Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Best Concerts of '10

Okay, this is a hard post. Partly because I didn't see as many concerts this year, but the shows I did see were pretty much all fantastic. But I'm going to try...

Here we go, top 3 concerts I saw this year!

3. She and Him at Governor's Island. Not only was I overly impressed with Zooey Deschanel but the atmosphere was just amazing for this free 4th of July show.

video

2. The Morning Benders at Mercury Lounge. I've seen this band perform numerous times, but this was one of my favorite. First, I think they have come a long way in the 3 years I have followed them and secondly I think they are a much better small venue band so the Mercury Lounge was fitting.



1. The Yeah Yeah Yeah's 10th anniversary concert. The band went back to basics for this concert, small sweaty venue and only 200 tickets given to the public and I was one!




Runner up, partly because picking 3 was so hard.

M.I.A. at Austin City Limits. A great way to end the second night of the festival and it was such a blast, one huge dance party!!


Can you believe we are almost in 2011!

Nicole

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Not a Fan!

I'm not a fan of the snow! I've blamed my last few years in NYC on this hatred. I mean snow there becomes dark and dirty in just moments and makes walking around just near impossible.

But I thought maybe I would it enjoy it again at home...ah think again.

Apart from meeting a friend for lunch in downtown Philadelphia I was pretty much stuck inside for the night.

We decided to eat at Marathon Grill, where I had a trio of sides. Beets with goat cheese, brussels sprouts, and wheat berries. Everything was great and perfectly cooked!!



I ate at the restaurant a few years ago for brunch but didn't remember the restaurant having so many healthy choices. We randomly chose this establishment since we didn't want to wander too far from the train. The snow was beginning to fall pretty fast and it was windy which made it hard to walk and see.

By the time I made it back to my grandmother's neck of the woods, it was a mess outside!







I went to bed preparing to shovel the next morning. I haven't had to shovel in years and I was kinda making out the experience to be romantic.

Well once I opened the door on Monday morning I realized it was not going to be fun...and over an hour later, yeah, not fun. I never want to see snow again! I'm really hoping this year's winter is not a repeat of last year's, or I might just cry. Spring, please come quick!


Thankfully my mom has 4 wheel drive and was able to pick me up after I dug my grandmother out. And after staying in the house for the most part of the day yesterday we're going on a little road trip for my sister's birthday, should be fun!

I also need to do some strength training today...maybe I'll make use of Exercise TV on demand? Hoping the snow will clear enough by tomorrow so I can go for a little run.

Catch ya later,
Nicole

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas '10

Merry Christmas to all!!


Okay, let's see, where did I leave off?

Ah, well on my last night in the city before heading home for Christmas I saw Promises Promises! It'll be off of Broadway as of January 2nd and I was dying to see the production. Unfortunately it didn't really live up to my expectations. Sean Hayes, Kristen Chenoweth, and Molly Shannon all put on wonderful performances but the songs were only okay. They didn't always seem to fit...came out of nowhere, etc.



In any case so glad I had the chance to see it! After the show let out we went to the stage door and I got signatures from Sean Hayes and Molly Shannon, Kristen Chenoweth was sick and headed straight for her car. Molly Shannon was so incredibly nice, she had a conversation with just about everyone in the crowd, and there were a lot in the crowd Wednesday night! I also ended up spotting Heather Graham who was heading home with Molly Shannon.

I headed home on Thursday after running around the city all day trying to fit in last minute errands before catching my bus...and then met up with a friend for dinner.

Christmas eve was incredibly relaxing! I slept in, went for a short 3 mile run, wrapped my remaining presents and attended church services.



Oh, my mom also took me by our town center to see the Christmas tree...which was our tree! My mom has been wanting to get ride of our growing evergreen for the last few years and thought of donating it to the township. They gladly took it off our hands and cut it down the Monday after Thanksgiving. Need to get a picture of it in the day!



This morning, I was up entirely too early thanks to my sister. When she was little my mom had us sleep in the same room to ensure that she wouldn't wake and wander too early in the morning. As she got older I went back to my own room, assuming that the anxiousness has settled...also after a year when she woke up sick and threw up on me, but that story is for another time. Anyhow, she really wanted me to sleep in her room again this year, so I agreed. Well somethings never change. Although she is 13, she still managed to wake up at 2pm and head downstairs to scope out Christmas presents. My mom happened to still be up and had her go back to bed. Well, that didn't last long, and she headed back down and fell asleep on the couch. Unfortunately, all the in-and-out of the room woke me up and I tossed and turned for the next 3 hours. I finally decided to get up at 5 am and make the most of being awake. In that time I did some blog reading and even worked on my lab presentation until everyone else came to life around 7:30am.

Well most, Lucy here found my sister's sleeping bag and was happy to sleep a bit longer.



That's until she was given a present, then it was play time!


The bunny was also excited about his present, an empty oatmeal container...his favorite!!



I walked away this year with a new coat, ice cream maker, cook books and more!



Ok, just got back from another 3 mile run, was hoping for 5 but my feet were starting to hurt...I need to get new sneakers!! I came home, strechted and did a few planks.

Now time to bake, later.

Nicole


Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve!

Hey everyone! I'm taking a few minutes to relax from making all kinds of tasty things and cleaning to prepare for Christmas! I've been busy and working since 9 this morning.

Since everyone has been home, I decided to make a family recipe for dinner the other night. We have some Polish heritage, so I made stuffed cabbage rolls. They are very tasty!



Today, I've made so many things. Our Christmas Eve tradition is to make all of our favorite foods. This year, I chose deviled eggs, which I made this morning. I used a Rachael Ray recipe, which is close to traditional, but adds bacon into the mix. Bacon makes everything taste better!



I also made a cheese ball and a ham dip, not pictured because my camera died before I made them. We are also making a spicy sausage dip, buying buffalo wings (extra hot!) and making mac and cheese. I might also make mini crescent dogs.

And now onto dessert goodies I made today. I used a cookie press to make these:



After looking in 5 different stores, I finally found mini candy canes. I saw an idea for heart-shaped peppermint bark I wanted to try. They turned out great!





Merry Christmas Everyone!
~Sarah

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Favorite Albums of the Year

In no particular order...well maybe except for The Morning Benders because as you may know I'm obsessed with them ;)

Big Echo-The Morning Benders

Brothers-The Black Keys



The Bells Sketch-James Blake

Astro Coast-Surfer Blood



The Suburbs-Arcade Fire


High Violet-The National

Congratulations-MGMT



Thank Me Later-Drake

Lucky Shiner-Golden Panda



I'm sure I'm forgetting something here...what was your favorite album this year?

Nicole

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Top RnB Hits of the Year

In no particular order...

"Pretty Girl Rock"-Keri Hilson; Ok, maybe not one of the best from the year, but it's in my head!



"Lil Freak"-Usher Ft Nicki Manaj, I had to get Nicki in here, she has had a huge impact on the RnB/hip hop world this year!


"Sex Intelligent"-The Dream

"Dynamite"-Taio Cruz

"Find Your Love"-Drake

"Un-Thinkable"-Alicia Keys
I love this video...not to mention the song!! Chad Michael Murray and Alicia=Love...not to mention probably the cutest baby ever, sorry Swizz Beatz but they should get on it ;)


Nicole

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sweet and Sour Tofu

Last night I joined my friend Ryan for dinner at his new apartment. My job was rather simple, I cleaned the vegetables:


Sipped a bit on this Petite Sirah:




And took in the spectacular view from his window:


Otherwise Ryan took care of it all! Oh, well, the dish was a suggestion by me but really thanks to Mama Pea.



For dessert we had lemon and pistachio gelato, which ended up complementing each other quite well, but the pistachio was my favorite. Sweet, a bit nutty, creamy, mmm so good!



Ok, off to another day...lab, gym, Christmas party, cleaning, and laundry. Oh and I have 3 other errands I would like to fit in there, might have to push off until tomorrow morning.

Nicole

Monday, December 20, 2010

Weekend Update




I love SNL when they're on, and loved this Weekend Update with Stefon.

Now on to my own weekend update, and boy was it a great weekend!

Full of Nutcracker performances, here is my little cousin's production of the Nutcracker.


And tea ceremonies! Saturday night I met up with a friend and attended a traditional tea ceremony at Radiance Tea House. It was both fun and education and I highly recommend for anyone looking for something different to do in the city.

We were able to chose 3 different teas to taste and discuss, as well as learn about proper brewing techniques. I have a new appreciation for tea!


I also went out to Queens for a new view of the city. Can you see the green and red Empire State building there in the back?


And while the view was amazing, we were really there to dance, laugh, and be in good cheer as part of a school formal.





The weekend came to an end with dinner at Eatery. I've been to Eatery, a New American style restaurant, for brunch on a few occasions, but never for dinner. They once again won me over with their twist on traditional eats.


I also love their decor, so simple, and delicate. Can they come design my room?


My friend and I both started off with the Blueberry Cosmo. I wasn't planning on having a drink but it sounded delicious and I wanted to give a it a taste:

Rice and black sesame crackers:


And for dinner, a tofu and vegetable stir-fry:


After dinner we made our way to Fela!!! I've been dying to see this show and with the closing coming January 2nd, time was ticking, so we crossed our fingers, went to the student rush line and got tickets! The dancing was absolutely fabulous. I love the technical aspects of ballet, but I also have a place in my heart for African dance. I love the free and unique take one can have with African dance.

Off to start my short work week...What was the best part of your weekend?

Nicole