Twenty Something Spring 2014
CONTRIBUTO Elizabeth Diefenderfer Food Feature Writer
Taylor Andersen Restaurant Feature Writer
Cayla Lewis Plaza District Feature Writer
Jeanne Young Copy Editor
Tonya Zunigha ThundergUrls.com
Sarah McCubbin ThundergUrls.com
Jacob Peregrin Menâ€™s Fashion Feature Writer
Brittney Melton Feature Writer Plenty Mercantile
Bethany Young Editor-in-Chief Co-Creative Director Photographer
Kelsey Self Fashion Director Co-Creative Director Stylist
Sarah Ethridge Music Feature Writer
Michaela Williams Lyric Theatre Fashion Feature Writer
Meagan Owen Fashion Feature Writer
Videography & Photography
Jeff Ragan Health Feature Writer
Lacey Rosenwald Fashion Stylist
Whitney Lynn Fashion Feature Writer
Emily Davis Decor Feature Writer
Chad & Melissa Cosper
DCMGMT Creative, Inc.
Photography: Bethany Young Model: Luke Cramer, Ford Models
Guthrie is booming with exciting new businesses, and one of our favorites is Prairie Gothic! Tell us about yourselves! We are Christie and Shirley Clifford, mom and daughter, friends and conspirators. Shirley started her education at OSU majoring in accounting and finished at OCCC in film studies and, until we opened the store, worked in banking. I have worked as a floral designer for a number of years and had my own shop in Piedmont. We currently live in Crescent. We are lucky now that my daughter-in-law to be Francesca has joined us at the store and is adding her touch to another area in her own style. Our interests are quite varied and keep us super busy as we raise livestock and have lots of pets, including a prairie dog named Loretta. Shirley is our resident artist and Francesca knits, crochets and keeps us laughing. Why did you want to start Prairie Gothic? As far as opening Prairie Gothic, it is our grand experiment. We were interested to see if our off-thewall styles could combine and we could bring our vision for our store to life. Shirley has a fondness for western/southwestern style and art, while I like a walk on the dark side or ‘the creep’ as someone said once (actually I was a little bit flattered). I like taxidermy, bones and the more nature-inspired things. The octopus chandeliers are the art that I contribute. We also liked the idea of the old souvenir shops that I remember that we would look forward to while traveling. You could get some moccasins, local treats and a beaded belt and post cards to send home. Just the feel and smells of those stores were pure fun. We want people to have that memory after leaving our store. Why Guthrie? As for choosing Guthrie, who wouldn’t want to be in one of these historical old buildings, nestled in with the memories of days gone by, from the wild wild west to the great community now that is looking toward the future. Guthrie is a diverse community, full of welcoming people anxious to share this little place once known as ‘the Queen of the Prairie’. It’s just a fun place to be now.
How do you choose the products sold in Prairie Gothic? The vendors we look for usually have quality products that fit with our store. We try to get a lot of Oklahoma products but there are just so many people out there with interesting things that we want to share with our customers that aren’t Oklahoma based. A lot of shops do carry Oklahomacentric items and we love Oklahoma but didn’t want to duplicate other trendy shops. You have hosted several events, tell us more about that part of Prairie Gothic! The events we host have been the icing on our cake. What began as a neighborhood block party has blossomed into some of the most special and fun events I’ve ever been to. It sounds like bragging, but so far each one has been very special. Our neighbors each bring something unique. For instance, Toni and Robert at the Bluebelle Saloon furnish great food in a real old-time saloon. They also feed our bands and make sure none are hungry. Hancock Creative Shop comes up with fun children’s activities with their artistic spin on it all. Ray Dorwart ‘the boot man’ and his family are around and he is always visiting and laughing with the folks. Allison Dake from Brown Egg Bakery has shown up with some mighty tasty treats too! Union Tacos always bring a gourmet touch to traditional Mexican street food. Our city government and Chamber back us up with encouragement. Just a lot of nice folks. Now the music is usually chosen and booked by Shirley. We’ve met and listened to some great music at these parties. Then when it got cold we headed inside and had more fun, smaller, more intimate parties but fun none-the-less. It’s been a wild ride so far and it has all exceeded our expectations by miles. We are so looking forward to see what’s next.
Visit Prairie Gothic at 118 S 2nd Street Guthrie, OK 73044 www.prairiegothic.com
Flats or Heels?
Are you a flats or heels type of fashionista? Do you prefer style over ease? Does a stacked heel appeal more to your eye than a simple flat? Whether you prefer either a heel or a flat, shoes are an important element of our look. A classic pump can equal professionalism. A sky-high heel can represent confidence. A simple flat can represent ease. Shoes are an important part of our overall look because they have the potential to complete the overall look. If you are a fashionista that loves to dress comfortably, stick with flats. Not only are flats comfortable, but you can dress them up or down. Personally, I prefer flats because they are easier on my feet and I can dress them up or down. There are a wide variety of flats, so picking a great flat to fit your personality can be an easy task. Flats, unlike heels, are easier to pair with a variety of clothing. Some flat styles that you could go for are Oxford, ballet, and pointed toe flats. If you want a dressier flat to go with your outfit, try a pointed toe flat. If you are looking for a simple, every day type of flat, the ballet flat is a great option. For the quirkier or tailored fashionista, try an Oxford flat. In contrast to the flat, the heel. In fashion magazines, you are more than likely going to see a great deal of heels. Whether it be in an advertisement or an editorial, it is common to see heels in a modern fashion magazine. The explanation: heels are a statement maker. Heels are great shoes to instantly pump up the volume to an outfit. They can exude a variety of stylish looks depending on the type of fashionista. Although there has been a trend of showing flats on the runway, designers use heels in their runway shows. Heels can exude a variety of stylish looks depending on the type of fashionistas. There are different types of heels that have their own name. Whether you have a closet full of platforms or dâ€™orsays, heels are go-to shoes for energizing your outfits. Whether you prefer flats or heels, make sure you wear the shoe that goes with your personal style! Written by Whitney Lynn
Photography: Melissa Cosper Styling: Lacey Rosenwald Makeup & Hair: Malorie Avaline Clothing: 200 Park for Her Model: Brooklynne Bond
New York Fashion Week Recap
Many of the designers got away from the predictable dark neutral and jewel tones that we generally expect from F/W shows. Instead, they showed color palettes that were more reminiscent of what we would expect from S/S shows.
Article by Michaela Williams
I would call this more of a microtrend, but several of the designers showed hats with their collections. Most designers that did so had a very specific and consistent look with their hats.
Fur! Fur! Fur!
This has been a trend for a while now, but it seems to have exploded this season! Nearly every designer incorporated fur into their looks.
Plaid was big for F/W â€˜13 and it looks like it will certainly be back!
Becoming a CraigsList Pro
It is super common for people to tell me, “You find such awesome stuff on CraigsList! I never have good luck with it.” CraigsList can be an amazing source to score great pieces at a great price, but you do need to know what you are doing. Here are my best tips for becoming a CraigsList Pro. Search Properly Sometimes, being too specific can yield way too few results. Just because you call something a ‘dresser’ doesn’t mean everyone else does as well. The item you are looking for could be titled as a ‘sideboard’ or a ‘buffet.’ By broadening your search terms, you get the full array of what is listed. Subscribe to your favorite categories. It can be overwhelming initially, but when you find exactly what you want at an amazing price, it might be worth it. You can subscribe to a feed of any Craigslist search. It’s super helpful, but can be a timesuck. Consider yourself warned! You Have to be Dedicated Nine times out of ten, the reason I find great stuff on CraigsList is because I look all the time and I’m willing to sift through the junk. The easiest way to look at listings is to check the box that says “pic” and view it in the “gallery” setting. This makes the pictures big and you can quickly scroll through. If you see an item you like, do NOT wait. Contact the seller immediately. Ask Questions Often times, you will want to know more about the item than what is listed on the site. Ask for dimensions, manufacturer, more pictures, etc. If the person is a legit seller, they will be happy to provide extra information. Schedule an Appointment to Check it Out Viewing it as a shopping appointment will get you in the mindset to really look at the item, measure it, make sure it works and is right for your home. Always be polite but never feel obligated to purchase something. Don’t be Afraid to Bargain People who have listed their items on CraigsList want to get rid of them. It’s as simple as that. When you are at the viewing appointment, offer what you are comfortable with. All they can do is say no. I’ve gotten some amazing deals this way. Safety Rules Just as there are many CraigsList ‘do’s’ there are also many ‘don’ts!” Don’t go anywhere you feel uncomfortable. Don’t go by yourself. Don’t get talked into a deal you aren’t happy with. Don’t give away personal information. Don’t get talked into an alternate form of payment (cash only, unless it is a storefront). And don’t give up! There are some amazing finds out there!
Written by Emily Davis www.mainstreetchic.blogspot.com
Images: Good Bones, Great Pieces
READ BETWEEN THE LINES
We first discovered RBTL at local stores The Social Club and Dutch, and instantly fell in love. We wanted to know more from founder Melinda Jones, and we think you should too!
I also wanted to create paper goods that would speak to the feelings you have about events and the people involved, rather than focusing on the events themselves. That’s why our products don’t say “Happy Birthday!”, but, rather, ‘You’re The Best And The Mostest,’ or ‘Heck Yes.’ The whole reason you’re pumped for someone’s life event is because it’s an occasion to celebrate what they mean to you, and the amazing role they play in your life and in this world. That’s what the cake and candles are really about. Amazingness.
Where do you draw inspiration for your prints? In little epiphanies that can surface in conversations, and from experiences in my own relationships. A word or an emotion I bump into will feel novel and start running around in my head, like a determined four-year old on sugar. I’m also attracted to taking known expressions, like “bucket list,” and seeing what happens when we hang out on the verbal jungle gym and swing for a bit. When words really get stuck in my noggin, I’ll often ask God to help me help at least one person say what they otherwise can’t get out, or what will bring joy. Words How did RBTL come about? I was standing in my bathroom mirror one are powerful, and He knows what to do day, thinking about greeting cards, and how with them, and how to have fun with them, too. I’ll bounce ideas off of Tammy (Directhey often take the very steam out of what tor of RBTL), often via crazy-looking text you want to say. It hit me that it would be messages in ALL CAPS - she swears this cool if a card’s expression repeated softly in the background, forming the lines upon isn’t annoying. (I wonder, but am grateful for her honest feedback and skilled edits.) which you would write. The sender’s own She’s also written two of our expressions! words would then be the ‘show,’ with the card playing more of a supporting role. And ‘Mom, You’re The Bomb’ (Mother’s Day collection) and ‘Macho Man’ (new this year for it became all I could think about for a bit Father’s Day) are 100% Tammy Awesome- this new way of ‘doing’ cards. The intertwining of your words and that of the card’s ness. expression. People literally and figuratively ‘reading between the lines’ as they take in a Funny story: Our prints, which feature the same expressions as our cards, but in card they’ve received. Fun! Tell us about yourself! My background is in advertising, marketing, real estate investment and one tech start-up. All were huge for me - challenging work, filled with talented people to learn from. And, in retrospect, each taught me that words have always been my favorite thing. What’s more fun, more memorable or more drop-jaw powerful than the right words whispered over you or into your life? Words are part of music, part of art, part of love. They do the heavy lifting yet are light as air. I dig ‘em.
Photography by Bethany Young
bold format, were the idea of our awesome graphic design team Swoon, The Studio, who created them as decor for our launch party. Guests at the party asked if they could buy these huge boards with blown up RBTL card expressions, and boom! The prints were born. Tell us about your giving to charitable organizations. My brother, Morgan, has always been an incredible example to me of how you can never out-give God. Never. And that having a purpose beyond making money, providing jobs and even serving customers is really important in terms of keeping your hand on the pulse of purpose - for you as an owner, and for your entire team. There just has to be more to it than the business of your business. We feel truly blessed and energized at Read Between The Lines to give 10% of every sale to two incredible non-profits: MANA Nutrition and Rolling Dog Farm. MANA Nutrition is a group dedicated to bringing life-saving help to children on the brink of starvation in Africa via miraculous little packets of nutrition-packed peanut butter. Yep - vitamins plus peanut butter can restore a starving, terribly sick child to health in just six weeks. Sounds so simple, yet it’s so effective. MANA (www.mananutrition.org) was founded by Mark Moore, a very smart college friend of my brother’s who spent years in missions work in rural Africa, and came home determined to make a difference in ending starvation in children. And they are doing it! Daily! Woo! The other non-profit we give to is Rolling Dog Farm - they provide a wonderful, loving and permanent home to disabled dogs (many blind or missing legs) who otherwise would likely be euthanized, as disabled animals are often the last to be adopted. The founders, Steve Smith and Alayne Marker, left the corporate world to start Rolling Dog Farm in the mountains of northern New Hampshire. They have
the best, best hearts and smarts! Check out their page (I promise, it’s not like one of those tear-jerker ASPCA ads - it’s really uplifting! www.rollingdogfarm.org). I have a three-legged Corgi mix named Celia who has been a snuggly, fluffy, super fun blessing since the day I adopted her. She was my first ‘disabled’ animal to care for, and she’s taught me so much about love and handling my own little quirks with full affection. What is your favorite aspect of RBTL? ALL of it! Truly - collaboration and feedback is worth getting up in the morning, and you learn so much from it. Seeing folks work in their strengths and gifts is also an honor and privilege. I’d go koo-koo-crazytown attempting this adventure by myself - it would be overwhelming and the product wouldn’t be half as good as it is. I’m so blessed to work with our amazing, knockyou-down-awesome team!
Visit RBTL at www.ReadBetweenTheLines.com
Present New Musicals, Reinvent the Old, One is Silver, One is Gold
Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma has something for musical fans of all tastes this spring and summer! From a never-before produced musical to four spectacular shows at the Civic Center downtown, 2014 is sure to continue to be a banner year for Lyric. Don’t miss the chance to see the first-ever staging of a brand new musical, TRIANGLE*, at the Plaza Theatre from March 26 through April 5. And when we say never before produced, we really mean it! Lyric’s Artistic Director Michael Baron will direct the musical, composed by some of New York City’s brightest young writers Thomas Mizer, Curtis Moore and Joshua Scher. “This is truly a unique and important opportunity for us,” said Baron. “It has always been one of my goals to not only reinterpret the classics, but also create new works right here at Lyric. I first saw a reading of this wonderful new musical at The National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s New Works Festival in New York City in the fall of 2012. I instantly approached the composers and asked them if they would be interested in having TRIANGLE developed ‘on its feet’ at Lyric with the first full production. With a cast of Broadway regulars, local favorites and a creative team from New York and Oklahoma, this journey promises to be an exciting one I hope you take with us.” This original mystery/romance is set against the backdrop of New York City’s infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. Two couples from different eras — a 1911 Jewish seamstress and her Italian foreman and in 2011, a graduate student and a free-spirited stranger — discover what it means to risk everything you have and everything you believe for love. The cast of six will be headed by Broadway’s Megan McGinnis (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST), Adam Halpin (RENT) and Adam Heller (LES MISERABLES and Lyric’s CALL ME MADAM). They will be joined by local favorites Dallas Lish (Lyric’s SOME ENCHANTED EVENING), Jennifer Teel (Lyric’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL) and West Coast actress Sharon Reitkerk (TheatreWorks’ LITTLE WOMEN). After a short break, Lyric will be back at the Civic Center for a summer of blockbuster musicals! You’ve seen the movie, now see LES MISERABLES live on stage with a chorus of 100 voices from June 24 through 28. Go under the sea with Ariel and her friends in THE LITTLE MERMAID, July 8 through July 12. You’ll be in stitches watching King Arthur and his men in MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT, July 22 through 26. And last, but not least, the classic musical A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC featuring the beloved song “Send in the Clowns” runs August 5 through 9. Tickets for all of Lyric’s 2014 shows are on sale now. Visit LyricTheatreOKC.com, call (405) 524-9312 or visit our box office at 1727 NW 16th Street in Oklahoma City. See you at the theatre! *TRIANGLE was originally commissioned by Williamstown Theatre Festival, developed by The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Music Theater Conference and TheatreWorks Palo Alto’s New Works Festival. The musical was work-shopped at Northwestern University’s American Music Theatre Project and presented at The National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals.
Written by Michaela Williams
What We’re Li Album: Beck, Morning Phase
If you all are like me, you grew up listening to Beck and have heard him record just about every musical genre possible. Being primarily known for alternative rock, Beck has also produced electronic, hip-hop, dance, and folk-influenced records. All eleven of his past albums embody Beck’s individualism and ability to consistently evolve as an artist. His latest and twelfth album Morning Phase, released February 25, continues to prove that Beck makes success look easy with another iconic creation that is nothing short of enjoyable. Morning Phase is the sequel to the album Sea Change released in 2002 and consists of several of the same musicians and collaborators. A slower album, songs like “Morning” and “Wave” communicate a refreshing emotion through a well-crafted foundation of strings and acoustic guitar. This simplicity evokes humility and undoubted beauty that we may not always expect from Beck, which again unveils that he is one of the better talents of his generation. Other tracks like “Blue Moon” and “Blackbird Chain” reveal the country influence to the album, as a portion was created in Nashville. This work is orchestral, yet folksy, and emotional, while still feeling hopeful. Beck has had a great ability to not disappoint since the early 90s and continues to do so with his latest album, which really is a work of art.
istening To... Artist : James Blake
A young talent who represents true creativity and innovation, James Blake undoubtedly formed a solid base for his career in electronic music beginning in 2009. Making his mark at the mere age of 21, James Blake introduced his first record “Air & Lack Thereof,” which he had made from his bedroom. Blake is a London native who attended Goldsmiths University, a school specializing in the arts and sciences. Little by little, fame and notoriety began to progress for Blake when his electronic singles like “Limit to Your Love” and “CMYK” were put into the hands of locals. It wasn’t until his self-titled album release on February 7, 2011, when James Blake gained international attention and award recognition. Notable collaborations were also formed with artists like Drake, Bon Iver, Brian Eno, and a cover from Feist. Influenced by artists like Stevie Wonder and Burial, James Blake has continued to produce well-rounded work. He has gained additional praise from his second and most recent album, Overgrown released on April 8, 2013, including his first Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 2014. Lucky for us Blake is recognized as a new artist and has many years ahead of him for us to admire. Written by Sarah Ethridge
Feature Hey gUrls! We are well over half way done with the season! Before you know it, the Playoffs will be here!
category - you should ask him!
KD Got a puppy! His name is Zo! We are so happy! Also, KD has been killing it on the court – like playing better than he ever has in his life, The past three months, over- with crazy amounts of points all, have been awesome! But and rebounds and stuff! There the Thunder have slipped into have been rumors that he and a few funks along the way. Monica have broken up, but We won’t call them moody or so far we haven’t been able to emotional, because that’s plain confirm anything. We are getrude, but they have lost a few ting mixed signals: games to some bad teams. Playing well? They must still HIGHLIGHTS: be together. New puppy? They RUSS IS BACK!!!! We are totes broke up. so glad that Russ has been cleared to play after his knee Regardless, he’s continuing to troubles. We get nervous be the sweetest citizen alive! for his knee when he plays though! #prayers4Russ Perk hurt his groin. This is a highlight for some people who believe Kendrick Perkins does more harm than good. Your boyf might fall into this
LOWLIGHTS: Perk hurt his groin. While this is a highlight for some, we are sad Perk is injured. : ( KD’s twitter got hacked. UGH! Twitter hacks are so annoying, Aunt Pearl wore all the time. right?! We tried to guess his Playoffs are on the horizon! password here. We have about two more months of regular season Serge and Keri broke up. We games before the real fun love Keri and we are hoping starts. The Thunder is still a it’s not totally over, but since New Year’s, Keri is reportedly strong favorite to make it to doing the Pretty Girl Rock in the NBA Finals, but it won’t be an easy road. In the Playoffs, ATL instead of OKC. there’s little room for fickle funks and moody slumps.
ALL OVER COLOR: “Aunt Pearl” Nike came out with a special KD shoe called the “Aunt Pearl” as a tribute to Kevin’s Aunt who passed away in 2000. The pink floral pattern is inspired by the robe
Stop by www.thundergUrls.com and we will keep you posted on the latest Thunder news that’s relevant to you!
When in Rome
I am a girl who enjoys all four seasons but there is a point where the charm of winter wears out it’s bone-chilling welcome. The idea of rebirth, rejuvenation, and re-growth sound exhilarating (sorry to sound redundant) and refreshing. There is something exciting about spring; new life is found. I find myself rushing spring’s light layers a bit sooner than the climate would allow; anxious to feel that perfect spring breeze blow across my face or listen to a thunderstorm with my windows open so as to feel as though I’m standing in the rain as it falls. I think of my college days when spring would finally arrive and you could hardly find a square inch of grass because the campus was flooded with peers equally giddy to greet spring with open arms. The same holds true for the food I enjoy. Out with all of the standby soups that have warmed me to the core but have now become a bore. I eagerly anticipate the spring line in produce. When pondering this spring issue and the dinner that would accompany it, my mind (and stomach) were drawn to Italy. When I think about spring, I am even more inspired to cook seasonally; and when I think of cooking seasonally and truly maximizing that season’s offerings, I think of the Italians and their ability to so effortlessly throw together a perfect meal, using fresh ingredients while not overcomplicating things. I was blessed to spend a week traveling through Italy with my twin sister Megan years ago, taking in its infectious culture and cuisine. We immediately fell in love with everything about this country, not surprising as we are still convinced there simply must be Italian in our blood. Sadly, I feel Italian food is often cheapened in America when at it’s root it highlights fresh, quality ingredients and herbs; it’s magic is in it’s simplicity. We loved grabbing a “quick” caprese sandwich of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil on focaccia simply wrapped in wax paper as we roamed through the cobblestone streets in search of our newest favorite gelato spot (it was our duty to truly find the best in all of Italy and we took this task seriously). Another gift the Italians have is for not only eating well and as a means to an end, but also truly enjoying meals and the company of those around the table. We loved that it was customary, even encouraged, to sit around the table for hours feasting course by course just because that’s what was done, not only because a celebration called for it. Most meals were capped off by sipping on “caffe” and possibly a “digestivo”. This was how you knew the evening, or afternoon for that matter, had drawn to a close.
Photography by Bethany Young
For this Twenty Something meal, I wanted to channel my inner Italian. Granted, the entire meal was probably not authentic, as eating seasonally also incorporates eating regionally, but I did my best. Friends and family gathered together at my sister and brother-in-law’s adorable “gingerbread house-esque” home. The meal organically became a group effort as I dreamt it would; Bryan grilling the salmon while Tyler muddled strawberries and mint for our festive drink, Meg making the most glorious bruschetta, Courtney assembling the lovely cheese platter, and Katie and Thomas assisting me in the final touches. Each dish was so vibrant and full of color; it truly was (as Italian food should always be) a feast for all of the senses. The meal was a symphony of flavors; the beauty was in the simplicity of allowing a few ingredients to truly shine. The sweetness of the tomato paired perfectly with the minty-ness of the fresh basil, the subtle tartness of the lemon spaghetti complimented the herbed salmon, and a host of other flavors joined forces to bring pure culinary bliss. We ate and drank, talked and laughed for hours. It truly felt as though we could have all been transported to a town in Italy (of course until we looked out the window); hours of delicious dining and warm conversation. In true Italian fashion, the evening was capped off with homemade cannoli and “caffe”. I was so thankful to usher in the spring with these precious family and friends who value slowing down their lives for what truly matters as much as I. Oh to always live this way; it is certainly a way of life and Megan and I fully embraced it. Our hope was to bring this passion for life, slowing down, and cherishing time with loved ones back to America and to somehow convince an entire society to join us. Alas, it hasn’t caught on entirely but we have certainly been blessed to experience these precious moments more regularly than most. It truly is a beautiful thing the community that can happen around the table. I challenge you to slow down and savor. I leave you with a popular Italian proverb: “A tavola non si invecchia”. Translated: “At the table with good friends and family you do not become old.” Our Spread: Antipasto~ Bruschetta with tomatoes and fresh basil Primo~ Lemon spaghetti with fresh basil and parmesan Secondo~ Grilled salmon with herbed homemade Tuscan salt Contorno~ Roasted beets, carrots, mushrooms and grilled asparagus Formaggio e frutta~ Himalayan salt plate with Dubliner cheese, berries and pears Dolce~ Homemade Cannoli with a ricotta, citrus, & bittersweet chocolate filling Caffe~ Elemental coffee ~Fresh strawberry, lime, mint, & ginger soda ~Cabernet Sauvignon
Elizabeth Diefenderfer Owner/Baker Cuppies & Joe
First, thank you Instagram for introducing me to #foodswapokc. My involvement began when I noticed several acquaintances posting about this “thing” they called Food Swap. The authenticity of the people involved, the packaging, and the originality of the food items stole my attention. After trying to put pieces together by observing for a few months, my boyfriend and I finally expressed interest to our mutual friends – Chris and Tricia Castro, creators of the Food Swap concept. We were thrilled for the invite and were hooked by our first swap. The first month we made truffles packaged in an egg carton; this month we provided cold brew coffee in glass swingtop beer bottles. Past Swaps have featured home-cured bacon, traditional Thai soups, vegan mock tuna salad, chocolate chip shortbread, homemade Kahlua, clementine poshote, and homemade ricotta cheese. Food Swap originated from a breakfast party (“popover party”) in September 2012 when a few of the guests brought the Castros homemade goods as a thank you gift. Receiving the items touched them in a big way, prompting them to create something with that specified purpose. They put their heads together and from the beginning have conducted Food Swap as an official event.
sumption of locally made goods as well as strengthen relationships in our community.” (website) People are encouraged to attend a swap to figure out if it’s for them. Anyone is welcome to come have breakfast with us, check out the level of contribution, and go from there. Chris confides how many people have joined who wouldn’t consider themselves “cooks”, but they’re able to find and follow a great recipe, produce something, and more often than not realize they can hang in with this group. Tricia notes that it’s harder to do a little of everything than it is to do a lot of one thing. Food swap grants practicality to the ideal of “homemade everything” and limited processed foods. Many of the items are extremely practical and applicable to several different meals – infused oil, flavored sugar and salts, ketchup, peanut butter, etc. Some of the best items are ones you can build a meal around. “They’re easy to use on a week night when you come home after a long day at work and can just make your meal a little bit easier, taste a little bit better, and be something you can feel good about.” Using local and/or organic ingredients is a recommendation, not necessarily a requirement. “We want everyone to put their best food forward and do what they can,” says Tricia. The behavior is almost innate to the group considering people interested in something like Food Swap typically work to involve organic/local in their daily routine already. Many members of the group also participate in our local organic food co-op, Urban Organics, and incorporate those produce items into their swap offering.
Tricia says “it’s about sharing and being together, having a common interest and love for good food.” The Swaps are hosted monthly on a Saturday morning – a host provides breakfast and participants bring a sampling of their best homemade goods to swap with friends. (FS website) Those with kids are encouraged to bring them. The Food Swap mission is “to lessen the time we spend in grocery stores, increase our conPart of the Food Swap attraction and
reputation arises from the beautiful and thoughtful packaging of each item. Participating in a swap could be considered twofold – you create a food item and a unique package. The bar for unique packaging was set high from the beginning as the core group consisted of designers and people with an acutely aesthetic eye. The emphasis on thoughtful presentation has remained as the group has evolved. Most foods are packaged in a glass mason jar or a reusable container of some sort. Disposable packaging is minimal and eventually, you can end up with enough mason jars to hold your entire next swap contribution! Obviously, the food is deluxe, but the relationships and community built within and around Food Swap has undoubtedly been my biggest takeaway. The Castros agree the friendships developed through these interactions are indeed the most rewarding part of it all. The Castros had recently moved to Oklahoma City from Norman and had yet to develop their own sense of community when they began Food Swap. Now, relationships have been strengthened and acquaintances have become friends. A large amount of the concept’s success can be attributed to Instagram – after all, that’s how I was introduced. Instagram has enhanced the level of interaction between swappers – many post photos of the food prep and end product, and then continue to post their meals throughout the month as they make their way through their goodies. It’s incredibly rewarding to see how participants have used your item and to post theirs as a small thank you for their hard work. The Food Swap concept has been picked up in several other communities around the world! The Castros know of one in Northern California, Arizona, Germany, and the U.K. They recommend to anyone interested in starting their own group to make it official – create a simple “sign up” process to
introduce the commitment factor. They’ve capped the list at twenty participants per month. Swaps that have grown beyond that number make it difficult to consume the goods within the month. They’ve also intentionally kept it light by holding it on a non-intimidating Saturday morning and wrapping it up in time for people to carry on with their other activities. Anyone interested in being involved with this particular Swap can email a request to firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on the mailing list. When a Swap is announced, the Castros send out an email and the first twenty to respond participate that month. Registration closes as soon as the number they’re seeking is reached. If someone is curious, but apprehensive about the commitment, they’re encouraged to come have breakfast, visit and see how it works.
Article by Brittney Melton
Food & Travel
Any Way The Wind Blows This year we will be showing you local food and drink favorites from some of our most loved destinations. We know that hitting the road or catching a plane is a vital part of every twenty-something’s life, so take our advice and make your adventures taste better than ever before. Our first destination for 2014 is Chicago!
Coffee Bow Truss Coffee Roasters
Anywhere I travel, I always find myself researching local coffee joints. There is something about the coffee shop atmosphere that makes me feel truly “local,” no matter where I am.
Over the last few years, local roasters have gained popularity, making coffee a much more personal statement in communities around the Midwest. So, when I stumbled upon Bow Truss, I could not have been more excited. Not only are they a local roaster, smack dab in the middle of a major city, their wholesale business has grown exponentially over the last few years, even in the face of corporate giants like Starbucks and Chicago’s own, Intelligentsia. Upon walking into Bow Truss, I was met with a space that was as eclectic as its patrons in the Lakeview district of Chicago. From the record player with custom vintage suitcase speakers to the giant upright canoe lined with coffee-filled shelves, Bow Truss is a sight for sore eyes. Named for its bow trussed ceiling, what this coffee shop lacks in amenities it gains in the quality of its product and its people. “We have no bathroom, no wifi, limited seating and the only food we have is pie, and when that’s gone, we have no food either,” Owner Brian Frain said. “So, in the friendliest way possible, we want people to stop in, buy a coffee and a bag of beans, and leave.”
The priority of Bow Truss is evident when you step foot through the door and are immediately embraced by the warm and wonderful aroma of roasting coffee. They are extremely knowledgeable about their beans and aim to make specialty coffee approachable. “If you’ll notice, we have no huge menu tacked up and that’s intentional” Frain said. “So many people want to know about coffee but are too embarrassed to ask, and we want to offer them knowledge without the pretense.” Every barista goes through an intensive training program before they are allowed to pour a cup of coffee to ensure the quality of the coffee being made, and the quality of help you will receive when choosing a coffee that’s right for you. I tried lattes, espresso shots and a macchiato that changed my life. I will continue to go back to Bow Truss any time I’m in the city and I suggest you do the same!
Written by Taylor Andersen Photography by Bethany Young
Breakfast Glazed & Infused This is your one-stop-shop for the most delicious donut breakfast in town. Their website boasts “a flavorful re-invention of the iconic American donut” and after test tasting (and obsessing) over a dozen – yes, you read that right- of their colorful cakes, I couldn’t agree more. When you walk in, you can sense the subtle homage to the era of the donut, the 1940’s-50’s. The white subway tile, vintage display cases and bright color palette give a retro flair to the modern menu items, super cool staff and urban location. Manager James Gray said it best, “We want to bridge the gap between that element of history and today.”
breakfast,” Gray said. “The dough being the pancake, with maple syrup glaze, and of course, a side of bacon – what’s not to love?” If you’re a fruit fan, like me, you will love the Raspberry Glazed (the most delicious pink glaze of all time, tasting like fresh raspberries) or the apple fritter, which has been a long time favorite that did not disappoint. For those with a fierce sweet tooth, the Red Velvet, Terry’s Toffee (featured at the Oscar’s this year) or the Chocolate4 might be more up your alley. I can’t say enough about these delectable donuts that pair perfectly with a tall glass of milk.
Finally, if you’re a vanilla kind of guy/ In terms of food, you really can’t go gal, then you’re in luck, the Old Fashwrong with anything on the menu, ioned is the best cake donut I’ve ever which is always a win in my book. The eaten. If you’re looking to take it up a ingredients are locally sourced and notch, the Crème Brulee is the way to ingeniously paired to elevate a simple go, filled bismark with a bruleed sugar donut to gourmet status. Their crecrust. ations are not so off the map that you can’t relate, but instead, are a fun way If you’re anywhere near the Chicago to experiment and get your feet wet in area, stop by Glazed and Infused – some new, unique flavor palettes. “it’d be a lot cooler if you did.” The current staple is the Maple Bacon Long John, which was one of my personal favorites because, let’s face it, bacon makes everything better. “This is our version of a pancake
Dinner Bavette’s Bar & Beouf If ever you find yourself in Chicago for an overnight stay and are looking for a swanky night out, look no further than Bavette’s. Be sure to make a reservation on a weekend, they fill up fast. This gem in downtown Chicago was one of my favorite spots in the entire city. I love visiting little hole-in-thewall and off-the-wall places that make the local hearts sing, but as a visitor, I also wanted to experience something quintessentially “Chicago.” Walk into Bavette’s and you walk back in time to a 1920’s upscale jazz lounge – think The Great Gatsby. The space is filled with rich brown leather, hardwood floors and gorgeous chandeliers. You can’t help but sway along with the soft jazz music crooning in the background. Start the night out with a cocktail (I can vouch for the Old Fashioned – perfection) and settle in to the dinner menu. Bavette’s is first and foremost a steakhouse, so any of the red meat options are always amazing. I decided to walk on the wild side and order the roast chicken. I was not disappointed. The chicken was perfectly seasoned and amazingly moist. For my sides I chose the elote style corn, baked sweet potato and thick cut bacon – all of which were above and
beyond incredible. Two things that are imperative to know before eating at this establishment: 1) One main and three sides was an obscene amount of food for one person, and their sides could easily feed two people. 2) Always, always ALWAYS order the bacon. Trust me. It was a lovely evening full of great good, great friends and an amazing dining experience. I could not have been more pleased with the atmosphere, menu items and service and I would highly recommend stopping here to splurge on a night out on the town.
Other Recommendations: Breakfast Orange Coffee Gaslight Coffee Lunch Big Star Tacos Cocktails The Violet Hour Local Brews Revolution Brewing Dinner Girl & the Goat Night Out on the Town The Green Mill
Photography: Kari Skaflen
In previous issues, we’ve discussed knowing where we are going and where we are starting but arrive at the all-important question, “How do we get there?” Understanding what simple steps you can successfully take daily to get closer to your dream destination is true power. Not all steps are success steps though. Just because you are taking steps doesn’t mean you are moving closer. Trying to go from New York City to Los Angeles by traveling east is not getting you closer to where you need to be. Map out your climb. See what steps will always take you forward. What things can you do daily to make progress? These daily steps are your habits. Your life won’t change until your habits change. But once you make these positive changes and all your habits move you toward achieving your dream, you will achieve the happiness, love, and fulfillment you’ve always desired. Start the change today! People put things off when goals are down the road because they think they have time to make up later. Later comes and they put off again until that goal is a distant memory. For every road we go down, we are leaving another road behind. When you chose not to do something daily towards your goal, you are choosing to go down the path that prevents you from achieving your dreams. Does this sound like a good road to take? NO!!! Have discipline. Fight through temptations to not do positive habits. Don’t give into weakness; just do it. Remember, your life changes when your habits change. Focus on the 5 main areas of your life. Start with the 4 major aspects of a person: mind, body, heart, soul. By working on your job you can make a living. By working on yourself you can make a fortune. True wealth comes from getting yourself right in mind, body, heart, and soul. Without all areas properly fed through positive habits, you can’t operate and experience at your true potential. Think about yourself as a Ferrari. You need gas in the tank, wheels, steering, and an engine to properly perform and get to your destination. Without all working well, the car won’t be able to fulfill its purpose and get you to your desired location. Just like cars aren’t made to stay idle or broken, you aren’t either.
The fifth area is relationships. Relationships with self, family, friends, and whichever belief system you may have. These are the great rewards of life. If you take the time to get these areas right, you can excel in anything. Check out these habit examples •MIND – INTELLECTUAL – Read life story, goals, I AM 2x daily; read about your passions •BODY – PHYSICAL – Exercise 30 minutes/day, eat two servings of fruit/ day, eat less fried food •HEART – EMOTIONAL – Tell someone you love them, stop talking bad about people •SOUL – SPIRITUAL – Pray, meditate ten minutes daily, read books •RELATIONSHIPS – SOCIAL – Help someone with problems daily, contact someone you haven’t talked to in a while just to let them know you were thinking about them and see how they are doing Find one habit for each area in which you can make progress daily. Progress can be in removing bad habits and adding good ones. What can you get rid of? What can you add? As you move along, these habits will become second nature. Don’t get complacent. Add more healthy habits. Schedule set times to review what you can continue to do to step closer to your goal. I can’t say it enough. Your life changes when your habits change. For specific help improving your habits or becoming the best version of yourself, contact me – email@example.com – for assistance to your awesomeness. Written by Jeff Ragan Kize Concepts Inc.
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