Monday, March 30, 2009

On Spring Break hiatus this week

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Interesting article in Nuvo about The Village Experience started by Kelly and Anne Campbell. Their new store has its grand open on April 4th in Broad Ripple and looks like it will have a wide array of goods from international artisans- just the kind of store we love.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Maysa Matarazzo

How cool is it that we emailed a question to The New York Times music critic and we got a prompt, personal response from him? We are very grateful to Ben Ratliff for that and for introducing us to Maysa Matarazzo, a Brazilian singer from the 60s that we had managed to get this far into our lives without hearing about before. We read this article in Time Out New York back in November and then wanted to pick up Maysa's Barquinho CD. Her CDs aren't easy to find in stock online so we emailed Mr. Ratliff and he kindly suggested a Chicago record store, Dusty Groove America. Barquinho was out of stock then but we made an online account on the website asking for an email notification when it was back in stock. This week, we got an email that it was available so we excitedly ordered it. We're going to keep Dusty Groove bookmarked because it looks like they have a lot of fascinating music (we just wish that they had sound clips available). Yesterday, our CD arrived and it is so lovely. We don't have a spring break vacation coming up but the music transported us to this cruise on the cover.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Remember DeBrand for Easter

No Easter is complete without goodies in the basket from DeBrand Chocolates. We particularly love their mini bunnies that come in our favorite dark chocolate but also milk chocolate and hazelnut. If you don't live near their Fort Wayne locations you can order online.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Meditation Workshop at Inner Peace Yoga

Mrs. WYA! needed a kick start to get her into a regular meditation practice. After years of practicing yoga and reading endless accounts about the benefits of meditation, it was time to commit to it. It can be daunting to meditate without some guidance so she was so grateful that the Inner Peace Yoga Studio regularly holds a beginning meditation workshop. It's for 3 hours on Saturday and 3 hours on Sunday. The Saturday workshop was held by Carol Crenshaw who owns the studio with her husband Charles. There were about 11 of us in the big carpeted studio room. There were chairs and plenty of props to assist with good posture if you chose to sit on the floor such as blankets, pillows, and Cosmic Cushions. On the first day, Carol covered things such as breathing techniques, benefits, posture, and how meditation can be integrated with any (or no) religious faiths. On Sunday, Charles was a very engaging instructor and covered more breathing and mantras (which is nothing mystical, just something to give your mind to focus on as you breathe to keep it from jumping around). He also talked about the difference between just relaxing and meditation. By the time Mrs. WYA! left, she had a sequence of how to prepare for meditation and an idea of how to go about it. She had even bought a neti pot there so she is really feeling like she is becoming more of a hippie every day. Carol had said that even if the meditation is just 5 minutes long in the beginning, that will be fine. So, there's really no excuse now for not doing it.

Check the Inner Peace Yoga Center's website for details on the next meditation workshop along with a schedule of their yoga classes. We thought $105 was a fair price for the workshop but we found out that it's even a better bargain because once you've paid for it once, you can keep attending it when they repeat it in case questions come up or you need a refresher.

5038 E. 56th St (in a strip mall near the Kessler Blvd. intersection)
Indianapolis, IN

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Linnea's Lights

The matchbook inside the container's lid is a really charming touch.

We bought ours here at Oliver's Twist.

We completely trust Heartstrings owner Jeannie's good taste so, when she told us that there was a wonderful candle made here in Indiana, we knew we would have to pick it up. We went to Linnea's Lights website and inquired as to where the candles are sold in the Indy area. We very promptly got an email response that listed Emmetts's The Studio in the Meridian Kessler area, and Curiosities, Oliver's Twist, and Gift to Go by Basket Case all in Carmel. We're a little intimidated by uber chic salons and really hip boutiques so we headed to Oliver's Twist to pick up our candle. It's a cute little shop on Rangeline Road that specializes in pretty invitations and paper products. We spotted the assorted sizes of candles, sniffed them all, and chose Yuzu. It's described on the website as being "luscious Japanese grapefruit, exotic fruits and watery greens". To our noses, it smells like a fabulous frozen drink with an umbrella in it that we would indulge in if we were beach side somewhere. It is a perfect scent to keep in mind for the upcoming warm weather months when you are on the patio or in the sun room as dusk falls. We love not only that they are made in Indiana but that they are soy and have lead-free cotton candle wicks. We also thought that the little box of matches inside of the package's lid was an especially charming touch. We handed over our $19.99 (+ tax) happy to discover a lovely candle company and to support an entrepreneurial Hoosier.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Attention movie fans, thanks to Ain't It Cool News we found out that some titles in the Warner Brothers' archive that haven't been available on DVD can be ordered from their website for $19.95. That's a little pricey but we just might have to see Jean Harlow in The Beast of the City.

Serendipity- Carmel, IN

Serendipity is the yellow building at the intersection of Main St. and Rangeline Rd.

Here is the entrance to the old bank vault where you can have a tea service.

One of the old LS Ayres chandeliers.

The gorgeous table setting.

Chicken velvet soup

Tortellini salad

The Blast sandwich

Even the restroom was gorgeous.

First off, Serendipity is absolutely beautiful. What a perfect spot for a meal or tea with girlfriends. However, Mr. WYA! was dragged to this precious place and, for awhile, was the only guy there. More fellas came in later though and, as a matter of fact, Mr. WYA! enjoyed his lunch so much he didn't even care that he was outnumbered.

We didn't make reservations and it was pretty busy even before noon but we were seated to a lovely table without a problem. The decor just wow-ed us. There were gorgeous fresh flowers on the tables along with really beautiful floral art on the walls. Being lovers of history, we were sure to check out the chandeliers that we learned from their website are from the old LS Ayres Tea Room. The building was originally a bank so the original vault is part of the restaurant where you can have a tea party- how cool! In addition to really enjoying the atmosphere, we had a wonderful lunch.

There were some tempting sounding specials but we went with a couple of items on their regular menu, the Ayres Chicken Velvet Soup, the Serendipity Tortellini Salad and the Blast sandwich. We also both had the iced tea which was fresh brewed and delicious. Many of you are probably familiar with the Ayres chicken velvet soup either from the original LS Ayres tea room or the re-created one at the Indiana State Museum. It's a bowl of creamy heaven. The tortellini salad might sound heavy but it wasn't at all. There were enough but not too many tortellinis on a bed of greens with their balsamic dressing. There are all kinds of options of what you want mixed in; ham, shrimp, asparagus, cranberries, bleu cheese, green onions, fresh basil, cashews, and parmesan cheese. You can have it with all of these or pick and choose. The portions aren't overwhelming so even choosing them all won't leave you too full. A tasty little scone comes with it too. It was perfection. The Blast sandwich is a creamy combination of bacon, lobster, shrimp, and tomato on a hoagy roll. Our server told us that it used to be a special but was so popular that it became part of the permanent menu- we could taste why. It was absolutely wonderful and, again, it was the perfect portion. Because it was so good, we would have eaten more if it was bigger but we certainly didn't need more- especially since it came with a side salad, scone, and a generous cup of mixed fruit.

We don't go to Carmel very much, and we definitely don't go out to eat often when we are there, but we are sure glad that we made a point to visit Serendipity.
Serendipity By Occasions Divine on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Starbucks Via

Last week, we received our requested sample of Starbucks new instant coffee, Via. We have to say, it is pretty darn good. Especially compared to the taste memory of other instant coffees of days gone by. We tried the Italian Roast since it was the bolder one of the 2 samples we received. We'll definitely keep some of this around for when we don't have time to fresh brew, don't need a whole pot, or for trips (when that hotel room stuff just doesn't cut it). Right now, you can only buy it in Chicago, Seattle, or online.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Movies at The Strand

Woo-hoo!! We've been waiting for this news. It's movie time at The Strand Theatre in Shelbyville. They are kicking things off next weekend with a whole weekend full of FREE movies! How cool is that? There is a wonderfully wide variety of movies on their schedule; everything from John Wayne to zombies and Ma & Pa Kettle. Be sure to take a look at their website for the full schedule and go ahead and bookmark it so you can watch for more movie offerings. Shelbyville really isn't that far from Indy and, for a classic or cult movie on the big screen to support hardworking people passionate about restoring a historic theatre, it's absolutely worth the drive.

Friday, March 20, 2009

You hear that, in tough times, people turn to comfort foods but we think there's a lot to be said for comfort music. Maybe it's the music of your youth, songs that ushered you through your adolescent milestones, or the stuff your parents listened to on car trips that made you roll your eyes in the back seat and you can't believe that you voluntarily listen to it now. NPR has some of our comfort music in an intimate 4 song "tiny song" concert by Tom Jones.

Murnau- DVD boxed set

We don't know how many of you are silent movie fans (who couldn't be a fan of Nosferatu??) but a really interesting boxed set of 6 of director F. W. Murnau's films was released on Tuesday. Three of the movies are new to DVD in the US. We might have to break down and buy this because we love Nosferatu and Faust and haven't even seen the other four. Of course, as we checked it out on Kino's website we found tons of other fascinating looking films we should probably see...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

We are so saddened by Natasha Richardson's death. Cabaret is one of our all-time favorite Broadway shows and she is the one singing as Sally Bowles on our CD. We've gotten so much enjoyment out of that CD and will continue to enjoy it for years to come (which, we guess, is the kind of legacy an artist strives for).

Scenes from... Zionsville, IN

Picture perfect Main Street

It's fun browsing in the Bender Square building (including at Butler's Pantry).
We also like browsing at Kogan Antiques and Lighting.

The Sanctuary is beautiful inside and out.

Zionsville just could not be more cute. We usually find ourselves enjoying a crisp fall day or a festive December day here. We were there this past weekend just taking some pictures and enjoying the springy air.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Our daffodils are blooming! This never ceases to amaze us because:

A. We aren't very savvy gardeners.


B. There are times during the winter that we don't even feel like hanging in there.
Friday Night Lights fans will want to check out this Vanity Fair Q&A with Taylor Kitsch (Tim Riggins).

"Whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you are withholding from the world"

That is a sentence that one of Mrs. WYA!'s favorite yoga teachers, Gina at Invoke (who no longer teaches a regular class) said during her special New Year's class. It really struck a chord and Mrs. WYA! wondered if it was Gina's own brilliance, which was completely possible, or if it was a quote. A Google search answered that question by attributing it to Eckhart Tolle. What a reminder of how powerful words are. That sentence said in a yoga class then led to reading Mr. Tolle's The Power of Now and A New Earth, along with downloading (for free!) a 10 part webcast that Mr. Tolle did with Oprah on iTunes. These books will either really resonate with you or absolutely not all. They resonated with Mrs. WYA! in a big way. If you're a scholar of texts such as the Tao Te Ching there may be nothing new to you here but it's nice to get a contemporary author's point of view on the meaning of life.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Branches Magazine

We probably don't pick up every issue of the free paper Branches but we grab one every time that we see it (usually at Whole Foods in Nora). We think we'll breeze through it like other free papers but always start it and then realize that we have to set it aside for when we have more time. There are just always many lovely essays that we want to take our time to read and ponder. Even the advertisements and events listings are fascinating. There are so many things going on in Indiana that we had no idea were happening. The current March-April issue's theme is Abundance, isn't that a timely thing to focus on?

The photo is the cover of the latest issue by Lauralee Sikorski.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Here's an interesting round-up of what Anthony Bourdain thinks of the various cooking/cooking competition shows. We too worry about the host of Man Vs. Food.

Stanley's New York Deli- Indianapolis, IN

The deli counter
The interior has several TVs and New York themed art.

Delicious chicken broth with noodles, a matzo ball, and carrots.


The Bronx Bomber

Mmmmmmmmmmm, noodle kugel.

Located at 86th & Ditch (the side with the strip mall that has Starbucks and Cinema Grill) Stanley's is a little slice of New York City in the Circle City. We love visiting Manhattan so we were anxious to check out this deli. We ordered a lot of food because we wanted to try a wide variety of the interesting and authentic dishes that they offer.

First, we tried the soup. The homemade chicken broth comes with several options of things you can have in it; we went with the "mish/mash" version so we could try the noodles and the matzo ball. The broth was exceptional (it definitely tasted homemade) and perfectly complimented the huge matzo ball, noodles, and carrots. We tried the potato knish because we have had the distinct pleasure of having a knish at Yonah Schimmel's knish bakery on New York's Lower east side. The version at Stanley's seemed to be fried instead of baked like Yonah's but it was quite yummy (as fried things tend to be). We ordered the Bronx Bomber which was some high quality pastrami and corned beef with Muenster cheese on rye bread. The menu states that they use Sy Ginsberg corn beef and pastrami which has no phosphates or fillers. We just know that it practically melted in our mouths. It also all wouldn't fit into our mouths so half of it came home with us. If you think $9.99 is pricey for a sandwich, understand that, if you are like us, you are going to get a couple of meals out of it. We stayed in to eat but you can always ask for a to go container if you can't finish everything. Lastly, we had the noodle kugel- this was a really happy discovery. We've heard of it but never had the pleasure of eating it before. It was all kinds of good. It's sweet, very rich, and for when you feel indulgent. We didn't know what to think of a sugary noodles dish with cream cheese but we really, really recommend it. There was a crunchy topping on it that was just divine. Again, the portion is huge so you very well might just have this or take some of it home with you.

That was already too much food so we didn't get to try any of the many other intriguing sounding things on their menu like the egg cream, matzo brie, or latkes. It is worth noting that they have a Monte Cristo for all of the fans of that sandwich in the Indianapolis area. Their menu states that it is a "New York MUST" which is so true for Mrs. WYA! because, while it's not the healthy type of food she eats at home, she always has one when she's in New York City (usually at the Washington Square Diner).

We enjoyed Stanley's very much. The food was great and the staff was really friendly and did a great job with service even with the challenge of it being their Grand Opening weekend and being pretty busy. We hope that they enjoy great success bringing a little of the Big Apple here.

Stanley's Deli on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 14, 2009

We don't have occasion to eat frozen entrees much but, if you do, Kashi will send you a coupon for a free entree. Hurry though; it's only valid until March 15th.

This is pricey ($399) but what a unique way to grow a garden and it also just makes for nice decor. It's the vertical garden from Smith and Hawken.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Our Pomeranian loves to get on the yoga mat with Mrs. WYA! and, when she can't join Mrs. WYA! at a public yoga class, we could get her picture on the mat and it would be like she was there! Thanks to Yogamatic you can upload your photo to be transferred to their yoga mats- a little pricey but very cool.

New Orleans toile from Hazelnut

We love toile. We like the old timey charm of it and we just like to say it out loud. A couple of years ago, we bought some New Orleans toile fabric from Hazelnut and wrapped it around a wood frame to make a unique wall hanging. They now have some of their lovely toile items marked down 50%! If you are New Orleans native or just have fond memories of visiting, you will want to take a look.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Indy Flashback...Apollo Theatre

Did you know that Indy used to have an Apollo Theatre? We started looking through our Indianapolis history resources after MHeidelberger left a comment on our Fort Wayne Starbucks post lamenting the lack of an art deco high rise in Indy. We found out from Cinema Treasures that the theatre was on Illinois Street. Oh we would have loved to have watched some Marx Brothers movies here.

photo from Indianapolis A Pictorial History by Edward A. Leary

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Ethiopian Restaurant- Fort Wayne, IN

We're not being vague about what this restaurant is called- The Ethiopian Restaurant is actually the name of the place. Fort Wayne residents are very lucky to have this ethnicity in their restaurant scene and we hope that they are patronizing it. Located in a strip mall at State Street and Beacon, it's in a cozy space and our server was very warm and welcoming. She'll put to ease any first timers and even make more American accommodations such as providing fork or separate plates if you request them (as veteran Ethiopian restaurant patrons know, food is generally eaten with injera bread and off of a big community platter). We opted for the vegetarian combo and were very pleased. The red lentils were delicious as was the cabbage and corn. The dishes may sound simple but once all of the amazing spices are added, vegetables you've eaten all of your life become really special. It was a lovely experience and we hope that Summit City residents give it a try.

You might want to call to verify their hours before you go. We had read The Journal Gazette's review that stated the restaurant was open on Sunday but, when we called to verify, we found out that they were not. They opened at 11:30 AM on the Saturday that we went there.

The Ethiopian Restaurant
2805 E. State Blvd.
Fort Wayne, IN

The Ethiopian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Frugal fashion plates will want to check out the Alexander McQueen designs at and select Target stores (it looks like the collection is only at the Target at 11750 Commercial Drive in Fishers locally) before they're gone.

Starbucks in the old McMahon Tire Building- Fort Wayne, IN

Despite the fact that it is a chain, we have to applaud Starbucks for their downtown Fort Wayne location. This cute building used to be McMahon Tire building and was built in 1929. It was on the endangered structures list at one point but Starbucks moved in and even kept the integrity of the art deco building. We hope that the completion of Parkview Field downtown will bring them even more business.
502 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46802