Thursday, April 6, 2017

Stuff I Like: Flowers + Reading/Watching/Listening




Liking
Many of you will probably think this is a total "like, duh" kind of thing but a few years ago when I got divorced and had my own place for the first time in years I decided to really try to make it a space that was exactly what I wanted - stylish, comfortable, and cheerful. (This is where you feel sorry for Marianne who patiently dealt with my "this lamp or this lamp? Maybe this side table? What about this side table?" texts.)

Then one day I walked past the grocery store floral display and was like, yep, I need these Gerber daisies. I didn't grow up in a fresh flower household and it just hadn't occurred to me as an adult that I could buy myself flowers. So now fresh flowers are part of my daily life and decor- a tiny, attainable luxury. My grocery store offerings are mostly terrible but the $5 half dozen roses are now part of my weekly grocery trip and sometimes I find really nice bouquets in the deep discount section (I call them rescue flowers.)

Also! Shoutout to reader Kim who mentioned Diptyque candles in the comments a few weeks back. I ordered a couple small ones (Baies and Figuier) with my Spring credits and I love them. Does anyone go for super-fancy candles? If so, please tell me your favorites!




Watching
I am a big fan of House Hunters International but I mostly love the European locations. I love country cottages and tiny city houses and glorious high-ceilinged apartments with crown molding. I don't generally love the buyers but that's part of the fun. So, when I heard about the BBC show Escape To The Country (on Netflix) I was all over it. It's essentially a British country version of HHI, but at a much more relaxed pace. The only thing I don't love about it is that the buyers almost never actually buy one of the houses they view. In the closing interview they're like, "Oh, well, we did like that thatched cottage but we really need to sell our existing house first." UGH. I AM AN AMERICAN AND I NEED CLOSURE. However, it does mean that they're not faking their reactions and the locations are amazing.



Reading
I am finally reading Shonda Rhimes The Year of Yes. Overall I'm enjoying it and I really love the spirit of this book but I really wish I'd listened to the audiobook instead. Her writing style is...meant for listening. I mean, she writes dialogue so it makes sense, right? I just got to the point where the constant repetition of "I'M A SHY INTROVERT WRITER WHO OWNS THURSDAY NIGHT TV DID I MENTION I HAVE THREE SHOWS?" got old after a while. But, I like her and I like her message. Women tend to downplay their strengths and abilities and I appreciate that she faces this problem head-on and in a personal way. (Just listen to the audiobook, don't read it.)


Listening
I need your help. I am generally pretty good about finding new music I like but I'm terrible about exploring an artist who I already like. So, Ryan Adams. I love Ryan Adams Gold. It's one of my favorite albums and I've had it as part of my regular rotation for years. It would stand to reason that I would buy another Ryan Adams album, right? Ha. Every time I try I make the mistake of reading the reviews on iTunes ("This is his best!" immediately followed by "This is his worst!") and then I get decision fatigue and buy nothing. If you're a Ryan Adams fan will you PLEASE just tell me what to buy next?

That's all for this week! Thanks so much for the comments and feedback, always appreciated.

29 comments:

  1. Great post - agree with you on the flowers - I love peonies, and living in San Diego we get ones that have clearly travelled a long way to get here, and don't last long. but they make a huge difference in my mood at home!

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    1. Ooh, I love peonies! (Obv because of the photo.) They're expensive but so lovely.

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  2. They're all good, but Heartbreaker & Easy Tiger are my favorite Ryan Adams albums. He also made a cover of Taylor Swift's 1989 album that is surprisingly good.

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    1. I will second, third, and fourth his 1989 cover album. SO GOOD!!

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  3. My second-favorite Ryan Adams record after Heartbreaker is Cold Roses. I will also recommend Demolition if you want something that's more like Gold (demos from the same time period-ish) and Whiskeytown's Faithless Street if you want something more like Heartbreaker/Cold Roses.

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    1. Also, I want to note that you should ignore those reviews of Ryan Adams records and just sample them to decide what you like best. People have very strong opinions about his output. When Gold came out, those old school fans that loved Heartbreaker & Whiskeytown didn't like how commercial it sounded. But yeah, Demolition sounds most like Gold.

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    2. Thank you! Much appreciated.

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  4. 1989 is really, really good. You realize that T-Swift writes great songs, very hook-y, but they are so much more raw when Ryan Adams sings them (he also changed a couple of lyrics). Side note - my husband knew Ryan Adams waaaaaaay back when in Raleigh before Ryan got famous. Which is why I call him "Ryan" (I've never met him).

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    1. Ha! That's awesome. I'm a little leery of 1989 just because I actually like the T-Swift album and I'm not sure I want to hear silly pop songs made raw, but I'll listen to it online and see.

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    2. I also have to recommend Ryan Adams' 1989. It is seriously good. I have a teenage daughter so I have listened to Taylor Swift for many years but not by choice. But damn if RA's 1989 doesn't totally get me every time I listen to it, I love it. I heard him interviewed on cbc when the album was released, he is a serious Taylor Swift fan and his covers of her songs are sublime.
      Also Diptyque candles, my favourite is Feu de Bois. It's so good, a wood fire in the best way. I love Baies too though and the room spray is excellent.

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  5. Heeeyyy a shoutout on one of my fave blogs! Glad you are loving the dangerously expensive candles. The scent I love is Feu du Bois (wood fire) especially when burned alongside Rose. Heaven! I sadly cannot STAND any other candle now, so I just save my pennies. Also cosigning RA's version of 1989 but it's the only one of his I've heard (shameface) so I can't recco others but am watching to see what everyone says.

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    1. I sniffed the Feu du Bois but I'm not sure it's my kind of thing. People seem to love it, though, so might be one to buy next fall.

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    2. Also! I can heartily recommend RA's Gold. Ha.

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    3. Always have Diptique's Feuille de Lavende (Lavender Leaf) on my bedside table. It relaxes me so much while reading before drifting off to sleep; have to be mindful not to fall asleep without blowing it out.

      Also, for a great scent to burn around the house: Votivo Red Currant-- I splurged and bought the four wick candle (Amazon) for the house we just moved into at the beginning of March. We love doing hygge in the living room with all the other unscented candles and the red currant burning.

      Susan formerly from DC and now Clifton, VA

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  6. Not on topic, but I NEED TO KNOW. Did you finish S-Town? Did you love it?

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    1. YES AND YES. I was going to wait until next week to post an update so people have time to listen. I totally loved it, found it pretty disturbing and really, really sad, but fascinating. John B clearly wanted his story told so I think it's interesting that some people find it exploitive.

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  7. Heartbreaker is my favorite Ryan, but Ryan has so many varieties on his sound that it really depends on what you're looking for. 1989 really is wonderful, though. For sure worth trying out

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    1. You guys have convinced me to check out 1989, thanks!

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  8. FYI: All of Ryan Adam is on Spotify, if you would like to peruse EVERYTHING.

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  9. I wouldn't describe myself as a Ryan Adams fan but if you like him, you may like Scott Matthews (album: Passing Stranger) and/or Michael Kiwanuka (album: Love & Hate).

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  10. I'm a RA Ashes and Fire fan, so add that one to your list. So excellent in that RA break your heart kind of way.

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    1. Oh, I actually love "Lucky Now" off that album and now I'm wondering why I never bought the whole damn album. Thanks!

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  11. I love Ryan Adams. Adore. And one of the reasons I love him is because his music is wide-ranging -- or, if you're a critic, it's disjointed and he desperately needs an editor. Whatever. My point is the best Ryan Adams depends on what mood you're in and/or what music you lean toward. Feeling jam-bandy and love the Grateful Dead? Cold Roses. Want a really well-written, depressing, 80s-influenced love song? Love Is Hell, vol 1&2. (For my money, English Girls Approximately might be the best song ever.) His 1989 cover is like if Taylor Swift and Stevie Nicks got together and made really fantastic music -- and honestly, if Stevie and Ryan would ever collaborate, I could die happy.
    Melissa is right, I think. Demolition sounds mostly like Gold -- and Dear Chicago is right up there with English Girls.
    Oh! and if you really just need some heavy guitar, Rock N Roll is pretty fantastic.

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    1. Thank you! This is really helpful.

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  12. I got a PaddyWax candle in pomegranate and spruce and I am in love with it.

    https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00C0SX9F8/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=18BR2RWUVBWCU&coliid=I37Z5T2TD5P27J&psc=1

    Mine was in a small round glass container to look like an ornament for Christmas. Smells so so good. I may have to sniff test these fancy candles you've all been talking about.

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  13. I am big on grocery store flowers too, although the one I shop at the most has started doing those weird dyed ones that I refuse to buy.

    I have to recommend Cold Roses and any other Ryan Adams albums if you like Gold. And have you heard his Whiskeytown stuff? Other than that, early Pete Yorn might suit you okay. Or Ray Lamontagne?

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