"Love this!"

Just another list to make Monday seem as though it were organized, methodical and magical.

1. Well, Mondays may have become magical since I baked these brownies this afternoon. If the adjective "outrageous" isn't enticing enough, the recipe is from the queen of East Coast cuisine, Ina Garten.   I've decided if I go to cooking school, I will be her protege. 

2. In regard to cooking blogs, Smitten Kitchen  and A Couple Cooks  make my Pinterest boards come to life on these dinner plates. (No, I don't care that these are holiday plates and it's April 3).

3. I have a cookbook wishlist that ranges from Paris to the Pacific Northwest because I could never sacrifice quiche lorraine for veganism. 

4. Avocado toast - the food of royalty. Please eat it here

5. I've cycled back to lunchbox foods since my classes run through lunch hours most days. This glorified applesauce was zapped with "vegan" and "gluten free" and let me tell you, that stuff was good. Squeezable anything food-related seems fun; this nut butter is no exception. Frozen grapes are the sherbet hack that saves late-night snacking cravings and mid-afternoon hammock feasts. 

6. My friend, Elise got me hooked on this tea  while we were in Poland. It is the traveler (and college student's best friend and is basically a cure-all. 

7. Humor me philosophy students. When I found this at Meijer, I had to buy it. 

8. Tip: drink tea everyday, multiple cups and brewed right (no adding milk before its steeped or when the bag is still in)! 

9. Tip: Drink honey in your coffee. It's the bees knees and the crown of the Cafe Miel. 

10. This TV show is surprisingly addicting and it used to take place after Downton Abbey; who could go wrong with a show like that? 

Reading List

I’ve rediscovered the bliss of reading. As a child, my mother would tell you that I loved to read. I sailed through Doyle, Keene and Christie determined to read every book on the mystery shelf at the Fishers Public Library. I annotated and dog-eared and spilt coffee and Earl Grey upon the contents of my little personal library.

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Kelly: a series in greenery

A few weeks ago, my photojournalism professor showed our class the inside of the campus greenhouse. I left wondering how I'd lived a year and a half here and never discovered the mixture forest and tropical island in the middle of the cornfields. It begged,"photograph me!" 

On this rainy Thursday afternoon, I brought my friend Kelly and my camera along to "Florida in the cornfields," the sunny, plant habitat attached to the side of the science building. 

 

 

 

Things worth trying.

After a multi-month hiatus from the blog world due to a lengthy case of writer's block, a glorified list of a post emerged. Mainly, I enjoy lists, both making them and reading them. Here are five discoveries I deemed worth sharing: 

1. Blackout Poetry: A glorious rediscovery, instilled in my heart from my Sophomore English teacher. Buy yourself a copy of the Times or the Post or whatever print newspaper suits you, curl up under the covers, grab this pen and create some word art. 

2. This journal: Found under a pile of books and scarves in the catacombs of the Keystone Mall (the Anthropologie sale room) was this blank book. It makes me want to fill it with loftier thoughts than the lists and reminders that currently sprawl across its pages. 

3. Jeremy Cowart: I've followed Jeremy's photography for about a year, but his most recent documentation of the Gatlinburg fires, I believe are the most poignant and remind me the importance of never settling for the single story. 

4. Regina Spektor: Another rediscovery whose music I listen to every day. Regina writes with a pleasant dysfunction that works. I appreciate the depths and cynicism of her lyrics which turn to endearing cheerfulness with the next lines. The Calculation and Folding Chair are two favorites from this album (please listen to all of it). I've also compiled this playlist in case you want to listen to it all (which you should). 

5. This macaroni and cheese: When I eat this mac and cheese, I wonder why I choose to eat anything else in the world. When I consider the amount of butter and cheese in the recipe, I understand why it is a treat. Truly, this is the best mac and cheese I have ever tasted (say the die-hard Kraft mac and cheese eater since age three). Check out the rest of Smitten Kitchen for a plethora of other foodie dishes that feed the epicurean in us all. 

 

Just one more thing...this video makes me smile every time because this woman is inspirational and just plain fun. 

Little Bits of "Love This"

I'm borrowing the title from a phrase picked up from a beloved high school English teacher and hoping to make this a recurrent theme. Everybody needs a little something extra to love. 

I don’t cry often, but Hannah Katherine’s blog makes me tear up - every single time. A rhetorical and photographic masterpiece, The Art in Life captures well the twenty-something Georgetown life in all of its wisteria-painted perfection. Maybe it’s her love for words, for the District of Columbia, for photography, for life - any host of things, but Hannah makes it beautiful and raw in one neatly bound blog. Plus her two-month-old son Henry and family photos evoke an “aw” every time. Did I mention she’s working on her dissertation? 

 

As if I needed any justification to love hugs more, this article explains the need for lots of them. Give me a few bear hugs a day and I’ll be happy, even without coffee. If elected to Congress, the first act I’m championing is the #givemorehugs movement. 

 

I’m a traveler by nature (a million thanks, Mom and Dad for beginning the plane travel at six months). This summer, I’ve developed a rich love for D.C. and Boston - their culture, their history, their people, and their food. I follow a few (a modest ten to fifteen) Instagram accounts that elegantly portray anything from Georgetown to “Hah-vad Yah-d”. 

 

Quiche, bagels, breakfast food - I’ve always loved it, but I’m daring to become a breakfast foodie (and not just to make Ron Swanson proud). Seriously, give me all the bacon and eggs you have, just not all at once. 

 

I used to gawk at neutral wardrobes. The artist in me silently screamed, “Color, Color!” I’m attributing it to the effects of living in an all girl’s dorm where lifestyles begin to mesh, but one day I looked into my closet and a sea of navy, gray, black, white and beige greeted me - and I loved it. College has unearthed a hidden organizer and a lover (a bit extreme at times) of color coordination. 

 

I’ll risk the label “hipster” to say buy more local. From a gal currently sitting in a local coffee shop run by artists in an art district let me shout from above the steam of the espresso machines: it’s worth it, a million times over. Understandably this is not always possible, but when it is, you learn the stories, the context and the art behind the maker’s craft

 

Musically inclined and tight on time, I’ve come to appreciate movie soundtracks all the more. The main reason - phenomenal taste and a perfectly orchestrated playlist for each mood. The best part? I didn’t have to do any of the work. Right now, I’m listening to When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail (and their accompanying films) because a little Meg Ryan and a lot of New York Jazz is always needed. 

 

My reading list of late is comprised of mostly articles garnered from this app and my Twitter feed. But when I’ve had the chance to open a book, it's been this one.

And, finally...

Just to save the best for last, these friends are a constant source of encouragement and laughter to me. Doubt the goofiness? Look at this photo again. It'll make you smile on a rainy day, guaranteed.

Just to save the best for last, these friends are a constant source of encouragement and laughter to me. Doubt the goofiness? Look at this photo again. It'll make you smile on a rainy day, guaranteed.

Broad Ripple

It's been my favorite spot in Indy since I was fifteen. Somehow this neighborhood of artists continually grows more and more quirky. This place is Instagram-heaven, as shown by our array of Broad Ripple brick wall photos below.

Some highlights of this trip:

- Brics - an ice cream shop with phenomenal flavors (Our favorites were: cake batter, blackberry, grasshopper and Monon Tracks). 

- Bazbeaux - a pizza place with a cellar-vibe (We tried the Mediterranean, BBQ, and Sausage pizzas - all well worth the wait). 

Quills

Located off the Canal in Downtown Indianapolis, Quill is equal parts upper-scale and grunge. The menu boasts a wide array of espresso drinks and the shelves boast a wide array of Chemex brewers and French Presses. Watching the baristas brew coffee was like watching an artist at work. 

Quills is well worth the trip (and the Burundi blend).

Other drinks to try: Cortado, Cafe Miel, Caramel Latte

The White Rabbit Used Bookstore

The books are plentiful and the rabbits are surprisingly few. Maybe the latter is due to the surplus of cats in this district of Muncie. Small and spunky, the White Rabbit is well worth the wait for the store to open. 

Recommendation: Come with an open schedule, the owners work with flexible hours and the store is not always open during regular business hours. 

Location: Muncie, IN