Monday: Mariachi

Monday, February 8, 2016

Grand Canyon Sunset, 2012ish

One of my favorite albums of all time is In the Reins, an EP collaboration between Sam Beam and a folk rock band named Calexico. I was revisiting Calexico's music on our road trip home from and it occurred to me that they have some pretty great use of mariachi style horns that I hadn't noticed before. One of the most iconic uses in popular music was Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire and the film Book of Life featured songs by Radiohead and Mumford and Sons remade in the mariachi style. Let me know what you think of this song- the album it came off of is great, and I love how the use of horns is subtle, but sets the music apart somehow from your typical Americana music.

Koselig, or: How to Love Winter

Thursday, February 4, 2016

For the most part, I was completely dreading winter, tbh. The cold that hits your face and makes your cheeks hurt when you smile, the wind that's strong enough to crush bones, and the not-seeing-sun bits are completely unappealing. But after seeing this article on the research of a Fulbrighter in Norway, I'm going to give pretending to love winter a shot. I won't go into detail (there's no way I can define Koselig, the Norwegian word for winter cosiness, eloquently enough. Just read the article.) but here's my personal plan for surviving and thriving in winter months. A lot of these are date-like, but I'm a firm believer in friend dates too- they're good for the soul :) Hope you enjoy!

- Go for a walk. Yep, you heard me. Bundle up in layers and find somewhere beautiful to let fresh air (and if you're luck, some sun too!) hit your face and remind you you're not really a zombie. Not yet, anyways. The photo above is from the blizzard we had in January (my first! ahh!) and while we snuggled under the blankets most of the day, a good hour was spent wandering and wondering in amazement at the strange beauty that a place can take on when it's draped all in white. And bonus points if you get a little sun/vitamin D to perk you up a bit
- Throw a pizza party. Winter is all about the comfort food, isn't it? We actually threw a super fun pizza party with a few friends over the summer, and while it was great, the sweltering heat from the oven combined with the heat from outside and was weighing us down a bit by the end of the evening. Having the oven on in some of these temperatures would be a welcome change from the usual chill in the air. Oh, also- pizza. Need I say more?? Have loads of fun toppings to choose from, play great music, discover your hidden talent for tossing pizza dough (or lack thereof)- this is a win-win-win, IMO.
- Visit a brewery. We're currently in the planning stages of this one. Here in upstate New York there's loads of microbreweries to hit up. They're warm and cozy, and tend to have a great atmosphere- the kind that makes you forget there's freezing rain or snow outside. Broken Bow Brewery is super popular (and has great reviews) and Dock's in Warwick has an amazing selection of wines and ciders, if that's more your style.
- Visit a museum. My cousin and I were just talking today about how we don't do this enough. I don't care what kind- science, history, art, nature, nautical- museums are cool, and there's probably at least a handful right in your area that you don't even know about yet ;) NYC obviously has a great selection, and we're heading to the MFA in Boston this weekend- yay! But even if you're in a smaller town, I can guarantee you'll find a museum or two to explore on your local government website. I've found some of the sweetest and most interesting places this way. I'd also include indoor botanical gardens in this one- for me there's nothing more refreshing than seeing greenery everywhere, and it will perk up your mood after months of bland, colorless trees.
- Plan a Chopped-inspired cook off with your person. I stole this idea from a roommate, and believe it or not, as crazy as it sounds, it's kind of fun too! Basic rules: you and your SO gather ridiculous ingredients at the grocery store (no peeking!) then swap purchases and see who manages to come up with the best dish. Admittedly, this would never work in my relationship (Peter is the clear winner in the cooking department.) Nevertheless, it's a fun change from the 'what should we order for takeout?' game and will break your kitchen rut.
- Volunteer together. If you really think about it, this is a no-brainer. Doing good things for others makes you feel good. Spending time with people you care about (and who care about you) makes you feel good. Giving back to the community is nice. So visit a nursing home, put on a coat and blanket drive for the homeless, or offer your time to a local animal shelter or food kitchen. It really puts your winter blues into perspective when you're exposed to the bigger problems out there, and being a part of the solution feels motivating and energizing.

Hope these help you survive the winter! Wish me luck surviving my first real winter. What would you add to the list?

Music Monday: a playlist

Monday, January 11, 2016

bluemountain thyme, flickr

Hope everyone has a great week. Here's some classic rock jams to get you through your Monday blues (I've got them bad today...)

Hi, Weekend!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Well, winter is definitely on us up here in New York. I didn't realize it could be so cold your face hurt! But overall we can't complain- I live a short walk from the hospital, and according to my colleagues it's actually unseasonably warm. That hasn't stopped me from planning a Florida getaway to look forward to, though ;-) 

Speaking of winter, this cold has given me a new appreciation for warm socks! I think I need to go the wool route as the temperatures drop...this pair's definitely on my list.

I was never a huge fan of Mark Zuckerberg until he posted this. Vaccines are important, and with very few exceptions all children should be vaccinated according to the CDC schedule. I've been wanting to write a post about vaccines for awhile now...maybe it's time...hmm...

I found this list after we got back from London. Of course. But that's not stopping us from adding it to our ever-growing London to-do list, haha! Some of those locations just look so gorgeous, it's hard to believe you can reach them on the tube.

I went through a weird phase this past couple of days and started making playlists on 8tracks again! It was really fun- I've had this one in particular on my iPod for ages but never put it up until now. 

Valuing time more than money is linked to happiness- a good thing to remember in the upcoming year. (Thanks for the link, reddit.)

I so badly want to see the rest of this clip- Channing Tatum lip syncing to Let it Go

The drawers situation at our has has gotten a little bit...ridiculous? Let's just say living out of cardboard boxes as a chest of drawers is not ideal. I found this one on etsy and it's not crazy expensive...what do you think?

I'm kind of dying to try out this recipe one in London withdrawal ;-)

Just discovered this Mommy-doctor blog and I'm pretty impressed- Laura makes this intern business look easy, haha! 

Have a great weekend. I'm working today, but in the ED so hopefully it will be a good- and maybe even fun?- shift. And tomorrow- pumpkin spice pancakes with one of my favorite people :D


Thursday, January 7, 2016

somewhere on the blue ridge parkway, 2015

I've said this before, but one of the things I've really missed since starting work (finally! at the ripe age of 26!!) is the time I used to spend discovering new music. All to often, when I'm working long hours, I plop down on my laptop and just play 1989 (it's the only new album I've bought on iTunes, and all my old stuff is inexplicably hidden in some part of my hard drive.) It's the equivalent to eating junk food all. the. time. If I'm lucky the husband will pop one of our records on, but apart from Leon Bridges (genius that he is,) I haven't really gotten into any of the new (and I'm sure great) stuff lately, which is a bummer.

So I've been trying to change things up a bit in the first month of this new year. I skimmed through Rolling Stone and NPR's best of album lists, not to mention a trustworthy blog here and there (these guys introduced me to Jason Isbell, for example.)

So here's to a year of good music, new discovery, and all that that implies :)

What are your favorite albums/new artists or songs of 2015?


Into the Clouds

Friday, January 1, 2016

I think a regret for both Peter and I was never managing to scale Psiloritis while we were living on Crete together. When my Dad was a kid staying in our Horio in the 70s, they'd make the trek straight from the village- hiking down into the lush, wooded valley, then climbing up the mountain from the South face, guided by a neighbor who knew the place like the back of his weathered palm. He's well over 90 now, Kyrio Stelios, and he doesn't go up there any more, though he's one of a handful of people who still regularly go to the Horio and spend time out there in the mountains.

So obviously, we weren't going to get married on Crete without getting ourselves up there.

We called it a bachelor/ette party of sorts. Figured that was one good way to convince our family and friends that this idea wasn't actually crazy and might work. We left from Rethymnon in 3 cars with some vague idea that we needed to drive South. A few wrong turns and some directions from a goatherd in exchange for a few cigarettes landed us at a sort of base camp. Within a half hour of walking the air had become thick with clouds and icy wind.

We found what we were searching for, in the end (that is, after getting lost on the next peak over. This post is a little more of a what-not-to-do one, if you catch my meaning.) A tiny chapel, built of slate and stones, is nestled at the peak of Psiloritis. Services are held only once a year, at a summer Panagyri. It's not accessible in the winter, when snow blankets the mountain trail.

We huddled together inside and said the prayer for marriage, had a shot of raki, and enjoyed the fragments of view that we could catch between the clouds: mountains on mountains, and a few glimpses of the Libyan sea shimmering to the South.

We made it down alright in the end, but not without getting lost twice (whoops.) I wouldn't recommend doing it as we did: don't go to early in the summer (snow was still covering some of the trail;) don't go without good hiking boots, and for goodness' sake, bring a guide, or at least a map. It was worth it in the end, though- as we descended back out of the clouds the mountains opened up into stunning views of the valley below. It felt like we were in another world.

The hike is actually part of a trail that spans the length of Crete. One day, maybe, we can go back and do the whole day :)

Happy New Year, everyone. Wishing you all the very best in 2016!

Back in London

Monday, December 21, 2015

We've been in London nearly a week now and guys, it feels so. good. The weather's been cool and damp, but not miserable. We've been spending days wandering central London and nights curled up re-watching the original Star Wars trilogy (we're seeing the new one this week!) My sister came in from Spain this past weekend, and between birthday and family dinners, Christmas shopping and a few touristy things squeezed in we've been keeping busy. I'll try to post more photos soon, but if I disappear again for a bit, a very happy, merry Christmas to everyone out there- Christ is (almost) born!

A few interesting links around the web:

To get you in the Christmas Spirit

More good news- and proof that we're all just humans

If you're a big Star Wars nerd, you'll find this extra funny

The Daily Mail's list of things that cause cancer- don't believe everything you read, y'all.

2015: a cuteness review of the year

Husband and I got a Rosemary Christmas Tree this year and it smells amazing.

If I was a D.I.Y. kind of gal, I'd be making these this week- oh well...

We used this blog post to plan out a few fun outings in London before Christmas- enjoy

(p.s.- another helpful London guide for those who are vegan, or fasting like us.)

All the best,