GIVE: OPERATION BLUE SANTA
We are so blessed to have what we have, and so grateful. One way to share that gratitude is to share our blessings and spread the grace and provisions and kindness. The Austin Police have a perfect way you can help. It’s called Operation Blue Santa, and they provide toys and gifts for those in need during the Holiday season. There are three easy ways to get involved with Blue Santa. Learn more about how you can deliver, donate, or give!
We have a few Super Foodie Friends, and when we asked about their most treasured hideaways in Austin, Bufalina always hits the first-string. Another pizza joint? Nope - not just any pizza place. They serve Neapolitan pizza. The pizzas are roughly 12" in diameter and are cooked in their Stefano Ferrara wood-burning oven, which runs north of 900 degrees, for roughly 90 seconds. Pizzas emerge properly charred and slightly wet in the middle, a Neapolitan hallmark. Not only that, but the creativity and originality is innovative, distinctive and delicious. The menu boasts everything from the classic Marinara to the more adventurous Harissa (eggplant, squash, salsa verde, pickled onion, peanuts) and the Lamb Sausage (harissa, yogurt, red onion, dill, mint, parsley). For starters we suggest the bok choy or the ricotta gnocchi, or both!
With primarily hip-hop, rap and popular radio artists being listed as a majority on “Best Albums of 2018,” it’s both refreshing and exciting to see Icelandic pianist, Vikingur Ólafsson, making the lists on multiple of today’s choice charts. To hear Bach modernized is originative, haunting and beautiful. To be able to tastefully call 18th Century classical music “contemporary” is a feat in it’s own right. It only makes sense though - amongst his many accolades, Vikingur Ólafsson released three albums on his own before his first release on a major label. (“Philip Glass: Piano Works,” followed by being the featured pianist on Dario Marianelli's score for the Academy Award-nominated film “Darkest Hour,” about Winston Churchill.) Bravo to music that truly stands the test of time.
32-year-old Courtney Dauwalter ran the Moab 240 race (that’s 240 miles) and won by over 10 hours ahead of the second place male. Wuh!? Two hundred and forty miles. Freaking insane! Who is she and how did she do it? Even more astounding is that she ran the Moab 240 on the heels of another big ultra win at the 2017 Run Rabbit Run 100 (that’s miles again), in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. She had earned her second win there, running the final 12 miles in total blindness. You gotta read this story, then listen to her interview with Joe Rogan where she further describes running hundreds of miles on little to no sleep (hallucinations included), eating anything she wants, and wearing uber casual running gear. If there are common day superheroes among us with superhuman strengths, then Dauwalter is definitely one of them.
LIGHT: P.F. CANDLES
Not a hard product to showcase considering that we sell these captivating candles at the HELM store, and they emit the best aromas. P.F. Candle Co. is a Los Angeles-based fragrance company owned and operated by wife-and-husband team Kristen Pumphrey and Thomas Neuberger. Their line is meant to “make life smell better” through candles, reed diffusers, room sprays, incense, and eau de parfum. Everything is produced and managed in LA by their sweet, small, and passionate team. You can visit their factory or flagship store in LA, get their products in a store near you, or order online.
REVIEW: NPR’S BEST ALBUMS OF 2018
This is one of the the lists in the aforementioned feature (and yes, Víkingur Ólafsson made it on this one.) These albums were compiled after the votes from the NPR staff and member station partners were tallied, so we’d consider it an educated and well informed line up. You can listen to them here and hear a discussion on the year in music on “All Songs Considered.”