all things

“Are you a koala?”
“Excuse me?”
“It’s just that you’re meeting koala-my-expecations.”
A Tinder-man used the pick-up line on my friend, and she shared the comment with our book club tonight.  The silly introduction made her smile, and then it convinced the 12 of us that the man deserves a date.  Men, take notes.

Jon and I road-tripped home from Wisconsin today, and we passed the four-hour drive listening to TED talks.  Has anyone listened to how Amy Webb hacked online dating?  I read my favorite wedding blogs as I listened to Amy talk about attracting people online, and it got me thinking about capturing ‘love at first sight.’  More specifically, we have so many photos of people that are engaged, married, and celebrating anniversaries, but we have so few images that capture the first time those people met.
Does anyone have a photograph of the first time they met the person they ended up dating and/or marrying?  If i was a photographer, I would do a series called ‘the first glimpse.’  It would be tricky following people around on all their first dates (snapping pictures and hoping they see each other again), but I think it might be worth it.
My head was filled with all kinds of ideas about photography and dating when I arrived home, but I shoved them aside to begin preparing for book club.  A different girl hosts each month, and July was my month: game time.
Lucky for me, I happened to have exactly 12 of everything necessary to host the group.  Funny how things tend to work out, right?  I did get a little scroungy (is that a word?) pulling out anything that would suffice as a wineglass (oh college skills), but all is well that ends well.  Before the group arrived, Jon and I tested some drinks (I think he was just anxious to try the strawberry lemonade) and we found that slipping fruit into a wineglass ups the fannnnciness about 99%:
Okay okay, the silly beverage photos are a little more about us playing with our new camera than trying drinks, but what can I say?  We replaced an old camera, and now I’m snapping photos left, right, and center — which makes me wonder, where do you get photo inspiration? Do you ever just want to run out the house and photograph all things? Maybe that’s just me, but I definitely felt that way today.  I had to resist every urge not to snap photos of these lovelies all night long:
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I like good books and the girls that read them.  The ladies pictured above are some of my favorite people in Minneapolis, and I couldn’t be happier that our book club has turned into a ‘lets get together for all things’ club ❤

That’s my update here: Are you in any clubs? Any suggestions for what I can photograph?

pleasure junkie

The class almost didn’t happen because the director didn’t think anyone would want to tinker with sentences for seven weeks.  To his surprise and my delight, Beautiful Sentences opened with a waiting-list 10 students long.

The writing class felt like a gathering of kindred spirits.  We introduced ourselves by sharing our favorite sentences, and then we played “who wrote it?”  The game involves, that’s right, guessing the author of various sentences.  For example, can you guess who wrote the following:

  • “I’m anything but fine. I feel like the sun has set and not risen for five days. I’m in perpetual night here”.”
  • “She talked all the time and at first it was about people and places.”

It’s a bit tricky, so I’ll give you the answers: the first sentence is EL James from 50 Shades of Grey, and the second is Ernst Hemingway from A Moveable Feast.  Surprisingly, the entire class thought the first sentences was ‘more beautiful’ than the second.

Is this post nerdy enough for you?  ‘Cause I’m about to go all out and confess that I belong to three book clubs.  That’s not a typo — I legit read and discuss three books a month.  I created a graphic of the top-rated books from my clubs:
My nerdy-ness will cease after I tell you about a recent article in The WSJ that featured ‘the most popular books that no one reads.”  Interesting, right?

Researchers mined Kindle data to name books people quit after reading after 25%, 50% or 75% of the novel. Their findings? People rarely finish 50 Shades of Grey or The Great Gatsby, but they absolutely never finish Capital in the 21st Century.

Do you finish every book you start?  Are you learning a new skill this summer? Get geeky and tell me your favorite sentence.


gimme the keys

I dreamt I was an amazing painter.  Last night, circa 12am, I threw paint on the canvas and things beyond my imagination (and much, much beyond my skill level) appeared: blooming flowers, bursting sunrises, and close friends.  When the painting was finished, I flew (wings and all) to a vineyard in Tuscany for some vino with my sister, Caitlin.  A pretty awesome dream, right?
The funny thing is how dream-like things kept occurring throughout the day.  Jon and I visited the Artisan Parade of Homes, and we pretended to be the Mr. & Mrs. of some of Minneapolis’s finest addresses.  We probably won’t be purchasing any of *those* homes, but we did get business cards from a couple architecture firms 🙂
Last but definitely not least, I made some blackberry cream cheese bites worthy of Top Chef.  I’ve never claimed to be a master in the kitchen, but the sweet treats have me feeling pretty excited about my kitchen skills.

If you’re feeling lazy but need a recipe to impress the masses, try this: put blackberry jam and cream-cheese inside a pillsbury crescent, wrap it up, bake inside a mini muffin tin, and then top with a blackberry.  Voilà!

sorry, im26c4u!

Which came first: the cake or the book?  It’s a hard question to answer because it’s difficult to imagine a world without sweet treats or engaging novels.

My friend Clare and I created a book club called Bookmarks and Napkins to celebrate our mutual love for literacy and lemons.  Okay, not literacy and lemons, eating and reading, but literacy and lemons sounds much more eloquent, doesn’t it?  The basic premise of the club is that we read a book, and then we each make a dish inspired by the novel.
The Cuckoo’s Calling was the novel for October, and since the book takes place in London, I used the map above (a guide to London’s culinary scene) for inspiration.  I googled and yahooed and yelped all the noted hot spots, and at the end of it all, I was just craving something truly American: Apple Pie.

Since I live in Minneapolis, I decided to make pies from “mini-apples.”  All in all, I absolutely failed to follow the rules of book club, but I did manage to make some pretty delicious “mini-apple” pie:
PS: I learned about im26c4u yesterday, and it’s been making me giggle ever since.  Do you have any coded messages that make you smile when you see them?

the orchardist

i spent yesterday afternoon preparing for my first book club meeting (coming up next thursday).  the group votes on the book of the month, and the winner this go-round was the orchardist by amanda coplin.  i aways imagined i was the type to join book clubs (being that i’m a pretty constant reader – a book or 3 a month, usually) and i’ve also found that readers make the best company.


the interesting thing about the book club is that it introduces you to books you might not have picked out on your own, but you start enjoying after a few chapters (sort of like every book assigned in high school english, no?)  the orchardist is intense and lyrical, and it introduces you to an orchardist who finds fulfillment by caring for two pregnant girls that wander onto his land.  i’m only about a quarter finished, but i can tell you the book is enjoyable for it’s ability to touch at the origin of feelings, sentimentality, and human connection.  there isn’t much action, but the lyricism of the words will carry you as you navigate the developing relationships between the main characters.