Music Video Jams

There are so many great music videos for even greater songs that have recently been released. Do yourself a favor and watch these now. You won’t be sorry!

“Turn It Around” – Lucius

I was first introduced to this song by a friend last year, but the music video only just released. It’s a feast for the eyes, not unlike an art installation. Lucius has such a unique, indulgent sound, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up making it big.

“I Need My Girl” – The National

This is one of those music videos that are simple, yet mesmerizing. It also doesn’t hurt that this song sounds very similar to my all-time favorite by The National, “Fireproof.”

“If I Could Change Your Mind” – Haim

I’m so, so, so obsessed with this video right now, it’s not even funny. Everything about it is casually perfect–the song, the dance, the lighting, the clothes, the hair, the sisterhood… Lisa and Beth, it’s not too late! We can still make this happen!

“Blue Moon” – Beck (Live on SNL)

I can’t remember the last time Beck felt relevant in my life (maybe back in high school?), but he completely got my attention with this performance on SNL. Even my dad was drawn from his study session to find out the source of this ridiculously pleasant number.

“Rather Be” – Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne

Honestly, I have no idea about what’s going on in this music video, but ever since a friend posted the song on Facebook a few weeks ago, I’ve been playing it nonstop. Whether I’m getting ready in the morning, driving, running, doing anything, really, I’m jamming to this absurdly catchy tune. And no, I’m absolutely not even close to being sick of it yet!

Snow Day!

You probably know that the South is currently experiencing a winter weather crisis. While North Carolina is not yet in a state of emergency, nonstop snow, sleet, hail, and freezing rain for the past 48 hours have essentially shut down my county since yesterday.

IMG_1150My Ohio friends have probably already gone to work and class in worse conditions this year, but understand that North Carolina is much less prepared to clear icy roads, since bad weather hardly comes through here. Technically, this snow day shouldn’t affect me, since I currently work from home, but it’s been a tad difficult to be productive, knowing that almost everyone else in the city has the day off… So let’s just say I’ve been taking plenty of breaks!IMG_1153

I started reading Henry James’s What Maisie Knew, which, I’ll admit, I was inspired to read after seeing last year’s film interpretation. The story, about a child caught in the middle of a terrible divorce between two dysfunctional parents, is both fascinating and heartbreaking. Other books I’ve recently read include: Jeffrey Eugenides’s Middlesex (winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction), Veronica Roth’s Divergent (since the movie version is coming out next month), and P.L. Travers’s Mary Poppins (very different from, but just as good as the Disney film).

friday-night-lightsBesides the Olympics coverage, I’ve been watching Friday Night Lights, which I only started, with low expectations, because some of my friends are obsessed, but has since proven to be a touching and sometimes thought-provoking show with some really great performances by the main characters. It’s not the best show I’ve ever seen, but, along with American Horror Story, it’s been filling my TV void that was left by last year’s ending of my favorite shows (30 RockThe OfficeBreaking Bad), and I’d recommend it (available on Netflix and Amazon Instant Video).IMG_1154

Yesterday, I pulled off a hangnail (I can never help it!), and now the area is swollen and extremely sensitive. Fortunately, epsom salt is one of those amazing remedies that have endless uses. I’d never used it until I got runner’s toe (black toenails… Google it, if you dare!) from running the marathon. Basically, the entire area around my big toe was super swollen, my toenail was becoming ingrown, and it looked pretty bad and felt even worse. Before committing myself to whatever misery awaited me at the doctor’s, I decided to try epsom salt baths… Worked like a charm! After a week of regularly soaking my foot, the swelling went down, the pain disappeared, and if there’d been an infection before, it was gone. Epsom salt is a miracle cure for just about everything, and I’m sure it will restore my finger to its original condition soon.

This “Scared Straight: Liberal Arts Edition” video is the best Buzzfeed post I’ve seen in a while. It hit a little close to home, since I double-majored and double-minored in four “useless” studies, but the video is an exaggeration, and I found it to be hilarious.

IMG_1158My mom baked a delicious green tea cake, using matcha powder, and it tastes like a green tea Frappuccino from Starbucks. I’ve pretty much been eating it all day!

11648228604_e52fdb4909I recently came across cartoonist Gemma Correll’s website, and I can’t get enough! Her work is clever and funny, like that of The Oatmeal, Hyperbole and a Half, and The Perry Bible Fellowship. But her style and content, which I personally find more relatable, set her apart from other popular artists. Some of my favorites:

12361471234_7730f22d12Societal reference? Check.
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Classic literature reference? Check.

9270715122_f423c23375Pop culture reference? Check.
f23d39d1265cc81bb4f73ecd72a5782fReference to one of my all-time favorite movies? Check.

Hope everyone had a fantastic day, whether or not it was a snow day! And please keep those Southerners in dire situations in your thoughts and prayers.

Deck the Halls

My family and I are definitely not as gung-ho as we used to be regarding Christmas decorations. When I was little, we accumulated more ornaments than we had trees, arranged two model train tracks in the great room, and put up wonderful outdoor lighted figures (from Bronner’s, the world’s largest Christmas store!). But since we moved to a smaller house, with less people living in it, our Christmas decorations have become more focused on smaller accents.

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A lot of the decorations that we use now were actually made by my mom the year Beth started college (her first as an empty-nester).

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Wired ribbon can quickly make pretty decorations. It’s easy to shape the ribbon into bows, using thin pieces of wire to hold the loops in place.

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I’m liking the unplanned juxtaposition between the old-fashioned toys and the high-tech “toys.”IMG_0424

For a simple way to lift your holiday spirits, add cinnamon sticks to a pot of water on the stove. The smell is divine!
IMG_0518Not a decoration, but one of my favorite Christmas traditions is mailing greeting cards! It’s just a small, but meaningful way to spread holiday cheer. I always hand-write them while watching Christmas movies or listening to carols.

This rendition of “What Child Is This?” by Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige is one of my favorites right now. Their voices surprisingly go great together. (Don’t worry about the costumes, which seem out of place.)

My house is all set for Christmas. Now all that’s missing is the snow! At this point, it seems like all of the country has gotten some, except for North Carolina.