Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Morning Meditation

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saturday Jams #24

If there was ever a weekend to get out of the house, this is the weekend. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous so get your bullshit errands done quickly because come midday, you'll want to be outside, on a porch with a cool cocktail. You'll probably need some tunes to round out your day, here are a couple suggestions - 

Maps & Atlases - "The Must Trustworthy Tin Cans"

José González - "Down the Line"

A departure from the song above, but good none the less. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Wind Down / Wound Up

Phew, it's been a long, hot week. That's okay though, because after this weekend comes a long holiday weekend, which I'm greatly looking forward to. Every week, we find the coolest things to do in Omaha and list them for your here to help you plan your weekends. This week is no different! As the work week winds down, WO+SF and crew are getting wound up for the weekend!

FRIDAY June 28
  •  Ever listen to video game music just for fun? Like, when  you're not even playing video games. If you do,  you will probably want to attend Video Games Live at the Ralston arena tonight. Musicians perform video game music along with video, and it actually sounds pretty cool.
  • Movies are the perfect summer activity because you can sit in a cool, dark room for several hours and escape the heat, whilst also being entertained. I know this has been out for a few weeks now, but I really want to see Sofia Coppola's new film, "Bling Ring".
  • I LOVE Thai food. Both Meghan and I have been wanting to try Salween Thai, which is pretty much between our two houses, and this OWH article just makes me want to try it even more. I might have to treat myself...
SUNDAY June 30

Petshop Book Exchange

Once a month, Petshop gallery in Benson hosts a book exchange in which attendees are encouraged to bring and donate a book in an effort to build a library where patrons can check out books donated by their own peers. The idea here of course is that by collecting a shared library, we'll all read the same books and be able to open discussions on the pieces themselves and the writing process overall. 

Omaha has needed a Writer's Group for some time. Looking at the filled seats at Petshop, I was glad to be among like-minded people. It's been a while since I've hung out with English Majors. It's a place where I feel safe and terrified at the same time, but that's what makes it fun, challenging, and rewarding. Just being around these people again makes me want to work more on my writing, both here and personally. 

So I encourage you, if you're a fan of writing or want to break free from your normal Wednesday scene, check out Petshop's next reading and book exchange. "Like" both links above on Facebook to keep up-to-date on writing events in Omaha. You can also find more info on readings, etc. here

Artist Jamie Danielle Hardy's show ended the day after the reading so I was glad we got to come check it out one more time.

It was nice enough out that night, they held the reading out back behind the gallery. 

There were three readers this night, Dylan Thaemert who organizes the Petshop Book Exchange, Simon Kim & James Belflower. 

Here's one of Kerry's submissions to the book exchange. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WO + SF Gimme! Gimme! List

So we're almost officially in July which means that we're finally getting around to making our summer reading lists. Come on, we've been busy. We were just talking at the Petshop reading last week (more on that coming soon) about going through our personal libraries and finding all of those novels we purchased and have been meaning to read. Take a break from watching all of Greek (or is that just me?) and go outside and take a book with you. Trust me, it'll be worth it. 

Wise Owl Picks - 
Sly Fox Picks - 

Summer Reading

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Our Fancy Pants Wine & Cheese Night

It was one of our summer goals to bring in the season by gathering our friends together for some wine and cheese pairings. The tragic, but timely downfall of Amanda Bynes provided the perfect window for said party. In case you're not familiar with Ms. Bynes' best work - a film called She's the Man - there's a specific scene where Bynes' character who is posing as her brother, coaches a yet-to-be over-exposed Channing Tatum how to talk to girls. See hilarious evidence below -

 photo tumblr_ll64p1U4rg1qcraa2o1_500_zps84c133ce.gif

With this inspiration in mind, we moved forward with our party plans. As it turns out, the work of Amanda Bynes encourages some very positive work. 

Here are the pairings we decided to go with -
  1. Cheddar and Cabernet Sauvignon
  2. Goat cheese with Sauvignon Blanc
  3. Stilton or Blue Cheese and  Pinot Noir
  4. Brie en Croute and Chardonnay
So a few weeks before the party we set up a Facebook invite for our lady-kins. A week before the party we met to decide what pairings we would serve. Then, day of the party, lists in hand, we shopped for all of our supplies.  Some might say that we were playing it risky shopping the same day as our party, but hey we live on the edge. 

Early that Saturday, we stopped first at the Farmer's Market downtown where we grabbed majority of our party foods. We wanted to make sure we were serving the freshest dishes so we chose to go local. Among our Farmer's Market take was a jar of apple butter from Ralston's It's All About Bees, some Aged NY Cheddar from Jisa's Farmstead Cheese, some delicious and spicy garlic mustard from Denison Mustard and finally a French baguette and walnut sourdough loaf from Le Quartier. Of course I couldn't help but make Kerry stop to check out all of the peonies - 

Next it was off to Trader Joe's and then Whole Foods where I eyed the ice cream, especially since it was already 85 degrees outside. 

It was at Trader Joe's that we picked up the remaining party supplies including the Stilton and Goat Cheese. Knowing Trader Joe's would be the place to buy all of the wine from (hey we're on a budget), Kerry did some research online and found some of TJ's better, inexpensive wines which turned out to be very beneficial. If you're ever roamed around TJ's wine aisles you know it can be a little daunting, especially when you get home and open up that $6 bottle to find it's complete and utter shit. We also grabbed the rest of our pairing items such as almonds, honey, grapes, and salami. It's great to include these little extras to help break up the cheese and wine tastings.  Giving people something to munch on between pairings as a cleanser or to further accompany the main pairings really rounded out the whole experience. 

We broke up Kerry's table space into four stations. Each corner was dedicated to a specific pairing. An hour before the party we set out the cheeses so they would be at room temperature by the time people arrived - this is key when having a cheese party.

Brie en Croute & Chardonnay 

Goat Cheese, Apple Butter, Grapes & Sauvignon Blanc

It was important to us to not only to offer some great pairings, but also educate our guests on the cheeses and wines. We laid out notecards which listed the cheese's name, it's texture, taste, and what items and wine to pair them with.

Stilton Blue Cheese, Honey, Sourdough Walnut Bread & Pinot Noir 

Aged NY Cheddar, Denison Garlic Mustard, Pretzel Crisps, Salami and Cabernet Sauvignon

Overall I think we were both really proud of how everything turned out. The Stilton pairing ended up being the crowd favorite and yes, by the end of the night all 6 bottles of wine we bought that day were drank. All in all, it was a pretty successful night!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Ikea is Our Heaven

I can't deny a visit to the Swedish-based home goods holy grail (aka Ikea) while in its vicinity. It's like there's a vortex around Bloomington, MN that forces people, couples and families to herd together to wander through this very well planned out superstore full of easy-to-assemble furniture and dreams. Yes, dreams because when you are inevitably forced to slow down behind that giant family trying to wrangle in their children while deciding on what new cabinets to install in their kitchen, you really take in the showrooms. "Man, if only I lived in a cosmopolitan studio loft I could install that Pax wardrobe with sliding doors and Expedit shelving unit. Then I'd be happy". After a few trips to this dreamworld, it looses a little bit of it's utopian ideals.  Eventually your trip revolves around getting in and out as quickly as possible without a public fight with your significant other. Luckily, Cooper and I have perfected our Ikea trip-taking attitudes and each time we walk away with some pretty awesome home finds. 

Our latest trip to Ikea wasn't just for our own home, Kerry asked that we pick her up the rug you see below which happened to be a very popular item this seasons. We saw this woman with the pineapple print on throw pillows, fleece blankets, and plastic plates. And not unlike cult hit The Big Lebowski, this rug really ties the room together, man. 

Next up we have my new Ikea home additions. Recently I invested a new couch and I kind of hated the pillow covers it came with. Also I needed to fill the empty space above my now larger couch. Initially, I wanted to get a large mirror to hang over the empty wall space, but it ended up being cheaper and more consistent for us to invest in another shelf exactly like one we already have in our living room. Cooper impressively hung the shelf by himself one afternoon and I ended up stitching together a quick garland to add a little homemade flare.

Not pictured, we also walked away with a new salad spinner, new plates (YES!!), new bowls, more magazine holders, and pineapple glasses (a surprise gift for Kerry to go with her new rug). All in all it was a pretty successful trip made in record time with minimal snarky-ness. If you ever find yourself sucked into the Ikea vortex, be sure to take it all in and definitely bring your patience!