5 Things I Love – Aug 29

image for weekly list of five things I'm currently loving in life, music, art, etc.

So, apparently I forgot that Monday was Monday. And Tuesday was, well, Tuesday. So finally today, here’s my 5 Things I Love for this week.

1. The Return of Superheroes

Maybe it’s the whole tomboy growing up with brothers & no sisters thing, but I’m really enjoying the resurgence of the superhero (even if superheroines are more often than not scantily clad with unrealistic dimensions). So to continue in the theme of the shirt from last week, I recently gave in to my nerd tendencies and picked up a new tote bag. Not just any tote bag, but one featuring Thor, the Hulk, Spiderman, Wolverine & Captain America along with the slogan ‘I only date superheroes’. This one is similar (but I like mine better). I figure if I tote my tote around long enough people may stop asking me how it is that I’m single ;)

2. Bear Cub

I was talking music with one of my co-workers a week or so ago and, based upon my enjoyment of Mumford & Sons, she recommended that I try out Bear Cub. She was right. I listened through the link she sent me on Grooveshark (the modern day answer to cd sharing) and now I’m passing along the recommendation to you all. Unless you don’t dig the folk/indie/pop vibe, but you shouldn’t be afraid to expand your musical horizons.

3. Essence C in Raspberry

It’s the TopCare knock-off vitamin C powder, but what I love about it is that it really tastes like raspberries. Also, less expensive than Emergen-C (though I do buy that too at times) and great for the upcoming cold season.

4. Captain America

FINALLY I made it to see Captain America last night and just as I suspected I loved it. Great aesthetic, fun characters, explosions, a love story… now just to wait to see what happens in Avengers ;)

5. Blunder: Why Smart People Make Bad Decisions by Zachary Shore

I got introduced to this book right after I made the switch to UX last year, but it is only just recently that I started reading it myself. Written in more of a story format, Shore uses examples from real life and literature to explore cogition traps or ‘blunder’s like causefusion (confusing the causes of complex events) and static cling (an inability to accept change). A great book to read for anyone who leads or has to work with other people.

5 Things I Love – Aug 15

image for weekly list of five things I'm currently loving in life, music, art, etc.

1. Louis Vuitton Creatures by Billie Achilleos

These critters are fabulous by nature with their oh so high end materials, but even more so they are awesome works of art and cute to boot.

2. The Return of Ankle Boots and Booties

I’m guessing that perhaps this is due to the influence of Steampunk working it’s way out to the rest of the population, but I have recently noticed that lace up ankle boots much like those of the Victorian era and turn of the century have found there way back into fashion. I, for one, am stoked about this. Great detailing and boots – what’s not to love. A couple of examples of this are Madden Girl’s Devotid Bootie, which is a flat, and the Gwyneth Meg Bootie which has a modern buckle twist and 3.5 inch heel. I’m also loving the BX by Bronx Maron Bootie with it’s slight heel, side buckle and stitch detailing.

3.Free Classics for Mobile Reading

Blame it on ‘The Great & Powerful Oz’, which just started filming in Michigan a few weeks back, but I love that I can get all of Frank Baum’s books along with a host of other classics for free on my iPod touch which means no worries about interloaning or late fees while I sate my curiosity on what Baum has to say about the Wizard beyond The Wizard of Oz. Of course, if you’re interested in the Wizard as well and don’t want to download them all seperately, you can get bundled versions like this Kindle edition for $1 or less.

4.Back to School Shopping Season

Despite my apparently youthful appearance (I often get asked if I’m a student) I don’t actually do back to school shopping for school, but the sales are great even for those of us not attending this fall. For instance, my printer recently decided that blue was the one and only color worth printing in. With the sales going on for school I was able to get a nice new printer that will print in a full array of colors for 45% off the retail price which is pretty darn awesome.

5.Pearson Cooking Classics Quick-Cooking Black Beans

These would be the beans that I used in yesterday’s black beans & rice recipe. I don’t particularly care for beans in general, but black beans are on my willing to consume list and these not only cook fast but have a great taste too.

5 Things I Love – Aug 8

image for weekly list of five things I'm currently loving in life, music, art, etc.

1. Nintendo Cartridge Clocks

Nostalgia meets utility in these re-purposed bits of childhood memories. Of course, choosing your game may be as difficult as beating that final level was back when Nintendo was the latest and greatest in technology ;)

2. Sara Bareilles Kaleidoscope Heart

I may have mentioned ‘King of Anything’ in a previous post, but really I love the whole album. It’s got a great jazzy feel and lyrics that surprise you from time to time. I enjoy the inclusion of songs that are just bit different like ‘Not Alone’ with it’s darker, more bluesy tone.

3. Raspberry Pretzel Cheesecake Fudge

Yes, this oh so succulent item does exist. I came across it while at Cabelas this past weekend and one bite had me hooked. I don’t know who thought of it, but the layers of raspberry syrup, salty pretzels and cheesecake fudge are scrumptious.

4. Porcelain Berry Basket

I suppose it only makes sense with my love of fresh food from the farmer’s market that I would have an affinity for these basket/dishes. They’re simple, fun, functional and the artist makes them in several glazes for those who may want something a little off from white.

5. Chick-fil-a

Considering that this was listed among my top want-to-dos for my fam’s trip down to Pennsylvania this past weekend, it just seemed wrong not to include Chick-fil-a on the list today. We don’t have any in Michigan, but my friends got my hooked in college and now it’s only rarely (usually on trips to visit my brother) that I get the opportunity to enjoy one of their original chicken sandwiches, waffles fries and a sweet carrot & raisin salad.

5 Things I Love – Aug 1

image for weekly list of five things I'm currently loving in life, music, art, etc.

1. A Perfect Day by Natasha Bedingfield

I had forgotten how much I love this hidden single from her Unwritten album. Maybe I’m just a bit different, but I think we can all find things that appeal to our inner selves in the song, especially with lines like “all the mundane has brought out the rebel I was born to be”.

2. Turner St. Outdoor Theater

This past Friday was the last show of the summer, but the gals and I had a fabulous fun ladies’ night catching their showing of The Princess Bride. Next summer’s line-up is already in the works including recent classics like Seabiscuit and Little Miss Sunshine.

3. Apple Cider Cinnamon Popcorn

What would a night at the movies be without some tasty popcorn? Luckily, Cravings Popcorn in Old Town wouldn’t consign Turner Street visitors to such a fate. While there are a variety of lovely flavors available, this is one of my favorites :)

4. Proenza Schueler Fall 2011 Belts

I spied these whilst browsing Marie Claire and while they fall outside of what I’m willing to spend on a belt, the color contrasts and funky shape make them fun and different (they’re #14 on the accessories page).

5. Madeleines

I was first introduced to this light, airy French cookie at Starbucks and was reminded just how good they are today. In fact, I think I may have to add to my ‘recipes to try’ list.

5 Things I Love – July 18

image for weekly list of five things I'm currently loving in life, music, art, etc.

1. ‘Believe’ by Transiberian Orchestra

One of my favorite songs from their Night Castle album, I was geeked to hear it live at one of their concerts last year and it comes up pretty regularly in my iPod playlists. It’s not just the song I love, though. It’s Tim Hockenberry’s singing it. He’s got a fabulously raspy voice that makes me think of late nights at smoky piano bars. Not that I’ve really done that myself, but that’s what it puts me in mind of none the less.

2. Clinton Kelly

Host of TLC’s What Not to Wear, fashion guru and funny guy. I’ve now had the opportunity to hear him speak twice and he was fabulous both times. Now I just need to get his books, which I’m sure are great, funny reads. After all, the most recent one is Oh No She Didn’t. Unfortunately, I’m sure she did or she wouldn’t have ended up in the book ;)
Also, the post about his talk at this year’s lia sophia conference will go live tomorrow. is up now!

3. Trader Joe’s Mango Butter

Mangos are my friend. I love them. The problem is getting mangoes that are in decent shape up here in the Midwest. Enter mango butter. The wonderful taste of mango in a tasty spread for those mango-less times in life. It’s also great for cooking to give a bit of that creamy fruit flavor to a dish.

4.Retro Bikes

I’m currently bike shopping and I must say I love the retro inspired bikes that have hit the market. It started when I took note some of the Cruiser styles from Schwinn which are at Walmart. Then there’s the lovely offerings from Velobis and a multitude of other places. Thankfully I’ve got a price cap or this search would be far harder than it already is.

5. Vanessa Mae

In a recent scroll through my iTunes artist I stumbled upon Vanessa Mae once more and realized I still love her music as much as I did when I first was introduced back in high school. A classically trained violinist, she brings a modern techno feel to her music that I quite enjoy. It doesn’t hurt that I love violin. If I ever decided to pick up a new instrument most likely that would be it (though percussion has a certain appeal as well).

5 Things I Love – June 6

image for weekly list of five things I'm currently loving in life, music, art, etc.

1. Irish Brown Bread

Every Saturday a very nice gent from the Brighton branch of Great Harvest Bread Company comes up to our farmer’s market and tempts us all with the lovely aroma of fresh bread. Usually I am able to resist, but I actually needed bread last week and got their Irish brown bread on his recommendation. It’s amazing. I’m not usually a huge straight bread person but for this I will actually make toast in the morning.

2. Mumford & Sons’ ‘Sigh No More’

I fell in love with Mumford & Sons the first time I heard ‘Little Lion Man’ on the radio. Buying the album has just solidified this. Obviously I’m not alone since their US tour is sold out.

3. Elephant Ears

Every June Curwood festival rolls around bringing with it a mixture of trepidation, annoyance, bemusement and anticipation. The first two are easily explained by my living right in the middle of it. My parking lot becomes vendor space, loiterers abound for days before and people behave stupidly. The bemusement lies in the watching of said people. Especially when combined with the People of Curwood site, but this is supposed to be about elephant ears. Every year those vendors come bearing them and, I admit it, I can’t resist. Fried batter covered in buttery, cinnamon sugary sweetness? Yes, please. The best vendor at Curwood is the Lutheran Church’s old trailer. Not only do theirs cost $1 less than the others, but you can literally see them roll out the dough before frying it to golden brown perfection. Well worth the wait for a once a year treat.

4. Firefly

The sadly truncated TV series of course. I was in college at the time that it was airing and so only caught a few episodes at the time, but I remember well my family raving about it. A couple of years ago my brother was kind enough to gift me with the season for my birthday and now it’s a mainstay for those times when I decide to actually use my television.

5. Hatch Show Print

I was talking to one of my lia sophia ladies last night who happens to be in Nashville for the Country Music Festival, which reminded me of my favorite place to go when I’m in downtown Nashville – Hatch Show Print shop. Located right on Broadway just a few blocks north of the river, Hatch does amazing handcrafted letterpress posters and has since 1879. There’s a great 8 minute video about the shop from the Smithsonian that you can watch on YouTube.

5 Things I Love – May 9

image for weekly list of five things I'm currently loving in life, music, art, etc.

1. Spring

Spring has finally arrived! Ok, so really Spring arrived with the rain storms and the mud and all of that, but by Spring I mean that the sun has actually been shining during the day and the temperature has been in the 60s. It’s glorious. Of course, the one negative side effect is that in terms of in-office seasons we have entered into the season of sub-arctic air conditioning. The budding trees and balmy afternoons are worth it.

2. Water Crackers

I don’t recall now which came first, my visits to the UK or my love of water crackers, but the first surely cemented the second. Water crackers with jam. Water crackers with Nutella. Water crackers with cucumber as they were presented at the Mother’s Day tea my mom and I attended this past weekend. I love them all.

3. Gypsy Cold Care

Rumor has hit our office of the zombie virus of 2011 coming our way (ones of the banes of the open office space), which has reminded me of my love of Traditional Medicinals Gypsy Cold Care tea. While peppermint and cinnamon may sound like an odd combination, it actually has a good flavor and helps fight off congestion. Perhaps now is the time for a preventative stock up…

4. Kermit’s Bein’ Green

Somehow a co-worker and I got into a discussion of our love for this song this past week so I thought I’d share the love beyond our office. It’s definitely one of my favorite Muppet songs. There is also an entertaining variation of the song via Oscar the Grouch’s interpretation of being green that I came across while link searching. Thank you, YouTube suggestions bar for this discovery.

5. Farmer’s Market

I have written before of my love for farmer’s markets and ours opened this past Saturday which has me pretty stoked. In fact, I’m planning on doing a recipe series based on using farmer’s market foods like kale, swiss chard and whatever else appears as the crops roll in.

5 Things I Love – April 18

image for weekly list of five things I'm currently loving in life, music, art, etc.

1. Delivering Happiness

If you like a good read – read this book. If you’re involved in business of any sort – read this book. If you want to succeed in your chosen profession – read this book. Really, there’s a reason that it hit #1 on NYT Bestsellers. Tony Hsieh tells a great story about his journey to build Zappos starting all the way back with his childhood worm farm and in the process shares a lot of great lessons and tips not just about business but about life.

2. ‘You Never Let Go’ by Matt Redman

I learned this song awhile back and just recently it was reintroduced to my life. Even us glass half full people have down days and for me this song is a reminder that ‘through the calm and through the storm… in every high and every low, Lord, you never let go of me’, which is easy to lose sight of sometimes.

3. ‘Chicks Dancing’ Video

This past week Zoya Nail Polish put up this great video of their new spokeschick that is quirky, entertaining and cute. Never fear – not only is this video amusing but it is safe for the workplace and small children.

4. Knitted Dove

One of the things I love about Ideeli is that it introduces me to great new brands (or at least new to me), like Knitted Dove. The line is actually one I could envision my old roommate living in. It’s super cute, feminine and has a great aesthetic. The kind of pieces I might mix into my wardrobe for my less tomboy/bohemian/etc more embrace the femininity days. They’ve also got fun music videos for their Spring & Fall 2011 collections on their website.

5. My Mitten In Yours

One of my lovely friends of the blogging persuasion got engaged not all that long ago and has decided to blog her way towards a Michigan made wedding. She’s a great writer and I’m looking forward to reading along on this journey over the next year plus a few months.

The Arms of My Father

image of the band from an evening performance at Union University

A few days ago, one of my friends happened to mention in a tweet that he was listening to his old band – Hope Dialect (previously Greenwood) – on Grooveshark.

I was stoked.

I would not be surprised if many of you, my fair readers, are not acquainted with them despite their having played with a few better known bands (like The Plain White Ts). It was a very sad day when I found out that they were breaking up. This was not just because they’re friends, but because I truly enjoyed their music. In fact, if ever I actually pursued some sort of music performance career I would totally contact Art and ask him to write something for me.

I am willing to admit to a bias. After all, they’re both friends and fellow alumni of my alma mater. They are also the ones who showed me that I love the electric violin. Not only does it sound awesome, but it looks awesome too.

So, since I’m on this total nostalgic-remind-myself-of-the-wonders-of-greenwood kick I thought I’d share one of their songs on here. Unfortunately since I haven’t made the switch to my own domain yet, this link will actually open it up in Grooveshark. Just thought I’d warn you.

Arms of My Father (on Grooveshark)

The Arms of My Father

Broken arms of quiet stillness tend to cover me
Banished echoes of my soul
Careful polish makes the edges seem much sharper
But the rust inside still makes me cold
As I scream…

Father free me from the questions I am asking
Nothing new beneath the sun
What is freedom, what is purpose, what is real?
The cries of a heart undone

The dirt beneath my fingers reminds me of my searching
I’m only living breath by breath
A time to cry, a time to heal, a time to lift my eyes once more
Another hit of crystal meth

But you said nothing can tear me away from the arms of my father…
Nothing can tear me away from the arms of my father

She sits inside a wooden box of her devising
Bangs her head against a wall
Waiting for a knight in shining armor who isn’t coming
Softly damns her crystal ball
As she screams…

Father free me from the questions I am asking
Nothing new beneath the sun
What is freedom, what is purpose, what is real?
The cries of a heart undone

He’s broken in his body, heart and mind
Why did he try so hard?
It only took five minutes for his dreams to fall to pieces
Alone in a construction yard.

But you said nothing can tear me away…
Nothing can tear me away
Not angels, nor demons, nor death, nor life,
Not papers, nor stalemates, not the blood on the knife.
Not the height of the mountain, the depths of the sea,
Not you or your arguments, not even me..
Nothing can tear me away…
From the arms of my father

Though you rest in peace, Greenwood/Hope Dialect, I am glad to hear that your music lives on.

PS – You can find them on Pandora too.

5 Things I Love – Dec 20

image for weekly list of five things I'm currently loving in life, music, art, etc.

1. Mexican Hot Chocolate

I was first introduced to this tasty beverage while running an after school Cub Scout program in college. I no longer remember why we had a Mexican food theme going on that night, but I do remember how good the hot chocolate tasted and was reminded of it’s wonderfulness when my coworker brought some in for our decorating contest last Friday. Abuelita mixed into hot milk then followed with a dollop of homemade whipped cream. Mmmmm.

2. North Pole Express

The last train has run for the 2010 season, but I had the opportunity to go along on the 18th as a car host and I must say that we in car 5 had a great trip. Hot cocoa, singing with our wandering troubadour, a visit to Santa’s Village and more. It was a great dose of holiday magic.

3. Fun Snowflake Designs

Star Wars snowflakes recently made a veritable storm of chatter on the web for several days recently. While Ive not yet had the chance to give that awesomeness a try, I did lend my hands to some special snowflakes of a food theme for our decorating contest. We had turkeys and gingerbread people, forks and spoons and hot chocolate – all cut out in lovely white copy paper.

4. Singing with our Quartet

Even when it seems like the harmonies are a million years from coming together, singing with the ladies is a lot of fun. It’s also a stretching experience since I’m actually sing *gasp* harmony ;) Here are a few performances from this weekend ‘O Holy Night’ and ‘Winter Wonderland’. They are neither our best nor our worst, but they’re the ones I’ve actually got on video.

5. Calvin & Hobbes Snowmen

Yep, tis the season to pull out those comics and enjoy the snowmen anew. We haven’t gotten enough of the white fluffy stuff ourselves yet this winter to build any real life versions of Calvin’s creations, but I’m sure mother nature will take care of that soon enough. In the interim I’ll just have to enjoy this collection of other fan’s work gathered by Web Urbanist.

Previous Older Entries