Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Chaaangesss

Hey ya’ll. Is it just Michigan or is fall coming at us waaay too fast? I’m certainly not ready for summer to be over, but I have to admit this weather is making me itch to drink cider and buy fresh notebooks.

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve gone through TONS of changes these past 8 months. How better to celebrate them than with a sneak preview of the photo project I’ve been working on? Since January I’ve taken a photo of the same place in my little city each month. The photos below came from my cell phone, but I’m actually using my film camera (a Canon AE-1 Program) to take all the photos (which is why I’m missing a couple of months — took them on the Canon but forgot to take a phone version as well…oops!)

Even though I’ve lived in Michigan my whole life, looking back on these photos it still strikes how different each month looks. And how just a few short months ago we were all anxiously awaiting the first sign of greenery and thinking we’d never be warm again. Now we’re nearing the end of summer and getting ready to welcome a brand new landscape. So it goes.

Check it:

January in Ferndale

March in Ferndale

April in Ferndale

May in Ferndale

June in Ferndale

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April recap

I know you’re all anxiously awaiting an update on my progress toward becoming a morning person. Rest assured you’ll hear all about it next week. For now, let’s talk about last month.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t get nearly as much accomplished last month as I’d hoped. Full time work plus my attempts to inch myself into freelancing haven’t left too much time for other exciting pursuits. But here’s a few things I did last month:

Craft night

My roommates and I decided to host a craft party early last month. We needed a really good excuse to have people over and drink and paint things. This was the perfect opportunity! We bought some little flower pots and paints and I even busted out my centuries-old friendship bracelet making string (which ended up being a major hit – friendship bracelets are coming back y’all!). We had snacks and drinks — I made this Strawberry Basil Margarita which was crazy easy to make and widely agreed to be super tasty. We weren’t sure how the crafting would go over with everyone, especially since at least half of the attendees were guys — but everyone ended up crafting something and apparently had a great time if the above photo I took the following morning of the craftermath is any indication.

Lightning Bolt show

I used to listen to this band a whole bunch back when I was an angsty teenager in high school. I never really kept up with their newer releases and hadn’t ever seen them live until last month. It was a pretty good show — they sound just like I remember them — loud and aggressive. And when I say loud I mean, REALLY loud. Like my hearing was legitimately muffled for the whole day after. The best part is that the drummer/singer wears this crazy looking mask the whole time they play (you can see him putting it on in the photo above) which makes his yelling/singing totally incomprehensible and muffled. Never seen or heard anything else like it.

Protein pancakes

I’ve been fascinated by the concept of protein pancakes for a while, but this was my very first foray into making them. I love pancakes but can’t usually rationalize basically eating dessert for breakfast most days. So when I stumbled across this recipe I was thrilled — pancakes with only 5 healthy ingredients that I pretty much always have stocked in my kitchen? Perfect!

Well these weren’t exactly perfect, but they turned out pretty good. I definitely want to try them again with a couple adjustments. For starters, as you can see they don’t exactly look like pancakes (and they definitely don’t look anything like the photo on the linked recipe, so don’t get your hopes up). They were more the consistency of no-bake cookies. The recipes calls for whole rolled oats, but next time I’m going to try blending the ingredients to get a smoother texture. They also weren’t super sweet (well at least before I doused mine in maple syrup). My bananas were only just ripe, so next time I’m going to try using a super ripe banana to add a little extra sweetness. Pretty good for starters but definitely worth a re-do.

And lastly, here’s a new band I discovered last month (letter M – check!). Check ’em out.

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February in retrospect

Goodbye, February, you sly minx. You’re here and then you’re gone before we really get a chance to know you. I’m over you anyway — too much snow, ice, and blustery-ness. I’m ready for March and the promise of an imminent thaw.

Due to said blustery-ness, I spent a good deal of this month indoors. Cooking, reading (closing in on the end of Infinite Jest! Damn this book just keeps getting better), moving-watching, making plans for the spring, and spastically checking the weather forecast (will we break 40 degrees this week???).

Here’s a look at what I’ve been up to.

My new recipe to try in February (goal #28) was spicy tempeh nori rolls. This recipe came from one of my favorite cookbooks — Veganomicon by the famed Isa Chandra Moskowitz — the genius behind Post Punk Kitchen. I’ve never made sushi before and we didn’t bother with acquiring a bamboo rolling mat, so these rolls have some character (read: are kind of ugly). Regardless, the whole process was a lot less intimidating than I had imagined and we ended up with a seriously delicious dinner. Definitely going to make these again.

Sushi

For such a short month, I managed to squeeze in a pretty hefty amount of movie watching (goal #49). I guess I was on a strong-female-lead kick this month (or always?) — here’s what I’ve been Netflixing:

The Duchess was beautiful and heartbreaking and made me so thankful that I live where I do, when I do. Kiera Knightly was lovely and Ralph Fiennes was very Voldemorty. Evita was okay, definitely an interesting story but it was hard to stay interested with over two hours straight of fairly cheesy songs and very little dialogue. Frances Ha was great — Frances is a painfully relatable character. I loved that it was set all in black and white, drawing your attention more fully into the story than the scenery and how to the narrative sort of flips the traditional roles that best friend and romantic interest generally play in movies. Frances is way more centrally focused on her best friend, at times obsessing over her like a jealous lover, while the potential romantic interest in the story sort of just comes and goes, providing cute supporting scenes but not being entirely central to the plot. In a World was an interesting view into the world of voice acting and the serious lack of female all-stars in the arena. It featured a cameo by Geena Davis and ended with a total girl power moment. What more could you ask for? Obvious Child was my favorite movie I watched in February. The story is so honest and Jenny Slate is hilarious. It was a really fresh take on the rom com, featuring relationships that actually seem real and relatable. Plus I totally love Gaby Hoffman and I wish she was my best friend.

I started working on goal #8 — fill a sketchbook with drawings. I used to be a lot more into drawing and painting waaaay back in high school, but I haven’t done much arty stuff since then. Very excited to change that. Here’s a sketch I did recently that I like. Also pictured: scotch on the rocks to help get those creative juices flowing.

hand-sketch

Happy March y’all!