et alibi: Edinburgh

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I lived here briefly–as a student abroad–in 2004. I know it’s cliche to say, “It changed my life,” but if you’ve been there, you know. It will. It did.

Anthropologie shot their September catalog in the city. And while this video is not exactly true to Scotland–and its lens flares could give someone a seizure–it made me a little nostalgic for cobblestone streets, endless stairs and closes, and chilly rains.

Broken Flowers

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And no, I’m not talking about a Bill Murray film.

How stunning are these?!

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Photographer Jon Shireman soaked flowers in liquid nitrogen for up to 30 minutes before slamming them against this surface. The flowers shattered like glass.

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Beautiful work–Wouldn’t these photos make a statement as wall art? An explosion of life and color.

See the full photo series on Flickr. Found via Junk Culture.

Cheers! Happy hour at home

Lately I’ve been thinking about how I just don’t spend enough time with the people I love. How do you regularly connect with your friends across the country? And even worse–how do you keep up with your friends who live in the same town? I’m ashamed to admit that–amid work, a new house, a new dog, and design projects–I struggle with just keeping up with people.

All this made me think of the days when I worked in D.C.–where young professionals head out to happy hours at least once a week. It seemed like every bar in the city had happy hour specials, and nearly all of them were packed with coworkers getting to know each other outside of the office or old friends catching up after work. I know a few bars like that in Winston-Salem, but I promise, it’s just not the same. So I thought, forget the bars; we can throw our own happy hour!

So this week, Jon and I hosted an impromptu happy hour–at home. I prepped a few hors d’oeuvres the night before, stocked up on wine and beer, and made a kickass white sangria to salute the end of summer. It was the perfect way to have friends over–not nearly as stressful as serving dinner and easier to clean up than a party. And although my Facebook invitation stated that the event would last from 5:30 to 7:30, our guests stayed until nearly 9 p.m., so it must have been a hit. I think we’ll plan on a few more happy hours at Chez Csuka in the future!

So while you plan your own in-house happy hours for your friends, enjoy this strawberry-apple white sangria recipe adapted from Kitchen Treaty. Strawberry and apple might seem like a strange combination, but it’s a perfect way to say goodbye to summer and kick off autumn. Salut!

Photo by Kitchen Treaty

Ingredients
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 Fiji apple, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced lengthwise
  • 1 750 ml bottle dry white wine, like Sauvignon Blanc
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 4 cups lemon-lime soda
Preparation
  1. Add lemon, apple, and strawberries to a large pitcher.
  2. Pour the wine and vodka over the top.
  3. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 hours.
  4. Remove from refrigerator and add the lemon lime soda. Add a few pieces of the fruit to your glass and pour sangria over to serve.