Saturday, June 30, 2012

Wrap Up: June

You make me fly
( source )

I feel like every month lately is a case of "where has the month gone?". It's so strange to think that I've been out of school for over a month now and summer is well underway. There's a ton of vacations around the corner, and while fun, it's been nice to take the time to enjoy my first summer off (and probably last) in years. This month meant celebrating mine and Dan's 5-year anniversary; Steve, Kallie, and I have made quite a number of movie/late night Sheetz runs, but otherwise it's been pretty quiet! (Honestly, I think the most exciting thing I did this month was get my hair cut!) Plenty of time to work on projects, bake cupcakes, and read!

I've been a library fiend and have taken out somewhere around five books every two weeks -- Sheesh ><; I've been happy with nearly all of my checkouts, which is great fortune on my end, though going back and forth to the library isn't helping me tackle the shelves full of unread books upstairs... (still waiting for whoever to return the second book in the Divergent series as well. Read faster, please!). I also talked about the bad reputation that YA novels usually have, and why I love them anyway.

Rachele of The Nearsighted Owl did a custom digital portrait of yours truly and I absolutely love it! I'm still dreaming up ways I can incorporate it into my blog design or buttons, but already have some ideas brewing!

It may be the beginning of summer but the weather certainly thinks it's mid-July already. This recipe for Peach Wine Ice Cream Floats may just be the only reason why I'm okay with the rising temps. And I can't say no to an abundance of zucchini for my new favorite parmesan zucchini recipe, as well as the annual summer carnival!

I'm finally feeling like I'm at a good place with my closet clean out as well, not to mention I'm loving my new eShakti dress addition!

Well, the Boy and I are off to my friend Kelsey's wedding this afternoon -- a perfect way to cap off a relaxing month!

Did you do something exciting this month? Or get some much needed rest?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Things I Like Thursday


Quack!
♥ For some reason or another, 2 years ago my aunt phoned and asked if we all - her, my two cousins, and I - wanted to have a picnic. So we loaded up a blanket in the car, packed some turkey sandwiches, and went to the local park for a lovely afternoon. It just kind of became a thing from there, and this past week we had our third "annual" summer picnic. Why we picked the hottest time of year possible is still beyond us, but summer never really feels complete now without having sandwiches by the pond with my family. Love it!

♥ I'm obsessed with Downton Abbey like so many people told me I'd be xD But now I'm done with season 2 and don't know what to do with myself until the next one is out. The time period is so simultaneously charming yet cataclysmic and I'm in love with the upstairs/downstairs feel to it, not to mention the characters that I've come to adore. While I'm sure I'm one of the last people in the world to have seen it, being so late in the game, I still don't want to spoil it for anyone. So I'll just say - Eeeee!! :D - to the finale of the second season, and on a separate note, I absolutely adore Sybil!

♥ Fun fact: the Japanese word スタバる (pronounced "Sutabaru") literally means the act of going to Starbuck's. And that's just what we did when I met up with my old high school social studies teacher earlier this week to catch up. He was always the one I'd talk with after class and really helped me through a lot, not to mention he's just a downright awesome person. We've been meaning to catch up for almost four years now, and finally got to chat Star Wars, travels abroad, and future plans when he, his wife, and I all stopped for coffee this week. Much needed time reminiscing about geography map tests and plenty of fun too!



little loves
♥ pizza/parmesan combo Goldfish - my little cousin saved me some from her Girl Scout camp and they're deliciously perfect picnic fare ♥ iced caramel macchiatos ♥ watching my cat run frantically around the house after midnight. Something must happen when the clock strikes twelve ♥ these Stormtrooper inspired nails! ♥ rereading Harry Potter (did I mention this already? Cause I'm still super stoked about it!) ♥ taking the time to find meaningful updates to my closet ♥ fresh fruit in my morning greek yogurt

What are you loving this week?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Workout Jams

Dean says hey.

I'm gonna toot my own horn here for a minute. I've been doing awesome at working out hard and consistently. No more taking a brief evening walk and calling it a workout (I do like taking those walks, and it's nice to get out, but it's not as intense of a workout as my mind hopes it to be. It's better than nothing though).  I've been either doing the 30 Day Shred, thirty minutes plus of vinyasa yoga, or a C25K workout 5-6 days a week. Plenty of people seem to be able to spend an hour or more at the gym, but for me, this is a feat and I'm so proud that I've stuck to it (and am building up to more!). 
My normal go to while I'm running is to DVR either So You Think You Can Dance? (or, before the season ended, Once Upon a Time) and watch it while I run, but I can never pass up a good workout playlist. And while I could easily toss on the soundtrack to The Matrix - which I do quite often - this has been my go-to list of songs lately. Fun (or end-of-the-world-action-hero) enough to put a little pep in my step!
Workout Jams by Kristin A on Grooveshark
What do you listen to at the gym?


Interview on The Militant Baker!


Morning everyone!

I woke up to find an email from Jes of The Militant Baker in my inbox saying that she just posted my interview for part of her Baker Babes series and was too excited not to share! She's the sweetest, funniest person (we had quite a good laugh over emails, a form of comedic exchange I often think gets overlooked) and I was honored when she asked me to be a part of Baker Babes. Digging through my baking nostalgia was such a trip too, loved it!

Stop by and check out Jes's great series (and blog, in general!) on The Militant Baker :D

 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The No Brainer Wardrobe Makeover


As evident by my recent pajama post, fashion is not something that's typically at the top of my all-hallowed priority list. In high school my closet was full of band t-shirts and college just meant more days of rolling out of bed in sweats, tossing on a pair of snow/rain boots and trekking down Fifth Avenue. So yes, I'm a practical dresser (I laugh at those Pittsburgh transplants that wear sunglasses when there is clearly no sun that day ever), but unless you count my "Let's Be Bad Guys" Jayne tee, fashionable I am not. Not to mention that, with grad school on the horizon, I'm ready to ditch the closet leftovers from eighth-grade and transition to a style more befitting a young professional and frankly, myself.

Enter The No Brainer Wardrobe. I heard about Hayley of The Tiny Twig's e-book and couldn't resist the allure of weeding through my now juvenile feeling closet and really having pieces that I love wearing. Hayley has really crafted a guide to refining your closet and defining your style to be practical and stylishly you, while still giving you the freedom to play with what pieces you gravitate towards, both in what's already in your closet and what's hiding on your Pinterest board.




The Basics

I've actually got the basics covered. Those and cardigans. I've always been a purveyor of neutrals, namely the color grey, so I've got no shortage of plain v-neck tees in greys, whites, and blacks. Not to mention my black and brown boots (I'm also very good at having a black and brown version of multiple items. Necessary? Probably not. But it makes me feel better). Surprisingly, I lopped my purple Coach bag in this list because I've found it to be extremely versatile. Plus, it's my main purse and I carry it 360 days out of the year, so it better be included in my 'basics' list.



The Staples

Notably, I tend to shy away from colors and accessories (save scarves, which I own enough to completely cover the Empire State Building at least once). And pants. Did I mention I have next to no pants? I've got jeans, but they're neutral, and as much as I love me a pair of rose-colored trousers, I can't find it in me to buy something that seems like such a bold leap. Same goes for jewelry and the like. But I feel like The No Brainer Wardrobe is helping me build up to that point. Thank goodness, because those rose-colored trousers are calling my name.

And I'm terrible at having an "outfit" - being put together, or being able to mix and match pieces for multiple looks. While I rock those basics, I'm also guilty of splurging - or not splurging - on a piece that doesn't match a single thing already in my closet, and either makes it a special occasion-type of wear, or forces me to go on a whole new shopping spree to accomodate the poorly-planned and outrageously unflattering pink floral bag shirt that I bought five years ago (it looked like my grandmother's gliding swing cover).

I will say, I've gotten much better at actually getting dressed most days. I've trimmed my closet of all the fat, and aside from a few items I've got on turned hangers, there's nothing in there that's old, ill-fitting, or that I'm not in love with. There's even more color in there than I've painted it out to be - I've got cardigans of all colors -- heeeeyy! -- and actually quite a few colorful and printed sundresses lurking in there which I wear quite often. I am however trying to limit how much I buy and instead focus on pieces that I can style in different ways and really maximize what's in there.

And so I'm trying to refine and stock up on my basics, add meaningful pieces, and round out my wardrobe. I honestly couldn't ask for better help at figuring out the great mystery of my closet then The Tiny Twig's e-book. And if you're looking to do the same, I highly recommend checking it out for yourself!


I bought The No Brainer Wardrobe on my own dollar and fell in love with it. All the opinions here are my own, however if you do purchase your copy of The No Brainer Wardrobe via the link above, you will be helping me out as well as Hayley! I loved her e-book so much that I'm promoting it as an affiliate, but in all honesty - I think you'll love it too!

Monday, June 25, 2012

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.6

芭蕾chan
( source )

callow adj. [ˈka-(ˌ)lō]: lacking adult sophistication, immature (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, June 23, 2012

Recipe: Parmesan Breaded Zucchini

After discovering my love for zucchini a few summers ago, I haven't been able to go without it for long. I wanted to recreate the breaded zucchini sticks my friends and I would order out at the diner, and managed a stove-top sautéed zucchini that was a good substitute, but not quite crispy enough for my liking.

When I realized that zucchini really doesn't need to cook long, if at all, to be delicious (I just made sure to slice it thin so it "cooked" while in the oven for just a few minutes), I sliced some up and topped it with just a drizzle of butter for some flavor, then really packed in a punch with some parmesan cheese and panko bread crumbs. This recipe literally takes 5 minutes to make, and then you'll wonder where that whole zucchini just went...



Quick Baked Parmesan Zucchini
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • Parmesan cheese
  • panko bread crumbs
  • salt, pepper
(You can literally make as much as you'd like! Just season as much as you want/need for the amount of zucchini you're making)

1. Slice your zucchini as thin as you can and spread out in a single layer on an aluminum foil-covered baking sheet.
2. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a dusting of grated parmesan cheese. I like to then sprinkle a palmful of panko crumbs over the zucchini then - it crisps the zucchini up nicely.
3. Broil for 5 minutes, or until the parmesan topping is golden and crispy.

Enjoy!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Carnival

Ticket stubs
Every year they hold the fireman's carnival in the field at the end of my street and it's one of my favorite summertime traditions! 

Swings
Swings
Ferris Wheel
Carnival
Gravity-lessDarts
Prizes
Candy stand
Domo
Fishing
Carnival
Race
Funnel CakeExpo Wheel
Carnival
This tall to ride
View from the top...
Ferris Wheel
Lights

What summer traditions do you have?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Things I Love Thursday

Ripples

♥ I'm so blessed to have such a caring and fun person beside me in life. Dan and I spent our anniversary just enjoying each other's company and doing what we love - from brunch at our favorite diner to watching Jurassic Park. It seems like it's been forever and yet only a little while that we've been together, and I couldn't ask for a better partner in crime.

Boba Fett
♥ I'm also lucky to have a boyfriend who can marry my practical side with my geeky side and procure a pair of Boba Fett shoes for an anniversary gift

My diploma finally came! I know I've been technically done with school since April, but now it feels official. I have no idea what I'm going to physically do with this piece of paper now, but I can officially close this chapter in my life and move on to the next!

little loves
♥ out super soft new blanket from West Elm ♥ the smell of basil ♥ velociraptors, are crazy interesting, when they're not giving me nightmares that is ♥ cinnamon roasted chickpeas ♥ walking around Twin Lakes ♥ Neutral Milk Hotel was made to be listened to on vinyl ♥ making the perfect beach-bound playlist ♥ the lovely images of summer in Dandelion Wine ♥ rereading Harry Potter before our vacation next month! ♥ s'mores ♥ Super Panda - I can't say no to this awesome Chinese buffet. Good thing I don't live terribly close ♥ Dame Maggie Smith is amazing (I may or may not be in the middle of season two of Downton Abbey...)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Call for Guest Posts!

The last time I was in Florida we met Emperor Palpatine. And the Pink Ranger.

First of all, a very happy summer to you all! I'm especially excited because it finally is starting to feel like summer is in full swing, and -- next month Dan and I are going to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which is basically the event I've been looking forward to most since...well, 2011. Not to mention that a mere week later I'm headed to Florida again with my Dad's family to soak up some sun (and inevitably a lot of sand into my pockets).

And so I want to ask you a favor! Since I'll be gone for a good portion of July, split up as it may be, I'm looking for some guest posters and I'd love you have you! Since part of my vacation will be spent with my head buried in Harry Potter books, posts with a Harry Potter theme would be awesome, as would any summer, vacation, or beach-related posts, but I'd love to hear some other themes you might have in mind too!

If you're interesting in writing a guest post, send an email with the topic you're interested in writing about to mylifeasateacup [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll get right back to you!

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

eShakti Dress Review

Marine & Coral

Summer brunch!

Last month Jennifer contacted me from eShakti asking if I'd like to review one of their dresses. I'd never heard of eShakti before, but after taking a quick browse through their collection I had fallen head over heels with more dresses than I could count! As if a plethora of gorgeous twirling dresses wasn't enough, eShakti goes the extra mile as one of the few (if only!) online retailer I've seen that customizes the fit of their dresses to your body. You can select a predetermined size or plug in your own measurements for a custom tailored dress for an extremely reasonable price (and customization on your first order is free!) You can even customize the tiniest details such as skirt length or sleeve type which is a dream for making sure your clothing is work-appropriate or just plain comfortable.

I've been loving the collared shirts and dresses I've seen lately and have been itching to try it for myself.  And so I jumped on the chance to be the proud and stylish owner of a very sailor-esque, collared dress of my own!

I was hesitant at first to do the custom sizing. I couldn't help fretting that my measurements would be off or just taking them would be taxing. But measuring and ordering was easy as pie - eShakti provides a visual measuring guide to make sure you've got the tape in the right place and takes into account everything from you hip measurements to your arms, making sure it fits perfectly. In just a couple of minutes my order was placed!

And without a long turnaround time at all I had my new summer dress at my doorstep. Despite ordering my dress custom size, I was pleasantly surprised at just how well it fit! Truly, nothing beats having a tailored piece, and eShakti does just that while saving me a trip to the seamstress. I worried at first the dress might be too thin to wear without some kind of slip underneath, but it's actually fine without one and perfectly cool for the hot weather we've been having (as well as being somewhat sailor-esque, which I love for summer!)

Marine & Coral

Have you ordered from eShakti before? What's your favorite item from the site?

eShakti was gracious enough to provide me the opportunity and product to review, however the opinions in this review are completely my own.

If you would like to have a product reviewed or worn on My Life as a Teacup, please send an email to mylifeasateacup [at] gmail [dot] com

Monday, June 18, 2012

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.5

paper plane

peregrination n. [ˌpɛrɪgrɪˈneɪʃən]: travel from one place to another (esp. on foot); a course of travel, journey (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!