Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Indy Fab Food #1: Yats

I've decided to take a break from talking about my house and start talking about another thing I can't ever get off my mind: food.

I love where I live, and it's time to show off reasons why I'm proud of Indianapolis.  I also want to be a better supporter of local businesses and restaurants, and that is my goal with the new "Indy Fab Food" column.  Here it goes.

Indy Fab Food #1: Yats

Yats is a small Cajun Creole chain with four locations in central Indiana.  The environment is bright, festive, and very New Orleans.  Each Yats has a daily blackboard menu featuring a variety of gumbos, etoufees, and creoles.  My favorite, the chili cheese etoufee, is always in popular demand... so it's on the board every day.  It has just enough spice and makes my mouth water at the thought of it.

Besides being completely delicious, the BEST thing about this restaurant is the amount of food you get for the price.  You can get a full order of your choice for under $6.00, and it's not a meager amount.  Each order also comes with a side of buttered bread--perfect for soaking up the last bits of the meal.  Can't decide what you want?  You can also do a half-and-half deal and pleasure your palate with two of the blackboard options at once.

Are you a vegetarian?  No worries.  There are always a couple veggie options on the menu, as well as seafood for the pescetarians out there (...like me!  The chili cheese etoufee comes with scrumptious crawfish).

My new house is only a ten minute drive from Mass Ave (a.k.a. Massachusetts Avenue), where one of the Yats locations happens to be.  I got some today.  Mmmmmmm.

Coming to Indy?  Keep Yats in mind.

Happy eating,


Magic Mom.

I don't know how my mom does it all.  She's awesome.  Here's her recent blog entry:



Saturday, June 12, 2010

Old and new.

Yesterday I rented a U-Haul and moved all the large furniture to the new house.  Everything else can fit in the car with a few trips, or in one trip if I borrow my parents' van.  Soooo close.  I will OFFICIALLY be moved out this week.  Goodbye renting, hello owning!

I haven't slept there yet, but when I do I think I'm going to pop open the bubbly that my realtor gave me as a gift, sit on my front porch, and enjoy the new pretty place I can call home.

And THEN I have to get ready for the housewarming.  I've scheduled it for Saturday, July 24th... and it will help to have a deadline so I feel a bit of pressure in getting things completed.  The floors are done, the living room is painted, the dining room needs another layer of paint, and the kitchen needs another layer as well as a cabinet makeover with paint.  I also will be renailing the quarter-round to the baseboards, and then repainting the them because when I stained the floors I got a bit sloppy on the edges.  After that, I need to repaint the vents and sand down and stain the one for the dining room.  After THAT I get to decorate... that's the best part!

I'm not even going to worry too much about the yard for the housewarming party.  It is going to my project next summer, I think.  Yes, I'm going to pull weeds and clean it up a bit, but as for the big yard makeover... that can wait.

As for furniture, I'm temporarily borrowing some pieces from my sister so 1) she doesn't have to put them in storage and 2) I can wait on buying everything now.  I have her kitchen table and chairs, a small two-seater sofa for the sunroom, and her bed frame.  My grandma is now living with my parents, so I got a side table of her's, and a sofa-bed that we will put in the office.  We'll turn that room into a bedroom for hosting international students from IUPUI (as long as everything goes well) because it will give us $500 extra  a month!

I'm going to search for a corner sectional for the living room in a beige color (I'll accent with pillows, etc.).  I looked online for a rug today and found a massive discount on an 8' round white flokati rug.  Flokati rugs are made from natural wool, and this one looks so cozy for bare feet, and will add a bit of whimsy in my living room.  Here is a sample of what a flokati rug looks like (mine will be round):
I also have been looking out for a vintage-looking chandelier that I can repaint and hang in the living room.  Here is one I found on craigslist, and I'll be picking it up this week.  I will remove the shades permanently, and repaint the entire chandelier (probably the blue accent color I'm using in contrast with the orange walls):

The more I pick out what I want, the more I discover this whimsical, quirky side of my personality.  This is the first time I'll be able to really show it completely.  Owning is so much better than renting... DO IT!

Be back soon.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Selflessness vs. Selfishness

Lately I've had a major battle with myself, and some of the people around me have been pulled into it.  
I don't know how much selfishness is appropriate, and I don't know how selfless I can be without getting walked on.  Or, is it right to let myself get walked on?  How much is too much, on either side of the equation?

I grew up afraid to ever do anything wrong or make anyone mad.  I also grew up Catholic.  I didn't even take God's name in vain until 7th grade on the playground, and I remember thinking that a bolt of lightening was going to come down and kill me at that very moment.  Besides having this constant fear of breaking the rules, I also convinced myself that I was not as important as anyone else.

There is a quote in the Bible that states, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves" (Phillipines 2:3).  Basically, I grew up thinking that if I ever did something out of my own selfishness that I was 1) a horrible person, 2) I would go to Hell.  Plus, I ingrained an idea into my mind that to this day is hard to get out: Everyone else is better and more deserving than I am.  On the rare occasion that I did speak up or do something for myself, I'd immediately beat myself up mentally and pray constantly for forgiveness... until I felt I had punished myself enough.

I'm not sitting here blaming my Catholic upbringing.  I loved my upbringing and I loved my school and I loved my childhood.  My former religion was not the sole influence in my life, but it was one of many.  For whatever reason, a combination of factors led me to the childhood belief that it was better to shut-up, be quiet, and not cause a fuss... whether or not I was hurt or screwed over in the process.

But now it's gone to the other extreme, and I feel like lately I've been too selfish in my thoughts and actions.  Or am I just paranoid?  I DON'T KNOW!

I've rebelled so much against the idea of doing everything for everyone else, that I've become so attentive and watchful when someone doesn't go out of their way to do something for me. It's awful, and it's turning me bitter.  As much as I try not to, I practically keep a points system in my head that keeps track of how much my boyfriend does for me and how much I do for him.  It's not healthy to think that way... but at the same time, in past relationships I didn't ever speak up enough and pretty much let the other people take complete control of the relationship and the definition of it.  

I don't want that again, but I also don't want to be walked on again.  So how do I find a happy medium?  I want to be confident, strong in my convictions, proud of who I am, and treated with respect... but at the same time I still NEVER want to hurt anyone else and NEVER want to cause problems.  That is the issue right there.

I think I have to accept that if I stick to my guns and be who I want to be, there will be some people who don't like it.  I have to accept that, but that is the hardest part.  I hate hurting other people, and I hate having enemies.  

Several times in my life I've said to myself, "Screw it!  You will have enemies and that is a part of life.  Be yourself, be respectful, but be strong."  It lasts for maybe a week or a month, and then I go back to apologizing for too many things and staying out of debates for fear of offending someone.

I seem to go between two extremes that keep going back and forth: Super-defensive-watching-her-back-doing-only-what-she-wants-Kelly vs. Super-compliant-apologetic-forgiving-peacemaker-Kelly.

Maybe I just think too much.  Maybe I should just listen to this guy:
"Never explain--your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anways." - Elbert Hubbard.