Thursday, March 29, 2012

Listening to: Lulu and the Lampshades

Thanks to Anthropologie and my Shazam app, I discovered this lovely song from Lulu and the Lampshades called "Cold Water". You can listen to the whole song and more from the artist at Grooveshark. It's going to the top of my spring playlist. This is some seriously happy music, my friends. Dance music, in fact. So if you see me obnoxiously driving down KK, singing/clapping/air drumming, that's probably what's going on.

Monday, March 26, 2012

a Mad Men dinner {recap}

Just wanted to post a couple photos from the Mad Men dinner from last night and post an amazing potato recipe from my friend Melissa.

Twice Baked Feta Potatoes

6 large red potatoes
1/3 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 teaspoon Italian parsley

Boil potatoes until soft. Mash and stir in all remaining ingredients. And then place in cooking pan and bake uncovered under broiler (or 450 degree oven) for 10 minutes. Serves 4-6.

Friday, March 23, 2012

a Mad Men dinner party

Plaid Pillow, lowball glasses, cocktail shaker, pollock dish set, steak knives, vintage cookbook

I cannot wait until Sunday night. Mad Men returns for the 5th season with a 2 hour premiere at 8pm. I'm having people over for a Mad Men style dinner and premiere watching. I have some old 60's dishes and plan to make petit steaks; friends are bringing the sides....and a six pack of Heineken (remember Betty's dinner party?).

I just started watching Mad Men at the beginning of the year and chipped away at all four seasons having just finished this week. Now I'm 100% ready for Season 5. Is Betty going to regret divorcing Don? Joan is going to pretend the baby is Greg's? good luck. Is Don really going to marry his secretary? I mean really. Is Sally going to turn into a wild devil child? And will Sal ever come back??? So many questions. And if this show doesn't sound intriguing enough, just watch the promo clip below and tell me this show isn't awesome.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Out to Lunch: Cafe Calatrava

top photo: strange closets
I love spending the day at the art museum and then getting a late lunch at Cafe Calatrava in the lower level of the Milwaukee Art Museum. It has really grown on me. Initially, it looks like a true cafeteria -- a little sterile, a little sparse. But the view from the curved Calatrava-designed windows totally makes up for it. The food has been consistently good, too. The falafel pita shown above was very good. I went to the art museum last week with my mother-in-law to see the Accidental Genius exhibit - has anyone seen it? Well if you go, check out the cafe, and if not, you can still eat at the cafe without buying admission. Check out their current menu (it changes seasonally) below:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

MKE style: Miss Green Jeans

Happy St. Patrick's Day, aka 'the perfect day to rock green jeans'. They're pretty trendy, despite what Mr. Green Jeans says, but Old Navy and Target sell remorse-free options for under $30. Has anyone bought bright colored jeans this season? I'm so tempted.
Styled Existence

Kendie Everyday

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Etsy Finds: notTuesday

These necklaces from notTuesday are perfect for summer: big, bold, and colorful. They remind me a little of Marni, which, by the way, have you checked out H&M???? Marni has special line of jewelry, bags, and dresses at H&M that came out last week. But I actually like these necklaces a little better - they're way more unique.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

{On the Road} Top 5 things about Spring Training

We're back from our trip to Brewers Spring Training. We logged 4 games, 3 at Maryvale, 1 at Scottsdale Stadium, and 1 Phoenix Suns game. We ate In-N-Out Burger, drank margaritas and ate spicy Mexican food and witnessed a tilted kilt. No, I didn't turn into a man. But it was definitely a dudes' kind of weekend. Here are my top 5 favorite things about Spring Training:

1. THE WARM, SUNNY WEATHER: Even when it was cloudy and 70 degrees, I still got sunburned. And it was glorious. You forget what sun feels like when you endure a Wisconsin winter. If you go, bring lots and lots of sunscreen. Shade slowly covers the seats behind home plate and left field by 3:30pm. Everything else is prime tanning locale.

2. SEEING NEW CHANGES: Every year comes with multiple roster changes. This preseason saw the departure of Prince and the injury of Hart. Therefore, there were new faces and plenty of new plays being tackled. Aoki looks great in right field, his hitting is improving. Gamel on 1st is shaky, but I think he'll get the hang of it and he is a powerhouse hitter. Braun plays only a few innings during training, but still hit a nice home run on Friday. Conrad is pretty versatile infielder, so we'll see where he ends up during the regular season. Morgan was hit by a ball on Saturday and hasn't quite returned to normal. Hang in there, T-Plush!

3. SITTING ON THE GRASS: Several spring training ballparks have grass berms to watch the game (Goodyear, Salt River Fields, Tempe Diabo Stadium, Hohokam, etc) and catch some sun. Many people bring blankets and spread out in the grass, relax, have a picnic and catch home runs or foul balls. And eventually, due to the length of the games (most near 4hrs), sitting turns into sleeping.

4. SEATING IS FLEXIBLE: After a few innings, seating at most stadiums is pretty flexible. Weekday games aren't usually sold out. So if the beautiful Arizona sun rays have turned against you and you're dying for shade or the gentleman behind you is a little too fanatical, you can just get up and find an open seat in the stadium. Unless you're brazen about it, finding a more comfortable seat is perfectly acceptable. Almost everyone at the game is on vacation so people are pretty laid back.

5. BEING AMONGST THE FANS: When you fly out to Phoenix from Milwaukee, over half the plane is filled with Brewers fans. You'll see those same Brewers fans at restaurants and at multiple games. There's a community feel to Spring Training. Those at Spring Training are die hard fans - you have to be to make the trek cross country. So it's wonderful to see everyone supportive of the players, talking shop, and sporting Brewers gear head to toe.

.......And just for the record, Spring Training DOES have sausage races!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

{On the Road} Spring Training 2012

Hello from sunny Arizona. l've been soaking up the rays and pre-season play at Maryvale for a few days then the Giants stadium today. Overall, the Brewers look good. Spring Training is pretty laid back so nothing amazing has happened, but it's all about the practice, the hitting, and seeing how the players work together. Winning is fun, but not essential. No one is going to risk getting injured for a pre-season game that doesn't count (except Corey Hart). But the highlight of this trip (besides the annual stop to In 'n Out) has been staying in the Encanto-Palmcroft Historic District. The charming old cottages are a welcome sight from the miles of new construction and urban sprawl. Towering palm trees line every street and every yard looks like a putting green. I have yet to figure out a way to discreetly take pictures and not freak out the neighbors. Oh, life's problems.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

MKE locals: Cassandra Smith

left photo via Michael Goelzer, right photo via Cassandra Smith

Art can be found in the most unusual places.  Having grown up in northern Wisconsin and having gone to MIAD for sculpture design, Cassandra Smith merged the two.  Part of Cassandra's work is doing large scale sculptures with taxidermy deer and fish, but where Cassandra is really leaving her mark is with the decorated mule deer antlers she finds and delicately handpaints.  You can find them for sale in her Etsy store, MadebyCassandraSmith.  I'm quite fascinated with her work for its beauty and simplicity.  So, I contacted Cassandra to find out more with a mini interview for the blog.

Where does the inspiration for your art come from?  I have been working with decorating found objects since I was at MIAD getting my degree in sculpture.  I had mainly been doing these really large-scale installations and at a certain point I realized I was only making 1 - 2 pieces of art a year, because they took so long.  I wanted to start making smaller, quicker works and that is where the antlers came from.  Plus they are humanely sourced (deer shed their antlers naturally every year) which makes me feel okay about using as many as I can get my hands on.  The patterns I use are inspired a lot by different ethnic patterns, mainly Native American and Eastern European styles.

How would you describe your personal style? As far as fashion, I usually feel pretty out of touch with what is fashionable. In general I buy new clothes about twice a year and then just wear the same look over and over.  But I do try and get modern pieces of jewelry, mostly from Etsy sellers, to make my outfits more interesting.  As far as decor, I am lucky to have a boyfriend who shares my love of ethnic folk art.  Our house is decorated with a collection of masks, tapestries and wooden animals from places like Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.  We love to collect objects from our travels.

What are some of your favorite things or places in Milwaukee? Anyone who knows me knows that I love eating, and specifically going out to eat.  So, just about any restaurant in the city would qualify as a place I love going, but in particular I love Royal India and the tofu sandwich at Banh Mi Nyu (both on 27th Street).  Also, I can never say no to Classic Slice or GTO.  In the summer I really love taking evening walks and wandering around the Bay View Community Garden critiquing/envying people's garden plots. 

photos via Cassandra Smith

Cassandra is no stranger to the Milwaukee art scene.  She also co-founded the art magazine, Fine Line.  Which, by the way, Issue Five is coming out in a few short weeks.  The release party for that issue will be March 31st at the Live Artist Studios on 1st and Oregon in the Fifth Ward.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Weekend: Rockabilly Chili

The annual WMSE Rockabilly Chili Contest offered up some good surprises yesterday. I got to try about a half dozen amazingly different chilis - from chicken masala chili to beef brisket chili - and I liked them. Then the biggest surprise - mad heartburn. Seriously. Heartburn. (Listen body, I'm 28, not 78) Thankfully, The Wicked Hop had a dish of Tums sitting out. I dug in like it was M&Ms. I guess that's a sports related injury in the food contest world.

There were 3 that really stood out to me:
no. 1) The Bel Air Caintina chipotle chili with shoestring tortilla strips and avocado crema
no. 2) The Wicked Hop tomatoey-brisket chili with tons-o-toppings (shot of whiskey optional)
no. 3) Braise Restaurant's bean chili with bacon on top

None of these won the official contest. For those results, go here. Just bring an arsenal of antacids next year if you plan to try the ghost chili pepper chili from Ball 'n Biscuit. Or else.


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