Discussions of babies, animals, food, monsters and more…
A couple days ago it came to my attention that there are a pair of brothers in Norway who have formed a variety show group called Ylvis. The group plays off some hilarious themes, reminiscent of the humor and satire of Tim Minchin and SNL’s Lonely Island with Andy Samberg. Here are my two favorites so far but I’ve also included their official playlist at the bottom of the post. Enjoy!
Ian and I just spent a whirlwind week on the East Coast, visiting friends and family to celebrate a new birth (human) in Baltimore, a friend becoming a lawyer (also human, also in Baltimore), Thanksgiving and family time in Connecticut and finally having some time just for the two of us in New York. We had a fantastic time but boy…there is nothing quite like coming home to our humble abode and hanging out with the furry children for a day before it’s time to head back to work. Missed these little boogers.
This past week has just been another reminder for us to always take the time to appreciate how fortunate life can be.
Ian and I are going to adopt a walrus and name him Stanley. We will take him in as our own walrus…which he will be, since we just adopted him. Yeeeaa, so…watch the videos!
Silverman, sit up straight!! You tell him mom!
This is an oldie but a goodie.
This is not suitable for everyone but it makes me laugh hysterically while I sing along…and I can play this on loop with the same reaction every time.
I want to be this good at playing the drums! And I shall practice in my wedding dress…I mean, what else am I going to use it for now?!
And the ‘making of’…
Don’t mind the weird image of people at a masquerade party, just press play and listen:
I had some photos lying around that I liked so I’m posting them for my own viewing pleasure.
Although their videos are a little kooky, check out this amazing cello-playing duo and their renditions of some classic songs. Buying their album now: Click Here
Smooth Criminal (Michael Jackson)
Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)
Welcome to the Jungle (Guns N’ Roses)
When you put a lime and a pup together you do not get a coconut. You do, however, get a pup that’s a nut. I guess if the pup’s name was Coco, you would technically have a Coconut…but I’m getting ahead of myself. Just watch:
And even though I’m still not sure what’s happening in this video, I’m fascinated by monkeys in bowler hats…so:
Alright, so you like to drink. I understand. And now, after countless visits to the dive bars and the trendy restaurants, you need some amazing recommendations for top grade alcohol? My friend, I know you so well. If you keep reading a little lower…keep going you’re almost there…I just posted two delicious recommendations that are currently on our “awesome” list that you must try, they are that good!
What’s that you say? Oh, you are so welcome!**
Youri Dolgoruki Vodka
This is a Russian vodka, named after Duke Dolgoruki, the founder of Moscow. It is distilled at Moscow’s oldest, largest in the country and most famous distillery, Cristall. Cristall unveiled the premium Youri Dolgoruki vodka in a frosted-glass bottle that displays an image of the famous St. Basil’s Cathedral through a clear window in the packaging.
Distilled four times according to a very rigid secret recipe, the vodka is then blended with natural glacier water which has been pre-treated by a special patented process for the ultimate in purity. Filtration through native Russian birch charcoal completes the process. This unique care and attention to detail results in a vodka known to the world for its distinct character and smoothness on the palate.
For lesser quality vodkas we typically need to mix it with cranberry juice or some other element to suppress the harsh taste. This vodka however presents a subtle flavor that is not unpleasant. Try it, you’ll be quite surprised.
Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey
During one of our many trips to Colorado, Ian’s dad introduced this phenomenal 94 proof, small-batch whiskey that is only distilled in Denver, Colorado. In fact, Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey is the first microdistillery making whiskey in Colorado and the Rocky Mountains as well as one of the first in the country. Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey is the first of a new category known as “Rocky Mountain Straight Whiskey”.
The whiskey is made from a unique four-barley fermented wash that consists of carbon filtered Rocky Mountain water and western barley that is grown in the Northern Rockies. Each bottle is filled by hand and each label is hand written identifying the distiller, batch number, the youngest barrel in the batch and a unique comment.
Stranahan’s is no longer independently owned, as it was sold to Proximo Beverage Corporation. Details on the sale and what the structure of the brand will look like have yet to be released but in the meantime if you are ever in CO you must remember to pick up a few bottles…if not for you then for us, we need more. Thanks!
Heard Amy Whitcomb (vocals) on The Sing-Off. Amazing voice!
An absolute classic…and how I imagine our household will be once Ian and I have kids (except with 2 kids and NOT 5).
Do you like tea? I like tea!
According to Wikipedia, tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves to hot water. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world.
A month ago, a friend and I were having a deep discussion about our love for tea. I’m not big on the flavored teas but prefer black tea due to it’s caffeinated nature and after our chat my friend bought me a box of his favorite tea: Ahmad Tea’s English Tea No.1.
English Tea No.1. is an exclusive blend of teas from Assam, Sri Lanka and Kenya, with a hint of bergamot that produces a very subtle flavor, perfect for your morning brew.
Try it, you’ll like it.
(…brought to you by Dr. Joyner [that’s me!])
A few months ago, Living Social introduced us to a local farm called Farm Fresh To You which provides an organic produce delivery service, sending high quality, fresh fruits and veggies to your doorstep. The best part is the wide assortment of seasonal produce we get in each delivery since they work with neighboring organic farms to ensure it’s a really great variety throughout the entire year.
If you are tired of the poor, sad looking produce at your local supermarket, this affordable solution is fantastic and strongly recommended. They even have several different types of deliveries to choose from such as one with more fruits, just fruits, more veggies, just veggies. They also allow you to adjust the frequency you would like to receive the deliveries. So many options for such amazing food!
Check it out, you will not be disappointed: Farm Fresh To You
How do you know when to use hot sauce vs. red pepper flakes vs. cayenne pepper? In Food Network magazine, Mario Batali tells us:
Hot Sauce is used as a condiment for cooked dishes such as soups, tacos and eggs.
Red pepper flakes are good for sauces and stews and great when using a pinch in pastas and veggie dishes.
Cayenne pepper is great for poultry and fish rubs, and sometimes even in hot chocolate.
So there you have it! Mario Batali is your friend!
This is one of those times when someone recommends something to you and you should feel compelled to jump out of your chair and do it right this second (yes, even for breakfast if that’s when you are reading this). Ian and I have fallen in love with a sandwich. I know, you’re thinking, how many sandwiches can you fall in love with?! I don’t know, I just don’t know…
Back to this sandwich, the fresh ingredients are so simple yet together they are magical: rosemary marinated chicken breast, brie cheese, fresh pear, arugula and mayonnaise on a rustic ciabatta roll. It’s creamy and crunchy and makes you yearn for more (even if half of the sandwich is still sitting on your plate). That convinced you, didn’t it? I can see it in your eyes, you want this little treat right now! Just look at how pretty it is! Ready to eat it? Get set….GO!!
Made this last night. Didn’t have a grater with large enough holes so I just sliced the potatoes into really thin strips and used light syrup to reduce the calories a bit. Spicy and sweet, yum!
Serves 4| Hands-On Time: 25m | Total Time: 25m
This is absolutely delicious and you can throw in any veggies you want. We made brown rice on the side to soak in the flavors. Ian even took all the leftovers to work for lunch!
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and stir. Place the chicken in the pan and brown 4 minutes on each side. Remove from pan, slice into strips, set aside.
Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a wok over high heat. Add the vegetables and teriyaki sauce. Stir-fry quickly until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the chicken strips, combine well and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.
Brushing up on a backlog of cooking magazines, I’ve dug up some obvious and some not so obvious tips of the trade that I found interesting:
Kale – must look into this since it’s a good source of lutein (an eye-friendly nutrient)
Some of the sturdiest produce to keep on hand at all times: Carrots, red cabbage, bell peppers and romaine lettuce (all last for up to a week).
Anatomy of a Healthy Meal = Half your plate should contain veggies and fruits / 1 quarter should be lean protein / 1 quarter should be whole grains.
Per Real Simple’s February 2011 issue, we tend to consume way more protein than our bodies need and get less than half the veggies and fruits we should. Produce is loaded with essential vitamins and antioxidants. It also has lots of fiber, which prevents blood-sugar spikes (so you don’t get hungry again right away)…more of a note to myself than anything…Lean protein (salmon, chicken) makes you feel full longer. And whole grains, like barley and bulgur (say what?), are nutrient-packed alternatives to processed carbs. The final component: healthy plant-based fats, found in olive oil and avocados, which are unsaturated and cholesterol-free, unlike animal fats.
Here are the 30 Healthiest Foods you should consider using: Click Here
Some great healthy cooking alternatives to try:
So I turned to my husband and said “Husband, what should I blog about?” (Yes, that is how we talk) and he turned to me and said “The furry children.” And so we began collecting some of our favorite pictures of our three furry children: Kona, Suki and Jasmine.
Here is a little backstory on each:
Kona – Eldest of our three mananimals, she and her brothers, sisters and mother were rescued from under a house somewhere in LA. Her mother, later to be named Zoe, was only about a year old when she was…er…carelessly taken by a male cat resulting with a litter she was too young to handle by herself. My parents decided to adopt the mother while Ian and I fell in love with the sick kitten in the litter who fumbled around with a shaved front paw due to having been hooked up to an IV. It looked as if she had rolled up a sleeve. We named her Kona as a fond remembrance of our trip to Hawaii, days filled with delicious Kona coffee.
Suki – A few months into introducing Kona into our lives, Ian and I felt strongly that she needed a little friend. We found Suki as a tiny, dirty, greasy, flea-ridden gremlin in need of a good home. She had been found walking the streets alone in Inglewood. When we met her she was so happy to see us that she held our faces in her tiny paws as she licked our noses raw. It was absolutely adorable and would make any heart melt. It took a while to get her cleaned up and back to health but it was worth the process.
Jasmine – On our way back from a trip snowboarding in Big Bear we received a call from a rescue home about a small puppy we had called about before the trip who had been found in a tire in the middle of Tijuana. The rescue home had originally told us that this German Shepard mixed puppy had just been adopted but the call informed us that she suddenly had to be returned since the family that had adopted her had a dog that tried to kill her in a jealous rage. We stopped by the rescue home just to meet the puppy and fell so deeply in love (just look at the pics) that we adopted her on the spot, packed her up in the car with our snowboards and drove home. Our major concern was introducing this small bundle of fur to the cats who reigned our household but that’s another story, for another time…
Introduced to me by my mom, this quaint little shop exists in busy Old Town Pasadena. What you don’t realize from the outside of the store is how delectable the fresh ingredients are on the inside. Specializing in California extra virgin olive oil, California wine vinegars and balsamic vinegars that are primarily from Italy you can sample any bottle in the store. Customers can walk to the back by the two rows of spouts where you can pour a taste of the featured oils and vinegars into little plastic tasting cups paired with bits of fresh bread to soak the flavors. They ‘ll even allow you to return with your empty Beyond the Olive bottles for refills. And as my husband will agree, you must try the Blue Cheese Stuffed Olives as they are fantastic (especially in martinis)!
Incredibly homey and delicious on a cold night. Easy to prep as well!
Place a large pot over medium-high heat with the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Add the ground chicken and break it up, lightly browning it for 5 minutes.
Add the carrots, onion, celery, garlic, paprika and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 7-8 minutes. Add the chicken stock and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot.
Add the hot sauce, tomato sauce and the stewed, fire-roasted or crushed tomatoes to the chili and bring up to a bubble. Simmer for 8-10 minutes more to let the flavors come together.
While the chili is simmering, pre-heat the broiler.
Spread the chips out on a cookie sheet. Top with the crumbled blue cheese and transfer to the oven to melt the cheese, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.
Top each serving of Buffalo Chicken Chili with a few blue cheese chips.
Our vacation in Colorado has allowed me some time to pick up the lost art of reading. Lost for me that is, since prior to our trip I was too consumed with work to even check my personal email account.
One of the best trilogies I have had the pleasure of reading is the Millenium trilogy by Stieg Larsson: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. In the crime/thriller series, the ups and downs of the engaging conspiracy-laden plot hold you in suspense and keep you captivated as you find yourself empathizing with the main characters as they dodge and weave through their trials and tribulations. Sadly, Larsson died before the first book was published which many claim is part of the conspiracies dripping from his books so he was not able to witness the wild success and attention his stories received. However, the Swedes have already made the first book into a film and a US remake is already in the works. A must read…click here for more info: http://amzn.to/ruxWPF
Love this rendition!
Pinterest has become a new fascination among many of my friends. It, as Pinterest’s site explains, lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.
I’ve added my own pins to the side of this blog so you have the option of browsing my latest discoveries. Yes, that is Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. Why? Because Harrison is my favorite and IJ happens to be my husband’s initials as well. Coincidence?…Perhaps…
Do you use Pinterest?
My husband doesn’t brag about his artistic abilities…so I’ve taken on the pleasure of bragging for him. Did I mention I get to name them?
Probably one of my all-time most favorite, entertaining videos on YouTube. I sing it everywhere!
I know flash mobs have already hit mainstream but before it became such an infamous event I saw this and it still makes me smile. One day I’m going to be in one of these and you won’t know. Well, you will, since you will have seen me dancing in it but you won’t know that I knew I would be in it…beforehand. Ok?
So Ian and I just celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary in August. What a crazy year it has been. Sometimes the work week seems to drag while the weekends just don’t last long enough. So that means it’s time to look back at some of the pics in Telluride over 1 year ago where magic happened and dreams came true.
Think about it, soon they won’t even need humans to feed them…
Well…no, not quite BUT we did decide to turn what was once our wedding site into a blog of all the wonders of the Joyner family in Sherman Oaks. It’s not every day that you get to hear of what we are doing (Ian is playing guitar and I’m typing) and I won’t be posting minute by minute updates of our actions like some do on Facebook (I just scratched the side of my nose) but hopefully we will keep this site flowing with funny posts, updates on our 3 fuzzy children (Kona, Suki and Jasmine) and frankly get you unbelievably emotionally-invested in our lives.