I’M GETTING TATTOO REMOVAL

03/01/2017

Treason+Gallery_HOLLYWOODNT_Cheyenne+Randall_prints-94Tomorrow is my first tattoo removal appointment. I am terrified. I’ve done my research and apparently the process is highly painful, more so than getting the tattoo. I currently have four tattoos and am working my way down to having just one—the little bird on my foot is the only one that I still like after all of these years, plus I got it with my best friend, so there are good memories and meaning there. A good life lesson that I am trying to preach to my kids, from my own experience is …maybe don’t get tattoos? Or, if you must, wait.

Of course, some people love their tattoos and are very sure of what they want to have placed on their bodies permanently, but I got my tattoos when I was fairly young (first and second tattoo at 18, third at 24, and fourth at 27) and I definitely look back and regret those very permanent decisions. And, I am thankful that I didn’t get some of the tattoos that I thought about getting buzzed into my skin over the years. At one time I wanted a robot, with a red heart on it’s chest, holding a bottle of mustard—the good ol’ MySpace days. Remember those? No disrespect to anyone who loves their tattoos or to those who are covered. I like tattoos. I think many of them are beautiful. Just sharing my experience of regret, especially now that I am about to sit in a chair and have one of them burned off.

Off my soapbox. I just wish I would have thought a lot more about my tattoo choices. People evolve over the years, styles and interests change, and tattoos, even though they can be removed with lasers, are pretty damn permanent. I’ve told my kids that if they wait until they’re 30, I’ll take them to get their first tattoo, and I’ll pay for it. I’ll let you know if that works out in my favor, and I’ll let you know how my removal goes.

The amazing artwork above is by Cheyenne Randall. He Photoshops tattoos onto iconic photographs. Here are a few more of my favorites, below.

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BONE BROTH AKA LIQUID GOLD

02/28/2017

BoneBroth_BleubirdMy friend Rebecca impressively makes bone broth every single week. She also happens to be my superhero in the kitchen, making incredible dishes for her family and friends on a daily basis, that could easily be served up in a fancy restaurant. Rebecca, I’ve told you this before, you need to open up your own restaurant one day soon, please and thank you!

My kitchen hero passed along her incredible bone broth recipe to me last year, and it is by far the best I’ve had. I wish I could drink this every day, but I don’t have the discipline to make it regularly. It’s time consuming, but kicks every other bone broth recipe’s ass, at least that I’ve had—both homemade and store bought—and is totally worth the trouble.

I only make bone broth using poultry, since I have Alpha-Gal and cannot eat read meat (more on that later), but I imagine you could use virtually any kind of bones for this recipe. One tip I have: go big or go home! Make a large batch. It’s a lot of work, so the more you make, the more you have and can freeze off for later.

Liquid Gold by Rebecca Branan

Place two chicken carcasses or one turkey carcass—preferably after being roasted in the oven with most of the meat removed, but not all—into a large stock pot, add any juice from roasting pan, as well.

Next, add roasted veggies: 3 whole carrots (with stems); 2 large stalks of celery; a few shallots (halved with skin on); and 4-5 whole garlic cloves. Roast these in the oven (preferably with the chicken or turkey above) and add into the stock pot.

Cover bones and veggies with water (I use filtered) and bring to a low boil. Add two bay leaves, a couple sprigs of fresh parsley and reduce to a simmer for about an hour. Then add a Parmesan rind (optional, but oh-so good!) and a half-inch of tumeric root, unpeeled. Keep the pot on a super-low simmer and leave for about 6 hours more, uncovered, or overnight, partially covered. Add more water anytime the liquid gets too low.

Once your bone broth is ready, let it cool a bit and strain through a large mesh sieve into mason jars, if going into the fridge. If you’ve made more to freeze, place 1-2 servings into strong plastic baggies with some room to expand once frozen. I like to freeze mine laying flat, so they are easy to stack in a freezer drawer until use. To thaw, run a bag under hot water until the frozen broth can be easily poured into a pot for continued thawing—usually a couple of minutes. Heat on stove top, pour, and enjoy.

That’s it! Sounds simple enough, but trust me, it’s kind of a pain and really is time consuming, plus your house will smell like soup, which I’m not mad about, but yeah. Cheers!

TEN THINGS

02/24/2017

7The sun is shining here in Nashville today, and I’m taking it as a good sign for the rest of the weekend! Spring really can’t come soon enough. I hope that your week has been a gracious one, and that your weekend is even better. Here are this week’s ten things…

1. A museum removes all artwork made by immigrants. Here is the result.

2. I’ve been itching to make dumplings ever since my friend made them for me as a sweet gesture. This recipe looks promising!

3. Finally got my hands on the much-loved and fancy Créme De La Mer—I love it!

4. Have you read the new “Mom Talk” column on Mother? This week’s feature is all about raising a long-haired boy—something I can relate to.

5. If you’re visiting NYC this weekend, this list of the 31 best coffee shops in the city might be worth a read.

6. 10 must-see art exhibitions for 2017.

7. My favorite coffee table book! It’s beautiful.

8. A list of Airbnb rentals with jaw-dropping views? Count me in!

9. In search of a new read? Have you read anything from this list?

10. A new collection by Doen just launched! I was able to scoop up a few pieces including this sweet top for spring.

Image above via Diane Villadsen

TEN THINGS

02/10/2017

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Cheers to the weekend! It seems like these past few weeks have been filled with a little extra chaos and sadness. But, I’m looking forward to a restful weekend and time at home with my family. To pique your interest and perhaps to add a bit of positivity, here are this week’s ten things…

1. The Madewell Intimates Collection is here! And, guys… it is so good.

2. The perfect list of aspirations to get you through the month of February.

3. New Ace & Jig just landed at Two Son! This jumpsuit is a looker.

4. In New York City this weekend? Join the Kids For Kindness march this Sunday at Washington Square Park.

5. Halloween can’t come soon enough! Did you catch this season 2 trailer at the Super Bowl?

6. A lot of crap happened in 2016. But, here are 10 things that are getting better.

7. Looking to go back to basics with this simple, yet mouthwatering rendition of roasted chicken breasts.

8. Game changer: Glossier released their best-selling Boy Brow in clear. Don’t forget to use this link for 20% off your first order.

9. A new 73 questions by Vogue is out. This time starring Girls’, Lena Dunham.

10. Betsey DeVos is appointed Secretary of Education. What are your thoughts?

Photo above via dream-marauder.

EVEN MY CAT’S A PICKY EATER

02/02/2017

39We’ve had our kitty Bijou for over a year now. She’s an F3 Bengal. If you’ve been following this space for a while, or follow along on Instagram, you’ll know that our household is no stranger to animals. In fact, we’re big fans. In addition to Bijou, we also own a miniature pug named Frances Farmer (affectionately known as “Fran” who’s tongue, for whatever reason, is always out) and a pet bunny the kids named Bubble. While I know that pets aren’t for everyone, they’ve really taught our kids a lot about responsibility and compassion, and we couldn’t imagine our lives without them.

Ever since introducing Bijou in particular to the Internet via #bijouthebengal, I’ve received loads of questions, not only because of Bijou’s attractive breed, but also because she behaves a bit differently than other cats. Her grandmother is a Asian leopard. And, while this gives her those beautifully patterned spots, it also gives her an affinity toward trouble-making. This means Bijou requires a bit of special attention. All that said, we recently decided to switch her over to a high-quality pet food by IAMS because she stopped showing interest in her old food—I swear my house is full of picky eaters! We figure that if we’re going to take care of her in the best possible way, what she’s eating should be the first place we start, as her previous food was a bit pricey, and she would not each much of it. To acclimate her to the new diet in a safe way, we started to mix small amounts of IAMS with her existing food. If it’s specific numbers you’re after, we began the process by giving her a ratio of 25 to 75, with 25% of her meal containing the new IAMS Proactive Health Healthy Adult cat food. Over past few days, we’ gradually made our way to 100%. Easy as that! We were precautioned that some challenges might arise in switching Bijou’s diet, but we did not encounter any issues.

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37IAMS is all about helping cats of all shapes and sizes live long, healthy lives. To support their cause, the brand has done extensive research on cats and their eating patterns, and believes that the right diet can provide tons of positive benefits like: soft and shiny skin and coat, healthy digestion, and increased playfulness. We’ve already seen a bit of difference in her personality and are looking forward to seeing visible results after maintaining an IAMS diet. Because at the end of the day, a happy Bijou, means a happy household. We’ll be tracking Bijou’s progress here on Bleu, and via Instagram. But, if you’re interested in learning more about the IAMS brand for cats and their Visible Difference guarantee, visit IAMS.com.

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This post is in partnership with IAMS.

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