Friday, August 31, 2012

To Travel and Trunks {Italy}

Meanwhile in Tuscany...
This particular view is when we stopped on the side of the road to have a picnic, we were eating cheeses and grapes and listening to Andrea Bocelli, so obviously my mom started crying. Tears of joy and beauty, of course. It was like she was watching a Hallmark commercial.
The beauty of Tuscany is indescribable and pictures can barely do it justice. 
We traveled around to so many hill towns in Tuscany, I couldn't even keep track of the names (they also all sound alike). 
italy lake como
Lake Como. Clooney and I could never pick a good time for lunch.
I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier, but I am taking all my pictures on my computer and uploading then onto my Flickr pro account. Over 8 years worth put in a private (you can set albums to private) and permanent place (for as long as I keep paying for my account). It's just another safety net if  - God forbid - both my computer and external hard drive fail. 
But anyways,
I've been looking back at high school pictures and trips I took with my parents, particularly our trip to Italy in 2008. 
As most my friends in college are studying abroad and many recently graduated friends are working or playing abroad, it's hard not to get travel-evny and feel void of adventure.
My time for that has come before and will come again, but the long interims in-between can make me impatient. 
Part of me wants to save money to go back to Italy for a few weeks and work on an olive grove, fitting this in between leaving my job at home in the spring and right before I move to Chicago. 
Just a little jaunt might cure the stir-craziness.

country house hills italia
Hail Mary
lake como 
A little offended George didn't take us out on his boat. He has so many, I am assuming.
tuscany tuscany 
San Gimingano, I do remember that name.
We stayed in an old farmhouse in San Gimignano (agriturismo as they are called), they can often be less expensive than hotels. It was the loveliest - and a very authentic experience.
lake como
Lake Como
italy san g
I SHOULD get used to this view everyday,  but I'll suffice as having it as my desktop wallpaper. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fruit & Nut Granola Bars

granola bars granola bars
I have been wanting to make my own granola bars for a while now, and goshdarnit finally got around to making them. There couldn't have been an easier or more convertible recipe. The options of nuts, dried fruits and nut butters you choose to put in this are endless. 
It's also nice to know that these granola bars are actually healthy and wholesome, unlike most store-bought bars made with high fructose corn syrup and other unwanted preservatives. 
It's a perfect snack or to-go breakfast.

Fruit and Nut Granola Bars
(adapted from Cooking Light)

2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup dry roasted nuts - your choice
1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (or any other smooth nut butter)
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup chopped dried fruit

1. Toast oats, nuts, and coconut on a baking sheet at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. 
2. Combine honey, nut butter and canola oil in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture and stir in dried fruit. Stir until all is coated evenly.
3. Press mixture with spatula into a sprayed 11x7 dish, making sure there is even thickness throughout.
4. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and cut.

granola bars

Granola Bar Ideas:

peanuts - peanut butter - 1/2 dates 1/2 craisins 
(these are what are pictured that I made)
almonds - almond butter - dried blueberries
cashews - cashew butter - dried apricots
pistachios - peanut butter - craisins
pecans - almond butter - dried figs

Whatever suits your taste!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mixtape Mondays: Spaghetti Westerns I

source, found originally here 

This week's playlist is inspired by the Spaghetti Westerns of the Hollywood golden years (also: I have been on a Devotchka kick).
The songs have touches of Mariachi/Mexicali bands, cowboy whistling and a country western twang. 

1. The Enemy Guns - Devotchka (should be in a Tarantino film)
2. One Engine - The Decemberists
3. Hold On, Hold On - Neko Case
4. We're Leaving - Devotchka
5. The Cascades - Fleet Foxes
6. 4 Broken Hearts - Norah Jones
7. Easy - Deer Tick
8. Llorona - Devotchka
9. Gold Dust Woman - Karen Elson
10. Blunderbuss - Jack White
11. Bad Luck Heels - Devotchka

Listen some of the songs here:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Charleston Diana F+ {B/W Film}

dianabw 2 
Pickin' strawberries 
dianabw 1 dianabw dianabw 3 dianabw 4 dianabw 6 dianabw 7 
Just got back these prints from a roll of black and white 120 film, taken this spring in Charleston. Getting my Diana film is like waiting for Christmas morning as a kid, I am excited and anxious to see what I got (and what turned out). 
I still think I prefer color film, when it comes to my toy camera, but the black and white is fitting to the retro look that this camera produces. I digitally made all these have a sepia tone, to add some more antiquity to it.
Even in a world of the convenient instagram and other retro-revival apps, I still want my Diana film. 
dianabw 8
A double exposure of the same image, but upside down too, of the Battery.
dianabw 9
favorite mansion in Charleston

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Quick Lunches {Spicy Tuna Salad and Sandwich Thin Pizza}

spicy tuna
It's back to school for some of us, and back to the normal grind for many more. I value my sleep so much that I try and make my lunch for work the next day the night before. Here are two easy lunch recipes - one for on the go, and one for at home.

Spicy Tuna Salad  >> ON THE GO>>
Mix together 1- 6oz can tuna packed in water and drained with a heaping tablespoon light mayo and Sriracha hot sauce to your tasting. Pack along with crackers.
personal pizza
Sandwich Thin Pizza  >>EAT AT HOME>>
Preheat broiler. Spread 1 tablespoon of red pizza /pasta sauce on each half of a sandwich thin. Sprinkle with whatever cheeses or toppings you like. Broil on baking sheet until cheese is melted and edges are crispy.
(Toppings I love together: corn, ham and cheddar cheese)

No time to cook? Check out Annie Chun's Udon Soup at Trader Joes
It's a great comfort food and easy to transport.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mixtape Monday: What I am Listening to and Why

1. Locked Out - Freelance Whales (This is the first single off their new album coming out in October, and it has left me wanting more. This song is very inspiring and uplifting.)

2. Is Your Love Big Enough? - Lianne La Havas (I think she is going to be the next big thing - a perfect mix between Beyonce/Alicia Keys/ Janelle Monae. I need to get her debut album out now...)

3. How They Want Me To Be - Best Coast (Their newest album has served as a perfect hazy summer soundtrack. They stay true to their lo-fi, poolside sound, and I love that.)

4. Great Provider - Mariachi El Bronx (very Mexicali and Devotchka-esque)

5. Rhiannon - Best Coast (I recently got Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute To Fleetwood Mac, and this is a standout. Best Coast somehow turned this seductive, witchy song into a summery, upbeat do-wop.)

6. Small Town Moon - Regina Spektor (a great track off her most recent record)

7. Sometimes You Need - Rufus Wainwright (I've missed his voice, so glad he's back and with a new album!)

8. Silver Springs - Lykke Li (a great one also off the Fleetwood Mac tribute)

9. Do You Love Me Like You Used To - Best Coast 

10. Never Quit Loving You - Jill Barber (When I first heard this song, I thought it was recorded 50 years ago, but alas I discovered it was from a contemporary artist. Perfect for Duffy or Dusty Springfield lovers.)

11. Hold Me - Haim (again, a great one off the Fleetwood Mac tribute)

12. Paradise - Wild Nothing (Makes me want to put on an 80's power suit and dance)

13. Constant Conversations (St. Lucia Remix) - Passion Pit (I am loving anything St. Lucia lays their hands on.)

14. Skin of the Night - M83 (I'm just now listening to their older stuff, this track is super moody, synthetic and dramatic.)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Washed Out: A Dedication

I am in loving this video recently released by Washed Out for their song "A Dedication." The imagery and aesthetics are so subtly summery and very Kinfolk-esque.
Soft color palates and memories of a summer by the lake.
It's a perfect end-of-season treat. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pakayla Beihn

I will never tire of double exposures, I am impressed and enchanted every time I see one. 
San Francisco artist, Pakayla Beihn is a photorealist painter who uses double exposures as her subject and inspiration. 
She's got the detail and attention of a Dutch painter combined with the modernity and style of a photographer. 
Surreal and impressive are understatements.  I can't wait to see what she does next. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Only Place {8mm Film}

I made a little vintage-inspired video of my summer in Charleston, using the 8mm app on my iPhone.
It's so easy and convenient to take little clips at a time, then piece them all together for a picture show.
I smile every time I watch it.

Song: "The Only Place" by Best Coast

Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Parent's Garden

DSC_0931 parent's garden DSC_0908 DSC_0936 DSC_0929 DSC_0921 
I hope one day I develop a green thumb like my parents, but I will have to get over my fear of earth worms first. Therefore, I think my style of gardening will be in huge, brightly colored pots and basins.
I love that my parent's have fully utilized our yard, growing heaps of basil, tomatoes, hot peppers, planting a butterfly bush, apple and fig trees, and a tiny arbor of grapes that I bet could produce a tablespoon of wine; These are only to name a few of their crops. 
It's such a joy to look at, especially after a rain when the earth has that yellowish-pink glow to it.
A perk of living at home.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mixtape Monday: Poolside

pool pool
I always underestimate how much I love pools, until I am near/in one. They are as refreshing as a tall glass of iced limeade. Cold, chlorine water and an aqua-teal painted well, nothing can be more perfect in the hot sweltering summer. Poolside music is a must and MUST be upbeat, energetic and summery. Here are my picks:

1. Before the Dive - St. Lucia (I cant wait to hear more from this artist, his debut LP is the perfect synthetic/80's summer sound)
2. Primadonna - Marina and the Diamonds (Her latest album is super fun and catchy)
3. Kim & Jessie - M83
4. All Eyes On You -St. Lucia
5. Bright Whites - Kishi Bashi
6. So Near - Jack Penate
7. How to Be a Heartbreaker - Marina and the Diamonds
8. Sense - Amanda Mair
9. No Pressure - Secret Cities
10. Walkability - Way Yes

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Farewell, Charleston, I will always love you.

old city jail old city jailbelmont tiger paw
Top: Old City Jail on Magazine street, it's supposedly super haunted and located next to one of my favorite coffee shops, Black Tap.
Bottom: The Belmont, undoubtedly one of my favorite bars in Charleston. Classy is an understatement. My favorite drink there is the Tiger Paw, an amaretto-whisky sour topped with frothy egg whites. 
Randolph Hall on campus (at night)
I have said goodbye to Charleston.
 This summer went by so slow and then of course the last few weeks flew by. My decision to leave was not my favorite, but the most practical, and as an adultkindathing, I went with the later. Having graduated in May, I spent the last few months having the most wonderful and carefree time with my closest friends/roommates. Sure, we all worked, but none were serious, grown woman jobs and life was so spontaneous, you could always drop everything you were doing to go for a drive and dip into the ocean. Late nights were rarely spent at bars or parties, but at the closest Redbox or the grocery store for a midnight treat. Lying on a friends bed while talking about college memories and what we think of our futures - or driving to the battery to catch a lighting storm on the water occupied our time. 
This time in my life was precious and was rejuvenating. It was a reward for 4 challenging years of school.
If I were to stay in Charleston it would have only been for another year, where I would not have been able to save for Chicago (my dream) because I would be playing for rent, etc. It would be fun of course, but not a smart decision on my part. My decision to return home and work at my job I've for summers here was the most efficient one. Save money, not pay rent and put money towards apartments/acting classes in Chicago. In order to follow my dream, this was the next logical step.
I love Charleston and am glad that the last 2 years have made up for (and more) than the first 2 years. The friends I have met, the person I have become, the path that I am headed, is all thanks to that place.
It's going to take some time to not feel sad all the time and to readjust to living back home, but I am so glad that I loved Charleston and the people there so much, that I am sad. My emotions this past week have really portrayed to myself and others how much I loved life there. 
Many visits back and reunions amongst friends are already planned, but I cannot believe this next chapter of my life has begun, the REAL post-grad life. 

Charleston, I know we have had our ups and downs, but I love you, always.

Our humble abode of 85 Spring St. Too many hilarious moments were made here. I am going to miss the Elliotborough neighborhood so much, It was really up-and-coming, I cant wait to see it in a few years.
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