Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Top Ten Songs of 2011

top ten 2011 by sara yaeggi on Grooveshark

I'll be posting my Top Ten Albums of the year tonight at the Top Ten Party, but for now I'll leave you with my Top Ten Songs of the year. (I still need some more time to whittle down the album list before the big reveal - too much good music this year). Are you coming to the Top Ten Party??? There's going to be a lot of people and I can't wait to meet some new friends and fellow music nerds.

The Annual Top Ten Party is TONIGHT at Club Garibaldi from 8-11pm. Bring your lists, drink some Louie's Demise, and let's talk shop. Read the Journal Sentinel article with all the details HERE. And/Or visit the official website http://top10albumsoftheyear.blogspot.com/.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Jingle Jangle Jingle

I am onto the wrapping portion of Christmas. Hooray!
I have a new favorite ornament!
I have the song "Jingle Jangle Jingle totally stuck in my head thanks to a toddler.
I can't wait to come home and watch Claymation Christmas tonight.
Getting ready for Christmas BRUNCH!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide

So if you're anything like me, you've waited until the 22nd to do the majority of your Christmas Shopping. Welcome, fellow procrastinators, this is your guide to no-overnight-shipping and local buys.

Rishi Tea Sets - Anaba Tea Room and Garden Room in Shorewood has tons of great stuff like vintage-looking mercury Christmas ornaments, fancy gardening odds and ends, and so many types of Rishi tea it will make your head explode. Rishi tea is a Milwaukee company so extra props for supporting local business.

Alessi Sculpture Fruit Bowl - The Milwaukee Art Museum gift shop is one of my favorite places to find unique gifts. They have a great assortment of kids books and unique toys and their prices aren't that bad. I really like their sculpture-esque serving bowls.

City Tins - I love these dang things. Inside are deep discount coupons for the best restaurants in the city. Great gift for young couples. You can buy them at Outpost, Lockers in the Public Market, or Beans & Barley.

Chemex Coffee Maker - Alterra Coffee sells these primo yet simple coffee makers. I've had coffee from them once and I can attest that it IS one of the best ways to make coffee - nice and smooth with no grainy/bitter after taste. For coffee connoisseurs this will make them jump with glee.

Pabst Theater Gift Card - I know teenagers are hard to buy for. Even I knew I was difficult to buy for back then. But the one thing I knew (and every teenager knows) is that concerts are rad.

Assorted Spices - The Spice House has the best spices and walking into their store is a instant aromatherapy session. For avid cooks or just people hard to buy for - you can always find something exotic and rare like West Indies Cardamon pods or common and useful like their special hot chocolate blends.

Slate Cheese Board - For us in the land of cheese and curds, Wisconsin, cheese is its own food group. Since cheese and sausage platters are a staple appetizer, why not give those a nice cheeseboard to show off their stuff a little. You can buy these at The Home Market, The Public Market, and West Allis Cheese and Sausage Co. This particular one is from the Milwaukee Art Museum gift shop.

Rifle Paper Co. Notebooks - Most girls like lotion, candles and fancy paper. Rifle Paper Co. is one of my mega design crushes. I go on their website to oogle about once a day. So these notebooks from Anthropologie (in stock in the Third Ward) would make a nice stocking stuffer, or as a set with a nice pen set, a journal, or other stationery. Monograham in Delafield also sells Rifle Paper Co. goods.

Milwaukee Brewers Jersey - Guys will never turn down a jersey or fan gear. The Brewers stadium store is open late and does personalized stitching to add a player's name or your name. Otherwise, Sports Plus at Mayfair mall stocks a good assortment of all Wisconsin team gear.

Bridesmaids - Filmed in Milwaukee (parts of it), this movie makes me laugh so hard. This would be a great gift for a girlfiend, BFF, or sister.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Backyard Discovery: Zak's Cafe

I recently checked out the new Zak's Cafe in Milwaukee's Walker's Point. I love how Walker's Point neighborhood is being revitalized by new street face-lift, restaurants, condos, breweries, the UWM School of Fresh Water and hotels. Current business like La Merenda, Transfer, South 2nd Street Antiques, Clinton Street Antiques, Soup Bros., and Triskele's are keeping a heartbeat to the neighborhood, so the new development will really reawaken that part of the city.

Zak's Cafe is a perfect addition to all this new growth. Their menu heavily features breakfast and brunch items, but I was more intrigued with the lunch and dinner options like portobello sandwiches, roast duck, and a Friday Fish Fry with perch and walleye.

See the rest of their menu HERE.

Zak's is open
Tues-Thurs 6:30am-9pm
Fri-Sat 6:30am-10am
Sun 7am-3pm
Mon closed

Have you been to Zak's? Did you like it, too?

Monday, December 19, 2011

MKE locals: Eric and Magill

Eric & Magill "You Make It So Good" from Liam Mitchell on Vimeo.

Check out the latest music video for Milwaukee-based Eric & Magill's song "You Make It So Good" and then tell me that's not every 7-year olds dream birthday cake. By the way, the kid in the video is pretty awesome.

Eric and Magill self-released their second album, Kick The Covers Vol. 1 on December 15 and have it up for free streaming and free download on their website. 88.9 FM has been playing the track, Baggage Claim a lot and I have a feeling the album might show up on a few Top Ten Lists this year.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Surviving Cold and Flu Season

{ It's that time of year....not the most wonderful time of the year -- cold and flu season. Viral gastroenteritis hit our house like napalm on Friday. One minute, fine. The next, I was headfirst in the toilet bowl for the next three days. Then last night, just after I had my first full meal in days and thought I was turning the bend, my husband came down with the exact same thing. It was like watching a bad rerun.

It's going around like the plague, my friends. Word on the street (the clinic I work at) is that there's a norovirus (a virus that causes your GI system to act like the exorcist) on the loose. Fortunately, norovirus only lasts about 1-2 days and isn't not too dangerous, just gross. Strep throat, sinusitis, plain-jane runny noses colds and norovirus all follow the same rules of epidemiology. All of them are spread by contact with droplets or the infectious material to the nose/mouth. But good old fashion TLC and an attitude like a HazMat officer will get you through it. }

Tip #1: Wash your hands, then wash again.

I wash my hands a lot. Being a nurse, it's basically my life. But over the past week, I washed every even more especially after touching my mouth, before and after eating, and after any of that aforementioned gross stuff happened. Being diligent will keep a virus in check. It's no coincidence that hand-washing with plain ol' soap reduces bacteria by 82% and reduces viruses by over 50%.
- Keys to proper hand-washing are duration and intensity. Some sing "Happy Birthday" to help them reach the recommended 30 second minimum for hand-washing, but I turn hand-washing into "make-believe spa time" with fancy smelling soaps and nice warm water - do whatever mental trick works for you. You can use a nailbrush to make sure that you get under your nails and between your fingers.

Tip #2: Drink Plain Water

Drinking fluids not only replaces what your body loses through fighting infection and all the aforementioned gross stuff, it helps wash out your mouth/throat - ridding incoming germs and clearing phelgm. I'm a big fan of plain water, sometimes with a little pedialyte, gatorade, or juice.
- Strong flavors or creamy drinks might be aggravating to an upset stomach and cause you to throw up again which is why the doctor tells you to drink clear fluids. If you can see through it, you can drink it.
- Sugary drinks like soda or juice provide fuel for bacteria and can cause stomach upset, an unnecessary waste of energy to break down all that sugar, and wasting of water to dilute and digest all that sugar.
- If you're losing electrolytes via one end or the other, add more gatorade/pedialyte/rehydration salts. You can also eat your salt, magnesium, potassium, chloride, and calcium. Cheerios, yogurt, peanut butter, and enriched white bread pack a lot of these electrolytes.

Tip #3: Put Some Salt In It

Most of those cold season germs attach to an area in the back of the throat called the pharynx before entering the body. That's why most colds start out with a sore throat before turning into a runny nose or cough.
- Salt water gargles work. Add 1 tsp of table salt (less coarse=easy dissolve) to 1 cup of warm water. Hot water will dissolve the salt faster, just wait until it's warm before using.
- Neti pots are my bff. I get seasonal allergies, exposure to all sorts of germs at work, and occasional runny noses. Rinsing my sinuses with warm salt water (same recipe above) keep me functioning through all that. You might want to start with luke warm water and less salt until you get the hang of salt water up the nose.

Tip #4: Clean sheets, clean air

Florence Nightingale revolutionized the nursing profession with clean sheets, clean air, and clean hands. She was onto something.
- Wash all sheets, clothes, pajamas, towels, blankets, and sweaters whether or not they have witnessed the glory of your cold/flu/barf. Many viruses can live for up to a week on surfaces and fabrics.
- Get outside. Even though it's winter and you're sick, bundle up and try to get outside for 5 minutes. Getting fresh air and even a little walk can open up your lungs, loosen up mucus, and increase your oxygen levels. Oxygen is needed for every bodily function including fighting infections. Just stay warm. Colds thrive in (like their name) cold.

Tip #5: Eat what you can
I tend to believe "listen to your body" is the best guide for eating when sick. I know that your body needs extra calories to fuel an immune system in overdrive. However, most people have enough fat stores to get them through a couple days of being sick. Pushing foods only applies to the very young, very old, or very sick. If you want a milkshake, get it. If you are craving saltine crackers, your body is probably telling you it needs more salt. If you're dehydrated your body needs the salt to pull the water from your gut into the bloodstream. A few days of not eating much is not going to hurt most people, but a few days of not drinking can be very, very serious. So worry more about the fluids than the foods.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Etsy Finds: Krust

I'm loving these bags from Krust. I need some bright pops of color in my wardrobe since it seems I wear nothing but black and grey when the temps dip below 32. I'm not great at physics but dark colors attract heat, correct? It's worth a try isn't it?

Check out more bags at the Krust Etsy store

Monday, November 28, 2011

Top Ten Party: December 27th

Attention music nerds! As 2011 is nearing a close, a year of good music needs to be properly appreciated. Every year, my husband hosts a "Top Ten Party" to gather (remember last year's?), listen to great albums, and discuss nerdy music stuff. Oh, and drink. Everyone compiles a list of the top ten greatest albums of the year (after great contemplation--ie my husband) and writes them out on giant posters to post around the room.

Read about it in
today's Shepherd Express article

This year, it will be held at Club Garibaldi on the 27th, with beer courtesy of Milwaukee Brewing Co. Donations will be accepted for charity. This year, the charity of choice is a project that I hold very dear, the Kola Project.

When I went to Liberia in January with USAID, I became even more aware how education is crucial to economic development, peaceful democracy, and social change. Even though, I have done several USAID projects, PEPFAR projects, and donate internationally, I'm very aware that an American cannot solve an African problem. I can only pass on my skills and resources to those living and breathing on the ground and in the field. Our group gathered our resources and put them into action. The Kola Project funds two full four year baccelaureate scholarships every year for selected students to attend the University of Liberia. Funding a domestic education builds a local resevoir of talent, funds jobs, and encourages good work to stay in Liberia. One academic year at the University of Liberia only costs less than $50. The Project covers tuition and a small stipend for books and school related costs like transportation.

post YOUR list of top ten albums of the year onto the official blog

Hope to see your lists!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Go Local, Milwaukee

If you're planning to do any Christmas shopping in the next week, check out these three events to get some presents or some gift ideas. I'm all for Amazon.com and their free shipping, but if I can find something quality that's unique and/or handmade, I feel like I get extra points in the gift-giving department. So think outside the box this holiday season, give gifts that are special and personal (ie not a Target gift card) and support some local businesses, too.

Art vs. Craft
The biggest and best shopping event in Milwaukee. If you have ever wasted away hours on Etsy, you'll love this event. Many Etsy sellers will be there, along with local and regional artists, vendors, and crafters. You can easily knock out half of your Christmas shopping in one day.
WHEN: Saturday, November 26th 2011, 10am- 6pm
WHERE: Milwaukee School of Engineering!
Event entrance is on the corner of Highland & Broadway
1047 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Made In Milwaukee
Over 40 Milwaukee-based performers, musicians, artists, and creatives - a showcase of local talent. See what's being created in the city.
WHEN: Wednesday, November 23 Doors open at 7pm
WHERE: Turner Hall Ballroom, 1032 N. 4th street

Hovercraft Milwaukee
A Milwaukee showcase of artists, crafters, businesses, and musicians. Craft demonstrations and tutorials along with live performances and mini tours of Sweet Water aquaponics.
WHEN: Saturday, December 3rd, 12pm to 6pm
WHERE: Sweet Water Organics 2151 S. Robinson Ave. in Bay View

Monday, November 21, 2011

All the pretty napkins

1. Birch napkins by Oh, Little Rabbit
2. EAT. napkin by Emersonmade
3. Wine ring cocktail napkins by Avril Loreti
4. Ice printed napkin from West Elm
5. Artichoke paper napkins from Anthropologie

I'm off to Michael's right now to attempt the above project from Design Sponge shown on the Martha Stewart Show. Instead of place mats, I'll be doing this project on small appetizer napkins. I'll be bringing my Carrot Soup to Thanksgiving along with a french cheese plate (to go along with the bottles of beaujolais my father-in-law hasn't stop talking about!), so these will be perfect for the snacking and appetizing going on before dinner.

Instructions for inkjet-transfer thanksgiving place mats HERE

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Can't stop Listening to: Kathleen Edwards

This song has been a regular on my "I-Pass Lane Soundtrack" when I drive to Chicago. Her voice is quite addictive.

Kathleen's voice further supports my theory that flowing red hair and killer pipes are genetically linked - Neko Case, Florence Welch, Tori Amos - someone needs to do a thesis on this.

Her new full-length album comes out next year, but her two singles produced by her boyfriend, Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon, are out now. They make some pretty lovely music together. Through that collaboration, both professional and personal, I feel like Kathleen's voice really blossomed on this album. Or maybe the music supports her so much better. Either way, it sounds great.

Her upcoming tour is kicking off here in Milwaukee at Turner Hall on January 24th. The pre-sale starts today at 12pm.

Pedestrian Drama

Along the sidewalk in front of Northwestern Mutual on Wisconsin Avenue, you may notice the light poles look a little different. Five kiosks with three panels of moving flip art animation depict a "Pedestrian Drama" of sorts. Artist Janet Zweig created the project in collaboration with the City of Milwaukee and the Department of Transportation and numerous local artists/dancers/etc to create the images.

You can read more on Janet Zweig's website HERE

It looks pretty cool at night.

Have you seen it yet?

Pedestrian Drama from Janet Zweig on Vimeo.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Milwaukee Faves: Tables at Soup Brothers

This small place hidden on Florida Street in the Fifth Ward only has about 4 tables, but it's what's on the tables that make a huge impact. Small trinkets, toys like a dump truck carrying cinnamon sticks, original oil paintings, small bottle brush christmas trees, and other clutter make eating hot fresh homemade soup a visual and comforting experience, like eating in grandma's attic. Every time I go, I see something new. I also find myself eating slower, looking around more and keeping my eyes occupied as I savor every bite of soup. The other day I had the cheddar and bermuda onion soup, but the menu of four or five soups changes daily. They also serve great sandwiches, cookies, and Jarritos soda.

Soup Brothers
Location: 209 W. Florida St. in Walker's Point (5th ward)
Hours: sometimes vary, Open 11am - 4pm
Heads Up: bring cash, the wait may be long, the owner might be related to the 'soup nazi'

Friday, November 11, 2011

Roth Käse Cheese

It's perhaps a prerequisite for living in Wisconsin, but I love cheese. And after digging around on Ancestry.com I found out why. My Swiss-born great-grandfather carried on the family trade of cheese making and dairy farming and my great-grandmother grew up on the slopes of the Matterhorn where Swiss cheese (or emmentaler as we Swiss say) was born. So, it all makes sense now.

One of my new favorite cheeses is Roth Käse's Grand Cru Gruyere, a buttery smooth and light cheese, a little denser than Swiss, but just as milky. I paired it up with some Honey Crisp apples for an afternoon snack, but I could see this going really well with sandwiches or on french onion soup. You can trek to the factory in Monroe, Wisconsin to buy some, but I have seen it at Whole Foods, West Allis Cheese Shoppe, and the Cedar Valley Cheese Store in New Belgium, WI.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A day at the art museum

Over the weekend, my mother-in-law and Milwaukee Art Museum member pass holder, picked me up and let me tag along to the "Impressionism: Masterworks on Paper" and "Taryn Simon: Photographs and Texts". What better than Van Gogh, Seurat, Cezanne, french countrysides, swirling water colors, and some airport contraband. Wait, what?

It was a little mind boggling for me, too. One minute I was looking at beautiful, priceless, rare paintings and the next, a photo series called the "Innocents" by photographer Taryn Simon--complex, layered portraits of falsely accused men standing where the crime they were convicted for originally took place. In the dimly lit hotel room or the thick camouflage of a forest, their faces were obscured, their expressions conflicted and confused. All of the men were mistakingly identified as the perpetrator by a convinced eye witness. It was haunting. Taryn's next piece called "Contraband" catalogues 1,075 seized items from one JFK terminal over 5 days. Items include the bizarre, like a dead hawk, counterfeit medicine, homemade moonshine to the accidental like someone's lunch, sausage from germany, fake disney toys and even someone's immigration paperwork accidentally seized.

We had lunch at the Cafe Calatrava, which by the way, you don't need to purchase admission to enter. The menu is all french inspired because of the impressionism exhibit. The menu rotates seasonally and takes inspiration from featured exhibits (Just glad Taryn Simon's mystery meat wasn't on the menu). I would recommend the tomato-basil bisque and a glass of the Nederberg from Lyric, South Africa. So good.

In the gift shop, I found a Sabre acrylic serving set! I've been looking for these fancy looking Paris made acrylic serving spoons and sets by Sabre for-ev-er. I saw them on a blog almost a year ago and realized they're sold out like everywhere. So, if you like, head to the museum gift shop, asap.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Recipe: Carrot Soup

image from here

Last night I made some carrot soup with ginger and rosemary. It was really, really good. So much that my skin might be a little orange today because I ate so much. This recipe was incredibly easy and took about 30 minutes. The key was having the hand blender and the finely ground spices I got from the Spice House

1 lb bag of carrots, peeled and chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
1/2 acorn squash, peeled and chopped
1/2 large onion, peeled and chopped
1-2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup skim milk
1 tsp finely ground rosemary
1 tsp finely ground ginger
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Add chopped carrots and acorn squash to steamer and steam until tender. In a large pot, sautee garlic and onions with olive oil. Add steamed carrots, brown sugar, and squash to garlic and onions and puree with hand held blender until soft. Add sour cream, milk, and spices. Blend until pureed. Add fresh rosemary, scallions, or sour cream for garnish.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Our Halloween Party Theme this year was "Zombiewood" so we decked out the house in Hollywood glam with blood stains and gore and . We saw some great costumes, Hulk Hogan, Zombie Liza Minelli, Zombie DJ Pauly D, two Hunter S. Thompsons, zomb-bees, the 'I Like Turtles' kid (my personal favorite), and of course Zombie Amy Winehouse. Bart'z was our source for most of the movie-themed decorations. The red stage curtain in our entryway was made with cheap red fabric by my mother-in-law. The red carpet we ordered from Oriental Trading co.. Beer was supplied c/o Milwaukee Brewing Co.. And thanks to all of our friends who came and celebrated and brought food and snacks! You guys rocked. See you next year!

Speaking of zombies.... have you guys seen a zombiewalk?

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Halloween Party is near

Have a wonderful Halloween! I'll be back on Monday with details on our Zombie-themed Halloween Party......

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

MKE Style: Halloween Decorating

1. Target Eyeball string lights
2. Trixiedelicious Skull Plate
3. Modcloth Downtown Coat
4. Vintage black vase
5. BugsUnderGlass Museum-framed Cicada

Our annual Halloween costume party/Husband's birthday is fast approaching! Every year we throw a themed costume party, get a keg, and celebrate. It has turned into one epic event. I usually expect about 50 people, but the number has ballooned up to 80 friends and co-workers. Fortunately, I feel like I have the prep-work under control this year. Most of the major floor cleaning, dusting, etc is behind me. The next few days I will be arming myself with a roll of cheesecloth and putting on the final touches. And putting out some of my favorite halloween decorations, including my framed bug collection. It's pretty spooky. My vintage pieces will surely go nicely with the noise-activated life-sized ghost hanging from our ceiling.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Milwaukee Faves: Palomino's Jukebox

There aren't many good jukeboxes hanging around. Those new-fangled digital ones have replaced most of the old flip page behemoths. But just over the Hoan, in Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood, Palomino still rocks it the old fashioned way with an excellently curated jukebox for their hipster, rockabilly patrons.

Those 5 songs are a big decision. My strategy? - Feel out the mood, start soft, warm up the crowd, pace the jams for the middle and go out on your best solid note. And hit those buttons with caution, because nothing is more embarrassing than accidentally having a great set ruined by Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire". Not your best, Billy. Not your best.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I like: MAKR

I'm loving the oh-so simple lines of these canvas bags from MAKR Carry Goods. Simple is sometimes way better. I could probably own one of these for the next 50 years and still be pretty happy. Truth be told, I still wear some L.L. Bean items I've had since middle school. I'm not loving the crazy-uber price of these little sacks, however. But I digress....

Do you guys own a super simple bag or piece of clothing with clean, classic lines?
I'm liking Lands End Canvas, Jess LC, and Baggu, but I need some more suggestions.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Brewers Fever

Off to Club Garibaldis to watch the Brewers-Cardinals game. Although it might be cancelled due to rain. Just another reason why Miller Park is awesome.....it has a roof.

Read how I'm celebrating the MLB Playoff season over at InsideMilwaukee HERE

How are my fellow Brewers fans/readers celebrating the winning streak? And what in heavens will we do if they make it to the World Series??? Freak out? Dancing in the street? Yes, indeed.

Monday, October 10, 2011

New In Town: Hamburger Mary's

I was so excited to have Hamburger Mary's open in Milwaukee that we have already eaten there....twice. After weeks of scoping it out/stalking the doors looked to be open last Wednesday. And it was! It was their opening night. We ate so well that we went again on Friday after the Brewers game. We promised our waitress we weren't stalking her.

Those in Chicago may be familiar with the offbeat burger joint. Hamburger Mary's is a small national burger chain with a cross-dressing "Mary" as a mascot and cheeky names for their delicious burgers. Brothers, Ashley and Brandon Wright, own the Chicago location as well as part of the franchise and took over the empty Omega Burger on KK and Becher this spring. We met them when they were both at Chill on the Hill postering for their upcoming restaurant and again when Brandon came up to our table both nights. They have fully integrated into Milwaukee life, owning a place in Bay View as well as adding local beers and taps to the menu. It had a real local hangout vibe and a fabulously eclectic mix of the neighborhood- kids, couples, and cross-dressers, oh my!

I had the Mary Burger, a 1/2 pound angus burger with fixings and special sauce, a bloody Mary with their special pepper infused vodka and lemon pepper rim, and the Mary Tyler Smores over the course of two visits. Once the menu expands, look for other burgers like the Barbara-Q Bacon Chzburger, the Buffy (the Burger Slayer), the Queen Mary, and appetizers like Britney Fried Spears. Cannot wait. Did I mention the patio is modeled after the Golden Girls' lanai? And I'm quite intrigued by their hambingo (drag queen bingo) and mimosa brunch (deets forthcoming).

Hamburger Mary's on Facebook

Hamburger Mary's on Twitter

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fall Nail Colors

I looked down at my toes in the shower this morning at the summery coral-orange nail polish and decided it was time to say goodbye. The transition of summer nail colors into fall nail colors is really a mental shift. I just haven't been able to let summer go, but with Halloween fast approaching (along with our annual epic costume party/ husband's birthday), I need to get my head in the game.

This fall, I'm seeing a lot of DARK, dark nail polish. And colors not typically seen on nails. To my neutral only tendencies, coral-orange was a big step! Just ask my pedicurist how many minutes of indecisiveness it took for me to pull that trigger.
So, what color will be next?? There are some hot new colors out there.....

Deep greens..........

the beauty of life

Rich burgundys..........


Flame oranges..........

absent daughters

Slate Greys..........

julie frick

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Etsy Finds: Amy Ruppel's Wisconsin Print

I'm in love with this print from artist Amy Ruppel.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

On the Road: Life in the I-Pass Lane

Much like my week, this post is going to be a jumble of tangent thoughts. As you may have guessed, I'm busy! This may sound obvious and outlandish, but grad school is intense. I knew this going in, but I don't think I grasped the concept until I was knee-deep. I knew I would be staying in more, reading more, applying eye drops every two hours, driving for long stretches, working part-time, and juggling everyday life. I was like, 'no big deal, I can do this'. And yes, I can, but man it's tortuous. Like how nongravid women like myself ponder the concept of childbirth pain only to have a horrific revelation once in the delivery room.

In addition to having that rather enlightening thought, I made a few more discoveries.....

1. The Brewers are awesome. They play the Diamondbacks tonight. The road to the World Series is getting shorter and shorter! If that happens, this blog might morph into a sports page. I can't make any promises.

2. Triskele's in Walker's Point never disappoints. You may be familiar with their amazing soup served up daily at Sugar Maple. But this little place tucked away in the Walker's Point neighborhood near the Outlaws Motorcycle Clubhouse (no joke) is a true hidden gem with a seasonally rotating menu that focuses on local ingredients.

3. I've been exploring the Ravenswood neighborhood where I've been staying on school nights. I realized I will never be able to afford anything at Scout, an uber-cool design and furnishing store, but that will not stop me from window shopping (aka drooling) and the Julius Meinl coffee house, a jazzy european-esque Vienna cafe suites me very, very well.

4. Thermacare neck patches have kept me alive for the past week. Long drives and long nights studying have wreaked havoc on my trapezius muscle. They're a little costly but they last 8+ hours and keep me functioning. Godsend!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Reading: The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

Eventhough I am not the target audience (aka white literary nerds in fantasy baseball leagues) for this book, I cannot wait to read it. And coming off the heels of the Brewers division championship, my fanaticism had leaked into my leisurely reading (and my attire). The book, written by a Wisco-native about a fictional Div. III Wisco college on Lake Michigan (Carthage, anyone?), follows short-stop and baseball prodigy Henry Skrimshander through the long path of self actualization and the pressure of perfecting each and every catch, hit, and throw. The New York Times Book Review raves about author Chad Harbach's debut novel. Bill Littlefield of the Boston Globe compares the piece to a modern day Moby Dick here. It's not surprising. Harbach, a Racine native, studied English Lit. at Harvard and University of Virginia and draws heavily from Melville, Whitman, and Dickinson. The novel is a cautious, precise read with every sentence exact, much like the main character's untamed habit of stressing, overthinking, and trying to harness the details of life. Not unlike most of us at the crux of adulthood.

I have a feeling this would be a great birthday/holiday present for the men in your life and a great read for the fall baseball season.

Any good books you girls are reading? Do tell...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Top 5: Milwaukee Film Fest Picks

I'm all excited. The Milwaukee Film Fest, one of my favorite events, is here! I plan to sneak out this afternoon in between study breaks to see one of these, but I haven't quite decided which one. A fantastical erotic and exotic Hungarian number called Bibliothèque Pascal? or the life and times of Serge Gainsbourg a la Jane Birkin? The globetrotting romance Here, with sweeping Armenian backgrounds? I could really learn something with The Last Mountain, but I am a sucker for a good Indian film like Mumbai Diaries. See the dilemma? So many good choices at this year's festival. Poor Pharmacology 413, it looks like you have some stiff competition for my attention today.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Backyard Discovery: Quince and Apple Preserves

I finally got to taste one of the awesome preserves from Madison's own Quince and Apple. It's been on my Wisco-to-do-list for a while. I tried the Strawberry Rosemary, but can't wait to get a taste of that Figs and Black Tea one. Or even the Shallot Confit with Red Wine. What an ingenious combo. Fruit preserves are blowin' my mind right now. Additional flavors include Orange Marmalade with Lemons, Par with Honey and Ginger, and Strawberry Rosemary.

Quince and Apple was formed in Madison, Wisconsin by husband and wife duo, Matt and Clare. "We always use only natural, whole ingredients, and we source our produce locally and organically when possible" is central to their philosophy.

If you're not in the Milwaukee area, don't worry. They stock shelves from here to Santa Monica. Just check HERE if you can buy them near you. Or shop online. They ship!

And now to my favorite part.....they sell tiny sample size jars. I don't know what it is, but I fall head over heels for anything in a 3oz size or less. Maybe it's the non-commitment of it all or the promise of TSA clearance. Whether you're planning an impromptu picnic at cruising altitude or the neighborhood park or even guest favors for a wedding, you need these.


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