30 September 2009

Playlist Wednesday: It's History



My dad is a history buff. The Civil War, Ancient Babylon, The Dark Ages- he lives for that type of stuff. While I find history interesting, I don't really retain the information like he does. I still love learning about it, and that's why I get excited when I find out a song I like was inspired by an actual historical event. That's right people, musicians don't just write songs about love and romance, sometimes they're brainy. I found a few songs that you may be familiar with, but I'm hoping I can shine a little light on their meaning:

Holland, 1945- Neutral Milk Hotel
Inspired by the story of Anne Frank. Who, we all know, hid from the Germans during World War II.

Sunday Bloody Sunday- U2
Based on Sunday, January 30, 1972. When British paratroopers killed thirteen Irish citizens at a civil rights protest in Northern Ireland.

The Big Three Killed My Baby- The White Stripes
Not quite as dramatic as the last two, but it's the automaker Preston Tucker, who was run out of business by the auto industry's "Big Three" (General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford).

Scarborough Fair / Canticle - Simon & Garfunkel
Scarborough Fair was a popular gathering in Medieval times that attracting traders and entertainers from all over the country and lasted 45 days.

Don't Drink the Water- DMB
Inspired by the European slaughter of Native Americans, when the colonization of North America nearly wiped out the Native Americans


Does everyone feel just a little smarter now? Who says you can't learn anything worthwhile on the Internet.




29 September 2009

Check It: Paperwink Stamps



If you're not into address labels, that's okay. It's hard to find ones that suit you and aren't tacky. I recently came across Paperwink. Aside from their cute notebooks and stationary, Paperwink carries custom rubber stamps. Just under twenty dollars will buy you one of these. For their level of customization this is a great deal. Ink is sold separately, but you can pick ink up anywhere from your local craft store to Target.

28 September 2009

Sunday Cooking Fest



Friends, I went on a food binger yesterday. I cooked up a storm!

I wanted to make my parents an anniversary cake. I decided it would be fitting to used the pans my mom gave me to add an 'awww' factor. Without sounding full of myself, I know how to bake a cake so this wasn't a huge task. I opted to make my raspberry cake. It's a double layer vanilla cake, with a raspberry cream cheese frosting. Things were off to a fantastic start. I made the frosting, made the batter and put the cakes in the oven. About thirty minutes later, I took them out. They wouldn't budge from the pans. No amount of jiggling, hitting, or prying would get them out of the pans. It was like I didn't use spray at all. I still can't figure it why this happen. I sort of blame my mom's pans. The cakes turned into garbage cake. I called my mom and explained that, in a loving gesture, I made her a garbage cake but could still bring her a bowl of frosting if she wanted it. Surprisingly, she took the offer and even went so far as to say she'd bake a cake this morning and use my frosting on it. Oh, mom. Essentially, she is making her own anniversary cake. I'm conflicted.

After the cake debacle, I was hungry. I made enchiladas. They turned out awesome, but I had two tortillas left. I invented dessert enchiladas. Take a tortilla, fry it for a few seconds, cover it in cinnamon and sugar ( I used sugar in the raw and white sugar) then put a little ice cream inside. I opted for Chunky Monkey. Sweet Betty Crocker, it was good!
The guilt from the garbage cakes still hung heavy on my bruised baking ego. I had a package of the Nestle Toll House cookies, the kind you break apart and just stick in the over. I made those too.

Maybe I got carried away. Maybe I'm nuts in the kitchen. In the end it was fun, and whatever raccoon  who decides to raid my garbage can is in for a tasty cake treat.

P.S. I know that pictures of everything I cooked would help, but my camera is temporarily out of commission. I left the charger somewhere in New York. I'm in the process of ordering another. Boo.

25 September 2009

Friday Links & Slide Dog

I don't feel like it's Friday. Normally, I'm busting at the seems. Today I'm fairly sedated. It's fine. I don't have too much planed this weekend. There's going to be a lot of catching up on things. I've got to clean the bathroom (bah), and I want to make some more headway on my website. Time to hunker down and get things done, maybe.

In an attempt to make it feel more like Friday, let's take a look at slide dog. He knows how to have a good time.



Slide dog didn't do it for you? Try this links, and have a happy weekend:
I want a submarine cave too
Dress swoon
Double Dress Swoon
Tuesday was elephant appreciation day?
Ruby slipper auction
Keyboard of my dreams
Pretty brooch
Smore Popsicles 
Stylish fire extinguishers
My gramma has this in her living room

24 September 2009

Check It: New Anthropologie Items



Anthropologie, you've done it again. I already love you, and you find a way to me swoon like we just met. Sweet banana pancakes, these are great outfits. The layers, the colors, the tights. Did I mention the tights? One of these days, I'll get my wealthy benefactor and he or she will buy me an Anthropologie store. It could totally happen. Until then, I'll ogle these items. You should ogle too. Ogle them here.

P.S. If you know of a benefactor looking for a young ingenue, tell them where to find me.

23 September 2009

Puffins and Shouting


I haven't done this in while, and I was all over Google today.

Things I Googled Today:
cm inch conversion
The Kinks- Autumn Almanac
Scarborough Fair
Sad Leaf
Happy Yell
Shouting
Cupcake
Puffin
Bears
Cupcake Camp

Playlist Wednesday: Musicians Think Fall Is Sad


We are two days into fall. How is everyone doing? If you aren't taking the transition well, I've found you are not alone.

Everyone loves summer. It's all sunshine and good times. Fall is great though. However, when I looked for fall songs, it became more depressing than I anticipated. Dead leaves on the Dirty Ground? Wake me up when September ends? It's all a bit bleak. Apparently, the music community and I do not agree about Autumn. Who doesn't love crunching leaves under their feet? How has no one written a song about that? Am I in the minority by saying fall is my favorite season, or is fall just not exciting enough to have happy songs written about it? I'm not sure, but if I find happier fall songs, I'll share them. Until then, I give you my "Musicians Think Fall is Sad" playlist.



Because this couldn't be 100% depressing, I found a much happier playlist. Paste Magazine put together a love themed playlist inspired by Zooey & Ben getting married. You know I had to share it. Listen here.

22 September 2009

Happy Anniversary!


I nearly forgot to post this. Yesterday was my parent's anniversary! They've been married for forty-one years now. Everyone say, "Aww..." I may be a delinquent blogger, but I gave them a call yesterday so I'm not a delinquent daughter.

Shopping Vicariously: Secretly, I'm A Crazy Cat Lady


First impressions are interesting. A person may appear collected and put together, but you never know what kind of crazy they have tucked away. Sometimes you need to spend time with people before their quirks some out. In honor of all things quirky, I've got another Shopping Vicariously for you. This party ensemble has a deep, dark secret. Initially, you might think the owner is ready for a night out, that's she's a regular party girl. Nope. I call it, "Secretly, I am a crazy cat lady."

Ensemble:
Feather dress for cats to play with
Big coat to keep treats in
Large purse to possibly stash a cat in
Fish necklace to dangle in front of cats
Flats- to make a getaway in case people discover you're crazy
Sunglasses- to try and hide all that crazy
Hello Kitty cell phone
Meow Mix

21 September 2009

Aww...



Zooey Deschanel and Ben Gibbard got married this weekend. I am dying to see what her dress looked like. I can only assume my invitation was lost in the mail. > More Info.

Peace Out Summer



It's official, today is the last day of summer. Tomorrow starts fall. Call it fall, call it autumn, call it whatever you want. I am please with this transition. Aside from fall being my favorite reason (cardigans, leaves changing, hiking without sweating as much), I finished up everything on my summer to do list. I went to an outdoor Shakespeare play, had a picnic on the boulevard, went to the beach, took a bike ride along the lake front, went to Great America, went to BLU, had a weekend getaway in NYC and even had an excursion to Indiana. Not too shabby of a summer if do I say so myself. I have a few things lined up for fall, but it's nothing like summer. Fall is time to buckle down and get back to business. No more lazy summer days. Get things done before winter comes. Fall makes me want to cook too. I get my bake on. I think apples, lots of cinnamon, pumpkin and spices. To get fall rolling, here are a few recipes that have caught my fancy:

Fresh Fruit Cake
Baked Apples
Pumpkin Pinwheel Cookies

18 September 2009

Pre-Indiana Link Party


'Sup! It's Friday, and as soon as the clock hits 5, I am on my way to pick up Natalie and we are off to Indiana. The weekend should be fun. I don't know what you have in store for yourself, but I hope it's full of vast and amazing things. Let's start the weekend off in typical Friday fashion. Here are ten things I found on the Internet this week, and I hope you enjoy them too.

French Bulldog has a problem
Must try these
Geography Buttons
Fancy cupcake wrappers
Sketch your heart out
Opening sequence for Typophile
Animals with Lightsabers
Fridge Makeover
Mice Potatoes
$75 Cupcake

17 September 2009

Story Time: I'm Dumb Again



I have been off my game lately. Last night, I burnt half my dinner and under-cooked the other half. I never do that. My evening was unraveling like a cheap sweater. I tried not to let it bug me, so I took a shower and put myself in temporary denile. Don't look at the dirty dishes. Don't think about burnt and/or raw food. Just take a shower and then see if things matter as much. It kind of worked, but when I came out the shower the apartment still smelled charred couscous. Gross.

The beginning of the week wasn't much better. I told a few of you this story already. I have a shirt I purchased about three months ago from Target. I saw it on the hanger and bought it without trying it on. It looked really cute, but it was an impulse buy. When I got home and tried it on, I couldn't get over how horrible it looked. The neckline, the sleeves, everything was wrong. Target never does that to me, and I couldn't figure out what was wrong. I showed it to Natalie one day, she didn't get it either. I planned to take it back, but part of me wanted to figure out how to make it work. Three months went by and I tried it on again. This time I noticed that that pockets were oddly placed. They were in the back. Huh. It was almost like the shirt was... wait for it... yep, I'd been trying the shirt on backwards for three months. You see, the buttons go down the back, not the front. What is wrong with me guys? I'm approaching twenty-five and my brain is reverting again. I'm in a stupid phase. Here's hoping next week is smarter.

On a smarter note, my landlord dropped off the lease for next year. I'm excited to sign it and can't believe I've been at my place for a year now. There's no existing clause in the lease for a tenant being evicted because they're stupid, so it looks like things are going to work out!

16 September 2009

Playlist Wednesday: Hello, Boys


You knew this was coming right? Last week was all about the girls, so it's only fair to give the boys their turn.


MusicPlaylist
MySpace Music Playlist at MixPod.com



In other music news:

Ludo's offshoot band, The New Heathers have put up two songs on their site. Give them a listen.

Muse released their new album, The Resistance, yesterday

Paramore's new album, Brand New Eyes, comes out on the 29th

The Decemberists come to town October 8th at the Riveria

Ludo
& Ha Ha Tonka come to town October 23rd at the Bottom Lounge

15 September 2009

CCP 2009 is coming. Are you ready?



CCP stands for Cookie Cake Pie. Still need clarification? It's a cake baked on top of a cookie that rests in a pie shell. I found the recipe on Cake Spy yesterday and it fascinates me. I ran it by a few other people, and it seems to have the same effect on everyone. They think their teeth are going to fall out if they try it, but they still want to try it. Sometime this fall I am going to grapple with the cookie cake pie. It's going to be sweet.

14 September 2009

Glee Inspired Roundup

It was a good weekend. I got my down comforter from IKEA and had a blast at Renegade with Natalie. I didn't get much at the fair, but I did purchase a checkbook cover from Cake Spy. Check out her Etsy shop for all sorts of cupcake fun.

On to today's topic at hand. I caught last week's episode of Glee and actress Jayma Mays plays the school's guidance counselor. She wears amazing clothes and accessories on the show. Last week she wore a beaded necklace with a large flower on it:


I love it. I am obsessed with it. I did a little homework and found a few similar ones on Etsy. So how about a Glee inspired roundup?

Clockwise:
Orange Poppy & Saphire Blue
Imogen Necklace
Out of the Blue Necklace
Red Rose & Turquoise
Purple & Pearl Dahlia
Coal & Ivory

11 September 2009

Friday Links & Sensory Overload



Happy Friday! I am ready for a weekend of sensory overload. Tomorrow, my mom and I are going to IKEA. We go once or twice and year, and it's always a blast. In my mom's words, "I have a frozen pizza for your father. He can fend for himself. We are going out." Oh, mom.

What could be more exciting than IKEA? This weekend is also the Renegade Craft Fair! Natalie and I are going on Sunday. This will be our third year attending the DIY extravaganza. Last year the rain came down in buckets for Renegade and half the vendors didn't show up. We are looking are clear skys this weekend, so crafts away!



I hope your weekend is great. Why not start it off by seeing what I found on the good old Internet this week:

Must bake these
Sorry, Anthropologie, but this is creepy
Jacket Love
Banana hanger?
Cheesy doormat
Free Opera Friday
Now I want ribbon
Color coded stairs
Encyclopedia of typefaces
How 20 popular sites looked when they launched

10 September 2009

Playlist Thursday: What's In A Name?


Yes. It's playlist Thursday. Yes, I normally do this on Wednesday, but yesterday it never dawned on me that it was Wednesday. Taking Monday off messed me up. If I could go back in time and do the playlist yesterday, I would. But if I could go back in time, I wouldn't be blogging. I'd be off stalking Gutenberg or trying to be Jane Austen's BFF. In lieu of my brain lapse, today's playlist is double the length. That's right people, you get ten songs for the price of five!

There are dozens upon dozens of songs named after girls. There is an "Amanda" song by the '80s band Boston. I didn't include it, but it's quite the power ballad. I'll say it, I like hearing my name in a song. Maybe you do too, and maybe I included your name in this week's list.


MusicPlaylist
MySpace Music Playlist at MixPod.com

09 September 2009

Check It: Brett Is A Girl


I am in love with these two prints. I know, I fall in love daily with something, but I really do think these are great. They're so simple and girly, just ink and colored pencil. They make me wish I had mad technical drawing skills. Look at that hair! The artist, Brett Manning, is Chicago-based. Woot! Even if you don't like her work, how can you not like the name of her site? Brett Is A Girl. Yes, you are Brett.

For more information, check out her site or her Etsy shop.

Above:
Windy
Spring

08 September 2009

I painted


I hope everyone had a fabulous three-day weekend. I suspended my healthy eating with a trip to my parents' house for ribs and coconut cake. I regret nothing. Then I spent some quality time with gramma. She watched Titantic and told me how it's inaccurate.

I also painted! I've been wanting to do something with a silhouette for a while, and liked the idea of collaging with book pages. The pages came from a book that was given to me in high school. I had a friend who worked in the school library and would give me books the school was throwing out. I didn't feel horrible about tearing the book up. It's not a classic novel, and it's been sitting on my shelf for about five years. It will do more good on my wall then on the shelf. The silhouette is based on Jane Austen. I know, Austen + book pages = literary nerd fest. I don't care. I hung it in my bathroom, and it makes me really happy.

04 September 2009

Design Revelation + Links

Yesterday I had a design revelation. I still want my chandelier wall decal. However, I don't like the idea if purchasing it, putting it on my wall and then moving a year later. There is no taking it off and on again, it's too permanent on the wall. Well, I don't have to put it on the wall! I want to put it on a mirror. As long as the mirror and the decal are similar in dimensions I think its going to look fantastic! It won't go down for a few weeks, but when it does photos are guaranteed.



Since it's Friday, how about some linkage to get your weekend going?

Sand restaurant
Pictorial Websters
Again?
Dress love
Chalkboard decals
In love with this tea packaging
Couture Muppets?
Flat pets
7 reasons your breath may stink, even though you brush
Play here

I hope you find something interesting there, and I hope you enjoy your three-day weekend!

03 September 2009

Reasons I Shouldn't Be Cranky Today

It might be one of those mornings. I'm cranky, there was no parking at all this morning and my quarterly taxes are due soon. At this point, I'm not entirely convinced today is going to work out. Prove, me wrong Thursday, prove me wrong. I might as well be proactive about it, in an attempt to ward off the cranky here are a few things that might work.

1. Watching this. Hall & Oates + Joseph Gordon-Levitt + Animated bird = Much less cranky



2. Thinking about IKEA. I know. Material possessions to not make for happy, but my mom and I are going on our annual IKEA trip in a few weeks. I love, love going through the mock kitchens and living rooms and pretending like I live there. I want a down comforter to keep me extra warm this winter. Plus, I love watching my mom at IKEA, she's like a little kid with sensory overload. Here is the current IKEA wish list:

Down comforter
Duvet cover
Replacement rug for the bathroom
Saute pan with lid

New plants
Trash bin for bathroom
Vase
Knives


3. My food experiment is going really well. I had grilled chicken and broccoli last night. Breakfast has been organic milk & granola with a banana. So far, I feel the same, but I like knowing I'm only putting good things in my body.

4. Remembering it's Thursday! Just one more day and then it's the weekend. A three-day weekend at that. Ahhh, so much better now.

01 September 2009

Wednesday Playlist: Red Carpet Music



There are more than a handful of celebrities who, at one point or another, cross over into music. Some of them make decent music, while others should stick to their day job. In this week's exploration of celebrity based bands, we've got both Schwartzman brothers, Jared Letto, Juliette Lewis and of course Zooey Deschancel. I've chosen some of the more popular celebrity bands, but don't think that's it. If you want to explore this further do you know about Keanu Reeves band Dogstar? Bruce Willis and The Accelerators? Steven Segal and Thunderbox? Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band? What about the Bacon Brothers? I'm pretty sure Jada Pinkett Smith was in some sort of metal band for a while too. If you do a little digging there are dozens of bands. Listener beware, not all of these are all gold. There is a reason you haven't heard of some of them.


MusicPlaylist
MySpace Playlist at MixPod.com

Healty Dinner, what?


I made dinner last night and I didn't use any bad ingredients. Whole grains, fresh veggies, no ingredients I couldn't pronounce. I purchased farm-raised tilapia and seasoned it with salt, pepper, chili and garlic, then I grilled it (I love you George Foreman Grill). Next I made whole grain quinoa with corn, tomatoes, lemon, garlic, pine nuts and basil. I used organic corn, cooked it, then took the kernels off. No canned corn for me. I even grew the basil myself. That's right!

I'm proud and it was delicious. I also made a lot, so variations of this will be my lunch and dinner for the next few days. Rest assured though, I'll inform you of my next healthy meal.

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