Saturday, June 19, 2010

I'm so American when it comes to junk food.

I love it-- no matter how much it gives me heartburn or a guilty conscience.
There's certainly no shortage of wonderful junk foods to choose from, but my new favorite is

Why, you ask?
Their burgers are old fashioned, juicy and delicious. They use really fresh ingredients.
They serve natural-cut shoestring french fries, hands-down the best french fry known to man.
Their prices are insanely cheap.
And take a gander just at the bottom of their menu board.

Yep. They have oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!

As if all that isn't enough to win you over, check this out.

Dublin Dr. Pepper on tap? Is this heaven? Nope. It's P. Terry's.

What's your pleasure when it comes to junk food?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Favorites vol. 15

1. Skeleton keys

My mom has a bunch of old, skeleton keys hanging up on a wall, and I absolutely love that idea, as well as the idea of wearing one on a chain as a necklace.

2. Nectarines
Like peaches, only better.

3. My new laptop sleeve from Built

Before I had this laptop sleeve, I used to take my laptop (Eva) in a cheesy laptop bag that was much more Sporty Spice than me. Now, with this laptop sleeve, I can safely tote her in any cute tote bag that I want.

My dogs really, really wanted to help me photograph the new polkadot sleeve for Eva. My laptop is named after two Evas: this one and this one.

4. Hipstamatic iPhone app

I know I've written about this app before here and posted photos with it (including the photos you see above). The old feel of these photos never fails to make me feel happy.

Isn't my hubs so freakin cute?

5. Netflix Watch Instantly

I've thought about including Netflix Watch Instantly on my Friday Favorites for a while, but I thought it was too shallow. Too jerky. Too... d-baggy?
The fact is, we not only love Netflix, we love Netflix Watch Instantly. Nathan set our TV up so we can watch movies/shows directly from the website, and while there is quite a lot of crap on it, there's also a ton of good stuff.

30 Rock
Flirting with Disaster
tons of Mystery Science Theater 3000
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
SNL: The Best of Christopher Walken
Peewee's Big Adventure
lot of amazing old movies, like Ball of Fire
Some absolutely incredible documentaries, like
The Up series
The Rape of Europa
Man on Wire
The September Issue
King of Kong
just to name a few.

On our Netflix Watch Instantly Queue that we have yet to watch...
Bright Star
Please Vote for Me
To Be and to Have
Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season 1

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mommy, what is Fernando doing to that...shoe?

My hilarious aunt posted this video.

Don't you feel a little sad for the tortoise here? I mean for all we know, the little guy may be thinking this experience will lead to a meaningful relationship. But no. That gray Croc is not going to return his calls.

I thought this was a unique story of star-crossed accessory/reptile love, but no.
Youtube has video upon video of tortoise-on-shoe porn.

This raises some important questions...
If a turtle or tortoise approached your shoe, would you reject the little fella, or let him carry on with his amorous intentions? What if you were still wearing the shoe?
Funny, or just heartbreaking?
I guess it depends on if you're the videographer, the tortoise, or the shoe.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lemonade Extravaganza

Two weeks ago, Nathan and I shot our friends Kathryn and Rami's wedding in Iowa. It was one of the most spectacular and special events I've been to in a really long time.

Kathryn's main color was yellow, with white and navy accents. Lemons (being the perfect shade of yellow) had a major role to play, in decorations,

place cards,

and beverages.

Ever since the wedding, we've been very into lemonade.
The traditional ratio for lemonade is one part sugar to one part water to one part lemon juice (plus extra water to dilute).
I took a lazy (or some might say smart) route and used bottled lemon juice.

If you have a few minutes, it's worth it to make simple syrup* with the water and sugar-- just combine equal parts water and sugar in a small saucepan over med-high heat. Stir occasionally until the water becomes clear, and the sugar is dissolved. Presto! *Be sure to use two parts simple syrup to one part lemon juice for your lemonade base.

OK, this weekend, we may have gone overboard, because we decided to make three different types of lemonade.

Lemonade #1: Strawberry Basil, based on this recipe.
I used our immersion blender, but I bet you'd be OK using a food processor or traditional blender.

Lemonade #2: Cucumber, based on this recipe.
I did use Sprite to top off the drink, with a little less simple syrup, so it wasn't overly sweet.
The longer you let the lemon juice and simple syrup stand with the cucumbers, the more "cucumbery" the flavor will be. I let ours stand for maybe an hour and it was delish.

Lemonade #3: Spiked Lemonade w/ Mint based on this recipe. The only real change was that I muddled mint with the simple syrup before I put it all together. (I also used ready-made vanilla vodka rather than making my own.)

All of the recipes were a smashing success. My favorite was the strawberry basil and Nathan's favorite was the cucumber.

If you have another lemonade recipe, feel free to share, because I suspect this will be the summer of lemonade.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My little dream of a Summer Mixtape* Club

*and by Mixtape, I mean MixCD.

I just finished making my Summer Mixtape*, which is an annual tradition for me. I always love to share copies of Summer Mixtapes* every year with friends.

In fact, I have a dream that one day, enough of my friends will make their own Summer Mixtapes* that we'll form a Summer Mixtape* Club, and everyone will trade with each other. Just imagine, hearing new bands, remembering old music, agreeing that some of the songs are fantastic, skipping others. It's a beautiful picture, no? You might think I'm kidding, but I'm really not. So far, I have one friend who made a Mixtape* this year. Thanks, DB! You're not only a charter member, I nominate you as club president.

(This is what our Summer Mixtape Club offerings might have looked like circa 1987.)

Anyway, here's who made the cut for me this year:
1. Kids - MGMT
2. Against All Odds - The Postal Service (cover of Phil Collins)
3. The W.A.N.D. - The Flaming Lips
4. Your Love - The Outfield
5. Streamlined - Slow Runner
6. Cosmic Love - Florence and the Machine
7. Caring is Creepy - The Shins
8. Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime - Beck (cover of The Korgis)
9. 1901 - Phoenix
10. The Funeral - Band of Horses
11. District Sleeps Alone Tonight - The Postal Service
12. Your Cloud - Tori Amos
13. Subterranean Homesick Alien - Radiohead
14. Hometown Glory (Live) - Adele
15. The World at Large - Modest Mouse
16. Midnight Train to Georgia - Gladys Knight and the Pips

I created a Pandora Radio station based on these songs. Feel free to listen in, if you want, and help me give "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" to songs that pop up.

According to Rob Gordon, there are specific rules for making a Mixtape.

I couldn't find the exact clip I was looking for...
so, instead, let's all just watch John Cusack in the scene that made every red-blooded American girl fall in love with him.

Mixtapes*. Summer. John Cusack. Pure heaven!
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