TGIF!

New green door. | Hannah & Husband

Good morning! Happy Friday! Per the usual, here are a few of my favorite (& very random) TGIF! links from around the interwebs. Enjoy!

In less than two weeks, we have found our next house, listed our current house, sold our current house to the *cutest* family, and bought our next home. Whoo! So I’ve basically been watching this clip on repeat everyday this week.

While we’re in the Parks & Rec realm, have you taken this Buzzfeed quiz yet?

Kanye West or Jean-Ralphio Saperstein

Completely changing topics (remember I said “random”?), The New York Times was killing it this week. My picks ranged from 10 artists drawing their childhood pets to Angelina Jolie’s op-ed treatise on women educating themselves and taking control of their bodies (Amen!). But the one that gave me a “You go, girl!” moment that I can’t stop thinking about was Vanessa Friedman’s “For Michelle Obama, Girlie Clothes That Lean In.” Sometimes clothes speak louder than words, y’all!

Michelle Obama in Kenzo stepping off the plane in Japan to begin her Let Girls Learn tour.

“You can dress like a girl and dream about getting a Ph.D. (or a law degree, if we are being picayune), too.” Whoo!

Which brings me to possibly my favorite pick of the week: Evan Rachel Would.

The video is actually part of an ad campaign for the Portland based clothing company Wildfang. Wouldn’t you love to meet their marketing director? Or more accurately, whomever wrote this line:

Evan Rachel Would, Wildfang Clothing

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to listen to 4 Non-Blondes for the rest of the day because: Beth Ditto.

Oh! Before I go a quick PSA: Third Rock from the Sun is now on Netflix, and I’ll just go ahead and say it: Jane Curtain and John Lithgow are national treasures. That is all.

 Happy Friday!

Podcasts, Old Time Radio, and Binge-Listening

When Serial came out last Fall and everyone found themselves addicted to a radio show, I couldn’t help but laugh. This podcast phenomenon of late has been pretty humorous to me. I’ve been a fan of radio shows since I got my first Burns and Allen tape at Cracker Barrel in elementary school. Look who’s a cool kid now, y’all! I would wear those suckers out on road trips from Tennessee to Virginia to Ohio and back again. Then, when I discovered that several of my favorite “Old Time Radio” shows were being shared as part of this whole “podcast” part of iTunes in the late 2000s, I was sold.

Old Time Radio [aka The Golden Age of Radio] refers to a period of radio broadcasting between the 1920s and 1950s when radio filled the same spot in the American psyche as television or Netflix does today.

I like podcasts for the same reason I like twitter. Podcasts are just another way that the internet has helped me find like-minded people. I cannot overstate my level of nerdom in school. I listened to Ella Fitzgerald, I spent all my free time doodling interiors in notebooks, and I could quote the 1953 Jack Benny Christmas special word-for-word. So when I started listening to the Jack Benny OTR podcast, I was thrilled that there were other people in the world that were as obsessed with this old-school form of entertainment as I was.

Last week, I asked Social Media Land to name favorite podcasts because I’d just finished binge-listening (is that a thing now?) to Gimlet Media‘s StartUp, and I needed something new. I now have a super rad list in my queue, and I’ll share some of those as I get to know them. Today, I thought I’d share a few of my own favs of late.

StartUp

StartUp podcastStartUp follows Alex Blumberg as he starts his own podcast company. I listened to all 14 episodes in an embarrassingly short amount of time.  I nerd out a lot on business strategy so listening to an entrepreneur sell his product, get investors, and then have to figure out how to produce what he’d promised was seriously fascinating.

You may also remember that I mentioned Alex earlier this week when I referenced an interview on The Tim Ferriss Show. (The Tim Ferriss Show happens to be in my ToListen queue currently.) 

Invisibilia

Invisibilia Podcast Invisibilia is a show that is all about the things we can’t see that affect how we live. The first one is on “Thoughts,” and had me completely hooked from the get-go.

Also, I mentioned Lulu Miller a couple of weeks ago in one of our TGIF! round-ups. Her Creative Mornings talk on “Chance” is definitely worth a watch.

SheDoes 

She Does podcastShe Does is an interview-style podcast where the hosts, Elaine and Sarah, talk to women in all different fields of media. I find it really inspiring because the women they talk to are so brave in their craft. If you need to have a “You go, girl!” moment in your day, this is the one I’d recommend.

 

Selected Shorts

Selected Shorts podcastSelected Shorts has apparently been around for 30 years, but it is new to me. While I am not a fan of reading a lot of contemporary fiction, I absolutely love listening to a good story. Each week, Selected Shorts selects a topic and gathers several writers and people you know to read a short story that centers around it.

 

Jack Benny Show – OTR Podcast!

Jack Benny OTR! podcastFinally, my very favorite! While I recognize that this old school form or entertainment is not for everyone, I think it is fun to be transported back in time as I cook dinner each night. The host calls himself Buck Benny but actually airs lots of shows besides the Jack Benny Show from the Golden Age of Radio.

 

Gracie Allen for PresidentThis sometimes means broadcasts that were run especially for the troops or a show Eleanor Roosevelt did in 1940. Right now some of those cover Gracie Allen‘s 1940 presidential campaign. (What? You thought Hillary was first?) There are a variety of shows (and, as of recently, a variety of hosts) to choose from, but my favorite is The Jack Benny Show.

 

 

 

So I’ve told you mine, now you share yours!

Do you listen to podcasts?

What’s your favorite?

 

Spring Playlist

Spring Playlist | Hannah & Husband

Good morning! There’s nothing that helps a Wednesday morning like some tunes, right? Here’s the Spring playlist I’ve been spinning this week. Enjoy!

How to Work Through an Idea

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to work through an idea. I’ve worked hard over the past couple of years to try to reign in my perfectionist tendencies that often result in procrastination. (Remember when I didn’t hang pictures in our house for six years?) I used to think it was mainly a problem of “creative types,” but, after a little more consideration, I think it’s just a people problem.

I could devote an entire post to where ideas come from, but today my real question is what to do with them once they’re here. How do you work through an idea? How do you know when an idea is ready to execute? And how do you know when the execution is the best it can be?

One thing that spurred these ideas about ideas (is that what the kids call “meta”?) was Alex Blumberg’s recent appearance on The Tim Ferriss Show. He was talking about working with Ira Glass, the host and producer of This American Life, who is a perfectionist known for his editorial gift. “Editorial” meaning he’s a great “editor”–when he works with his team, he often can figure out how to take an idea and mold it into the right outcome. Here’s what Alex had to say about Ira:

What I learned is that a lot of it is just about the effort you put in… But watching Ira work–a lot of times he just keeps thinking about it longer than other people keep thinking about it, and then, eventually he comes up with an idea that’s good. And it just made me realize that that’s how people get to good ideas is they go through a lot of bad ideas first… So what being a perfectionist is is putting in a little bit more time to think through the level 1 ideas or the level 2 ideas to something that’s a little bit deeper.

Pablo Picasso agreed. (This statement is from a series of interviews collected in Brassai’s Conversations with Picasso. I read it on Brain Pickings.)

I don’t have a clue. Ideas are simply starting points. I can rarely set them down as they come to mind. As soon as I start to work, others well up in my pen. To know what you’re going to draw, you have to begin drawing… When I find myself facing a blank page, that’s always going through my head. What I capture in spite of myself interests me more than my own ideas.

How to Work Through an Idea | Hannah & Husband

So you have to be willing to put in the time. But how do you work through the initial ideas to get to the better ones? Here are a few methods to try:

Rinse & Repeat. Henri Matisse was a great lover of repetition. (Also, read that here.) By drawing things over and over, he believed he could distill his subject down to it’s essence. When you do something repeatedly, what once seemed difficult, soon seems like second nature. When the original action is second nature, it’s easy to concentrate on other details, which often lead to even better ideas.

Talk to other people. I often find myself repeating the mantra, “You can’t create in a vacuum.” One great way to work through an idea is to bring it up to people that are different (read: smarter) from yourself and get their thoughts. Maybe they have a relatable experience or can look at something from a different viewpoint that is helpful.

Make lists. Sometimes lists help us think around any relating factors to flesh out an idea. For instance, if you’re planning a dinner party, it’s easy to brainstorm how you want your Southern-Living-worthy soiree to go down. But if you’re trying to really think through the idea, try to make a list of all the things that could go wrong. Fleshing out an idea means looking at it from every angle.

How do you know when an idea is the best it can be? Well, in my experience it’s usually a mixture of intuition and letting things go. When an idea is stretched as far and iterated on as much as you possibly can: let it be. This idea will inform the next idea that will, in turn, inform the next. Be thankful for what you have made, and then move on to greener pastures!

What about you?
Any sure-fire way to think through your ideas?
I’d love to read about them in the comments.

TGIF!

Whoo! We made it. Spring officially arrives today! I don’t know about you, but this has been a whirlwind of a week around our house! Between Spring fever and big life choices, I’m ready for a couple days chilling at home with my honey (or at least some version of that involving a lot Spring cleaning and house guests). Per the usual, here are a few TGIF! links from around the interwebs curated for your enjoyment. Happy weekending, friends!

One

Lawrence Krauss wrote an article in The New Yorker this week that talked about the importance of teaching doubt to our children. Saying:

Informed doubt is the very essence of science.

Recent studies even suggest that being taught to doubt at a young age could make people better lifelong learners.

This article struck a chord with me because I often find myself wondering things like: Why aren’t discriminatory social norms questioned sooner by society? Why do religious peoples selectively use their texts as a treatise without looking at it’s cultural context?

For me, there’s a definite balance between doubt and faith, but I do believe that being content with my doubts in my 20s has made me a more avid learner and well-informed citizen. It’s an interesting thing to think about: teaching your children the importance of doubt.

Two

Currently working on finding your own version of the good life? According to Aaron Hutchins, habits are the secret to happiness. Fascinating read that began with a statement that has been a point of conversation around our house recently:

Habits are important because, as Gretchen Rubin puts it, “what we do every day matters more than what we do once in a while.”

Three

Confession: Between the Beach Party movies and a trip to Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Resort my sophomore year, my bedroom became a little bit of a tiki love fest in high school. So I thought this was pretty rad: 5 Reasons Americans Became Obsessed with Hawaii in the 1960s. #1 Reason: Elvis (Obviously.)

Four

If you’re anything like me, the idea of peeking inside the beauty cabinet of the prettiest girl in the room is right up your alley. Well, this week several different paths led me to Into the Gloss, a site that lets you do just that. Click here to read about Martha Stewart’s beauty routine. (And, of course, be baffled by her ridiculously beautiful life. Of course, “Frederic” [Fekkai] was your first hairdresser, Martha. We are surprised by nothing anymore… except perhaps the fact that you remove your eye makeup with Johnson’s baby oil. Keepin’ it real. Maybe you are just like us.) Other picks include this fab shoot with funny lady Ana Gasteyer and Joanna Goddard’s DIY Pregnancy Guide.

Five

While we’re on the subject of the good life, here are “22 Reasons It’s Good to be a Vegetable in Oprah’s Garden.” 

Six

My friend, Leanne, is a local potter. Recently she made a beautiful line of tableware for Blackberry Farm, a local resort to check out if you don’t know it. They’re simple, beautiful pieces and she even mixed ashes from Blackberry’s fireplace into the glaze to make them very unique to the Farm. This morning, I learned that you can actually buy her pieces on their website. Check them out!

 

 

How to Learn Another Language

I have always wanted to learn to speak French, but how to learn another language–that is the question. I became pretty obsessed with the Impressionists around 7 or 8 when my grandmother gave me the book Linnea in Monet’s Garden. Naturally, I wanted to learn to speak French so I could visit Europe and understand what each Parisian was saying as I bought baguettes and wandered in and out of museums.  

In high school, I got a bit sidetracked. I took Spanish at the urging of my dad who said it was more practical, and it probably would have been had I actually learned to speak it. But alas, my Southern accent proved a little too thick for my teacher’s ear. “Señorita Green, perhaps you should stick to writing.” Fair enough. 

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and I’ve decided there’s no reason I shouldn’t learn to speak French now. I already practically have Brigitte’s hair… right?   Do you speak another language? | Hannah & Husband

An app: I recently came across Duolingo. It’s a free app for iPhone, android, and windows phones that offers lessons in 9 languages including Spanish, Italian, Portugese, and (obviously) French! I’ve become pretty obsessed with it. Simple lessons I can complete in just a few minutes that stay in my head all day.Duolingo app | "Do you speak another language?" Hannah & Husband

The best part is that it involves 3 senses: you listen, read, and say new words with each lesson. One study said that 34 hours on Duolingo is equal to one semester (or 11 weeks) of class at a university. Bonus: there’s no teacher giving you the side eye!

instagram: French Words

An instagram account: A friend recently posted this instagram account called french words. Using simple, beautiful typography followers are treated to a French word each day. Isn’t that fun? 

 Finally, how about a little music? I’ll confess one of my very favorite soundtracks is The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood. While I’ve never understood a lick of what she’s saying, I could listen to Ann Savoy sing for hours! Do you think if I listen to enough Brigitte Bardot, I’ll get in the habit of not adding an extra syllable to everything? Perhaps.

Anyway, I’d love to hear if you speak another language. Why did you learn to speak it? &, perhaps more importantly, how did you learn to speak it?

 

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On Marriage and Changing

Green-Slaughter Wedding | Hannah & Husband

Look at those babies! 2006

 

When we were on Mornings with Fox 43 a few weeks ago, they asked one question in particular that we’ve talked about since. “How do you change with your partner?” We got married at 21 & 22, y’all. James mentioned that after eight years, he is not married to the same woman (thank heavens!), and I’m not married to the same man (ditto). I’ve talked to several people recently in different stages of life and relationship  that have expressed these same views. It’s often overlooked during the excitement of falling in love but becomes a definite part of life a few years in. So today we’re going to talk about marriage and changing. We are by no means authorities, but we did sit down and record the things we think are keys (for us) to growing together.

Encourage your partner to try anything.

I was talking to a friend recently that said, after twenty years of marriage, she’s noticed that at any given point in the relationship one of the partners has been in transition. We try to live in the realm of ‘no regrets.’ We aren’t the type of people that want to look back and wonder “what if?” so if there’s something that seems a little wacky to the outside world that one of us wants to try, we go for it. Marriage should mean a built-in support system.

I’ll be the first to admit that not having kids makes this one a lot more feasible. But if you have the means to try something, it’s silly to let fear and doubt stop you.

On that same note, if you encourage your partner to try anything, you must be willing to support them through it. I’m kind of the worst at this. I recognize when things are good in theory but often have to be dragged over the line (kicking & screaming) to actually make them happen. A couple of years ago, James had the opportunity to spend a summer in NYC interning for Michael Bastian. I’d encouraged him to apply because it was his idea of the ultimate internship. But when he got it, I definitely freaked out a little. Ultimately, I sucked it up and stood by my original encouraging-wife-stance. It was ultimately one of the best experiences and was key to informing what he does today.

Communicate

That summer we lived in separate cities for the majority of 4 months. We learned a lot about communication. First of all, as I said before, if you’re going to communicate encouragement, you have to back it up. (Novel idea, I know, but particularly hard sometimes for the ever-cynical yours truly.)

Set times to “check-in.” This is especially important during those time when you may feel like you’re living in different worlds. Things are busy, your routine has changed, there are big life adjustments… Set a time to sit down and communicate.

Really listen and value what your partner is saying. Pay attention to the emotions behind what they are trying to communicate. You can’t always fix things for your partner but sometimes the best thing to know when you’re going through a change is that you are really being heard. If your partner can’t listen, who will?

Encourage Your Partner to Be Independent

Challenge your partner to try a new hobby or meet up with a new group of people. It builds confidence to try new things independently. Plus, it gives you a lot more to talk about. (Goodbye, monotony!) Let’s face it, a Thursday night dinner at home is going to be a lot more interesting if you have something to talk about other than The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt which you just finished binge-watching together on Netflix. 

Try New Things Together

In addition to growing and having new experiences independently, it’s also important to try new things together. Take a road trip to a place neither of you have ever been. Try to cook a new food together.  Take a class. Host a trivia night. Your partner is always on your team and as you grow and change together, it’s important to remind yourself of that! 

Any advice? We’d love to hear it!

 

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Nannie’s Chocolate Pie

Nannie's Chocolate Pie Recipe | Hannah & Husband

Happy Pi Day! Fun Fact: Did you know that today is the most accurate of all Pi Days? To be more specific today 3-14-15 at 9:26:53 was the most accurate. (Sometimes hanging out with Husband is really handy.) Anyway, I’ve been looking for an excuse to share Nannie’s Chocolate Pie recipe with you and what better day?

Nannie was raised in north Georgia and was the quintessential Southern cook. My earliest memories are in her kitchen learning to dredge chicken and crack an egg with one hand. She was the master of Sunday luncheon and one of her specialties was this chocolate pie. It’s chocolate mousse with a meringue topping so be sure that you have enough time to let it set.

Nannie's Chocolate Pie Recipe | Hannah & Husband

You’ll Need:

Baked pie shell (If you have a deep dish, you’ll only need one, but I used 2 shallow shells.)

34 cup sugar
13 cup cocoa
2 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 Tblsp. cornstarch
3 egg yolks
1 Tblsp. butter

Make It:

In a heavy-bottomed pot, mix sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch.

Add egg yolks and milk.

Place over medium heat and stir with a whisk until thickened. For me, it took about ten minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla.

Pour into baked pie shells.

Let cool for about 15 minutes while you make the meringue.

Nannie's Chocolate Pie Recipe | Hannah & Husband Nannie's Chocolate Pie Recipe | Hannah & Husband

Nannie's Chocolate Pie Recipe | Hannah & Husband

For the Meringue:

3 egg whites
6 Tblsp. sugar
light pinch salt
light pinch cream of tartar

Make It:

Beat egg whites on high.

Add light pinch of salt, light pinch of cream of tartar.

Continue beating, adding sugar 2 Tblsp. at a time.

“When egg white will stand in peaks, pile on pie.” I recommend using small spoonfuls, which I did not know to do. When I spread my big glops out, they lost a little oomph (technical terms obvi).

Cool on the counter for about 20 minutes. Then, let pie set in fridge for at least two hours.

TGIF!

Hello & Happy Friday! Here are a few fun (random) links that I gathered from around the interwebs this week.

Luke Edward Hall in Lonny, March 2015

Luke Edward Hall–”the young British aesthete”–has become a hero as of late. He wrote a lovely piece for this month’s Lonny all about his favorite things, and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll fall hard and fast for his style. Check out his website where you’ll find a shop as well as his “journal,” a blog full of inspiration. He also has a few prints up on Katie Armour’s Buddy Editions that are definitely worth a look.

Luke Edward Hall on Buddy Editions

As a lifelong Disney devotee, I was thrilled when a friend sent me this fascinating video of four Disney artists perfectly exemplifying: “You do you!” (Also, The Art Spirit is now on my reading list!)

Lulu Miller, co-host of Invisibilia, spoke to Creative Mornings DC six weeks before her podcast (a favorite of mine) premiered. The topic for the morning was “chance” and her title was pretty perfect (“Catapulting Chance into your Stupid Head”) as was her talk.

John Oliver talked about U.S. Territories on Last Week Tonight and blew my mind a little bit.

If you have any favorite links from around the interwebs this week, tweet me! 

Happy Friday!