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Archive for April, 2011

Not gonna lie. The past few weeks have been peppered with setbacks and confrontations in few areas of my life. One song that always calms my nerves is Joni Mitchell’s Down To You. And since this blog is called Down With Me (just a coincidence), I figured I had to share.

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There’s no denying that, in the pictures that follow, I will come dangerously close to committing one of my social media pet peeves (as outlined two posts ago).  In spite of the evidence below, it’s not always all smiles, I promise— we get on each others’ nerves, we complain about each other, we want to help each other and instead we end up hurting each other. But today, we can’t help but acknowledge how blessed we are; flaws and all. Happy Easter.

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Snap out of it!

Enough with the mopey headline. It’s springtime in Charlottesville.

We’re headed up to Arlington in just a moment to spend Easter with the Galls! Cute pics of Lacey and Cam to come!

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I’m not usually one for long, picture-less posts. But, this is an emergency. I’m getting really irritated with social media. I guess my frustration isn’t so much with the media themselves, but how we’ve chosen to use them. We’ve become so adept at crafting bull shit, at crafting a public image of ourselves that isn’t true— selecting only the most flattering pictures we want seen, detagging the others; posting only what we want people to think that we say; carefully accessorizing our personalities with bits of other media: articles, tweets, web sites, that we attach to ourselves. And, because we see it all “first-hand”— on the computer screen in our living rooms, on our iPhone in the palm of our hands— we think we know. Because social media makes us feel like we are discovering this information ourselves (how many times have you called someone and said, “guess what I just saw on facebook!?!”), it’s easy to take things at face value, and we forget that what we’re seeing has been strategically chosen by another person.

Strategically chosen? I’m sure some people would negate that and argue that, these days, what people are posting and tweeting doesn’t seem strategic at all— OMG just saw the funniest bumper sticker, windows down marley up, can’t wait til you come and visit. But, say someone posts 20 status updates or tweets in day, which I would consider a lot— 20 posts is nothing compared to the number of thoughts we have in a day (somewhere around 40,000 I believe, though I’ve seen estimates as high as 70,000), the number of sentences we speak, or the complexities of our human interactions. I would still argue that, although 20 posts seems like a lot, they are a carefully chosen 20 thoughts that beat out the other 39,980 thoughts that person also had that day.

Perhaps my largest grief with how my age group is using social media these days is what I’m now calling the cheering squad. The most annoying of all posters, these posters manipulate social media not to share interesting news, promote social causes, or even grace us with an occasional clever joke. No, these social mediots (you know, media-idiots), are like high school cheerleaders: lots of make up, short skirts, and a loud mouth. They are the queens of social media bull shit. If you’ve noticed any of the following behavior in your facebook newsfeed, you may have a cheerleader amongst your facebook friends (though, you probably already know who they are):

  • Name brand dropping. Do you have a friend that is constantly telling you what she is wearing, what she is driving, exclusive places she’s going? Do you want to barf every time you see her name in your news feed? Facebook make up.
  • Barbie and Ken have a baby. Gratuitous picture posting of off-spring is a hallmark of the cheering squad. Regular flaunting of your assets, including home, husband, and children, is key. This, in effect, is the short skirt of facebook. Everybody else has legs, too, you’re just the only one putting yours on display.
  • The loud happy mouth. Never expressing any kind of conflict, doubt, or fear is crucial. Maintaining that your life is perfect at all times is of utmost importance. If plastic surgeons sold emotional botox, these girls would be first in line.

Another thing to keep in mind about cheerleaders is that they can’t act alone; they need a squad. The best social media cheerleaders have cultivated their cheering squad. This is best achieved with posts that incite jealousy and pity among fellow squadrons— just got a new pair of christian louboutins, couldn’t get out of bed i am feeling so miserable today. Posts like these are like call and response for social media cheerleaders—they know just how to respond and it’s almost impossible for them not to— and they ensure that cheerleaders will keeping fighting each other for the sacred spot at the top of the social pyramid for years to come.

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I realized that it’s been a long time since I posted anything about food, so I thought I’d share some delicious recipes that I’ve gotten hooked on recently. For starters, I cannot get enough of this Green Monster smoothie that I spotted in C-magazine.

Here are the ingredients:

1 cup almond milk (if you haven’t tried almond milk yet…. go buy some… immediately!)

1 banana (I peel, dice, and freeze mine the night before so that I don’t have to use ice cubes but using a fresh banana works just fine)

2 handfuls organic spinach

1 tbsp. ground flax

1 tbsp. almond butter

1-3 ice cubes (not necessary if your banana is pre-frozen)

I know what you’re thinking…. spinach… hmm…. but it truly tastes like a banana smoothie, you don’t even taste the spinach! If I have some blueberries, I throw a handful of those in, too. I’ve never been a big smoothie person, but this one is so good, it’s worth the hassle of cleaning the blender everyday! And, as I’ve been writing this post, I’ve been doing a little googling and discovered that this smoothie has quite a reputation… in fact, there is a Green Monster Movement.

Apparently, this smoothie has such infamous results (increase in energy, decreased cravings for sweets, increase in nail and hair growth) that there’s a web site dedicated to it. I haven’t noticed the latter two results, but I can definitely say that on days when I have the smoothie, I do feel more energized and have fewer cravings throughout the day. Love that!

The other recipe that I’m hooked on is carrot ginger soup. I got the recipe from a Glamour article and I can’t find it online (and it’s way too long to type out), but there are multiple versions online. The recipe I tried was seasoned with coriander, cinnamon, cumin, lemongrass, ginger, onion, and garlic. I used water, vegetable broth, and orange juice to thin out the soup. And, the recipe calls for some sour cream at the end the thicken it. Honestly, the toughest part about this recipe is peeling and fine dicing 2 1/2 lbs. of carrots! My wrist hurt by the time I was finished chopping! But, it makes a ton (perfect for lasting a whole week while Ryan is away). And, the finished product is so tasty and gratifying, especially when it looks like this:

Oh, and apparently carrot soup is fantastic for your complexion- bonus! Cheers to healthy eating!

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What’s that I see? Oh, why that’s the Charlottesville City Market… right outside my front door! And, look who’s back!

This pretty much sums up our relationship. Me trying to do things while taking pictures and Ryan trailing behind talking on his phone. PS- Ethan this sweatshirt is for you!!!

We actually had a great morning running around the FIRST city market of the season. There wasn’t much produce… but there were fabulous goodies by Erin McDermott!

I was so excited to see Erin… I had been coveting her designs all winter… and I was so certain that I wanted to pick up some pretty coral or tangerine earrings for summer. These grey and orange earrings were a top contender, but, when I tried on these beauties, I just had to have them.

 

I am loving them and I’ve only had them for three hours! I can’t take them off!

In other downtown Cville news, though, guess that is coming back to the mall?

Ten Thousand Villages! We used to have one maybe 5-6 years ago; it was very small and it was where Cinema Taco now is. It was literally a hole in the wall. But, it’s coming back in a bigger spot between Spring Street and Hamilton’s. I love their store, especially their linens. Their linens are intended for tableware, but that hasn’t stopped me from using napkins and tablecloths and turning them into pillows— like this one that I think either my mom or Aunt Paula sewed for me to match my dorm room quilt (which, incidentally, was a Ten Thousand Villages tablecloth that we lined with fleece).

I love the colors in this pillow… the mustard that you could use as either a neutral or play up as an accent… and you know about my love of purples and greens together. I don’t have this pillow out anywhere in my house right now, but I still have it because I know I’ll use it again, just as soon as I Ryan and I have more than a one bedroom apartment! I never let go of a good pillow. Like this one that I picked up at Patina, here in Cville, a few years ago.

I love this pillow. Something about it reminds me of the quirky, crocheted seat cushions my Grandma Kosut used to have on the bench that ran along her kitchen table. They were mismatched and had a true (what most people would call now-a-days) flea market look to them, sort of like this.

Image taken from here.

Or, this.

Image taken from here.

My pillow is just about the max of floral detail and yarn that I can take in one piece, but I think it’s a modern, sophisticated riff on something nostalgic and Americana. I don’t have a place for it yet, but I’m waiting for the perfect chair (and perfect house!) to come along and complement it.

Happy Saturday adventures!

 

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