"I've discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it."
- William Faulkner

Thursday, August 26, 2010

your song

Coming in to work this morning, I heard “Uptown Girl” on the radio. I love Billy Joel, I love that video, and I love that the song itself was written for his then-wife Christie Brinkley. How great to be immortalized in music! And then I got to thinking (dangerous)…If I could pick an artist to write a love song about me, which one would I choose? Here are a few I considered and why…

Paul McCartney. And no, not just because he is a Beatle and pretty much the coolest man alive. There’s a reason his concerts still sell out today, upwards of 40 years after the start of Beatlemania – his music just holds up over time. And he wrote “Maybe I’m Amazed” with Wings, many years after the Beatles broke up, about his wife, Linda, whose death I’m convinced he’s still not over.

Van Morrison. My friend, Alexa, commented to me once in high school that Van Morrison wrote the best love songs. And she was so right. “Crazy Love?” “Brown-Eyed Girl?” “Moondance?” Fuhgeddaboutit.

Otis Redding. If you’ve ever seen Pretty in Pink, this selection should come as no surprise. What girl wouldn’t want someone to lip sync “Try a Little Tenderness” in a record store? Not to mention “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.” Doesn’t it just speak to your soul?

Ray LaMontagne. Y’all know I love him, and the man can write a song. Ok, so “Meg White” is kind of creepy, considering it was written about another musician’s wife, but still. Pretty much all his music is amazing, but “You Are the Best Thing” would make any woman swoon. I know I do.

James Taylor. Again, totally timeless. One of my favorite things about James Taylor: he sounds exactly the same live as he does on his albums – the mark of a true, clean, real talent. Nothing beats “Something in the Way She Moves.”

Dave Matthews. Dave and I go through phases. There was no one I adored more in junior high and high school, then in college he started playing electric guitar and lost his luster to me. I’m coming back around, and it’s mostly due to “You and Me.”

Al Green. Who wouldn’t want to hear “Let’s Stay Together” on the radio and know The Rev wrote it about you? Come ON! Seriously, check out The Rev’s greatest hits album, and tell me you wouldn’t want any of those songs. I dare you.

So, these are just a few that popped into my head this morning; it’s certainly not an exhaustive list, and I’m sure I could come up with many, many more. Who would you add to the list?

And yaya, please don’t say George Strait.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* Hackers to leave my facebook alone! I don’t have even have my OWN iPad!

* Some curtains in my bedroom. Olive is an early riser, and that must stop. Now.

* These Frye flats. That color! Are you kidding me? I DIE.

* Another beach trip. This time with sunshine, please.

* The Pioneer Woman’s cookbook. She, like Joy the Baker and that darling dear from youaremyfave, does not know she’s my friend.

What’s your wish?

Monday, August 23, 2010

i like

Have y'all seen these? I debated on whether to share them with you only because I wanted you all to think that I was just really great at styling my own hair.

The Goody Spin Pin. These things are amazing, and for someone with hair as massive as mine, that's saying something. A friend graciously agreed to take down her cute 'do to demonstrate them for me, and needless to say, I went out asap to get some myself. I tested them out this weekend, and they work exactly the way they say they do (hooray for small victories). I of course had to use both of them, but you just gather your hair at the base of your neck or wherever, twist into a bun, twist these little beauties in, and voila! I'm in love. Twist away, ladies!

Mama Jones at the XO house used to call me Cookie Monster because I adore a cookie. So does Kell - probably why we've managed to keep a marriage together for 4 years. A couple of months ago he asked me to make butter cookies. Well, I'd never had a butter cookie, but thanks to his super chef mom, I had the recipe. After a failed attempt ("those don't look like my mom's," says Kell), I think I've finally gotten them down.

Freddie's Rich Butter Cookies

1 cup butter (yep, that's 2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla, butter and nut flavoring (this was hard to find. Kell's mom brought us some, and we finally spotted some at the Madison Wal-Mart)
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt

Cream butter; add sugar gradually, creaming until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, butter and nut flavoring; beat well. Sift together dry ingredients. Blend with creamed mixture. Drop by teaspoons onto ungreased (remember all that butter) cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned, and you have a happy Kell!

Friday, August 20, 2010

boys of fall

For some reason, I’ve felt more nostalgic this August than most. Hearing about girls going through rush and buzz about football season makes me wish I could do college all over again. Sure there are things I’d do differently: I’d spend more time on the Drill Field, have a few more meals in the cafeteria, study a little less, party a little more and treat myself to a few more cookies and chocolate milk at the MSU bakery. Maybe that’s why so many people look back on college as some of the best years of their lives. Few responsibilities and lots of freedom and friends make looking back at those times completely intoxicating. Perhaps if we could go back, we might not view it in the same way as we do now. Still, it’s fun to think about.

It took me graduating from college to really appreciate it – especially football season. It’s coming up (our first game is 2 weeks from Saturday!), and I’ve been excited about it for weeks. I don’t know much about the sport itself; I rarely know what down it is, and I have no idea what the noseguard does on the field. But you don’t have to appreciate every play to be able to appreciate how great it is being around people that love your school and your team. Few things make me prouder than to tell people where I’m from and where my dad works.

I heard about this video recently while listening to Rick & Bubba on the way to work. I don’t love country music, and I definitely don’t love Kenny Chesney, but this song is really great, and the video is even better.

Just a note: something tells me the wee Kenny Chesney didn't get as much field time as he's alluding to. I’m just saying…

Thursday, August 19, 2010

she's got worms.

Happy birthday to my dear friend, Claire!

Look at this picture. Just look at it. How can you look upon that face and NOT want to be her friend? Claire and I have been friends since we were kids, and we have laughed, cried, vacationed, danced and fallen down together for years and years. Some of my very favorite memories have Claire in them, and for that I am most grateful.

As yesterday was my Wish List Wednesday, I’m covered. You guys know what my heart desires this week. But I thought I might use my well-honed wishing skills to make a wish list for Claire’s birthday. Here it goes…

For you, Claire, on your birthday, I wish:

* That your radio today would only play “Colors of the Wind,” “Kiss from a Rose,” “Return of the Mack” and any and everything Patty Griffin and KC and JoJo.

* That when you turned on your TV tonight after school, Clifford would be on every channel, followed by Prefontaine, Alice in Wonderland and Pippi Longstocking.

* That every male student in your classroom would be replaced by Matthew McConaughey, Rainn Wilson and Chris O’Donnell.

* That the school cafeteria would only have cow tales, circus peanuts and junior mints on the menu today.

* That every drawer you opened would be filled to the brim with worms and Anthropologie gift cards.

Today, Claire, may all your dreams be pleasant ones. And may the rainbow arches

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* Another red velvet donut from The Donut Hole in Florida. It was life changing.

* Ray Lamontagne’s new album! It dropped yesterday… Be still my heart.

* That I was a better budgeter. Perhaps that goes against Wish List Wednesday?

* Some cute, comfortable shoes to wear to the first few football games. Remember: it will be H. O. T.

* One of these awesome prints from Dear Colleen’s Etsy shop. I do love champagne.

What’s your wish?

Friday, August 13, 2010

yet another recipe...

Are y’all tired of recipes? No? Good. If you are, you best be on your way and come back next week.

My friend Taylor had a bunch of people over to her house for dinner last week. She pulled out all the stops – awesome pork tenderloin, orzo risotto, tomato tarts, salad and this gem for dessert…

Easy Fruit Cobbler

1 stick butter (yikes)
1 cup Bisquick (I used light)
1 cup sugar (yikes again)
1 cup milk (I used skim)
1 quart fruit (I used fresh peaches)

Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter in 8x8 dish in oven while preheating. Mix together Bisquick, sugar and milk. Pour over melted butter in dish. Add fruit, making sure to distribute evenly. Bake 35-45 minutes or until golden brown.

I'm not typically into peaches, but this recipe really struck a chord with Kell, and we've already had it at home once since the dinner party. I had a dollop of sugar free ice cream on my little serving, and it was delicious!
Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* Safe travels to and from the beach. Yep, my third trip this summer!

* This super cool obi belt. I’m channeling my inner geisha.

* That my friend Martha Foose were on Twitter.

* A really pretty china cabinet for my dining room so I could finally move all my dishes out of the guest closet.

* A British accent.
What’s your wish?

Friday, August 6, 2010

strawberries and blackberries and kiwi, oh my!

Who doesn't love fresh fruit?

Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of colorful, delicious fresh berries, and this recipe is perfectly delightful. Served with cinnamon sugar pita chips (you can buy them in the store, but I made mine; there are lots of easy recipes out there like this one), 2 Peas in Their Pod's Fruit Salsa is light, sweet, addictive and even kinda figure-friendly! I was really excited to find the recipe on Tasty Kitchen and even more excited to find the 2 Peas blog (I'm totally making that strawberry limeade). Check them both out!

Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips (photo from there, too!)

8 strawberries, diced
2 kiwi, diced
1/4 c. blueberries
1/4 c. blackberries
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. agave nectar

In a medium bowl, stir the strawberries and kiwi. Fold in the blueberries and blackberries, being careful not to over-mix and make the salsa purple. Add fresh lemon juice. Drizzle agave nectar over the fruit and stir carefully. Chill and serve with cinnamon sugar pita chips.

I doubled the recipe and brought some of this to my friend Taylor's last night, and it was awesome! I'll definitely make it again. You could probably add different fruits if you like, but this combination was heavenly.

Have a fruity weekend. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* That I looked as great in a side braid as Zoe Saldana. I think I have too much hair. (picture from here)

* A few cute, new outfits for football season. Always thinking ahead!

* To be on Big Brother next season. I would rule.

* Some Bliss Body Butter. This stuff is so awesome.

* That The Office would return to its glory days (i.e. Seasons 1 and 2)!

What's your wish?

Monday, August 2, 2010

brown sugar! how come you taste so good?

(photo from Joy the Baker. hope she doesn't mind!)

Ever wondered how to make your own delicious brown sugar? No? Me, neither. But Joy the Baker did, and she tells exactly how to do it here. I think I'll make my own from now on.

Have a sweet Monday.
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