12.06.2011

I'm thankful for...

...a computer that looks like this:


Can you taste the sarcastic disdain?

So, this time I really did have a reason for being gone so long.  My computer suffered a massive earthquake and now looks pretty similar to that above image.  What's worse is that to fix it will cost something close to $600 so that's out of the question.  So now I'm writing this post on a computer that still looks like the above image.

Anyway, I guess I should clarify that I am actually thankful that my screen at least still works, even if it does look like a broken window.  And that means I get to check in with you, my dear internet cosmos.

Believe it or not, I have a bunch of posts lined up for you after being unexpectedly gone for so long.  So please forgive enjoy my wordiness.

Today, I thought I'd give you a head start on the thanks-giving season.  Yes, I know we already passed the turkey eating and food induced comas.  I'm talking about the season of giving.  And therefore the season of thanks.  Now's the perfect time to whip out your personalized stationary for all those thank you notes you will be writing.  Don't have any, you say?  Not to worry.

Meet Blue Sparrow Press:

Metalsmith

Carolinian

Prairie

Rodeo

Classic, simple, elegant, handsome--the perfect addition to your holiday season.

Happy giving and thanking!
MEL

11.18.2011

Drinkify

Hello my dear internet cosmos!  I'm so sorry I didn't get back to you last Friday as I'd planned--things got especially busy leading up to an extremely impromptu trip to Boston (details to come) and after getting back from our whirlwind less-than-20 hour trip, we are still trying to catch up on sleep and chores while working all day every day!  Whew!

All that being said, I think my planned post from last week may actually be more needed at the end of this busy week.  So, here goes:

Let's say you'd like to have a few friends over this weekend, cook a small warm dinner and listen to something dreamy and soothing as your soundtrack--I'd choose Red Garland.

Or let's say you're planning a raucous BBQ, complete with yard games and a bonfire; you're gonna need some upbeat jams to keep the party going--I'd choose something like Vampire Weekend or Jurassic 5.

Or how about a night at home alone with a big bottle of wine, a good book, and a bubble bath--I'd definitely go with Bon Iver.

You work so hard planning your menu and your surroundings and your guests so that everything goes together perfectly.  Why not match your drink to your tunes?

Drinkify is a super addicting website where you can type in what music you're listening to and what drink would most appropriately coordinate with it.

For example:

While you're having your intimate dinner party listening to Red Garland, you should serve:


At your crazy BBQ, listening to Vampire Weekend and Jurassic 5, you should serve:



And in your bubble bath with Bon Iver, crack open a bottle of:


So, head over to Drinkify and have a musically inspired drink (or five) this weekend.  Not only will it help you recover from a busy week, but it will prepare you for the crazy holiday week ahead.

XOXO
--MEL

11.10.2011

The Supply Room


I am currently coveting the insanely beautiful goods at The Supply Room.  Here are a few of my absolute favorites:

Shape Shftr Long Black Dress

Dream Collective enamel snake eyes cuff

Osborn mallard's oxford

Claire Vivier foldover clutch

Happy internet shopping, everyone!
XOXO--
MEL

P.S. Make sure you stop back by tomorrow...I have a super great idea for your next musical endeavor.

10.28.2011

Happy Haunted Friday

Well, hello everyone!  Again, Florida is so far behind the rest of the country (if you wish to read into that statement politically, please do).  It has been upwards of 80 degrees all week long.  So the last thing I want to do this weekend is celebrate Halloween.  This is supposed to be fall!  We're supposed to be all bundled up going from door to door asking for candy and so excited to get home and sit in front of the fire and dig in! We're supposed to be trick-or-treating through big piles of orange leaves and with the sun setting early in the evening!  We're supposed to sip apple-spiced cocktails and eat grilled cheese and tomato soup!  Come on, weather!  You're killing me here!

Okay, the rant is over.  For now.

Anyway, wherever you are in the country, I do sincerely hope that you have a fabulously chilly Halloween weekend.  Drink an extra hot toddy for me, will you?

Here are some goodies from around the internet for your Friday enjoyment.  Enjoy!  XOXO

How to make your very own spicy sugary crumbly coffee cake in 5 minutes.  (via Say Yes! to Hoboken)

Prudent Baby

Anthropologie has just started carrying the most adorable children's clothes from Handmade Charlotte.  I have to say, Anthropologie is officially winning the race to conquer the world.  (via Black Eiffel)

Little Plume Coat

Love Letter Bloomers

Merry Mount Dress

Another book to add to the list:  5th Ave, 5 AM:  Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's and the Dawn of the Modern Woman.  This interview with the author, Sam Wasson, is a great insight into the book.  I'm so happy that the incredible importance of such a classic book and movie is finally being written about.  Now, my obsession is just a little more validated in normal social circles.  (via wit + delight)

10.14.2011

Foodie Friday

Hello my dear internet cosmos!  I hope you all had a wonderful week.  The weather got hot again here so naturally my brain turned to mush and I was unable to create anything productive or interesting.  This morning, there's a crisp breeze in the air and I'm feeling alive again so here's some inspiration for your day!

I'd like to talk about food for a moment.  For me, it's much more than just a bare necessity--it's a hobby, an obsession, an art form, a challenge, and a joy.  That is until I eat an entire cake in one sitting and then it is no longer a joy.

Anyway, here are a few of my favorite posts from around the web concerning the joy of eating.

I recently came across this charming blog La Domestique and fell in love with the recipes and the easy-to-follow extremely well organized nature of it all.  Every week, a new ingredient is chosen and the entire week is dedicated to worshipping it.  One of my favorites is this post about 10 ways to use honey in cooking.  You remember my bee-keeping friend, don't you?  He recently gave me more of his amazing clover honey and I'm excited to use it in some of these recipes.


Next up, pine nuts get caught up in the ombre trend.  Who knew nuts could be so fashionable?  (Okay dirty minded readers, this is a family friendly blog.)

Tiger in a Jar

Last but not least, we have eating, well, in a slightly different form.  At first glance I saw the title of this article, well, completely unappetizing.  But I have to say, after reading, I can see some logic.

Okay let's all be honest here--would you do it?

Babble

I hope you all have a nutritious weekend!
--MEL

10.04.2011

Fall clean out

Well folks, fall has finally made it down to Florida and I couldn't be more happy.  I blame my recent lighter than usual blog postings on the unbearable heat and humidity of the summer--it's just too damn hot to do anything.  And unfortunately, the summer lasted right up until about last Friday.

But, now that the cooler climes have arrived, my brain has been let free of it's sticky shackles and I'm back in the game.  That means it's time for a clean out of my inspiration folders.  Hope you enjoy!

I'm completely obsessed with this series, aptly named A Dress & A Gig Poster.  Found via Unruly Things.

dress/gig57


dress/gig52


dress/gig45


Untitled

Untitled by theshallowend featuring a jersey dress

I am also obsessed with this baby gear from Threadless.  The next baby I come in contact with will be receiving a onesie.  Found via Unruly Little Things.




I'm also head over heels for The Canal House.  Not only is their website totally rad, it is stock full of sneak peeks into their cookbooks.  You can subscribe for a year and get 3 seasonal cookbooks delivered to you.  I mean, look at how good this stuff looks?

Pimiento Cheese

Broiled Mussels

And now I'm starving.
--MEL


9.21.2011

Conor Harrington

I really want this guy to come graffiti my house.

Happy Wednesday everyone!






All images from here.  Found via Design for Mankind.

9.12.2011

Monday shopping trip

Hey old friends!  I promise I haven't forgotten about you; I hope you haven't given up on me either.

In order to try and win back your hearts, I thought I'd give you a fun shopping trip to start your week.

Terrain is an amazing new store that has everything from gardening supplies to jewelry.  And trust me, everything is completely beautiful.  Here are some of my favorites:

An awesome way to bring more bees to our garden:

Recycled Wood Beehouse

An amazing pendant lamp to hang over a dining table:

Glass Jug Pendant

Because fall just can't come soon enough:

Linnea's Lights Pumpkin Candle

And when the air gets a little chill, who wouldn't want to wrap up in baby alpaca?

Sefte Kimsa Throw

Hope you all have a fabulous Monday!
--MEL

8.30.2011

Today's busy kid

As many of you know by now, I'm a pianist.  I teach, I play, I accompany, I collaborate.  Pretty much any chance I get to play the piano, I do it.  And I'm beyond blessed to be able to do all of this for my job.  I guess that's my little disclaimer here.

No, that's not me.  But it is a very obvious example of how we shouldn't push perfection on our little kids (look at that hand position!).  But who cares!!  Hopefully she's having fun.

I recently came across these two articles--first, "Are we overbooking our kids?" from the Pioneer Woman's homeschooling blog; second, and the original article from the NYTimes that is referenced in the Pioneer Woman piece, "Family Happiness and the Overbooked Child".  Now you may be wondering why I, a twenty-something childless non-homeschooled woman, would be interested in these articles.

It's because I am the extra-curricular activity that is being warned against.

So of course I had to garner a response.

First, let me give a brief explanation of what the article is saying:  by enrolling our children in too many extracurricular activities, we are in some ways troubling them as opposed to helping them discover an untouched passion or talent or helping them get ahead in life.  We are overbooking our children and therefore, the parents of the overbooked children, causing unneeded stress for both child and parent.  In the end, too many extracurricular activities may actually be a detriment as opposed to a luxury.

So maybe you are expecting me to defend all the many extracurricular activities, especially music, and explain how I think music can change the world and the lives of every child in the world and how I think every child should be exposed to music and that it can benefit their lives in a real way.

Well, you're right.  Kind of.

I do believe that music is a very powerful thing and can bring meaning to so many lives around the world.  However, I do not believe that every child will feel the same way as I do.  And I do not believe that by forcing your child to play music, you are doing them a service.

As a piano teacher, I have experienced many different types of students--the 4 year old who's parents just want to give it a shot and see what it's all about; the 7 year old who may act as though he is not interested in the piano, but who is engulfed in it while he is playing; the 13 year old who has a million things on his plate but still sees the value in playing the piano; the 22 year old who always wanted to learn how to play the piano and is just now getting around to it; the 35 year old who is wanting to start a new hobby.  My students run the gamut.  And I'll say this too--not all of my students seem to adore the piano.  And I'm okay with that.

What I try to encourage in my students is not to perfect the art of piano performance.  While I definitely see the benefit of classical training and the glorious mysteries of great academic composers, I also understand that not every kid, or every parent, is going to be into that.  And the truth of the matter is that music is so much more than Beethoven and Bach.  It encompasses so many styles and so many experiences that if my students experience just one or two of all of them, it is worth it.

That being said, I agree with the articles about our overbooked children for the most part.  While I do think that too many extracurricular activities can be stressful and in some way detrimental to our children, I also think that by giving them maybe one or two tops can encourage their open-mindedness and adventurousness, while also helping to boost self-esteem and give them hope for things fun and personal.

When I was growing up, I played the piano and that was pretty much it.  I remember floating through gymnastics for a few years, then some random years of half-assed volleyball and basketball.  But looking back, my life was not changed by those extra activities that I experienced.  However, it was changed by the piano and had I not experienced that alone, my life would have turned out very different.

So a message from your neighborhood piano teacher:  if your kid asks for it, encourage them to experience it.  If your kid doesn't ask for it but you think it will be beneficial to try it out, go for it.  If your kid says she hates it, try to open up new ways of learning it and see if that helps.  If your kid still says he hates it, move on.  Not everyone is a musician and not everyone is a football star.  But everyone does have the ability to do things that they probably don't know about until they have someone that comes along to encourage it a little bit.  And sometimes that's all it takes.  And other times it causes nothing but stress.

When the stress comes along, move on.  Life is too short to be filling up your hours with extracurricular activities you don't enjoy.

Psychology Today

All that being said, I think I'll go tinker around with Chopin...

8.17.2011

Wednesday with Willie

I just couldn't wait any longer to share this new gem from Amos Lee featuring the incomparable Willie Nelson.  There's just something about these two voices--I think they work perfectly together, don't you?  If you haven't gotten Mission Bell yet, go now and conquer.

8.15.2011

If I lived in New York...

I would move into a brownstone like Joanna's:



Then, I would call cookie bar and have them deliver to said brownstone.


Then, the Mr. & I would go see a movie (like Aron, Ashley & Hudson) at the Brooklyn Bridge Park.



And then I'd whistle "Moonriver" all the way home.

Wash, rinse, and repeat.

XOXO
--MEL