Saturday, June 30, 2012

Inspiring

Watch This Video

Friday, June 29, 2012

Wind Down / Wound Up


It's official, it's the WEEEEEEKEEEEEND. They always play a clip stating just that on 106.9 on Fridays and then it repeats and repeats, over and over in my head. It's the weekend. This whole week has been a hot one and the weekend promises the same. The weekend also promises lots of fun in Omaha and we've hand picked some of the best, but certainly not the only, options. As the work week winds down, Wise Owl + Sly Fox and crew are getting wound up for the weekend!

FRIDAY June 29
  • If you don't already know about it, you either live in a cave or you haven't driven by Memorial Park in the past three days. The biggest event going on tonight is definitely Omaha's annual free concert at Memorial Park, followed by a fireworks show. This year's headliner is Huey Lewis and the News and the fireworks show is always pretty great. Let's just hope the show doesn't get rained out!
  • Finally, it's the moment we've all been waiting for... Moonrise Kingdom has hit Omaha and is playing exclusively at Film Streams starting today. We're thinking about going on Saturday afternoon to attempt to try to avoid the crowds.
  • Huey Lewis isn't the only show going on tonight. Oh, no. Chicago is playing at the Stir Concert Cove. Hopefully you got tickets, because it's sold out. UUVVWWZ is also playing a free show as part of the Maha showcase at Slowdown!

SATURDAY June 30
  • Everyone loves a parade, right? Check out the Pride Parade and Festival, going on all day today at Aksarben's Stinson Park!
  • After a day of parading and festival attending, go dance your asses of at House of Loom for the Pride after party!
  • Be one of the first to check out Benson's newest restaurant, Mantra Bar & Grill. The owner also own's Taxi's, which already has our taste buds' approval, so we expect nothing but deliciousness.
  • It's been in Omaha since May, but somehow slipped under our radar. Mindbender Mansion at the Durham Museum is a giant, interactive brainteaser.
SUNDAY July 1
  • We can't even believe it's already July and that the first half of the year is over. Celebrate by having A Wilde Time at the Castle. Oscar Wilde that is. Joslyn Castles celebrates Oscar Wilde, one of my favorites, the entire month of July with a variety of events, starting today.
  • Described as "is a combination of burlesque show, sideshow and straight-up circus", the Pretty Things Peepshow is performing at House of Loom. Yes, we do want to see some sword swallowing on a Sunday.
  • Finally, with just two days til the holiday, take a break, laze around, and get wound back up on Wednesday to celebrate 'Merica.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

WO + SF Gimme! Gimme! List

For this week's Gimme! Gimme! list we turn our sights towards great color combos. It's amazing how perfectly placed colored accessories can make a neutral outfit pop, or, in contrast, how cheery a color saturated outfit can be. The same can be applied to decor. This week we each bring you one of our favorite color combinations in a variety of items.

Wise Owl Picks -
Peach + Navy

Mint + Coral

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Scouring & Devouring Omaha: Stella's Burgers

It's been awhile since we've posted about the great food here in Omaha. Recently, I made my second trip to Stella's Burgers in Bellevue. Any place that touts the "best of" something better live up to those expectations, and Stella's certainly doesn't disappoint. 

I arrived at the restaurant just before a big rush of people came in a little before 6 pm. Stella's is a pretty tight squeeze, there are tables and booths open as you walk in and an annex for bigger parties. There's also a bar where patrons can sit on high stools and enjoy a big juicy burger. 

The menu is fairly small, and unlike true diners like Leo's, Stella's specials really aren't anything to write home about. The big draw to a place like Stella's is the fact that you as the consumer get to create your own burger. With lots of options like jalapeño, bacon, peanut butter, and my personal favorite, a fried egg, there are dozens of variations from just a plain old hamburger.

Considering how busy the joint was, our food came out fairly quickly. The one thing you have to keep in mind about Stella's is the fact that their huge burgers come out on napkins, no wrapping and no basket (unless you ask for one). It can be quite messy, but hey isn't that why you went to a restaurant like this in the first place?

While people come for the burgers, Stella's offers a number of sides including french fries, onion rings, sweet potato waffle fries, and your traditional chips. The side portions are larger so I would recommend getting one or two and sharing with whoever you're eating with. 

Did we mention Stella's is reasonably priced too? The cheeseburger is only $4.75 and all of those extras I was talking about are under $2 each. 

But the best part of Stella's is easily The Stellanator. In Omaha, there really aren't too many food challenges. If you're feeling like pulling a Man vs. Food then head here to attempt to consume the incredibly massive Stellanator which stacks six hamburger patties, six slices of cheese, six slices of bacon, etc. But buyer beware, if you can't finish the Stellantor, then a picture of you and your name go up on The Wall of Shame.
Yep, that's a picture of The Stellanator in all of it's glory

Overall, Stella's is a wonderful place to enjoy a nice, big ole juicy hamburger. It's got a lot of local charm, good service and great souvenirs including a t-shirt with a picture of The Stellanator on the front and the ingredients on the back. Total worth the $15 it cost.
 
My burger creation, Cheeseburger with Pepperjack, Jalapeño bacon, and a fried egg. Deeeelish!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Web Wilderness / Branching Out

What a relaxing weekend! We took a break from our normal activity fueled plans and spent the weekend lounging around, watching HBO GO and enjoying this hot hot heat by taking our pups on a few walks. Can you believe it's almost July?! We certainly can't. Summer always goes by way too fast and I always find myself feeling like I never enjoyed it as much as I should have by taking advantage of outdoor activities and vacations. I really shouldn't think this way, it's a little unhealthy. Sometimes I have to stop and remind myself to smell the roses. I've got a pretty good life. 

I'm not going to lie, I'm a little burnt out at work right now. Each day the temperature rises, the sun shines brighter and I can just smell summer freedom in the air. Walking into my office building every day becomes a very depressing action. At least we have a vacation up to Minneapolis to look forward to. Just one more week and I'll be free!!

Enough complaining, here's a look at some interesting stuff on the internet to help combat your Monday blues. 

  • The term Manic Pixie Dream Girl was coined by a film critic after he viewed Elizabethtown and ever since then, female characters from Natalie Portman in Garden State to Kate Hudson in Almost Famous have been considered as static, quirky characters whose presence is needed solely to act as a catalyst for a hopelessly lost male character. Now, while I can't exactly get behind this stock character type, there are a shit load of movies (movies I enjoy) which utilize this device. Film isn't the only art form subject to the Manic Pixie Dream Girl conundrum, here are 10 examples in literature. Now, just don't go falling in love with these girls. That would be way to cliche. 
  • Both Kerry and I used to religiously use Live Journal as a way to interact in the world of the internet. We know you're not surprised by that. Live Journal is still around, even though the bloggers and tumblrs of the world have become more popular. Have you ever thought of a book from your past, but for the life of you couldn't remember what the book was called or who wrote it? Well here's an entire Live Journal dedicated to figuring out those literary mysteries. While these entries aren't as dirty as real Missed Connections, they're still pretty great. 
  • Growing up, my family would gather around the TV promptly at 7 pm every Sunday to watch the latest episode of The Simpsons. It's a show that's very close to my heart, because there's nothing I enjoy more in this life than laughing with my family. The Simpsons is a show with something for everyone and for me, there were a lot of funny references to books and authors. Here's a visual history of all of those moments
  • If you can't tell already, we LOVE diner food. It's comforting, never truly that disappointing, and if nothing else, diner's are GREAT places to do some people watching. Photographer Stephen Shore documented his diner outings and here's the evidence aptly named Cheap Food and Proud Waitresses
  • With the release of Moonrise Kingdom quickly approaching, there has been a ton off Wes Anderson reminiscing (Yeah, we watched Darjeeling Limited this week ourselves). Anderson creates worlds which are so detailed, characters which are so flawed yet helplessly lovable and laughable in their actions and problems, it's no wonder there's an entire online store selling Wes Anderson A - Z character posters. We do have to laugh, there's a total misprint on K - Klaus Daimler - he's from Life Aquatic NOT Darjeeling Limited!! Amateurs I tell ya...
  • Gilmore Girls is the charming television series with fast dialogue and obscure pop culture references. Love it or hate it, have you ever wondered what the fuck they were talking about? Here's an entire website dissecting each reference throughout the entire series.
  • And finally, nothing cheers us up more than sweet, adorable doggies. We dare you not to want to reach in and pet these personality filled pets


Speaking of adorable pups, Bebop got a haircut this weekend to help with this dreaded heat we've been enjoying. Want to follow us on Instagram? Meghan is @tropicoffrancis while KJ is @kerryjones We want to see what you all are doing too!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Telling Time

I have an addiction, an addiction to watches. Currently, I own five watches, all of which are very different styles. I found my most recent watch on Fab.com when a post for Andy Warhol inspired watches caught my eye. At just $24, I became the proud owner of the below watch and to my pleasant surprise, the watch came in great packaging AND was inscribed on the back. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wind Down / Wound Up

It's the first official weekend of summer and I think we need to have some good old fashioned fun. I recently bought some packages of water balloons at the the dollar store and am thinking this is the perfect time to put them to good use. I'm picturing us water balloon fighting during the day and maybe even investing in some super soakers. For some night time fun we have the rest of our fireworks to shoot off. Wait until 4th of July? Nah, I wanna chase down that giant parachute now. 

Per usual, we have gathered a select list of cool happenings around Omaha for you to check out. So as the work week winds down, WO + SF and gang get wound up for the weekend. TGIF, y'all!


FRIDAY June 22
  • See a rainbow! It's the opening weekend for Michael Jones McKean’s The Rainbow: Certain Principles of Light and Shapes Between Forms at the Bemis. This is exactly what it sounds like: a man made rainbow in the sky. 
  • And if you're already down at the Bemis checking out the rainbow, be sure to stop inside for open studios! The current artists-in-residence open up their studios and talk about what they're currently working on.  
  • So you're downtown, you saw a rainbow and talked to some artists, why not make a night of it and hang out downtown for dinner and drinks? While we often tout La Buvette and Nicola's, we do enjoy many other restaurants in the Old Market such as: Blue SushiIndian Oven, or Upstream
 
SATURDAY June 23
  • Make someone else's junk your treasure! Head out to a farm in Elkhorn for Junkstock, an outdoor vintage sale/flea market/antique store. At least that's our own definition of what we think it is. 
  • Rain or shine, you can either beat the heat or the rain, and go to a movie. We tend to prefer to theatres you can buy booze at, Marcus Midtown Cinema or Aksarben Cinema both do and are in our hood. The movie we would most like to see is definitely Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Also in theatres is Prometheus, Snow White and the Huntsman, and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
  • If that pesky rain stays away, fire up the grill and try something besides the usual hot dogs and hamburgers. We absolutely want to make grilled pizza.  
  • Groove the night away to one of Omaha's most fun live bands, Satchel Grande, at the Slowdown. This nine-piece band makes us wish we lived in the era where big bands were...big. Also playing the show is Funk Trek.  
 
SUNDAY June 24 
  • Ever since the farmer's markets started I've been going to the Aksarben market with my mom and Oliver to pick up some fresh, seasonal veggies, cheese, and dog treats. After shopping we've been sitting out on Jones Bros patio for an iced coffee and a macaron.  P.S.: This is one of the only patios I've found in Omaha that's allows dogs, and I definitely appreciate that. 
  •  In the Jones household, Sundays are for family. AKA eating an awesome homemade meal and watching cable television while your parents spoil your dog. Eat dinner with your parents, visit a grandparent, or have a lazy day with your BFF's. 
 
 
 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Brushcetta

Because we haven't posted any of our culinary conquests recently, this post about summer appropriate bruschetta is right on time. With today being the first official day of summer we decided to take advantage of all of the great fruit produce and try a variation on one of our favorite appetizers. 

Typically our version of bruschetta involves Roma tomatoes, balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil and lots of garlic. Essentially, it's the smelliest item you could possibly leave in your fridge. 

That being said, we tried this recipe from Vegetarian Times and were pleasantly surprised by the results. With a few variations, this item could become a picnic staple. 

Cherry, Pistachio, and Goat Cheese Bruschetta:
  • 24 thin baguette slices
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 oz. fresh goat cheese, softened
  • 1 ½ cups pitted, chopped fresh cherries
  • ½ cup shelled unsalted pistachios
  • ⅛ tsp. ground black pepper

Cherry residue 
Pitting cherries is not as easy task. I imagine there's some sort of device or tool that makes this easier (like there is for strawberries and pineapple) but we pitted them the old fashioned way (without the use of our mouths). This meant taking a paring knife, slicing each cherry down the middle and yanking out the pit by hand. PS Your fingers look awesome after pitting this juicy fruit. 
Unpitted Cherries
Once you have the cherries pitted, the pistachios un-shelled and the cheese grated / crumbly, simply add all ingredients together in a bowl, break some bread and enjoy!!
Mmm, Cheese




It wasn't until after we mixed all ingredients together that we realized the cheese wasn't supposed to be in the mix, but we found that it's a little easier to load on a piece of great when you can just scoop out the mixture from the bowl.
Finished Product with French Baguette fresh out of the oven
Overall, this was an EXTREMELY easy recipe to make, and let's face it, bruschetta is one of those great foods that you can just throw in whatever sounds good to you and the finished product is always pretty damn good. So next time you're invited to a BBQ or are having friends over for a night of in-house awesomeness, think about serving this great light, summery appetizer. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

CWS

Last night we went down to the Slowdown to do some people watching and drinking at the CWS tents. This year the Slowdown really stepped it up by installing a huge bar lined with flatscreen TV's, a ping pong table, and having super cool DJ KobraKyle play beats all night. 


Drinks are priced within reason, well considering it's an outdoor event and parking really isn't too bad. So, while we may not be into the sports side of this Omaha tradition, we are definitely behind the fun to be had and the attention our little North Downtown area gets. 





Brownville, NE & Small Town Wonder

This Saturday Kerry and I embarked on short, but much needed detour outside of Omaha. We decided to visit The Antiquarium bookstore which in I believe around 2008 shut its downtown location and relocate to the small, tourist town of Brownville, NE.


We began the day at Leo's diner in Benson. If you've never been there, hit it up this weekend.  For your first visit, order off of their specials board, and on your second visit try the Fantasy Island.

Kerry's Fantasy Island named for one of the cooks at Leo's. To break it down for you a Fantasy Island starts with a bed of hash browns,  then comes the gravy, then whatever ingredients are special to the Fantasy Island itself.  Kerry's had turkey, bacon and cheddar while mine had green chile and actual chili along with some Monterey Jack cheese. Did we mention there are two buttermilk biscuits being slathered by all of these delicious ingredients? To top it all off, you get two eggs however you want em. 
My Condidos Fantasy Island, both before and after I was done eating it

After we were sufficiently stuffed, we took to the open road. Unfortunately, we drove directly into the rain. As the car approached the dark gray cloud our radio calmed us down with such hilarious hits as Rack City and Birthday Cake - Kerry reading the lyrics to these songs to me was both uncomfortable and hilarious.


We went from Nebraska, into Iowa, into Missouri and finally back into Nebraska. In total, the trip took us about an hour. It's a very easy drive as well, just hop on I-29 South and you'll eventually run into it. 

Here's a picture of The Antiquarium from the outside. It's actually the old Teacher's Association building and don't let this picture fool you, it's HUGE on the inside.


See what we mean?

Since the store is essentially an old school there's a stage that you have to walk on in order to get to the second floor which is where all of the fiction is.



Here's a view in the opposite direction. There's a lot of chairs and areas for visitors to sit, read or get in a lively discussion with Antiquarium owner/resident Tom. 

After our visit to the bookstore (even though both of us walked away with only 3 books) we decided to drive about a mile up to the winery Whisky Run Creek. For just $3 you get to taste five of their wines and the tasting is free if you buy a bottle of their wine.


The second story of the building was completely lined with wood. It was very pretty, especially with the sunlight that finally decided to grace us with it's presence. 

Before we left town we wanted to check out their little town "museum". There are three houses in Brownville which the historical society owns and opens to the public to take tours through.


We stopped at the Captain Bailey Museum which was run by a very talkative woman who had lived in Brownville her entire life and lived next door to the house growing up. Unfortunately, we couldn't take pictures of the main floor of the house which was truly beautiful. The upstairs, well the upstairs was a little creepy. According to legend, the house is haunted. We're not surprised because according to the Bailey family's history, a whole lot of people got poisoned.


Here's a picture of the second town museum. 


On our way back home we stopped at the nearest firework store and both Kerry and I dropped about $50 of stuff to blow up. It was so fun running around the store and buying the coolest looking fireworks. We were bad and shot some off later that night, but come on, who could blame us?


All in all it was a really fun five hour trip that costs next to nothing to enjoy. So if you're bored one Saturday or Sunday, head on down to Brownville. In summer time, there's also a bunch of other local events like a music series and a huge flea market. Check out the town's website for more info.