Saturday, February 28, 2015

Linkity Link

The Instagram account for Sleevebucks is amazing. I laughed so hard that I snorted when reading caption for the Voldemort sleeve - the original flat white. Yeah, totally just lost it again while typing this.

Step up your cooking game + master these five mother sauces.

If any of you ladies need a confidence boost, check out these 8 simple reminders.

You want to know what he's thinking? Stop Googling the bullshit, cookie-cutter self help articles. Just ask him. Simple. The end.

311 is getting their brew on + conjuring up an ale of their own. Its Amber, which is only appropriate.

Speaking of brews + bands, Hanson, the dudes who brought you "MMMBop" are now bottling Mmmhops. If anyone can get their hands on a couple bottles, save me one - I heard its really good.

I've always been a fan of pickles, but here are 17 reasons why these treats + their juice rule.

Oh, and here are 37 uses for leftover pickle juice. Can you tell I've been on a pickle kick?

Artist Alex Grey's Chapel of Sacred Mirrors looks amazing + its not far from the Long Island.

Pornhub has created the Wankband - a Fitbit type gadget that lets you charge your electronic devices while you beat your meat. Oh man, I can't wait til the reviews start pouring out on this one.

So, you're mission is to eat healthier or organic, but sometimes, junk food really hits the spot. Here are 7 healthier alternatives to some well-loved snacks.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Things I'm Loving Lately

I am OBSESSED with VH1s new 90s sci-fi romantic dramedy. Honestly though, are you even surprised? Its my favorite film//television genre[s] taking place in my favorite decade. The soundtrack rules, the characters are rad + I'm pretty much in love with Becca's shaggy-haired babe of a brother, Jamie [portrayed by John Patrick Amedori].

Spotify Playlist: February
Every month, I create a new playlist + add songs throughout the month. Its always suuuuuper random, but this month has more of a nostalgic nineties feel with some tunes I've been dancing around in my underwear to. I have no shame in admitting that - its the best mood booster. Its pretty rad, so check it out.

When I was in my twenties, I contemplated making a move to the West Coast, but decided to play it safe + stay home to finish school. Lately, I have been tossing the idea around again. The last few years have been interesting to say the least + I'm wondering if a change of scenery will be what I need to shake things up.

Andrew Bird's Echolocations - Canyon
Andrew Bird turned to nature for his latest project Echolocations: Canyon. Bird recorded in the Coyote Gulch canyons. The remained of the project have yet to be released, but they are called City, Lake, Forest, + River, respectively.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bay Lager Beer Bread Muffins + Cheesy Beer Dip

Lately, I've been hanging out at Great South Bay Brewery. Last week, I made banana muffins with Snozberry Stout + they went over really well with the staff + patrons. While I was hanging out in the tasting room on Saturday, I was contemplating a project for this week. I wanted to make beer bread, but didn't know what brew to use. Jon, the lead brewer at GSB suggested I use Dirty Deeds, their Russian Imperial Stout. So, I took a growler home to test out my concoction. First batch was a major fail + it was right before I was having people over for dinner. I accidentally used baking soda, not baking powder, which my friends Gary + JR are never going to let me live down. Ugh, kitchen fails are rare for me, so when it happens I get a little cranky. I also wasn't too keen on the taste of the muffins with the stout - I wanted something lighter. My friend Melissa suggested I make a cheesy beer dip to pair with the muffins [she was handling the bacon jalapeño mac + cheese - which was amaaaaaaaazing], so I looked at what I had in the fridge + decided to use Bay Lager for both dishes. It turned out really well + I'm stoked for my next exbeeriment in the kitchen. Experiment + beer = exbeeriment. Get it? It sounded a lot cooler when I said it. Whatever.

Bay Lager Beer Bread Muffins
makes 12 muffins

3 cups whole wheat flour, sifted
1 bottle GSB Bay Lager
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
optional: an additional 1/4 cup melted butter to drizzle on top

Preheat oven to 350. Coat muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large glass bowl, combine dry ingredients + mix well. Slowly add beer + melted butter.

Scoop mixture into muffin tin + bake for 20 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. If desired, drizzle melted butter on top of the warm muffins before serving.

Cheesy Bay Lager Beer Dip
makes a boatload of cheesy goodness, mmmmmm!

1 pound Sharp Cheddar, cut into cubes
1 pound cream cheese
1 bottle GSB Bay Lager

Add all of the ingredients into a medium saucepan. Heat on medium heat, stirring well. Once all ingredients are incorporated, pour into a serving bowl.

You can substitute any cheese of your choice, or change the beers up. I suggest using the same beers in both if you're serving them together, but thats only because I like to play it safe.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Linkity Link

Did you know that Tupac auditioned for the role of Mace Windu + that Lucas came up with R2-D2's name while filming American Graffiti? Check out 56 other Star Wars factoids.

An oral history on the Laurel Canyon music scene makes me wish time travel were possible.

JNCO is making a comeback + now I want to find that poem I wrote for my high school English class about my love of  their jeans [lolol, I know].

15 subscription boxes that are worth dishing the funds out for [they also make great gifts].

Need to step up your game between the sheets? Well + Good can help with that.

BattleBots is making a triumphant return to television this summer with six new episodes.

According to a NASA study, these are the best houseplants for air filtration.

Feast your eyes on 20 of the most beautiful skylines in the world.

Love mac + cheese? Here are some places on Long Island to feed your craving. My personal favorite is  from Robke's Country Inn, located in Northport. If you're a carnivore, get it with the sliced steak.

Sleater-Kinney's video for "A New Wave" features the cast of Bob's Burgers + its awesome.

Feel like nerding out a bit? Check out these made up laws in the land of Science Fiction.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Restaurant Wednesdays at Great South Bay

Every Wednesday, Great South Bay Brewery brings in local restaurants to share complementary creations with customers. This week, local favorite All American Wontons supplied an assortment of sweet + savory treats. They were so good that when I went back to take pictures, they were all gone! You'll have to trust me when I tell you they were fantastic.

Restaurant Wednesdays run from 3p to 8p at the GSB Tasting Room in Bay Shore.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Banana Snozberry Stout Muffins

Whenever it snows, I have the overwhelming urge to bake something. Not sure why, but I go with it. The bananas I've been ripening were ready, but I didn't have all of the ingredients for the banana muffin recipe I whipped up last month. I did, however, have some Snozberry Stout that I snagged from Great South Bay Brewery. I've always wanted to make beer bread, so why not incorporate it into my muffin recipe? The beer by itself is phenomenal, but I wanted to see how it would fare in a kitchen creation. As I had anticipated, they're delicious + the powdered sugar adds the perfect touch.

Banana Snozberry Stout Muffins
makes 24 muffins

Dry Ingredients:
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups flour [I used 1.5 cups white flour + 1.5 cups whole wheat flour]

Wet Ingredients: 
1 bottle Great South Bay Snozberry Stout
1 stick [1/2 cup] unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup light brown sugar [you can use dark or white sugar, it'll just change the flavor profile a bit]
2 eggs, slightly beaten
powdered sugar for dusting

Add butter + beer to a saucepan. Heat on low//medium heat until the butter is melted. Take off the heat + transfer to a bowl. Let it hang in the fridge for fifteen minutes to cool. Note: if your beer is cold + your butter is room temperature, it might seem like the butter is curdling, but its not, the beer just solidified the butter again. I learned this the hard way. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Preheat your oven to 350 + get your muffin pans ready [use paper liners or a non-stick spray. I'm lazy + always opt for paper liners = less clean up].

Add flour, salt + baking soda into a mixing bowl + whisk.

In a separate bowl, mix bananas, sugar + vanilla. Add in the egg + gently mix. Slowly alternate adding the dry ingredients + beer//butter mixture in until incorporated, but don't over mix!

Spoon mixture into muffin pan - you can fill a little more than 3/4 of the way, these don't rise too much.

Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool on stove for 5 minutes, then put on a wire rack to cool for additional 10 minutes. 

When you're ready to serve, add a dusting of powdered sugar to the top.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Linkity Link

Danielle Guenther's "Best Case Scenario" photography series shows what life is really like in the Land of Parenthood.

Bobby McFerrin is a musical genius. Watch him engage the audience with the Power of the Pentatonic Scale. If you have time, I recommend watching Notes + Neurons: In Search of the Common Chorus.

According to scientists at the Max Planck Institute, research shows that lucid dreamers are better at self-reflection.

Ever wonder who all of those artists are that Jay-Z is spitting about on "Picasso Baby?" Complex Magazine compiled an extensive list, breaking it down with a bit of background on the noteworthy artists.

Jay-Z teamed up with Mark Romanek in 2013 to create Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film.

You won't ever see me throwing back shots of whiskey, but quality tequila is a different story. When consumed in moderation, tequila might actually be beneficial to your health.

Backstory on how "Under Pressure" came to fruition, plus full isolated vocal tracks of David Bowie + Freddie Mercury recording the 1981 hit.

Really bummed that I didn't tag along with my friend Ross to the New York Toy Fair because Hasbro is revealing their new Star Wars Bladebuilders lightsabers.

Once upon a time, I obsessively counted calories, worked out too much + starved myself to be a size two [apparently being a size six was "too fat" for my ex]. I was miserable, but I was skinny.  One day I woke up + realized it wasn't worth it. Joni felt the same way + decided to be "fat + happy."

I didn't plan on watching the Oscars this year, but I might have to, seeing as Tegan + Sara are performing "Everything Is Awesome" with The Loney Island.

22 Couples' Products That Went Too Far//22 Reasons Why Your Friends Aren't Calling You Back, courtesy of the folks at Buzzfeed.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Art Through Instagram

Last week, I was introduced to Invaluable's #GotArt project + was asked where I find art that moves me. I thought about my recent art purchases, projects + galleries I want to explore - the one thing they all had in common was finding them via Instagram.

Gallery 1988 has two locations in LA, which are on my list of must-sees for my next Cali adventure. I snagged this awesome Joey Spiotto print last year, but had almost missed it due to such small runs of prints being made. If I hadn't scrolled through my Instagram feed, I wouldn't have seen the post about the prints going live on the site. I've also discovered an array of artists through Gallery 1988 over the course of time.

Truck Torrence is the dude behind 100% Soft. I'm a pop culture junkie who digs kawaii art, so when I discovered him I was stoked. Torrence has a solo show running at Gallery 1988 East this month [February 6 - 28]. Prints from the show are available online in limited quantities.

Nicole Gustafsson is another artist I discovered via Gallery 1988. I saw her "I'm a 90's Girl" painting from her Pop Terrariums show + fell in love. That piece is my entire youth in a nutshell, complete with a watermelon Ring Pop + a slice of pizza. The rest of her work is pretty fantastic as well.

I discovered Tara McPherson back in 2006 via JapanLA, due to my obsession with tokidoki. My only McPherson art is in the form of a camera, which adorns a bookshelf with other artsy trinkets. McPherson not only kills it on canvas, she's also created some solid gig posters in the past.

Cotton Candy Machine is Tara McPherson's art boutique located in Brooklyn, which sells art, books, toys + also houses art shows. Some of my favorites [Buff Monster, Daniel Danger] are included in her collections, so adventuring here is a must for me this year.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Printable Valentine's Day Cards

Couldn't find the perfect Valentine's Day card in CVS? Don't have enough time to order the rad one you just saw on Etsy? Have no fear, there are a plethora of free Valentine's Day cards on the 'net - all you have to do is snag some card stock + print. If you don't have a printer, head over to Staples - color copies printed on card stock are under $2.50 each + you can squeeze a few of these onto an 8.5"x 11" sheet.

The folks at FOX made Bob's Burgers cards this year. I'm torn between Tina + Gene, they're both so hilariously inappropriate. 

Lionel Richie is exactly what I was looking for - thanks Creative Type Dad.

image via
Tokidoki created printable sheets with mini valentines, plus a standard size card.

Alecia Dawn has an assortment of Star Wars cards to choose from.

Handing out treats to your sweets? Choose from an assortment of pop culture bag tags over at Delia Creates. If you're handing out lollipops or something of the sort, you can punch a hole in the corner of the tag + tie in onto the stick with ribbon.

The Walking Dead printables created a few seasons ago are still available.

Printable Valentine's Day coupons? Also rad.

 Michelle over at Elegance + Enchantment created a coupon that can be used for all of the special people in your life. All you have to do is print + fill in the blanks, so they are age appropriate [or inappropriate, if you're handing out naughty ones]. She also includes lists of coupon ideas, depending on who the recipient is. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Old Notes

When inspiration strikes + I don't have writing utensils within reach, I type notes in my phone. Sometimes they make it up here, but most of the time I forget to post them.  I have five years worth of random musings which I have been slowly working through, so they'll pop up on occasion. Some are small pieces, short stories + poems. Others are ideas I jotted down that I'll pick up on again.

Note from November 6, 2013

Artwork created February 8, 2015

Friday, February 6, 2015

Valentine's Day on Long Island

I hadn't thought about posting anything for Valentine's Day, but the blog started getting hits regarding Valentine's Day date ideas on Long Island. Just because I'm single this year doesn't mean that everyone else is. Plus, I have a few ideas that are pretty solid. So, I'm taking one for the team + tossing some ideas out into the universe. These date ideas are also rad to partake in even when its not a Hallmark holiday. 

Grab Coffee + Adventure
Hit up a local coffee shop + take your drinks on an adventure with you. I love going to Crazy Beans [they have locations in Miller Place + Stony Brook] + heading over to Avalon Park. If you're feeling super adventurous, get in the car, blast some tunes + drive to Montauk.

Other Places to Explore
Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden City
Fire Island Lighthouse, Fire Island
Vanderbilt Mansion, Museum + Planetarium, Centerport
Long Island Aquarium + Exhibition Center, Riverhead
Sagamore Hill, Oyster Bay

Go out, get takeout or cook. No one wants to be hangry, or deal with someone who is. If you're dining out, my top three choices are Grey Horse TavernTellers + Kotobuki, but go on Yelp or Urbanspoon to research places if you want something new or different. If you need to make a reservation, do it at least a week beforehand.

See Live Entertainment
Valentine's Day falls on a Saturday this year, so there's a lot going on. Here are a few events you can enjoy [even if you're flying solo].
The Paramount, Huntington  Jim Breuer
Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale New York Islanders vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Staller Center for the Arts, Stony Brook Savion Glover's STePz
The Space at Westbury, Westbury DigiTour

Visit a Brewery or Vineyard
Check out the Long Island Craft Brewers Guild for a list of breweries + Long Island Wine Country for wineries.

Do Something Fun
Fun is a relative term, but I'm all about places with an arcade or some sport where I can be competitive, especially in the dead of winter.
Cousins Paintball, Riverhead
Dave + Busters, Farmingdale, Islandia + Westbury
Country Fair, Medford
NYZ Apocalypse, Deer Park
Lazerland, Commack
Monster Mini Golf, Deer Park
Q-ZAR, Carle Place
High Velocity Paintball, Bay Shore [indoor field]
Karts Indoor Raceway, Ronkonkoma

Go to the Movies
I love going to the movies, especially for action//sci-fi flicks. If there's something that you both want to see, I say go for it, but don't drag your date out to see something that is going to bore them for the next ninety minutes. I did some research + found out that Kingsman: The Secret Service + Fifty Shades of Grey are opening Valentine's Day weekend. If neither of those are your scene, Seventh Son, Project Almanac + the latest SpongeBob flick will also be out. Sidenote: if your significant other sits through Fifty Shades of Grey against their will, they should be rewarded handsomely. Just saying.

Be a Hermit + Stay In
There is nothing wrong with raiding Netflix, ordering takeout + popping a bottle of whatever you're drinking + snuggling on the couch. If you're going to do this, DON'T WEAR SWEATPANTS. I know it sounds silly, but you can still play dress up if you're staying home. Save the sweatpants + messy hair for the morning after.

Honestly, it doesn't matter where you go or what you do, just make sure you + your main squeeze have a good time together. Holidays can become overwhelming + stressful, so try to avoid getting frazzled. If you're single, do something with your friends or be a ballsy broad like me + go on a first date that night.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Shower Scene

I put my music on before I hop in the shower. I hit the first playlist that pops up on Spotify, because this is a quick rinse before I run errands - I'll take another shower later before I go out. Weezer's "Susanne" starts blaring as I step into the already steaming shower. 

While lathering my body wash, I hear Ingrid Michaelson's cover of Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling In Love." Great. This played the last time I saw him + coincidentally, we were just getting out of the shower. He teased me, making a remark about this specific song being on the playlist. I told him it wasn't the playlist I made for him - this was an older one that I had put on shuffle. Still smirking at me, I told him not to flatter himself, the playlist had been made long before he had reappeared in my life. I rolled my eyes + he kissed me, neither of us having to say a word. It was pointless: we both knew how the other felt. Quite frankly, neither of us were in any rush to say anything aloud - it makes it real once the words escape your throat + then you actually have to deal with it [which, neither of us was mentally prepared for, but moving forward nonetheless]. 

I close my eyes, water cascading over my shoulders + the tears start to flow. I haven't cried in the shower since California boy ripped my heart out the week of my twenty-fifth birthday. 

He's gone. 
He's BEEN gone. 

He came into my life, helped put the finishing pieces into place in my life, then ended up knocking everything out of place, Jenga style. The pieces have been slowly getting back into place, but there have been some shaky points. 

Between sobs, I hear the line, "some things are meant to be," + I start to cry a little harder. Yeah, I know, I sarcastically mutter to myself. I stick my head under the water, almost in an attempt to rinse the memories clean. 

Finally, the song ends + The Used's "I Caught Fire" changes the tone in the steamy, somber bathroom. I sing along to distract myself + step out of the shower. After I wrap myself in a towel, I grab my phone + decide to delete the song from the playlist. Edit. Swipe. Delete? Delete. Done. 

Things I'm Loving Lately

Nick Dietz - Make Space
I've known Nick since I was a super dorky sixth grader. He introduced me to Snoop Dogg, The Smashing Pumpkins + countless other musicians in the hallway after lunch. We grew up with an awesome local music scene in Florida + Nick was an integral part of that. He also left our hometown for New York + is doing some fun stuff over at CBS News, but his parody of Taylor Swift's Blank Space is one of his newer projects up on YouTube.

Dr. Martens + Adventure Time
This is a collaboration I can get down with. The canvas babies in the middle are more my style, but I wouldn't be opposed to stomping through puddles with Jake on my feet either.

Star Wars Tattoo
I have talked about wanting to do a Star Wars piece on my arm for years, but have been hesitant due to being super picky. I had been tossing ideas around with my pal John Doughty + last night, we finally sat down to discuss what I wanted + didn't want. This sketch really doesn't give any of it away, but that little Death Star up there? Ugh, I can't wait to start this bad boy.

Fifty Shades of Grey
Ugh, I know. I've been opposed to reading this series for years. Recently, a friend convinced me to read the book by taunting me with gorgeous pictures of Jamie Dornan via Pinterest + Instagram. The writing is terrible, but I [hate to admit this] got hooked. I really hope the movie is better than the books, because this trailer is delicious.