Top 5! Week of July 5 to July 11

humor, Top Five

Last night my brother had a dream that our sister was getting married. She was nervous and excited. She was especially nervous because her fiancé didn’t know how to dance. “Can you teach him to dance?” she asked my brother. My brother went to give him some pointers. Only to discover that her fiancé was Sauron. He took the moral high ground and refused to give him pointers.

The Dark Lord Sauron 1/4 Scale Statue
On the other hand, having a great wedding ring won’t be a problem with THIS GUY!

Where do I go from there?

I guess for this week’s Top Five I’m going to get some guest input. Trevor (my brother) and his wife Katey are visiting this week. I’d say that Claire (my sister) is visiting too, but she lives back at home now because CORONAVIRUS.

Trevor’s Top Pick

Trevor: “Playing lots of tennis.”

Alex: “Why?”

“It’s a good workout and it’s easy to go to.”

“Anything else you’d like to add to your quote?”

“I’d like to change my quote entirely.”

“Ok. Go ahead.”

“Tennis is fun.”

serious rafael nadal GIF by Australian Open

Claire’s Top Pick:

What *I* think Claire’s favorite thing about the last week was: picking raspberries.

What Claire just said after I wrote that sentence: “My favorite part of the last week was getting raspberries from the patch and seeing everyone’s smiles when I bring them into the house.”*

Claire made a pie with those raspberries, and that should be on this list, too.

*this makes Claire sound like a character from Anne of Green Gables, and, well…

anne of green gables child GIF

Katey’s Top Pick:

Katey: “Not having to work!”

Alex: “What do you like about not working?”

“Not having to work. No work involved. Nothing. No exams. Freedom.”

“Do you have anything else you’d like to add?”


free freedom GIF
Katey, after grad scshool.

Claire’s Top Pick, Take 2:

Claire: “Wait. Ask me again what my favorite part of the week was.”

“Yes, go ahead.”

“My favorite part of the week was also not working.”

(I look at her like, did you just copy Katey’s answer?)

(She did.)

Claire’s Top Pick, Take 3:

Claire: “Also, I have a serious answer.”

“Okay, go ahead.”

“My actual favorite part of the week was going to the book barn and getting a lot of books.” A pause. “Why are you staring at me like that?”


Trevor: “Because…you sound…the way it’s going to come across…I liked raspberries. I liked going to the book store. To get books.”

Claire: “Oh man.”

buster keaton silly silly girl GIF by Maudit

Alex’s Top Picks:

Having family around all week, that pie Claire made, playing tennis, reading books, and yes I just copied all their answers 🙂

What were your favorite things from this past week? Let me know in the comments!


TOP FIVE: June 27-July 4

Top Five

#1: Home Cooking Podcast

I listened to the beautiful, inspiring, and fun podcast “Home Cooking” by Samin Nosrat and Hrishikesh Hirway over the last couple weeks. (Samin is the host of that beautiful Netflix special whose name I can never accurately remember…I think SALT, FAT, ACID, HEAT. Could I Google it? Yes. What can I say? I am lazy, and Googling it seems to be the equivalent of getting up to put the kettle on so I can have a cup of tea while I write this post.) And Hrishi is the co-host on the West Wing Weekly and the host of Song Exploder and if you listen to podcasts I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. ANYWAY, here is how they describe their podcast:

“Home Cooking is a podcast from Samin Nosrat and Hrishikesh Hirway. We want to help you figure out what to cook (and keep you company) during the quarantine!”

It is SUCH a good listen, and full of amazing cooking tips and fun stories. There are only a few episodes, but they are each a delight. Plus, it leads me to my next item on the list, which is Yo-Yo Ma.

#2: Yo-Yo Ma

In one of the episodes they were chatting with Yo-Yo Ma and brought up a series of music he’s been making called Songs of Comfort. They are beautiful and recognizable and seem to be a reaction to the turbulence and uncertainty of these times. Here’s a clip of him discussing Songs of Comfort:

He just seems so NICE, doesn’t he?!

The host asks, “What can music and art do?”

And Yo-Yo says, “I kept looking for my voice, and I think my voice is in finding the needs of others and then representing them…So, everywhere I go, it’s always about finding what people are thinking, feeling, how they think about themselves in the world, and if I can find something that they need and if I can actually offer a little bit of something that is comforting, than that’s how I would define my job.”

I couldn’t say it better, I couldn’t agree more. In my small way, through flowers and paintings, I hope I can achieve the same.

Here is one of my favorites:

#3: Grace Rose Farm

Grace Rose Farm. There are hours of endless inspiration to be had just by scrolling through their feed. Any time I need a little injection of beauty or to see unbelievable roses, I hop over to their Instagram account. I’ve been drooling over the mail-order bouquets they offer and I’m not sure I can resist THESE incredible roses…

#4: Morgan Harper Nichols

Morgan is many things, but I know her from her art+poetry that I first came across on Instagram. She writes beautiful poetry and creates beautiful art around it. I am personally inspired to start sharing more of my words and thoughts as a result of her work! Click here to go to her Instagram page and see some of her beautiful work.

Loosen your shoulders

relax your jaw

breathe deep.

Make room for peace

right here in the wild of things.

-Morgan Harper Nichols

#5: The new course I’m taking!

I’m so excited because this week I started an online course called “Leverage Your Art” with Stacie Bloomfield, whose work you might know from Gingiber. Just in this first week, I’ve really been challenged to expand my art and I want to start sharing it with all of you as well. There is a unique challenge to be found in drawing and creating new things but maintaining my voice and style overall. I’d like to be able to paint a flower and have someone say, “It looks like Alex painted that!” and have that same hand be evident in the people or animals or objects I draw. That’s a lot of work! But it is work that I love 🙂

What did you love this week? Tell me about it below or join the conversation on Instagram by clicking here!