Serendipity Suggests #14 (Morgen edition)

Morgen’s Serendipity Suggests:


Far from the Madding Crowd Soundtrack
(Kelly already wrote about the movie.)

I’ve been listening to this sound track as I write my many, many papers and lesson plans this week. Craig Armstrong’s score for the film is, at times, full, sweeping, and romantic, and at other times aching, but I think its rich texture captures some of the dissonance of the story, and lends itself far beyond the scope of the story. The violins get me every time.


Skinny Girl Lime & Sea Salt popcorn
This is one fantastic pick-me-up snack to bring for my long afternoons at work. I love the kick of lime; it’s just a little different and fun. For 160 calories and 6 total grams of fat, it’s a surprisingly satisfying snack that’s definitely not boring. I get a little wild with my popcorn, adding a flourish of olive oil and a generous sprinkling of red chili flakes, but this popcorn is crazy tasty just by itself, too.


Chimes Peppermint Ginger chews
A new favorite thing for me. I picked a bag of these up for $3 at TJ Maxx over the weekend as a headache remedy, and was blown away. I am new to the ginger scene, but these may have just swung me over to the dark side. The combination of frosty fresh p-mint + spicy ginger is just perfect. Though these are not for the faint of heart, Chimes Ginger Chews are a natural, spunky, and darn tasty treat. They have found for themselves a cozy place in my heart and my backpack.


Serendipity Suggests #13

Far From the Madding Crowd

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In the words of Morgen, “I like the music, not the story”

That pretty much sums up my view as well. Over the summer I listened to Far From the Madding Crowda novel by Thomas Hardy (1874) as an audiobook from LibriVox. It took me awhile to get through because the main character is just awful. Bathsheba Everdeen is conceited, narcissistic, haughty, obstinate, and imprudent. (see: Scarlet O’Hara, Gone with the Wind) She toys with other’s feelings, makes rash decisions, and tries too hard to be independent. They call it a love story, but I call it a romantic train wreck. However, despite my feelings for the novel, the movie trailers looked too beautiful to pass up (also, Carey Mulligan).

You can check out the second trailer here. 

Why, you are asking, is this a Serendipity Suggests if I despise the story?Because the trailers did not steer me wrong, the movie was beautiful. I loved the coloring, the costuming, and most importantly the soundtrack. And the soundtrack is what I’m suggesting to you today. I’m slightly obsessed with movie soundtracks. (What’s the difference between a score and a soundtrack? If you know, please comment below!) The music seemed to float the movie along. While both the film and the soundtrack could, I believe, stand apart and be strong, together they make a tremendous team. A few tracks are from party scenes and the dance music is lively and keeps in time with the scene. Overall, the rest of the tracks are very heavy in string instruments (with a smattering of others, of course), which is a characteristic in most of my favorite soundtracks. Strings give these tracks an air of dramatic subtlety, a gentle ebb and flow to the music that cannot really be obtained with many other instruments. Strings have this ability to pick up the tempo and drama while still remaining gentle and soothing. This dramatic subtlety plays in nicely to the visuals of the film. A lot of beautiful landscape shots and close ups of bits of nature fill in spaces along the story and the soothing strings seem to echo the beautiful lines of the countryside. The coloring is soft and unsaturated. Full of browns, greens, grays, and blues, Sgt. Troy’s red uniform sticks out harshly. It is perhaps, a sign of the poor choices that come with Bathsheba choosing that path.

One of my favorite tracks is “Let No Man Steal Your Thyme”. The song is hauntingly beautiful. A bit mournful, Carey Mulligan sings the song (mostly) alone and a cappella and is featured on the trailer I embedded above. At first, I thought the song was an odd choice for that scene, although the concept of not giving your time (thyme) to any man seemed to fit her views on marriage. But upon further inspection of the song lyrics and its imagery and symbolism therein, the song almost echoes the tale of the film. (Although she really should have listened to her own advice).

So, I highly suggest you give the soundtrack a listen. I’ve been listening to it almost exclusively for a week now, and I’m still in love. Also, I wouldn’t mind trying on a few of her dresses!!


Do you have any favorite movie soundtracks? Do you think you’ll give Far From the Madding Crowd a chance? If you want me to break down the lyrics of “Let No Man Steal Your Thyme”, let me know in the comments below.

// image source //

Serendipity Suggests #12

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Spotify has this playlist that’s created for each user individually that’s refreshed every Monday. I’ve never take the time to see what Spotify put together in my personal Mixtape, but I finally tried it out this past Monday when I was spending way too much time in the kitchen.

And I loved it.

One of the albums I discovered on this playlist was called Hymns for Her by Dave Barnes.

And Serendipity Suggests you take a listen. The last song

Serendipity Suggests (Friday Favorites) #11

PSA: Friday Favorites is now Serendipity Suggests! It’s a mix of two stories: Serendipity, the name we gave our apartment and Deho Recommends, an event when my roommate’s bible study put together a basket for their study leader full of things that they… recommended. If I recall correctly, Morgen recommended a pineapple. Because pineapple is the best thing in the entire world. And since Morgen frequently has opinions on what I favorite because she experienced them with me or has her on things to recommend, the new name feels more inclusive. And now I can do it on days other than Fridays.


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1. Blogilates

My roommate and I have taken on the challenge to complete the Blogilates for beginners calendar. Each day has 2-3 videos that Casey has posted on YouTube. And Oh. My. Word. I’ve been interested in Pilates because it seems to be more about muscles than meditation, like yoga, which I enjoy as well. I love Casey’s videos because they’re much more fun than those pilates DVDs you can buy at the store… I’ve done some of those, they’re kind of depressing. She’s super chipper, which I thought would drive me nuts, but it’s kind of nice to have a cheerleader. Also, don’t do these in front of a mirror (My closet doors are mirrors… so it’s rough). I doubt anyone looks as graceful as she does.

Morgen says, “Ow. Thanks.”

2. Popovers

This one is Morgen’s baby: 

So, true to form, I managed to make a “foolproof” recipe not-so-foolproof when I confused the flour with the powdered sugar, but that’s just me.

Popovers are ideal for company because they look, smell, and taste impressive while requiring minimal effort. They come out of the oven golden and poofy, just like a good hair day.

I made these for a picnic the other night, and they are delicious in their simplicity. I recommend serving them with a favorite jam, and a Babybel cheese on the side (or lots of Babybel cheese on the side.)

3.  Stanley Tucci

This is a Stanley Tucci appreciation post. That is all.

4. Backs to the Future

You may have your own opinion about NPR, but whatever that is, you can’t deny that they have some interesting historical news stories. Like this one, it’s about a photography trend from the 1890s when it was popular to take your photo with your back to the camera. I think old photography trends are so interesting in this world of “duck lips” and “sparrow face”. One thing about the back trend… you can’t take a selfie like that! I searched Flickr for a photo to use, and I think this one looks kind of romantic!


Photo Credits: one // two // three // four

What have you been loving lately? Leave me a comment to check it out!


Friday Favorites #10


This past Thursday Miss Morgen and I went on an adventure in Indianapolis.

We started our day off shopping at the Keystone Mall. It’s a high budget place for two college girls but we enjoyed seeing the fancy stores. David’s Tea was a wonderful store and I made my first M.A.C. purchase. After roaming around that mall, we made a quick trip to Trader Joe’s and the Castleton Mall before heading downtown for dinner at Nine Brother’s Irish Pub. If you’re in the area, I recommend the fish and chips.

THEN came the highlight of the evening. The Oh Hellos concert at the Old National Theatre. I would drive a very long distance to see them live again because they were amazing. LOTS of dancing on stage. It was crazy. 10 people!!! 4 guitarists, 2 drummers, 1 violinist, 1 banjo player, two singers. Tyler Heath, the male vocalist played guitar also and one of the drum players also played accordion. Morgen and I got there 30 minutes before the doors open because I am short and I was not going to be standing in the back! And we didn’t. We were front and center. And it was fabulous.

During the last song, the banjo player came to the edge of the stage and told me and the guy beside me that they were going to bring some of the drums down at the end and where we were standing so we needed to help get people out of the way. So that was cool. Once they were down though, the drummer and the banjo player, their crazy dancing almost got me hit!!! *sigh* I want to go again.

The opening act was also great. It was two pieces of the band The Bikewalk, a local Indianapolis band.

Both bands are on Spotify, so go have a listen! What bands have you been listening to lately?



Three (Kinda-sorta) Favorites

Summer is flying by and I seem to be busy every minute of every day! I hope your summers are going fabulously as well. 🙂

Instead of 6 Friday Favorites, today, I just have three kinda-sorta-favorites. (Or things that I think are interesting, hilarious, and need-to-get-in-my-closet.

And yes, they’re in that order.



27 Stars You Totally Forgot Were On ‘Gilmore Girls’

I love to guest star spot. So I loved this list and realized I never knew a lot of these people were ever on Gilmore Girls. The ones I was most interested in learning about were Jon Hamm (Don Draper from Mad Men and Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Max Greenfield (Schmidt from New Girl), and Chauncey Leopardi (Squints from The Sandlot).


Beautiful Muncie Tourist Videos

Since I’ve been spending my summer in Muncie, Indiana… I thought I’d share with you these wonderful tourist videos of this fine city**

Andy Warhol Chuck Taylors

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 8.58.27 AMAnd since I’m in Muncie pursuing an art degree, here are a pair of fabulous Chuck Taylor All Stars emblazoned with Andy Warhol’s artwork. Some people don’t like Andy Warhol… but I love Pop Art. I love Warhol and Lichtenstein and the many others. I think they’re work is art.  If you want my personal drawn-out views, let’s go for coffee 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone! I’m taking some friends back home to good ‘ol Goshen for a buggy ride, soft pretzels, and the Elkhart County 4H fair.



**It’s really not that bad! And I try not to poke fun at it. People call this their home, not just college kids who move in for four years before leaving.

Friday Favorites #9


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Did you miss me? (Insert Moriarty clip) I took two weeks off from my Friday posts (one step at a time to regularity amiright? ) while I went home for vacation. That seems odd to say, “going home for vacation” in the summer. This summer has been a learning experience of what the “real world” is going to be like. I’m working full time and while I’m not looking forward to school starting again and dealing with the pressures of my senior year, I will have much more free time.

1. To wear glasses, or no?

I can get kind of feisty about movies in which the girl goes through a makeover and has to ditch her glasses. (Princess Diaries, She’s All That, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, etc.) I have worn glasses since I was in first grade and I can’t wear contacts. So until I can afford Lasik surgery, if I am a candidate, glasses I must wear. And yes, they suck. And while this video isn’t a major game changer, it does show that you can wear glasses. It’s ok. It doesn’t make you untouchable. Or maybe… you just have to be Justin Timberlake. I’ll stop now.

2. 50 reasons not to date a graphic designer

This is just a hilarious list of things that are very, very, true. Although I view them as reasons to date a graphic designer. 😉

3. Lilac Wine

Lilac is my favorite scent in the whole wide world. Followed closely by many others, but this always remains on top. (not lavendar!) It’s so fresh and springy and clean. And it’s such a short season, which makes me sad. So when I found that you can make lilac wine, I was intrigued. I will probably never make it, but if I ever find some, I will definitely be making a purchase to see what my favorite scent tastes like.

4. Dear People Who Live in Tiny Fancy Houses

So many good (and hilarious) questions about an interesting trend.

5. Modern Calligraphy Tips and Nibs

I’m always looking for recommendations for new calligraphy nibs and this blog post has quite a few listed and wonderful descriptions for each one. I only have two of the nibs she has listed (Nikko G and Gillot 1068A) so I’m excited to track down the others and give them a whirl. Also, her labeling system is amazing. It’s so hard to read the nibs sometimes and if I had enough holders, I would definitely do this.

6. N.C.I.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service

It’s on Netflix guys!!!!! And I’m thrilled to pieces and have watched wayyyy too many episodes. I used to watch this in high school, but fell out of sync when I went to college so now I’m starting from the beginning. Also. Mark Harmon as Special Agent Gibbs.

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