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Wednesday
Apr282010

In My Own Backyard

Behind my house and our property there is vacant land, like a fire-lane or something.  Basically it is a bunch of weeds (fire hazard) and some people have decided to use it as their own personal dumping ground (jerks).  Although this space doesn't have much importance to most, I find beauty in it.  Many of the weeds have cute purple, yellow, and white flowers growing and so I like to think of it as my own personal field of wildflowers (this is a real stretch...realistically it is a field of dead grass).  I went exploring for awhile yesterday and brought along my camera.  I wish my brother and I could have grown up here as kids because we would have totally utilized this space.  We would have come up with all kinds of fun games to play back there.  

 

Here is what I saw and captured on my exploration.  

All of the yellow flowers are my absolute favorite.  I am a sucker for anything yellow.   

Friday
Apr232010

What I Want...Friday, April 23rd

It's Friday again and I have a whole new list of things for my dream weekend.  Of course, not all of these things will be my reality but this week, most of the items are pretty reasonable.  But this is a fantasy and as such, my list must comprise of some things that are slightly beyond my reach.  It just wouldn't be a fantasy without some fantasy!

 

Where I want to { go } :: Carlsbad Strawberry Company, Carlsbad, CA

This farm in Carlsbad, the Carlsbad Strawberry Company, allows you to pick your own strawberries and while some may see this as manual labor, I see it as old-fashioned fun!  I want to pick all of my own strawberries because those store packs just don't cut it...so many of them are bruised and gross.  Unfortunately Carlsbad is not super close to where I live so it is hard to justify the entire trip just for some strawberries but I'll need to figure out some other reasons to go and make a trip of it.  It's spring and strawberries just sound so yummy!  As you will see, they are kind of the theme for this week.

Photos: A Field Journal (this is the best blog ever by the way...each picture I look at I say, "I want to exist in that world!")

 

What I want to { do } :: bake White Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake

I found this recipe (plus an adorable styled photoshoot) on the blog Grey Likes Nesting.  First of all, this recipe calls for strawberries so that automatically got me excited.  Second, white chocolate is used and they get turned into these delicious-looking scone/biscuit things so that is another good sign right there.  I really like the fact that this is something everyone has heard of but it is being done in a different way.  I haven't baked a ton in my life but I've done some lately and I really enjoy it.  I'm just following recipes so I'm no Julia Child yet (I never will be either) but it has been fun to try out some new things.  

Photo: Grey Likes Nesting (also check out the companion blogs, Grey Likes Weddings and Grey Likes Baby...they are filled with awesome images), styled by Amy Boyd and Summer Watkins

 

What I want to { eat } :: White Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake

Well, if I'm going to be making the strawberry shortcake then I need to be excited to eat it also.  Doesn't it just look delicious?

Photos: Grey Likes Nesting

 

What I want to { buy } :: Otchipotchi Porcelain Swallows

These awesome little porcelain birdies are made by Otchipotchi and I just love their simplicity.  I discovered them while blog searching the other day and I can't stop thinking about them.  I can envision so many ways to style them and incorporate them into decor.  I don't know how much longer I will be able to resist getting a few of these guys.  And I need a flock, not just one.

Photo: Otchipotchi blog 

 

What I want to { hear } :: Catch the Wind & Hurdy Gurdy Man, Donovan

I've rediscovered Donovan and I'm lovin' it!  "Catch the Wind" is such an awesome song.  It is very Bob Dylan which is probably why I'm drawn to it (don't even get me started on how much I love Dylan).  I downloaded the songs from iTunes today and they've been on constant repeat.  I am definitely one to repeat a new song a thousand times before I move on to something else.  Thankfully I'm listening on my headphones so no one has to get annoyed.

Photo: Donovan website

 

What I want to { watch } :: Young Victoria

A period piece set in England...I'm sold!  Even if this had horrible reviews I'd probably still want to watch it.  The Regency and Victorian time periods in England are just fascinating to me...probably because everything is GORGEOUS! (or at least the movies always portray them as gorgeous)  And I love Emily Blunt...double win!  I rented the movie so I definitely will be watching this (maybe even tonight).  The DVD also contains a lot of special features, like historical information, costumes design/details, etc., so I definitely look forward to that stuff too. 

Photo: All Movie Photo

 

Time to commence "dream" weekend...starting now!

Tuesday
Apr132010

Mojo Stone

On Saturday I had the privilege to hear my brother's band, Mojo Stone, live for the first time.  I was blown away!  I have listened to my brother's music for years now and with each performance, I am even more awed by his talent and dedication as a musician.  Music is his life and his passion for what he does always inspires me.  But the most awesome part is that now he has helped compile this ridiculously brilliant band.  So not only is this kid crazy talented on his own, but he is even better at surrounding himself with other top quality musicians.  I was so impressed by their performance the other night, especially since the group hasn't been together long.  I have heard recordings of their songs before (they have pretty much been on constant repeat on my iTunes the last few days) and unlike many bands who do not sound as good live, Mojo Stone sounded just as good, if not better, than their recordings.  Their lead singer Natalie has one of the best voices I have ever heard and after seeing her Saturday, I can also say she has great stage presence while performing.  I had so much fun seeing them play and I cannot wait for the next performance.  I am so proud of the band, but especially my brother!

 

I was able to get a few pictures of their performance which took place in Los Angeles at a place called The Joint.  It was a pretty cool venue.  Most of my pictures, including these few I'm going to share, are really blurry because the club was dark.  These were the best ones by far. 

And one of just my amazing brother!!!!

Thank you Mojo Stone for putting on an awesome show!  I loved it and I cannot wait until next time.

Also thank you to my good friends Elysse and Cole for showing up.  I'm so glad you came and hopefully you had a good time and enjoyed the music.   

 

Want to hear more Mojo Stone?  Find them here:

Last fm

Facebook

Myspace

Twitter

Friday
Apr092010

What I Want...Friday, April 9th

This post is the first in a series for Fridays called "What I Want Fridays."  Like most people, I have a huge, long list about things I want to experience, places I want to go, and items that I want that will enrich my life.  If money were no object (this is SO far from my reality right now) this list would be much shorter because I would no longer have to wish for these things.  But not everything on my "wish list" is expensive.  Sometimes I want to just spend a day relaxing in a park.  Clearly, I could fulfill this wish on the cheap and go to a local park but more often than not, my true wish is to be relaxing in Paris in the Place des Vosges in Le Marais (the best park in Paris).  Ok, so I cannot fly off to Paris right now so instead, I have to learn to appreciate the things I can do.  But I can still dream.  These posts will document what I would like my weekends to be, in a perfect world.  So this is what my perfect weekend is looking like now:

 

Where I want to { go } :: The Ace Hotel, Palm Springs

Ok, this hotel is absolutely fantastic.  I've heard of it before but just recently started ogling over the pictures.  The mid-century modern vibe is perfect for Palm Springs and the decor and casual atmosphere is so inviting.  I always feel slightly uncomfortable in hotels, probably because of the hideous floral comforters, but this hotel would make me want to lounge around and relax.  There are branches of the Ace Hotel in Portland, Seattle, and New York (I'll add those to my wish list too) also.  Check out their website for all of the awesome room pictures and the 360 degree video. 

Photo: Ace Hotel 

 

What I want to { do } :: ride a bicycle with a basket

As long as I'm not pedaling up any wicked, intense hills, I really like bike riding.  It can be kind of peaceful.  Some of my best memories from studying abroad in Italy were the adventures we had while bike riding.  I cannot resist a bike with a basket...you need somewhere to put your stuff.  I have a couple of bikes at home but their tires are in desperate need of some air.  And my bikes don't have baskets.  And my house is surrounded by wicked, intense hills that would kick my butt.  This white bike has to be my favorite, it's beautiful.  Whenever I get some disposable income (eons from now) I would love to have a beauty like this.  

Photo: Fisher Bikes, Simple City 8 model 

 

What I want to { eat } :: penne + mint + parmesan + peas & mint mojitos

I am craving mint!  Mint mojitos are my favorite cocktail, by far.  They are so refreshing and now that the weather is warming up, it is mojito season (yes, there is a season).  The penne + mint dish was invented by my friend Pat who is a food genius.  I tried the recipe the other night and it is so good.  I don't have any specific quantities but here are some simple directions.  Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil.  Once the onions start to brown, add chopped mint and the peas.  When done, put this on top of your penne pasta and garnish with parmesan cheese.  Yum! 

Photos: Mojito from Buena Vida Comida found via foodgawker

Penne from The Zest found via foodgawker

 

What I want to { hear } :: Mykonos, Sun Giant EP, Fleet Foxes

I love the Fleet Foxes.  Their music has an old sound to it which I totally appreciate.  Mykonos is probably my favorite song from Sun Giant.  The only downside to this song is that it makes me want to go to Mykonos, Greece.  Add it to the list!

Photo: Fleet Foxes last.fm page

 

What I want to { buy } :: Blackbird, Fly 35mm Twin-Lens Reflex Camera

I am so intrigued by this camera.  I love the colors although I'd probably buy the white one.  It is a new take on a classic twin-lens reflex and the best part is it takes 35mm film instead of 120mm.  120mm has to be developed at specific camera stores while 35mm can be developed at Target.  It is not an unreasonable price, being only $120.  I could actually save up and buy this sometime soon...and I plan to.  Check out the website for photo examples.

Photo: Blackbird Fly Camera  

 

What I want to { watch } :: Mad Men, Season 3

Season 3 just came out on DVD which makes me so happy because I was only able to catch a few episodes when they originally aired.  The costumes, the acting, the photography...everything is just so beautiful and sexy and intriguing.  The best part is that I'll be able to watch all the episodes without having to wait each week. 

Photo: AMC Mad Men

 

Ok, so a few of my wishes could actually be accomplished this weekend.  Bring on the music, Mad Men, penne, and mojitos!

Friday
Apr092010

Book Junkie

I think I will always have some of that old-fashioned student in me, the student that wants to learn from books.  I love books and reading has always been a favorite pastime of mine.  And still today, despite the internet and instant-access to information, I enjoy reading as a way to learn a new skill.  Like most people, I usually turn to the internet to answer my questions.  When I started working on some embroidery projects, I quickly Googled a few easy stitch tutorials.  I got my answer, quick and easy, and I was embroidering in no time.  But despite the internet's ease, I love getting information from books, whether from the library or Barnes & Noble (although I enjoy the cheaper route of the library whenever possible).  To me books are the holy scriptures of whatever subject I'm interested in.  They are the experts and I put more trust in them than online sources, especially for important topics.  Of course books can be filled with as much worthless junk as what you would find online but considering someone took the time to get the book published, I feel the book should hold a little more authority.  When a new, serious idea pops into my head I rush out to find the best book on the subject (this is not always the best idea because it leads to impulse purchases which wreck havoc on my bank account).  I get all excited and start reading right away.  This is the research phase and it is an important part of my creative process.  I like to have a little background, know what I'm doing before I dive too deep into something.  Maybe I like learning from books because it forces me to slow down so that I can really process the task at hand.  Online information can begin to overwhelm me because I usually skim text and try to comprehend five different links at once.  But reading forces me to really read the words, comprehend what the author is saying, and when you are trying to learn something, this is the most important thing.

 

Today I rushed out to buy a few books that I have been wanting to purchase for awhile.  They are about starting your own handmade craft business and selling online.  I am excited to devour them because my brain is wanting to take in as much as it can on these subjects.  I have read really great reviews on these books so I am expecting to be enlightened!

I purchased:

The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and Online by Kari Chapin

Find the book link here and Kari Chapin's website link here

Craft, Inc.: Turn Your Creative Hobby Into a Business by Meg Mateo Ilasco

&

Craft, Inc. Business Planner: The Ultimate Organizer for Turning Your Crafts into Cash by Meg Mateo Ilasco

Find Meg Mateo Ilasco's website here and her awesome blog here.