Sunday, December 29, 2013

Let's talk about this new year...

I got that “clean sweep” feeling the day after Christmas. Out with the old, in with the new; get in shape (after the egg nog is gone); and do nice things for others. Also, I can’t wait for Mardi Gras. Here’s some good stuff for 2014:

Clock this
Doesn’t the New Year put you in the mind of clocks? If I told you I’m looking at a clock that runs on water, you might make fun of me. That sounds like both old school and modern technology mixed together. I’m truthing you, eying my little round purple clock with a “digital” display. It’s Bedol’s Battery-Free Eco-Friendly Water Powered Clock. It even has an alarm. Watch a video for a very cute jingle that will get stuck in your head and a little lesson on proprietary metallic plates inside the semi-transparent water reservoir that channel the ions in the water into a current that powers the clock and alarm. Got that? This is the kind of gift that is sold through museum gift stores because it is so cool. Bed Bath & Beyond can hook you up, too.
Leg Magic X
If I can get an unidentified member of my family to like Leg Magic X as much as I do, I’ll be so happy. And this other person will hopefully get more balance.  The photos show older adults using this to their advantage. This little exerciser folds out into a small space that you can go by several times a day for a 60-second workout. That kind of routine is my kind of heaven. Leg Magic X is designed to exercise the lower body large and small muscle groups according to their natural movement, while standing in an upright position.”  I’m loving it. Makers say the magic is that “it increases muscle activity up to 400% and increases blood flow in the legs by as much as 77% in only 60 seconds.   The 9 degree slope uses body weight for a low impact workout as it helps strengthen legs, lower body and the pelvic floor without putting strain on the hips, knees and ankles.” That’s some technical talk and ladies, makers say this 20-pound wonder works the Kegel muscles. Seriously, go to to learn more.

Got a guitar for Christmas?
The topic of guitars keeps coming up and I have been promised a Beatles song guitar solo as an upcoming birthday gift. Not from Paul.
If you are learning how to play as your New Year’s resolution, this book will inspire.
“Guitar Aficionado: The Collections” is an oversized book of photographs and interviews of “The Most Famous, Rare and Valuable Guitars in the World.” I liked reading up on the pawn shop history of  Texas legend Stevie Ray Vaughan’s guitar, the Mickey Mantle autograph on the back.
Some pages will make you go “wow” and others nearly cry at the memories the music invokes. If those guitars could talk…. Well, Tom Beaujour and Christopher Scapelliti are making them talk about as much as the guitarists who played them did.
Get ready for stories from guitar greats including Brad Whitford of Aerosmith, David Crosby of Crosby, Stills & Nash, Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, James Hetfield of Metallica, Mick Mars of Mötley Crüe and more.

Cook like a food truck
What’s trendy now is noted community chefs taking it to the road with gourmet creations. Let this be your food truck road trip year. “The Southern Food Truck Cookbook” is Heather Donahoe’s trip that does more than open the way for one of these traveling kitchens to roll into your life. This guide to discovering the south’s best food on four wheels lets you get right to it. Let’s start with Louisiana, because Heather didn’t make it to Texas. Learn how to fashion the celebrated crab cakes of Bon Repas or ginger lime shrimp salad from Freshjunkie in Baton Rouge. Keep going for honeysuckle gelato in Atlanta, where they also make Bloody Mary watermelon pops and coconut rice in Nashville. Heather hits Kentucky, The Virginias, North and South Carolina, Arkansas and Tennessee as well.
This is a beautiful book with shots of fun trucks, like Wrapper’s Delight; mouth-watering food spreads; recipes you’ll love; and the author’s good anecdotes.
Mission Savvy of Charleston, West Virginia is a raw/vegan kinda place. Here’s one of theirs, that goes with raw Thai spring rolls:
Almond Dipping Sauce
Gather it up: 1 cup almond butter
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 half tablespoon tamari sauce
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 seeded jalapeno pepper
2 cups water
Make it happen:
Add ingredients to bowl of food processor or blender and mix thoroughly.

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