Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bars!

On a random Sunday, my friend Matthew called my phone and left a message that went something like this: "Hey Janae! I'd love to get together with you sometime soon and I have a few days off so if it works we could go to this new place I read about. It's called Bars Bakery and, well, I know how much you like bars so I figured we should go together."

I seriously laughed as I was listening to the message because, of course I enjoy bars! Earlier this year, I introduced him to the word "bars" for the tasty treats that they are. (In case you have no idea what I'm referring to either, bars are desserts that are usually made in a cake pan, maybe a longer version of a cookie sheet but with a higher lip. There are all different kinds - from Special K bars to banana bars to pretty much anything you can think of.) Is this a Midwestern term? Or even a South Dakota/Minnesota term?
Anyways, we met for coffee/tea and bars and man were they delicious! Bars Bakery is in St. Paul on a quaint little street, with fantastic people watching and the kind of architecture that makes you think back to when the cities were just being built. Or to London. I always seem to acquaint beautiful, old, stylish buildings with London, and Matthew acquaints them with Spain. This makes sense if you know that we both studied abroad in those respective countries.

Anyways the point of this is bars = delicious. Bars Bakery is fantastic. And I highly recommend the oatmeal, apricot, heavenly bar I devoured. (And the raspberry green tea!)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

pretty prints.

These fantastic prints are all from the etsy shop The Big Harumph and I couldn't be more smitten. I'd love to frame them on my walls, making sure to hang them up close to where I get ready in the morning or in my eye-line when I'm working towards something big. I've always been a fan of maps of the world, so the gray print would be wonderful. In fact, I was one of those teenagers who had a huge map of the world in their room and stuck different colored pins in it, indicating where I'd been and where I wanted to go. Of course, the "where I wanted to go" pins constantly outnumbered the "where I'd been" ones, but it's still fun to go home and see how many places I can add to the "where I've been" list. The shop also has it in orange and yellow, which are equally fantastic.

And I'm curious, do any of you have lists or maps with places you want to go? What are those places?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Lucky Ones.


Here's another song on my traveling playlist! You can get this song for free on iTunes as one of their "Discovery Downloads." I highly recommend it!

More from Brendan James here.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Song (for a traveling) Saturday


I'm headed to our nation's capital for a few days! I get to hang out with a few fantastic ladies all weekend, and then have Monday, Tuesday and part of Wednesday to explore all of the museums and locales I can fit in!

This will technically be my third trip to Washington in about 2 years, but the first one that I'm in D.C. for more than 48 hours. In other words, the other two times I've visited, I've done a very quick run around the monuments and that's pretty much it. I'm really excited to be able to take a little time to enjoy and actually see all of the places I've heard about.

So, this weeks song Saturday is "Strip Me" by Natasha Bedingfield - the first song on my travel playlist. I don't know why, but I can never seem to take a trip without a new playlist. It's a curse while packing (because I focus on the music more than what I should bring!), but I'm always a happy lady when I have a wonderful new soundtrack for the trip.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fill in the blank Friday!

prompts from here

1.   I am  a happy, crazy girl who fills up her time with friends, crafts, yoga and the occasional bouts of writing.

2.  I wish  it was easier to get a position in my field of choice. But then again, nothing worth getting is ever easy, right?

3.  I like chai tea lattes, cookie dough ice cream, pretty photos, storytelling, random adventures, setting off for a new place with no directions, baking for the boys, laughing, feeling free, unique rings, comfy moccasins, scarves, indie music, movies, fun people, skype to keep in contact with people far away.

4.  I can almost smell the airport now! I'm heading to D.C. tomorrow!

5.  I hope everyone can feel loved and missed and needed on a daily basis. It's a wonderful thing - knowing other people are happy when you're in their life. And vice versa. 

6.  I think it's fabulous that my room is truly clean for the first time since I moved in almost 2 months ago. And the fact that my roommates noticed and commented all on their own is hilarious. "OMG THE CLOSET DOORS CLOSE!? Look! Janae! Your closet doors are closed!"

7.  I was  reading an article describing how people act the other day and the part that I related to most was "engage in calculated risk taking." This basically means that I'm not afraid to dance on the table, take a spontaneous road trip by myself, try a new type of ethnic food. The article then said "It is unlikely that any of these things will kill you, but they will probably make you more interesting."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fondue time.

We had a fondue party!

A few good friends of mine get together on Sunday nights and cook large meals. All of the tasty dishes are eaten that night, and then the leftovers are separated so everyone has a head start on lunches for the week.

This particular week, it had been E's birthday, so they thought of an extra-special treat to celebrate and came up with chocolate fondue! H had a fondue pot handed down to her in pristine condition, but hadn't ever used it. So, we broke it in in style!
There were so many delicious things to dip: pineapple, strawberries, shortcake, grapes, marshmallows, raspberries, peanuts and bananas, oh my!
If you can't tell, we were all big fans. We even finished all of the chocolate we could scoop up on our sticks and set the rest in chocolate molds with peanuts.Yum!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Zombie Pub Crawl!

Oh man. Those who are faint of heart, please do not look any further. A group of my friends and I decided to attend the Zombie Pub Crawl in Minneapolis a couple weekends ago and it was amazing! It was such a unique night out - one of those nights you actually plan for, and then have to commit too. If you were going out, you were going out, the 'undead' way. There were thousands of people all around the area, doing their zombie walk to and from each bar, squirting fake blood everywhere and pushing up against you as if they never knew you existed.  A few of my favorite zombies were: Gumbi zombie, Lady Gaga zombie, and a nurse zombie that legitimately had some blood-looking liquid in an iv bag and drank from it periodically throughout the night. Here are just a few pictures of my life that fateful night!
p.s. have you seen the bed intruder story and song? my good friends R, B and E went as "Hide yo kids, Hide yo wife, and Hide yo husbands" zombies! I thought it was incredibly clever.

Monday, October 18, 2010

dear friends,

 I have a secret.
 I own the most fantastically comfortable scarf ever.
And it is from the Gap outlet. (I encourage you to purchase one, too.)
(silver ring from Greece 5 years ago, flowered ring from Indie and Chic)
 Seriously, this thing is fantastic.
 So fantastic, that, even though I've only worn it a few times, I've made everyone I'm with feel it...want to sleep with it...try to steal it from me.
Also, I should never be allowed to use a webcam camera late at night.

Happy Monday from me to you!

Friday, October 15, 2010

King of Wishful Thinking


Go West - King Of Wishful Thinking
Uploaded by jpdc11. - See the latest featured music videos.

This song always seems to make me blare the radio and sing along whenever it comes on. I get in a happy mood and do a lot of car dancing that probably alienates anyone in the cars on either side of me but I don't care. I'LL GET OVER YOU! I shriek at the top of my lungs. Oh yes. Yes. I will.

Anyways, as I've been moving and grooving these past few days taking a spontaneous trip around, I haven't taken the time to upload the zombie pub crawl pictures that I'm sure some of you are very excited to see more of. (Yes, you Jan.) I promise they are coming!

Hope you all have a fantastic Friday! And do a little car dance on the way to/from wherever you're going today. It'll put a smile on your face, promise.

(And did you know, that kids laugh, on average, 400 times a day. Adults laugh, on average, only 17 times a day. This is sad. So picture me dancing a little and put a smile on your face!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Let's Colour.



A little happy inspiration for your Wednesday morning. From here.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

AHH! Song Saturday!



In honor of what I'm doing tonight (ZOMBIE PUB CRAWL!) here's Thriller by Michael Jackson to get us all in the mood to put on all sorts of funky makeup and get "zombie-fied." I'll be sure to get some pictures and share with you all.

p.s. For those of you not of the young adult age in Minneapolis, the Zombie pub crawl brings tons of people - 10,000 people say they are attending according to the Facebook group - IN COSTUME to a myriad of bars on the West Bank of the U of M campus. Technically off-campus, but still super close so that's what it's called. There are drink specials and I'm sure costume prizes and live music. It's just ridiculous! If you're from the area, I hope we see one another tonight!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Painting time.

 It's a bit of a photo-dump kind of day as I've been meaning to post these photos for a little over a month now. Whoops! Anyways, where I used to live, I painted two of my walls a calm, mossy green to give the extra-large room a bit of the relaxed, cozy feeling I would need after long days at school or work. It took my mom and I a couple of hours to paint the color, but it made a world of difference.

Then, the time came for my lease to be up and for me to find a new place to live. (In September...I told you I'm a bit late!) So I recruited a few friends on a random Wednesday night and we went to town bringing the white back to the walls, and making me feel like that chapter of my life was officially closing. This room was the very first of my whole college career that I stayed in for an entire 12 months. It was a turning point. I'm now a bit of a rolling stone again; content and happy with where I am now, but willing to move if the right job makes an offer.




But really, with friends like these, who will sacrifice their night, bodies, and clothes for a night of crazy loud music, silly conversation and lots of painting, who could ever want to leave?
Oh, and did I mention the hot tamales? :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I'm a storyteller, that's what I do and love.


There are numerous, wonderful TED talks on their website, but this one caught my eye and ear today. I've been reading up on authors, their writing styles, why they write what they write, where they get their inspiration from, etc. It's just something I'm interested in. This woman, Elif Shafak, presents an incredible piece on the politics of fiction. If you have a little time, it's worth it.

Here are a few gems I especially liked from the talk:
"Everywhere I went I felt like my imagination was the only suitcase that I could carry with me."

"In the face of death and destruction our mundane differences evaporated and we all became one for a few hours."

"But don't you see? There is nothing in me that is not in everybody else and there is nothing in everybody else that is not in me."

"Identity politics divides us. Fiction connects."

Like what you heard? Watch more inspiring people giving riveting talks here.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I've become...

a tea drinker! Actually, I'm pretty sure that around this time for the past three years I've gone through a period of intense tea intake. However, this year it has really taken off! I haven't even had coffee for over two weeks. If you know me in real life, you know that's an accomplishment upon itself.

I'd been hoping to reduce my necessity for caffeine for awhile now, but never felt that it was 'the right time' to limit my caffeine intake. In other words, I was dependent for a reason: because I was far too busy to focus on my own health or to notice that the one cup of coffee I used to have had turned into around 3 caffeinated drinks a day. Whoops.

Don't get me wrong, I do know that some teas are caffeinated and I do not discriminate against them. Baby steps, people.

I hope this tea splurge lasts for more than a season, but I'm certainly enjoying it for now. My most recent flavor tries include: vanilla rooibos, orange green tea, english breakfast, earl gray, vanilla bean, and the absolute cream of the crop (my favorite) chai.
 
 photos from here

Do you have anything that the changing season ushers in as a change? Do you have favorite tea flavors? I'd love to hear them!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Have you seen The Social Network?



I'm not going to lie, I still haven't, but I have heard from a myriad of people who have. Some of those people are around my age, in college or just out of it, the first wave of Facebook users (at least, the first wave of when high schoolers were allowed to have an account.) Some of those people are from other blogs I read, including Meaghan O'Connell's account of how the movie made her feel. She is the director of outreach at Tumblr at 26 years old. (and also a bit of a personal hero.)

Anyways, I was wondering what you all thought? I'm planning on seeing it at some point this week - I still am not sure when, but it will happen - but I love reading up on something so real like this. This probably sounds a bit juvenile for those of you who haven't grown up in the Facebook/blogging/Twitter/smartphone generation that us Gen Xers have, but the film is about something that we ourselves have lived. Checking Facebook is a daily, usually many-times-a-day occurrence for over 500 million people. Those people spend over 700 billion minutes per month on the site. (Stats found here) This is where we document everything. This is how we check up on people, friends, family and foes alike. This is our world, at our fingertips.

Anyways, in case you have a little time and are equally interested in this topic, I've compiled a short list of articles I've found educational to read, and that hopefully will make me go into the movie knowing full well what is true and what is Hollywood lore to craft an entertaining film.

Mark Zuckerberg's Most Valuable Friend - by Miguel Helft from The New York Times
-A really wonderful in-depth article on how a 41-year-old woman and 26-year-old Zuckerberg (Facebook founder) truly work in real life.

Would That the Real Mark Zuckerberg Talked As Much As the Facebook Movie Zuckerberg - by Kara Swisher of BoomTree
-A unique glimpse into the chatty portrayal of an actually quite terse and less-than-chatty real world Zuckerberg.

With a Little Help From His Friends - by David Kirkpatrick of Vanity Fair
-A "he's not always the villain" article detailing Sean Parker (who helped create Napster and was a founding president of Facebook) in his real life. While his work ethic may be erratic, he is actually quite visionary and works hard....for awhile. I liked seeing the other side of the man who is cast as a villain in the Hollywood rendition of the film.

Now I'm going to go look up movie times!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Song Saturday!



I've been meaning to have Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings be a song Saturday for awhile now, but never did it! This summer, one of my roommates went to her concert and came home with her album on vinyl, on CD, AND with rave reviews. We listened to it a lot, and I've been a fan since.

Maybe you are, too?

Friday, October 1, 2010

STLF's Annual Event is Tonight!

Hello everyone! I know I've been pretty quiet here on the blog all week, but I've been overcoming a sickness that pretty much wiped me out this week. I'm still not 100%, but I'm working on it.

However! That doesn't mean that I'll be missing out on STLF's Annual Event tonight! STLF stands for Students Today Leaders Forever and is a nonprofit I've been involved with in one way or another for three years now. There was a chapter on my college campus that I was involved in quite a bit, and I even interned for the national office all last semester. Tonight is our annual fundraising event, where all of the money we raise goes directly towards scholarships for students to go on Pay it Forward tours. Pay it Forward tours are 9-day community service trips that travel to different cities each day, helping out in each community we stop in. I've been on four trips now, and helped plan or lead three of the trips, so I'm a big fan!

If you want to learn more about STLF, (or want to sign up for a tour!) head on over to stlf.net. Or! If you are around Minneapolis, come to The Crowne Plaza Northstar hotel tonight from 7-10pm and join in the fun! Don't worry if you didn't register, tickets are available at the door (and I'm helping with registration at the event so you will just have to look for me!)