Author: TheLeft/RightBlog

Kelsey and Lindsey are sisters and sometimes opposites. They are, respectively: left-handed/right-handed, tall/short, tomboy/girly, pessimist/optimist. They find common ground through humor, food, travel and their cats.

Lazy Sunday Links

by Lindsey

My fellow lazy people, today I bring you…games!

Farm Hustle: Long, long before Candy Crush was born, a college student that shall remain nameless played this game to avoid homework. This is a hard core, no saving, no holds barred animal matching game. Get ready. Plus, sooo cute!

Tampon Run: Oh, this baby has gotten a lot of press recently. I love the story behind it, and I love that the creators wanted to help normalize periods. They really aren’t that scary, dudes. Throw some tampons, and maybe you’ll understand.

What Type Are You?: This isn’t really a game, but you can find out what typeface your personality best fits. It’s also a heck of a lot cooler than any similar quiz you’ll take on BuzzFeed.

All for now. Play on, playa.

Thoughts on Growing Up

by Kelsey

Growing up is hard, y’know? Here are some notes/thoughts on it:

  • The majority of my pictures now have frames around them.
  • Early is not 8 AM. Early is 4:00-5:00 AM. I am now a morning person. Not an early riser? Judgment.
  • At some point, you will need to stop eating trash and fill your body with things it needs. They will become things you want.
  • That said, no amount of healthy eating will prevent sickness or death. Indulgences are okay.
  • You will never leave Target without spending at least $50. Ever.
  • Children hate naps but need them. College students love naps and need them. Adults may or may not need naps, but they want them. But naps give adults “nap hangovers” — pounding headache, sensitivity to movement, nausea. Day sleep = no night sleep. You are not a cat.
  • The majority of your adult morning will be spent procuring caffeine (or talking about that pursuit with your co-workers).
  • Also, break room coffee isn’t coffee. Don’t trust anyone who says otherwise.
  • Leisurely mornings are the best things in the world. The. Best.
  • Making my bed is not optional.
  • Friendships will never be as effortless as they were before.
  • Everyone is biologically predetermined to “like” water. It keeps you alive. Drink it, you’ll feel better. (And don’t contaminate it with those BS flavor packs).
  • Cleanliness is a form of self-care (may have stolen this one from The Killing).
  • Skincare regimes are now a thing.
  • The first ten years after college will be the hardest years of your life.
  • Walk in the door -> Sweatpants.

 

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Good luck out there, Everyone.

Fall Vibes

by Lindsey

Fall is less than a month away. Living in Tennessee means the cool weather hasn’t yet arrived, but I know it’s coming. I see you, crispy leaves. Come at me.

I know most girls (and boys) get excited about a change in the seasons, so consider this my homage. Behold: The things I love about fall, and the things I want to do/accomplish during this marvelous time of year.


Loves

Fall Dressing: One word: cozy. Tights and boots and sweaters and jackets and scarves and every other cuddly piece of clothing I own will be put to great use. I’m one of those people who sleeps best cocooned under the weight of five blankets pulled to my chin, so I feel very comfortable dressing for chilly weather. Plus, I feel like I dress better in the fall. Layering is my game, and it’s a hard game to win in the hotter months. When the cool breezes start blowing, no one will judge my choice to wear a denim jacket. (I do wear denim in summer. It’s called personal style, dad.)

Return to Academia: I miss school. I really do. Fall reminds me of the time in my life where my ultimate goal was to learn. (It still is, but less formally so.) I think that’s why college Homecomings often happen in the fall. It’s nostalgia on steroids. New school supplies are a thing of beauty, too, yeah? To quote my favorite Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie:

“Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”

If a man ever sent me a bouquet of pencils, I’d probably swoon and lose an eye. Take note, gentlemen.

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Halloween 2013. With hat, witch. Without hat, Stevie Nicks. Good either way.

Holidays Ahoy: The best holidays take place in fall/winter. Halloween has candy and frights. The Halloween episodes of television shows are just the BEST. Everyone is listening to spooky podcasts and reading scary books, too, right? Just me? Then, Thanksgiving has family and warm fuzzies. My mom makes the best dressing (or stuffing baked outside of the turkey for those readers not living in the South). Finally, we head into Christmas with all the festivities that entails. Woot!

Goals

Makeup Shake-up: Honestly, I don’t wear much makeup, and I’ve been wearing less and less of late. Really, If I have a lipgloss or balm, I’m good to go. I’ve come a long way from my middle school days of purple lipstick and hot pink blush. However, I want to start taking better care of my skin this fall. I’m currently eyeing this combo SPF cream. Also, I’ve always wanted to be one of girls that can wear red lipstick during the day without anyone blinking an eye. So, you know what? I’m going to be that girl. I’ve purchased Fire Down Below from NARS, a deep blood red. Basically, I’m majorly inspired by Jamie Beck’s no-fuss, classic look. (She even has me considering oxfords. No small feat.)

IMG_4217Copy Starbucks: You thought I was going to talk about pumpkin spice lattes, didn’t you? Well, you’d be wrong. I spend waaay too much money on Starbucks’ matcha green tea lattes. I’m addicted. This fall, I intend to learn a copycat recipe. Buying matcha is expensive, but there must be a way!

Plan Better: I’ll make this short and sweet. I haven’t been using my planner and I should. Lame, right? Well, I need to better track my time. Also, I’m a homebody, and I’m perfectly okay with that. However, with all the fun fall things? I need to plan to get out of the house.

Fall, y’all! What are your plans?

Lazy Sunday Links: Amazon Prime/Netflix Sept. Streaming

by Kelsey

With pumpkin season upon us once again, the days are growing shorter and darker, which means that lazy show bingeing is now more socially acceptable (for those socially conscience among us). Not that I’ve ever let this stop me. Peer pressure is for the weak, my friends.

That said, to aid in your antisocial activities:

  • Paste’s list of Netflix’s new releases
  • IGN‘s list  of Amazon Prime Streaming’s new releases
  • Huffington Post‘s canon of fall 2014 TV premieres

I have a feeling that this is going to be a great season.

The laziest of Sundays to you, readers.

 

WWU: Are You Afraid of the Dark – “The Tale of the Quiet Librarian”

by Lindsey (and Kelsey in video form)

We’ve finally made it, everyone. It’s Friday, and we’re all a little better for it. Whew.

To cap off this busy week, we’re giving you permission (or whatever) to watch another episode of old favorite with us: Are You Afraid of the Dark? Sometimes. Anyway, due to the popular demand of two readers, we’ve turned our usual read along format into an audio visual dream come true. Well, it’s a dream come true if you dream of watching us from unflattering angles yap to each other. We’re not judging your dream, so please have mercy on our first attempt at YouTube humor. Enjoy?

Are You Afraid of the Dark? – “The Tale of the Quiet Librarian”

P.S. If you don’t actually watch along, this video is probably a huge waste of your time. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Lazy Sunday Links

by Lindsey

Happy Sunday, all! For some reason, the links I found and shared most this week were unbelievably adorable. Who am I to be selfish? If these cute animal links don’t make your day, then we probably can’t be friends.


First up, a never-ending bouncing lamb Vine.

If you enjoyed that one, you’ll probably also like “Where’s Bea?”

Then, a Vine featuring a few seconds of piglet squeals will (almost) make you want to give up bacon. Also, please forget I mentioned bacon next to such a sweet little piggy.

Finally, enjoy this prairie dog who became too chubby for his own home. What a cute nightmare!

(Skip to 1:18 for the close-up!)

Enjoy! Hope your Labor Day is labor free!

 

Chicago, Here we come

by Lindsey

Photos-16208In a little less than a month, Kelsey and I are off to the Windy City! (Though, if you read my post about flying, you’ll know we’re hoping for calm breezes when we fly into town.) One of my dearest friends and her lovely partner call Chicago home, and we’re really excited to finally visit them (and their cat, Tybee).

We visited for the first and only time so far in 2012, and we crossed lots of sights off our respective lists. We visited the Field Museum (dinosaurs!), the Art Institute of Chicago (Lichtenstein!), the Museum of Science and Industry, the Bean/Cloudgate and Second City. Fun fact: Sister and I sat on the front row at Second City, and I lied (a little) to Aidy Bryant when we were questioned as part of a skit. Who’s going to say they work for a religious organization as part of an improv skit? Only the brave, my friends. Only the brave. (Sorry, Aidy. We love you.)

Now, it’s time to plan for trip number two! This is our current to-do list.Photos-16365

Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits: I’ve been following Bang Bang’s Instagram account for several months, so I freaked out (in the best way) when I realized they’re located in Chicago. The Fat Elvis biscuit comes highly recommended.

Little Goat: This place has been on my list for awhile. One look at the menu will tell you why.

Shedd Aquarium: I really want to see their jellyfish exhibit. I’ll do my best to drag Kelsey there.

Garrett’s Popcorn: Have y’all tried this popcorn? Yes, cheese and caramel popcorn sound like a weird mix, but trust me. Garrett’s is everything.

Goose Island Brewery Tour: Our family loves factory tours (and beer isn’t bad, either). We may check this one out while we’re in town.

Andersonville: My friends live in this cute little hamlet north of downtown, and I can’t wait to explore. The pictures look pretty darn charming.

We may just have to head back to Second City, too. No more front row seats for us, though. Anywhere/anything we should add?

Token News Sources

– by Kelsey (and Lindsey in spirit/suggestions)

I don’t know about you, Reader, but I prefer to gather my news online throughout the day vs. subjecting myself to the dismal existence that is television media. That said, our favorite daily news sources are below:

The Vox

More of a “purist” news site than some of our other suggestions, The Vox is well-written and informative. Also, the “Understand the News” flash card section, is wonderful, giving a thorough, contextual account of some of the biggest things happening in news at the moment (unlike the majority of mass media).

Fast Company

Fast company features articles on various subjects, but tends to focus on business articles. Please keep reading, Reader. I’m the one with the B.S. degree in business, and this would instantly make me blackball this site. But it features a ton of interesting articles. Lindsey once called me mesmerized by a Fast Company article with a 5 minute video of exotic flowers blooming.

Jezebel

GIRL POWER! Jezebel highlights articles on various subjects that are tinged with a feminist viewpoint. They also feature a fair amount of GIFs and celebrity news, but it’s a good blend of information and irreverence.

Wired

Also a print magazine, Wired’s articles run the gamut from video games to current events, but it features heavily in the tech field. Highly recommended.

Honorable Mentions: The Verge, Kottke, The Daily Beast, and Slate

Get to bookmarking these gems, Friends.

 

 

 

 

Love/Hate: Welcome to Night Vale

– by Lindsey and Kelsey

This blog is just a little over a month old. As with any new baby, it’s creators are going to experiment a little to see what makes it stop crying/makes the neighbors happy. Thus, we’re trying a new column today called Love/Hate.

If you’ve read our bio section (which I’m sure you all have, right?), you know that we sisters don’t always agree. If we did, we’d probably be robots or weirdly psychic twins or crazy. We are not the first two of those things. This column will be about those topics/things that one of us can’t stop talking about and the other really wishes they would. We’re starting with a podcast: Welcome to Night Vale.


Lindsey loves.

In recent years, my drive-time listening has taken a rather dramatic turn. Whereas I once only listened to CDs and my iPod because I “can’t stand any talking,” I now listen almost exclusively to NPR and podcasts. I won’t go deep into the why of this change, but I find the calm voices and more involved stories help take my mind away from my driving/traffic related anxiety issues. NPR (and the like) has become my pacifier.

However, sometimes I miss that feeling of emotional surprise that comes when you listen to a new song. I also really like creepy stories, and the typical podcast only has so many Halloween/scary episodes. Enter my new obsession: Welcome to Night Vale. It’s difficult to describe to the uninitiated, but I like to think of it as the best little public radio station in the worst small town. Horrifying news is reported without distress. Odd stories continue throughout the series, so you become attached to the weirdos as things get weirder. I like to listen as I work to their SoundCloud stream here. If you want some idea of the humor without actually listening, check out the Night Vale Radio Twitter feed. It’s dark and sarcastic in a lie-joke kind of way, if you know what I mean. Mara Wilson (yes, Matilda), who does voice-over work on some of the episodes, wrote that a friend of hers said, “I feel like this fills a void I didn’t know I had.” I completely agree. I mean, one of the characters is a faceless old woman who secretly lives in your home. What more could you want?

Often, when I love something this much, I’ll repeatedly blab to Kelsey about just how much I love it. However, she didn’t feel the same way…

Kelsey hates.

Like my sister, I’ve also developed an odd taste (compared to my former prejudices) for podcasts while I’m driving or cleaning etc. It allows my brain to feel engaged while I’m doing something not necessarily brainless, but not very interesting. And I love love love scary stories (this is coming from a child with vivid nightmares that once developed a series of night terrors from a book cover). I regularly watch Ghost Hunters, Celebrity Ghost Stories (so bad that it’s good) and track down frightening paraphernalia (such as Jezebel’s annual Spookiest Stories contest).  That may be one of my issues with this podcast. I tried to make it through a few installments, I really did, but I never made it past around ten minutes. I wanted scary, and I received weird, which isn’t enough to satisfy my podcasting needs. Voices are also uncommonly significant to me in that if I find your voice grating, I won’t listen to your podcast. Period. This American Life is a remarkable podcast, but Ira Glass, bless him, has a voice that only a mother could love. Night Vale, on the other hand, is like listening to a robot that’s slightly more advanced at human pronunciation than your average GPS, but still comes off odd and halting.

Finally, the podcast clearly details strange happenings around Night Vale, which somehow, no matter how odd and satirical the delivery, still conjures memories of sad small-town radio stations. Those crackly AM stations that announce spaghetti dinners and social events alongside depressing local news.

All due respect and admiration to Night Vale and its listeners, but I just can’t.


 

That’s love/hate for you. What do you think of Welcome to Night Vale, readers?

Bagel Time

– by Kelsey

Is bread considered a hobby? Because I spend collectively at least a few hours a week thinking about it, and you guys, ALL THE BREAD.

I love bagels more than I will ever be able to adequately express. Most of the time, I’ll head down to the local bagel shop in Kingsport which, spoiler alert, has pretty amazing bagels (The Bagel Exchange – I suggest the sesame). But sometimes, I want to make my own.

I followed the instructions from the Sophisticated Gourmet’s link to bagel-making (adapted below):

Ingredients

1 packet of active dry yeast
1 ½ TB of granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups of warm water (more may be added, if needed)
3 ½ cups of bread flour
1 ½ teaspoons of salt

Preparation

IMG_15961. Take 1/2 cup of the warm water and add in the sugar and yeast, allow to sit for five minutes before stirring. (ALSO, please don’t be a dumb, like yours truly, and overheat the water. Overheated water = dead yeast. If the yeast mixture is foaming, your yeast is happy and not dead.)

2. Sift the flour and salt and pour in your yeast/sugar combo, mixing to combine.  Add in the remaining water (3/4 C) as you mix. More water may need to be added (The Sophisticated Gourmet says somewhere from a few TBs to 1/4 C, depending on where you live). This dough should not be dry and will hold its shape well.

4. The original author suggests kneading the dough for ten minutes, adding flour until very solid. Or, if you are a laze such as myself, I popped this in my Kitchenaid with a dough hook and mixed on medium speed (adding flour if needed to prevent over-stickiness) for about 3 minutes or so.

5. In an oiled bowl, let the dough rise (covered with a damp dish towel/paper towel) for an hour until doubled in size. PUNCH IT DOWN. Then let it hang out for another 10 minutes.

6. The recipe suggests dividing the dough into eight equal pieces with the help of a kitchen scale, which makes my neurotic heart purr. However, seeing as I don’t have one of these contraptions, divide the dough as best as you can into eight pieces. Original suggestions are to roll the dough pieces against the counter, making an even ball, then pressing a floured finger in middle to create the bagel shape. Or I’ve also found that rolling out the shape into a log and creating a bagel circle also works well.IMG_1595

7. Let these kittens hang out on an oiled cookie sheet for ~10 minutes, covering with a dampened towel. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

8. In a large pot of simmering water, lower your bagels into their bath with a slotted tool (I use a mint julep spoon), as many as will fit comfortably into the pot. Let boil 1 minute on each side before flipping over (boil for 2 minutes on each side for a chewier “New York Style” bagel.) After bobbing for bagels, place them back on the oiled cookie sheet for baking.

9. Add toppings to your bagels, if desired. I like to add sesame or sea salt. But the options are endless.

10. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.

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