Grit & Glitter

a gal with gumption

The Breakfast Club

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Three students of life, all different stereotypes, meet for brunch, where they pour their hearts out to each other, and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought.

Basically The Kentucky Gent, Ch.25 and I are The Breakfast Club.

Bound by a general distaste of a basic life, these three friends bond over weekly brunches and quickly begin to take the world by storm. One blog post at a time. MTV, we’re ready to sign that reality show deal. Have your people call our people.

The day before we met for our weekly brunch date, I stopped by The Salvation Army and found this amazing cream coat. I was all like, “Whoa, look at that $7 price tag!”. After snagging this coat for a steal, I got home and realized that I had finally found a place for my Great Aunt Marie’s heirloom gold and ivory rose pin. It now stares up lovingly from my collar, and I sometimes hear it say in Aunt Marie’s groveling voice, “Eat your macaroni and cheese, Adrian, or you won’t get to feed the alligators!”.

Also, on a side note Aunt Marie told me that if I caught a skink and made it bite my ear I could wear it as an earring. I’ve yet to catch one of those slippery lizards so I still don’t know if that was true.

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josh-adrian_11-20147-1Coat: Vintage (Similar HERE), Jeans: Madewell, Socks: J Crew (Similar HERE), Beanie: The Dollar Tree (Similar HERE)

P.S. Yes, I got that beanie at The Dollar Tree while shopping for Christmas decor. Thou shalt not judge.

Photos: Danielle Martin of Ch.25

 

A Toast To Friendsgiving!

This past Sunday, The Kentucky Gent and I spent 8 long hot hours in the kitchen cooking up all kinds of trouble while our trusty sidekick and talented photographer Danielle Martin of Ch.25 documented the entire escapade. There were vintage aprons a plenty, spices and butter galore. Talkin’ bout eggs? We had twenty. But who cares, no big deal. We wanna’ do this more!

(Excuse me while I brush my long red hair with my golden fork)

As you can tell by our week of posts a lot of love, blood, and The Kentucky Gent’s literal tears went in to these recipes. (Seriously, we had a meltdown during that intense apple peeling session. Someone please teach us to use a pairing knife without cutting off any appendages. Oh, Magical Thanksgiving-Fairy-Chef-Godmother {aka Martha Stewart} please send us apple pairing abilities in time for next years feast.)

While we cooked, peeled, baked, whisked, and mashed up a storm we also enjoyed something more magical than the Thanksgiving-Fairy-Chef-Godmother herself; we feasted in the joys of our friendship, which is even sweeter than The Kentucky Gent’s Fudge and even more heartwarming than my Momma’s Mashed Potatoes.

Once all dishes were prepared, the kitchen was cleaned and he table was set we sat down with new friends and old to celebrate the gift of Friendship. Our friends are the family we choose and this year I’m thankful that I’ve chosen a ‘friendamily’ that understands my obsessive need to style every aspect of my life. Even photos of eggs and butter.

We hope you enjoy this special time with those you love most!

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Photos: Danielle Martin of Ch.25

P.S. Hire her, she rocks! Also, she has a great laugh and killer dance moves (which are a must in the photography industry).

Cran-Apple & Pecan Relish

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Not all cranberry sauces are created equal.There are two very distinct types of cranberry sauce varieties. One comes in a can (ugh gross), and the other is made from the freshest of ingredients proving that is the true nectar of the Thanksgiving gods. Today kids, were talkin’ bout the good stuff. Fresh cranberries, granny smith apples, oranges and pecans. Deeelish!

What You’ll Need

The Juice & Zest of 2 oranges

1 bag fresh of fresh cranberries

1 cup chopped Granny Smith Apples

2 cups Sugar

1/2 cup Chopped Pecans

How To Make It

Peel and chop apples, set aside. Chop pecans, set aside. Wash and strain cranberries, set aside. Juice oranges and pour juice in to a saucepan. Add sugar and bring to a broil until sugar has dissolved. Add apples and cranberries. Finely zest one orange peel on to the mixture and mix with a spoon. Simmer until cranberries have burst and apples are a crisp-tender. Mash up with a hand masher. Stir in pecans and cool in fridge. Serve at a cool room temp.

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Friendsgiving509-72Photos by Danielle Martin of Ch.25

Grandma’s Vegetarian Stuffing

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It may come as a surprise to find that I am a vegetarian. I don’t shout it from the rooftop like most but I haven’t eaten meat since I was about 9 years old, save for a very dark moment when I was 16 and my boyfriend’s family created an entire ruse to convince me to eat an entire steak. I felt like I was living out the 96oz steak scene in The Great Outdoors. I’m surprised I didn’t drop dead right there in their dining room. I was scarred for life. Darkest moment of my life.

I attribute a great deal of my veggie loving ways to my Grandma Marilyn. She filled me so full of garden fresh goodness as a young child that I never really cared for meat in the first place. We share, among many things, a great love for a good veggie and a good book. Her stuffing recipe is the highlight of our family’s Thanksgiving meal. It’s light, fluffy, moist and best of all it doesn’t come out of the butt of a giant bird.

What You’ll Need

2 medium white onions, minced

2 -3 stalks celery, chopped fine

2 tbs butter

2 cups vegetable broth

hot water

2 (6 ounce) packages stove top-style seasoned stuffing mix

1 tbs fresh parsley, chopped fine

1/2 tbs dried sage

1 tbs dried thyme

How To Make It

Chop celery, onions and parsley as instructed.

Saute onions and celery in butter.

Sprinkle in sage, thyme and parsley poultry seasoning.

Set aside to cool slightly.

Toss this mixture into your favorite dry stuffing mix.

Heat vegetable broth and set aside.

Read directions on your favorite stuffing mix box.

Add enough hot water to the broth to make up the required liquid needed.

(Omit butter the recipe calls for as it was already used to sauté vegetables.)

Pour over stuffing/vegetables mixture and mix well.

Place stuffing in a baking dish; cover and bake for 15 to 25 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Friendsgiving740-108Photos by Danielle Martin of Ch. 25

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P.S. Wanna chow down on some peanut buttery goodness? Check out The Kentucky Gent’s recipe for Peanut Butter Pumpkin Fudge. Again, this has been taste tested and approved by your truly.

Momma’s Mashed Potatoes

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Few things taste just like Heaven, but my momma’s mashed potatoes are about as heavenly as it gets. Creamy, buttery, perfectly salted and piping hot; these potatoes belong in Julia Child’s kitchen. Full of joy and packed with fatty goodness.

I learned how to make these potatoes shortly after I moved out as a young 18 year old know-it-all. I came home once and demanded my mother make me some mashed potatoes and she of course retorted, “Nope, you’re never gonna learn any younger.”

That’s the day my life changed forever.

What You’ll Need

1 potato per serving (8 potatoes = 8 servings)

1 tbs butter per 2 servings (8 servings = 4tbs)

1 tbs condensed milk per 2 servings (8 servings = 4tbs)

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

How To Make It

Wash all potatoes, then peel off all of their skin. Once potatoes are peeled cut them in to small 2in sized cubes and place them in a large pot. Add water to cover potatoes and a couple of pinches of salt to flavor the potatoes and bring the water and potatoes to a broil. Broil potatoes until they are cooked, a finished potato will taste much like a baked potato in your mouth. Once potatoes are cooked, strain them in a colander and add the warm potatoes, butter & condensed milk together in a mixing bowl. Whip together on medium setting until potatoes are fluffy and light. Add salt & Pepper to taste. Voila!

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P.S. Speakin’ of potatoes The Kentucky Gent shared his killer recipe for his Candied Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole, again I can vouch that it’s as bomb as it looks.

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All Photos are by our favoritest photog-dance-machine Danielle Martin of Ch.25

Danielle deserves an award for hangin’ in our hot prep kitchen and snapping away for 8 hours straight, taste testing all of our goodies and snuggling my very curious menagerie of furry kitchen visitors (aka the pastry stealing band of rebels known as Dr. Henry Jones Jr & Sasparilla Sassafras)

Campbell’s Hack: Green Bean Casserole

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I love, love, love Campbell’s green bean casserole. I mean it’s da bomb dot com!  However, this year I wanted to add a little extra love to this dish for our Friendsgiving dinner. So I grabbed some mini belle mushrooms and a carton of sour cream to create a pinterest worthy twist on the classic.

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Firstly, I washed my mushrooms, cut the stems off (personal preferance) and sliced them like you would a block of cheese; not too thick, not too thin. I added about 1/2 a cup of mushrooms to my recipe and boy, oh boy was it a delicious addition!

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Secondly, I rinsed and strained my green beans in the colander. This helps to rid the green beans of any extra juice that may make the casserole runny if you just pour them straight from the can.

The classic recipe calls for milk to be added, but I decided to sub sour cream for an added richness to the consistency. To make sure the casserole didn’t dry out I did add about 1tbs water before mixing.

After the casserole was ready I popped it in the oven for ____ minutes and right before serving added the crispy onions to top it all off, popped it back in the oven for another 5 minutes, leaving me a piping hot & utterly delicious finished product!

Here’s What You’ll Need:

2 cans (10 3/4 ounces each ) Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup or Campbell’s® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup or Campbell’s® Condensed 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup

1/2 Cup Mushrooms

1 cup sour cream 

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

8 cups cooked cut green beans

2 2/3 cups French’s® French Fried Onions

How To Make It:

  • Stir the soup, sour cream, soy sauce, black pepper, mushrooms, beans and 1 1/3 cups onions in a 3-quart casserole.
  • Bake at 350°F. for 25 minutes or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling.  Stir the bean mixture.  Sprinkle with the remaining onions.
  • Bake for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.

This twist on a classic was a huge hit with our dinner guests, and in fact I am now enjoying it’s leftovers as we speak!

P.S. Check out this recipe for The Kentucky Gent’s Brown Butter & Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting! Trust me, they are AMAZE-BALLS (It’s not like I’ve just eaten three of them or anything….)

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Photos: Danielle Martin of Ch. 25

Effie Trinket

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In the hysteria that is The Hunger Games, I find myself drawn to the plight of Katniss. However, I can’t hep but think that deep within me lives an Effie Trinket. Proud in my ways, vain in my pursuits but at the heart lies a loyal and most benevolent friend.

I want to say that I would be the girl in the woods, fighting to hold her little world together; but I know that there is a part of me that loves the glimmer and verve of high society. I don’t think that a person is wrong for feeling at home among both a life of society and solitude. I long for the wide open spaces where the only sound that pierces through my window panes is that of crickets, birds and bullfrogs. To be at peace among the expanse of nature is my dream, but in the mean time city life has faired me well and I have found a home among the brick and bustle that is my neighborhood.

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adrian-11-17-12Sweater: Forever 21 (similar HERE), Faux Leather Skirt: Nordstrom Rack (similar HERE), Shoes: Vera Wang (similar HERE), Earrings: Meijer (similar HERE)

Over It All

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Guys, I’m over it all. I’m over pants. I’m over skirts. I’m over shorts. I’m over leggings. I’m over dresses. I’m over all other forms of clothing my body. Now, I will only wear overalls. This will be a blog solely dedicated to overall fashion. I will take up urban farming and become a self sufficient city dweller, living on my man-made means alone. I will spin my own yarn made of Aussie fur, churn my own butter made from the milk of my backyard mini cows, make my own soap and, in my spare time, quilt from the silk squares harvested from my own silk worm farm.

Or, I’ll just write this post in my one pair of overalls and WISH that was my life. Then I’ll go down the street to Seeds and Greens and feel very accomplished. #shoplocal

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Adrian&Josh_ColdDay111-2Cape Coat: Acorn Apparel, Sweater: Victoria’s Secret (last season), Overalls: Caden Boutique, Boots: Dress & Dwell (last season), Necklace: Vintage via Kentuckiana Coin & Jewelry, Ring: Kate Spade (sold out), Socks: My Husband’s Drawer

Photos: Danielle Martin

The Vanishing Act

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Autumn in the Kentucky is a bit of a magician. It appears on a stage full of bright lights and shimmering tinsel and then “Voila”, it disappears in a cloud of smoke. It’s so awe-striking that we’re left to wonder, “Was that real life?”.

Well, the mirage of amber hued trees and waves of lemon colored leaves has left us. On the “Last good day of fall”, or so the weather anchors said, I high tailed it to St. James Court and had a fun filled day with The Kentucky Gent as we soaked in the autunm drenched scenes and made the most of this season.

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Hat: Vintage via The Pink Door Boutique, Necklace: The Dancing Swan via The Pink Door Boutique, Sweater: Forever 21 (sold out/similar HERE), Tee: Madewell, Silver Cuff: Vintage, Skinny Jeans: Madewell, Boots: Forever 21 (sold out/similar HERE)

Inn Of The Sixth Happiness

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Have you ever found a long forlorn golden ray of sunshine in the dark corner of a dusty old thrift store? Well fine friends, that is exactly what happened when I found this vintage jacket. Few people know of my love for the Asian culture, but as a child I was convinced my future held grand adventures in the Orient. Ingrid Bergman, in ‘The Inn Of The Sixth Happiness‘, changed my life forever. As a young misplaced blonde girl living in the middle of a small Mexican valley town, I felt I could relate to her plight to save the children of the vast rough world that surrounded her.

When in Jalisco, I often answered our door to find small frail children barely my age selling the broccoli their parents picked as share croppers, just so that they could help to feed their brothers and sisters at home. I wanted, so achingly, to give these children a little slice of the happiness that had been dished out to me. Slowly, my ex-pat toy collection began to wither away as pieces started going home with these tiny little broccoli salesmen.

Now as times get rough and I feel I barely have enough to get me through, I remember those smiling faces that walked away from our home, hearts full of happiness and hands full of tiny plush animals. Then, I remember that my “slim pickin’s” is more than enough, and I too walk on with a heart so full it could burst.

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Josh&Adrian11-5165-1Chinese Jacket: Vintage, Mustard Tee: Madewell, Green Bug Necklace: Vintage, Slim Boy Jeans: Madewell, Shoes: Madewell (Sold Out), Assorted Bracelets: Dillard’s

Photos: Danielle Martin

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