Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tell Me The Season's Almost Over, I Can Wait : Winter Mix Vol. 1

I should be frantically studying right now, but instead I am treating myself to a slow-paced fresh grapefruit/black cherry greek yogurt/café mocha breakfast while reading my favorite blogs. I wish every morning could start like this. 
Last year I decided I wanted to start making seasonal mixes for the following reasons:
  • First of all, I love making mixes. I love the whole process - from choosing songs, to finding the best order for them, to making the cover art. I just really enjoy it.
  • Secondly, I really wanted to try to document the music I like at the different stages of my life so I can enjoy them when I'm older (and share them with my kids someday). I can't help but document things. It's so important to me. 
  • Third, I decided it would be fun to share these mixes with my friends and family. So after working on it slowly for a couple months, I finally finished my Winter Mix Vol. 1
You can download it here, by clicking on 'file' and then 'download' (found below the file name).

Here's the Winter Vol. 1 track listing:

If you're interested in the autumn mix I made last year, you can download it here.
Here's the track listing for Autumn Vol. 1:
In other news, here are my highlights as of late:

I got a new car!
It's sad to say goodbye to my first car. We've traveled to Colorado and back, over mountains, highways, and back country roads together. On the other hand it's super exciting to drive a vehicle with two working speakers, a clock, a sunroof, and 4 doors - talk about luxury!
I got a 98 on my first accounting exam! I don't really tend to talk about my grades to anyone (besides my parents and Ben), but this semester has been a constant struggle, so it feels really good to be succeeding at something!
I got a few beautiful, handmade pieces in the mail a couple weeks ago from Vanilla & Lace (thanks to my awesome mom), and I absolutely love them. 
I made these Cake Batter Milkshakes, and they were delicious.
Ben and I have made Tuesday evenings our weekly date night! Last week we made a pizza together, ate bunny gummies with ice cream, and started watching Freaks & Geeks.
And to top it all off - I had a fresh made Belgian Waffle for lunch at work on Sunday!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

All You Want's One More Saturday

I had the weekend off. It always seems to go too fast, but I had a great time. 
Saturday I got to sleep in. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but I have had a poor sleep schedule lately, so to finally feel well-rested was absolutely wonderful!
I dropped Ben off to work at the comic shop, and I spent the day with my mom and my little brother reminiscing and eating too much candy. 
After work, Ben picked me up to go on our Valentine's Date. We went to the Smith Opera House to watch the Academy Award Nominated Short Films. This is one of the things I most look forward to every year. I love them so much. They are usually either terribly heart-breaking, or wonderfully heart-warming, but either way they are beautiful and profound. 
The theatre is one of my favorites. It's so beautiful. It has unique fixtures and architectural detail. The best part is when the lights go down - if you look up there are little lights that shine through the ceiling that look like stars. There are also sunrises painted on either side of the theatre, so that when the lights go up it looks like the sun is rising. It's magical. 
My favorite live action this year was called Tuba Atlantic, and my favorite animated short was The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. They are absolutely worth checking out. All of them were excellent though. We listened to This American Life on the way home and watched the snow fall. 
Today we spent the day doing things for our band The Wallpaper. We made a music video in our attic studio, took an intentional band photo, and played a set and had an interview on WITR radio! It was a busy, fun, productive day for us.
This weekend was full of good people, special events, and junk food! It was a wonderful way to spend my weekend off.  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

She Drink Coffee, She Drink Tea

I've always been a tea drinker. I love tea. All different kinds. 
I lean more towards green, fruity, chamomile, calm teas. We have a nice collection of teas at our apartment, and one of the things I was most excited about this Christmas was receiving a box of assorted green teas. Getting a new teapot was something I was thinking about for at least 6 months before we actually got one. So, I could go on about tea some more, or you can just trust me that I'm crazy about it. 

With all this waking up early business, I have been zombie-like most days. I was getting into the terrible habit of buying tea, sometimes two every day. Now, that's only $1-$1.50, which is not bad, but that had me spending between $5-$8 a week on tea! I realized it simply couldn't go on like this any longer, especially since I have quite the collection of teas - it just seemed silly. So, I bought a box of tea to keep in my car for $5, and just snag a free cup of hot water wherever I can. And let me tell you, you can get hot water easily at most places (sometimes at the cost of a sassy look), but it's easy & free.

In contrast, I've never been a coffee drinker. I've always loved the smell, but not the taste. I've tried it several times, but didn't enjoy it, plus I hate the thought of being dependent on caffeine. 

Now, tea is nice, but has little to no effect on how awake I feel. I tried a latte the other day, but the espresso was very bitter and I didn't enjoy it. However, it helped my productivity tremendously.

So here's where I have a change of heart and decide I should give coffee another try.
I mentioned this before, but I'm a barista, and I love it. Steaming milk is so fun, and I feel like I get to hone my skill more and more with every drink I make. I've been closing a lot recently, and at the end of the night we dump the coffee that's left. I always love dumping the hazelnut and cinnanut (basically anything nutty), because they smell so good

Talking through my predicament with my boss I had an epiphany. I want coffee without the bitter, strong taste. A café au lait would be the perfect solution! I can choose the coffee I want, and control the coffee to steamed milk ratio! So I had a couple days to think about it and get excited, and here I am - sipping on my hazelnut café au lait with a little raw sugar and steamed soy milk. 

My first reaction was that it was very bitter, but about halfway through I'm really enjoying it. I'm definitely feeling recharged, and productive. This may not be as exciting to you, but I felt completely compelled to write about my coffee epiphany, or coffeepiphany if you will.