Archive for July, 2011

Little Moments

Sing your song.
Dance your dance.
Tell your tale.
 ~ Frank McCourt ~

I can’t believe it’s Friday already. This week has really flown by. I’ve got a busy weekend ahead (with work actually, boo!) Whatever you guys are up to this weekend, I hope you slow down long enough to enjoy the little moments and soak up what’s left of the summer.

{I have to say, it took forever to sneak up to this dragonfly and take a picture, but I’m so glad I did. It had so many gorgeous colors and beautiful details. They fly past me all the time, I’m glad I took the time  catch this “little moment.”}

Happy Weekend!

Posted 7/29/11, Topic: Blog

Sisters: a mix tape

You’d have to know my sister, Katie, to know that she’s not what they call the “sentimental type”. So as you can imagine, I was floored to receive a package from her in the mail. No snazzy packaging, no detailed cards, just a single cd crammed with lots of love.
It was a “mix tape” of our childhood. Hand written on the cd were different memories or key words that corresponded with a song on the cd. Reading through the list I would laugh, have huge flashback moments and even come close to shedding a tear.
The whole thing was such an emotional overload. On one hand my heart was about to explode from the amount of time and love that went into creating this cd, and on the other hand my heart ached with nostalgia, the memories and pains of growing older.
So if you’re curious, here’s the playlist (with Katie’s titles and my mini explanations). Click around. If you’re an 80’s baby like us, you might hear a little bit of your own childhood.
Sister’s Mix Tape
1. Jumping off a chair in the garage A Barbie that comes with her own tape? Yesssss!
2. Gone, gone with the wind We use to stand up in the seat of Dad’s pick-up truck and practice our “clogging” to this song.
3. “What are y’all the Wonder Years?” We loved to roll around and pretend to wrestle in our cul-de-sac imitating the opening scene from the Wonder Years.
4. “He can’t beat me in this Jag” One of Mom’s famous driving lines. She wore out that car’s tires and her Judds tapes.
6. Car Shows and Poodle Skirts We use to dress up in 50’s gear and go with Dad to car show. Pretty sure this has something to do with my love for oldies music.
9. Mom, please let Sandi Patti do the singing Sunday mornings before church mom would belt these songs out. Lord help us.
10. Randy Travis’ hair Mom was obsessed with Randy Travis. We had to listen to all of his songs.
11. Corey and Shafia’s Fun times hanging out with the neighborhood kids.
13. Seven Old Men We use to dance around the living room singing “Blow, blow seven old men”. Totally not the right words. Hilarious.
14. Fernandina Bound We picked up this cd while at the beach one year. For some reason it became our “travel tunes”.
18. Exit song for a compilation If I’ve watched Gone with the Wind once, I’ve watched it hundreds of times. This one pretty much sums it up.
What song comes to mind when you think of your childhood?

Posted 7/28/11, Topic: Blog

Snowden’s Jig

It’s rare, but every so often a song will catch your ear and demand your attention. I can’t explain what it is about this song, but as it began to play, I dropped what I was doing, walked over to the computer and just stared at it. I was in awe.

Carolina Chocolate Drops: Snowden’s Jig from Tom Ciaburri on Vimeo.

At times the song seems so sad and full of such despair, and at other times it’s quite mysterious and even seductive sounding. I just had to find out more about it.

One of the most difficult songs on the record is a four-minute instrumental called “Snowden’s Jig,” subtitled “Genuine Negro Jig.” The Oxford American Dictionary defines a jig as a piece of music for lively dancing, but this song is anything but that. Starting with Robinson’s ominous rhythm of claps and stumps and progressing into a minor-key melody on Giddens’s fiddle that loops into elegant variations, the song asks for more than one emotional response. Does it convey despair, anger or pensiveness? Or perhaps it is all of the above — an attempt to capture the complex emotions felt by blacks living in the antebellum South.

The history of “Snowden’s Jig” is just as complicated as the melody. Songwriter and minstrel performer Dan Emmett, who received credit for “Dixie” (what later became the Confederate anthem), had learned the song from the Snowdens, a musical black family who composed by ear. Recent research on Emmett and his music suggested it was possible that the Snowden family had contributed to Emmett’s composition “Dixie.” What irony! – Yale Daily News

Give it a listen and let it transport you to another place and time. Of course I’m curious to know, did it grab you the way it did me? Either way, I have to say the Carolina Chocolate Drops just shot to the top of my favorites list.

Posted 7/27/11, Topic: Blog

DIY: Pallet Sign

It’s no secret – I don’t live at the beach. 
In fact, I don’t even live close to a body of water. (Unless you count the Chattahoochee, and I’m not exactly ready to sip Mai Tai’s on her banks.) Nevertheless, each summer I like to give my house a fresh dose of “ocean air” and display some of my favorite rustic beach collections. I have jars of shells we’ve collected from different vacations, even some shells collected by my Grandma during her years spent living at the beach.
This year, I’ve added a new piece to the display – a distressed, pallet-style sign.
The wood was actually given to me by Aunt Barbara. You see, she’s not actually my “aunt”, just a precious lady and I couldn’t dare call her anything else. The wood pieces were simply beadboard scraps left over from a paneling project at her house. At first I had no idea what I would do with them, but it didn’t take me long to cook up a little project.
We took the beadboard strips and created a simple frame to support them from the back, similar in style to a pallet. We then rubbed on a light coat of Minwax wood stain in “Dark Walnut”. Just enough to give it some color.

Once that was dry, I experimented with several acrylic paint colors, brushing on light coats of paint for a worn look. After I was satisfied with the finish, I stenciled one of my favorite quotes onto the sign with foam letter stencils. Easy peasy, right?
Aunt Barbara doesn’t know it yet, but I have pallet sign built just for her. {Surprise! Just name your color and send me a favorite quote and it’s all yours.} I think a sign like this would be darling outside on a patio. The more weathered it gets the better!

Photos by Blue Eyed Yonder

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. What have you transformed lately?

Posted 7/26/11, Topic: DIY

Run Away With Me: Boulangerie Poilâne

Once upon a time in a tiny bakery in the heart of France, a young french boy alone in a dim, bakery basement buried himself amongst sacks of flour and cried as he dreaded his future life as a baker.
It’s hard to imagine this is how it all started for Lionel Poilâne, one of the most renowned bread makers in all of France. He couldn’t imagine his life as a baker, spent underground slaving over a hot oven. However, the story goes, that one day Lionel opened the oven door, looked into the red-hot hearth, and thought, 
“This will either be the door to my prison or the door to the world.” 
Today, every where you look restaurants and stores proudly display signs, “Ici, pain Poilâne” (“Here, we serve Poilane bread”). His bread is a cornerstone in French cuisine and known throughout Europe. 
During our trip to France, we had the pleasure of visiting the original Poilâne Bakery. After quite a long walk, we finally found the sweet little bakery quietly tucked amongst townhouses and small businesses on an otherwise unnoticeable street. 

I had the biggest smile just gazing into their beautiful, glistening windows. I thought of the history of this place and of all the people that must have visited here and enjoyed this man’s hard work and labor.

It’s true when they say things are just dreamier in Paris.

Poilâne is famous for their sourdough loaves, made from four simple ingredients – sourdough, flour, water and sea salt from Guerande.
In addition to bread, Poilane is also known for their deliciously simple butter cookies, called Punitions. Where does their name come from? ‘Punition’ is French for ‘punishment’ and the name comes from a little game Pierre Poilâne’s grandmother used to play. She would call over her grandchildren seemingly to punish them and, instead, would open her palm to reveal a handful of butter cookies! 

Of course we couldn’t just visit the bakery and not leave with a treat or two. We decided to sample the apple tartlets. Apple desserts are Mr. Blue Eyed Yonder’s favorite!

I think it’s safe to say this little tartlet didn’t disappoint. The layers were perfectly flaky and the center was full of rich, lightly sweetened apples. The perfect accompaniment to our morning stroll through the streets of Paris. 

Photos by: KHJ

The wonderful story of Poilâne can be found on their website. If you love sweets and you love Paris, you’d definitely love the book Paris Sweets, by Dorie Greenspan which features this story of Boulangerie Poilâne as well as many other stories and recipes from Paris’ best pastry shops.

Posted 7/22/11, Topic: Blog

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