The House of Blues & 2012 Dallas Observer Music Awards!

The last few weeks have been a beautiful whirlwind of amazing experiences that I wanted to share with my blog family.  Last Saturday myself and 5 amazing musicians opened for Grammy Award winner and R&B singer Monica at the House of Blues Dallas. I still can’t believe how everything worked out and my biggest lesson to share is PROMOTE PROMOTE PROMOTE!

Whether you’re an aspiring musician, chef, writer, etc put yourself out there because you never know who’s paying attention. Thanks to social media I attracted the attention of Ascential Events who produced the Monica show. Great night, great crowd…I can’t wait to do it again!

Sarah Sellers – House of Blues [New Music Sampler]

Check out some pics from the show and read the review HERE!

To top off the week I found out I was nominated for a Dallas Observer Music Award in the Best Female Vocalist category. Just to be nominated is such an amazing feeling, especially when my name is listed below one of my favorite artists, Sarah Jaffe.

So I’m asking you, my dear blog friends, to help me out and vote for me for this year’s awards! I’ll be bringing the band back together on November 10th to perform during the local showcase here in Dallas. If you’re in the area stay tuned for more details.

You can vote once a day up until the awards ceremony at the House of Blues Dallas on November 13th. You don’t have to fill out the entire ballot (but feel free to check out all of the amazing artist that are nominated), just scroll down to 30 and place your vote! Thank you guys so much for your amazing support!! The adventure is just beginning.

VOTE HERE!!!

House of Blues Photo Credits: Ascential Events & Jon Draper Productions for GoodBAMMSho

New Video, West Coast Dreams & Promising Opportunities!

I’m writing you from 37,856 feet on my way to the City of Angels for a fun week of gorgeous weather and networking opportunities. First things first, for the first time in years I’m actually enjoying my flight thanks to Virgin America. I’ve never flown the airline before and now I’m officially spoiled. If you get the chance, book a seat, the experience is better then any carrier I’ve ever flown on. Moving on….

Last week I posted a new video of my partner in crime, Josh Goode, and me covering ZZ Ward’s “Got it Bad”. Since she’s been a huge inspiration on the new material we decided to record another cover of her latest single, “Put the Gun Down”. So here you are, another YouTube video to tide you guys over until the new material is released. If you live in Dallas and want to check out the new music first come to the House of Blues on September 29th! I’ll be opening for Monica with Josh Goode and some other amazing musicians.

It’s been a few years since I’ve been to LA and I couldn’t be more excited. Tonight Matt and I are kicking things off with a party hosted by Yahoo! featuring one of my favorite bands, Chairlift. I won’t be reviewing the show but I’ll definitely be documenting the night’s events. Maybe I’ll even get a chance to meet Caroline Polacheck…wishful thinking.

The rest of the week I have a few meetings with some new contacts and old friends. It’s amazing what the universe delivers to you once you stop holding back and put yourself out there. Never stop dreaming!

xoxo

Photo Credit: Juan Guevara’s Flickr Stream

Tomorroats: A Quick, Simple & Healthy Breakfast

I saw this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Can You Stay For Dinner?, and I had to share. I love the idea of mixing your breakfast together the night before with a few simple ingredients, putting it in the fridge then voila, you have breakfast when you wake up. The only mistake I made was using Steel Cut Oats instead of Old Fashioned Rolled Oats…use the rolled oats, it will result in a less chewier experience!

When I pulled the oats out of the fridge the next morning I just topped them off with a drizzle of honey, blueberries, a sliced banana and a dash of cinnamon! Delish!

Tomorroats

  • 1/2 cup dry old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup water

At night (before bed), mix all ingredients well in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, stir and serve. No need to heat them, no need to dirty another bowl. Simply mix in your desired toppings. I went with honey, blueberries, banana, and cinnamon!

Serves 1

Nutrition (for oats, yogurt, and water only): 200 calories, 5 grams protein, 5 grams fiber

Bon Appetit!

Don’t Make Excuses for Who You Are! Own Your Shine!!

I came across this blog post today from a follower on Twitter and it spoke to me so much that I had to share. I have always fought a level of insecurity my whole life when it came to my dreams, my looks, my craziness, my loudness…I could go on and on. I always get asked, “when are you going to stop going after your dreams and focus on your career”…”when is enough enough”….”ummmm that’s really hard to accomplish”…”what are you doing all of this for”.

For years I bought into all of this and really held myself back. Scared, insecure, and afraid to completely be myself and give-in to my dreams. I’m not 100% there yet, but I feel more complete then I ever have. After I started really going after my dreams doors started to open and a friend of mine said the truest statement I’ve ever heard,

“When you start doing what you’re suppose to do, the universe will align and things will start to happen in your favor”….or something like that. 😉

Don’t suppress who you are because you’re afraid people may not approve. Be you, do what you love and don’t let anyone take away your shine. No-one deserves that kind of power.

Thank you to all of my amazing followers, fans, readers and people in my life that truly get and support me. You make all of this hard work worthwhile!

A Little Inspiration for Your Monday Morning

A quick thought to ponder on this beautiful Monday morning! Thank you The Simply Luxurious Life for sharing!

“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”

–Edward Abbey

With summer winding down do you have any exciting last minute travels coming up?

Don’t forget to take the time to travel, see the world, or just to take a break on your favorite park bench to soak in the beauty around you! Have a wonderful week!

Scenes from an Advocare Diet

Oh the things Matt and I get ourselves into. It’s been quite the physical/health conscious/mental journey for us since we met nearly 10 years ago. When I was waiting tables in my early 20’s being “healthy” was the furthest thing on my mind. I’ve never been athletic or ever worried about the food I put in my body.

I fell into the typical college lifestyle of cheap beer and fast food. Since I was on my feet at the restaurant 40+ hours a week it didn’t really affect me until I got out of college and started my desk job. The no exercising, inhaling food like a dumpster routine resulted in a quick 30 pound gain and shock that I no longer could fit into my usual tank tops and jeans.

Since Matt and I both put on the “love weight” we’ve gone back and forth between diet after diet, workout after workout. It hasn’t been until the last year or so that I’ve really started to grasp the concept of healthy living.

Now don’t get me wrong, food is my crutch, it’s one of my favorite pass times. But the older I get the more I realize the importance of living a consistent, healthy lifestyle (so I keep telling myself).

When I heard multiple people in the office talking about Advocare I immediately felt sorry for them. So sorry in fact that I told my husband how much it must suck to do a cleanse and I’m glad it’s them not us. Well, that was my first mistake. Matt loved the idea….so here we are. Three days after the 10 day Advocare Herbal Cleanse (no this isn’t an advertisement just a reflection) and shockingly…it’s not hell after all.

Partaking in a liquid cleanse that deprives you of all solid food is not my thing, sorry, I can’t just completely eliminate my favorite pastime. So I was thrilled to hear you actually get to eat on this cleanse, and it only lasts 10 days.

All the veggies and fruit you can eat became a bit daunting the first few days but now I can say I feel lighter, more energized and just healthier over all. The key now is keeping it off and turning this into a healthy lifestyle. Balance is key [inner pep-talk].

The Challenges

  • Giving up caffeine – C.O.F.F.E.E addict!!!!! Enough said
  • Giving up carbs [the good stuff] – I didn’t realize how addicted I was to things like tortillas, chips, pasta, etc until I had to give it up
  • Having a social life – we tried to pick a week where nothing was going on because nothing is worse then going out with your friends and eating salad and drinking water….boring!!
  • Fighting the mundane – grilled veggies, chicken and salad started to get old really fast…I definitely had to put my cooking skills to the test!
  • How do I cook without olive oil – this one took some getting use to. I love me some olive oil!
  • Fighting the sweet tooth – sometimes you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone…

The Solution

  • If you depend on caffeine in the mornings like I do, do yourself a favor and buy the Spark!! It saved me
  • Giving up carbs 100% I just can’t do. I actually fell in love with Quinoa during this cleanse. Mix in a healthy amount of complex carbs to satiate the craving
  • Just be a hermit for 10 days – seriously! It’s easier to succeed on this cleanse if you shop ahead, cook at home, and resist the urge to go out with your friends
  • Be creative and use the internet! The world wide web has a plethora of healthy cooking tips if you get stuck in a rut. Trade off between fish and chicken and experiment with different types of veggies
  • Non fat olive oil cooking spray!!! Oh and chicken broth!
  • Eat fruit – lots and lots of fruit! I’ve actually fallen in love with Kiwi now!!!

The Result – my husband lost 10 pounds, I lost 4. I know it doesn’t seem like a lot but I feel so much cleaner, lighter and my taste buds are honestly craving fruit and veggies constantly now. If you train your body to eat healthy foods you start to crave them. I will definitely do this again in 90 days!

And yes…we did reward ourselves…

Oh Starbucks how I missed you!!!!

Have you tried Advocare? What was your experience? Let me know in the comments below.

 

The Elixir of Life is in Napa Valley – Day 4

I couldn’t think of a better way to end our trip then in beautiful Napa Valley. My only regret – not having enough time in the wine country. I guess that means we’ll just have to come back sooner then later!

The Highlights:

Micheal and Sissy at The Gables Inn Sausalito: What an amazing place to stay and a wonderful staff. From the wine and cheese hour with Sissy to breakfast on the sunny patio every morning, I will definitely come back and stay at this quaint bed and breakfast!

Morimoto Napa: After a slow start to the day we finally made it to Napa. While cruising through the adorable downtown we were beyond excited to see a restaurant from THE Iron Chef himself, Morimoto. The sleek and modern restaurant did not disappoint with some of the best sushi, sorry THE, best sushi I’ve ever had. From the deconstructed Toro Tartare, down to the traditional Spicy Tuna Roll, there was nothing ordinary about the Iron Chef’s cuisine. Absolutely divine!!

PlumpJack Winery: A beautiful winery in Napa and a perfect way to start the day. The wine was impeccable, especially the Syrah!

Chateau Montelena: After getting lost in the Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, driving through the winding mountainous roads, we finally made it to the gorgeous Chateau Montelena for a quick grounds tour and of course, some amazing vino! Interesting fact: until our visit I always thought Rieslings to be overly sweet, not anymore. The Montelena Riesling is crisp, subtle and definitely worth buying a bottle on your way out (the Zinfandel as well).

Cornerstone Cellars: What a happy accident! When the Hill Family tasting room was closing they sent us across the street to sip wine with local sommelier, Allison. The wine, of course, was delicious but most of all Allison was completely charming and a joy to spend our last few hours in Napa with.

Scoma’s Sausalito: After bidding adieu to the wine country we topped off an amazing trip with another fine meal at Scoma’s in Sausalito. The seafood in California is beyond anything you can get in Texas. I could seriously eat fish and sushi everyday if I lived here. The clam chowder and popcorn shrimp were an odd combination for an appetizer but rich and delicious. Matt had some mouth watering Halibut served over steamed spinach and potatoes, drizzled with a pesto cream sauce. I had the crab and shrimp stuffed sole smothered in a lobster sauce with steamed veggies and rice….amazing!!! We were too stuffed for dessert so we ordered some to go. When we got back to the room we opened the box to find not just our cheesecake, but a chocolate tart with raspberry sauce and a note that said “Enjoy Best of Both”!

Thank you Sausalito, San Francisco, and Napa Valley for giving us another memorable trip to reminisce about! Until next time!!

Sunburns, Baseball & the Painted Ladies in San Francisco – Day 3

 

Sunburned and exhausted we woke up in Sausalito to day 3 of our trip to San Francisco. One delicious continental breakfast (I had to have my daily danish) and one missed ferry later we hopped the bus on our way to AT&T park. Decked out in our Texas Rangers gear we caught the attention of a fellow Texan riding the bus. It was interesting to hear his stories of traveling all over the world and finally landing in San Fran, “the greatest place to live in the United States”.

After making a few friends we found our stop and hoofed it to the ballpark just in time to take our seats in the blazing sun. Of course they were experiencing above average temperatures and my sunburn was protesting. After a few innings we made our way into the concourse and I must say, I had the best stadium hot dog of my life! San Francisco has definitely met all of my culinary expectations. After taking some pictures of the gorgeous ballpark and rooting the Rangers on to a solid win we took to the streets to explore on our last full day in San Fran.

We stopped for a pint in Union Square to take in a little people watching and cool our skin under the shade. A final jaunt on the hop-on-hop bus took us to Alamo Square and the famous Painted Ladies. The houses were beautiful and the park was a perfect spot to camp out on a late sunny afternoon. We continued on foot through the gorgeous Pacific Heights neighborhood. Between the vibrant flowers, luscious parks and hilltop mansions I found myself falling completely in love with this city.

It was nice to get lost amongst the quiet neighborhoods, away from all the tourists, and dream about the history and culture of the old Victorian homes that lined the streets. We eventually made it back to the water and a gorgeous trail that gave us one last sunset view of the Golden Gate bridge and Alcatraz. The evening was topped off with another delicious meal at Cioppino’s on Fisherman’s Wharf and an Irish coffee at The Buena Vista.

Next stop, my personal Disney Land – Napa Valley!

Eating My Way Through San Francisco – Day 2

 

Breakfast Pastries. Performing Pooches. Crystal Waters. Vibrant Flowers. Pearl White Birds. Sailboats. Alcatraz. The Golden Gate Bridge. Fisherman’s Wharf. Seafood. Sourdough Bread. Pride. China Town. The Stinking Rose. Trolleys. Weddings. Boudin. Pier 39. Herb Caen Way. Architecture. Tadich Grill. Oysters. Cioppino. The Buena Vista. Irish Coffee.

San Francisco!

If there was a poster child for yo-yo dieting it would be this girl! [Rant]

Food and I have had a very finicky relationship over the past decade. My college years don’t count. I think I pretty much lived off of boxed mac and cheese and pizza. Yet somehow I didn’t gain a pound. Fast forward (what feels like) a century later and my hips are in a constant battle with my mouth. Do it, don’t do it, do it….my mouth always wins. What can I say I love food, I’m OBSESSED with food. For anyone that interacts with me on a daily basis I apologize. I should test myself to see if I can go one day without rambling about what I ate for lunch or what I’m going to have for dinner. Yes, I’m that girl.

I’m getting to that age in my life where everything my mother said, and that I argued adamantly against, falls out of my mouth like a constant stream of word vomit.

MOM: “Watch what you eat!” ME: Whatever…

MOM: “It will catch up with you…” ME: Whatever….

“Girls aren’t suppose to eat like line backers…” (wait did she tell me that??) ME: But I’m hungry…

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a rant about how skinny or not skinny I wish I was, this is a rant to myself, the constant yo-yo dieter. The food obsessed, neurotic cook that, to my horror, now shovels food in my mouth faster then my husband. Sigh!

So what’s a girl to do when a big bowl of savory goodness and a crisp glass of wine makes me happier then a brand new handbag or shiny pair of shoes?? Weight Watchers! Because no other diet has ever lasted in my household, and with the scale ticking up, up, up…I know I have to do something about it.

Do you know what sucks worse then being on Weight Watchers, the fact that my husband gets DOUBLE the amount of points then I do. When I’m coming home from work craving nothing but a pre-dinner snack and dreading the evening workout, I’m faced with a joyful husband stating, “Wow I have 25 points left for dinner.” Tonight I had 4!!! FOUR points left for dinner. Yes I know that Spinach Salad with bacon and goat cheese at lunch didn’t help, and that tasty happy hour beverage (light beverage x2) wasn’t that light. It doesn’t matter…a girl craves what a girl craves.

And here I am. In my fourth cycle, within the last 5 years, of the famed diet. Now I just need to keep JHud’s gorgeous self as a motivator and learn how to eat like a girl. This isn’t an anti-weight watchers rant, just simply me complaining into the void that I can no longer eat my weight in food like I could when I was a youthful college student. No more late night pizza runs, no more Taco Bueno for lunch then nachos for dinner, and no more eating the same portions as a grown ass man. I will still indulge every once in a while to keep my sanity, but I’ll stick to this until that last pound is finally shed and I’m back to my goal weight.

Thanks for listening! Now where are those girl scout cookies…

%d bloggers like this: