September 20, 2014

Ed Sheeran Concert

Hello, everyone! A few days ago, my family and I went to the Ed Sheeran concert in Rosedale, Illinois. It was absolutely magical! The concert was everything you'd expect from him and more, and I'm here to tell you all about it.

The first time I saw Ed was 2 years ago on the 11th of September. In 2012, his venue was an old theatre and general admission was only $25.00! Back then, it was only him, his guitar and a microphone onstage. It was a very chilled, intimate experience and I couldn't help but get enthralled by his mesmerizing voice! 2 years later, after all his television appearances, tours with incredibly famous celebrities and a triple in popularity, it was exactly the same.


Now before we can get to Ed, I must tell you about the opening act. I must say, the man has a great taste in music. In 2012 his opening act was Passenger, whom I now deem as one of my favourite artists of all time. This time around, his opener was an act called Rudimental. If you're from the UK, you might've heard of them. When I first heard their name, I was expecting a hardcore, punk rock band. Turns out, they're super awesome! Rudimental is a group of nine people who sing beautifully and play all different types of instruments. There's even a trumpet! They all looked like they were having a blast onstage which gave off an exciting energy and really pumped up the audience. It was lovely!

After about an hour of jamming by Rudimental, is was time for Ed.




He opened with a sped up version of I'm a Mess and the crowd went wild. I forgot how cute he was!



Not to mention, he's rocking the facial hair.


Everything after that was a glorious blur, but thank goodness I took pictures. Enjoy!















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I hope you've enjoyed these pictures of Ed! He really is the nicest, funniest guy you'll ever see. If you haven't got the chance to hear him live yet, click here for his upcoming tour dates! You won't regret it.

See you next time!
Jordan x

September 18, 2014

The Hundred-Foot Journey

Hello, everyone! Recently, my family and I went out for dinner and a movie and decided to see The Hundred-Foot Journey. I've been eyeing up this movie for a while now, as it has much to do with food and culture; both things I love! I never planned to write a post like this, but the film was just so good I had to tell you about it!

Credit

The film is about a family from India that moves across the world after the death of their mother. As the family is driving through the French countryside, their vehicle breaks down and they end up getting stuck in the town. The family is very big into cooking, especially the oldest son, Hassan. Once they realize they might be stuck in the village for a while, they decide to buy an abandoned restaurant across the street from one of the highest rating restaurants in the south of France and serve up their own Indian cuisine.

The head of the bistro across the street has trouble accepting the strange foreign culture that is now invading her area of business. She is very keen on keeping the food in France traditionally French, and fears the new Indian restaurant will curve that. The family's restaurant eventually picks up business and this worries the fancy French diner across the road. A few chefs from the kitchen decide to take matters into their own hands, doing something they shouldn't and leaving Hassan injured and unable to cook.

Until this point, Madame Mallory (the fancy restaurant owner) was completely opposed to their Indian cuisine. She eventually allows Hassan to cook something for her and prove her wrong. She takes one bite of the meal he cooks and offers Hassan an internship at her restaurant. Because of this upgrade, Hassan becomes well known all over France and is offered many different jobs. Alone, he ventures out into the world of fame and food and realizes no matter how extraordinary things might be elsewhere, nothing compares to home.

Overall, I'd give this film a 10 out of 10. The scenery was beautiful, the script was phenomenal and the acting was fantastic! I understand that movies about food isn't everyone's forte, but it sure is mine! I think anyone that watches this film will enjoy it. It's funny, heartwarming and produced by Oprah and Steven Spielberg, so you know it'll be good! The only problem is that you might leave the theatre feeling a little hungry!

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That's it for today's post! I hope I have persuaded you to see this wonderful film. If you've seen it already, tell me what you thought in the comments! I'd love to hear what you think!

Have a lovely day!
Jordan x

September 10, 2014

My Summer Checklist 2014

Hello, everyone! You might've realized that it's now the glorious September, which means the leaves are changing colour, our cozy sweaters are coming out of retirement and everything gets a little bit better! So why, dear Jordan, are you writing a post called 'My Summer Checklist'?  I shall tell you!

A year ago, I spent my summer sleeping alone on my bedroom floor in a very well-crafted fort. I would go to bed at 4:00 in the morning and wake up at 4:00 in the afternoon, doing very little in between! I could count to you on less than one hand the number of friends I saw that summer. Overall, it was a very unproductive, yet much needed hibernation!

Earlier this June, I decided that what happened last year was not going to happen again. I would no longer be known as the Weirdo who Sleeps Alone in Her Fort, but the Summer Queen! So I made a checklist of things to do over the summer that would keep me productive and possibly make me a more cultured person (I'll explain later!).

My goals for the summer were to get fit, be healthy, learn new skills and become more 'universal'. Most of the things on my checklist reflect those goals; others were just for fun! I would spend the next three months ticking item after item off my list until I finally became more awesome.


*Early July*
I forgot to take a picture of the sign before I started marking it up. Spoiler alert!


*Late August*
Boom! It's like I'm some sort of To-Do List wizard! Now I shall talk you through each item on the list, telling you all about my summer!

Goal #1: Go Somewhere New
Check! For those of you who don't know (which you should because I blogged like every minute of it), this summer I went to England! Now of course, going somewhere new doesn't have to mean travelling across the world. It could mean exploring a new part of town, or maybe going to a park you've never been to before! All things I've done this summer, all equally enjoyable!

Goal #2: Learn to Juggle
Yeah, I tried but I did not succeed.

Goal #3: Master my Culinary Skills
What I had in mind when writing this down was learning how to chop things really fast. I practiced and practiced and came to the conclusion that didn't have the right knife. So instead, I spent my summer creating healthy sweets recipes and making pasta with delicious, homemade sauces from scratch. Let me know if you'd be interested in seeing any of those recipes!

Goal #4: Work on my Irish
Some time last year (probably around March), I was very enthralled by the Irish culture. I was always proud to be Irish and loved everything about the country, the people, and the celebrations. This year, I wanted to delve a little bit deeper into my ancestry. I found this phenomenal website called www.bitesizeirishgaelic.com and started learning Irish! Not for any reason really, just something to do in my free time. I absolutely loved it but ended up putting my lessons on pause so I could finish up school. I was hoping to take it back up this summer but I never got around to it. I'm determined to start my Irish lessons again sometime this year!

Goal #5: Meditate
Meditation is something I've been wanting to get into for a long time. Not necessarily the cross-legged 'Om'-chanting meditation, but the simple, laying down with your eyes closed meditation. Meditation can be incredibly helpful in boosting your creativity and happiness whilst decreasing your anxiety levels; what more could you want?! I was recommended the app Calm.com by the wonderful Zoe Sugg and decided to give it a whirl. The app gives you step-by-step instructions on how to relax, become more positive and even sleep! I know it works because I fell asleep during one of the sessions. If you're someone that suffers with anxiety or insomnia, I suggest you check it out. It's free!


Goal #6: Go to Farmers' Markets
A farmers' market is a food market in which local farmers come to sell their fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy and baked goods to the public. Since the food products come directly from the farmers, there's no added ickyness to it, making it far more healthier for you! Once in a while, I like to take a stroll through the vendors and see what's for sale!

Goal #7: Read Some Books
Last school year, we had to write a report on one of the books we were reading. I chose the book This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith. It was a wonderful book, but I didn't get a chance to finish it by the time the book report was due. (This was most likely due to my incredible procrastination skills, but that's not the point!) I was determined to finish this book, so I decided to check it out from the library over summer. I am so glad I did because the book was fantastic! I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a bit of romance and fantastic imagery.

Goal #8: Expand my Vocabulary
It just so happens that I am one of the less intelligent people in my group of friends. Not necessarily in all aspects, but in some of them! I don't see this as a bad or good thing because I know that everyone has different skill levels in certain subjects, and a person who might lack in certain areas can shine in others! Though my friends tend to be a little more 'book smart' than I am, I feel like my social skills are a bit more developed than some of theirs. Since I'm always talking and conversing with people, I thought it'd be helpful if I looked up some big words to make me seem more intelligent! Turns out, I'm fascinated with the English language! I love finding new adjectives and synonyms for things; it makes me feel adequate!

Goal #9: Improve My Style
I sometimes feel sorry for the people who have to see me on a daily basis. I recently went shopping for autumny clothes and I think I did an okay job of getting out of my T-Shirt and stretchy pants rut! I mostly went for a greyish-black colour scheme. You can't go wrong with that, can you! I'll find some way to mess it up, just you wait.

Goal #10: Go on Bike Rides
Before this summer, I couldn't remember the last time I was on a bike. One day, I got the sudden urge to hop on a bicycle and ride around town! My mom and I biked around a new part of town that I've never been to before and it was wonderful. The only hitch was that after our little escapade, I thought I was invincible and decided to go for a 7 mile bike ride a few days later. I've only done it once before on a crisp, early spring day, not under the blaring heat of the sun in the middle of summer. I thought I was going to die.

Goal #11: Take a Hike (Literally!)
Going along with the fitness theme, I wanted to make sure I spent some time in nature. Whenever I have a scroll through Tumblr, I see these gorgeous, mysterious pictures of forests and mountains and such. You can't help but be inspired to chuck on your hipster hiking boots, pack some trail mix and go for a hike! I went on three hikes this summer around a local park and a lake at a family reunion. They were well fun but I have to say, I'm not a big fan of hills!

Goal #12: Publish 6 Blog Posts
Psh, only 6?! When I wrote this down on my list, I was really worried I wouldn't be able to accomplish it. It was kind of difficult, due to the back-to-back England posts, but I'd say it was well worth it! By the end of summer, I had published 9 posts and my ratings were higher than ever. I think this was the goal I'm most proud of!

Goal #13: Avoid Sweets at All Costs
Ha, like that was going to happen.


Goal #14: Keep Room Clean and Organized
I actually, surprisingly lived up to this goal! Early on in the summer, I completely tore everything out of my room. I moved everything into the hallway, washed, vacuumed and dusted my walls, carpet, windows everything in sight! I cleaned out my desk drawers, wiped out my wardrobe and everything was shiny and beautiful! For the most part it stayed that way, and for anyone who knows me, that's quite unusual. Removing all the clutter from my room helped me remove some of the clutter from my brain. If you're ever overwhelmed with something, resort to cleaning your room! It may sound weird, but I promise it works.

Goal #15: Try New Food(s)
This is kind of a cliche goal as some might say, but I say it's how you see the world! Food is a major part of every culture, and if you're not able to go to their country, why not try their food?! This summer, I had a traditional British fish and chips with mushy peas (4 fish and chips, actually), tried HP sauce (another British thing), foreign candies, a basil and courgette soup (absolutely delicious) and something else that I can't remember.

Goal #16: Drink 3-5 Glasses of Water a Day
Gotta stay hydrated! Drinking enough water is extremely important when it comes to healthy organ function and clear skin! It can be very easy to forget to hydrate during the day, so I wrote this down as a little reminder to myself! I think I did a pretty good job of it.

Goal #17: Do Some Gardening
I'm a vegetarian who loves to cook. I love the idea of planting, growing, harvesting your own food! My mom was nice enough to let me have some space in the garden to plant some pole beans. They turned out beautifully and I'm quite proud of myself!

Goal #18: Impact Someone's Life (In a Good Way)
We spend our whole lives interacting with people. We talk to them, listen to them, learn about them, learn from them, so you're bound to come across someone or hear about somebody in life that may not be as fortunate as you are. Maybe they're not in the best financial situation, maybe they have a disease, some sort of disability, a birth defect, or maybe they're just lonely. This summer, I was determined to make life a little easier for someone. To be honest, I didn't do as much as I wanted to, but there's always the future! Earlier on in the summer, my family and I took part in a dog walk to raise money for my brother's boss' daughter who has a type of cancer I can't remember the name of.

Goal #19: Earn Money
This was a goal I left to the last minute. I didn't have time to get up and get a job, so I resorted to working around the house! I asked my mom if I could finished folding the laundry load she was working on in exchange for a dollar. The deal was made and I earned a buck!

Goal #20: Wear Minimal Makeup
Some might take this to be a confidence-boosting goal, but I really just wanted to save myself from another lost eyelash and more acne! The more you let your skin breathe, the better it will look! At the end of summer, my skin was clearer than it's been in a long time. I guess this was really a confidence-boosting goal!

Goal #21: Paint Mural on Closet Doors
Every morning when I wake up, I'm greeted to a big blank canvas in the form of my closet doors. My lime green walls are decorated with an array of flowers, quotes, peace signs and hearts, painted by the starry-eyed, 11 year-old version of myself and because of the vibrant colours on my walls, the plain, white closet doors look dull and boring! This summer, I was planning on painting some sort of picture or design on them. I never made it happen as I've only just realized what I actually want to paint. It'll happen one of these days, folks! I promise you that.

Goal #22: Get Rid of Things I Don't Need
This goal is pretty self-explanatory. This summer, I got rid of all the clothes and makeup I don't wear, trashed all of my dried out pens and threw away all of my useless knick knacks and worn out pairs of socks. I cleaned out my life and I've never felt better!

Goal #23: Get a Makeup Bag!
This was something as an aspiring beauty guru that I should've done ages ago, but've only just got around to doing it! Woohoo! Yay for the well-organized, life together me!

Goal #24: Start a YouTube channel.
Yes, it actually happened. I, Jordan Lampe, have started my own YouTube channel. Not a very successful one, but one at that! It's been a long time in the making. I've always wanted to be a YouTuber but never felt I had the right equipment to make that dream a reality. I finally said 'screw it' and recorded a video, sadly without the ability to properly edit it. Oh well, anything's better than nothing! Click here to check it out!
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That's my summer, wrapped up in one post! I traveled around, ate new foods and successfully became more awesome! I hope this has somehow inspired you to do something cool with your life. Remember, it's never too late to do something you've always wanted!

Have a fantastic day!
Jordan x

September 1, 2014

Healthy Snacks: On-The-Go

Hello, everyone! The school year is nearly upon us, and that can only mean one thing: snack time! I thought this would be a perfect time to share with you some of my favourite, easily portable snacks to take with me if I've missed breakfast, am in a rush for school or are possibly taking a scenic hike through the woods. As I spend most of my time in school, it's kind of hard to walk to the refrigerator during the day and grab something to eat. I'm always racing to get out the door in the morning, so breakfast isn't even an option! Because of my breakfast-deemed food deficiency, I must always bring something to school in order to keep myself energized throughout the day.

When you're fueling your body, you don't want to give it garbage! That is why the three snacks you'll see in this post are 100% Non GMO (genetically modified) and gluten free!

Enjoy!


First up is the KIND Healthy Grains Bars. I just happened to pick up the Maple Pumpkin Seeds version, but they come in loads of other flavours such as Dark Chocolate Chunk, Vanilla Blueberry and Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate. This particular bar is perfect if you or your child have a nut allergy; there's not a trace in here! 


This bar is made of five different super grains including oats, quinoa and amaranth!



Like it says on the front of the package, KIND products only contain ingredients you can read and pronounce (accept for 'quinoa'). These bars are totally gluten free and supply you with a decent amount of protein and fiber!


Here are the nutrition facts if anyone's interested!


Next are the famous Clif Bars! The Coconut Chocolate Chip and Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch were the only two I had left in my pantry, but they come in a variety of over 20 flavours to choose from. You're bound to find one you like.


Coconut Chocolate Chip just happens to be my favourite!


How delicious does that look?!



I couldn't resist!


It looks like there's 1,000 and 1 ingredients in here, but if you look closely you can see that half of the paragraph is the vitamins and minerals included in the mix. I thought that was pretty cool!


Last, and possibly the best, are Larabars. These are my absolute favourite! This flavour is Apple Pie, but they come in a wide range of tastes from Lemon Bar to Banana Bread to anything you can put chocolate chips in! In fact, there's over 20 flavours for you to choose from!


Every Larabar is gluten, dairy and soy free. These bars are perfect if you or your child are allergic to any of those things!


I think Larabars are my favourite because of how simple they are. Literally all they use is fruits, nuts and spices! And one bar is the equivalent to 1/2 cup of fruit! How could you beat that?! And weirdly enough, I wrote this paragraph before reading the blurb on the back of the package talking about how simple the bars are, made with fruits, nuts and spices!


I swear, it tastes a LOT better than it looks!
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Thank you for reading! I hope this helped you even slightly in your search for a healthy, on-the-go snack! And to all of you going back to school, have a wonderful year! Remember that even though it's school, it's only school. There was a time before and there'll be a time after! Don't put too much stress on yourself, but do the best you can.

Good luck!
Jordan x