Monday, February 28, 2011
I received the sweetest surprise in the mail last week. The very lovely Bethany made an offer on Valentines Day to send a little something to anyone who was having a not so great day. I spoke up thinking it would be nice to look forward to picking up the mail for a few days. I had no idea what a beautiful and thoughtful package was headed my way.
Bethany created a gorgeous gift - from the personalized, sparkling J on the front, to the beautiful flower pin. The postcards inside are perfect for a dedicated reader like me - and then there was the delicious chocolate.
I'm not sure what inspire Bethany to share her talents and gifts with near strangers, but she made my week and made up for a less than great Valentine's day.
While we are on the subject of love, I fell head over heals for a new song this weekend. To the point that I put it on repeat and listened to it over and over again for more than an hour. I think the idea of going nowhere fast was the perfect theme for my lazy weekend.
Josh Turner and Anthony Hamilton, Nowhere Fast
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
A long weekend means a short week - which I usually love. But this week it means cramming 5+ days of work into 4. While I work on catching up - here's one of my favorite new songs and videos:
Just a note - I may think this video and the song subject are beautiful - but that doesn't mean I want to hold on to winter. I'm ready to welcome spring with open arms. Pin It
Monday, February 21, 2011
Those numbers tell the story of this little blog of mine. When I started my real goal was a personal journal to record my time in India. It took a while before I told anyone about it. Then for a longer time only family and close friends read any of my posts, as several of us started used blogging to keep up with each others lives.
I'm still not completely sure how it happened, but I started connecting with other bloggers who shared my interests. And this little blog began to grow. Posting became a regular practice. I found a love of writing, the joy of creating a great photo and discovered an outlet for my musical passion.
Blogging has enriched my life. Thanks to all of you, I have a group of family and friends I can connect with and count on for great advice and encouragement whether I'm at home or half-way across the world. I learn from each of you, and find that I am more willing to try new things and take on new projects thanks to the incredible community of bloggers I feel a part of. Thank you for giving me the encouragement to keep this little space on the internet going, here's to the next 500 posts!
Today's song is one of my all-time favorites, Dido's "Life for Rent." I love the entire message of the song - embrace life, don't hold back. It goes along with my theme for 2011 - Present. With nearly 2 months of the year gone I thought I needed a reminder of what I'm working towards this year.
Friday, February 18, 2011
If you are looking for a cheap way to feed your music fix, I've got the answer for you. Here are some of my favorites mp3s which are on sale at amazon.com this month for $5!
The "they totally rocked the Grammy's" category:
The "they rock my world" category
If you already have copies of these in your collection but still want to shop, here is the link to the rest of February's sale. All eight of these have been on heavy rotation in my music collection, but if you are only going to buy one, make it Ray LaMontagne's God Willin' & The Creek Don't Rise. I've probably listened to this one at least 100 times.
One of the funniest video's I've seen in a long time comes from one of the artists above, The Black Keys. Below is their video for "Howlin' for You." It comes off as a movie trailer, but it is their official video for the song:
Full disclosure, if you click on one of the links and make a purchase, I get a small referral from amazon. I promise it will be used to feed my own music collection so I can keep recommending new stuff for you. Pin It
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I know the Grammy's were Sunday, but I just can't stop thinking about some of my favorite performances. Any performance that has you still thinking about them days later is, in my opinion, a winner. In no particular order here are my favorites from the Grammys.
Mumford and Sons, The Avett Brothers and Bob Dylan. I know these guys all lean towards the folk side of the spectrum, but I thought they ROCKED. I'll admit I'm not a huge Dylan fan, but they guys all looked like they were having a blast performing with him. UPDATE: I've heard this video isn't working, here's an alternate if you are really interested.
Keith Urban, Norah Jones and John Mayer performing Dolly Parton's "Jolene." Proof that great musicians just need their voices and a guitar or two to make beautiful music.
Miranda Lambert's "The House That Built Me." I don't care how many times I hear this one it always makes me teary.
Muse's "Uprising." Seeing this one after watching the events in Egypt over the past couple of weeks was awe inspiring.
While Katy Perry didn't make my list of favorite Grammy performances, I feel like I need to give her a shout out here. A couple of weeks ago I (kind of) dissed her in a post at i-Studio, when I used her song "California Girls" as an example of the type of song I didn't want my niece to claim as her favorite. But then last week I heard Katy's song "Firework" performed on Glee and now I find I need to eat a little crow. The message of this particular song is lovely and just the type of thing I'd like to hear Miss M singing.
Did you have a favorite performance at the Grammy's? Does anyone else think Lady Gaga is looking/sounding more and more liked Madonna 2.0? Pin It
Monday, February 14, 2011
What did you do this weekend? And any fun plans for Valentines? I spent the day working, running errands and listening to The Avett Brothers (basically ignoring the fact it was a holiday.)
Now for a little business, the lovely Maureen was the winner of the CSN giveaway - congratulations!
Friday, February 11, 2011
The original recipe serves 10, so I cut it in half (and still ended up eating it for days) but given how cold it was here last week, it was a very welcome meal. I'll share the original recipe:
- 1 lb great northern beans, soaked or 4 15-oz cans, drained & rinsed (I didn't have great northern so just used canned white beans.)
- 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used thawed, pre-cooked chicken breast strips and I didn't measure, just threw in what I thought would work.)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 4-oz cans green chiles
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 14 1/2-oz chicken broth
- 1 cup water divided
- 6 Tbsp flour
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
But thanks to my neighbor and friend Nikki, I'm a bit in the spirit for Valentine's Day. She made the adorable hearts I have hanging on my mantle and dropped them off last week. Nikki is one of those amazingly talented people who has never met a craft she can't master - and to make me even more jealous she's got some serious cooking skills. If you are looking for fun craft or food ideas, you have to check out her blog The Salty Pineapple.
Nikki grew up in Hawaii and when I think of music and Hawaii I can't help but think of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
Monday, February 7, 2011
As part of my thanks - I have a giveaway for you today. CSN Stores has given me a $35 gift card to share with one of you. So if my remodel inspired you to spruce up your work/creative space you could use this gift card to pick up some new home office furniture of your own.
My second (larger) remodeling project, my master bed/bath, is still moving along - not as quickly as I'd like unfortunately. Is anyone else out there remodeling? Any tips to dealing with the in between stage? I find I want it all perfect right away - but it takes time to find just the right pieces - and to save up the cash to afford them.
To sign up for the giveaway, simply comment on this post. You can add a second comment (and entry in the drawing) by subscribing to my blog. You have until Midnight, Friday (Mountain Standard Time) to enter the giveaway. I'll announce the winner on Monday. Note: CSN Stores only ship to the US - so that means some of you are out of the running - sorry about that.
I've had this song on my list to share for a while - but it isn't the happiest song so it keeps getting pushed down the list. But, its gorgeous so I'm going to share it here just because, Plumb "Cut."