Monday, February 28, 2011

Mixtape Mondays: 60's Soul

After having Adele's new album, 21, on heavy rotation all week, it couldn't help but inspire this week's mix-tape. Adele's powerful voice, that wise beyond her years, is so soulful. She has always reminded me of a smoother and more put - together Amy Winehouse (and I think their music pairs wonderfully).
Inspired by Adele and sexy, 60's soul music, here is the week's mix-tape:

1. Rumour Has It - Adele (My favorite track off the album. Sounds like a woman on revenge.)
2. Back to Black - Amy Winehouse
3. Baby, I Need Your Loving - Four Tops
4. He Can Only Hold Her - Amy Winehouse (It's old news, but Amy's Back to Black album is so good - still! My parents even love it.)
5. (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman - Aretha Franklin
6. Rolling in the Deep - Adele (stuck in my head)
7. Why Don't You Love Me? - Beyonce (I wish she did more retro sounding music)
8. Valerie - Amy Winehouse (so happy - sounds like Walking on Sunshine)
9. Right as Rain - Adele (off her debut album - really fun)
10. Tracks of My Tears - Smokey Robinson
11. Never Forget You - The Noisettes

Friday, February 25, 2011

Florence + The Machine

Florence + the machine- Rabbit heart music video
I can't believe I am finally going to see Florence in concert this summer! I was late to a class just to get the first pick of tickets. Thinking about it just puts me in a blissful state :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

5 Daily Essentials

Lexie tagged me to do share my 5 daily essentials. It's hard to choose just 5, as I have whole morning and night routine, but here are the ones I really can't live without:

Daily Essentials 3
1. Burt's Bees
My lips always seem to be parched and pale, so I am constantly applying this lip balm. I get the Burt's Bees with the pomegranate oil added and I love the naturally red tint it gives my lips.

Daily Essentials 2
2. DKNY Be Delicious perfume
It's my current fragrance I'm using at the moment. The fresh apple scent is always a happy pick-me-up.

Daily Essentials 1
3. Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
I use Retin-a every night before I go to bed to help with pimples and heal my acne scars (Yes, I'm convinced my skin will always act like a teenager). I wait a few minutes for it to dry and then slather on some Cetaphil cream. It keeps my skin from getting too dried out from the Retin-a. I also use it around my eyes and on my hands. I love it's non-greasy feel and the fact that it is fragrance-free

4. Fruit
It is hard for me to go a day without having a piece of fruit. Crunchy grapes and refrigerated bananas are always on hand.

5. Music
It keeps me sane.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mixtape Monday: Soul Sisters

Here's a mix of artists that I have just recently discovered and some that I have been listening to for a few years. They all have a similar sound and seem to be inspired by one another. They are thread together by harpsichords, fairytale-like voices, and a strong use of percussion. It's hard to explain the connection of the artists, but if you listen in to this mix, it becomes apparent.

1. White Nights - Oh Land (This band is a new discovery of mine and reminds me of a combination of CocoRosie and Florence + the Machine.)
2. God Has A Voice, She Speaks to Me - CocoRosie (CocoRosie has such a unique sound that somehow combines "fairy-tale" music and hip-hop rhythm.)
3. Are you Hurting the One you Love? - Florence + The Machine (I love all the charms and bangles that fill the background music.)
4. Bruises - Chairlift
5. Lonely - Mean Lady
6. Wolf & I - Oh Land
7. Werewolf - CocoRosie (Perfect example of said CocoRosie description)
8. Melodies and Desires - Lykke Li (I love the spoken word in this)
9. Rainbow - Oh Land
10. Time Flies - Lykke Li
11. By Your Side - CocoRosie (My first song I heard by them and its still my favorite)
12. Perfecion - Oh Land
13. Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up) - Florence + The Machine (sounds like something Stevie Nicks would sing)
14. Candyland - CocoRosie
15. Indian Sun - Mean Lady

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Coconut Almond Granola

Bowl of Granola
I am a cereal addict - I would eat it for every meal if I could. However, most cereals are packed with so much sugar, its hard to find flavorful and healthy ones.
I've made granola a few times, but this by far has been my favorite batch. It's low in sugar but high on flavor and texture.

Coconut Almond Granola
3/4 cup coconut
4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup whole almonds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup maple syrup (I used sugar-free)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 cups raisins

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
2. Combine coconut, oats and almonds in a large bowl.
3. In a small saucepan, mix salt, cinnamon, water, honey, maple syrup and canola oil and bring to a boil. Pour over dry ingredients and make sure everything is evenly coated.
4. Spread mixture on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring every so often, until granola is dry and golden.
5. Let cool and stir in raisins - can stay in an airtight container for over a week!

**try some mixed in with greek yogurt - yummy!
Coconut Almond Granola

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chinatown via Diana F+

Chinatown/China dolls
Last week I did a post about San Francisco's Chinatown in honor of the Chinese New Year.
Here are some shots I took with my Diana camera when I was there. The first one is of Chinatown but is double exposed with a basket of dolls. The second one is of Japantown.
Looking and thinking about these pictures just makes me antsy to travel!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mixtape Monday: Valentine's Day

Pink Candy

Cupcake Liners
Free Chocolate

{the first two pictures are just a sneak of all the goodies I got in Sunshine and Carousel's giveaway/ last one is free chocolate from my school}

Oh Valentine's Day, or Single Awareness Day.
Even though I did not have a Valentine, my friends and I still showered ourselves with chocolate and wine. Because of my single status, I should be listening to anti-love songs...but I still love love songs - and here are some of my favorites:
1. My Love - The Bird and The Bee (all of their songs remind me of Valentines and with a band name like that, how could they not?)
2. First Love - Adele (sweet, innocent)
3. In These Arms - The Swell Season ("Maybe I was born to hold you in these arms" - how could you not melt?)
4. Never Bloom Again - The Perishers (tender)
5. L-L-Love - Blondfire (acoustic version)
6. Cosmic Love - Florence and the Machine (perhaps my favorite song of hers)
7. Perfection - Oh Land (this band is a new favorite - if you love Florence, you will love them!)
8. Sweet Disposition - Temper Trap (I always think of 500 Days of Summer)
9. When U Love Somebody - Fruit Bats
10. Kiss Me Again - Jessica Lea Mayfield
11. Gray or Blue - Jaymay (the ultimate crush song)
12. Take it Back - She & Him (they had to be on this mix tape)
13. Season of Love - Shiny Toy Guns
14. Born this Way - Lady Gaga (despite all the criticism she's getting for this, I am a loyal fan and love the message)

P.S. I also spent my Valentines evening at an event literally called "F**k Valentine's Day."

Friday, February 11, 2011

Crayon Hearts

Crayon Hearts VI
Pink and Purple Crayon HeartCrayon Hearts II
Crayon Hearts III
Crayon Hearts IVCrayon Hearts VCrayon Hearts I
Orange Crayon Heart
I made these crayon hearts for my window - just in time for Valentine's day. It's a fun, cheap project and looks really cool in the sunlight.

Have a great weekend y'all!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentine's Cake Pops

Valentine's Cake Pops I
I made these cake "pops" (minus the sticks) to send and give to my loved ones for Valentine's Day. Having a tiny kitchen and little time to do this without my roommates seeing me, this easy recipe couldn't have been more fitting. I did 3 varieties: Red Velvet, German Chocolate and Sea Salted Chocolate Caramel. Seriously, you will not believe how easy these are to make...
Valentine's Cake Pops II
Valentine's Cake Pops IV
Cake Pops
1 box cake mix, prepared and baked
1 can icing
1 1/2 14 oz bags candy melts
sprinkles, toppings

1. Crumble the cooled, baked cake into a large bowl.
2. Spoon the icing over crumbled cake and stir until its all combined.
3. Roll into balls and freeze in a freezer safe bag for a few hours or overnight.
4. Melt the candy melts and coat the frozen cake balls. Make sure they are entirely coated and place on waxed paper
5. Before they harden, sprinkle the toppings
and yay - CAKE POPS!

Here's what I used to make my flavors:
Red Velvet: Red Velvet cake mix, Cream Cheese frosting, red vanilla candy melts, and sprinkles
German Chocolate: German chocolate cake mix with some added coconut into the batter, coconut pecan icing, chocolate melts and garnished with coconut
Sea Salted Chocolate Caramel: Chocolate cake mix with a bag of Kraft caramel bits and a teaspoon of sea salt added to the batter, chocolate melts and sea salt to top it off

Valentine's Cake Pops III

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Will Never Love You More

{brilliant ad campaign/short film for Kate Spade}

I love the song. I love those outfits. I love that boy. I love the poem.
this is the story of a charming girl
she laughs out loud, sings off key and believes in taking chances
she is quick and curious and playful and strong
she lets her imagination run away with her
she has never been one to stick to convention
she is fond of daydreams that take her places
she can order a cocktail in six different languages
she feels that understated is overrated
Song: I Will Never Love You More by Soko

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mixtape Monday: Stuck on Repeat

Lately, I haven't been able to get these songs out of my head!

1. I Follow Rivers - Lykke Li (I cannot wait for her new album to drop! I have had the chorus stuck in my head all week. Pretty soon, you will too.)
2. Little Bit - Lykke Li (One of my favorites from her old album.)
3. Crazy For You - Best Coast (Her voice reminds me of Jenny Lewis, which explains the next few on the list. Lo-fi, 60's pop.)
4. Big Wave - Jenny and Johnny (hear the resemblance?)
5. See Fernando - Jenny Lewis
6. Portions for Foxes - Rilo Kiley (Jenny is the lead singer. You will soon learn my everlasting love for her.)
7. And the Boys - Angus and Julia Stone (This brother-sister duo have such unique voices, I am always in the mood to listen to them.)
8. Change - Angus and Julia Stone
9. Helplessness Blues - Fleet Foxes (This is the new single from their upcoming album. It still sounds like them, but you can tell that they have grown.)
10. Ragged Wood - Fleet Foxes (oldie)

What songs can't you get out of your head lately?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Mediterranean Flatbread Sandwiches

Mediterranean Flatbread Sandwiches I
Here's a super-easy and healthy make-ahead meal. It's perfect for a bagged lunch! The uncooked couscous with soften the more it marinates. Basically, it's one of those dishes that gets better each day.
(adapted from Cooking Light)
Mediterranean Flatbread Sandwiches
2 small cucumbers, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup feta cheese
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8.5 oz pkg uncooked Mediterranen couscous
1- 7oz container hummus (I got a Moroccan flavored one)
6 Flatbreads(Flat-Out makes good ones)

Mix everything together but the hummus and flatbreads. Spread hummus on flatbread and top with couscous mixture. Fold over and eat!

Mediterranean Flatbread Sandwiches II

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Year of the Rabbit

Shrine Shop
Peking Bazaar
Altar Flowers
Streets of Chinatown
These are pictures from my trip to Chinatown in San Francisco from this past summer. I thought it was fitting because today is the Chinese New Year (Year of the Rabbit). I love Asian culture and was especially in love with Chinatown's colorful and ornate architecture.
While shopping in one of the stores, I unexpectedly got a Chinese zodiac and fortune reading from the store owner. When describing Snakes (that's my Chinese zodiac), she was spot on with the personality traits. She said year of the Tiger (2010) was not a good year for me (it was mediocre) and that I need to find a man 5 or 8 years older to date/marry. She gave me some charms for my car, wallet and home to protect me from various harms. We then proceeded down the street to a Buddhist temple where I received blessings.
It was all so unexpected and left me curious - I am one who believes that there is truth in every religion.
Here's to Year of the Rabbit - it's supposed to be a good one!

**Also, I am super excited that I won Sunshine and Carousel's giveaway - thanks so much Erin! Everyone needs to check her blog out - it is a daily read of mine!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Stop- Motion: Fallish

I made this stop-motion using the pictures from the last post (also last October). It was the first one I ever made!
Song: Horsey by Hem

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

To Build a Home

Pre-Fall II
First Fall Leaf
Pre-Fall 1Marching AntsGreenleavesSunset on Gravel Road
Adding on to the last post, here are pictures of the beautiful country scenery that I like to call home. They were taken in early October, right before the leaves began to change. I love fall in Georgia, the weather is crisp and everything is so vibrant.
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