Friday, October 4, 2013

friday night wisdom

nothing like breaking this radio silence with some wide words from megfee...

And it is okay not to know. Let me say that again: It is okay NOT. TO. KNOW. Which really means you gotta hold yourself accountable in those moments when you start filling in the blanks with what you think or predict or divine because the not-knowing is so damn uncomfortable. At first, you may not even realize you’re doing this. Don’t confuse what-you’ve-made-up with reality. Give it more time. Exercise patience. Remind yourself, again and again that the unknown can be a delicious thing.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

take a minute to unplug

I don't know about you, but lately I feel like I have been way too attached to my phone/technology in general. Obviously, some of this is just unavoidable during the work day, but it has become too easy to get home and hop right back on the computer or sit there checking all the different social networks I find myself plugged into. 

I love this short film...a reminder that we miss out on a lot of the wonderful things right in front of us because we are so busy being virtually connected. Just a good reminder that the best and most genuine connections are the people right in front of us everyday. 

Embrace those moments and the people around you!

Monday, August 19, 2013

listening to | volcano choir, repave

If you are a fan of Justin Vernon's work and you have been missing some of the sounds we heard with Bon Iver's For Emma, then the latest album from Vernon's band Volcano Choir might just do the trick. Set to release September 3rd, Repave creates the familiar mysterious, but expressive sound and lyrics that are reminiscent of Bon Iver and "work wonders in arrangements that swell and boom."

NPR's First Listen once again lets us have a sneak peak at this latest body of work and I highly recommend pressing play right now...

Sunday, August 18, 2013

passion pit!

I am super excited to be heading to the Passion Pit concert tonight and NPR must have been tuned in because this Tiny Desk concert featuring the band just came out-perfect timing! I am actually going to be volunteering with RadioMilwaukee prior to the show, so if you're local and checking out the show be sure to swing by the 88.9 booth for a chance to win some free "swag" :)

In the meantime, check out this stripped down Passion Pit performance
to get your morning started off right! 

listening to | sharon van etten "serpents"

I just started listening to Sharon Van Etten in the past few months and I definitely like what I am hearing! I have a whole handful of friends who have been fans for years and I wish I had tuned in earlier...but glad to have some new music to listen to now :) Take a listen to "Serpents" from her latest album Tramp....

You can also check out more of her music here from NPR's World Cafe interview over the summer!

listening to | mumford & sons

Very excited that Mumford & Sons released their new album, Babel, yesterday. Since they are one of my favorite bands, I figured we could all start out day with one of their new songs, "Whispers in the Dark". If you like what you hear, you can check out more of their live performance (and an interview) on WFUV...I know I will! 

Now if they would only come to Milwaukee for a show, fingers crossed!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

local spot: Anitgua Latin restaurant

^^delicious pupusa and empandas^^

^^best.flan.ever^^ photo by Michael Sears

A few weeks ago, we finally made it over to Antigua Latin restaurant (I've had a groupon for this for months!) and we were both very impressed with....everything! 

The restaurant, located in West Allis, was totally different than I expected-fresh, lots of bright colors and of course, traditional Latin American decor. Our waitress was wonderful which is always huge and appreciated in any dining experience. 

We decided that we would just sample some of their small plates so we could get a taste of a variety of dishes, but I think we will certainly head back to try an entree or two next time. First, we started with ceviche-a first time for both of us and it did not disappoint! Light, great citrus sauce on top and served with homemade tortilla chips, a win-win-win for sure!

Next we tried the Yolanda empanadas, an Argentian dish with ground beef, onions, egg, and raisins-seasoned really well with a great balance of salty and sweet. We also chose the pupusa, corn tortilla pockets filled with pork and beans...simple, but great flavors. Final dish of the night: cochinita sliders! Pulled pork perfection.

So even though I was feeling pretty satisfied with the meal, when our waitress brought out the dessert menu and I saw "Milwaukee's Best Flan" right on top, I couldn't pass up the chance to try a piece. I will selfishly (and embarrassingly) admit that I miiiight have had the whole piece to myself, but MAN was it g-o-o-d! Lucky for me, I happened to stumble across the recipe for their flan, so now I can recreate the magic at home!

Long story short: fun, vibrant, delicious, can't wait to go back!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

listening to | lorde

The past few weeks I keep hearing the hit song "Royals" by the New Zealand native, Lorde aka Ella Yelich-O'Connor and it has managed to completely get stuck in my head (in a good way!) Apparently, Lorde is the first woman in 17 years to top the alternative songs chart AND she is only 16 years old-nuts! 

Have a listen and see for yourself why some call this the real "song of the summer"...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

happy online shopping with H&M!

For those of you who have a (slight) online shopping addiction, than today is your day! H&M finally opened it's website for US shoppers and now everything in their stores is at your fingertips! As much as I like to try and choose more high-quality pieces to include in my wardrobe (let's face it, those items just last so much longer!), I personally am still a sucker for their affordable and trendy fashion so this will be hard to resist! 

Be sure to stop by H&M today to get your fashionista fill (they even have home furnishings available) and sign up for their newsletter to get FREE shipping and stay up to date on other fashion news and discounts!

p.s. they are also having a Instagram contest with a chance for the finalist to win $250 gift card and a grand prize trip to travel to NYC for and H&M shopping spree! 

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

courage can contagious

"You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world's problems at once but don't ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own..." -Michelle Obama

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

afternoon inspiration: the Earth Harp

The Earth Harp, invented in 1999 by William Close, is the longest stringed instrument in the world. The instrument is set up using the surrounding architecture (buildings, natural landscapes, etc) so that the instrument actually becomes a part of the architecture..."the environment and architecture are transformed by the strings, forever changing the perception of those who see the installation." 

Close and his Earth Harp Collective have traveled all around the world giving some pretty magical performances, so be sure to check out this one below and read this interview from The New York Times for insight on Close's vision for the Earth Harp. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

ny visit, bachelorette festivities!

so last weekend-yes, last weekend...that's how behind I am! SO, last weekend my sister and I headed out to New York for my cousin's bachelorette party/annual cousins gathering and we had such a great time!

I can't deny that the heat was just a tad bit out of control, but we managed to push through as we traveled around Long Island on party bus for a winery tour, danced, played late-night charades, enjoyed a few moments at the beach, and caught up on one another's lives.

I feel pretty blessed to have such a wonderful family and can't wait to see all of them at the wedding in a few months-whenever that I see them multiple times in a year, it's a good year in my book :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

in the kitchen | kale and brussels sprouts salad

image by Christopher Testani

Brussels sprouts. Some people love them, others h-a-t-e these little baby cabbages. Personally, I am a huge fan-steamed, roasted, raw...I'm down for brussels sprouts of any variety.

On Sunday night, I joined my parents in the 'burbs for dinner and we were fortunate enough to have our good family friends in from Nashville also share the table with us. During our conversation, our friend mentioned how they had recently found a new recipe for brussels sprouts that is sure to please any one, so naturally I had to look into.

Lucky for me, this took all of two seconds, and I happen to have enough of the ingredients laying around to make my own twist on the dish. So if you are looking for something quick, easy, healthy, and pretty darn delicious, give this one a whirl!

Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad
adapted from Bon Appetit

1lb brussels sprouts, sliced very thin or grated
1 C kale, leaves thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/3 C roasted almonds, chopped

2-3 T Balsamic vinaigrette dressing (yes, I cheated)
1 T Dijon mustard
1-2 T olive oil
1 T lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Mix balsamic vinaigrette dressing, mustard, lemon juice, and garlic in a small bowl and set aside. 

2. Toss shredded brussels sprouts, kale, and pepper in a large bowl. Add in crushed almonds. 

3. Toss salad with your somewhat-homemade dressing

4. Serve immediately paired with a lovely white wine and fresh bread :)

Bon appetit! 

Friday, July 12, 2013

a summer of festivals

Milwaukee might be best known for its abundance in cheese, brats, and beer, but the one of the other (many!) great parts about this city is most certainly its' abundance of festivals all summer long! Summerfest, Bastille Days, Festival of the Arts, Festa Italiana, German Fest, Mexican Fiesta, Indian Summer Fest, to name a few PLUS a whole handful of neighborhood street fairs and festivals all summer long...whew!

So far I have managed to make it out for a few things! First was Summerfest aka the world's largest music festival-we went and saw a few sets put on by Minneapolis-based hip-hop collective, Rhymesayers, which featured P.O.S., Brother Ali, and Atmosphere. I also got to experience my very first country music concert (Craig Morgan) a few nights later...there is a first time for everything!

^^my brother filming k'naan

Just last night I also got to experience Milwaukee's Bastille Days celebration...we meandered through the crowds, watched the "Storm the Bastille" 5K in action, and even tried frog legs! Ry and I decided that we would definitely have to participate in the run next year-it looks like a great time, more of a "fun run" than a race! 

^^ mmmm frog legs.

Do you have a favorite summer festival in Milwaukee or your own hometown? Summer always seems to go by so quickly, so make sure you get out there and have some fun (but maybe skip the frog legs!)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

an all-american weekend

^^sunsets at the cottage

^^ice cream treats at the well

^^fireworks, naturally.

^^first boat ride for Colton!

^^had to get Grandma in the big chair

^^sunsets back in Milwaukee

We had a lovely, but jam-packed holiday weekend: boating, swimming, knee-boarding, soaking up the sun, eating way too much BBQ, experiencing my first country music concert, and loads of family time. I was definitely exhausted by the time I got back to the apartment on Sunday night, but it was such a fun weekend. 

Now I am slowly getting back into the real world, though it's already Wednesday, so can't really complain! I hope you were able to do all sorts of fun activities for your holiday weekend too! 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

in the kitchen | boom boom baked beans

Well this is pretty much a guest post coming straight to you from my mom featuring the infamous boom boom baked beans! Consider this an upgrade to the standard baked beans in a can situation and pretty perfect for your 4th of July barbecue (I'll definitely be whipping this up to share with Ry's family!) 

This dish has quickly become a family favorite and if you like REAL bacon in your baked beans, then this is sure to impress you (and your friends!). 

Boom Boom Baked Beans 
via my mom

-6 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped coarsely
-1 large yellow onion
-2 cans of B&M Original Baked Beans
-1 can red kidney
-1 can dark red kidney
-1 can butter beans
-1 can cannelini beans
1-2 Tbsp brown sugar*
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard (or mustard powder)*
1 Tbsp Ketchup*
*These are estimates, so feel free to play around with the taste as you to make it to your liking!

1. Cook bacon and set aside. Do not throw bacon fat away.
2. Chop onions and cook in bacon fat until they are transparent, set aside.
3. Using a strainer, drain all the beans except for the canned "original baked beans" (helpful to have a large bowl to keep all the beans in as you rinse them)
4. Place the beans in a large pot. Open the two "original baked beans" and add them to the pot with the sauce from the cans
5. Add in brown sugar, Dijon mustard/mustard powder and ketchup and mix all together. Once you have the desired flavor, add the onions and most of the bacon; mix ingredients. 
6. Pour into a casserole dish or Pyrex dish. Put the remaining bacon on top. 
7. Bake in 350 oven until really hot all the way through...approx. 30 minutes.

Serve with your favorite grilled meal (burgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob-the possibilities are endless!)

Bon appetit! 

Monday, July 1, 2013

life lately

a visual of what's been going on in my time and place...trips to duluth, serendipitous reunions with friends, lovely summer sunsets, flowers bloomin',  quality time with Bailey, and gorgeous views of the city! 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

still here, i swear and some tunes...

obviously documenting life and things has gone way down on the priority list, but I swear I am still here! Having just started a new job, life has become a bit hectic and necessary to focus on one thing at a time BUT I hope to start sharing what's going on in my time place again :)

Now I must tell you that while I have been settling into a new routine, I have been really excited to check out a new album from one of my favorite performers, Dessa. She just released "Parts of Speech" and it has more or less been on repeat the past 24ish hours. Intelligent and thoughtful lyrics, great beats, and an evolution into something much more than just your everyday "rapper" are all clear in this album, so I highly recommend checking it out! 

Lucky for you, a local radio station in Minneapolis, the Current, hosted a special session called "Dessa Deconstructed" discussing the creative process of making the new album, as well as a few live performances...enjoy! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

summer is here!

^^lake views from McKinley Park

^^Ry's grandma aka the new spokeswoman for Lakefront Brewery

^^father's day stroll at Lion's Den Gorge

I recently accepted a new job (yay!) and during the transition I had a few days off to let life slow down and reorganize myself. This meant I was able to spend some time strolling around Milwaukee while enjoying some of the most perfect summer weather we have had yet, reading, paying a visit to Lakefront Brewery aka Ryan's "office", and a trip to the cottage for birthday celebrations. 

Last but not least, I spent almost the whole day with my dad on Sunday-chipping paint off the fence and sanding it down (it's true, I used power tools), exploring Lion's Den Gorge with our dog Bailey, and had a great Sunday night dinner (I made this pasta dish for everyone) with the fam.