Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Autumn List {2011}

Indian Corn
Here is my fall to-do list:

To Do:
  • go to a corn maze
  • gather makings of a halloween costume, TBA
  • be more gutsy
  • watch New Girl and 2 Broke Girls (along with all my NBC comedies and Modern Family)
  • decorate my mantel with DIY colored glass bottles and leaves
  • eat more locally
  • make stop-motion about Fall in Charleston and elsewhere
  • craft and paint for Etsy shop
  • carve and/or paint pumpkins
  • host a dinner potluck outside under string lights
  • explore James Island and Mount Pleasant
  • go to the beach, alone, on a chilly day
  • figure out what the hell I want to do once I graduate
  • drink more water
  • make at least one pumpkin food a week
To Learn:
  • how to make pain au chocolate
  • how to marble my nails
  • how to tilt-shift
  • how to use my dad's old 35 mm camera
To Listen :
  • Feist's Metals
  • Florence and the Machine's Ceremonials
  • Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto
  • Ryan Adam's Ashes and Fire
  • She & Him's Christmas Album (but not till November)
  • Breaking Dawn Soundtrack (guilty I know, but the soundtracks are great - always full of indie artists and new discoveries)
What is on your Autumn to-do list?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Handmade Fall

Crafted Fall Leaves
Crafted Fall LeavesCrafted Fall Leaves
Crafted Fall Leaves
Crafted Fall Leaves
Crafted Fall Leaves
Crafted Fall Leaves
Crafted Fall Leaves
Crafted Fall Leaves
Because Charleston cannot get a change of leaves (rather we have palm trees) nor a fairly reasonable Fall temperature until November, I have to create my own fall.
Last year in my dorm I crafted these Fall leaves for my window, using torn pages from an old novel and textured handmade paper in Autumn's colors. I freehandedly cut some leaves from the papers and glued them in a row to some string, then hung the it vertically in my window.
The result was an instant and satisfactory Fall-fix.

What fall-inpsired crafts have you been working on lately?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mixtape Monday: The Fall

Fall at Duke
Because Autumn is my favorite season, do expect many playlists devoted to it.

1. Shake It Out - Florence + The Machine (Her sophomore album is due November 1. It seems as though all my longtime favorites - Feist, Coldplay, etc - are all debuting new albums this fall)
2. Love of an Orchestra - Noah and the Whale
3. Hysteric (Acoustic Version) - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
4. Good Arms vs. Bad Arms - Frightened Rabbit (makes me want to do some uplifting modern dance)
5. Blue Ridge Mountains - Fleet Foxes (any fall playlist is incomplete without some Fleet Foxes)
6. Michicant - Bon Iver
7. Flaws - Bombay Bicycle Club
8. If I Had a Boat - James Vincent McMorrow
9. Harvest Moon - Neil Young
10. Lost in My Mind - The Head and the Heart
11. Decatur, or Round of a Applause for Your Step-Mother! - Sufjan Stevens (His whole Illinoise Album is very fallish)
12. The Walls Are Coming Down - Fanfarlo
13. No Such Thing - John Mayer (I always associate this with fall because I remember listening to this in 6th grade right when the leaves were starting to change)
14. Everything, All At Once - Correatown
15. World Spins Madly On - The Weepies

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Space

DeskPainted ChestChandelierFresh Flowers
Ghost Chair
BedNew Desk
After weeks of waiting for my knock-off Louis XIV Ghost Chair, my room is now complete.
This year I live in a 100 year old house with some of my closest friends in college. Since I took one of the rooms downstairs, which used to be a dining or living room, my space came compete with a chandelier and a fireplace (which is unfortunately boarded up). The walls were a neutral greenish-gray color, which luckily went with my existing bedspread.
Over the summer, I scored my chest of drawers for $25, then repainted it pale pink high gloss and replaced the knobs.
If you have any questions if where I purchased/how I made things - feel free to ask!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fallish Stop-Motion Film

Click the picture to watch a little fallish/beginnings of autumn stop-motion film I made last year
Marching Ants

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mixtape Monday: First Days of Autumn

First Fall Leaf
Fall's first day is only a few days away, but it seems that mother nature has caught on early. It has been surprisingly cool and breezy the past few days in Charleston and only promises me that a crisp and cozy Autumn is in store. I hope that this time next year I will be living somewhere that actually has a full change of leaves, because Fall is my favorite season. Prepare yourself for many, many Autumn- related posts...starting with this one, a Fall mix tape.
When I think of Fall music, I think of folksy, perhaps bluegrass twanged tunes...

1. Montezuma - Fleet Foxes (They capture the essence of the season for me.)
2. Barney Rubble - The Twang
3. Payne's Bay - Beirut
4. Heirloom - Sufjan Stevens
5. Generator ^ 2nd Floor - Freelance Whales
6. Sweet Louie - The Bell Brigade (this band reminds me SO much of Fleetwood Mac, wonderful harmonizing)
7. Blue Skies Again - Jessica Lea Mayfield
8. Eveningland - Hem
9. I'm A Pilot - Fanfarlo
10. Landslide - Fleetwood Mac
11. Someone You'd Admire - Fleet Foxes
12. Swim Club - The Cave Singers
13. Camera Talk - Local Natives
14. Welcome Home, Son - Radical Face
15. Swim Till You Can't See Land - Frightened Rabbit

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
I have been craving some sort of moist zucchini bread recipe, so when I saw this one that doubled up on the chocolate, I knew I had to make it. It is so dense and moist and has stayed really well in the fridge. I enjoy mine in the morning with some cream cheese spread across it. I also doubled this recipe and baked it in a bunt pan.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
(adapted from Cooking Light)
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups finely shredded zucchini (about 1 medium)
2/4 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at low speed until well blended. Stir in applesauce.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 4 ingredients (through salt), stirring well with a whisk.
Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating just until moist.
Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips.
Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 350° for 45 minutes.
Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack, and remove from pan.
Enjoy hot or cold!
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mixtape Monday: Melancholy Drama

Despite me being really happy lately, I still love to listen to melancholy, dramatic music. I have been listening to Snow Patrol's old music a lot lately and hanging out in drafty coffee shops, so I think that's what influenced this playlist. Take a listen let it take out any angsty, melodramatic feelings you may have. Music is truly the best therapy.

1. Set the Fire to the Third Bar - Snow Patrol and Martha Wainwright (epic)
2. North - Phoenix (One of my favorite songs of theirs, and its all instrumental. I imagine walking in the snow at night.)
3. I Can't Make You Love Me - Bon Iver (So pitiful, so lovely)
4. Baby's Romance - Chris Garneau
5. Turning Tables - Adele (I was once on a run outside and it started pouring and this song was playing. It was perfection.)
6. Beach - Peter Wolf Crier (If you love Bon Iver, you will love this.)
7. Make This Go On Forever - Snow Patrol (another epic)
8. Broken Horse - Freelance Whales
9. Hero - Regina Spektor
10. You Don't Need This Song - Fields
11. Your Ghost - Greg Laswell (Haunting, obviously)
12. Summer Skin - Death Cab for Cutie
13. Somewhere A Clock is Ticking - Snow Patrol (suspenseful)
14. Brothers On A Hotel Bed - Death Cab for Cutie
15. Signs - Bloc Party

Friday, September 9, 2011

Countries I Want to See, Pt.2

Gold hill, England.
England, The Peak District, Kinder Scout
Chester, England
I have watched way too many period costume dramas for my own good, so to me, England has a very romantic quality to it. I long to be surrounded by real British accents, because right now I am just surrounded by fake ones (my roommates and I typically speak to each other in British accents). When I go, I would like to only be in London for a little while, but spend a majority of the time exploring the Austen-esque countryside.

Pôr-do-sol no Arpoador Sunset (Ampliada)
Rio Amazonas (Amazon River)
Christ The Redeemer
There is such a mysterious and forbidden quality to this country, that it only entices me more. From the vivacious cities to the rainforest, I think it would be an inspiring place filled with color and culture. Also, the people are beautiful.

Machu Picchu
Chivay - Valle del Colca - Perú
This has been on my list for a very long time. I tried to find a study abroad program there, but had no luck. The landscape is so ancient looking with Machu Picchu and there are so many llamas! I love Peruvian folk dress and art. I think the colors are so brilliant and happy, it convinces me that Peruvians must be very kind folk. Did I mention there are lots of llamas?

What countries do you want to see?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Homemade Snickers Candy Bars

Homemade Snickers
Homemade Snickers
There's something rewarding and just plain cool when you can make your own everyday food and snacks that you wouldn't necessarily think about making yourself at home, like mayonnaise or marshmallows (which are on my to-do list).
I just made these homemade Snicker's to send to my dad for his birthday because it is his favorite candy bar. The process takes a lot of steps but the result is so worth it. It tastes exactly like the store-bought kind, but even better because it's freshness and the fact that the caramel is oozing out (note: this is very messy). I am thinking about trying Homemade Twix or Butterfingers next...

Homemade Snicker's Candy Bar (adapted from this recipe)
First Chocolate Layer
1 1/4 cups milk or dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup reduced fat creamy peanut butter
Nougat Layer
1/4 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups chopped peanuts
1 - 7 oz jar marshmallow creme
1/4 cup reduced fat creamy peanut butter
Caramel Layer
1 - 14 oz bag of caramels, caramels unwrapped
1/4 cup evaporated milk
Last Chocolate Layer
1 1/4 cups milk or dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup reduced fat creamy peanut butter

Make the first chocolate layer by melting the chocolate and peanut butter until smooth. Spread into the bottom of a lightly greased 13″x9″ pan. Refrigerate until set.

To make nougat layer, melt butter in saucepan. Add sugar and milk; bring to a boil. Boil and stir for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in marshmallow creme and peanut butter. Add peanuts. Spread over 1st chocolate layer and refrigerate until set.

To make caramel layer, melt caramels and cream until smooth in microwave (caramel bag will have instructions). Spread over nougat layer and refrigerate until set.

Make the last chocolate layer by melting the chocolate and peanut butter until smooth. Spread over caramel layer and refrigerate until set.

Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Homemade Snickers

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mixtape Monday: Currently Listening to...

1. Shuffle a Dream - Little Dragon (so dance jazzy)
2. Hard to Explain - Owen Pallet (amazing cover of a Stokes classic)
3. A Candle's Fire - Beirut (Their new album is great, very uplifting yet true to their sound)
4. Home (RAC Mix) - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (Rarely do remixes do the original any justice, however this one is an exception)
5. Lights Out, Words Gone - Bombay Bicycle Club (I have been waiting for this album to drop and it definitely didn't disappoint)
6. What the Water Gave Me - Florence and the Machine (I cant believe her next album comes out in November - it cannot come soon enough!)
7. Little Cup - Thao & Mirah
8. Wash. - Bon Iver
9. Fracture - Bombay Bicycle Club
10. Hallelujah - Thao & Mirah
11. Roll On - Dntel (Jenny Lewis sings on this track, ergo I love it)
12. Welcome Home, Son - Radical Face (reminds me of classic Death Cab)
13. My Pet Snakes - Jenny and Johnny (love the lyrics)
14. Leave It - Bombay Bicycle Club

Friday, September 2, 2011

Edamame Hummus

Edamame Hummus
I melded my love for Edamame beans and hummus into one and made, of course, Edamame Hummus. Crunchy, creamy and salty - it's too good and easy not to try.

Edamame Hummus
1 1/2 cups cooked and shelled edamame beans
15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon soy
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Put all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

West Coast

Golden Gate
Seals at the Wharf
San Francisco
Cable Car
View from Pier
San Francisco
Golden Gate
Inspired by the last digital pictures from San Fransicso and Yosemite (2010).
When we went in May it was still 50-60 degrees AND there was still snow at Yosemite. And I loved it.

Like Mark Twain said, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."
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