Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Secret Garden

I love the idea of a "secret garden." Gardens are awesome. Growing up my pap had two big gardens in his back yard. His were mainly for vegetables--but there was something so nice about running out to your backyard if you need a tomato. He would line the side with flowers and American flags during the Fourth of July. We have a little nook behind my house next to the creek with a shady tree and little bench. It's so relaxing to sit out there on a nice day with a good book--no cell phone, no computer. Remember the movie, "The Secret Garden?" 
It was one of my favorites growing up!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Mother of Pearl

This title kind of makes me giggle a bit. When my sister and I were younger, we used to joke with my mom and call her "Mother of Pearl." At the time I had no idea what that even was. I actually only became a fan of mother of pearl a couple years ago. I found this beautiful, simple bracelet in my room one day, and started wearing it non-stop. I never really thought anything of it--like where it came from--until I mentioned it to my mom while we were in DC last summer. She couldn't believe I was wearing it because it had been her bracelet from when she was young! It has a silver bottom and is filled with the iridescent mother of pearl--commonly from oysters and other mollusks. Here are some other "mother of pearl" inspired things that I'm loving:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Levon Helm

There is no way around it, rock and roll would not have been the same without Levon Helm. He was a true artist who wanted nothing more than to play good music and make people happy. I think it's safe to say he did just that. When I found out that Levon was sick--not the normal sick stuff, but the "last stages of his battle with cancer" stuff, I immediately felt like my heart was breaking into pieces. I had just seen this man and his band in Woodstock, NY not even five months ago. I knew he suffered from throat cancer and various other problems that come about when your 71, but I always thought Levon would pull through. I had plans to go to Woodstock again and attend another legendary Midnight Ramble. I wanted to stand in the balcony of his barn and look down on the greatest singer/drummer of all time. I can only hope that his friends and family will continue to carry on the Rambles in honor of him.

Levon passed away five days ago--and I cannot shake this feeling of sadness. There have been very few artists that I have an attachment with who have passed away while I was of the age to really get it. Sure there have been some incredibly talented artists who were taken away too soon, but none of them had the affect on me that Levon had. I was 13 when George Harrison lost his battle with cancer, and it was the age that I was really just starting to love The Beatles--so it was sad, but it wasn't until after he died that I really formed by bond with the band. Levon was the first artist who I saw live who passed away. When I was at that Ramble I knew I could never experience anything else like it. The Band's music just got to me. I respected them and appreciated them for who they became. They were honest, hard working men and I truly believe the greatest of them all was Levon. After that Ramble I felt like I knew him. Like he was an old friend who asked me to come to his house for some food, drinks and music. 

The Facebook and Twitter posts from musicians, fans, and his friends and family continued to bring tears to my eyes. There has been an overwhelming amount of articles written about him and his influence on music. Even though he was not a fan of "The Last Waltz," I couldn't help but to watch it last night. Watching him singing and drumming--you can't help but to get a smile on your face. Mainly because he's smiling the entire time! You could see the love and passion for music just oozing out of him. I remember reading that he loved the drummers spot--you could see the band and the fans and watch the reaction from both. He sure knew how to hold down the back beat and make people dance. 

Looking back on what Levon's accomplished in life makes his passing just a bit easier. He had success from a young age, then continued on until his 70s by making his own music with The Levon Helm Band--all three albums won a Grammy award. His Rambles were the essence of rock and roll. I truly believe I chose to attend the best Ramble there's ever been. When I first heard Dawes I immediately thought "thank you." Thank you for reminding me that real music does exist. When I saw Dawes was opening up for Levon I knew that was it--this was the Ramble I needed to go to. To my surprise, along with Dawes I also got Jackson Browne, Jimmy Vivino, Donald Fagen, and Garth Hudson! At only 23 years of age I got to witness 2 out of the 3 living members of The Band sing together! What an honor and privilege for a music fan. That memory will be with me forever. 

Levon's passing shook the music community. But it's safe to say that the tributes, thoughts and love for his music will never go away. We were lucky to have such a great man around for so long. He will live on forever through his music. So don't stop listening, and certainly don't stop dancing when you hear that beat. Take a load off, Levon.

The Weight.
Atlantic City.

Here is my post on my visit to the site of Woodstock and to Levon's Midnight Ramble.

Monday, April 23, 2012


I just got back from a much and I mean much needed mini-vaca with five of my best girl friends. We all needed to just get away and we really couldn't have asked for a better weekend. We left Thursday afternoon and spent the night in Lancaster, PA visiting our friend Kate. We all left Friday morning to spend the weekend in Baltimore. It's only about 1 hour and 15 minutes from Lancaster, so it was a nice easy drive. Our hotel was right in the Inner Harbor and the area was beautiful. We walked around, visited the Fells Pointe neighborhood--cobblestone streets, and such character all around, went to the nightlife area "Power Plant Live" which had a piano bar, Howl at the Moon, a PBR Bar, Leinenkugel's Beer Garden and much more. One of our favorite highlights of the trip was our food. It was unreal--I'm talking the best sushi I've ever had at Ra. All in all it was a great trip. Didn't spend too much time relaxing, but that's okay.  We laughed non-stop and enjoyed our weekend together before it was back to the real world.
Kate made us these "survival kits" for the weekend.
Awesome Irish pub in Lancaster.
Beet & goat cheese salad from Annie Bailey's.
The best sushi EVER from Ra Sushi Bar. 
Our bracelets that did a pretty decent job of describing part of the weekend.
Fells Pointe 
Max's Bar in Fells Pointe
Us girls in the touristy part of the Inner Harbor. 
I loved this wall--it was inside a Mexican tequila bar. 
Leinenkugel's Beer Garden.
Cheers-ing our Berry Weiss beer.
Loved this sign at Howl at the Moon! We had to do a Steeler's chant after seeing that.
Old navy boat.
The harbor.
View of the city from our hotel room.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tune Tuesday

Prepare yourself now. Allen Stone is singing "Unaware" live from his mother's
living room and my goodness is it unreal. I hope this guy gets to Pittsburgh soon because
it's been a while since I've felt this way the first time I hear a new song by a new artist.
Keep doing your thing, Allen. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lesson Learned.

I have been a "Mac Person" my entire life.
Laptops, desktops, iPods, iPhones, iPads--I have it all. 
And I have NEVER had a problem with any of my Apple products until now. 
I purchased a MacBook Pro about a year ago. I took it into the Apple store three times
before they finally told me my hard drive had crashed and they couldn't back anything up. 
I felt like I was on that Sex & the City episode when this happened to Carrie 
and everyone couldn't believe that she didn't "back up." 

Well, luckily I did back up my computer about four months ago.
But that still means I have four months of missing information that is no longer on my computer. 
Documents, pictures, music--gone. 
What made me so upset was that I took my computer in THREE times for the SAME reason--
the first two times they insisted that it was not my hard drive. 
The Mac "Geniuses" would work their magic and my laptop would work for a while. 
Unfortunately the third time I was not so lucky. SO, moral of the story is--BACK UP your computer! 
Now Apple is all fancy and has the Time Machine application and iCloud--
two things that I will now be using. 
Lesson learned.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Green With Envy

I've been obsessed with green everything lately. 
In the past couple weeks I've bought two new green dresses and a green word print. 
I think it's because I am just longing for spring. Bad. 
We had a few weeks of beautiful weather, but the past week or so has been cold and rainy. 
I'm crossing my fingers that tomorrow is our last day of under 60 degree weather. 
Green also reminds of me one of my favorite places, Portland, Oregon. 
The green hills and grass are just beautiful. Definitely an underrated color.