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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

NY Goals & Bat Fit

1. Practice more conscious and effective time management.
I’ve realized the only reason I never get to do the things I really want to do (like blog, sew, see friends, etc.) is because I don’t have time for them and that’s a direct result of poor planning and procrastination. By wasting time (internet, TV, etc.) when I should be working, I’m taking away from time I could be doing something I actually like. So this is a big deal; if I can just exercise some self-control, I can possibly accomplish more of what I want to in the same time.

2. Aim for better grades and academic goals.
I might’ve let my priorities shift a bit this past year to just taking care of myself (both mentally and physically). And while that’s all fine and dandy (I’m still alive, yay!), I think it’s time to direct the focus back on my education and doing the absolute best I can in my classes. My record in college has been splotchy at best so let’s try to finish strong!

3. Think about and address the future.
This is really just facing the big question of what will I do after college. I need to address this question pronto and think of possibilities of what I can do. Researching career options, grad programs, and coming up with a 5 year plan are all good places to start. Talking to the career counselor might also be a good idea too. Basically, as long as I don’t wait until the graduation day to answer this question, I’m fine.

4. Spend more time doing creative projects & crafts.
I have like 3 boxes full of fabric, beads, creative projects, and little “things to do” (as evidenced by my sewing and craft checklists), it’s about time I did them. Hopefully, if I can uphold goal #1 of time management, I can get to these as well. That way I’ll be able to knock out this goal as well. Yay for double dipping!

5. Embrace my adult responsibilities.
Let’s face it: I’m not getting any younger. Every year, I’m just getting older, it’s time I start being a grown up. This means more taking care of myself and less depending on everyone else to do it for me (aka cooking, cleaning, making my own lunches, finding my own transportation, making my own decisions, etc.). Not going to lie, this one is going to be the least fun but the most necessary.

The next few goals are specifically for Bat Fit.

6. Lose 20 pounds.
A bit self-explanatory. I’ve always been a bit chubbier than average and fatter than I’d like. So, rather than waste away another year wishing I was fitter but doing nothing, the New Year feels like a good time as any to make some healthy changes. Everyone says your 20s are your prime; I should at least look and feel like that before it’s gone!

7. Exercise regularly.
I don’t care if this means going to the gym three times a week or just doing sit ups during commercials. Basically, I just want to make exercise is part of my weekly routine. I want to create an exercise habit and stick with it, no matter how small. It’s been a long-term goal of mine ever since P.E. class (so like 5-6 years) ended to incorporate exercise in my life and it’d be really awesome if I could accomplish it this year.

8. Eat healthier.
Pretty straight forward. Less processed junk, more whole natural foods. Plus, eating on time (aka on a schedule); I have a bad tendency to eat sporadically which is actually not that good for me. It means I either starve myself or eat more than I need to be full. So I have to really watch that. It helps that I have to read up on nutrition for the class I’m teaching in spring. Not only am I learning but it’s also really motivating me to make positive changes.

9. Sleep routinely.
A fairly simple goal. Long story short, my sleep schedule is all whack. I’m either sleeping past noon in break or staying up until sunrise during school. I’m really bad at sleeping (and waking up) on time which usually translates into being sleep-deprived or missing my morning duties. So yeah. I really have to work on this (is it just me or are you seeing a time management trend here? Haha practically half my goals could be solved with good prioritizing/planning).

10.  Blog regularly.
Basically, just blog more often and more good content (aka less rambling apologies about how I haven’t blogged in forever).


So there you have it, those are my goals for this coming year. What about all of you? Do we have any of the same goals? Or do you have some less cliché ones? :) Let me know in the comments below!

Dude, I'm really loving this Bat Fit design, the bat trim is just gorgeous.
So fabulous!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Looking Forward

Greetings Readers!
How's everyone doing? I hope you all had a fantastic holiday season. I had fun catch-up reading everyone’s blogs; so many exciting updates (big congrats to Dr. Z)! My last post was about taking a hiatus and while I wouldn't say I'm officially back (yet), I thought what the heck, why not make just one last post for 2014 before it's over.

Speaking of which, can you believe it? 2014 is already over! Right when I was getting used to writing 14! In any case, it's definitely been a crazy and turbulent year. I've had a lot of ups (cool teaching program) and downs (spraining my ankle) and overall it's been an okay year. I've grown a lot as a person and gotten more comfortable with myself but there's still so much to do and see! I’ve taken some big chances (changing majors yet again) but the learning and improving doesn’t stop there! And that’s exactly what I'm hoping to do this coming year: challenge myself to grow even more.

Realizing it's going to be my last year of undergrad has been difficult for me to come to terms with. It all seems so bizarre; I've always gone to school and been a student. That's always been my number one priority. What's going to happen when that paradigm is fundamentally shifted? I feel like this past year I finally reached a place where I was comfortable in college (heck, I was even enjoying it), but right when I'd settled in, I got the rude awakening that in just a year's time the tables are going to turn yet again. Trying to think about what lies ahead after this makes me so anxious and worried. Just attempting to plan for that future is daunting and scary but I know it has to be done and the sooner I deal with it, the better. 

I'm definitely guilty of trying to run away from real change; I’ll move things around in my room, try new cuisines, and throw out old clothes but when it comes to actual radical change, I shrink away. I’ll postpone growing up (cough cough not learning how to drive or do taxes or what APR is) and making much-needed changes to my life (cough cough eating healthier, moving out, etc.) because it's just too much to handle to me. The unknown is so risky and intimidating and rather than facing it, I like to retreat to the comfort and familiarity of my current routine; that option is always so alluring and more importantly, convenient and easy.

But the truth is there’s nothing to gain in that approach: in just staying the same. Nothing ever changes. Like yeah, my life right now is pretty good and I’m super grateful for everything, but I just feel like it could be better, I could be better. There’s a certain security and safety in doing what you’ve always done but at what cost? You’re giving up all these fabulous possibilities. If you never step out of your comfort zone, you never realize your true potential. You’ve just stagnated.


It reminds me of this really insightful quote my trig teacher once told me (and had up on her wall), “Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there”* Sometimes the most glorious rewards come when you take a risk, when you go out on a limb and do something daring and crazy. And hey, even if it doesn’t work out, at least you tried, right? You’ll have an answer and some insights instead of the regrets and “what-ifs” (ugh those are the worst). And I think that’s my next big challenge. Trying to encourage, embrace, and adjust more easily to groundbreaking change. Like, learning to allow and accept it rather than ignoring or avoiding it. 

So, in that vein, I want to announce my new goals for 2015 (including my Bat Fit goals!). They’re including in the next post (partly because I wanted to give them their own post and also I wrote too much in this one, bwhaha). Let me know what you think of them in the comments! Any suggestions are welcome!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hiatus Hibiscus

Hey peeps,
So I sortof accidentally ended up taking a hiatus as soon as classes started again (October). Sorry bout that but I think it's best if I just take a break and come back when things have calmed down in my life and I have some good content.
Until then, here's a hibiscus as the title promised!
From http://goo.gl/YY9cXb
Bye for now! Hope you all fare well!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Writing your own Murder Mystery

I know this is a bit belated but better late than never, I suppose! I really hope this helps someone out there write and plan their own murder mystery party! Have fun & enjoy!

Also, if any of you have any suggestions, feel free to shot me an email and let me know. I'd love to constantly be able to improve this guide!

How to write a Murder Mystery
A quick guide on how to write your own murder!
So in the process of researching for my murder mystery party, I found a lot of great guides and sources on how to throw a MMP but very few actually giving you instructions or tips on writing the actual mystery by yourself so I thought, why not help everyone out and give them a place to start?
Just a fair warning/disclaimer: I’ve only thrown one successful murder mystery party so I think it’s fair to say: I am by no means an expert on this or the only source. Feel free to consult elsewhere and make suggestions. I’d love to improve! :)
1-      Make decisions.
Decide what you want. Murder Mystery Parties come in a variety of shapes and flavors so spend some time beforehand choosing how it’ll go down (Will you have a theme? How prominent will it be? Should guests come in costume? Stay in character the whole time? How many key players will there be?). Be sure to take your guests and means into account while you’re figuring things out.

2-      Pick a victim
Right off the bat, just come up with the murder. Who’s being murdered? How and with what? And where? (When is optional; in these parties the murder is typically right before the party hence you spend the party solving the murder)
Note: You can decide who did it and why in this step too if you want but personally what worked for me was to wait and decide that later.
Try to give the victim a good back story here. Usually the person murdered is pivotal to the whole party and the entire reason for why everyone is here in the first place (aka she’s the hostess, the bride, etc.) so use those details to your advantage and piece together a story. If your victim premise is too weak, the story will fall apart quickly.

3-      Come up with characters
This one requires a little creativity. Depending on how many guests you have, you want to come up with a persona for each of them to play. This is personally the trickiest part in my book. Try to write characters with your guests in mind so that people feel comfortable enough to go along with the game. If not, people will be uncomfortable in roles they aren’t used to and it’ll be awkward trying to play along (or they’ll just refuse).

4-      Characters (Part 2)
The most important part is giving everyone a motive. Make sure there’s some bad blood among everyone & the victim that way everyone will have a reason to be suspicious of each other.

Also, it helps to give everyone a reasonable amount of backstory as in their own little story. It really fleshes out each character and makes them more than just a silly stereotype or caricature.  Try not to overdo it though; the main focus should be the murder. Plus you want to leave some room so your guests can interpret and add their personality to the character. You just want to make sure you have three dimensional characters.

Note: This is also a good chance to include some side stories into the mix. It always makes things more interesting (bribes, affairs, double-crossing, different identities, you know the usual scandalous stuff)

5-      Find Evidence
I liked coming up with evidence that way there were some concrete clues leading up to the killer. A few of them came from the crime scene, others were found around the dining area or with the guests. These are really useful for trying to key in on one or two suspects to make them more likely to be the killer. OR if you want to throw in a game-changer, you can just use parts of the evidence to throw people off and make it seem like the killer isn’t the one who did it. It’s totally up to you.

6-      Unveil the killer
Decide who the murderer is. Based on the awesome sauce advice of this lovely lad, I also save this step for last but ultimately it’s your call. If you find it easier to write the mystery knowing who is the killer go for it.
In my personal experience, I tried that but when I went back to look over the material, it dawned me that someone else was much more believable of a killer and had more evidence stacked against them so I ended up switching for the other character. Based on that experience, I’d recommend you pick the killer last.
Survey the information, the evidence, and everyone’s motives and then pick the person who is most believable as the killer aka the one with the best motives and reasons to want to kill the victim. Once you do that, I’d go back and tweak some details here and there so that there are enough clues for people to get who did it.

7-      Write it!
Now that you have the whole story portion figured out, you’ve got to find a way to write it into a murder mystery format!
This part can be hard for some. You might not know where to start or what to do so here’s the format I followed.
1-Invitations
2-Rules
3-Character Info Sheets
4-Character Booklets
So first off, just write general invitations introducing the context and settings to your guests. Send that out with RSVP dates. Next, write up the general rules or guidelines you have for all your guests and send that out as well. These should be rules that you want everyone to follow thus, you only need to write one general copy that you can send to everyone. After that, everything gets specific to each person. The Character Info Sheets are sent to each guest and they are meant to be helpful guides in what to wear, how to act, and a little backstory for them to read and prepare for their character. You can send all these things before the actual party date.
The next sets of papers, the Character Booklets are a whole different cookie so next bullet point!

8-      Character Booklets
I’d say this is the hardest part.
Do not send these beforehand. It’s probably not a good idea because if you do, not much suspense will be left the night of. Sometimes it’s hilarious just watching how the characters themselves react to revelations about themselves. So, to leave some fun for the party date itself, I’d hold off on sending these. Instead, hand them to everyone the night of. If you’re doing rounds, make sure you have a way to guarantee that your guests don’t get too excited and read ahead. That just ruins the fun. (I did this by using different colored papers for each round and sealing every paper so it would be really obvious if you weren’t on the right round paper or reading ahead)
I organized the booklets in rounds (much like this source ). I personally found it easiest to organize each round around a specific part of the murder.
Round 1 was getting to know everyone (mingling in character)
Round 2 was murder weapon & where & when.
Round 3 was revealing motives for everyone and some evidence.
Round 4 was revealing more evidence, some alibis, and side stories.
Round 5 was more honing in on the killer and some mudslinging.
Some more tips on how to actually write the Booklets:
Æ      Include some action. It makes life more interesting. People getting up from the table for secret meetings, demonstrations and fights. These really do add something. Try making it outrageous and fun. You guys are supposed to be having a good time!
Æ      Give everyone a little part. Sometimes it’s okay to give someone frivolous or unimportant things to do or say; it’s okay. It’s actually funnier that way!
Æ      Don’t give anyone too much to say though! Try to limit it to 3 points per round or else it’ll get too complicated for one person and he/she might miss revealing key information.
Æ      Try to rile people up and get them to react to each other. This is nice, too, because it gets rid of needing to order who goes first, second, etc. in the round, you just have people going after someone else. It also makes sure people pay attention to what’s going on around them and when to go.

9-      Trial Run
Personally, I cannot stress how important this part is. I’m not saying go through the whole murder mystery once by yourself but it’s important to have someone read it over so that you can be sure it makes sense, flows logically, and works. I had quite a few people look over the character info sheets and booklets which really helped me figure out what I needed to fix or take out. If you want to make sure your story works the night of, you’ve got to make sure it works on other people who aren’t inside your head as well. So whether that’s running through it once with a group of friends or just having a friend look it over and send revisions, be sure you get another pair of eyes and another brain on it so you can pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses.

10-  Have fun!
Writing your own murder mystery is SUPER hard and grueling but also so amazingly profoundly rewarding (plus you’ll save yourself a lot of money ;). It’s so worth it when guests compliment your creativity or confess that they think you nailed a character. So just remember to enjoy yourself and not take things too seriously especially during the whole writing process when you’ll probably be very miserable and kicking yourself in the shins for taking on such a huge challenge.  It’s a pretty daunting task but it’s totally do-able and knowing that really helps you power through. Just remember that probably no one is going to catch all the mistakes or issues that you are obsessing over. They’ll get a lot of fun out of it either way. Trust me so have a good time! :)

A few parting tips:
Æ      Give yourself A LOT of time to do this. In fact, come up with a time estimate and then multiply it by three. I kid you not, these take forever to write (which almost explains why people charge you so much for them) and trying to figure it out at the very berry last minute is NOT fun and doesn’t work out well. So make sure you have plenty of cushion that way if something goes wrong/isn’t working, you have enough leeway to fix it.


Æ      If you are doing a specific theme (e.g. 1920s, Victorian, etc.), make sure you give yourself some extra time to go back and make sure all your content is historically accurate. Trust me; you want to get these details down so you don’t have the embarrassment of a guest correcting you. Plus, it can also be a nice chance to drop a few historic tidbits to make the theme come out more. Just adding little finishing touches like word choice or music can really make a good mystery stand out as great!

And that's it! I know it seems a bit long but trust me, if you follow it through, everything will turn out great! Cheers! Happy partying!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Love Life

So I was just surfing the web and I came across urban dictionary's definition of rejection; it's actually pretty hilarious (and a good answer for all those people who keep asking about my relationship status and I don't know how to describe how one-sided/non-existent it is).


This is an accurate gif of my reaction to this:
Oh haha that's so funny *sobs uncontrollably*

Also this author gets me:
http://www.mcsweeneys.net/authors/connie-sun

Monday, September 29, 2014

September's Homework Assignment

Good morning, everyone! I hope you're all excited for Autumn and all the coming adventures that entails (the colors, Halloween, holidays, etc.). So right on schedule, here's this month's Homework Assignment hosted courtesy the most gracious Curious Professor Z. For this month, the prompt was a bit more open-ended which was really fun and I had a great time coming up with my own interpretation. The assignment was:

To interpret the following poem through fashion, makeup, art, photography, etc.:
October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came,—
The Ashes, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The sunshine spread a carpet,
And every thing was grand;
Miss Weather led the dancing;
Professor Wind, the band....
The sight was like a rainbow
New-fallen from the sky....
~George Cooper, "October’s Party"
 

I went ahead and read the whole poem which has such a sweet, sweet ending and the parts that stuck out to me were the great descriptions of the leaves: just how beautiful they were and how they come together into this mesmerizing sight of a party. I especially loved the detail of "The party closed at sundown/ And everybody stayed." That line just really spoke to me because if you've ever thrown/gone to a party and people actually want to stay after it's all over that clearly means they really really enjoyed it and kinda don't want it to end. I've had parties like that and it's just really warming and flattering to know your guests had such a good time; it means that the party was a job well done. Random aside, but I'm actually going to be planning a Halloween party this October for work!  What a funny coincidence, right?! It'll be the first Halloween I host a party! How exciting!! Squee~

Ahem anyways, back to to the poem & assignment. I wanted to find a way to combine those parts of the poem I really liked and came up with this great idea for a drawing. Art just felt like the immediate perfect fit for this assignment; it was my first choice and I'm really glad I stuck with it because it came out quite nicely. It's been a while since I've drawn so it might be a little rough but I hope it's fine nonetheless. I do all my pieces in pencil on regular paper because I'm on a budget. Plus I chose to stick with two dimensional leaves because a) 3D is hard for me and b) it gave me a lot more surface area to work with in terms of design. If I'd gone with 3D, I'd spend more of my time trying to learn how to warp patterns than getting to draw them. While it is originally in color, my scanner only does black & white so I hope that's alright. In any case, here's my work:

I call it "Lingering Leaves"
You can click on it to zoom in if you'd like.
And because I was bored and the scanner didn't do a good job the first time, I even put together a little gif of the piece (in a bad scan, good scan fashion haha):
So there you have it! That's my take on October's Party. What do you think? How would you celebrate the festivities that await in October? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! :)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sewing Checklist

So this is somewhat related to the Crafts Checklist I wrote up. Same backstory except this list just focuses on the fabric and sewing projects I have piling up. I made myself promise that I will not buy anymore fabric until this list is exhausted (or at least halfway done) so I'm really hoping I can get these done pronto because I just looove buying fabric! I mean, who doesn't?! It's so much fun: the excitement, the squeals of finding the perfect one, the hopeful promise, the brimming possibilities --gah so many emotions! Shopping fabrics is the best (except when it comes time to pay... then your wallet cries and cries).

Ahem, in any case I'll link a project back here once I finish it or cross it off if I end up throwing it out. This list might take me a while seeing how I'm just a newbie to sewing (I made a pillow cover though! Isn't it pretty??) but I hope you'll stick with me to see them through. In the meantime, here are a few someecards about sewing that I think succinctly summarize my love affair with fabric.

Sewing Projects
  1. Black & Grey formal dress
  2. Black & Grey casual dress
  3. Teal Fabric
  4. Costume Black Dress
  5. Pink and Black Roses stiff fabric
  6. Box of Spikes
  7. Brown shirt (w/ flower design)
  8. Black and White Floral skirt
  9. Maroon fabric (for a steampunk dress)
  10. Psychedelic Print (pink, red, white, blue)
  11. Red Rose Kurta
  12. Silky Satin Fabric
    1. Pink & Black
    2. White roses on black
    3. Navy stripes
  13. Psychedelic Print (black and white)
  14. Psychedelic Print (purple pillow)
  15. Black net sleeves
  16. Dark velvet skirt
  17. 2 shirts
  18. Book Covers (3)
  19. Ruffled/Puffy Sleeves
  20. 3 patterns

Crafts Checklist

A little while ago I was cleaning out my room and it came to my attention I still had a huge pile of creative projects to do. Some are big, others small but they were all sitting there waiting for me to complete. Thus, I sorted through them (put them neatly into one box :) and came up with a handy list so I can systematically tackle them one-by-one. Some of the items are actual projects (#9 and #52) while others are more just a note of the supplies I have (#12 and #48) but whatever the case, this is my master copy of them all! I'm hoping to do one or two a week to relax and also stretch my creativity muscles. Plus, I'm not letting myself buy new artsy fun hobby stuff until I finish up with these ones sooo let's hope I get these done soon!
I'll link a project back here when I do it or cross it off if I end up not doing it.
But that's about all there is to it. Are there any projects you want to see me do first or any ideas you have for future ones? Let me know in the comments below!

Crafty Projects Checklist:
  1.  Leftover Lanyards
  2. 3 Bracelets to fix
  3. Rose Candle
  4. Teddy Bear Remains
  5. White Box
  6. Beads Box (8+ projects within)
  7. Finger-paint palette
  8. Transparent Telephone
  9. Black Light Studio
  10. More Beads (~4 projects)
  11. Stencils
  12. Paint
  13. Wooden Maze
  14. Fake arsenal holder
  15. Goggles
  16. Earrings Maker pack
  17. Shell Bracelet
  18. Domino pieces
  19. Circle pendants
  20. Little bottles
  21. Keychains rings (~14)
  22. 3 pinmakers
  23. Chandelier repair
  24. Buttons (~21)
  25. White Bow
  26. Misc. Silver Chains
  27. Backpack buttons
  28. Chokers (4)
  29. Rusty Gold Star Jewelry
  30. Chinese Coins Jewelry (14)
  31. Gold necklace
  32. Pearl Earrings
  33. Silver Flower earrings
  34. Moon earrings
  35. Wood earrings
  36. Earring parts (~6 pairs)
  37. 3 hair barret clips
  38. 3 keychain pendants
  39. Pirate-like Beads/Pins
  40. Military pins
  41. Rusty Brown Steampunk chain
  42. Broken compass
  43. Collected gears
  44. Broken earrings to repair
  45. Silver pendants
  46. Tiny Birdhouse
  47. 1 bag of beads (~4)
  48. Film Pile
    1. Video cassettes
    2. Old film sheets  
    3. CDs 
    4. Floppy disks  
    5. Kodacrome images
  49. Headband
  50. Keys & Locks
  51. Big Brown necklace
  52. Plumeria necklace
  53. Pearl necklace
  54. Purple earrings
  55. Triangles necklace

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

News

Hello there, dear readers! How's life? I hope everyone's doing well.

I'm doing better myself. I've been keeping my foot tightly wrapped which has been helping a lot; it’s helped me regain some of my walking so I can even do a few household tasks (major yay!). But my knee on the opposite uninjured side has started acting up though (I think it's Runner's Knee). I figure it's just a by-product of the foot so I'm trying to take it easy. I got (aka: was forced to buy) some athletic sneakers, too --which cost far too much considering how ugly they look-- but hey, health is important. My recovery is going too slow and it's really hard being patient with it at this point but I'm trying hard. For now, my main goal is to just be better by the start of school. I’m really hoping & praying for that but we’ll have to see.

Thanks to my increased mobility, I've also gotten around to doing some of my chores and work which has made me much happier. It's like I'm finally snapping out of the sluggish rut I was stuck in (another yay!). I finally got around to major cleaning my room (& the bathroom) which was a big personal victory. My room was a complete disaster and its tumultuous state was probably a big reason I was down in the dumps. Forcing myself to tackle it piece by piece was incredibly satisfying. I re-organized the layout, made a new shelf (with ikea instructions), threw out lots of old junk, made a pillow cover, and even changed up my desk. And let me tell you, it felt sooo good. I'm so glad I did it. I might not be able to go out much but cleaning up has been nice. Doing all this has really made me start feeling like myself again; I'm really hoping this is the start of me getting back to normal!

But I must confess, I've been watching a ton of TV though. I'm not really proud of that but hey, I figure what's a summer break without a little (aka way too much) mindless channel flipping. Sometimes it's nice to tune out of your own life and get lost in someone else’s. Funny story, we actually didn't have cable growing up so I never really sat around watching TV but our provider bundles it into the package so I'm finally getting to watch all the Disney channel and Nickolodeon I missed out on! Their new shows are interesting; I'm not a fan of all of them but some of them are good (Liv & Maddie, Henry Danger, Jessie, etc.). Tangent: Has anyone else ever noticed how perfect everyone on Disney's hair is, though? It's TOO perfect!!! Oh, I also watched a nice indie film recently called Flawless. I've written a review about it here if you want to hear more on my thoughts about that.

In unrelated news, we unexpectedly got a pretty pair of parakeets! While they're both awfully quiet for birds, I find them very cute and adorable. They make me so happy. We have dog and cat allergies in our family so growing up we always had birds which is why I have a very special place in my heart for them (esp. budgies) so it's very exciting to have a pair again after many years of none. They're still shy and guarded but I'm hoping that giving them a little time will help them warm up to us. 

Alright, that’s all I’ve got for now. I know it’s not much or super exciting but sometimes it’s nice to be grateful for what you’ve got (cough cough thank God for your health cough cough) and appreciate what’s going right (instead of focusing on what’s wrong). Or at least that’s what I’m trying to do through this very prolonged injury. Hopefully next time I’ll have ever better news but until then, ta-ta!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Overdue Update

Howdy Folks!
I know I've been MIA for quite a while now (a little over 2 weeks) and I'm real sorry bout that. First it was that trip to TX then my summer classes plus their finals and, of course, this darn foot which unfortunately is still not fully healed (I know, I know, you're all probably very tired of hearing about it but just imagine trying to live with it!).

So yeah, in short it's been a long and stressful couple of weeks and while some of it was good (the wedding was awesome sauce and I did great on my final :), most of it wasn't as pretty (painful walking, visiting a podiatrist, finding out I have flat feet, crutches, etc.). In fact, I feel like I was actually happier when I had the class or the wedding. It must've taken my mind off my foot because now in the 2 weeks I have off as "break" before Fall Session starts things have been pretty darn crummy. I mean, I'm not  really doing much and I've still been really miserable. Guess being cooped up at home with just your family really isn't the best thing for your health.

Plus I'm pretty sure I've got a serious case of ennui going. Motivating myself to do anything has been a uphill battle; the sloth in me just wants to sit around, eat, and surf the TV channels or internet. But (of course) that just always leaves my conscience extremely unhappy and dissatisfied with how I spent my time. Plus it also makes me somewhat depressed since I start comparing my life with that on TV (and how everyone looks so darn well put-together. Why can't I be like that?!) But let's be real here, the sloth has been getting best of me lately. I keep finding some hapless excuse to not own up to my mistakes and make the most of my day. Honestly I've been giving myself too many passes for 'bad days' and not enough 'productive' ones (or at the very least happy ones).

Ugh, it's just been one of those weeks. You know what I mean, right? Those weeks where absolutely nothing seems to be going right, where everything feels like it's falling apart and your life is just a complete mess. Those weeks you just want to crawl under the covers and forget the world exists until you have the courage to wake up one day and face it. Yeahhh. Those ones. That's what I've been going through. I really hope it gets better but for the meanwhile I'm just going to buckle down and try my best to make the most of what time I've got left (before the impending start of classes. nooo). No point crying over the past. But yeah. That's my life. I hope all of you have better stories and life events going on. I'm wishing you all nothing but the best. Please let me know how you're feeling in the comments below and if you've got any remedies to deal with the blues.
Lots of Love!
P.S. I made this a while ago when I was inspired by Andy Warhol's work. I call it Guilty Hearts.

Friday, August 29, 2014

August's Homework Assignment

Why hello there, everyone!
With August practically extinguished, I thought I'd make one last post before September starts. And what better way to do that then with another fun little linkup for Professor Z's August Homework Assignment! So here's the prompt: 

For August's Homework Assignment, you are tasked to show us how songs or music inspire your dress, mood, art, writing, etc. Make that correlation between the song and the product of your inspiration; or, tell us what kind of music you listen to before you go out for the evening, or before work or school, or while you are relaxing at home. Remember, your post doesn't need to be fashion related. Get inspired! Think outside the box! HAVE FUN!!!

First off, I just gotta say how much I just really love the prompt. I'm very musically inclined (meaning I'd be listening to something 24/7 if I could) so I can't wait to share what's been on my playlist lately. 

1. To start, a lot of this month for me has been sitting around and waiting for my ankle to heal. As such, a song that's been constantly playing in my head as a nice summary of my situation is Regina Spektor's "Somedays". It's a cute little melody about how we all have days that just sortof slip through our fingers and how at times, they don't even feel days from our lives, like our days, at all. Anyways, it's a pleasant gem esp. when you feel like brooding.

2. Other music this month included a lot of the Sweeney Todd soundtrack. After watching the movie, I couldn't get any of these songs out of my head! I'd wake up humming "There's no place like London" and eventually I wound up finding the soundtrack online. This resulted in me playing the entire album on repeat continuously. I really couldn't get over how great some of the songs and just how well they went together. They're witty and lyrical with great attention to score details. I like how the tone can be cynical and dark but hopeful all in the same song. It's quite a feat. Most of the songs were modified to fit the film version but I feel like that didn't detract from their quality at all. In fact, they make quite a few songs more enjoyable & manageable. Plus, the choice of actors was superb; their singing fit their parts so perfectly. I was really impressed both Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter carried themselves quite nicely and Ed Sander's (Toby) charming childish voice was a sweet surprise. Jayne Wisener (played Johanna)'s voice was just perfection. 

A couple of my favorites include: "Not While I'm Around", "Pretty Women", "Worst Pies in London", "Green Finch & Linnet Bird"*, "Johanna", "A little Priest", "By the Sea", "God That's Good". "Wait" and "Poor Thing" were pretty good, too. Basically, I loved the whole thing. 
Here's a great playlist if you'd like to listen to the playlist.


3. So those are the songs I've been obsessed with and have been gobbling up in my relax/free time. When it comes to school or work, I tend to gravitate towards instrumental pieces to get me into the mood. I stay away from songs with words because I get distracted by them waaaay too easily and end up spending more time pondering the lyrics than actually getting any work done.  So the artist I've been listening to lately for work is Bob Acri. He mostly does piano pieces and my favorite from him is "Sleep Away". The reprise for that one is fabulous as well. But yeah, you get the easy listening vibe I have for work-related music.
Sleep Away by Bob Acri on Grooveshark

4. A random song I've been jamming to is the Mystery Jet's The Ballad of Emmerson Lonestar. I have a cousin's wedding to go to in Texas next month and this has been my way of getting ready: listening to British guys sing about the "Radlands". Yuuup. That's probably not the smartest way to prepare but oh wells. It's a good song.

5. OH I've also been getting back into Bastille. I fell in love with this band a little over a year ago but had let it sit on the back burner when our radio stations decided to overplay Pompeii but gosh darn, Dan's voice is like British red velvet and listening to their stuff reminds me how much I adore it. Also, those eyes and that hair, man. Gooood stuff. 

Alright, well that's about it.. Perhaps in the future I'll do another post on my favorite artists and my music tastes but that's it for now. Thanks for reading and linkup yourself so I can know what you're listening to! :)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Around the Web

So I usually like to post my own content but man, the internet has been bustling with fascinating things this month so without further ado, here's a quick "Around the Web" list of what I've been mesmerized with this hot, sticky August month.

1. Love
I just stumbled upon the greatest little collection of these beautiful photographs of LGBT couples. The photographer did a fabulous job encapsulating the beauty of gay couples and really bringing the nostalgic feeling of romance alive with these photos. I felt like I just had to share it because it's just so touching and breathtaking. You can hear more about the photographer's project here.

2. I want to live
In the wake of Robin William's death, there's been a multitude of emotions and opinions being passed around, but one of my favorite comic writers, Erika Moen, did a very fabulous job of providing her two cents on the topic. Two very intimate and personal cents but nonetheless, the emotion and intent of the piece cannot escape anyone who's been through depression or suicidal tendencies; it resonates with the darkness that many of us have seen. It's a very powerful message and I'm so glad she shared her struggle so beautifully and succinctly with the rest of the world.

3. Fatshion Peepshow
Dude, this blog is like the best thing to happen to the internet right now. And I'm not even exaggerating. I love the style, the body positive message, and the fun sass that Stina Scott brings into this website. It's got fabulous style combining the many elements I love about goth with my love for retro and vintage as well. One of my favorite posts is this one, it's got a nice compilation of many cool looks Stina has put together over the months. She really does a great job of running a cool show that really highlights how limitless beauty truly is. It's not about age, size, or clothing style; it's really all about you! Epic kudos to Stina. Keep rocking it!

4. An Honest Drug
I'm very obsessed with Fee's blog here. There is so much inspiration abounding everywhere on this site, I love it!!!! She's got great blogging ideas, styling posts, cool DIYs, opinions, and more. Yup, her blog is really my addiction right now. You really just have to check it out to understand the amount of awesome going on. So go ahead, click that link! You won't regret it! (Now please excuse me while I fangirl and peruse more of her website)

5. Sweeney Todd
So I'm going to do a longer post on my love for Tim Burton's work and why I'm just now getting around to consume more of it. But for now I'll just leave you with the knowledge that I finally watched Sweeney Todd and I'm madly in love with it. Everything about that movie was fantastical! I've even delved a little bit into the play itself and I can respect and appreciate the artistic liberties Tim Burton took with a few segments (like that one scene with the Judge... yeah, I never got the literary point of that) and overall, I think it definitely did the play justice. In fact, I'm now a converted fan of musicals. Thank you, Sweeney Todd! :)

6.  Offbeat Bride
I just started following this website on a spur of the moment feel and boy am I glad I did!! While I'm nowhere near marriage or wedding plans, just getting to see the fantastically amazing and beautiful weddings and celebrations of love people throw is so inspiring and joyful! It's like a fun celebration of alternative culture and people along with creativity and thriftiness all in one place! I'm so glad to be able to partake in this community! It's like a tiny internet party I get to attend all by myself with like-minded others! (While still in pajamas! How awesome is that!!) If you have a penchant for alternative, quirky ideas and love, definitely give this website a chance! It's full of fun surprises! :) (Personal recommendations: this one and this too!)

7. The Glamorous Housewife
Another somewhat random follow seeing as to how I'm neither a housewife nor a mother but don't be fooled into thinking that's a requirement to follow this site! It's for anyone with a taste in vintage and retro classics! It's exploding with fun and cool ideas infused with blast-from-the-past themes. I'm absolutely infatuated with everything on this blog plus the cute youtube videos that accompany it. As a proclaimed party planner, this site is a treasure chest for ideas and tips on how to throw the perfect dinner party and easy to follow recipes and looks for the night. Her blog has everything from cooking, parties, and fashion to DIY, it has something for everyone! Give it a taste! :)

Alright, well that's this month's roundup! I hope you enjoyed getting a look at where I spend my time online. Let me know what you think of these sites in the comments below! And send me any recommendations you have of websites of your own that you are in love with! :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Urgh

Hello all!
Just a quick update I'm squeezing in here before I'm off to work. The posts might be a little slow for the next few weeks seeing as how I'm still injured (really bad ankle sprain) and drowning in work. I hope you don't mind the lag! Hopefully things will be smoother and better next month! Thank you for understanding! In the meanwhile, I shall leave you with this strange photo I found in my homework. Enjoy!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Cool/Crazy Find

This is very very random but as I was studying for my limnology practical, I ran across this really interesting/weird jewelry phenomenon on the internet. Apparently, someone decided to employ this charming little aquatic critter known as a caddisfly to make jewelry! It took me a while to get used to the idea but check out the full story!

See, caddisflies spend most of their life as worm-like larvae dwelling happily in wetland/freshwater systems. Once they reach maturity, they spin a nice cocoon and emerge as winged adults on the water surface. Then they're off to life in the terrestrial setting: copulating, laying eggs (in water so the cycle of life can repeat itself), and eventually dying. Most species in the underwater larvae part of their life, use silk to make cute little protective covers from the material in their surroundings (e.g. gravel, sand, twigs, pebbles, etc.). And that is where humans come in.

It seems, this guy thought it would be fun to see what caddisfly larvae would do if you gave them gold, pearls, and other jewelry pieces to make their case instead of sand or other natural boring bits. The end results are pretty rad and interesting. Here are some of the photos:






So, as you can see, they're pretty cool and awesome but also a bit freaky. I mean, the idea is wickedly clever and smart. Plus the end result looks nice but it looks a bit odd when the caddisfly larvae are still living in it. At that moment it's more like a "Huh? what's going on here" moment. Overall, I think it's pretty cool and fascinating. Definitely a neat find but at the same time, I feel slightly bad for those poor little bugs. They have no idea what's happening. I guess (and hope) it's a mutualistic exchange though: this guy gets cool jewelry (and fame) while these caddisflies get food and lodging until they can fly away. Either way it's quite a sight and something interesting to think about.

What do you all think? Should this artist be using caddisflies to make jewelry? Do you think it's ethical? Is it cool or creepy? Would you buy or wear any of it? Tell me what's your reaction in the comments below! :)

If you want to read more on this, here are a few links!
http://www.ecouterre.com/artists-enlist-caddisfly-larvae-to-build-jewelry-from-precious-metals/
http://all-that-is-interesting.com/hubert-duprat-caddis-fly
http://www.odditycentral.com/art/french-artist-gives-insect-larvae-the-chance-to-make-their-own-jewelry.html
http://seawayblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/amazing-caddisflies-and-curious-story.html