Neko Case

Music fans, I have great news! The incomparable Neko Case’s new album, “The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You,” is due out September 3rd! Neko Case has one of the most uniquely soulful voices and she writes lyrics that are downright literary. I hope to catch her in Minneapolis when she tours for this new album (Jamie, I am giving you a heads up that I will be crashing at your place). I have seen her four times in concert–her voice is even wilder and more beautiful in person. Plus she banters like a Gilmore Girl.



Want to Look All Glowy? I Thought So…


Let this picture of Michelle Dockery of Downton Abbey fame demonstrate two things. Firstly, Michelle is a natural beauty and should be praised as such (eat your heart out, Dan Stevens! You could be making out with this lady as part of your job). Secondly, it shows the importance of using highlighter/luminizer as part of your makeup routine. See how her cheeks just glow and her cheekbones look, as the kids say, amazeballs? That is the power of highlighter. Mix it in your foundation or tinted moisturizer or just pat on the tops of the your cheekbones and voila! You suddenly look a little more lively even if it is Monday morning and you are hungover from all those glasses of wine at dinner.

Here are some top-rated products if you want to get your glow on:

Stila One Step Illuminate

Josie Maran Argan Illuminizer 

NARS Illuminator

4 ingredient Dijon Chicken Recipe

Dijon mustard, vinegar, and maple syrup

Dijon mustard, vinegar, and maple syrup

I’m back home in Omaha for the next week, which I am definitely enjoying! It’s nice to see friends, relax, and be with family for a bit before I move to Marshall, Minnesota this month! Anyways, I also like to get to try out new recipes with my family. Since they all are willing to try whatever, I pretty much get to do what I want in the kitchen! Yay! Yesterday, I tried a Pinterest recipe I have been wanting to try for quite a while called “World’s Best Chicken.” Come on, with that name, who wouldn’t? The best part of it is it just requires four simple ingredients plus some seasoning. All you need is chicken (we even used some turkey tenderloin and it worked well with that. I’ve read people using pork tenderloin too), dijon mustard, maple syrup (sounds weird but trust me), and a bit of vinegar (the original recipe calls for red wine vinegar but I used rice vinegar as didn’t have red wine vinegar. We had plenty of red wine though haha. Balsamic vinegar could work too). That’s it! Here’s the recipe:

Dijon Chicken Recipe

1 pound chicken (or pork/turkey tenderloin)

1 tablespoon vinegar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup dijon mustard

Rosemary and thyme if have it and salt and pepper

1. Mix the vinegar, maple syrup and dijon in a small bowl.

2. Place chicken in a baking pan (I would use aluminum foil to make it less messy) and apply a good amount of salt and pepper. Then cover it with the sauce. Make sure to coat everything. Then add some thyme and rosemary if you have any.

3. Bake at 425 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Then enjoy!

Shakespeare for the Ladies

Master Shakespeare knew what terrible creatures boys can sometimes be. When I am feeling particularly disillusioned with the other sex, instead of blasting some Taylor Swift or Fiona Apple I like to think of this little song Shakespeare wrote in Much Ado about Nothing. It’s almost like Shakespeare was reading my diary, guys!

SIGH no more, ladies, sigh no more,
  Men were deceivers ever;
One foot in sea, and one on shore;
  To one thing constant never.
    Then sigh not so,
    But let them go,
  And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
  Into Hey nonny, nonny.
Sing no more ditties, sing no more
  Of dumps so dull and heavy;
The fraud of me was ever so,
  Since summer first was leavy.
    Then sigh not so,
    But let them go,
  And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
  Into Hey nonny, nonny.

ARGH!!!!! Or alternately titled: A Hair Rant

Zooey's adorable half up hair

Zooey’s adorable half up hair

Since I’ve grown out my hair, I’ve always wanted to emulate Zooey’s adorable half-up hairstyles. I love that with her bangs, loose waves, and slight volume, the look comes out modern with a 1960s vibe. With my bangs and similar hair, it seems like it would be an easy thing to do. Right? NO!! Come on, obviously with the title of this post, you have to know it’s something I just cannot get down. I’ve tried using a bump-it, I’ve tried using an insane amount of hair clips, and yet nothing gives it the perfect amount of volume, evenness, and relaxed feel that Zooey’s hair has. Sigh, maybe some day!

Anyone have any hair rants they would like to share? Or better yet, any advice for me on how to get this look right???

After Life

65e38ed5d5I think to be human is to wonder what happens after we die. Isn’t that the essential question that people have been asking since we learned that life does not go on indefinitely? I am a typical over-thinker so it is a question I come back to again and again. Radiolab’s “After Life” episode is chillingly good as it looks at the after life. It is through that episode that I learned about neuroscientist David Eagleman’s book Sum: Forty Tales from the AfterlivesIt is a very short book, an easy read, that is actually a lot less morbid than it sounds. Some of the afterlives it presents are funny, some silly, and others are as beautiful as you want to believe.

Reality Show Guilty Pleasures


I’m not typically a fan of  traditional reality shows. “Jersey Shore,” “The Hills,” “Big Brother,” and so on have never really appealed to me. However, as most people know, the Food Network is my jam. Food Network reality shows, especially the competition reality shows like “Chopped” and “Food Network Star,” are a great way to get some of the drama that make reality shows a guilty pleasure but still don’t feel like you are losing all of the brain cells along the way. I’ve been staying on top of “Food Network Star” this season and am currently rooting for Russell, Damaris, or Stacy. Side rant: can someone please tell me why Rodney “the Pie Guy” is still there?!?!? He hasn’t made one pie that has been impressive nor is he understandable at all during his presentations! While I am not a fan of either of them, the fact that Nicki and Chad have gone home before him is baffling. After last year’s “weird Justin” debacle (seriously, I know Alton loved him but to quote Amy Poehler–“REALLY!?!?”), I just hope they don’t repeat the same mistake. I refuse to watch “Pies with Rodney,” with him singing undecipherable lyrics about his love of pies. UGH. No Rodney, I don’t want to learn how to make lasagna all made in a pie crust!!! Seriously.

Anyone else watching “Food Network Star?” Any other good guilty pleasure shows out there that won’t melt my brain?


Now that my hair is getting longer, I am trying to find new ways to style it. A chignon bun looks romantic and classic, something that would go well with a printed sundress now as well as jeans and a leather jacket once falls arrives. Add some sparkly hair clips like the so-gorgeous-it-hurts Diane Kruger and you are ready to go to a wedding or holiday party (is it too soon to start thinking about Christmas parties?). I just have to figure out how to recreate it…


What kind of hairstyles do you wear? Any tips for creating updos?

Veronica Mars

veronica_mars_pcOver the weekend I rewatched the first two seasons of Veronica Mars. I am a fan of rewatching series, especially ones that are so engrossing you miss a lot the first time through because you are just trying to absorb as much as possible. There is much to love about the series so i will limit my praises to the main character and the show’s namesake. I want to be Veronica Mars when I grow up. I have got her stature (petite!) and about 1/6th of her sass (enough that a random person called me a “sassy pants”), but that is about it. It is pretty rare that ladies get a role model who isn’t boy crazy, has a male BFF who she has no romantic interest in, and who sometimes makes mistakes. Perfect ladies are boring ladies. The Kickstarter campaign to get the Veronica Mars movie off the ground received a lot of coverage online and I think it is a perfect example of how much the fans loved the show and its heroine. This is just to say that if you have not seen the three seasons of Veronica Mars, run out to the local video store (if those still exist) or hit up Amazon. Soon enough you’ll be singing along the theme song: “A long time ago/we used to be friends….” My siblings and I have the song memorized.

P.S. I love Logan Echolls–what can I say? I love a bad boy with a heart. It all started with Han Solo and Danny Zuko. Glad to know my tastes haven’t changed.

Any other V. Mars fans out there? What shows do you watch over and over again?

A Cautionary Tale about Notes

Back when Jamie and I were in school, we used to write notes to each other to fight away boredom in some of our most boring classes. Therefore, we both have a prolific catalog of lists, drawings, and strange musings. The problem with writing notes is when you are lazy about it. In college I turned into my English TA a note that I had written to Jamie. We were supposed to turn in a comparison between Harriet Beecher Stowe and Frederick Douglass and instead I handed in the hilarious one-act play starring Sir Walter Raleigh and Francis Drake as the Odd Couple (I do not remember where this idea came from nor do I wish to speculate). I remember arriving at my next class, which Jamie was in, and going to hand her the play/note. “Wow that’s weird…I only have this thing on Stowe and Douglass….” I said and then I realized with horror what I had done. Fortunately the TA thought it was funny or maybe he just pitied me for being so crazy of a person to write such libel about two manly privateers.

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