Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter, Y'all

mom and me, 1996?

Wishing you all a very merry and chocolate-filled Easter!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Q & A: Annie Dressner // East Twenties EP Review

I recently had the chance to have a Q&A with London-based singer songwriter Annie Dressner. If you are fans of Camera Obscura and Vanessa Carlton, like me, I highly recommend checking this awesome girl out!
Q&A with Annie Dressner

What is your background with music and how did you decide that it was something to pursue?
I started playing piano when I was four & my favorite thing in the world has always been to sing.  My father is very good at piano & would play almost every day and I would sing with him when he got home from work.  Anyway, there was always music around me.
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to perform & sing.  I taught myself how to play guitar after graduating high school.  We had a little guitar in our house that was never used - and I guess I noticed it and decided that I wanted to learn.  
I wrote songs for a few years, but didn't really share them with anyone.  It wasn't until a friend of mine said to either take myself seriously or not do it at all -- I decided to take myself seriously.

How would you describe your sound?
As far as "my sound," perhaps "indie-folk"?

What inspires you for songwriting, what's your method of choice?
Love, life, heartbreak - something that makes me emote.  
Believe it or not, I am not always in the mood to write a song, and sometimes I am really in the mood to write a song, but not able to write a song that I think is good enough to share with the world.  I only like writing songs that really mean something to me so that I can share an experience or feeling.
When I am able to write, it is a really good feeling.  I grab my guitar, turn on my computer & open GarageBand, press record and start playing and singing.  I hit stop, rewind, play & record a lot.  I keep going back and taking bits of the lyrics & melody that I think are good.  Eventually, all of those bits and bobs turn into a song.  I guess it's a bit like writing a paper for school, in that you write your initial idea and keep tweaking until you think you can turn it in and you feel that sigh of relief that you are actually pleased with the work you've done - except it's way more fun.
Why did you move from NYC to London - which do you like more?
I moved for love.  As far as which one I like more, New York City is my home.  I was born there and my heart has not left.  I am enjoying the UK a lot too --- but don't make me choose!

Who are some of your favorite bands/songs?
Belle & Sebastian - All of their songs.  (Literally)
Midlake - Roscoe
Simon & Garfunkel - Homeward Bound
Stephen Malkmus - Church
(old) Kings of Leon - Slow Night, So Long
Foo Fighters - Big Me 
(and many, many more people...)

Dream duet?
Any of the above?

Describe your music in 3 words
American Folk Indie

website | tour | youtube | facebook

You can get Annie's debut album, Strangers Who Knew Each Other's Names on iTunes and Bandcamp today

East Twenties - EP Review

Annie Dressner's latest EP, East Twenties (dropping April 8th), picks up where she left off with her folksy, youthful sound. Annie's music is comforting and calming, a singer whose music you would want to hear in a quaint coffee shop. The lyrics in East Twenties deals with heart ache, loneliness and moving forward, topics I think most 20-somethings can relate to.
If you love the acoustic sound of Ed Sheeran and the femininity and voices of First Aid Kit, then you'll definitely need to get a copy of East Twenties.

Pre-Order HERE (EP releases 4/8)
and take a listen to one of the tracks below:

Monday, March 25, 2013

Mixtape Monday: High School Favorites, Pt. 5

1. Rehab - Amy Winehouse (Oh how I loved Amy! And my parents did too, her sound was universal and all around likable. This song was even my dad's ringtone for a while...)

2. Fortress - Pinback (Most of my music came from The O.C. soundtracks, even though I didn't watch the show.)

3. An Honest Mistake - The Bravery

4. The Zephyr Song - Red Hot Chili Peppers (always used to warm up to this dance class)

5. Lake Michigan - Rogue Wave

6. Square One - Coldplay (I got this album the summer I got my driver's permit, and always had it in the car.)

7. Strange & Beautiful (I'll Put A Spell On You) - Aqualung

8. Let Go - Frou Frou (off the Garden State Soundtrack, a high school staple)

9. First Day of My Life - Bright Eyes (I used to LOVE this sound, I still do, but even more so in high school.)

10. You Are What You Love - Jenny Lewis with The Watson Twins (see my love here)

11. Sun, Sun, Sun - The Elected

12. I See You, You See Me - The Magic Numbers (I thought this song was so romantic, I wonder what this band is up to these days...)

13. It's A Hit - Rilo Kiley (see my love here)

Listen to selections from all my High School Favorites mixtapes, I hope it brings you back: 

What were your favorite songs in high school?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Marcel Christ

I love these celebratory clouds of colored powders still lifes by photographer Marcel Christ
They conjure up such a magical and creative feeling whenever I admire them. Plus, the colors are just so yummy. These images remind me a lot of Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors.
Perfect for spring, don't you think?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Lentil Salad

lentil salad
lentil salad
I love hitting Trader Joes at rush hour - the best samples are out. A few weeks ago when I was there, they were handing little cups of Lentil Salad and I fell in love. I've never been in love with lentils before, so I'm really glad this salad re-introduced us. I grabbed a copy of the recipe and followed it verbatim. I've been eating it with multi-grain pita chips and their Mediterranean Greek Yogurt Dip. 
It's so healthful and keeps you full - perfect for lunches. 

Lentil Salad
recipe from Trader Joes

1-17.63 oz steamed lentils (from Trader Joes) (about 2 cups steamed lentils)
1 small red onion, finely diced
3 Persian cucumbers (or 1 large cucumber), diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 Tbl red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Combine lentils, red onion, cucumbers, and bell pepper in a large bowl. Whisk olive oil and vinegar together, pour over salad, and toss. Salt and pepper to taste.

Keeps in fridge for up to 5 days, if you don't devour it all before then. 

lentil salad

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring Pins {Pinterest}

Spring teased Atlanta this past weekend and obviously has me wanting more. I am looking forward to green trees, daffodils and lambs. Also, Easter chocolate. 
 Until Spring fully comes out to play and stay, I am going to enjoy some beautifully pastel and floral pins from my Spring Pinterest board to tie me over.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

DIY Stacked Teacup Stand

tea stand
I've been promising this Stacked Teacup Stand DIY post for months now - ever since my Christmas party -  and finally here it is! It's perfect for showcasing everything from tea bag cookies to your vintage costume jewelry collection.

DIY Stacked Teacup Stand
> Look through your local thrift stores for mismatched plates of various sizes, teacups and saucers. Whatever strikes your fancy - just be sure they aren't chipped or cracked. Thoroughly remove price tags, wash and dry your goods.
> Play around with arranging your cups and plates - I did both my bottom teacups facing down and the top facing up, making 3 tiers, with appropriate sized plates sandwiched between. This is a good example of an arrangement.
> Once you've figured our your arrangement, carefully glue together, using glue's instructions. I recommend using an Epoxy adhesive, but here is a list of other glass glues. A little glue goes a long way and make sure to not get glue residue around the edges as you glue together.  Various glues require different drying times, so be sure to read the instructions
 > If you need to wash your stand, I recommend cleaning with a damp towel,  just something gentle.

Feel free to ask any questions! I know there are a ton of these tutorials on the Internet.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mixtape Monday: What I am Listening to and Why

1. Fast Challenges - Chad Valley (I need to get more music by this electro-indie pop musician - if you love Washed Out, check him out.)

2. My Number - Foals (Their latest album Holy Fire is so so good.)

3. Falling - Haim (The trio's latest catchy single - I really need them to release their debut album already!)

4.  I'm Not Your Hero - Tegan and Sara (Off their recent album Heartthrob, which is much more upbeat and danceable than their previous albums.)

5. Metal & Dust - London Grammar (I found out about this band from Miss Moss and have been listening to them non-stop - for fans of The XX and Sade.)

6. Love They Say - Tegan and Sara

7. Bad Habit - Foals 

8. Black Roses - Escondido (This song has a Neko Case, Southwestern sound to it.)

9. I Don't Recall - Lavender Diamond (haven't been able to get this out of my head)

10. Here I Am - Adam Green / Binki Shapiro (If you like She & Him and Little Joy, give this summery duo a listen.)

11. California Daze - Peace (The Beatles meets Oasis in the most wonderful way. I am IN LOVE with this song.)

12. Hurry Hurry  - Jessie Baylin (reminds me of springtime)


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Charleston Lately...

Charleston Charleston Charleston Charleston
I returned to Charleston for a long weekend to visit some friends and bask in the Lowcountry beauty. My sentiments from my last visit were exactly the same, except this time I got to see some of my favorite parts of the city - like the overgrown Unitarian graveyard and the antique homes on lower King St. 
It was a much needed trip - one that made new memories with old friends and reminded me that moving away is what I needed to do, even though it has been difficult at times (my feelings are always torn about this).
I'll hopefully be seeing Charleston again in May, one last time before the move to Chicago (in August).

Saturday, March 2, 2013

{virtual} Trip to Mexico

Not that it's been unbearably cold lately, but I do miss the sun. And not having to wearing pants/tights all the time. And green leaves on trees.
This Mexico travel video is giving me the rays and rich colors that I've been missing in my life.
Sit back and enjoy the gorgeousness, it's pretty relaxing.
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