Liebster Award

Imagine my surprise when I checked my emails recently and saw that I was tagged in a post on Facebook by Melissa from Love, Life and Lipgloss. Turns out she nominated my blog for a Liebster Award! (A Liebster is an award for up-and-coming bloggers with less than 500 followers that someone believes deserves recognition.) Thanks, Melissa, for thinking my blog was deserving! It was so cool seeing my name in your list!
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Weakness: Thorin Oakenshield

Weakness: Thorin Oakenshield

Chris is rolling his eyes right about now. Like, epically rolling them. Which is fine with me, because I could certainly name several female characters that would crowd the top of his blog’s “Weakness” category, if he had such a thing. (He doesn’t; his loss, I say.)

For the uninitiated, Thorin Oakenshield is a character of J.R.R. Tolkien’s, who, in the incarnation above, appears in The Hobbit series courtesy of Richard Armitage. I know this version of Thorin isn’t true to the book (there, he was positively ancient), but making a few of the dwarves hot was a brilliant artistic change by Peter Jackson. It’s a good way to rope more women into a fantasy series (okay, and men, too), while also making the lengthy viewing commitment of three movies more appealing. This isn’t to say the films cannot stand on their own, or that I wouldn’t have enjoyed them if all the dwarves actually looked like dwarves; on the contrary, this merely enhances my experience.

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My Review of “Plated”

Have you heard about the new food delivery service called Plated? I discovered it on Facebook, via one of those sponsored page suggestions. Curious, I clicked through to see what it was all about. I’m not a big meal planning person, and only like to grocery shop if I know what will become of the ingredients (which requires a plan of some kind – now you see the issue) so I like to try out different food prep and delivery services when I get the chance.

Recently, Plated offered an introductory coupon to try out their service, so I ordered two dinners from them. I’ve since cooked both, so I thought I’d write up my thoughts in case you are curious about checking them out.

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Said Cecil Beaton

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.”

Simple Moments: Post-It Smilies

Simple Moments: Post-It Smilies

Stumbling blearily into the bathroom in the morning and discovering a sweet, little sentiment perched on the mirror. It’s not for any reason, aside from the best one: because. I blink for a moment while it registers, then smile back. Occasionally the post-its show up in my car, too: stuck to the rearview mirror, or to the mirror under my sun visor (these can take awhile to notice), or even to the back window, which means I have to get out and remove it before I can drive off. One time there was close to twelve, stuck everywhere inside and outside my car. I’m still not sure I found them all. Regardless, I’m always touched by the depth of thought that can be conveyed in such a simple thing.

(But please, let’s not mention to Chris that this is considered romantic. It might count against his annual quota.)

New Music: Miss Li

I found this little gem playing on the overhead speakers at a retail store. It was the perfect groove for shopping: appealing and peppy, but with a vintage flair to it, like something right out of the jazzy 1920s. It also contains a few different layers, which I like: about two minutes into the song, it slows down to a more sultry pace, almost as though the song is over. Then it picks up momentum again, and forty seconds later, it’s jamming out in a very rock-esque fashion. All together, it’s an exuberant, lounge-y tune that will make bopping your head an irresistible urge.

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I discover new music all the time, often in unexpected ways and places, and I delight in this. Even better is sharing my findings in the hope that someone else will make an exciting new discovery as well. Enjoy.

Mind Those Background Noises

Do you ever find yourself noticing the everyday sounds that occur in the background of TV shows and movies? Things like the click of footfalls, closing doors, rustling fabric, jangling keys? I never used to, until I watched a live recording of A Prairie Home Companion, the variety show created and hosted by Garrison Keillor. It wasn’t the first time Foley art had hit my radar, but it was the first time I’d really seen it in action.

When you’re in the audience of Prairie, you get to watch all of the behind-the-scenes stuff going on: the synchronized ballet of production crew, musicians, performers, cue cards, microphones, miles of cords and the frantic gesturing of a stage manager that are all required to pull off a live show. Not surprisingly, Foley art is a big part of this process.

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Did iTunes Change Music?

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but I am addicted to iTunes. Well, not iTunes specifically, but to the concept of purchasing individual songs. Since my tastes are extremely wide-ranging, and I listen to music all the time, I need regular infusions to keep things fresh. It’s why I’m constantly on the lookout for new songs, and why I absolutely relish the fact that music has become a Big Deal on television, in movies, and even at retail stores and restaurants. Quite frankly, there is more amazing music out there than one person could listen to in a lifetime. But I try.

It’s not unusual for me to scoop up a handful of new tracks every week or so, and each time I click purchase on something, I’m silently thanking whatever/whomever was responsible for selling music the way I want to buy it.
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DIY: Organizing Collections

I should start out by saying I’m not usually the type of person who collects things. I have a pretty strong aversion to clutter, so the mere idea of displaying curated groups of objects all over my house makes me want to cringe. It might also explain that rash. (The fact that I can’t seem to stop myself from buying white sidewall shoes, office supplies and small handbags is irrelevant. Do those even qualify as collections? To be safe, let’s go with ‘no.’)

There is one thing I do collect, though, something that represents a legitimate collection no matter how much I generally avoid the behavior: Hard Rock Cafe pins.
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Nature As Art

Pierre Bonnard once said that art would never be able to exist without nature. Aristotle agreed by saying that art takes nature as its model. But what if nature itself is the medium? Today I’m sharing three inspiring examples of this:

Andres Amador's Earthscapes

1. Andres Amador’s “Earthscapes”

“Draws” may not be the right word. He doesn’t sit down or stand motionless as he uses his hand to create designs. Instead, Amador steps and leaps swiftly over the beach, dragging his rake as it scrapes the top layer of the sand, revealing the darker, wet sand below. The contrast creates stunning flowers, snowflakes, and abstract geometric designs that can span 100,000 square feet in area.

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