spend some time absently pinning interesting things on a topic, say for example, the Greek Goddess/Titan Hecate. Later, when I am feeling more focused I go back and explore these pins, taking notes or deleting ones that aren’t helpful.

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While the Pinterest research was more interesting, the outlining has been more helpful, for the first day, anyways. I found that when I actually sat down and thought about it I already knew basically where I wanted  to start and who I was dealing with when describing my main characters. I also feel more invested in this story than past novel attempts. I spent a lot of time thinking about where I wanted  the story to go and how my characters evolved and interacted within it. I feel confident in myself, in that if I can keep the habit of actually sitting down and writing every day I will stay on track and not lose focus too much, because I already have a basic idea of where it’s going.
My main goal for this month is to create a habit that I can continue for the rest of my life. If I can write for a couple hours a day every day, I am bound to create something extraordinary sooner or later.
Who out there is doing  NaNoWriMo this year?
Is this your first year?
If not, what are some of your tips for first timers?
First timers, how are you going to make sure you meet your goals?

Happy Writing,
Rach

Miracle Dip

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We had a potluck at work today.  I had big plans to make pumpkin bars shaped like little pumpkins. But of course life always gets in the way so I opted for an easy crowd pleaser. I’ve been making this dip for years and i honestly don’t know where I found it.  I’ve been tweaking it to fit my fridge and budget over the years as well.  I call it miracle dip because you can add or take away ingredients and is still basically pretty good. Also,  I never measure anything for this dip, just taste as you go.
Start with a jar of miracle whip. Throw the whole thing in a big mixing bowl. Add heaping spoonfuls of dill and parsley.
Add atleast a cup of bacon bits or chopped bacon. I usually add green onions to mine.  You can also add shredded cheese, green peppers, whatever fits your fancy,  really. Chill the dip for a couple hours before serving it with pretzels or crackers or chips.
Seriously, people freak out over this dip.

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