Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kitten: 'Cute Pet' or 'Your New Favorite Band'?

Answer: Both!

The very same day that we traveled to the interior decorating mecca, IKEA, we also visited a classy establishment, the Mad Hatter, in Covington, KY to enjoy some good old-fashioned rocking and rolling. The main event, which was the point of our attendance, was the dance-rock outfit, Electric Six. Always a good show, they did not disappoint and left us sweaty with ears ringing by the end of the evening.

However amazing they were, the true surprise of the evening, in my book, was the night's second opening act: Kitten. The Los Angeles quintet literally brought us from sitting on a couple of bar stools at the back of the room to dancing our hearts out at the edge of the stage. Prowling around atop the guitar cabinets, writhing on the floor tangled in the mic cables, and keeping time on her chest with a tambourine: the true magic of the evening was provided by the sixteen-year's-young front-woman, Chloe Chaidez. She sang with the expression and control of someone twice her age, using every aspect of her voice from a raw breathiness to a clear soprano and everything in between. I consider myself a music person, having a degree in music and also having attended innumerable concerts, but this was one of the few times in my life that I was completely floored (in a good way) by an opening act. Every member of the band was spot on. Drummer Lukas Frank kept perfect time throughout the performance, truly driving the band's whole set along with surprising precision and detail. In addition, the sonic heart of the group, Andy Miller, provided flowing chords and delicate picking on guitar while Chris Vogel pulled the music along with intricate bass lines. The finishing touches were provided by Josh Holiday, who added subtle keyboard harmonies and chords that really filled out the band's sound, making Kitten truly take over the room. I stand by what I said to those around me during the show: keep your eye on Kitten, they are the next big thing and will be, without a doubt, playing next year's summer festival circuit.

Kitten at The Mad Hatter in Covington, KY 9/18/11

Monday, September 26, 2011


Last Sunday, we traveled to the wondrous playground that is IKEA. So as not to bore anyone with too much detail, I decided to condense our two-and-a-half hour visit down to a few items of note.
First up it the Tofteryd coffee table ($200), which I found to be not only stylish but also innovative. One of the problems we tend to have in the home is accumulating magazines and living room accessories piling up on the coffee table and any nearby surface. This coffee table confronts this dilemma by not only having shelves underneath the tabletop, but also two drawers. The storage area under the tabletop is divided into four areas, with two drawers diagonal from each other and two shelves in the remaining spots. One word: genius.

Next up: the Eivor Cirkel low-pile rug ($149). Though not as innovative as the Tofteryd coffee table, this stylish article is just as attractive. I was intrigued not only by how simple the design is, but how the pattern has an almost calming effect, like the meditative curves of a Zen garden.

Finally, we picked up a few things for our apartment. I won't go into detail about everything, but I did want to share a few of them. We brought home two white Virserum picture frames ($1.99 each... a steal, I know), three black square Ribba picture frames/shadow boxes ($9.99 each... a lot of possibilities), and a Ribba picture ledge ($9.99). I am currently installing all of these onto a giant empty wall in our living room. I will be sharing the finished product soon!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall is here!

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. I love the weather, the food, the holidays (my birthday included), and the clothes. I have always love fall and winter clothes so much more than summer clothes. Cooler weather clothes are so cozy and I like the darker colors and textures. As the season begins this year, I'm searching for some basics to get me through both the fall and winter seasons.

Here are a few things on my list:
  • Structured bag: Actually, I've already crossed this off my list. I saw this bag when I walked into Target a couple of weeks ago and couldn't resist! I looked at it and put it back while Sean and I did some other shopping. Then before checking out, I went back by the purse, and there was only one left... I took it as a sign and grabbed it! It's not real leather, but for $25 I thought it was a deal and I'm already getting LOTS of use out of it.
  • Brown riding boots: I'm really looking for some brown boots to wear with anything this fall. I'm thinking I might go for some thigh-highs like these (BCBGMAXAZRIA) to shake things up a bit. I like that they can be worn as thigh-highs, but they also have the option of turning the flaps down as well. They would be a really versatile pair of boots to have in any wardrobe. (Unfortunately, this pair in particular is a little out of my price range...)
  • Trench coat: This coat by Elizabeth and James is adorable! But again, tiny bit out of my price range, and it seems to be sold out everywhere I look. But I have been looking for a trench for a while now... it would be really great to have something to top off my outfits with the "in between" weather we have in the fall and again in the spring.
  • Maxi dress/skirt: I'm a little behind on this trend. I guess I'm just a little unsure of how to pull it off without looking like a grandma! However, my sister just bought this Forever 21 dress and I really like it... so I think I'll be borrowing stealing that to see how I like it before I get my own!
A couple of other things I'm looking for are longer cardigans, a pencil skirt, a new white button-up blouse and some fun scarves. I'm also excited to wear this Converse shirt that Sean picked up a couple of weeks ago. I've already worn it a couple of times belted with the sleeves rolled up and it makes for a great fall jacket! ( I hope he doesn't get too mad at me for stealing his clothes!)

I'll be keeping an eye out for pieces that I'm really loving this fall and hopefully collecting lots of them here on Pinterest. Do any of you pinterest? You should... it's really fun! What are some things that you are excited to wear this fall?

Happy Weekend everyone!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Can someone please tell me....

WHAT is the big deal with this Missoni for Target line? I really just don't get it. I think that zigzag pattern and the colors that they've used are hideous! There's really not much variety either... you can get zigzags or a swirly pattern and that's about it. Gross! Yesterday, I thought I saw the light for a minute when I saw this blog post. (That's cute, right? Maybe these people aren't that crazy...) Well then I read the rest of her post, and that's NOT Missoni for Target... it's a knock-off and thrifted!
The fact that people are buying everything in site and selling it again on ebay boggles my mind. And it's even more outrageous that people are buying it for double the original Target price! I mean, at that point just save up a little more and splurge for a regular Missoni piece! (It will be better quality and better design.) It seems people are only buying it because everyone else is buying it! In my opinion that cheapens the product (even more than the fact that it's from a Target line). Don't get me wrong, I love shopping for clothes at Target, but the fact that people are going absolutely nuts over this mediocre (that's a compliment) clothing line makes me want to stay as far away from it as possible.

But I'll keep an open mind. All you Missoni for Target lovers, I'll be keeping an eye out for you this fall and I'm challenging you to style those pieces you fought so hard to get in a way that is even remotely appealing. Double bonus point for this bad boy... and triple bonus points for these. ;)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Karelian Pasties!

In 2008, I studied abroad for my fall semester at the University of Helsinki in Helsinki, Finland. It was an amazing experience to be able to spend a solid five months learning not only about other cultures, but also a lot about myself. Around this time in my life, I really started to appreciate good food and drink. So, I decided that my first recipe on here would be something I learned first about when I was in Finland: I had this the first time ever for breakfast my first morning in Finland!
The Karelian Pasty comes from Karelia, which is an area located on the border between Finland and Russia. This pasty, a thin crust of rye dough filled with rice porridge, is a common breakfast food in Finland. I really found this food to be so interesting because of the interesting combination of flavors and textures. The porridge is slightly sweet and gelatinous while the dough has a strong rye flavor and has a texture comparable to pita bread. On a side note, it is supposed to be eaten hot from the oven, but the porridge becomes a different texture when it is room temperature and it almost becomes like a totally different dish!

*I found my recipe while in Finland, so the measurements are in metric. I have included approximate cups where deciliters are given. This recipe makes 6 pasties.

1 1/2 dl water (.64 C)
1 Tbsp cooking oil
3/4 tsp salt
3 dl rye flour (1.26 C)
1 dl weat flour (.42C)

2 1/2 dl water (1C)
2 dl porridge rice (.84 C)
7 1/2 dl milk (3.17 C)
1/2 tsp salt

1) Begin by preparing the filling. Boil the water, add the rice and continue boiling for 5-10 minutes until the rice begins to soften.
2) Add the milk & salt and boil over medium to low heat for 30-40 minutes while stirring. Let it cool.
3) Next prepare the dough. Stir the oil, salt, and flour into the water with a wooden cooking fork. Form the dough into a bar shape and cut into 6 slices. Cover in a mixing bowl with a cloth the keep the air from drying the dough out.
4) Roll each slice into a thin oval (5-6" long/ 2-3" wide) and put a spoonful of cooled porridge into the middle of each, leaving 1/2" edge. Then, turn the edges up over the filling and crinkle it with your fingers.
5) Place on baking paper on a baking sheet (or grease it in place of paper) and bake in a 500F oven for 10-20 minutes. Remove when tips of rice begin to brown. You can serve plain immediately or add melted butter on top. Enjoy this classic Karelian dish!

Monday, September 12, 2011

...and finally: the other half!

Welcome! My name is Sean and I will also be contributing to this project. I am a music composer with a degree in music technology, not currently employed in a relevant job... alas! I am quite interested in music, art, design, food/drink, cultures, and traveling. Since Aileen already introduced what this page is all about, I will not bore you with redundancy. I will however offer you this: I am the cook between the two of us, so I will primarily be the one posting about food.
I hope to offer something fresh, new, or surprising with each of my posts... whether it be an exotic meal I have attempted to prepare, the latest trends in the arts, or just something strange that I happen upon and deem ripe for sharing! Enjoy...

Friday, September 2, 2011

One half.

{wedding bubbles} 
Photo by: Molly M. (my little sister).
Hey! I'm Aileen, one half of the little project we are starting with this blog. The other half is my husband Sean (the cute one in the sunglasses up there;). We'd both like to record some of the things that we are inspired by in our everyday lives... For me that's: fashion, beauty, travel, food (I most likely won't be cooking it, just eating it) and maybe a little politics or pop culture thrown in there too. My goal with this is to help me get to know myself a little better, work on my photography skills a bit, and have a place to collect everything that inspires me. 

A little bit about me: I currently live in Louisville, KY and am recently unemployed (#1 reason I finally got around to actually creating this first post). I love traveling, ice cream, elephants, dancing, chocolate, and the color blue. I'm extremely picky about cheese (which is an entire post on it's own...just wait for it). My dream job would be traveling the world like Anthony Bourdain, eating great food and meeting interesting people. Last year, I got married to the most wonderful man in the whole world and we are enjoying creating our lives together. 

My next step in this world is pretty unclear to me right now, but I'm excited to see what sorts of adventures are in store for me next!