Category Archives: Indy Adventures

Mutt Strut 2013 – The Greatest Spectacle in Dog Walking

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I’ve been an Indy resident for almost two years now, but there are some times I still feel like the new girl. Like now for instance…how have I never learned about the Mutt Strut before?!

Never heard of it either? Don’t sweat it; we’ll get through this newbie embarrassment together.  🙂 Here’s the 411:

“Ladies and Gentleman, Start Your Paws”

Mutt Strut is this fun event where people get to bring their pooches, dress them up in festive doggie gear, and enjoy a 2.5 mile stroll around the famous Brickyard track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway… and it all goes for a good cause!

Known as the “Greatest Spectacle in Dog Walking,” Mutt Strut is the largest single fundraiser for Indy Humane, the leading voice for animal welfare in Indianapolis. Since 1905 the Humane Society of Indianapolis (now Indy Humane) has provided shelter and care to animals in need on their way to loving homes. Indy Humane is an independent nonprofit supported solely by donations, grants, and fundraisers like Mutt Strut. And just a note, Indy Humane does not receive any funding from, nor is it managed by, the Humane Society of the United States.

As I kept researching this event, I kept realizing just how out of the loop I was. This is the 10th year for Indy’s annual Mutt Strut and it brings more than 6,000 people and their canine companions to IMS to stroll around the track! That’s a lot of pups!

In addition to the brickyard stroll, there will be a full day of activities for you and your pooch to enjoy!

You won’t want to miss the “Party on the Plaza” where you can find sponsor booths, dog treats, low cost microchipping, and appearances by: Indy Indians’ “Rowdie”, Colts’ “Blue”, Butler’s “Blue II and Blue III” and IUPUI’s Jaws.

When you get there, be sure to stop by the Indiana Family of Farmers booth and pick up what all the best dresses pups are wearing these days – an IFOF Doggie Bandana! Indiana farmers love their animals and are excited for this opportunity to support a local shelter.

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This little pup looks so cute in it’s IFOF Doggie Bandana!

Doesn’t this whole day just sound like a blast! What are you waiting for? Get on over to the Mutt Strut website and sign up to participate! I know all this chatting about canines has me wishing I had a dog right now so I could join in the fun!

Here’s how to register: Click HERE to register online, or print off the paper registration form.

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(Children under 7 are free but do not receive a t-shirt)

Can’t make it on April 27? Don’t fret! You can join the Drowsy Dog and Cat Nap Club! For $45, they still mail you a t-shirt, you can sleep in on Saturday morning, and you’re still helping the event!

For those of you who will be attending, Gates Open at 9:30 a.m. and Opening Ceremonies begin at 10:45 a.m. with the Strut starting at 11 a.m.

If you have any other questions or just want to learn more, you can check out all of the doggie details at www.indymuttstrut.org!

Oh and also, I just saw this post on Mutt Strut’s Facebook page:

“We’ve heard a rumor that if you tweet at Paul Poteet(@PaulPoteet) and WISH-TV‘s Randy Ollis (@RandyOllis), they can make the forecast warmer and sunnier for next weekend’s 10th-annual Mutt Strut benefiting the Humane Society of Indianapolis! Just mention #MuttStrut2013 when you do so that they know it’s okay if it’s only sunny and warm over theIndianapolis Motor Speedway.”

So let’s all tweet Paul Poteet and Randy Ollis to help make sure we have good weather for Saturday! 🙂

I’ll be looking forward to seeing all of you and your pretty pooches at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend!

~Chelsea

IFOF Ambassador

Free Family Event: Earth Day Indiana Festival

In honor of Earth Day, there are several activities happening around Indianapolis! Events like these are great ways to get the whole family involved and explore new ways to make our planet a better place.

One exciting event is the Earth Day Indiana Festival on Saturday April 27 in downtown Indy. This is a free outdoor festival with over 130 environmental and conservation exhibits, special activities for the kids, great music and wonderful food.

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Here is a photo of some of the exhibitors and visitors at last year’s Earth Day Indiana. You can see the whole slideshow on their website.

The festival is being held at the White River State Park and goes from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

With over 130 exhibits there’s going to be a lot to see so I wanted to point out a few neat booths that you won’t want to miss.

Indiana’s Family of Farmers – a proud sponsor of Earth Day Indiana – will have two booths at the event. Now you might be wandering, what are a group of farmers doing at Earth Day? Well, a famer’s livelihood depends on the land so they also have to be good environmentalists to make sure their fields last from year to year. Indiana’s farm families work hard to be good stewards of our land and they want to help promote taking care of the soil.

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The first Indiana Family of Farmers booth will be in Exhibit Tent D – booth 93 with their popular “Wheel of Ag” encouraging visitors to learn more about being good stewards of the land. A variety of farm families from across the state will also be at the booth to answer questions about their farms.

Land conservation is becoming more and more important and farmers are doing a lot of great things to preserve their soil. Management practices like no-till farming, using cover crops, and preserving waterways and wildlife buffers. Be sure to stop by the Indiana Family of Farmers booth to learn more!

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The second Family Of Farmers booth will be in the Children’s Tent – booth 122 and will help kids plant popcorn seeds in biodegradable CowPots to celebrate the “Year of Popcorn” at the 2013 Indiana State Fair.

Indiana is the number two state in popcorn production in the U.S. and Indiana Family of Farmers wants to help share all of the cool facts about popcorn.

All of these activities sound so fun! So be sure to mark Earth Day Indiana Festival on your calendar and get the kids ready for a day full of fun and learning!

And if you’re up for an extra challenge, as you visit the Indiana Family of Farmers booths, share what you learn about conservation and agriculture on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by tagging @FamilyofFarmers and using the hashtag #FarmsMatter.

Hope to see you at the festival on Saturday!

~Chelsea

IFOF Ambassador

Indy Hub’s Raise Your Food IQ Event

As a 20-something living in Indy, I decided to join this cool group called Indy Hub that advocates for Indy’s twenty-/thirty-somethings, and acts as a resource to help us learn about and become a part of the city.

If you’ve read any of my blog posts, or any social media posts for that matter, (or heck, just by looking at my blog header photo) you can probably tell that I am passionate about agriculture and food. So when I heard that Indy Hub was putting on an event called “Raise Your IQ: Indiana Food” I knew I couldn’t miss it!

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At the event we were given the opportunity to have breakout sessions with two of the four panel members and then hear from all of them during a panel discussion. The panel members included:

Don Villwock, Indiana Farmer and President of Indiana Farm Bureau on new methods of agriculture 
and how they support a stronger economy and state for all of us.

Clay Robinson, Founder of Sun King Brewing on building a new career through food.

Dr. Lisa Harris, CEO and Medical Director of Wishard Health Services on envisioning the future of public health through food.

Aster Bekele, Founder and Executive Director of Felege Hiywot Center on her journey of community 
development and youth empowerment through a tiny urban garden.

The two panel members I listed to were Clay from Sun King, and Aster from the Felege Hiywot Center.

I’ve heard of Sun King before, but who wants to pass up a free sample and be able to pick the brain of one of the most popular local breweries in the city? Not this girl!

Clay Robinson discussing how Sun King utilizes Indiana ingredients in their local craft beer.

Clay Robinson discussing how Sun King utilizes Indiana ingredients in their local craft beer.

Clay talked about the increase in appreciation for local artisans, local agriculture and how people are recognizing that there are opportunities for these things within the local community. He also said that he is proud to be local and wants to stay local. He wants people in Chicago to say, “When are you expanding to Chicago?” so that he can tell them, “Never, when are you going to come to Indiana?”

He wants his beer to be known as “Indy’s local beer” that’s exclusive to the city and people come to Indy to buy it. And I love that philosophy! I know not everything can be kept local, but it boosts the economy and ups the hype about the cool things we’re doing in Indiana. Keep up the good work, Clay!

DidYouKnow: Indiana’s popcorn crop is the second-largest in the country and Sun King used this as their inspiration for their Popcorn Pilsner that is crafted with 2 pounds of Indiana grown popcorn per keg!

My second session was with Aster from the Felege Hiywot Center and I was very interested to learn more about this organization. Aster came here from Ethiopia and recognized that kids in her neighborhood weren’t appreciating everything they have here in the U.S. (education, resources, etc.) so she started the center to serve urban youth of Indianapolis, and teach them about gardening and environmental preservation as well as encourage them to embrace the virtues of community service. They have a really neat story so be sure to learn more about them on their website!

Aster telling us about her journey when she moved to Indianapolis to attend college and how she came to start the Felege Hiywot Center.

Aster telling us about her journey when she moved to Indianapolis to attend college and how she came to start the Felege Hiywot Center.

What I thought was so neat about her story was her passion for youth.

“Be patient and get them involved,” said Aster. “Also really listen to their ideas and be the resource the need. Sustainability continues through generations and the youth have to be able to carry it on.”

And that is so true! I am passionate about teaching youth about their food and agriculture and it was refreshing to see her putting an emphasis on it. I was so inspired by Aster’s work that I might actually help volunteer there! And you can too!

To end the night we heard from the panel and talked about what is exciting about Indiana food, sustainability, and how we can continue the conversation about the importance of knowledge about our food.

L-R: Don Villwock, Aster Bekele, Dr. Lisa Harris and Clay Robinson.

L-R: Don Villwock, Aster Bekele, Dr. Lisa Harris and Clay Robinson.

Indiana Farm Bureau President and Indiana farmer, Don Villwock said that he is excited about the opportunities for young and smaller famers to get involved with the increase in the local food movement.

As a farmer, he also emphasized the importance of sustainability.

“Sustainable farming is leaving his farm better than when his grandfather farmed it,” Don explained. “Water is clean, soil health is better, air is less polluted, and the crops that we raise are healthy, more nutritious and safer.”

This was such a powerful quote to me because it shows that despite what some might think, farmers really do care about their land and the crops they grow. That is their livelihood and they eat the same things we do so they want to make sure to take care of their resources.

My final take-a-way point of the night was from Dr. Lisa Harris about making time to actually gather around a table for a meal together. This really stuck with me because by being from a large family, this was one of the things I most valued about growing up. And I want to encourage everyone to make an effort to get back to cooking meals at home and eating at the dinner table. It sets a good example for your children and is such a good way to keep you connected to your food, and as a family.

Overall this event was so much fun! There was a great turnout with people from many different professions around the city. I caught up with a few participants to see what they took away from the discussion.

Interview

Click the link above to listen to physician Risheet Patel of Fishers and psychiatry resident Aimee Sirois share their take on learning more about happenings in Indiana food.

Thanks to everyone who came out to encourage the conversation about Indiana Food! I can’t wait until the next IndyHub event!

My fellow Marion County Farm Bureau Young Farmers who attended the event!

My fellow Marion County Farm Bureau Young Farmers who attended the event!

GIVE-A-WAY ALERT! Free tickets to the 2013 National Maple Syrup Festival!

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****Give-A-Way contest ended, but still check out the festival info below!*****

DID YOU KNOW that the National Maple Syrup Festival is held right here in Indiana? I had no idea!

This unique annual event is held at Burton’s Maplewood Farm, located near Medora, Indiana. Nestled in the rolling hills of Southern Indiana, festival goers can enjoy the taste of country made hot pancakes with 100% pure Maple Syrup all day every day as well as experience a variety of fun-filled events, activities, Live-music & demonstrations are sure to keep you entertained and coming back for more year after year. Maple Syrup Producers from every maple syrup producing state in America are invited to come and share their version of 100% pure Maple Syrup so get your sweet tooth ready!

And this year, YOU can join them! Thanks to my friends over at Basilmomma.com and King Arthur Flour, I am giving away 2 free bracelets ($10 value each) for entry to the festival!!

Here’s how to enter:

1. Share this blog with your friends on Facebook or Twitter and leave a comment below with the link to your post.

For more chances to enter:

2. Follow me on Twitter at @Chelsea_PA and post the tweet below. Then leave an additional comment below with the link to the tweet!

“I want to join @Chelsea_PA at #MapleFest13 with @maplewoodfarms, @kingarthurflour and @basilmomma! #maplesyrup #SVChallenge”

3. Subscribe to my blog! Follow it above if you are a wordpress user, or just subscribe via email. Once you follow my blog, leave another comment saying you did that as well.

BEST OF LUCK! The contest will only be open until Monday at noon so don’t miss it!

(Sorry for the short notice, but we have time to mail you the tickets!)

ALSO………….King Arthur Flour is holding the KAF Sweet Victory Challenge recipe contest and you could win!

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To enter, create a recipe using pure maple syrup and King Arthur Flour and you could win big! The contest will be held during the National Maple Syrup Festival on March 2nd, 9th. There are two divisions (Adult, Youth), with three Categories (Savory Main Dish, Dessert, Breakfast) for each division. Visit http://www.sweetvictorychallenge.com/ to learn more and enter. HURRY THOUGH! Entries for this are due TOMORROW!

FESTIVAL DETAILS

2013 National Maple Syrup Festival

March 2nd & 3rd, 9th & 10th

Burton’s Maplewood Farm

8121 W. County Rd. 75 South

Medora, IN 47260

ADMISSION:

Children 4 yrs old and under: Free!

Youth (5 to 15 yrs old): $6.00

Adults (16 – 64 yrs old): $10.00

Seniors (65+): $8.00

Cool thing to know! – Donate (1) canned good for a $2.00 discount off. All donated food will be given to area food pantries.

Festival Map:

http://nationalmaplesyrupfestival.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/NMSF-Map.pdf

I will be attending the festival as well so hope you all come and join me!

Check out some more info about the National Maple Syrup Festival in these articles!

Global Eats Indy – Cuban!

Hey Indy Foodies!

If you haven’t been keeping up with my Global Eats Indy posts, here’s the deal. A group of my friends and I travel to a new restaurant each month to try a new type of cuisine  in Indianapolis and then I kindly report back here on my blog to let you know how it was! Any other ethic foodies out there? Check out our Italian and Turkish adventures if you missed them.

On our third excursion we traveled to Tata Cuban Cafe in downtown Indianapolis. It is a cute little cafe located on Market St., and its one of those hidden gems that might be easy to miss, but SOOO worth the journey to find it.

Sorry for the overly bright sign… but isn’t this a cute storefront?

I was excited for this trip because I first discovered my love for Cuban food when I was in Disney World at Bongos Cuban Cafe. (Side note – MAKE this a stop on your next Disney Trip. Great atmosphere and awesome food!) Ok, back to Indy…

A few ground rules about Tata Cuban Cafe:

1. It is tiny. They only seat about 40ish? Maybe not even that many. But it kind of adds to the atmosphere, making it feel like a family restaurant in a small town.

2. They do not serve alcohol. But DON’T let this be a deal breaker for you. We typically give reviews on the culture’s traditional beverages, but the main thing is the food. There are plenty of establishments nearby to get refreshments afterwards if you so choose.

3. Make sure to look at the walls! They have a lot of cool pictures of people who have eaten there and festive decorations.

Anyone look familiar?

4.  Every single thing on the MENU is good! The entrees are listed in Spanish, but even if you don’t habla Espanol, you can’t go wrong! Be adventurous!

We all had a hard time picking what we wanted but here were a few of our favorites:

Courtney had the  El Guaso Cuban Sandwich – Cuban sandwich made with roasted pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickles and mustard, and hot pressed on Cuban bread. This is a good dish for someone who isn’t that familiar with Cuban food. It’s a classic!

Yum! Who doesn’t love a good hot pressed sandwich?

 

I had the Ropa Vieja Habanera – Shredded beef marinated with citrus juices,mojo criollo, mixed with grilled onions and peppers. Served with white rice and sweet plantains.

I thought it was neat how each component of the meal came in small portions. Great presentation!

Everything was soooooooo good! Did I mention that it was good? Well if I didn’t, it was good!

Not only is the food to die for, the price is good too! Their whole menu ranges from $5.00 – $19.99. Thats a deal if you ask me.

Overall we had a great time at Tata Cuban Cafe! It was nice to catch up with some great friends, meet some new ones, and enjoy a new type of cuisine. Oh and a fun little treat, we were the biggest group in there so the owner, Alfredo Gonzalez, came out to chat with us and even took our group picture to add to the Tata Facebook page!

Great group of Global Eats Indy girls!

Have any of you ever been to Tata?

Check out this video from their website to learn more about them!

Alfredo is a very fun guy! He really takes traditional Cuban elements and incorporates them into every aspect of the Cafe. I will definitely be going back there sometime soon!

I’m still full just thinking about all the great food we ate at Tata’s, but there’s no rest for the weary! Next up – Vietnamese food!

Anyone ever been to Long Thahn Restaurant? I’d love to hear any tips on what to order!

Until then, it’s time to call it a night for this #GlobalEatsIndy gal. TA TA! (Late night joke if no one caught that) 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Indy’s Fashion’s Night Out!!

I am so excited to share this post! Last week, I had the fun opportunity to attend an event at Saks Fifth Avenue in Indy for Fashion’s Night Out Indy presented by Pattern Indy. Thanks to my #TwitterGal Leslie Bailey, I was invited along with other fashion bloggers to attend the Saks Fashion Show and hangout in the Bloggers Lounge!

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We got to get a behind the scenes look at the newest looks for fall, meet the models and took home an awesome swag bag!

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Doesn’t all this look so fun! (I’ll give my reviews on those products in a future post!)

While in the bloggers lounge, I met some really fun new friends! The ladies from ScarvesDotNet were there and they were so great! They work together bringing you all things fashion and sell super cute scarves for way cheap! For more info on Fashion’s Night Out and how it got started, check out my new blogger pals’ blog for the Fashion 411!

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Sarah H., Sarah T., Julie S., Molly B. and Me!

Next up was the show! Here are some of the great looks we saw!

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Some of the popular things from this fall’s line at Saks are: gloves, tweed, leather jackets, patterned leggings, velvet, hats, fur (or faux fur), and great handbags!

It was a great mix of “era” type elements paired with modern pieces such as this great ensemble!

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Molly said this was “So Gatsby!” and I think she was totally right!

From what you saw, what was your favorite piece or outfit?

The show was over pretty quickly but the fun didn’t stop there. The ScarvesDotNet gals and I went down to Nordstroms and they had this fun “Fabulous or Faux Pas” interactive contest and we held up a sign to share our vote! Most of them were fabulous, but there mightttttt have been a faux pas or two in there too. Sorry!

Overall, we had a GREAT time! I wish I lived closer to downtown so I could have checked out the other FNOIndy activities. This will definitely be on the list for next year!

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Thanks Leslie for a great time!!

Well, I am all fashioned out for the night, but stay on the lookout for my FNOIndy SwagBag Review post coming up here soon. I can’t wait to try all my free samples!

And until next time, I will leave you with this classic SATC line from Carrie Bradshaw – “I like my money right where I can see it… hanging in my closet.”

I kind of like her line of thinking! 🙂

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Oh and don’t you think I didn’t go and have my turn on the runway before we left! 🙂 #InnerModelAtHeart

Global Eats Indy – Turkish

This month the girls of Global Eats Indy went to the Bosphorus Istanbul Café in downtown Indianapolis for month two of our culinary adventures.

Bosphorus is a cute little restaurant down on East St. and according to their website; they were Indiana’s first Turkish cuisine restaurant! (And the best from what I’ve heard)

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I was excited because I had never been to a Turkish restaurant and I was looking forward to the festive atmosphere, and festive it was!

They had beautiful tapestries and the traditional ‘evil eye’ beads on the walls, among other decorations and they were all so cool to look at! I always love admiring other cultures’ decorations.

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Now to the important part – the cuisine! Wait, back up…drink orders come first. And of course we had to try the traditional beverages.

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Courtney had the Efes Pilsner beer and said it was a great choice!

We started out with the feta cheese plate and the fried zucchini cakes. Both were awesome, but may I add – the homemade pita bread was heavenly! I could have eaten it just by itself, oh wait…I did. (Oops)

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Next it was time or order, if you aren’t familiar with Turkish food, its similar to Greek in my opinion as they use a lot of lamb, yogurt, eggplant and hummus and of course pita bread as I mentioned earlier.

Side note: I love hummus. It’s one of my new favorite snacks – and THIS is the best (at least the best you can buy at Walmart or Marsh)

But back to dinner… check out some of the dishes we had!

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SHISH KEBAB -Tender cubes of lamb marinated in our special sauce and grilled on skewers. $ 14.95

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BEEF HUMMUS – Beef tenderloins pan-seared with red bell peppers, served with hummus and almonds. $12.95

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STUFFED EGGPLANT (KARNIYARIK) – Oven-roasted eggplant stuffed with ground beef, chopped tomatoes, green peppers and herbs. $11.95

Everything was a hit, and the prices were good too! But the sad part was, I was reallllllyyyy hoping to save room for some baklava but I was WAY too full. Fine, twist my arm…I guess we’ll just have to go back another time! Who wants to go?

All in all, Global Eats- Turkey was a success!

Come join us next month! TATA Cuban Cafe here we come!

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Indianapolis Bloggers Interview Kelley James!

Last week I posted a preview of an awesome upcoming interview that I was going to be doing with singer/songwriter Kelley James, but you have probably noticed that you have yet to see anything from that…until now!

I apologize for the suspense, but I was working really hard to make this post especially great for all of you. Great work takes time, right?

To catch you up to speed, I traveled downtown to interview Kelley and it went really well! He’s very down to earth and does a great job in an interview. He really has a vision for his music and he likes to be as creative as possible with his songs which makes him very unique.

So without further ado, check out my interview with Kelley!

My friend Courtney came with me and helped me film the interview and my friend Joel helped me produce the video. Please give them a shout out for being a big help in putting this together!

Also, thanks again to everyone at SLE Entertainment, Red Bull, Kelley James, the Kelley James Team and Indianapolis Bloggers for the interview and entrance to the Moto GP After Party to watch Kelley perform.

If you would like to read the full interview, I have included it below. Enjoy!

Kelley: Whats up Team! We’re here in Indianapolis, one of my favorite places to come roll through. I’m a big Midwest fan, but I grew up in California so I had to take a 5:50am flight to make it out here but the weather’s beautiful, watching a little sunset here in the background and I’m going to answer some questions for you!

How did you get your start in music?

Kelley: I started playing music when I was 12. I got a guitar, but it wasn’t necessarily a focus, it was more of a passion or pastime kind of hobby. For me, I always knew what I wanted to do. I had this gut feeling that’s what I was meant to do, and I was able to figure it out and was able to do it once I got to college and just worked to make it happen. I’m still trying to make it happen.

What was the very first venue you played in?

Kelley: My very first show, like when I was in high school? My first show was when I was 15, it was a battle of the bands in high school. In the gym, the old gymnasium (joking). My band then was called “Lime Strike” and we definitely thought we were going to take over the world, not even a question.

Did you win?

Kelley: I think we did win, yeah we were pretty good! (In terms of 15 year old crappy garage bands go)

In listening to your music, you have a very unique sound! Who are some of your musical influences?

Kelley: I grew up listening to grunge music, that’s the music that I discovered on my own. Nirvana, Sound Garden, Stone Temple Pilots, STP, Pearl Jam, the list goes on. For me, it was that music that really sparked my interest to what music was and what it meant. The singer/songwriters really were a big influence. Then it was everyone from Sublime, Ben Harper, Jason Mraz, John Mayer to Dave Matthews Band, OAR, Dispatch were huge for me. Those guys showed me that you can sing, play guitar, and write your own music, tour, do it all, and you could be the entity that pushed out creativity on a consistent level.

You’re also unique in that you rap. Where did that part of your music come from?

Kelley: I grew up in California, so hip hop music was always there. For me, it was something I just listened to. I play guitar and I sang so I always wondered, and still do wonder what the ultimate (quote end quote) mash up of those two styles is and where it connects on the most powerful meeting point. So I freestyle, I rap and mash up old school rap songs with other covers and my songs so I think it was a natural progression to get to that Summertime on my mind rap style verses.

What is your favorite song to perform?

Kelley: Good question. I really like the song I have called standing on a rooftop. It has a reggae feel and the chorus is a little more rock. The way it feels when we play it on stage is my favorite. Favorite cover would probably be ‘what I got” by Sublime. Everyone knows that song and it crosses so many different genres of music. There’s a little bit of reggae in there, a little bit of hip hop, they always add punk elements to what they did, but it’s kind of a pop song. So if you’re a hip hop guy, or a rap guy, or a punk guy at the core, you just have to relate to it.

You said you were a Midwest fan, where have you performed in the Midwest and what was your favorite Midwest spot to play so far?

Kelley: I’ve played all over. When I graduated college we started what we called “The Fraternity & Sorority Tour” so we played private shows at sorority houses bringing the sound system just playing these 80-100 person shows, and then played fraternity shows on the weekends. So I’ve played at a lot of schools around the Midwest. I love Indiana; I’ve played DePauw a lot, Indiana University quite a few times and Purdue a few times. I also love Chicago, and I’ve had great show sin Missouri, but Indiana’s been great – really, really great!

As I was looking at your website, I saw that you are involved with a very cool organization called “Strikeouts For Troops”.  Tell us more about the organization and how you are involved.

Kelley: A good friend of mine pitches for the San Francisco Giants, his name is Barry Zito, and he’s really passionate about giving back to the military. There are two things I’m really passionate about: one would be the military (my father was in the army) and kids. So I love anything from Ronald McDonald house, children’s hospital, anything involving kids – sports programs, anything for the development of kids is so important. So Strikeouts for Troops for me is just a great organization. Its 100% of every dollar goes back directly to the cause. And he personally funds so many little things that aren’t publicized, just making families comfortable while one of their loved ones is in the hospital, after coming back from being shipped out somewhere. And I get to do so much in my life, so many amazing things, it’s really not possible without the military. They protect us, they give us this freedom. It’s because of them that I can stand here, do an interview and go play a show tonight. So many people have given their lives so that we can have such a wonderful, wonderful existence. They sacrifice everything for that, so the military to me is very, very important.

Strikeouts For Troops does everything you could imagine. They host baseball games and bring families out to games, give them tickets. Now we’re looking into doing live shows so we’ll bring in military. He’s doing a huge event in San Diego this November that I’m going to pay. It’s on the USS Midway, that big ship where they play the college basketball games. They’re just working on, number one, just spreading the word and making sure that certain families and certain military persons in situations have the means to deal with any hardships that might be happening in their lives.

Let’s switch gears back to your music – In your video, “Summertime on My Mind” you were surfing and playing volleyball. Are those some of your favorite hobbies?

Kelley: Surfing for sure, I surf every day when I’m home. Volleyball – every once in a while. I’m not a crazy beach volleyball person but I love it, I’m just not that good But that video is sort of what I do in the summer. Hang out at the beach and with buddies at their houses. My studio is in Santa Monica so it revolves around that summer-y beach vibe.

Ok, now this is a little bit off the wall, but name one thing on your bucket list! One can be for your music career, and one just for life in general:

Kelley: Hmm… I want to think of something good!

For my music career, would be to play the Fillmore in San Francisco. It’s just a legendary venue, not a big venue, 1,000 people. I’ve played so many other venues around the nation, but that venue to me was where I was 16 years old and I just knew that was what I wanted to do. I sort of looked up at the stage and was like “I want to be that guy! I want to do what he’s doing!”

For life, it would have to be something to do with travel. I really want to go to Africa, I want to do the whole safari vibe. And maybe surf a legendary wave somewhere; I don’t have anything specific for that, but something with travel.

You have two albums so far, so what can we expect from you in the future? What can we expect to see coming down the pipe?

Kelley: I have a couple songs that we’re going to release pretty soon. We’re just figuring out different creative ways to get them out there. Probably shoot some more videos. The next song that’s going to come out is called “California” – It’s just my little ode to California.

Where can people buy your music or find out more about you?

Kelley:  All my stuff is on iTunes. And obviously I’m on Facebook and Twitter, but KelleyJames.com links to everything so check it out.

SNEAK PREVIEW! Kelley James coming to Indy!

I have an exciting opportunity that came my way this week and I just had to share it! Thanks to Indianapolis Bloggers, I get to interview singer/songwriter Kelley James tomorrow before he performs at the Red Bull Moto GP After Party in Indianapolis!

The interview even got a little blurb on his website –  http://kelleyjames.com/2012/08/indianapolis-bloggers-to-interview-kelley-at-red-bull-event/

Awesome right?!!

This is sort of thing is right up my alley. I was a radio intern in college and I had the chance to interview several country artists. It’s always fun to meet the person behind the music. I am very excited to interview Kelley and I will be sharing the interview with you right here on my blog!

In case you haven’t heard of Kelley, here’s a little background info about him:

National recording artist Kelley James is a singer-songwriter whose music is a fascinating collection of acoustic guitars, hip-hop beats, thoughtful lyrics and freestyle flows. He has shared the stage with the likes of the Goo Goo Dolls, Kate Voegele, Slightly Stoopid, Shwayze, T-Pain, Will.i.am, and more.

Kelley recently played a weeklong residency at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in June and just finished headlining the Common Threads Tour for Patagonia in Australia, which makes his fifth tour of Australia to date. Additionally, he has toured the nation with acts such as Mike Posner and O.A.R., and has performed over 600 shows in the past four years.

His newly released single, “Summertime On My Mind”, has become a summertime anthem and has received recognition from several viral entertainment sites including BroBible, BuzzFeed, ClevverMusic, Mashable and Tone It Up. “Summertime On My Mind” has been included on Tunecore’s “25 Songs of Summer” compilation album available free on Amazon MP3. The music video features special guest appearances by some of Kelley’s friends including Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers, Richard Jefferson of the Golden State Warriors, Tone It Up fitness and nutritional experts Katrina and Karena and professional beach volleyball player Chelsea Rashoff.

Also, I want you to be a part of my interview! What do you want to know about Kelley? Send me your questions and I will ask him during my interview!

I’ll be posting throughout the event on Twitter so be on the lookout for my interview with Kelley!

Wish me luck!

Global Eats Indy!

I’ve lived Indianapolis for over a year now and I think I’ve done a pretty good job of learning the ropes of the city. I do miss the rural life sometimes, but one thing I do love about Indy is that there is always some place new to try – especially restaurants! Even some of my friends who have lived here several years agree that there are places even they haven’t been.

So since my friends and I all like trying new types of food, we decided to start Global Eats Girls Night where we go out once a month to try a new type of food! (plus get a little girl time) 🙂

I was so excited about this, but sadly I had to miss the first outing! Fail…I know, but luckily I recruited my friend Tiffany to guest blog about their experience!

Month 1: Chinese Italian

Check out Tiffany’s blog for the story:

“Our mission – to boldly go where others are from and experience new cultures through food and fun. (And, possibly have a good reason to get a bunch of girls together for a couple hours of catch-up time.)

First mission, Chinese.

Mission failure.

Two of our awesome ladies were prepping to run 100 (that is not a typo) 100 miles to raise money for Heifer International, an awesome charity providing livestock as a family income source in third-world countries. So, if you’re prepping to run 100 miles, you carb-up. And carb-up we did!

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This is pasta carbonara at Mamma Carolla’s Authentic Italian Restaurant.

Our outing was full of laughs, stories, our cultural adventures (good, bad, horrible, and life changing) and where we planned to go next. It is amazing how many places a group of girls in their 20-30’s have been and still plan to go. I’m pretty sure it says a lot about the world we live in. For the most part we all grew up in small towns or on farms, but have spent weeks and years traveling shores our parents and grandparents never dreamed of!

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While we were a bit of a spectacle, we had a great time! Full of laughter, good drinks and good olive oil, you can’t help but be amazed at how much food brings people together and brings out the stories. Who knew we’d be in an Italian restaurant discussing camels?

We really enjoyed Mamma Carrolla’s – and while it is a more intimate restaurant for romantic dates, we found the patio a great spot. It is small and they don’t take reservations, so be prepared for a bit of a wait. Expect to take some home too – its way filling and you’ll want it for sure on day 2! All in all, from these smiles, you can tell it was a success.

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We’re off to Turkish on mission two. Should you choose to accept the challenge you will enjoy baklava like you’ve never had before!

Cultural Captain, mission accomplished!

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Thanks for the great blog Tiffany! I can’t wait for the next adventure!

Q: What’s your favorite type of cuisine?

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