Ciao! Ecco un elenco di riproduzione.

Hello!  Here is a playlist.  (Blame Google Translate for any errors.)

Remember when I mentioned that I was off on a trip again this summer?  Well…it’s actually happening.  Like in less than 12 hours.  Yeah.  Still have yet to pack those pesky toiletries, but no matter.  ‘Tis only a matter of time.  Off to the Mediterranean this time, a place that has been the number one destination on my travel wish list for ages.  Countries that I’ll be stopping by this time: Italy, Turkey, Croatia, Montenegro, and Greece.  EEP!  So ready to stuff my face with delicious Italian food.

I’m off for two weeks so there will be another blog drought…in the meantime, why not go back in time and pretend you’re traveling around the Baltic sea with me last summer?  Might help you if you read my blog posts so you know what our itinerary was for each summer.  😉  If that doesn’t strike your fancy, I suggest jamming out to my delectable playlist.  It was a summer playlist but here in SoCal, we always get a last punch of heat before mild summer autumn hits.  So it’s still summer here.  Autumn proper doesn’t really start until late September.   If you’re not going on a trip and you’re not stuck in school/work (which I daresay is not many people) I suggest playing this as you lounge by your pool, sipping a perfectly sweet glass of sangria or while you take a drive at night with your convertible top down, blasting the music loud while the hot air blows on your face.  (But don’t do this in residential areas, as I do not want angry citizens coming to stone your car.)

Summer 2013 Playlist (aka Get Up And Dance, Because Why Not?)

  1. Harlem – New Politics (I am a sucker for a strong jawline and whew- does NP’s lead singer have a chiseled chin or WHAT.)
  2. Spectrum – Zedd ft. Matthew Koma (“Clarity” seems to be all the rage on the radio lately, but this song was my jam first.)
  3. Can’t Hold Us- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  4. Stars Come Out – Calvin Harris
  5. She Blows (The Whistle Song) | Dillon Francis Remix – Time Takers (What a misnomer.  No whistling at all in this song.  Heh.)
  6. Heartbeat – JJAMZ (Getting into a chunk of slower songs, but you need a breather after dancing nonstop, am I right?  Plus, I like my fair share of singable songs.)
  7. Lasso – Phoenix
  8. Pompeii – Bastille
  9. Polish Girl – Neon Indian (Is it Polish like the country, or like the nail coloring?)
  10. A Tattered Line of String – The Postal Service (They’re back!  Kind of.)
  11. Bright Whites – Kishi Bashi
  12. Little Numbers – BOY (Contrary to their name, the band is a pair of German women.  Saw them live earlier this year and they are adorable.)
  13. Sweater Weather – The Neighbourhood (While I prefer sundress weather, I am a sucker for British spelling.  I didn’t like this song at first when I heard it on the radio, but I’ve been won over.  Could be the way he says “it’s too cold for you here.”  He’s probably right – I think everything below 70 degrees is cold.)
  14. Kangaroo Court – Capital Cities (This song is so deliciously crunchy and blippy, and I am obsessed with the entire album.)
  15. Changing of the Seasons – Two Door Cinema Club
  16. The Only Place – Best Coast (The title of the song and indeed the band’s name can only refer to one place- Southern California.  Though I will always love traveling, there’s no place like home.)

Arrivederci, dear readers.  See you next month!

Home For The Holidays

Things that have happened since the last time I blogged:

  • My mother and I attempted to cook lobster tails, and they turned out pretty darn well.  But be warned- lobster shells are pointy.  Ouch.
  • I was excused from jury duty for another year.  YES.
  • I saw a commercial for a DDR-esque game based solely on ABBA songs; not going to lie, I was super psyched.  Hardcore ABBA fan since the age of 10, right here.
  • I also saw a commercial for a Chia pet in the shape of Obama’s head.  I was not excited about this.  I was mildly frightened.
  • My family bought a Christmas tree and it’s now sitting in the living room, waiting to be decorated.

For me, the holidays haven’t truly started until the tree has been brought home, filling the house with its delicate pine scent, helping me pretend that I live in a place where it snows on a regular basis and I’m surrounded by aspens and bristle cones, not eucalyptuses and palms.  But for the first time in four years, the holidays seem to have crept up on me without me noticing (not necessarily a bad thing; I’ve gotten plenty tired of incessant Christmas commercials and carols before).  Before, I would always have finals the days before my winter break began, so coming home was like a breath of fresh air, untainted with the prospect of writing yet another paper at 5 AM.  Since I live at home now, this same time period seems more like everyday life, and not a special occasion.  But that doesn’t mean the joy of the season is lost on me!  Heck no, I’m busting out my Christmas carols for my morning commute.

A Portion of my Christmas playlist, filled with old and new songs:

1. “Wish List” by Neon Trees (love this song, and I liked this group before “Animal” got spammed on the radio!)
2. “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey
3. “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms
4. “Christmas This Year” by TobyMac & Leigh Nash
5. “Sleigh Ride” by Los Straitjackets (a surfer’s Christmas jam)
6. “The Most Wonderful Time of The Year” by Adam Williams
7. “Stille Nacht” by The King’s Singers (one of my favorite acappella groups)
8.  “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by Barenaked Ladies and Sarah McLachlan
9. “Ding Dong! Merrily on High” by Chanticleer (another great acappella group)
10. “Last Christmas” by Jimmy Eat World (Sorry, Wham!, I like this version better.  This is hands down my favorite Christmas song.  Also, has anyone else noticed that the melodic line from their song “Drugs or Me” is interwoven )

Back into the Oven

I’m a haphazard baker, I’ve realized.  I’m too impatient to carefully sift and level out measurements, so I just kind of shake things into cups and eyeball the amounts.  I realize that baking is more of a precise art than cooking; you add too much of one ingredient, and it might irrevocably alter the chemical makeup of your food, thus ruining its shape/texture/taste/etc.  But I continue on my merry way, leaving flour and butter all over the counters, but keeping my clothing miraculously spotless without the help of an apron.  Because it’s always easier to clean a spot off the stove than it is on your shirt, right?

I made those delicious peanut butter-chocolate chip cookies that I blogged about previously.  This time I didn’t rely on whatever what was left in the house, which would have yielded very sad cookies indeed, seeing as I had no chocolate chips or sugar or butter left.

I made three batches this time for a baby shower and for a while my house turned into a cookie factory:

Cookie Conveyer Belt

Although my efforts might have been less than precise, they came out beautifully again and again everyone RAVED about them.  I might need to consider a career in baking, if this is the response I get for just simple cookies.

My Buttery Goodness Playlist That I Concocted on The Fly:

Lots of butter and solid beats were the order of the day.  I wanted rich vocals layered amongst rhythms that could soothingly accompany a late night baking session, but upbeat enough to keep me awake!

1. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell- One of those songs that simply demand to be sung aloud while you do a silly little dance.

2. “Shark in the Water” by V.V. Brown

3. “Build Me Up Buttercup” by The Foundations- Really only added this because it had “butter” in the title, although it still is a pretty awesome song.

4. “What I Know” by Parachute

5. “Eres Tú” by Kany Garcia

6. “Save Room” by John Legend

7. “Touché mon Amour” by Winterplay- A fabulous jazz group from South Korea.

8. “Sunday Table” by Pink Martini- my grandparents actually introduced me to this group, which puts a modern, international spin on the big band sound.  People guffaw (I love that word) when I tell them I get things from my grandparents, but I know you’re just secretly jealous that I have such cool ones who have awesome taste in fashion and music.  I often raid my grandmother’s closet and I always get compliments on the things I fish out.  Favorite steals: her drool-worthy selection of high heels.  I’ve scored some fabulous finds, like Calvin Klein boots, her Italian leather stilettos, a pair of Stuart Weitzman heels that I called her “Cinderella Shoes” because they’re silvery and sparkly….I’ll stop rhapsodizing over them.  This has nothing to do with Pink Martini.  Or does it?