Saturday, March 26, 2011

Guy/Girl Musical Duos.

Maybe it's because this is the kind of music I sing, so it's also the kind of music that I enjoy listening to... but I love to listen to guy/girl duos. There's something about co-ed harmonies that just make me smile all over. It seems that the bulk of what I'm listening to these days involves a guy and a girl lead singer. So, I've decided to conjure up a list of my top 5 favorite male/female duos, working my way down to my very, very favorite. Check them out, if you dare.

5. Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan. I feel like Damien Rice is kind of old news, but when his album "9" came out, I couldn't get enough of this song "9 Crimes." I would say he and Lisa Hannigan are the duo that got me loving the guy/girl vibe.
4. Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson. I've blogged about this duo before, because there was a solid month when I couldn't stop listening to their song "Blackie's Dead." I generally don't love Scarlett Johansson, but combine her with Pete Yorn and I'm quite a fan.
3. The Civil Wars. Remember about 5 years ago when there was this girl named Joy Williams who sang contemporary Christian music? Well, she's shifted gears and now sings music with quite a different feel. She joined John Paul White to make an album that's quite great. Their song "Poison and Wine" is pretty powerful...
2. The Emporiums. I was just introduced to this duo recently. If you've ever heard of Enter the Worship Circle, these two, Aaron Strumpel and Karla Adolphe, come straight out of that. I like both Aaron and Karla separately as well, but put them together, and magic happens. They are relatively new and unknown so there is only one YouTube video out there, but if you go about 2 minutes into the video below you'll hear my favorite song by them: "Pennies and Paper."
1. The Swell Season. My very, very favorite guy/girl duo. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova make my heart sing. Rumor is The Swell Season as a band is no longer, but I'm hoping for the best. I've blogged about them multiple times, so I won't say much, except for that they're the best. Not only one of my favorite duos, but probably in my top 3 favorite bands ever. Below is the song "Falling Slowly" from the movie Once that began it all...

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I've been a slacker at blogging lately, so I thought I'd do a quick post of 5 things that have made me smile lately.

1. This website with funny letters. I laughed... a lot, while reading these. (Stolen from my blogger brother Joel, as all good things on this blog are...)
2. Casey from American Idol. Yep, I still watch American Idol. I know, I'm so cool that you think you might exit my blog right now because you're unworthy of my coolness. Anyway, this guy Casey makes me smile.
3. Catching up with old friends. My good friend Christine got married this weekend and not only was the wedding a great one, I had a wonderful time catching up with friends from college that I haven't seen in a year.
4. Words With Friends. I know I'm way late hopping on the bandwagon. But I finally made it, and it's great. After a few games of getting my butt kicked, I am quickly picking it up. If anyone wants to play, my name is abbyjthomason. You know where to find me.
5. Weight Watchers Giant Latte Bars. Yes, I've started the diet yet again. It's not a matter of falling down, it's whether you get up again, right? (Or whatever that saying is.) Anyway, I've found one of the most delicious, healthy snacks ever... these ice cream bars. I had two last night. And I could. Because they're healthy.
Hope you've got some things in your life that are keeping you smiling!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sandals. Revisited.

Today I thought to myself, "Man, I should blog about how excited I am that it's sandals weather." Guess what? One year, one week, and one day ago from today I blogged about the exact same thing. I had a hunch that I had probably blogged about it before, and sure enough, I had. I'm so predictable...

Either way, I'm excited that it's sandals weather! I'll shout it from the rooftops if I have to. (False, I won't really.) But if you feel like reading what I wrote a year ago, here it is. Happy Sandals Weather! (And yes, I was that girl sitting in her front yard taking multiple pictures of her feet.)

P.S. Another shout out to Sseko Designs. I just got a new pair of their sandals the other day and love the shoes and more importantly the cause. Check them out. Now! (No, the beautiful foot below is not my own, I stole the picture from Ssekos.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Now this is going to sound odd, but it's one of those small things that makes me happy, so here it goes... I love cutting up fresh food and making a delicious meal from it. I don't know why, but when I can visit the produce section and come away with a lot of fresh vegetables and make a meal from them, it really gets me going. I don't like meals where I throw a whole bunch of cans together to get some concoction or start from a box to create a predetermined meal. Ok, well, I do like the taste of those meals at times, I just am more satisfied when I start from scratch with raw materials and build up.

Tonight I made Rachael Ray's Chicken Satay Stir-Fry with Orange Scented Jasmine Rice and it was amazing. I'm not saying it was amazing because of anything I did, but the recipe itself is amazing. Well done, Rachael Ray. I had a genuine smile on my face as I was cutting up the ingredients and putting them all together. It just made me happy. So I decided to blog about it. (Below is Rachael Ray's picture of this meal, not mine. It's kind of ugly so I thought I'd clarify. :) I would have taken a picture of my finished product but we had a friend over for dinner and I thought he may have thought I was strange for taking a picture of our meal...)
Anyway, I love cutting vegetables. I love using real garlic over garlic powder. I love crying while cutting onions. (Ok, well, kind of...) I love pulling off a recipe and feeding the people I love. Tonight was just a great night to be in the kitchen. I'm lame, I know. But I hope your meal was as splendid as mine was.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Here it is! (well, kind of)

I haven't really followed up on the whole recording thing, because the truth is there haven't really been any developments. I did finally get a listen to the first mix of the album and it's pretty interesting. There are things I love about it and things I don't love about it. But my guess is that is how every musician feels about their music.

Anyway, here's a picture of the first mix. And here are a few pictures of us acting like the rock star we'll probably never be... Haha! Allison took some pictures of the band and their pretty great, so I thought I'd showcase a few of hers... So funny.

Just thought I'd keep you posted on things, although there's nothing to keep you posted on. :) And sorry my blogging has been so lame lately. I have all sorts of lovely things rolling around in my brain, I just haven't had a chance to write them down. Hope you're having a wonderful week!

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Cake Flavored Weekend!

I did a lot of baking this weekend and it was great! I got paid to make the bottom polka dotted cake (it's not my favorite color scheme, but that's what they wanted and I just do what I'm told.) The middle cake was for my aunt Charlotte and cousin Laura for the family birthday party we had for them this weekend. I decided to add flowers at the last minute to fill space. I need to find a better space filler next time....

The above cake is my favorite! I made it for Gracious, my friends Rob and Corrie's daughter. I made this cake for her last year, and had planned to make this cake for her this year, but just ran out of time and ended up dying white cake batter pink. It was a Fancy Nancy themed birthday party (and if you don't know Fancy Nancy, you should get to know her, because the books are adorable...) So I made an extra fancy cake with the words "ooo la la" all over it because Fancy Nancy says it apparently. Anyway, I had a great time baking such a silly cake (and the fancy cupcakes in the background). A big thanks to my friend Alison who is the amazing photographer that took the picture and makes my photography look like child's play. (Speaking of photography, the bottom two pictures I took with my iPod so no judging. Ok?)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

5 Things That Made My Day

My day was an interesting one. During my lunch break I thought to myself, "Man, I should blog about what great things today has brought..." Somewhere in the afternoon between my co-workers and boss constantly giving me a hard time and being trained in something new so that I feel incompetent and inadequate again, it went downhill a bit. It has since gone back up, so I decided to still blog about the things that made my day swell besides the momentary setback.

1. I got to listen to some good new music on my way to work this morning: David Ramirez recommended by Joel and Eisley recommended by HDG. It's some good stuff.

2. My co-worker on another team snuck me a breakfast burrito from his team's food day. It was delicious...

3. The Pioneer Woman introduced me to a few new baking blogs, which is always exciting! Welcome: Picky Palate, Two Peas and Their Pod, and I Am Baker, to the list of blogs that I stalk.

4. I drove the whole way home with my windows down and the warm air coming in with some good music blaring. (Ok, so the air wasn't that warm, I still had to have the heater on, but it was still lovely.)

5. I baked some cookies when I got home from work just because. It's always nice to be able to bake just because. It's amazing how much of a pick-me-up it is... Peanut butter cookies, how I love thee.

What a day...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Recording: Weekend Two

Well, weekend two of recording has come and gone. The combination of me having a change of heart and a better attitude as well as being able to do the thing that I came there to do, made the weekend a great one. I had such a great time and constantly thought, "Man, can't I just do this for a living?" The only hard part of the weekend was when we had one song left to record and I had the realization that the experience was almost over and I will likely never have a chance to do this again. So I soaked up every minute of my time there and will cherish this experience forever.

One of my favorite things about the whole experience was the relationship that we started with the sound engineer that was producing the album. Knowing that we were a band made up of "Jesus-lovers", Robert (he produced all of Tech N9ne's albums, which is kind of hilarious...) was pretty careful about what he said around us. Gradually as the time went on he became more comfortable with us, was ok with showing us who he really was, and started to care about us and our music in return. It was just cool, to see these barriers that our title as "Christians" had created being broken down slowly just by loving on a guy. Cool, cool stuff.

Anyway, who knows what the next step is in this whole album thing is. I'll be sure to keep you posted, though. What a great time... (P.S. The above picture is a draft of the album cover that my brother Cory created. He's awesome. Here's his blog.)