30 December 2008

Adorable Couple


I never report celebrity news on here, but this is too cute not to post. I just found out Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and Zooey Dechanel of She & Him are engaged. I didn't even know they were dating- two of my favorites, it's adorable. It's the poster children of indie... I bet they'll get married at a craft fair or a museum.

Check out the Rolling Stone article.

19 December 2008

Renegade Handmade Store Now Open


It's no secret that I love the Renegade Craft Fair. This year, Renegade opened up a store in Wicker Park on Division. It's great, but the vendor selection is not always the best. Problem solved. Renegade just opened an online store with vendors galore. Click here to check it out.

18 December 2008

Secret Dog Theory



I've been in my place for about three months now. Since I've been there, I have had suspicions about my upstairs neighbor. I think he has a dog. That's great, I love dogs, but our apartment has a no pets policy.

On several occasions, I thought I heard a dog's collar, the metal on metal clanging. It's a very distinct sound, one I know well. I dismissed this idea, because it could also be my neighbor's keys banging against each other. And if he had a dog, I would have heard it bark, right?

Winter has further fed my conspiracy ideas. When it snowed last week, I saw paw prints in my back yard. They looked like dog prints, but maybe a raccoon climbed over the fence? It was hard to tell where the prints lead, it didn't look like they came from the apartment. Again, if he had a dog, wouldn't I have heard it bark?

Last night, I came home and there were more prints. I took pictures, see above.
Exhibit A: dog footprint in the snow
Exhibit B: dog footprint leading up the back stairs to my neighbor's apartment

Theories:
A: He has a dog, and I've never heard it bark. The landlord doesn't know.
B: He is dog sitting. The dog is well behaved, and never barks. The landlord doesn't know.
C: He has a dog, possibly a basenji (they don't bark). The landlord knows. This scenario is totally unfair.

It all comes down to me wanting a pet. If upstairs neighbor can have a secret pet, why can't I? And how have I never seen this dog, much less heard it bark?

17 December 2008

2008 Music Awards


It's that time of year again. It's the Second Annual Amanda Music Awards. For a look at last year's awards, click here.

Best Dressed Band: Rooney @ House of Blues

Worst Crowd: Panic at the Disco @ The Congress

Best Cover Song @ a Show: I am the Walrus- Oasis @ Allstate

Album My Dad Surprisingly Loves: She & Him- Volume One

Favorite Song to Sing Along With Live: Viva La Vida- Coldplay

Song I Could Do Without Ever Hearing Again: Heart Songs- Weezer (The worst song EVER, by one on the best bands ever)

Danciest Show:
The Tings Tings @ Lollapalooza

Best item tossed and caught from stage at a show: A carrot, caught by Natalie- Super Furry Animals @ The Metro

Show I Still Can't Believe I Was At: NIN @ Lollapalooza

Show My Brother Is Mad He Didn't Go To:
Beck @ Aragon

Strangest Location for a Show: Ludo @ Lewis University

Best Soundtrack: Juno

Best Bonus Track on an Album: All Over Town- The Kooks, Konk

Best Album Title: Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum- Tally Hall

Single I love, but will never know the words to: A-Punk- Vampire Weekend

Band That Blew Me Away Live: The Raconteurs @ Lollapalooza

Best Overall Show of 2007: Coldplay @ United Center

Feel free to add your own awards, or remind me of shows I went to and forgot about.

15 December 2008

Mug Cake Follow Up


I made mug cake. Verdict: Kinda gross. I looks like regular cake, but that's about it.

I followed the recipe and opted to add the chocolate chips. The batter looked good and it tasted good. I stuck the mug in the microwave and waited my 3 minutes. The finished product didn't smell all that great. It came out of the mug easily, but had horrible texture. The cake was very dense and slightly rubbery. The chocolate chips were the best part. I suppose that's exactly what you would expect from microwave cake. I'm glad I tried it, but I'll pass on the mug cake from now on.

(pictured above: my mug cake, pretty but rubbery)

11 December 2008

Mug Cake


I found a recipe for chocolate mug cake. I'm a little leery to try it. According to the recipe, your mug full of batter goes into the the microwave, and three minutes later- voila! You have cake. What? How have I not tried this before? I'll give it a try and will report back with photos.

"abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz"


I've got another video for you. This comes straight out of Amsterdam, a city known for its design. "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz" (great name, right?) is a short film about a boy and a man who paint the alphabet. The side by side comparison is great. The credits in the beginning are a little long, but I'm in awe of how well the man paints his letters.

I couldn't help but think this is a possible on the job activity for my friend, the occupational therapist? Too messy, Jackie?

09 December 2008

Check It: Present & Correct


I've fallen in love with yet another thing from England. Check out Present & Correct. They're a stationary / vintage / handmade trinket shop. Their products are great, and the layout of the website makes me want everything. While you're on the site check out The Best section. Every week they put together a themed list of things to do, check out, or that are just funny. This week? 10 Cures For the Common Cold. If you're sick, try them one-by-one till you feel better.

Clockwise:

Diagram Mail Set
F is for.... Firetruck Print
Smile Card
Elephant Coffee Bag
Cuckoo Card
Biscuit Card

08 December 2008

Mafia Cars & Scary Bananas


My car is in the body shop getting some repairs. The auto body shop offered me a free rental. I've always had a small car. I like driving small cars, my rental is not a small car. It's a Kia Amanti. I'm basically driving a fancy Buick. It's also black, has tinted windows and no stickers. There is a lot of trunk space too. I can't be sure, but I may have been given a mafia car. I cannot properly drive my giant Mafia car. I don't even know how to pull it in the garage. It's a tight space, and I'll scratch up the renal if I do. Not only will the shop be mad at me, but then I'll have the mob on my back and I'm just not ready for that. I get my car back late this week. Until then, life is ridiculous.

Unrelated: I stuck a brown banana in the freezer last night so I could use it for banana bread. I opened the freezer this morning, and it scared me. I didn't know what it was, thought it was an animal. I got scared by a banana- pathetic.

04 December 2008

Check It: Video Time




I came across these two videos that I love for very different reasons. The first is hilarious. I love this kid. Without being creepy, his name is Nigel and I think we should be friends. At the very least, he should teach me his sweet dance moves.

The second is an adorable short animation. It's about two worms that find true love. What? Just watch it.

I'm sort of in love.


Cupcake Chucks! Really?

25 November 2008

Forest for the Trees


Check out these photos and interview with artist Myoung Ho Lee.

By placing a canvas behind each tree, he turns it into a work of art and separates it from the landscape. Simply put, it's pretty.

24 November 2008

Prospekt's March EP


Coldplay released their new EP, Prospekt's March. It features six brand new Coldplay songs, plus two reworked versions of existing ones (the Lovers In Japan Osaka mix and Lost+). The songs really feel like an extension of 'Viva la Vida,' not random B-sides as some EPs often are. Check it out, I'm very happy.

20 November 2008

Week of Stupid


Sometimes I have weeks when I'm inexcusably dumb. This is one of them.

It started off with me forgetting my phone at home one day. Not a big deal.

Tuesday night, I managed to scratch up my car. It was no one's fault but my own. I cut a corner in my alley too close. My car looks like a giant cat decided to claw it. The car is getting fixed. It's a new car, and I want it to stay that way.

This morning, the dumb continued. The past few days, I've been getting to work early. I forgot to add my work key to the chain with all the apartment keys. Instead of knocking to get let into work, it would make sense to use my key. I remembered to grab the key this morning. I locked the back door from the inside, and walked out with my keys in hand. Unfortunately, I walked out with the wrong keys in hand. I had my work key with me, my actual apartment keys were sitting on the kitchen table. I locked myself out, wonderful. My first thought, was that I had given Becky a spare set. I could take the train to work and get the keys from her later in the day. However, it also dawned on me that my front and back gates were both locked. If I wanted out, I would have to climb one of the gates. Not really wanting to do that, I called Becky. She hadn't left for work yet. I really didn't want to make her late, but I really didn't want to climb the fence. She came, and I waited. I sort of felt like a prisoner waiting for the gatekeeper. I am in debt to Becky. I am also now keeping a spare set in my purse.

Hopefully, I will find my brain in the coming days and not end up doing my self or anyone else damage. Until them, please humor me. My brain seems to be missing.

19 November 2008

LIFE photo archive


Google now has a Life Magazine photo archive.

According to Google's Blog:
We're excited to announce the availability of never-before-seen images from the LIFE photo archive... This collection of newly-digitized images includes photos and etchings produced and owned by LIFE dating all the way back to the 1750s.

Only a very small percentage of these images have ever been published. The rest have been sitting in dusty archives in the form of negatives, slides, glass plates, etchings, and prints. We're digitizing them so that everyone can easily experience these fascinating moments in time. Today about 20 percent of the collection is online; during the next few months, we will be adding the entire LIFE archive — about 10 million photos.

Take a look though the photo archive, got to love Google.

17 November 2008

Jenga


Sunday ended up being a game night. Somehow, I feel like the makers of Jenga did not intend for their game to be used this way.

12 November 2008

Check It: Moutain Goats


Do you have around $200 to blow on a foot rest? Would you like your foot rest to look like a mountain goat? Look no futher than ZGallerie. The smaller one, pictured on the chair, is pillow. A big huggable, mountain goat pillow.

11 November 2008

Apartment Pics




How about a few apartment pictures? I've talked about it a lot, but I really haven't shown much. From the top down, we've got the living room (sweet rabbit ears on the TV), the kitchen and part of the den. I'm still making progress and want more things to hang on the walls. It's coming along.

Cake!


I baked a cake. Chocolate Amaretto Cake to be exact. Unlike the scones, this did make it to the office.

06 November 2008

Relax Roundup


There is paint in my hair, and I parked on the curb this morning. Life is busy, and I'm a little tired. Because life can be stressful, here's a relax roundup.

Clockwise:

04 November 2008

Go Getter Greg Video!


Ludo's new music video for 'Go Getter Greg' is out today!
Watch it here!

Too Much Bacon?


I give vegetarians a lot of credit. I don't have the self control or the pallet not to eat meat. I like it, especially bacon. Bacon is sort of a trend right you. You can buy bacon band aids, gummy bacon, wallets and even mints.

Other food related bacon items have been popping up. Bacon Salt has been around for a while, and recently it's creators introduced Baconnaise. Yep, bacon flavored mayonnaise. This may be too much for me. I'm a little freaked out. I don't plan on running out and trying it anytime soon. I need time to reconcile myself with the idea.

31 October 2008

Free Coldplay Music Video




A quick music FYI for you:
Itunes is currently offering Colplay's new music video, Lover's in Japan, for free. I took advantage of the offer. It's a great video, but some of the camera work may make you a little dizzy. Check it out.

30 October 2008

Check It: 2009 Noa Bembibre Calendar


I wanted this calendar last year. I didn't get it. It's back and still amazing. The jury is still out if I'll get it or not.

28 October 2008

Classy.


I accepted a last minute invite last night to go see the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. I'll say it, I had fun. It wasn't stuffy and I didn't doze off. The Civic Orchesta of Chicago is made up of young musicians who train with the Chicago Symphony and will be eventually be placed into different Symphonies around the country. As my sister-in-law put it, "It's not just a bunch of old, bald men playing. It's people our age." Well put. I'd go again.

As long as we're talking music:
-Oasis is coming to town in about a month.
-The Killers have a new song out titled "Human." I am not a fan.
-Franz Ferdinand is back in the studio working on another album.
-The bassist from The Hush Sound recently left the band to "exlore his options," or something like that.
-Ludo is going to be at the House of Blues this Sunday.
-Snow Patrol has a new album out as of today! I haven't given it a listen yet, but I'm pumped.

24 October 2008

White's Books


I love when classic novels get new book jacket designs. That old saying, "Don't judge a book by it's cover" well, I'm a designer and I do. I have versions of Frankenstein and To Kill A Mockingbird with fantastic covers. CR Blog has a great interview with an ex-Penguin Publishing designer who is responsible for more great covers. He currently works for White's Books as an Art Director. The premise of White's Books being to make beautiful renditions of classic novels- perfect. I already love the four they have illustrated so far. There goes my paycheck.

Scones!


I made scones.

22 October 2008

Know Your Apartment


In the past 24-hours I learned that my smoke detector works and where my fuse box is. I'm still learning about my apartment.

I grew up with a gas stove, I know how they work and how hot they get. I am now the proud renter of an electric stove. Last night, I made a recipe I'm very familiar with. When you first start cooking the chicken, you have to seer it. I turned the burner on high, waited and then put the chicken into the pan. Smoke everywhere! Apparently, electric stoves get much hotter than gas, and "medium heat" is a relative term.
I freaked out, turned the exhaust fan on, opened some windows and checked the hallway where the smoke alarm is. I didn't want it to go off and scare the guy upstairs. Despite my precautions, it went off. I freaked out a little more and tried to turn it off. I twisted it and the whole alarm came off. It was in my hands, but still going off. What?! I panicked, considered hiding it under a pillow and eventually figured out how removed the battery. Yes, there is a reset button, but at this moment I was not clearly. It was kind of like this.
And FYI, the chicken was delicious.

Lesson: Know how hot your stove gets and know how to silence your smoke alarm.

This morning, it was chilly in my apartment. I grew up with a furnace and heat that I didn't pay for. Instead of turning the furnace on this morning, I plugged in the space heater. What I didn't know was that I probably shouldn't run the space heater and the coffee pot at the same time, as well as a few other appliances. I tripped the circuit. I scoured the place for my fuse box, only to find out I clearly have no idea where the fuse box is located. I called the landlord, and followed his scavenger-hunt-like directions to the fuse box. I ended up downstairs, in a part of the building I didn't even know existed- a part I'd care not to venture to that often.

Lesson: Know where your fuse box is and how many things you can plug in before you trip a circuit.

21 October 2008

Ugmonk


Another designer turned shirt maker, check out Ugmonk.

While those shirts are very exciting, I want to mention that my dear Jenny (who I went to school with) left yesterday to go on tour with Ludo for a month. She'll be in charge of their merch during shows, inventory and some of their design work. I wish her lots of coffee and whatever sleep she can get!

15 October 2008

Check It: Cupcake Beanie


In good conscience, I can't wear this. I'd look like a five-year-old. No one, including myself, would ever take me seriously again. That doesn't mean I can't admire it from afar...

13 October 2008

"Orange" Couch


Friday night, I picked up my couch.

Free items from family members are great in my book. I need a couch, they have one they don't want. It's a win-win situation.

I've been anticipating the couch arrival for months now. It's my gramma's old couch, and was being stored in my aunt's basement. I spoke to my aunt about the couch several times. Each time, she described the couch as being "orange." Above is a shot of the actual couch. You will see that, yes, it's orange... it's also green and beige. And, oh it's got a pattern! How the pattern was never mentioned in any conversation amuses me.

Regardless, the shape of the couch is great and it's quite comfortable. I got a cover for the couch over the weekend. Once I have it figured out, I'll post a shot of the couch makeover.

10 October 2008

The Ampersand Shoppe


It's a simple site, but ooooh how I love it. Check out The Ampersand Shoppe.

"It all started with a relatively simple problem. We wanted Ampersands on Tees, and we couldn't find them. Those we could find, we hated, and those few we didn't hate..." Music to my ears.

Take a look and pick your favorite ampersand. The Baskerville one makes me all warm & fuzzy.

07 October 2008

06 October 2008

Movin' In


I'm tired, I have random and mysterious bruises, I may still have paint in my hair and I'm crazy happy.

Running down the weekend:
Friday- cleaned all day, saw Beck at the Aragon
Saturday- painted all day, ordered giant pizza (pictured above)

Sunday- painted some more, put together IKEA items


My new place doesn't quite feel like it's mine yet, but it's starting too. My couch and bookshelves wont appear for a while, but all the items to make it livable are there. I've met the neighbors, I've got the locks figured out and I'm settling in. Give it two more weeks.

One more note, my friends and family are amazing. They worked their butts off for me, and I very much appreciate it.

02 October 2008

Dirt War


Last night, I went by the new place to clean some. I quickly found out the difference between moving into an old place and moving into a new place. I cleaned out all the cabinets in the kitchen. The top ones were a breeze. Let's just say that when I pulled out the bottom drawers to clean, I saw things. It was gross, really gross. I cleaned away dirt that was at least two years old. I found old shopping bags and children's drawings. I changed the water in my bucket time and time again. I'm going to be haunted for a while by images of dust bunnies and grime. They do look good now, spic and span.

I also don't know what all my keys do yet. I have seven keys in total. There are gates, a garage, front, side and back doors. Basically, I live in a fortress. This is ideal from a safety standpoint. However, from a first night trying to get inside standpoint, it poses issues. I still don't know which key works the bottom lock on my back door. I thought about calling the landlord, but I will not accept defeat on the first night.

I've got another load of things to drop off tonight. Tomorrow, I'm taking the day off. My mom, the guru of cleanliness and household knowledge, is coming with. Saturday is painting day, and Sunday is whatever needs to be done day.

Bring it on, dirt. Bring it on.

29 September 2008

Progress Report



I pick up my keys this afternoon- major excitement. I'm ready to be done with moving. As the move gets closer, I get more dumb, I mean dumber.

Saturday, I went to the movies. While waiting for my friends, I decided to use the bathroom. With so many things on my mind, I walked into the bathroom without really thinking about it. When I walked in, an older Hispanic man gave me a really dirty look. I got the dirty look because I walked into the men's room. Smooth move.

Sunday, I made my way to Target. I got a shoe rack and a few bins. When I was at the register I reached into my bag for my wallet. I didn't have my wallet with me. I left it at home, along with my Target gift cards. I had to leave my cart with guest services, drive home, hope I didn't get a ticket because I didn't have my license and then drive all the way back to Target.

If this move gets postponed, I will require 24-hour supervision. I'm going to start walking into walls and drooling. Bear with me people.

25 September 2008

Check It: Paper Critters


DIY online paper toy creator!?

Paper Critters
lets you design, share, print and assemble your own paper toys. It's pretty amazing and far too addicting. I played around with it this afternoon. It may take a while to load, but it's fairly easy to use and loads of fun.

In honor of tonight's premiere of The Office, check out the Dwight Schrute critter.

22 September 2008

Fall Cardigan Roundup


Happy first day of fall! Even though it's supposed to be in the 80s today, it's officially the first day of fall. For me, fall conjures thoughts of hiking, camping, crisp air and sweaters. What better way to welcome fall than with a cardigan roundup?

Clockwise:

Visiting Professor Cardigan
Cashmere keepsake cardigan
Lovebirds Cardigan
Parisian Hooded Duster
Sparkle Cashmere Cropped Cardigan
BDG High Low Hem Cardigan

19 September 2008

Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!


Ahoy, Maties! Bet you didn't know it was National Talk Like A Pirate Day! Well, blow me down, how fun is that? Check out the official blog for some pirate phrases, links and events near you.

16 September 2008

"Due" Not Enter (Continued)


Check out this "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks post from Sunday! Look familiar? It took about two months, but they used my submission. How sweet is that?

12 September 2008

Friday Count Down


25 days till the new Oasis CD comes out
18 days till I move
20 days till Beck plays at the Aragon
7 days till I DJ the football game at my old high school
1 day till the Renegade Craft Fair
2 hours till the weekend

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