Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mixtape Mondays: Icelandscapes

Church at Flatey Island, Iceland

My obsession never ceases of Iceland, as seen most recently here. So to further my cravings, here is a playlist of artists who hail from Iceland. Some sing in their native tongue, some in English and some in gibberish (seriously).

1. Go Do - Jonsi
2. Gobbledigook - Sigur Ros
3. Arms - Seabear
4. Jungle Drum - Emiliana Torrini
5. Advent in Ives Garden - Sin Fang Bous
6. Earth Intruders - Bjork
7. Hoppipolla - Sigur Ros
8. Hospital Bed - Seabear
9. Kolnidur - Jonsi
10. Always Everything - Sin Fang
11. Heard it All Before - Emiliana Torrini
12. Last Time Around - Lay Low
13. Happiness - Riceboy Sleeps

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Greek Quesadillas

greek quesadillas
I am still working on incorporating more Greek food into my life, and try making the more difficult, time-consuming delicacies of the land, but I found myself wanting something immediate and simple. Greek Quesadillas. The marriage of two cultures into one delicious meal.
(This is a very loose recipe and totally open to re-interpretation)

Greek Quesadillas
2 medium onions, sliced
4 raw small chicken tenders
olive oil
salt and pepper
Greek Dressing
2 large tomatoes, sliced
1 cucumber, diced
feta cheese
4 medium sized tortillas

1. Saute onions and raw chicken in olive oil over medium high heat. Stirring constantly until chicken is cooked and onions are transparent, adding a little Greek dressing along the way. Salt and pepper to taste.
2. Bring heat to medium low and add tomatoes and cucumber, a bit more dressing and saute for 3 more minutes. Transfer filling to a plate.
3. Spray pan with cooking spray and place a single tortilla, bring heat to medium. Flip the tortilla until it becomes bubbled, crispy and golden.
4. Add filling to half of the tortilla and sprinkle with feta cheese. Fold over in half, transfer to plate and enjoy!

Makes about 4 quesadillas

You can add olives, artichokes, bell peppers - the possibilities are endless!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Scenes of Iceland

I think about Iceland everyday and my future adventure there. One of my roommates just found out she will be going this summer with her family, and I couldnt be more excited for her.
Here are some videos I like to watch that hold me over until I visit there.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

5 Winter Beauty Essentials

winter beauty
I never try and let the post-Holiday blues get a ahold of me. I try my darndest to stay away from a perennial cycle of sweats and concealer and try to live as colorful and summer-y as possible. Here are my go-to beauty products of Winter '12, perhaps the most mild winter I will experience in a while.

(Left to Right)

1. Almay intense i-color in Purple Amethyst
Because my eyes get so easily irritated and bloodshot in the winter riding on my bike, I try to keep my eyes looking as bright as possible. A slightly reddish purple mascara contrasts with green eyes, making the whites look whiter and your iris more vibrant. It has such subtle color in the mascara, that it wears so easily for everyday use.

2. It's a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product
This stuff is basically lotion for your dry/wet hair. In the winter, my hair is so dried out, I only wash it once a week. I condition my hair in between washes with this and it keeps it molded and as least scary as possible (sometimes/most times frizzy curly hair sucks)

3. O.P.I. in Rainbow Connection
Yes, this nail polish was marketed for the new Muppets movie (which was more adorable than puppies and baby videos combined). The spectrum of sparkles each stroke makes is sure to cure the winter blues.

4. Maybelline Baby Lips
I have become a connoisseur of lip balms - musn't be too sticky or flavorful, but must have a tint of color and creaminess to it. Baby Lips (mine is in cherry) are perfect. They're super moisturizing and I love the subtle color and scent (not flavor!) they give. They come in loads of other colors and scents as well.

5. Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray
To keep waves from looking fresh from the sea, I like this budget friendly version of a sea salt surf spray. How I like to use it: wash my hair at night, pin back my long bangs to the side and spray this all over my hair - and sleep on it. Dry and dreamy in the morning!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mixtape Mondays: Walking through the snowy woods

Diana F+ Snow
(Diana F+ film photo of my backyard at home covered in snow)

Quiet songs riddled with classical instruments, perfect for a walk in the snow covered woods:

1. Another Little Hole - Aqualung
2. Atlas Hands - Benjamin Francis Leftwich
3. Flint (For the Unemployed and Underpaid) - Sufjan Stevens
4. Creature Fear - Bon Iver
5. Not My Friend - Norah Jones
6. The Animals Were Gone - Damien Rice
7. That Home - Cinematic Orchestra
8. Requiem on Water - Imperial Mammoth
9. Possibility - Lykke Li
10. Half Life - Imogen Heap
11. Carry - Tori Amos
12. 100 Acres of Sycamore - Fionn Regan
13. Tiger Mountain Peasant Song - Fleet Foxes
14. Breathe - Alexi Murdoch

Friday, January 20, 2012

Creamy Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup

tomato soup
I think I am addicted it soups, and the silly thing is that it never is below 60 degrees outside.
I have been craving a creamy tomato soup that was rich but relatively healthy. I found this recipe for Creamy Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup and it satisfied all my needs. Great thing to make with my new Magic Bullet Blender.
tomato soup

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stop-Motion: Morocco II

Behold, my last Morocco stop-motion. Guess I have to travel somewhere soon to make another one...

Song: "Wood" by Rostam

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mixtape Mondays: Inspired by the 80's, Part Un

Today's playlist is inspired pop music of the 80's, by contemporary indie artists (and Lady Gaga):

1. Steve McQueen - M83 (Their most recent album could comprise this playlist but this one is a favorite.)
2. Feel It All Around - Washed Out (Also the Portlandia theme song)
3. Golden Haze - Wild Nothings
4. O.N.E. - Yeasayer
5. Do It Again - Holy Ghost
6. Highway Unicorn (Road to Love) - Lady Gaga (It took a while for me to like this song, but I do now and it's perfectly 80's)
7. Flowers Bloom - High Highs
8. Intro - M83
9. Tokyo - California Wives
10. Beth/Rest - Bon Iver (This song is so ironically 80's, I hysterically lost it the first time I heard it. I still want to think that there is some humor in this song, it's nothing like the rest of his album.)
11. I Wrote the Book - Beth Ditto

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fields of Gold

Fields of Gold
Fields of Gold
The Evil Twin
Fields of Gold
One cold winter day my friends and I explored some golden fields across from my house and documented it. Here is what I captured with my Diana F+ camera.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Homemade French Onion Soup {Crock Pot} and Beer Bread

beer bread
French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup has to be one of the most comforting meals. You would think that with just broth and onions, it couldn't suffice as a meal - much less a filling one. I used this recipe for French Onion Soup in the crock pot and vow that it is the only recipe I will use for this now on.
Because the recipe called for beer and I had a few bottles left, I decided to make Beer Bread, sprinkled with sea salt.
So, after the soup was complete, I ladled it in bowls, placed some swiss cheese slices over sliced beer bread and broiled it on high in the oven to make the richest cheesiest crouton topping for the soup.
Pure decadence.
Beer Bread

Monday, January 9, 2012

Mixtape Mondays: Music for the Road

Driving to Charleston
Last night I drove from home in Georgia to Charleston for my last semester. My winter break was so relaxing and enjoyable with my parents and high school friends, I was reluctant to go back. I think it was that I didn't want to start my last semester of college, because after that it is just "real world" where there are no semesters or breaks( unless I become a teacher and if thats the case, I need to redo my entire major, thus more school).
Where I usually dislike driving around for errands and such, I love driving by myself long distances, across states. It's very mind clearing and reflective. Though I guess I am not totally alone because my music is playing the entire time, and keeps me company while I listen to it ramble on and on about love and traveling. Fully focusing on the lyrics, I feel as though long car rides enlighten me more and more each time.
Here's what I listened to en route to Charleston:

1. Chicago - Sufjan Stevens (The ultimate car travel song, I am also relating to it more since I want to move to Chicago after college.)
2. Blue Skies - Noah and the Whale (a song about healing)
3. White Winter Hymnal - Birdy
4. I Still Care for You - Ray LaMontagne (I typically play his entire discography during long road trips)
5. To Whom It May Concern - The Civil Wars (I finally got this album and listened to it several times though on the trip. This song is a letter to your future soulmate.)
6. Futile Devices - Sufjan Stevens
7. Leave Me Here - Hem (Hem is very nostalgic and reminds me of home in the horse country)
8. I've Got this Friend - The Civil Wars
9. Landslide - Fleetwood Mac (No road trip is complete without this song)
10. Furr - Blitzen Trapper
11. Forget Me Not - The Civil Wars (Very old-school country)
12. Josephine - Brandi Carlile
13. Arms (while the fire dies version) - Seabear
14. Just Like Heaven - The Watson Twins (best played at sunset)
15. Barking at the Moon - Jenny Lewis (best "coming home" song)

What songs do you like to listen to on long road trips?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sushi Pizza in Nashville

Sushi Pizza
This time last weekend I was just getting back from a quick trip to Nashville. It is #2 on my places to move to after college. We were only there for 2 days but we packed a lot in.
Highlights included:
  • Sushi Pizza from PM's (Last time we were in Nashville 3 years ago, I had this same exact meal, the only problem was we couldn't remember the name of the restaurant, and spent some well worth time looking for it. Once we found it we rewarded ourselves with the Sushi Pizza which is basically a deconstructed roll with salmon, crab, spicy mayo, avocados, cheese- the works - and is broiled in an oven. If I had to choose, it would be my last meal.)
  • Wandering around the hipster Hillsboro area and grabbing some Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream at Hot and Cold - flavors we had: Goat Cheese with Cognac Figs, Black Forrest and Black Coffee. They rocked my world
  • Checking out the Christmas lights at the Grand Ole Opry
  • We also went into historical Franklin, visited The Factory and walked up and down the adorable shops and Antique malls in the center of town. We had a delicious and filling lunch at Franklin Mercantile - so fresh and spring-like inside.
Also thanks to Lexie and Chelsea for giving me ideas of things to do/see/eat in Nashville!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Stop-Motion: Starry Eyed

Taken from these pictures in Marion Square, I made a short stop-motion of playing around the Christmas lights in Charleston. To watch in high definition, click here.

Song: "Winter Solstice" by Sufjan Stevens

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mixtape Mondays: Best Songs of 2011

In addition my picks for Best Albums of 2011, here are my favorite songs from other artists not mentioned previously (in order):

1. Midnight City - M83 (I have to confess that I purchased their album a few weeks ago and still haven't had time to listen to it, because I definitely think it would have made my best albums list. I promise to do a review and post about it soon. This track is hands down my favorite song of the year - 90's inspired, lots of saxophone but still has a futuristic feel. You can't help but dance when listening to it. The music video is perfect.)

2. Contact High - Architecture in Helsinki (One of my favorite bands in high school updated their sound and still managed to stay a favorite. Catchy and matches the greatness of "Heart is Races")

3. Shuffle - Bombay Bicycle Club (Very Matt and Kim, but still their own. Funky, off-kilter and slightly hip hop. This was my summer song.)

4. I Can't Make You Love Me (Bonnie Raitt Cover) - Bon Iver (Best song Justin Vernon has ever done. Already a beautiful classic soft song, he makes it all his own with his imperfect falsetto and simple piano accompaniment.)

5. Woe Be - Feist (I didn't pay attention to this song until recently, once I noticed what she was singing. "He's the verse, she's the hook / Woe be to the girl who loves a songwriter" is a line most women can relate to. Soulful and beautiful symbolism in this song that you can only get on Amazon.)

6. We Are Young - fun. (This band's music needs to be made into a musical. Theatrical yet accessible, they are part Queen part Ben Folds. I love them, and this song is the newest from them. I am so excited about fun.'s next album, I do hope a playwright out there has the same idea as I do. It would be brilliant on Broadway.)

7. Velcro - Bell X1 (The lead singer sounds identical to Beck, so that's always a plus to me. The lyrics are literal yet adorable "I'll be your tongue, You'll my groove / I'll be your positive, You'll be my negative / I will be your velcro." It's an infectious and cute song without being nauseating.)

8. White Nights - Oh Land (The imagery in this song is perfectly painted by the singer's sweet yet unusual voice. The music video, has a lot of ideas, but fits perfectly with the song.)

9. Wood - Rostam (Producer and member of Vampire Weekend, Rostam brings his British imperial Indian sound to his new project. All the fanciful rifts and sitars, set against strong tribal drums and his peaceful soft voice creates a feeling that you're seeing what he is: a beautiful, exotic paradise.)

10. Coming Down - Dum Dum Girls (I imagine this to be the perfect song to slow dance to at prom, as if I would know. It's smoky, swaying and sexy. I was obsessed with this song this past Fall.)

11. Quitter's Raga - Gold Panda (Hipster electronica + Indian music and lyrics. Fun and quick.)

12. Country Clutter - Dolorean (Alternative country folk, as I would like to classify it. This song is passionate, warm yet bitter - exactly how country should be. "Let it clutter up your life, the way you cluttered up mine")

13. Lighthouse - NewVillager (Part Killers, part Architecture in Helsinki, also paired with a crazy cool video)

14. How I Roll - Britney Spears (Britney has the best producers ever, helping her stay relevant and sound good. This was my favorite track off Femme Fatale - it's very Gwen Stefani.)

15. Endtapes - The Joy Formidable (This is a new band to me and they remind me of Tegan and Sarah had they been placed in the 90's. This is off the Breaking Dawn Soundtrack and beats Bruno's song. Rock Out.)

16. Life's a Happy Song - The Muppets Movie Soundtrack (The new Muppets movie is happy, adorable and clever -I enjoyed every second of it. This was my favorite and most memorable song from the film. It's impossible to not leave the theatre singing this.)

17. A Candle's Fire - Beirut (Staying true their gypsy sound, Beirut delivered another travel ready album. I love the marching band feel of this song.)

18. Shuffle A Dream - Little Dragon (Jazzy and reminds me of "Black and Gold" by Sam Sparro.)

19. The A Team - Birdy (I am still shocked this is a 15 year old. Her sound is so mature and quintessentially British. Great discovery this year - thanks Daughtry!)

20. Not Fade Away - Florence and the Machine (Off a Buddy Holly tribute album, this is all New Orleans jazz and soul, a genre she always seems to pull off.)

21. Don't Gotta Work It Out - Fitz & the Tantrums (This is like the male incarnate of Amy Winehouse, this song is all retro and Motown.)

22. Lana del Rey - Video Games (One of the most buzzed about artists of the year, and I must say rightfully deserved between this song and her inflated lips. Looking forward to her debut album.)

23. Go Outside - Cults (The boy-girl duo have this retro sound a la Best Coast and Tennis, but have a rawness to them as well that reminds me of Sleigh Bells. This song is uber catchy.)

24. Up Up Up - Givers (A young, fun band hailing from my home state of Louisiana. If you like Ra Ra Riot, The Dodo's and brassy female voices, then you will love them. Their debut was the perfect summer album.)

25. Amor Fati - Washed Out (Pure 90's dance music, it's an uber hipster track, without being annoyingly ironic. Also, it is my ringtone.)
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