What’s On …

Just a few little notes about what’s on my playlist, my nightstand, and my stove these days.

On my playlist: I just got back from a trip to Austin, TX! On the plane I listened to Norah Jones’ new album. The whole thing is really lovely, but, this was one of my favorites:

On my nightstand: Last week I blogged about my intent to put my writing first this year; to start the day creating art. As a part of this, I’m kicking off 41secwnbauleach writing session by reading a short passage from Barbara Abercrombie’s A Year of Writing Dangerously, 365 Days of Inspiration and Encouragement. Only twelve days in, but I’m loving it so far!

On my stove: Super, super simple slow cooker pork. We had frozen half a pork shoulder last month when we over-bought for pork mole (which I like to call Roast Beast around the holidays– because Dr. Seuss). Anyway, this week seemed like a good time to thaw it out, make some pulled-pork barbecue in the slow cooker, and try to hold on to our Texas vacation feeling just a bit longer. This recipe was easy and delicious!* We served with pickle slices and roasted potato wedges. (*Full disclosure: we skipped the green peppers, because we didn’t have them, and used a more vinegar-y sauce.)

So– what’s on in your world these days?

What’s On …

Just a few little notes about what’s on my playlist, my nightstand, and my stove these days.

On my playlist: I mentioned the Spilled Milk podcast briefly when I featured Molly Wizenburg’s book, Delancey, in Books and Brews a couple of months ago, but I’m still listening, and so I’m mentioning it again. It’s two comedians/writers (Molly & Matthew Amster-Burton) talking about food. Everything from lima beans to espresso. I’ve learned some things along the way, (like how it’s the length of time that the water spends in contact with the grounds that determines the amount of caffeine in your cup) but mostly I just love this one because it’s laugh-out-loud-while-walking-to-work funny. I think the best podcasts feel like you’re dropping in on a really great conversation between friends, and Spilled Milk hits exactly that mark. A couple of my very favorite episodes are Peanut Butter Cookies and S’mores. Continue reading

What’s On …

Just a few little notes about what’s on my playlist, my nightstand, and my stove these days.

On my playlist: The other night I was looking for some music to listen to while Mike and I cooked dinner. I asked if he had any suggestions, and he threw out The Barenaked Ladies. Do you ever sort of forget about an album only to stumble on it again and be totally transported? Their album Stunt was on heavy rotation in the first apartment I lived in post-college, and Rock Spectacle was the first gift I gave Mike when we started dating some 15-some years ago. Listening makes me grateful for the memories, and simultaniously grateful for today.

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In the Quiet, In the Crowd

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Weeks ago a friend invited me to a potluck. It wasn’t just any potluck. It was a Super Secret Talent Show and Potluck. In addition to bringing a dish to share, you were also encouraged to bring your talent– specifically a talent that very few people knew you had (hence the super secret part). Always excited at the prospect of sharing a meal and meeting new and interesting people (with super secret talents), I eagerly marked the night on the calendar. Continue reading

What’s On …

Just a few little notes about what’s on my playlist, my nightstand, and my stove these days.

On my playlist: I’ve been listening to a Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors station on Pandora a lot lately, which is how I discovered this Ben Rector song, The Men That Drive me Places. It’s stories, and music, and gratitude all in one little four-minute package. And as someone who spends a lot of time with Uber drivers, this really, really hits home. So much truth.

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What’s On …

Just a few little notes about what’s on my playlist, my nightstand, and my stove these days.

On the last Thursday of every month I share a book I’ve read and a beer to go along with it in my Books & Brews post. This is super fun way to share two of my very favorite things with you (craft beer and books), but there are also so many great podcasts, songs, recipes and other books that I’d love to share. So I came up with an idea for this new feature– I’m calling it What’s On and it’s just a little monthly round up of all that other good stuff.

On my playlist: Every Branch Podcast- I stumbled on this podcast late last year and havecover170x170 been listening my way through the archives since then. You know how sometimes something finds you at exactly the moment you need it? Yeah, that was this. I was just starting to heal from my year of not-really-writing and tackling new directions in my career. Brooke Snow and Sarah Bray felt like old friends immediately. They’re beautifully honest in a way that makes me feel like I’m having coffee with a friend– that one who really gets me. Two of my favorite episodes are #24: Making Friends and #36 Freedom Through Forgiveness. (The most recent episode, #38, is also amazing, and explains the transition that is going on with the podcast right now.) Continue reading

Riverboats & Irony

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One of my favorite neighborhood restaurants recently hosted a riverboat dinner cruise. They rented an old school steamboat and we travelled a few miles up the river, then turned around and headed back to enjoy a night view of the city skyline. They served delicious food (macaroni and cheese, spicy potato salad, steamed shrimp, oysters, black bean salad, an amazing s’mores inspired dessert, etc.). Along with some of their most popular cocktails and some summery wine and beer. There was also dancing. Continue reading

Pairings

There seem to be a lot of first dates going on in my neighborhood recently. Or maybe they’ve always been there and I’m more aware because I just wrote a super awkward first date scene in the novel I’m working on… hard to know. Anyway, here are two of my favorite observed moments (partially fictionalized, naturally): Continue reading

I’m Standing On Canal …

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Every time I’m in New York I’m convinced that the reason so many writers gravitate toward the city is for all the people watching. Space is a premium commodity and you find yourself sharing a table at a coffee shop, being seated inches from other diners at a restaurant and standing centimeters from fellow passengers on the subway. You can’t help but hear what that couple on their first date is talking about, or notice what the distinguished older gentleman in reading on the train. It’s character development gold. Which is why my favorite thing to do in the city is just be in the city. Grab coffee and watch people walk by, wander through parks and city streets and just listen.

Here are a few of the things I’ve seen over the last few days (also some things I’ve eaten and people I’ve hung out with): Continue reading

Pull Up a Chair

James River Writers, the local organization for writers that I’m part of, asked members to blog about a favorite memory or a little bit about how we got involved with the group this month. When I sat down to think about this, so many great things came to mind. Late night, post event chats with fellow writers over tacos. Fancy monthly happy hours at the Jefferson about writing and life with acquaintances turned friends (hello, Wednesday wine specials and pimento cheese). Lunch meetings you don’t want to end because, holy awesomeness, you are releasing your amazing memoir with how many prestigious reviews next month and yet, you love BLTs as much as me?! Continue reading