A Few of My Favorites - 07.18.14

071814 1. Never Gonna Change by Broods: I recently discovered this group half thanks to my brother and half thanks to Spotify Playlists. I'd imagine if Imogen Heap and The Weeknd had a love child, this is what the result would be. With a strong EP release in January of 2014, we've been able to get a little taste of what their upcoming debut album, Evergreen, will sound like. The album is due to be released in August.

2. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye: Let's face it, guy or girl, you get dark circles and bags under your eyes. Sometimes it feels like I am running around and my eyes show it. This cream from Kiehl's is a great moisturizer and eye recovery cream. Give it a try, I've had great luck with it.

3. iHome Speaker: This has been a must this week in Door County. The internet has been incredibly spotty which means reading, music, and card games has been our main source of entertainment. They are great for down the by water as well. For a small portable speaker, the sound quality is surprisingly good. I purchased mine at Bed Bath & Beyond, but it is available just about anywhere.

4. Colectivo Coffee Hanapú Guatemala: Having worked in a coffee shop and tired more coffee brands than I can recall, I have unfortunately become a coffee snob. It takes a lot for me to be impressed by a new cup of coffee. So when I fell upon Colectivo Coffee's Hanapú Guatemala roast at Good Eggs in Ephrum, WI, I was more than pleasantly surprised. "Grown at elevations from 1,500 to 1,800 meters above sea-level and dried on patios under the Antigua sun, this full-bodied coffee delivers near-perfect, sweet-tart acidity that cuts through flavors of blood-orange, black cherry and Mayan cocoa." Seriously, go buy yourself a pound. It will be a worthwhile decision.

5. New York á la Cart: I love NYC. I love food trucks. And I am so excited to read these stories and try the recipes!

A Few of My Favorites - 07.04.14

Today we're having A Few of My Favorites I Love America Edition!

What are the chances that the 4th of July falls on a FoMF Friday? I think this calls for a little something special...Happy Birthday America!

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(click on the underlined items for link to corresponding websites)

1. Bonobos National Panthems: Let's be honest here, why wouldn't you have these suckers in your wardrobe arsenal? Be sure to grab a pair before your size sells out...rumor has it this is the last year they are being made!

2. Made in America - Kanye West & Jay-Z: Watch the Throne is perhaps one of my favorite albums of the past four years. Made in America makes the perfect addition to any 4th of July playlist.

3. John F. Kennedy: For as long as I can remember, JFK has been my favorite US president. Perhaps it is the idea of Camelot or that the Kennedy family is the closest we will ever have to American royalty.

4. Golden Retriever: What gets more American than a golden retriever puppy running around the backyard with an American flag bandana tied around its neck? No dogs for me right now, but perhaps sometime in the future...if I ever find myself responsible enough to care for one.

5. Lady Liberty: The Statue of Liberty is America. The idea of coming to a strange land to start a new life. This is by far one of the greatest symbols that we have for America. When I lived in NYC, I always loved going down to Battery Park and admiring the statue from a far.

AFoMF...August 2012

A Few of My Favorites...August 2012!

If you couldn't figure it out... AFoMF = A Few of My Favorites (for future reference.)

1.  Nutella/Nocilla - This was already in the last post, West Coast Crab Cakes, but I just have to put it in again. I. Love. Nutella. I included Nocilla on this list because it is another product that is very similar to Nutella. While I lived in Spain, I would always keep a jar of Nocilla in my bedroom for nights where dinner was less than appetizing and I was still hungry. It is so delicious! In the last post, I said that Starbucks should make a Nutella latte or frappuccino - I still agree full-heartedly with that statement. I am not sure that it will ever happen, so in the mean time, we can just get a hazelnut mocha (totally not the same thing though...)

2.  American Horror Story: Asylum - Ugh, how the heck has Ryan Murphy been able to do this? I, Tommy Engstrom, absolutely hate anything and everything scary. I refuse to have anything to do with it. Scary movies? Nope. Ghost stories? Nope. Maybe it is because I saw Stephen King's movie "It" when I was like 4-years old (to this day I am still scared to death of clowns). None-the-less, I started watching American Horror Story last year and got hooked. It scared the bejeezus out of me, but I couldn't stop watching! I have a feeling this season is going to be the same...and I CANNOT WAIT!

3.  Scrivener - This software has been absolutely amazing! A friend of mine (who also happens to be a writer like myself) introduced this to me a few weeks ago. It is a computer software program that makes the writing process more organized and neat. You can have character breakdowns, notes, research, etc all in one place so you never misplace anything. Since I began using it, I have been so much more organized and productive!

4.  Mumford & Sons: I Will Wait - I've been listening to this single for a few weeks now and I love it just as much as I did when I first heard it. I cannot get it out of my head! If this is any indication of what the rest of Mumford & Sons new album, Babel, is like...we will have an amazing record on our hands!

5.  What Happened to Sophie Wilder - A friend of mine from work just suggested this book to me. I started reading it last night and I cannot put it down! (I started reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay but just couldn't get into it. I'll have to try again later.) All that my friend told me about the book was that it was about writing, love, and faith. It sounded like something I could relate to right now and boy was she right! Check it out!

6.  Pumpkin Spice Lattes - Okay, I feel slightly bad here. Wait, not really. I know that pumpkin spice lattes are not yet available for the general population, but being a Starbucks Barista has its perks! Fall is almost here!

7.  Sexy Sax Solos - Last night I went to Ravinia for my last concert of the summer. We went to see Roger Hodgson of Supertramp. I knew of the group, but wasn't totally sure that I knew their music. Holy saxophone sexiness! You know those amazingly sexy saxophone solos that are iconic to late 70s early 80s music? Yea, the concert was full of them! I used to play the alto sax in high school and last night made me miss it so much! Another group that features quite a few sax solos is Dave Matthews - sooo good....

A Few of My Favorites...June 2012

1. STARBUCKS TRENTA ICED COFFEE…I know, I know.  Didn’t I just post an entry about sticking it to the man and making my own iced brew at home?  Yes, but I still work at Starbucks!  I get this baby for free DAILY!  It is summer.  There is no way I am going anywhere without one of these in my hand!

2. JUSTIN BIEBER’S BOYFRIEND…I am MORTIFIED that this is on here.  This seriously must be a sign that the 2012 apocalypse is upon us.  I am kind of at a loss for words.  I like it.  I know the intro rap.  Don’t judge…  We’ll leave it at that.

3. LEINENKUGEL’S SUMMER SHANDY…This is the perfect summer beer!  If you’re out at a BBQ, sitting by the pool, reading a good book in the hammock, or just relaxing with friends or family – this beer is so refreshing.  It is straight up SUMMER.

4. RAY BAN CLUBMASTERS…These suckers are my most recent purchase and I do not leave the house without them!  They may scream hipster…but I don’t care.  A genius throwback to the 1960s and the Don Draper era, these glasses are definitely IN!

5. KIEHL’S CREME WITH SILK GROOM…I was first introduced to this product when I was living in New York City.  I was told that I look too “Midwest” and that I needed better hair product.  I personally thought that what I was using was just fine…looks like I was wrong.  Now here I am, addicted to this stuff.  Quick throw it in your hair for a natural look.

6. INDIVISIBLE WRISTBAND…This product is amazing and goes towards a great cause!  Starbucks has teamed up with the Create Jobs for USA Fund to sell coffee, mugs, tumblers, and these wristbands!  For every purchase that is made at a Starbucks location, a donation will be made to the Create Jobs for USA Fund.  ”One hundred percent of the materials are from right here in the U.S.A. The red, white and blue cord is manufactured in Rhode Island, and the brass crimps come from Florida. The zinc alloy bead is made in a woman-owned manufacturing plant in Los Angeles where the wristband is also being assembled.”