Turn it up, Monday morning: Panic at the Disco

Week 33: Panic at the Disco

One of my favorite bands to run to is Panic at the Disco. Maybe untraditional. But they usually throw good beats even if I’m not always the biggest fan of the sometimes offensive lyrics. Yes, I’m of the opinion you can appreciate music without always liking all the words. Anyway, I digress. My favorite Panic cd was the inaugural “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out.” But I was still intrigued when I saw that they have a new, third album coming out this fall. A lot of people who liked old Panic don’t like this newest release for the upcoming album. Did you ever listen? I’m on the fence. I still hear old Panic in there. Maybe it’s just this one song. . .

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Alerting all food lovers (don’t have to be a foodie/extra points if you love NC): A Chef’s Life

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I’ve had the unbelievable honor of meeting Vivian & Ben Knight. I’ve cooked with their Blueberry BBQ sauce. And I’ve been a part of an incredible, unforgettable guided dinner at their Kinston, N.C. restaurant “Chef & the Farmer.” (Daggonit why didn’t I get photos and autographs??)

They are AMAZING.

The food? I tried quail, yams and fried collards. I tried turnips and I tried trout caviar. All North Carolina local farm to table and all five-Michelin stars of talented, creative cooking (I’m qualified to grade, yes). Recipes adapted from grandmothers and neighbors, all dazzled with the sparkle of Vivian’s trade that she picked up from kitchens in New York City and brought home to eastern Carolina.

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And now it’s time for this kitchen to be shared across the country.

Vivian and her family have spent the past year cooking, creating and filming their own PBS primetime cooking show: A Chef’s Life.

I’ll let that sink in.

Watch the trailer here. Can't post on my blog sadly. The trailer is AWESOME. (yes, me yelling shows I'm for real!)

Watch the trailer here. Can’t post on my blog sadly. The trailer is AWESOME. (yes, me yelling shows I’m for real!)

Unsurprisingly (that’s how great this woman+husband+family team is) they’ve already met their dollar goal; but every bit still helps. Check out their site and even if you don’t support right now, plan to support soon when this show finally gets to hit your television in September 2013  (check your local listings)! I’m beside myself with excitement to watch and appreciate food and southern cooking culture. I’m far from a foodie, but the Knight family is just darn relatable. They’re funny, charismatic and every conversation I’ve had with Vivian has left me with so many interesting food facts that I didn’t know, didn’t know to ask about and feel better knowing.

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If you like food? Watch.

If you like southern culture? Watch.

If you like North Carolina? Watch.

If you like stories about real, everyday people being wildly successful doing what they’re passionate about? Watch.

If you like stories about people who take risks for what they love? Watch.

If you like to feel comforted in a “that’s how life should be” way? You should watch, too.

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The concept of farm-to-table makes so much sense. Every time I hear the stories of the ingredients and methods that “Chef & the Farmer” use it takes you back to that realization of: why do we make it so hard with preservatives and imported ingredients? Why don’t we support our neighbors more and live in a more connected world to the community that we live in?

But don’t let that make you think this is a backwoods, farmer food series for one second. Vivian and Ben spent many years in Manhattan before returning to North Carolina. They’re just going to show you the best of all of those worlds, coincidentally in the setting of a quaint small town.

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PS: Listen closely. Do you hear that North-Carolina Avett Brothers involvement? My heart swells with NC pride.

I’ve done half justice to swooning the Knights’ praises, so if this wasn’t enough–check this out:

A CHEF’S LIFE is nothing like the cooking shows you see on the Food Network or PBS. Every week you will see relationships bloom around family, stories, and places, while you glimpse Chef Vivian at work crafting dishes like the Perfect Tomato Sandwich, Pimp My Grits, and Pork Belly with a Pepsi glaze. Moonshine Cocktails, wine, and beer are also on the table. Vivian is a James Beard Award semi-finalist (two years in a row!), but through her eyes you will meet people you’d otherwise never see on television: home cooks, gardeners, hunters, fishermen, beef, chicken, and pork farmers, and wine and whiskey makers, drawn from every racial and social group. Vivian does what many working women aspire to do these days—building a local network and a global career, nurturing her family with water from the taproot of her hometown.” —Chef & the Farmer

Currently:

Reading: Barbara Walter’s autobiography “Audition.” It’s a long read, but I’m trying to steam through and finish. Need to cross it off to give room for “Run Like a Girl” from Ms. SincerelyLily.

Look at Barbara being fierce.

Watching: “Rules of Engagement” I have no shame. It’s such a non-committal watch. No attention and you still get some laughs. (And I’m even an anti-David Spade fan.)

Obsessing: Homegirl has chiggers. Don’t google it. But just know that the past few days have been a tad itchy. It totally takes me back to days as a kid wandering around in the woods. Or the weeks I spent in college hiking the Appalachian Trail with Wilderness Trail. You usually brought home some remnants of these annoying little bugs. Clear polish is out in full force.

Wanting: To be able to work out on a full schedule. I’m having to rest up again because of some exertion I already know is coming this weekend. Sigh! But every day without pain is a step forward. Full into week 8 of 20 for recovery! 12 left : )

Eating: Breakfast for dinner. Faaaavorite. A hint to my exertion this upcoming weekend? I’m having to eat through my fridge. That means, eggs? Milk? Turkey bacon? Frozen biscuits? Hmmm, how can I get rid of these tonight? Lumme some breakfast for any meal of the day.

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Fearing: Logistics for the next six weeks. News is upcoming, but suffice to say in the meantime I’m saying prayers that pieces come together the way that they’re supposed to! (Or rather, the way that causes me the least stress : ) )

Pleeease don't let a variation of this happen.

Pleeease don’t let a variation of this happen.

Missing: My bestie Michelle. I seriously typically see this best friend once every other month or so. It’s been since MARCH. And I’m in a panic I may not see her again soon. Fingers crossed for a somehow arrange reunion.

Hoping: To donate a LOT of under-used books, clothes and homewares this week. I’ve done a massive clean and assessment and this girl has really culled back her belongings. Quality over quantity, right!?

Accepting: That what I thought is true: People who want to be in your life? They’ll be there. People who don’t care will fade away. So happy and thankful for the wonderful friends and family I’m so blessed with. Dag, I’m a lucky girl. And the rest, can help me simplify the other parts of my life : ) Acceptance embraced.

A lot of chapters in transition!

A lot of chapters in transition!

Thank you, Katie.

What are two of my favorite things?

All-time: “Growing Pains”  – hello both Kirk Cameron and Leo crushes.

Current: “Blurred Lines” – dirty, I know. But darn catchy beat.

Sooooo, the best thing I was shown on the Internet today I, of course, have to share:

PS: Will “Growing Pains” hit Netflix already!?

Turn it up, Monday morning: Bon Iver

Week 33: Bon Iver

I adore this song, “Skinny Love.” Adore. And it has been stuck in my head all. weekend. long. So I’ve decided to share to start your week. Pour a nice, tall cup of coffee. Settle into your chair. Put on your headphones. Take a deep breath and just ease into the week with this song.

PS: Fun fact, it’s pronounced Bon ee-VAIR. This makes me smile because that French minor I’m never sure what to do with? Well it’s makes me notice words here and there and I caught the reference to the french “bon hiver” which means “good winter” and I also then knew how to pronounce it. It’s really tempting to say ay-ver though, right? Anyway, that’s all for this Monday morning. A little Indie for the soul.

Mama’s Outta’ Shape.

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ESPN, I love ya.

You’ve heard my whining about how I can’t run.

But I have legitimate reason that I’m not good at coping with stress when I can’t run.

I end up eating or social drinking my feelings.

And Hot & Spicy Cheese-its and Sam Adams beer do not a fit girl make.

So then there’s been the down spiral of “Oh my gosh why did I eat those 12 cookies at 11 p.m.??” and “Of course I’m available for happy hours every night this week.” And six weeks later mama’s totally outta’ shape.

End rant. Because today I broke the rules and ellipticated.

Mostly, I feel guilty because my leg felt great so it seemed worth the risk––but I know that’s the trap you’re supposed to avoid.

But I felt good. And I got to watch ESPN (one of the things I miss most about cable) and I was super happy about all of the above.

Pending how I feel tomorrow I plan to do something LIGHT. I’m still “flying under the radar” of course. Tonight that meant stopping at 20 minutes when I felt like I could do 30. This also means I plan to very gradually work back into consecutive workouts.

Fingers crossed I get my feet back under me. I can’t wait to get back to the grind!

Forty Days of Dating.

I am winning at the internet today. I have the BEST thing to share with you today.

#1) Forty Days of Dating

Sounds like a chick read, right? “Oh someone’s given up dating for Lent and posted a blog about it. Groundbreaking.”

But you’d be wrong.

“What do you do when you’re tired of the prospect of dating? Two good friends with opposite relationship problems found themselves single at the same time. As an experiment, they dated for 40 days.” — Forty Days of Dating

So, it’s two designers. Be prepared for so much typography porn. And the 40 days? It’s a reference to how many days it takes to break a habit. (Kind of curious that Lent is 40 days . . . some other things are making sense, but I digress.)

They tell their story in an amazing way: side-by-side questionnaires, same questions, every day. Seeing their answers next to each other and the progression of their relationship throughout the experiment is fascinating.

Timothy (the “can’t-commit” guy) and Jessica (the “fall-too-fast” girl) give a wealth of relationship background and opinions that are very relatable. If you can’t relate to Jessica on a self-perspective, you’ve probably been involved with a Jessica. If you can’t relate to Time on a self-level, then you’ve definitely dated or been friends with a Timothy.

I find it so interesting to see their approaches to the experiment; their reactions to the same situations; their worries and musings when it comes to considering the future of a relationship and even what’s influenced them personally to shape how they act and what they’re looking for.

I read the About page. I read the bios. I watched the video. And then I read (starting at the bottom on the home page) Day 1. Day 2. Day 3. Day 4. . . .all the way to Day 10 and thought, “WHERE ARE THE REST?!” I was convinced that they are going to fall in love based on this experiment, and I needed vindication that I was right.

But where were the rest of the days!?

No fear.

They’re in the midst of posting a new day every day. Today was 11. Tomorrow will be 12.

I’m fascinated. And we all know how bossy I get when I find things I like. So, go read : ).

Babe-fest. Showers for Mama & Little Lynch.

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It’s official, I’m guessing August 8th birthday.

Over the past two years there have been countless 6 a.m. wake-up calls to drag myself to the gym and get ready for the day with some cardio with my best friend, once co-worker and sister in life: Bridget.

I met her when Ryan was the boyfriend who’s job brought her to Winston-Salem three years ago.

I knew her when she returned from a Labor Day Weekend beach trip with some sand in her shoes and a big rock on her finger.

I grew to trust her and cherish her in our budding friendship as she meanwhile planned a lovely wedding.

I decided that Ryan made a pretty funny friend too as they got settled in married life and Ryan was nice enough to share her with me on workdays, work mornings, some work nights and weekends.

I was perfectly happy to find that over the months that turned into years I loved having her as a sidekick throughout all of work, family, love and life celebrations and woes.

I’ve posting lots of best friend photos lately. Add this to the pile : )

I excitedly swooned with her last summer when she mentioned that her and Ryan were thinking about starting a family.

I hiked with Bridget, Ryan and Russ the last day that they knew they were a family of three (albeit, one — Russ — is a furry family member). And that brisk December day that they dropped me off at my apartment, they later found out that they would be four.

Dog+Girl+Boy+Baby.

And I was ecstatically one of the people who caught on far too early at her uncontainable joy.

And ever since I have been incredibly excited for this little baby to join the world and be a part of the family that I made for myself here in the Triad. <3. Selfishly I can’t wait to snuggle and love on him. Far less selfishly I cannot wait to see what an unbelievable mom and dad my good friends are going to be. (They’re the best.)

Rightfully so, my closest family of shared friends (a work mama Wanda and a work big sister Victoria) have felt the same. And thus, a celebration was planned and finally carried on last week. And if I do say so myself, it was lovely.

While Wanda made everything beautiful, Victoria added perfect touches of sweet signage, beautiful papers and the best paper straws in the world.

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Elizabeth, a newfound friend through Bridget who is one of Bridget’s most cherished in the area, cooked the most delicious spread of food.

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And I? Well I brought cupcakes of course and folded dozens of the tiniest paper airplanes.

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It was the most natural, comfortable, cute baby shower ever if I do say so myself. And while Bridget doesn’t always like being in the center of attention, we were all abundantly happy to have a moment to love on her. She won’t be ignored once little Lynch gets here — BUT, I can promise to share a lot of that loving on him.

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Me, Bridget + Victoria. ❤

Turn it up, Monday morning: The Who

Week 32: The Who

Sunday night I stayed up far too late doing two important things:

1) Getting started on the work week, and (much more excitingly)

2) Watching the premiere of HBO’s second season of “The Newsroom.”

I want to share some expanded thoughts, but in the meantime the song I’ll leave you with for this morning is a reference to the season two opener with English rock band The Who’s “You Better You Bet.” The 1981 hit was the band’s last single to hit the Top 20 on Billboard’s Hot 100. And is also the song Will McAvoy chose to reference in tonight’s HBO season opener.

Good music to start a productive work week.