a master list of flawless stuff

A list of 32 items that are perfect. Literally...they have no downside whatsoever.

1. Driving with music blasting and the windows down

2. Laura Dern

3. Reading

4. Samoas (GS cookie...Caramel Delites for some of y'all...wha!?)

5. Ian McEwan

6. Exercising

7. Sassy Fox Upscale Consignment in Louisville, KY

8. Ed Sheeran

9. These glasses that are typically sold in art museum gift shops

10. Single malt scotch whiskey

11. Toy Story 3

12. Taking a bath...combine this was #3 and #10 and you've got perfection

13. Crayola crayons

14. The Cheesy Grill and Tomato Soup at Tupelo Honey Cafe

15. Survivor. Yeah, like, the reality show. Yes, I am serious.

16. Smartwool socks

17. Jeffrey Eugenides

18. Black and white photography

19. Tom Haverford's food language:

20. Pinot grigio

21. Hugging a pile of clean laundry right after it comes out of the dryer

22. Familia Camarena Resposado tequila

23. Leaving work on a Friday

24. Bookstores

25. Breaking Bad

26. Stockard Channing audiobook performance on all of Beverly Clearly's Ramona series. Listen to a preview here.

27. Coffee

28. Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland

29. Black leggings

30. Nora Ephron

31. A good pixie haircut

32. Picture books

 

life is better with...honduran coffee

Today we have a guest post from Laura in Lou!

Laura Olinger is a fellow yoga instructor, nanny, and runner blogging in Louisville. 

She's about the sweetest person ever.

Go check out her blog: Laura in Lou.

You can also find her on twitter and instagram.


Roosters don’t crow when the sun comes up; they crow whenever the heck they want to. So, when my alarm goes off just after dawn, I’ve already been half awake for an hour. I throw on some clothes, put my hair in a pony tail, and meet my friends outside. We joke as we run out to the dirt road, and coast through the next village over, before ascending a hill, which is really more like a mountain, so maybe it should be called a mill or a hountain. Regardless, all I can think about as I climb to the top is breakfast. The exhilaration upon racing back down to the valley speeds me home and to the morning’s first cup of coffee.

This isn’t just a regular cup of joe. This is Honduran coffee. The beans are grown locally, in a country whose climate is ideal for its production. It’s ground and brewed in a way that makes it thicker, almost like an espresso but less concentrated. When I’ve got a long day ahead of me, it’s like my life blood.

That’s true no matter whether I’m doing volunteer work in Honduras, or stuck inside on a snowy day in Kentuckiana. I might be a little biased because after my recent trip to Honduras, my third, I’m more in love with the country than ever, but coffee there is just good. Along with sugar, which I’ve tasted straight in the cane, it’s the country’s top export. 

After my first trip to Honduras, I brought back coffee beans for my family, and they have requested it again each visit. Here in the U.S. it’s difficult but not impossible to find a good Honduran bean. Trader Joe’s offers a decent organic, fair trade option, but I’ve also seen it at Costco, in a Costco-size bag.

I am a firm believer in the Proustian idea that the taste of food conjures memory, so until the next time I’m enjoying my cafecito at a Honduran breakfast table, I’ll be savoring the beans I brought back and smiling over fond memories. 

¡Buen provecho!

a norwegian tunnel video

2015-01-02 12.31.21 Insert right here: a super-happy-that-it's-Friday line.

What a whirlwind of a week! I'm so thrilled we've seen so many new students at the studio, but it makes for busy days. I've been making peppermint towels around the clock and it is amazing. I'm still reading the second Elena Ferrante novel, The Story of a New Name. For those of you out there who've read it, DID YOU EVER FINISH!? I love it, but every single night this week I've sat in the tub reading away and I still have a over 100 pages left...

I also found a random video on the computer from a time we drove through a super long, super creepy tunnel in Norway and thought I would share...this video could be a lot longer...that tunnel was LONG. Not sure we'll ever get over Paul Simon's The Sound of Silence coming up on the iPod at that moment. Shuffle is psychic sometimes.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9gWJ153PLc[/embed]

 

 

 

 

how I brighten my days and if I could have any other job

10784913_322119364646433_1498224940_nI'm not going to sugar coat anything. I've fallen behind on blogging.

There is more dog hair on my floors right now than I thought possible. I just threw a pile of groceries on the counter and they need to go in the fridge. The sink and counter is full of dirty dishes. The dishwasher is empty thank god. I have to be at the studio in less than an hour. And I still have to write yesterday's and today's post.

Like I said at the beginning of this challenge. Participation in any form is fine. So I'm going to keep it super simple.This week I've had to rely on yoga, gummy bears, red wine, and my fleece onesie to brighten my days.

10808956_1499058647037104_1568033168_n As far as if I could have any other job? That's a tough one because I'm absurdly satisfied with the two I have. However, I'd have to agree with Laura and go travel writer...particularly for some fancy blog, website, or magazine that specializes in renting yurts like these in Big Sur.

top places I'd like to travel

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA This photo was taken my junior year of college a few months before leaving for my study abroad.

Picking places I'd like to travel is not at all hard. There are only a handful of places I would not like to go. While I loved loved loved it, Europe is pretty much taken care of at this point.

So here's my top three as of right now:

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I would love to go to the Ashtanga Institute in Mysore, India. Not sure it will ever happen, but I would jump at the chance. I love this map from UK based illustrator Holly Wales. She's great!

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Funnily enough, the next two destinations are right here in the US. I would love to see the many unbelievable national parks in Utah.

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And like I said a few posts back, I would love to see California.

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San Francisco, Big Sur, the Redwoods. All on my list. e014f7f7601d37b40a805966ddb6e84b

source // source // source // source

finally

imogenheap-289ca3d349e4a378202f3101f60cfd076cae13e2-s40-c85 A new album from Imogen Heap. I'm not sure why, but her brings me back to certain spaces and places like no other.

I have been a huge fan of hers since Garden State featured her band, Frou Frou, on its soundtrack. Ah, that soundtrack takes me back to college like nothing else. However, she also had a solo career. Her second album, Speak for Yourself, was on constant rotation for the year of 2006 when I saw her live at The Orange Peel in Asheville. While it was just her on stage with several towers of electronics, I still say it's one of the best concerts I've ever seen.

I mean, this song. Overplayed yeah, but oh my, so good.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McDgDlnDX0Y[/embed]

The music I listened to while living in Norway and Scotland is forever burned in my brain. On a typical day, I had headphones on at least 30% of my day. Waiting for the bus, riding the bus, walking to the bus stop, walking to class, walking to work, walking to the grocery, training for a half marathon.

You get the idea. It was a lot of listening to music while staring at everything around me. It was amazing. Imogen Heap's next album, Ellipse, came out while we were in Norway. Every time I hear this song, I will always immediately be transported back to the summer of 2009, making this walk to work. Hopefully after clicking that last link you don't lose too many hours to Google Street View Hyperlapse...I sure did. It's about the craziest/most amazing thing ever.

Well, needless to say, I'm a little excited about her album that comes out today. Can't wait to see what song I get hooked on next...it's been too long!

Green Gazpacho

2014-06-25 11.07.12 I love love love love love gazpacho.

While studying abroad in Granada, Spain, my host family made the traditional tomato variety all the time. It was so refreshing. Which was good because there were several occasions I might have been sitting on a street corner, slightly under the weather due to too many sangrias...like in this photo I unearthed while packing yesterday: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

ANYWAYS...

While eating at Curate during my last trip to Asheville, I ordered their Ajo Blanco, or White Gazpacho, which was insane--chilled almond and garlic soup with cucumber.

I recently threw together a green gazpacho here at home. I've seen similar recipes around, but I made this one up. So easy. All the ingredients are to taste and texture, so just keep adding until it's just right for you.

Green Gazpacho

Ingredients

ripe avocado cucumber, seeds removed baby spinach leaves chopped fresh basil, dill, mint, and cilantro couple heaping spoonfuls of greek yogurt (2% fat or full fat) clove or two of garlic kosher salt + coarsely ground black pepper splash(es) of red wine or sherry vinegar extra virgin olive oil ice cold water

Throw all ingredients except for the oil into a blender or food processor. Be conservative on the amount of water you add in at first. You can always add more if needed. Blend. It should have the consistency similar to a smoothie. With blender or food processor running, begin to slowly drizzle in olive oil. This adds richness. I suggest maybe 1/4 cup for a blender full of soup. If the soup is still too thick for your liking, add more water.

Refrigerate for a few hours, season to taste, and then garnish with more fresh herbs.

 

a weekend in cities

2014-03-21 15.20.09Our trip was great. Close to perfect. I did lug the camera and managed to get it out a few times, but I'm realizing that I'm not as eager to take photos while traveling as I once was. It becomes a distraction and kind of a pain (sorry). So my photos from this trip are lackluster at best. But thought I'd share anyway.

Andrew's first time at the Guggenheim!

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2014-03-21 13.01.422014-03-21 13.02.06 Photo of people taking photos of Starry Night

2014-03-21 11.01.35 OOF! Kinda love this painting at MoMA.

2014-03-21 11.18.07 These were a little crazy. My first thought? Alex Porter would love those...and he did!

2014-03-21 12.59.38 The view from Meg and Matt's roof deck in Boston...no joke!

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And the other side...Old North Church HELLO

2014-03-22 16.51.41 One NY highlight, Eataly. So FUN

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Ahhh...so wonderful.

Here's the rest of the trip in instagrams:

   

I had a blast. However, the next time I'm in New York it will not be winter...period. Every time I've been in my adult life it has been during the coldest of times...I've had it. I can't imagine how fun it would be to walk the streets in warm weather!

I love to visit big cities...so full of amazing people and things to see, but to live, Corydon oddly suits me perfectly these days. I never thought I would say that, but it's true. I really love living in my hometown, despite it's lack of decent grocery stores. Ha!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

headed out!

Tomorrow morning we're headed to the airport bright and early. NYC + Boston! So excited. Never been to Boston before! Can't wait to see friends and visit a new city.

Blogging might be a little sporadic on here the next week or so. But I'm pretty sure I'll be blowing up twitter and instagram so feel free to catch up on there!

Cheers!

How awesome is this cityscape illustration? Love Laurie Milden Hall....especially since her about page has a tree pose in it:

nyc bound

One week from today we'll be in NYC--living it up! I'm beyond excited. We're doing a day in NYC, two days to visit friends in Boston, then back to NYC for another day and a half. We haven't taken a vacation in quite some time so I am ready! Yay!

I'm doing a pretty good job of packing things in, but could always use recommendations. Hit ME!

Things we have on the NYC schedule so far:

  • eating at Craft...our favorite head judge's first restaurant
  • watching Idina Menzel belt for 2+ hours....can't wait.
  • MoMA
  • Momofuku Milk Bar for Crack Pie
  • Hanjan...you had me at the words "Korean gastropub"
  • Strand...duh
  • and will have to make a terrible decision of what other art museums...between the Guggenheim and the Whitney.

It's going to be a whirlwind for sure. Really hoping to try and fit in a yoga class and am also incredibly tempted to give SoulCycle a try! Why not?!

Illustration above is from architect and artist Maja Wronska...love. Here are some more:

 

Where does that one album take you?

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Last night we finally watched The Place Beyond the Pines. I've wanted to see it for a long time, given it features Ryan Gosling driving a motorcycle and all. It was alright, but oh dear the song that plays out the very end of the film completely transported me back in time...this song:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1ag8kapwUk&feature=player_detailpage]

It doesn't matter how many different places I live and where I play Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago, this album means Stavanger, Norway for me. I discovered it the fall of 2008 and oh boy...the melancholy vibe basically went perfectly with Norwegian winter with less than 4 hours of daylight. It was so "hyggelig" or, cozy.


I sometimes wonder if we'll ever visit there again. I would love to...but in the mean time, I guess I'll just queue up this album and visualize myself trudging the mile back (through snow and ice) from the grocery store, laden with shopping bags while Bon Iver warbled away in my headphones.

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