Saturday, February 26, 2011

etsy excellence

Unable to hold a job in my current condition, I have become unabashedly obsessed with Etsy. It's gotten pretty serious over the past week and I've been spending at least an hour a day looking at artwork, vintage clothing, and quirky housewares and home decor. Dave and I will be moving wherever the wind takes us in August - it could be north to Rochester or south to North Carolina (depending on whether or not I get accepted to a PhD program or whether I decide to not attend graduate school at all) and since this is one of the only things I have to look forward to, I have been bookmarking dozens of items for our future and imaginary apartment. Really though, Etsy has such a great assortment of products and here are just a few that I have put on my favorites list. There is something for everybody!

Vintage Clothing:

1. Chisolm Block - Nice, simple pieces.
2. Santoki Vintage - A bit steep in price, but a great selection of clothes and shoes!
3. Sweetie Pie - Adorable and extremely feminine dresses - think schoolgirl meets Zooey Deschanel.
4. The Tailor's Stories - Hand-tailored and updated vintage pieces.
5. Pascal Vintage - A stellar selection of bags and shoes.
6. Dear Golden Vintage - Neat, clean, timeless and chic. What vintage should be!

Item I'm obsessing over?
Hate bikinis. Love quirky cover-ups.


1. Marolsha - Handmade, vintage-inspired, ladylike pieces. Lots of bird and flower details.
2. Sweet Findings 4 You - Nature-inspired pieces. Lots of leaves, delicate beading, flowers and birds.
3. Trash & Trinkets - Steampunk jewelry! Bold, lots of brassy tones and super-quirky. The lockets and timepieces are totally awesome.
4. White Owl - Lace jewelry! So unexpected, dainty and beautiful.

Items I'm obsessing over?
Cameo Earrings by Marolsha.

Orange Blossom Bracelet by Sweet Findings 4 You

Housewares/Home Decor:

1. Thailand Craft - Real insect collections!
2. A. Hierloom - Custom-made wood cutting boards shaped like each of the 50 states!
3. Creative ADB - Awesome tree wall decals and other wall art.
4. Oh Little Rabbit - Screenprinted organic cotton napkins, dish towels and produce bags. Go green and stay adorable with drawings of Russian nesting dolls, bunnies, fish, anchors & ships and more!
5. New Hampshire Woods Creations - Birch and moss creations for eco-friendly rustic weddings. Everything in this store makes my heart melt.

Items I'm obsessing over?
Real butterfly collection! I'm sort of a creep about butterflies.

Butterfly garland! Really, I'm too into butterflies for a 23 year old.

Yes, I know I am not getting married, nor am I engaged, but that does 
not mean that this flower girl basket isn't the most adorable thing ever created.


1. Sixth and Main - "Romantic and dreamy Los Angeles Photography"
2. Fringe Art - Vintage and French ephemera for scrapbooking, journals, wall art. Cool dictionary art!
3. Lola's Room - Nostalgic, vintage, whimsical photography. Lots of pastels!
4. Ellie Moss - Dreamy and picturesque. Reminds me of Edgar Allen Poe meets The Virgin Suicides.
5. Monster Gallery - Prints, linocuts, and accessories. I think the highlight of the store are their mini dictionary prints. 

Items I'm obsessing over?
"I am Alice" poppies photograph. I want to live inside this photo.

Green Lichen on Branch photograph. I actually purchased this.

Bouquet of Roses Digital Dictionary Art.

Hopefully someone has enjoyed this post and has found something they love - whether you love vintage clothing, eco-friendly home decor, handmade one-of-a-kind jewelry or dead butterflies under glass, Etsy has something for you, I guarantee it. So embrace that quirkiness and get yourself something new - or old. But if any of you buy that hideous Barbados beach cover-up, fear my wrath.

Love you all!
- Al

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

girl talk: celeb-obsessed

This is slightly off-topic, having almost nothing to do with Snowbirds. Except for the fact that Dave and I have become big fans of movie nights, during which our dinners consist of popcorn and beer. This weekend, we had a genius idea. I wanted to go to the movies, but really, I just wanted movie theater popcorn. So Dave popped into Montgomery Cinemas (hidden gem), bought a large popcorn and bounced. This place is dirt cheap and the popcorn is only $4.25 for a large - WHAT?! I KNOW. So we moved movie night to my house and rented It's Kind of a Funny Story. And we were smitten.

For real. Zach Galifianakis was charming, the rest of the cast was great, there were laugh-out-loud moments and parts where I may or may not have cried (okay, I cried). And now I'm maybe more than a little obsessed with Emma Roberts.

I die for these boots.

But this isn't all irrelevant, because I will be recording the vocals to three tracks that have been lingering all lonesome and lyric-less for months. So get ready for more tunes coming soon!

No one reads this.
I love you anyways!

- Al

Monday, February 21, 2011

a very merry february

Hello, everyone! This month has been pretty bonkers, but on the Snowbirds front everything is going damn  well. Songs have been written (with several more on the way), shows have been booked and played and EPs have been made and sold. Probably the most exciting day of this month (for me, at least) was the 16th, when Dave and I played the Stanhope House with Melissa and Paul. It was my birthday, which made the event all the more exciting, but a lot of friends and family came out and made it the best birthday I've had in... well, in 23 years. As some of you probably know, these past five months have been a whirlwind for me. Being hospitalized and diagnosed with cancer at such a young age have certainly taken an emotional toll on me and one of the few things that have kept me together is writing and playing music with Dave. In the weeks leading up to my birthday, it all felt very bittersweet but being able to perform for such a loving and supportive group of people meant the world to me (and to Dave, too!) And being able to sell all of our EPs was the icing on the cake. So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, from the bottom of our little ole hearts to everyone who came out and made the evening so spectacular. We were lucky enough to have some videos recorded of us performing, so check them out below!

And don't forget....

We are playing a show this Sunday, February 27th, at Eyeconik Records in Franklin, NJ. It's free and all-acoustic and we will be playing with Melissa and Paul and some other great people! We will also have more EPs for sale.

And on Saturday, March 5th, we will be playing at Curmudgeon Records in Somerville, NJ - check out the event on Facebook here. We're not listed, but we're playing, I swear.

A video of our first two songs of the night, "I Might Be Wrong" and "This Thing We've Got":

And a few more!

"God's Gonna Cut You Down" Cover
"Head South"
"Romeo and Juliet" Cover
"Boys in Bands (with Beards)"

And a few pictures!

Love you all!
- Al

Monday, January 31, 2011

snowbirds surgeries and other shenanigans!

So, a few updates on the life of the Snowbirds:

1. We have a show on February 16th at 8 o'clock at The Stanhope House with another duo called Paul and Melissa (a double date show, as Dave has said!) - another band will also be added, but as of right now remains a mystery! What makes this show even more exciting is that it is my birthday and my first real coming-out since my most recent surgery, which brings me to our next update...

2. Had my second spinal surgery on Thursday morning bright and early at Sloane-Kettering in NYC. I'm pretty sure most of ya'll know what's going on with my health at this point, but for those of you who don't, just ask - I'm so used to talking about it by now, haha! I've been pretty much confined to a hospital bed since then, with no Bravo or Food Network to watch (I CAN NOT DEAL). But there were a couple perks to being here, aside from the obvious:

Magazines! Junk food and wine combinations, an article after my own heart.

Candy stripers! Hell to the yes! Lucky me, all patients under pediatric care get their pick of the big candy cart, full of delicious and completely non-nutritious snacks. Don't worry, I didn't eat all of this.

AHHHHHHHH! Okay, maybe this isn't a perk, but it's certainly another battle scar. But right now, it just HURTS. Pass the painkillers, boo.

3. A new Snowbirds shoot captured by the lovely and wonderful Amber Byrne of Live it Out Photography. The shoot is part one of two, showing us wandering around the Princeton University campus in the town that I love! She got some beautiful shots that showcase the campus and our loooooovin' for one another. Part two will show us in Small World Coffee and Christmas tree shopping! (To see the full post of the shoot, please visit this link and then check out all of Amber's other great photos and posts!) Here are a few of the faves:

Can't wait to get home, relax in my own space with my fellow Snowbird, watch some Real Housewives and most importantly work on some music to get out into this beautiful world. <3

Monday, January 24, 2011

another snowbirds slow-cookin' saturday!

So, we've taken quite the liking to my new slow cooker and after two weeks of awesome turkey chili leftovers, we decided to give it another go with some venison that Dave procured. This is the first of many meals we'll be making with said venison, because there is literally POUNDS of it. Anywho, here's what we came up with - and boy, was it good.

Slow Cooker Venison Minestrone:
 (for 3.5 quart slow cooker)
-     3/4 lb. venison
-         1 (15.5 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained
-         1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
-         16 oz. beef stock
-         12 oz. tomato sauce 
-     3/4 cup dry ditalini soup pasta
-         2 garlic cloves, minced
-         3/4 cup Spanish onion, minced
-         6 baby carrots, chopped
-         3 oz. spinach, rinsed and ripped
-         1 heaping tsp. dried basil
-         1 heaping tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
-         ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
-         ½ tsp. dried oregano flakes
-         ½ tsp. dried thyme leaves, crushed
-    2 pinches of cayenne pepper
-         salt and pepper, to taste 
-    salted flour, for dusting venison


  1. Cut venison into bite-sized pieces. Roll the pieces in the salted flour until evenly and lightly covered.
  2. Heat a large pan on medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray. Add venison when pan is heated and sear for about fifteen minutes until all the sides of the venison are browned.
  3. Transfer the meat to the slow cooker – don’t discard drippings. Add onion to the pan & season with salt and pepper. Cook for about five minutes, then add carrots and garlic. Cook for several more minutes, stirring. Add to the slow cooker.
  4. Add stock, tomato sauce, tomatoes and spices to the slow cooker.
  5. Cover and cook on high for 4 ½ to 6 hours or 8 to 10 hours on low.
  6. When there is 30 minutes of cooking time left, add the beans to the slow cooker.
  7. When there is 15 minutes of cooking time left, prepare the pasta in salted water according to instructions. When pasta is cooked, add it to the slow cooker along with the spinach (add spinach gradually). Stir for several minutes until all ingredients are evenly incorporated and spinach is wilted. 
Note: This isn't our minestrone, but it sure looks like it!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Stanhope House

So we played the first "Free-for-all" Sunday at the Stanhope House in (you guessed it!) beautiful Stanhope, Nj. If you don't know where that is, I don't blame you, it's right around the intersection of 206, 46, 80 aaannnndd 287.  I had played there a few time while Matt "fat" Angus was running it into the ground with Brian Molnar & the Naked Hearts (look you got a plug!), but it's currently under new management and is definitley better than ever. I knew the place was old but it's actually 220 years old (that means 1790 it was est.), and I got a quick history from our friend Adam. It was a brothel, it's haunted and Babe Ruth drank whiskey in the basement during Prohibition (they even found some hundred year old bottles of whiskey but i guess they weren't what you would call 'drinkable'), how cool is that!?

We started off with 25cent wings, which were smothered in homemade bbq/buffalo sauce, cooked and then smoked! I would say they were brilliant. I washed em down with a Railbender Ale from Eerie brewing company, one solid, dark, full bodied ale.
 We played for about 40 minutes, no one was really there but here's the setlist anyway^

After us Mike Ambrose's band, Les Trois Chaud, played for about the same and played a killer Belle & Sebastian cover! My pictures are terrible but take a look!
Then a group played two songs about pirates, then Mike, Colleen (from Les Trois Chaud), and myself played some blues with a dude on trumpet (I'm sorry I forgot your name!). After that a band from New Brunswick called The Grains played. They had a cool 90's rock n' roll feel to em and did the hell out of 'White man in Hammersmith Palias' by The Clash.  Turns out the singer had played with my old band 'Where's Alaska?' when he was in a band called 'Broom vs. Combine' and after talking to him it turned out that his first show ever was also with 'Where's Alaska?' at the Crossroads in Garwood, Nj, how wierd is that?
 They were also lucky enough to have additional help from our drunk-ass pirate song writing friend:
One of my favorite things there was a SIGNED portrait of Pinetop Perkins in the men's bathroom, and if you don't know who that is look him up or take a blues & rock history class.

We had a blast and it looks like we'll be back there Wednesday, Feb. 16th to play on Al's bday! Hope to see ya there!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

<3 daver

today we finished our recording of "meet me in montana" with trev @ country livin' studios and i meant to take pictures but oops...i forgot... so instead here are pics of the snow storm!