Thursday, May 31, 2012

Things I Love Thursday

(It's so hard to pick any favorites, but I just love this dance and these two)

So You Think You Can Dance has started up for the season and I'm so excited! It means girls nights with April and Julie, shouting out our post-dancer opinions and rooting on our favorites. Not only are the dancers on the show extremely talented, but some of the routines are absolutely heart-wrenching and I'm consistently blown away by the choreographers. Knowing what joy and emotion goes in to each and every dance is moving and the passion shows - it pours out of each routine and reminds me why I love dance so much.

♥ On the job front, things are looking up. I was originally worried that I wouldn't be working much over the summer, despite all of my free time before classes start just due to it being the off season. It seems like it's been slower than usual in the store around this time, but after some reworking and rearranging, I finally have a steady dose of hours through the week, and after my review, a raise! Can't beat that (and hooray for saving for vacation!)

♥ The many amazing bloggers I've met from being a part of the Better Blogger Network. I know this isn't the first time I've mentioned it, but I've stumbled across so many fantastic blogs and am getting to know such great people that I can't express my love for the community more. If you haven't checked it out yet, I urge you to join!

little loves
♥ the way Reiley comes to eat dinner with me, even if she's not interested in what I actually made ♥ Les Mis (the trailer looks fantastic!) ♥ Midnight in Paris ♥ iced chai ♥ Denny's run with the cast of As You Like It ♥ Tom Hiddleston is also cordially invited to be my best friend (what started out as my fantasy dinner party has turned into people I just want to know on a first name basis and be awesome with: more to come, I'm sure) after pretending to be a velociraptor in an interview ♥ ice cream from the Frosty Cone ♥ the adorable little girl from the SYTYCD audition who totally rocked it on stage in her pink tutu

What are you loving lately?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Goodbye, May!

I'm so excited with how Project Life is going! I thought it would be difficult to keep track of the week, first of all, but then to wrangle my pictures and supplies and actually sit down and put the page together but so far I've been proven wrong. I'm starting to get a system down for putting together the pages and how everything comes together, which helps loads. And it costs somewhere around $5 per two pages worth of pictures, though I have done some tweaking to squeeze more on the page at Rite Aid ^_~

Some other highlights from the month?
I launched a new weekly feature called For the Love of a Linguaphile, where I'm letting my inner English geek out and share a "word of the week" if you will. I find myself having favorite words and phrases, especially in my writing, and wish my vocabulary wouldn't have slowed its growth after the SATs! So here's to breaking out of that rut, learning some new words, and probably some bizarre ones along the way as well. If you have any really fascinating words you've found (or ones that have perplexed you!) please share! I'd love to expand my vocabulary, and I find that interesting words, and those with interesting anecdotes, are the easiest to remember!

Outside of the blog world, I popped by Poor Yorick's rehearsal to snap some pictures for their upcoming production of As You Like It. I won't lie - seeing everyone on stage did make me a bit antsy to get up there again, but with graduation and getting grad school stuff squared away, this season really wasn't a good one for me to be that involved in. Hopefully I'll be back on board with the Poor Yorick's production blog come Hamlet later this summer. April and I are already churning out post ideas and lining up some exciting stuff!

Work's been a bit slow - I'm now only averaging about 3 hours a week, which, for the summer, wasn't really my plan. I understand it's just not the busy season, but I am feeling around for another part-time position so I'm not sitting at home all day playing Bioshock (like that's a bad thing >.>). I did stock up on some books at the library, and I'm sure this is just the first round of my summer reading haul. I'll be sharing that with you guys soon!

And the Avengers? Let's not even talk about that, because last time I tried, I think I started hyperventilating and insisting Joss Whedon and I be best friends.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Summer Reads

Reading! Outside! It's absolutely perfect out! Library cards, I never thought I'd see you again!
Not like I have tons of unread books on my shelves (which I do, legitimately want to read), but I can't resist the allure of raiding my Goodreads account and then stopping by the library for a good haul of books. While I'm sure this past trip won't be my last, here's a few books I'm looking to get to over the summer, as well as the results of my first library trip...

To-Read List:
- I just finished A Storm of Swords and while I'm not doing a review of it here (I just can't find a way to write a review without spoiling a LOT, so I will refrain with these books), if left me equally wanting more  and wanting to throw the book against a wall. I know the last few books in the series aren't out quite yet, but I'm on a roll and want to catch up with the series (this is a trend in my life, strangely enough) and so I'm hoping to tackle A Song of Ice & Fire's A Feast for Crows as well as A Dance with Dragons.

- I picked up Gail Carriger's Soulless at the recommendation of one of my friends (the same one, iI believe, who recommended I read the Hunger Games when it first came out) and fell in love with its snarky, paranormal London-ness. It's a quick read that's entertaining and that's just what I need sometimes. When I last left off, the final few books in the series, starting with Blameless, weren't yet published. And so now that they're out, I look forward to finishing off The Parasol Protectorate!

- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern has been on my to-read list ever since I saw its gorgeous graphic cover on the shelf at my local Barnes & Noble. The premise excites me and sounds captivating, and judging by the praise I've heard for the book, I think I'll enjoy it. Please please please don't be a bad book under the guise of a beautiful cover. I've fallen for that trick many a time.

- I love China Mieville and this is no secret to most. I've got some major catching up to do though, as it seems the guy just cranks out heavy book after heavy book. Kraken has been eyeing me from the shelves for a while now, and with Rail Sea just published, I should probably get reading.

- I also love Murakami Haruki. This is also no surprise. I was in Japan when 1Q84 was being published and I remember enviously eyeing the four-volumed book at the store and trying to convince myself I could essentially read four small novels in Japanese. Ha. Now it's in English though, and I can devour Murakami's homage to the Orwellian dystopia at a much faster and less confusing pace.

Really, I'm just plowing through my Goodreads to-read shelf as fast and with as much fervor as I can!

Currently Checked-Out:
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Brightly Woven
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
If You Have to Cry
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott (Okay, this I downloaded for free on my Kindle. I've not read it previously. Shame on me.)

What are you reading this summer?

Monday, May 28, 2012

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.2


pomaceous adj. [poh-MAY-shus]: of or relating to apples (via)

For the Love of a Linguaphile is a weekly series where I share the joys of being an English major and language lover with a useful new vocabulary word or definition that keeps popping up lately. Hopefully you can incorporate a new word into your vocabulary, or even share one of your favorite words!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bedroom Bliss

There are plenty of mornings where I wake up, roll back over, and bury my head under my pillow in an attempt to blot out the sun. But what I wouldn't give to roll over and soak up the morning from one of these gorgeous bedrooms...


 unknown source

What does your dream bedroom look like?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Things I Love Thursday

The Flower Fields - Ant view - Carlsbad, California
♥ I can't explain the joy I get in staying in my pajamas all day. It's just completely comfortable and relaxing and probably affects how much (or little) I get done during the day, but I love it. I'm sitting here in my owl PJs right now and it's heaven. I won't lie.

♥ This past Sunday we went up to our friend Travis's house and it's the first time I've been up there since the winter. It felt so good to be surrounded by my friends again and just enjoy the day! Plenty of video games, plenty of jokes, and plenty of corn on the cob!

Clairtin D has become my lifesaver. I treasure the days I walk outside and my car isn't covered in a dusting of green powder (I once made the mistake of thinking my car was "dusty" - yeah, bad move).

little loves
 bright, tall wildflowers ♥ a good night's sleep ♥ passion tea lemonade ♥ nothings ♥ trips to the library ♥ Minecraft! So much fun! ♥ conversations that make me smile ♥ a plateful of this delicious roasted red pepper pasta for dinner ♥ discussing books with EVERYONE! I'm rereading 1984 right now - what about you? ♥ poppy-colored pencil skirts

What are you loving this week?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Recipe: Funfetti Cupcakes

A few weeks ago, my boss had a craving for cupcakes and a big glob of icing. And I, of course, piped up with an "I can make that!". It's been a while since I've baked anything, let alone cupcakes, plus I wanted all the yumminess of eating some dessert without having to eat a whole two dozen by myself. So of course I would pawn them off on my co-workers!

But let me preface: my oven is a travesty. Sometimes things come out just fine where other times (like that one infamous baking attempt where the cupcakes were burnt on the outside and goo on the inside) it doesn't go so well. So it's always experimentation and lucky guesses when it comes to my oven. I was just praying that they came out edible enough to eat.

If you need proof, here is a picture of just the stovetop:

Crooked much?

I simply transferred Kokocooks' funfetti cake recipe (adapted from Williams-Sonoma/her father) to cupcake pans and out came these delectable little things! I don't know if I didn't fold the sprinkles in gently enough, or if there were just too many, but next time I think I'll cut back just so my cakes look more funfetti-fied and less tye-dye. I think the whipped egg whites really made this though - if you're looking for any staple vanilla cake recipe, I'd venture to say that this is the one you're looking for.

As good as the cake was, the icing stole the show. My boss didn't give me any qualifications as far as what she didn't like, and I know I'm a fan of cream cheese frosting, so I used Glorious Treats' American Buttercream recipe but added in the 4 oz. of cream cheese like the recipe suggested. And it was heavenly. I'm not a frosting person at all (I like my desserts balanced, thankyouverymuch) but even I was licking the icing out of the bowl >.>

And I wanted to try my hand at piping. Last time my icing wasn't thick enough, and of course, being Nutella icing, literally looked like poo. Delicious, but questionable looking. The Boy picked me up a nifty little piping device from one of his co-workers at the paper and I was dying to give that a try with this heavenly icing that I had been licking off of the spatula.

For my first attempt, I'm pretty pleased! Though, I've got a long ways to go (and plenty more opportunity to practice -- and eat cupcakes! -- over the summer :D)

Monday, May 21, 2012

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.1

For the Love of a Linguaphile is a new weekly series where I'll be sharing the joys of being an English major and language lover by introducing a useful new vocabulary word or definition. The more I learn new words, the more I notice them out and about in the world, which is absolutely thrilling! Hopefully you can incorporate a new word into your vocabulary, or even share one of your favorite words!

Notebook margin doodles.
( source )

marginalia n. [mahr-juh-NAY-lee-ah]: marginal notes or embellishments (as in a book); nonessential items (via)

Also a side note: This person's doodles are amazing! It makes me really, really miss drawing and kind of reminds me of my friend Sarah's art! Can't wait to get back to it this summer!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

link love

♥ Abraham Cruz has stylishly updated Sailor Moon and the rest of the Soldiers' uniforms and the redesigns are incredible! Venus, Jupiter, and Neptune here are my favorites (I know, I know, I can't pick just one - which is yours?)

♥ Alycia of The Curious Pug talks the 5 reasons she won't buy from an online shop, and I agree! Simple things like photos make all the difference.

♥ These 25 words that simply don't exist in English are not only stunningly beautiful, but incredibly handy. A list like this one was part of my inspiration for studying Japanese, which has quite an interesting handful of words like these...

♥ I'm in love with these behind-the-scenes photos of the Star Wars cast. Can I time travel and go hang out with everyone on set? Please?

♥ Felicia Day is ruining me in the best way possible. As if I didn't love her enough, her weekly Flog (which deserves its own link!) plays hosts to her Fave Five, one of those this past week being the website Console to Closet, which styles looks after video game characters - how cool is that?

♥ This Star Wars pancake art sadly trumps my Stormtrooper pancake molds.

♥ A black hole devouring a star. Amazingly cool!

♥ Sort of NSFW just due to the randomness and language of others' tweets, but the Pentametron has an algorithm for selecting tweets in iambic pentameter, which is pretty sweet.

♥ I'm adding to my Avengers movie ticket collection for sure, but here's an awesome piece on Why Black Widow Matters from IndieWire

What awesome online reads have you found lately? I'd love to see!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Things I Love Thursday

Heavy rain
♥ My wonderful Mom. I know there was no big "Love your Mom" post on Mother's Day, but that's because I was spending it with the most amazing mom I could ever hope to have. I'm so blessed to have her around!

♥ Mum and I stopped out at the local greenhouse to pick up grandma's Mother's Day present (a rosebush!) and I was able to snag my annual haul of fresh basil, rosemary, and thyme. I even grabbed a parsley plant this time around. Growing my own herbs is not only more economical - a carton of fresh basil at the supermarket is just as much as a basil plant, and the basil plant keeps on giving! - but it's such a joy to grow. It tastes better when you know it comes from your potted plant on the back porch, not to mention I've got oodles of good summer dishes at my disposal!

♥ The Better Blogger Network launched this week and I can't tell you all how fantastic of a community it is! I've met so many new friends and new and awesome bloggers through there already, and this is only the first week! I love that it's a resource though for all things blogging, and has been extremely helpful so far. A big welcome to all my new readers from the BBN and if you haven't stopped by yet, please do! I think you'll love it :)

little loves
♥ my ridiculous family - Mother's Day at my grandma's was a whirl of nonstop laughing and love ♥ gerbera daisies ♥ spring rainstorms ♥ A Storm of Swords - though, I'm not particular happy about the events taking place in the book, the book itself was captivating and I couldn't put it down! ♥ dreaming up lists for the library ♥ my favorite comfy t-shirt (with Jayne Cobb on it, no less) ♥ an awesome cast for the upcoming Poor Yorick's show ♥ April's Mom's pasta salad. 'Nuff said.

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Playoff Beards

The Pittsburgh Penguins may be out of the running for the Stanley Cup, but I'm still immersed in the season and enjoying ever minute of it, enjoying the fact that the Flyers aren't in the finals (what can I say, The Battle of Pennsylvania runs strong in my family!), and most of all, soaking up all of the awesome playoff beards.

It's a tradition in the hockey world to stop shaving their facial hair in the post-season Stanley Cup Playoffs, and they continue to grow it out until their team is eliminated. Recently, this practice has turned into a fundraiser for charities, which is equally awesome. As you can imagine, by the time the winning team emerges at the end of the series the whole club is a scruffy collection of mountain men with some of the most impressive beards I've ever seen.

Max Talbot
I think the beard makes Chris Mason's anger more palpable...
It pains me to even think about Scotty Hartnell, but I can't deny his beard is awesome
Kris Draper rockin' the red
A lot of NHL players rock the red hair, but I can't tell if I'm more impressed by Mike Commodore's beard or his hair...
Paul Mara's mammoth beard
And then there's Sidney Crosby, whose status as Penguins team captain doesn't spare him from my ridicule. Love him to pieces, but his attempt at facial hair each post-season has me clutching my sides in laughter. I present, the crustache.

I know he's still young, but when babyfaced Jordan Staal can grow a beard like a lumberjack, I can't help but simultaneously giggle and be creeped out by Crosby's 'stache.

Who's beard is the most epic? I can't decide! Did your team make it through the latest playoff round?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Project Life Roundup v.1

I've said it before but I'll say it again: Kam singlehandedly convinced me to give Project Life a shot. Her lovely album and pages were all the inspiration I needed, not to mention it seemed like a manageable crafty project for me to tackle this summer and keep up with come fall classes. 

I come from a family of scrapbookers (Mom scrapbooks, Gram scrapbooks, my Aunts never ends) but had never really done any myself, save for a two-page spread from the pumpkin festival that I made when I was eight. Needless to say, there were no straight lines anywhere on that page, and I'm sure it was just an excuse to play with stickers. I love that this project lets me curate photos - a mini goal I've been working on anyway has been to take more daily pictures - and work on a page that is creative enough to be unique and reflective of my life while not being as daunting as filling a whole, 12 by 12 blank page.

Without further ado, my album so far!


Week 1: April 23rd-29th
It's a little tough to come up with innovative and creative ways to use the supplies I have on hand. I did stock up at Pat Catan's for the project, but aside from some card stock and a few stickers here and there, most of the decorations are things I already have sitting in my craft box (which is tiny, by all means). It's definitely a challenge to try new things and create new looks!

The Instax mini pictures work fantastic for this project, though I'm a little disappointed in the quality of photos RiteAid gives me. For 29 cents a print though, I guess I shouldn't be picky. I also found out that getting finished pages into the album is a huge ordeal (does anyone else have troubles with the albums that have screws for the binding? Any tricks to making it less painful?). I need to remember to take pictures of the finished pages before I put them in too, otherwise they don't lay flat...

Week 2: April 30th-May 6th

Overall, I love this project so far. I'm still trying to iron out the process and get into a routine with constructing pages since I know when school starts up again I'll be flailing around with no time to spare. I love that it's essentially a mini creative project each week, which I think will make it harder to keep up with and give me some flexibility. Can't wait to keep pressing on!

Project Life is a scrapbooking system by Becky Higgins designed to easily document your life. By using individually sectioned pocket pages, you're able to add anything from photos to journaling cards to little bits of nostalgia in a mini-layout form!

Are you doing Project Life too? How do you fit it into your weekly schedule?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

link love

♥ Henri the existential French cat is dark and brooding like no dog can be
♥ HelloGiggles never fails to supply me with perfectly legitimate reasons for why I want to marry Han Solo
♥ 5 Ways to Style a White V-neck
♥ I would totally buy these updated monster thrift store paintings
♥ The 25 most beautiful public libraries in the world
♥ I'm jealous of the beautiful hanami pictures and picnics that Trixie + Flo is witnessing this spring. Even Hello Sandwich has posted gorgeous shots of the hanami!
♥ An impressive and enlightening look at the chemistry of tea. Pour a cup while you read!
♥ A sliding visualization of the universe, to scale
The Organ Trail! Will you ford the zombie river?