Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Laundry is saving my sanity.

Family pic that has nothing to do with laundry,
but aren't they all just delicious?
Laundry. I'm going a little bonkers after weeks of solo parenting and a (very-part-time) nanny who clocked out on August 1, but my savior, oddly, is laundry.

You see, for a few months we had someone living in the basement. She babysat several hours a week in exchange for room and board and I was able to, like, finish my record and take the occasional mental health break. But it also meant that my access to the basement -- aka the Laundry Room -- was limited.

This turned out to be a most excellent problem because it forced ROUTINE on my household duties. We agreed that I would only do laundry on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

It turns out that when you do laundry every 7 days, you suddenly: 

1) don't have a gigantic pile of clothes all over your floor/crib/treadmill/guest bed/dog crate/bathroom closet.

2) have all your clothes clean at once

3) realize you own WAY more clothes than you need because you keep going back to those same cute underwear with the vintage bicycle print

4) realize you aren't nearly as minimalist as you though

5) can purge your closet and dresser

6) can purge your children's closets and dressers (because they don't need 30 t-shirts either!!!)

7) suddenly have WAY more room and WAY less clutter.

I used to be in favor of owning enough underwear to avoid laundry as long as possible. Now, I'm all about 14 pairs of underwear TOPS -- and only because you might go out of town or, as every woman knows, you have to have some icky period underwear just in case.

Anyway, hot tip, people: Laundry. Once a week. That's it. And get rid of most of your clothes. Except the cute bicycle underwear.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Kindergarten and Cargo Bikes!

My wee boy started KINDERGARTEN this week! It's great to have him back on a schedule because he loves routine and structure and rules and art projects, and home-schooling is just not my game, (unless I have a Maria-von-Trapp governess on the payroll because I've won Powerball, then I am 100% homeschooling). Anyhoo, here are the boys on the porch:



They are both sweet as can be, and I remind myself how lucky I am -- particularly at 1am when Angus is waking up for the third time, and I'm just a ball of sleep deprived mess.

I also have failed to alert my faithful blog readers that we got a new family vehicle!! It's amazing. I've been on the road with it for about 3 weeks now, and I love it more every day.



It's a Taga 2.0, and we bought it on Kickstarter over a year before it was delivered. As we have been car-free for the past six years, this is a game-changer. I swear, it feels almost like I'm cheating when I zip around toting the kids or the groceries. Part of that guilt is because it's got an electric pedal-assist, so I can conquer the hills of my neighborhood (aptly called "The Highlands") without breaking a sweat. It's fantastic, and I now want to electrify every bicycle we own.

In business news, BUY MY NEW CD, PLEASE??!?!? 

Also, I'm booking a house concert tour for the end of October and early-November, and I'd love to play in your living room. Curious about hosting a house concert? I wrote an FAQs page here. Check it out.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Vegetarian Tasting Menu in LOUISVILLE!!

I was 22 the first time I had a proper meal. It was Paris. A lunch. It was a friend of my parents, who had taken us all out to lunch at a classic brasserie -- red awning, sparkling wine, tables too close to your dining neighbors, and only one vegetarian item on the menu: a plate of green beans drowned in a stick of butter. It was the most delicious meal I'd ever had, and entirely because of the company, the atmosphere, the wine, and the fact that it took three hours.

Since then, my ultimate #treatyoself or vacation goal has been: a long and delicious dining experience, coursed out over a couple of hours.

It's a rare experience for me and David, however, because we are vegetarians. When we travel, we seek out the nice restaurants that offer a vegetarian tasting menu -- not just one with a chef willing to tolerate or "create something" for us. Not having to make a special request is everything, and I relish the chefs who recognize that most food, actually, is not made of animals. 

Some of my favorite meals of yore:

New Orleans. Restaurant August. Edinburgh, Scotland. The Kitchin.New York City. Cafe Boulud.Edinburgh, Scotland. David Bann. 

I was just lost in a fantasy remembering other delicious meals (Yellow Bar in Florence, Italy. That conveyor belt sushi place we found in Paris. A breakfast sandwich from Pick a Bagel in Manhattan.), but today my focus is VEGETARIAN TASTING MENUS.

Today I am excited because a LOUISVILLE restaurant (The Fat Lamb) is smart enough to offer up an entire Vegetarian Tasting Menu event this month, and I CANNOT WAIT. 

The Fat Lamb is already my favorite new restaurant in this town, and this acknowledgment that vegetarians, too, might like a swanky night out, well, it just cements that honor. 

August 20, with two seatings: 5:30 and 7:30.
Wine pairings optional.
Menu available here.
Facebook event here.

I'll be at the 5:30 seating because I have babies, so I can't be eating at 7:30 like a normal person. 

Here are some photos from when David and I created our own vegetarian tasting menu experience back in January. I meant to blog about it then, but I meant to do a lot of things last winter. 




Wednesday, August 2, 2017

CD Release Party Wrap-up!


MY CD RELEASE SHOW WAS AMAZING! If you weren't there (the place was packed, but I still missed many of your smiling face!), then you missed a spectacular display of support for live independent music. But goodness knows I understand other responsibilities and the difficulty of getting out to hear local music. 



Alex Wright is one amazing guy, and he was great fun to work with on this show. He's as good at the business end as the music end, and (unfortunately) that is just as important, if not more so. I think it was a good partnership. Go "like" his Facebook page. (And like mine, while you're at it, please! It seems minor, but it's oddly a really good way to help indie artists.)

Twisted Events hosted a special VIP section at Headliners, with heavy appetizers and a beautiful cupcake display for my birthday. Tyra is the owner of Twisted Events, and she's got incredible vision and implementation.


Joe Mays of Alien Twilight Photography took some video of the night, and I don't even know where to begin to post it. But it's good to FINALLY have some professional footage of a full band show. Thank you, Joe! Will be posting soon.

Catch my band LIVE for FREE on Thursday August 3 at Metro Hall in Downtown Louisville. I'm playing the Mayor's Music & Art Series at noon. It's a full-band show. If the weather holds, it'll be outside. 

End of the night hanger-outers!
The MERCH BOX!
T-SHIRTS! Pre-order one today!


Thursday, July 27, 2017

My Birthday Menu.

I had a birthday this week! And here's what I did for it. I ate a lot. I love eating my favorite foods on my birthday -- a tradition that began in Edinburgh when I was pregnant with Graham. We snacked on our favorites all day long. This year, I enjoyed the company of my parents for breakfast, my band for lunch, and my kids and parents for dinner.

Breakfast: North End Cafe
Vegetarian Omelet, Home fries, Biscuit. Decaf Coffee.





Treatyoself: Starbucks Free Birthday Drink!
Venti Half-Caff Iced Soy Mocha. I'm sure I wrote that all in the wrong order.


Then I had a band rehearsal at Scott's house, followed by lunch with the band.

Lunch: Ramsi's Cafe on the World
Prosecco, Chips 'n' Queso, Fried Brie, Spinach Salad


Treatyouself: Graeter's Ice Cream
Graham took me out for a treat. We shared a Brownie Sundae made with Cookie Dough ice cream.


Dinner: Simply Thai
Pad Thai Tofu, add vegetables, Spice Level Zero.




Then I went to Aaron Bibelhauser's house for another rehearsal and a wee dram of Woodford Reserve. 

It was a good day!!!

Monday, July 24, 2017

An apparently simple career boost.

I've spent the last few years feeling largely irrelevant and unloved in the local music community -- not at all a cry for help, just a feeling -- and what do you know, all it took was a new photo of me with Elvis Costello to get 5 gig offers, 3 media requests about my new record, and 1 super-cool radio opportunity all within 3 hours of me posting a photo of Elvis grinning next to me on the ol' Facebook. I'm not saying it's all because of Elvis, but it can't just be coincidence, right?

I don't know, maybe if I post another photo of me with someone super-cool, more exciting career-related things will open up. Anyone really good at Photoshop? I kid, I kid.

I'm so excited about MY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW and also my CD RELEASE PARTY!! It's Friday in Louisville at Headliners, and I'm so, so, so ready to play this music out with my band. We are also doing Live Lunch on Friday -- sharing the bill with Alex Wright, so should be good fun.

Also, I found this on my dad's car when it was parked outside my house for a few days. Very interest-specific religious targeting, wouldn't you say? I mean, a Scotland flag and a horse riding to freedom???


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Return of Elvis Costello [in my life]

I just LOVE a good rock and roll show, especially a band that knows how to integrate a real piano player. That Steve Nieve is magical, and I got a verrrrrrrrrrrry close-up seat to watch him play last night in Kettering, Ohio, at the Fraze Pavilion. It was such a good night -- well worth the awful traffic in Cincinnati.

I try to be cool about this and not go on about it, especially because I value Elvis Costello as an artist and mentor -- particularly his wisdom when it comes to balancing musician-life with motherhood. He was the first person to tell me (aside from my husband) there was absolutely nothing wrong with hiring a babysitter just so I could play the piano -- that even though at that moment it meant the babysitter earns more than I do, that it feeds my creative soul, which is more valuable than any career I'd have.

We caught up on his tour bus yesterday for about 45 minutes. He'd graciously left backstage passes for me and my guitarist/bassist/friend Dennis and his lovely wife Nancy after I let him know that we had tickets to the show. He made me a cup of tea -- I still can't believe I accepted because he was at work and had a show to do, but he offered multiple times and a cuppa did sound relaxing. We talked about our mums, our kids, our travels. He gave me an LP, signed it "Congratulations" after I told him that I had another baby since I last saw him -- and he spelled my name correctly without even having to ask. Why isn't everyone in the music business so genuine?

Also, I gave him my new record (and signed it, ha!), and I told him that track 4 "The Jester" was inspired by Steve Nieve, which then made me really nervous and I am hoping that Steve likes the song even just a little. It's been a while since I wrote it, so I'm not sure how it comes across -- but it's meant in love and is about meeting my keyboard hero.

So if you're reading this, Steve, please let me buy you a glass of wine in Paris someday. Also, I loved that shirt you wore and your shoe game is on-point. But you already know that.

Please come to my Headliners  CD Release party!! Friday, July 28. Doors at 7. Opener at 8. I play at 9 or 9:15. Full band. $10. Email me if you want to venmo/paypal/square me money to pre-order your tickets and maybe can even save you a seat. We are planning on having lots more chairs than usual, so don't let your old idea of the venue scare you away -- i like to sit at Headliners, myself :) If you can't come, could you please share the event??? I'm starting to freak out and have those nightmares that the room will be empty. Eek.


 

Laundry is saving my sanity.

Family pic that has nothing to do with laundry, but aren't they all just delicious? Laundry. I'm going a little bonkers after we...