Monday, December 31, 2012

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.32

reaching for bacon
source )

verisimilitude n. [ver-uh-si-mil-i-tood]the appearance or semblance of truth; likelihood (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!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 in Review


This year seems like it's been going on for ages and has been jam-packed with exciting milestones and adventures from the start! I finally went to the Renaissance Festival with Kelsey of It Takes Two; I saw Neil Gaiman when he came to speak at the Carnegie Music Hall here in Pittsburgh - a dream come true! The Boy and I celebrated our five-year anniversary and, not in conjunction, went on a vacation to the Harry Potter theme park. I graduated from Pitt with my English Literature and Japanese degrees; school, however, didn't end, as I got accepted into and started attending Chatham University (which is a sinfully gorgeous campus!) for my M.A.T. Somewhere in all of this, I had time to get hooked on A Song of Ice and Fire, and even ventured into revamping my closet, thanks to the No Brainer Wardrobe. My favorite books? While I pretty much loved all of the ones I read this year, two in particular stand out: The Life of Pi (which I still need to get my butt to the movies to see!) and The Remains of the Day. Worth the read, if you ask me.

Here on My Life as a Teacup, quite a lot happened! I scrapped an old series and introduced For the Love of a Linguaphile, which I love writing; I hosted one of my first giveaways of kawaii back-to-school products, which I'm still very proud of; I was asked to write reviews for both eShakti and Firmoo both of which I highly recommend (custom fitted dresses and cute glasses? Check!); and, one of my favorite things of 2012 was being a 30 Days of Lists Ambassador and participating in one of my favorite challenges for a fourth time!

Kam got me thinking about recapping the year by sharing some of my favorite posts, so I've put together my blog highlights (in no particular order) in case you missed them:

1. Things That Make me Feel Like an Adult
2. 5 Tips for Packing for Vacation
3. Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
4. Organization: Filofax Love
5. I shared my mug collection
6. And also, what I (really) wore
7. How to Make Origami Hearts
8. Tribulations of a Japanese Major
9. Favorite Harry Potter Moments
10. Thoughts on Young Adult Novels

What were your favorite parts of 2012?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Things I Love Thursday

That same window...
( source )

This past week on my way to work, my car broke down. If you know me at all, my abysmal luck with cars comes as no surprise. We just don't seem to get along well. As I was walking into work, flustered and distraught - how dare inconvenience befall me just days before Christmas, I have work to get to, family to visit, and now phone calls and trips to the auto shop to orchestrate, why did this happen? - every negative thought crossed my mind. And then for some reason at that moment, maybe as simple as an extra sparkly glint of snow, I thought to myself, "It could be worse". I could've broken down in the road. It could've turned into a serious accident. It could've been a bigger malfunction. But there I was, in the same plaza as my work - within walking distance, at that - in the daylight; with Triple A at my disposal; a mother who is close and kind enough to pick me up from work; during a week where, aside from the holiday festivities, is free from things like school. I was safe. And it's moments like those where I remember why I do Things I Love Thursday, why I try to remind myself (because, let's face it, sometimes it just feels good to rant) to think positively, and why I am thankful.

♥ The end of the year slows down at work, so I feel like I'm never there. A mini-vacation is a nice thing, especially before busy season starts up next week, but I never see my wonderful coworkers either, and wonderful they are! As much as any job can have its frustrating moments, I am constantly reminded how much I love my job and the girls I work with, from making each other laugh and helping each other out.

♥ Every now and then, Kallie and I take a drive around the holidays just looking at Christmas lights in the neighborhood. This year, with both of our cars on their last legs, we recruited the Boy to come with us, and it was a fantastic time just chatting and looking at all of the beautiful lights (and yummy English Toffee coffee!). I've realized that there are two categories of Christmas lights, however, the kitsch and the classy. My favorite over-the-top lights go to the house we lovingly dubbed the "spider tree" house, though the one with the treehouse decorated and the one with the camouflaged hunting snowman were close picks. One house had gorgeous columns in the front that were covered in lights, and some of the most beautiful "classic" lights I've ever seen. Easily one of my favorite holiday traditions :)

little loves
♥ the first real snowfall ♥ thank you gifts ♥ my car being courteous enough to break down as soon as I pull into a parking space ♥ when the tow truck driver is cute and friendly ♥ peach jello ♥ Rebel Alliance earrings and lovely shawls from a very thoughtful Secret Santa!  Bioshock ♥ that the world didn't end, because I still have to see Les Miserables  mini-class reunions with old friends to celebrate the end of the world  Christmas cards, without glitter! I don't know how it happened, but usually everyone conspires against me and sends envelopes full of glitter that let loose all over my house -- not this year! Thank you, world!  we're going ice skating today! So excited!

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Life in Instagram

Road trip! | Ticket to the Nutcracker | Our seats | Dinner with a dear friend | Holiday dress-up | Finals are finally finished | Muppet pjs | New glasses! | Lunch, gossip, and comic books

Is it just me, or does December feel like it began ages ago? Not that I'm complaining; it's been nice to have a leisurely, meandering few weeks before the explosion of Christmas that just happened. I love all of the Christmas festivities, but it's always nice to pick up a normal pace again and get back into the swing of things. It seems so long ago that I was frantically finishing finals for my first term in grad school and trekking across the state to take the JLPTs.

What I do love about the holidays is all of the unofficial reunions with friends and family you haven't seen in a while. Aside from Christmas traditions of family dinners and holiday parties, everyone seems to be back in their hometown for the holidays. With finals done, not only did my girls' nights with April happen much more often, but Stevie B! and some other friends from Pitt and I have museum plans today, I saw a ton of old friends from high school on the eve of the end of the world (disappointed D,:), Kallie and I caught up, I've got dinner plans with my cousin, and it just goes on and on! It's so nice to see everyone, even if I am driving around Western Pennsylvania like a maniac. I'll take it. Plus, dinosaurs at the museum - who can say no?

I've got a few days left of break, and a few more holiday parties to squeeze in, little sister's birthday party included, but all in all, I'm looking forward to a new year.

Bonus picture: why Christmas gifts take 4 days to wrap...
How have you been? Ready for January yet, or enjoying the holiday festivities too much?  

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays

Under the Tree

Ah, Christmas. As a kid, waking up on Christmas morning was the most exciting feeling. Even years later I find myself roused from bed well before it's time to officially wake up, rushing to the window to see if there's snow, sitting by the tree lights, and anxiously awaiting the rest of the house to awake. Having so many family to share the holidays with is a blessing, but also means that Dan and I will be running around like crazy today! We're off to my Dad's, and once we're home, it's time to do our little Christmas celebration (and hopefully cap it all off with a Charlie Brown Christmas!).

Wishing you and yours a very merry holiday, no matter what or how you celebrate. May your days be filled with family, food, friends, and warm memories!

What do you have planned for today? Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Regional Dialect Meme: Pittsburghese

Play along and link up in the comments!! :D

Regional Dialect Meme

Say These Words: Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting Image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

Now answer these questions:

  1. What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
  2. What is the bug that when you touch it, curls into a ball?
  3. What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
  4. What do you call gym shoes?
  5. What do you say to address a group of people?
  6. What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped body and extremely long legs?
  7. What do you call your grandparents?
  8. What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
  9. What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
  10. What is the thing you change the TV channel with?
I do love my city, really I do, but sometimes I can't take our dialect seriously :) (Pittsburgh Dad? Yeah, totally sounds like some family of mine...)

Have you done the meme? What words do we Pittsburghers say horribly incorrectly? 
Soda or pop?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Things I Love Thursday

( source )

I've been sitting here for the past hour feeling as if I was forgetting something. And then it hit me and I went d'oh--TiLT! (I blame it on being captivated by the new The Great Gatsby trailer)

♥ Getting stuff done. I wrapped the last of my Christmas gifts this morning and aside from that, have been plowing through my big to-do list all week. Everything from cleaning and organizing to catching up on television marathons shows and beating some video games has gotten accomplished. So liberating feeling!

♥ THE HOBBIT! Which I saw. And will probably see 4 more times. I've tried to steer clear of putting on my critical analysis hat, but I'm slowly starting to drift in that direction. It was a great film, absolutely entertaining and on top of that, Martin Freeman is the perfect Bilbo, but it read as more of an action movie, which, from what I remember of The Hobbit in book form, it was not. Sure, there were action scenes sprinkled throughout, but the movie reads as waaaay more epic than I remember the book being. But I still love it. And "Riddles in the Dark" - aaaahhh! :DD

little loves
♥ crepes, thanks to Megan introducing me to a little shop in Shadyside! ♥ Moonrise Kingdom ♥ friendly and helpful shop clerks - like, extremely friendly ♥ fuzzy Animal pajamas ♥ banana bread ♥ unexpected compliments ♥ getting Christmas cards mailed out! ♥ getting back to doing yoga ♥ which is especially amazing in the AM ♥ Love Actually ♥ curling up with the hilarity that is Bridget Jones' Diary ♥ peppermint bark ♥ bookstores

What are you loving lately?
(P.S. Enjoy the day before the end of the world >.> -- I heard a good joke from a friend on Facebook: 
Everyone gets to make ONE apocalypse joke on the 21st. Limit everyone to just one. Otherwise everyone will be making apocalypse jokes like there is no tomorrow.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Help the Teacup be Awesome in 2013!

I can't believe the year is almost over! Each December, I find myself reflecting on what has transpired over the past year and what goals to set for the new one. But too often, I feel like I don't reflect on what has happened in the world of blogging - as much as I like to reflect on "real" life, My Life as a Teacup is very much a part of what I do on a daily basis, and naturally, I'm constantly wanting to improve the Teacup and make it as exciting as possible!

That's where you come in!

My Life as a Teacup would be nothing without you! I love hearing your thoughts and ideas on topics, and sharing everything from personal experience to really great links :) Please take a moment and share your thoughts on the blog and how I can make it better in the new year!

Or if you'd rather email me or leave a comment with any comments or suggestions, please feel free to do so! You can mail me at mylifeasateacup [at] gmail [dot] com

Thanks for helping me make the Teacup a better blog!

Monday, December 17, 2012

For the Love of a Linguaphile v. 31

DSC_5315 (54) 
( source )

tintinnabulation n. [tin-tə-ˌna-byə-ˈlā-shən]: a jingling or tinkling sound as if of bells (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!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Words of Wisdom

( via )

What is one thing you did that you were first afraid to do?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Things I Love Thursday

callin' meeh
( source )

I AM DONE WITH CLASS FOR THE TERM! Hooray! It's been an incredibly tough semester, both mentally and emotionally, and it feels great to just get a bit of a break. I'm headed out for end-of-term crepes with one of my friends from my education program and a brief stint at the gym (I don't think I've worked out since October. Bad me. Fixing that pronto!). Free time! It feels so good!

♥ I'm racking up a list of all the things I want to do over the long break, and am loving curling up with tea, The Two Towers, playing some Bioshock, and just taking it easy today. My little reminder for you? Take some time to call your own!

♥ You've probably seen my Instagram-spam of pictures from my Nutcracker date with April, a Christmastime tradition that's now in its fourth year (I think? It feels like forever!), and seeing the ballet has really got me in the Christmas spirit! I've been humming Tchaikovsky everywhere I go this week :D

♥ Sometimes the most beautifully touching and moving works of art - movies, stories, songs - can be overwhelming. They create such a complex whirl of emotion that, for me, is something that is beautiful in that moment, but to live in that mindset constantly either becomes tremendously lonely or even sanitizing. So I save those truly moving pieces for sparing occasions. I re-watched Midnight in Paris the other day, and to me, it is a truly beautiful film. Not something I could watch all the time, but perfect in that one moment. Attempting to explain it does it no justice, but just, that feeling...

little loves
The Gnarly Whale's champagne lip balm is yummy ♥ Kiera Knightley being adorable in interviews ♥ Dir en grey on Rock Band ♥ Mum always so kindly lets me lasso her into being my personal photographer for blog-related things -- a big thank you! ♥ lunch dates with Kallie ♥ snowflakes ♥ planning potential vacations (I'm so pumped, but want to get everything together first before I share!) ♥ picking the seeds out of a pomegranate ♥ 12/12/12 - the last repeating date for a loooong time was yesterday!

What are you loving this week?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Review: New Glasses from Firmoo Eyewear

If glasses weren't so expensive, I would buy pairs like I buy scarves - all the time! I've hear of countless online eyeglass shops, but have never worked up the courage to order a pair myself. Eyeglasses always involved complex prescriptions, measuring things, and spending two hours in the store trying to see how all of the frames you've been trying on look without any actual lenses to see with! -- how could I possibly just order a pair online with so much at stake? 

*This is a sponsored post. Firmoo hooked me up with the glasses, but all opinions are my own!

Firmoo's got everything from men's and women's glasses to prescription sunglasses, and so many styles to boot. I could've easily found a pair of frames similar to the ones I currently wear, but with so many choices, I couldn't help but feel adventurous. I've been oogling some tortoise shell frames for a while now, and this lovely little pair from Firmoo caught my eye instantly. I decided to go for it, and I'm so glad I did! 

And honestly, entering your prescription isn't as terrifying as I thought it would be. Just copy the numbers off of your box of contacts and, voila! Firmoo even lets you try on each pair of frames virtually -- just upload a quick picture and you can see how each pair would look with you wearing them. They've even got a gallery of their customers that gives you a great idea of how each pair of glasses looks on real people too, which was such a big help!

Glasses Studious

As soon as my pair arrived, I rushed to the mirror to see how they looked. Perfect! The frames are such a beautiful amber-color in person, and the shape of the frames are complimentary, I think. I've spent hours in eyeglass shops trying on frames and to think that I found these in mere minutes (and they even came in a sturdy case with a wipe for cleaning the lenses)! 

I will have to make a quick stop to get these adjusted though; they just don't want to stay around my ears. A small trip for such a lovely pair of glasses is worth it though! And Firmoo has a First Pair Free program which let's you try out a pair of frames without freaking out like I first did :)

What does Firmoo have to say?:
The old opinion that glasses are only necessities for people with vision problems has already gone. Glasses are increasingly becoming a fad and must-have accessories for  celebs and fashionistas. Everyday we can spot millions of non prescription glasses wearers and we are constantly fascinated by many noted film stars’ signature non prescription glasses.They instantly upgrade your look of modern,sexy, vintage or geek by wearing different styles of frames. (And I completely agree! Even if I could see my hand in front of my face without glasses, I'd still have a fair collection!) 
Any hot glasses/sunglasses /goggles frames you want can be found on Firmoo, and all are available for both prescription lenses and non-prescription lenses. Are you desperate to have a new look? Now here is the chance, Firmoo has launched a First Pair Free Program to people worldwide. You will absolutely fall in love with the excellent quality, affordable prices, fashionable designs, fast delivery and the good service after trying them with paying shipping only! You even can get a refund/exchange if you are not satisfied with them. It's totally risk free, so why not have a try?

Glasses Glasses Reiley
And of course, Reiley had to come check out what I was doing. I'm sure a pair of tortoiseshell frames would nicely accentuate her tiger-eyes as well.

Overall, I love these pretty tortoise shell frames and can't wait to add some more styles to my collection. And with the holidays coming up, they'd make a great gift for your fashionista or bookworm friends! 

Visit Firmoo to get your free glasses now!

Do you walk into walls without your glasses, or just like to wear them for fun? I'm glasses over contacts all the way -- much more stylish (and I don't have to put things in my eyes!)

Monday, December 10, 2012

For the Love of a Linguaphile v. 30

Rose Bath
( source )

sumptuous adj. [ˈsəm(p)(t)-shə-wəs]: rich, luxurious, or magnificent (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!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

link love

( Geek Girl Performance Anxiety - Sailor Swayze - yes, just yes)

♥ Sadly, there is no hockey season this year, but my friend did send me these 25 Pictures of the 1936 Boston Bruins Being Ridiculously Dapper. I guess it'll do.
♥ I'm a sucker for colorfully reimagined book covers, and Mr. Boddington's Penguin Classics updates are charming! Now I just need to justify owning 4 copies of Alice in Wonderland.
♥ Alyssa Rosenberg's piece on Richard Cohen's Daniel Craig Anxiety, Male Body Image, and What James Bond Teaches Us About Pleasure touches on the seldom talked about male body image and what makes men attractive by female standards.
♥ Having a bad day? 10 Things That Don't Upset Anyone
"So, a Creative Writing major walks into a bar..." - Replace 'creative writing' with 'English literature' and you have the story of any family gathering. I have learned how to field these questions well, though it saddens me to hear these kinds of things on the "useless major" list.
♥ Alycia of The Curious Pug shares life's top 5 most awkward moments, and they are terrible spot on!
5 Reasons Princess Leia is Awesome. As if we needed them articulated.
♥ Why the Book We Read At 12 Are Probably The Most Important Reading We'll Ever Do
♥ What happens when Game of Thrones meets Edward Gorey? Cute...death?
♥ 18 Things You Should Say 'Yes' To (because sometimes, there's a little too much 'no')

Have you found any good reads lately?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Things I Love Thursday

( source )

Countless cups of coffee and a handful of late nights later, I can finally say that of on my final papers - the biggest one, in fact, which makes it feel like more of a relief - is finished! Hoorah! Even though I still have quite a ways to go until I'm done for the semester, I feel like a humongous weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Are you in the midst of finals too? How are they coming?

Seriously, all I want to do is curl up in bed with some tea and play Dragon Age. Is that too much to ask? Technically, the sooner I get my school stuff done, the sooner I could be doing just that, but I like to torment myself and draw out my procrastination.

So, the positive!:

♥ Last Thursday I heard about the BBC Radio production of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. More specifically, its casting. I could've added it to last week's TiLT but I wanted to squeal about it for another week, and with more emphasis. I'm a huge fan of Neil Gaiman, and Neverwhere was one of the very first books I read and fell in love with. Hard. It's the perfect blend of Alice in Wonderland-esque fantasy with Neil's blend of storytelling.

The Mary Sue's right - it screams Tumblr fantasy casting meme, but aside from my immense love for half of the cast already, I really think its a phenomenal cast, perfect even. (Except, where is Tom Hiddleston? I should take this moment to just come out and say it, I have a massive crush on Tom Hiddleston. I mean, look at listen to the man. He's second to Alan Rickman in best voices ever. Can Alan Rickman be in it too? I think then it would be perfect!)

♥ This past weekend was our mini-Philly excursion (my Dad, sister, and I) so that I could take the JLPTs for a second year. Not going to lie, I'm still a little frazzled from the whole thing - it was tough!  In one sense, I knew what I was going to know, and we'll just have to wait until March to see. But otherwise, it was a nice little two-day trip spent with my family, chatting and catching up (and eating cheesesteak!)

On the road!

little loves
♥ once-a-year Philly cheesesteaks from Dimeo's with Pa ♥ New Girl - I've snorted aloud quite a few times ♥ pomegranates ♥ Brit Lit 2 on my schedule for next year ♥ having the opportunity to read (for fun!) again ♥ all of the amazing new movie trailers that are out ♥ surprisingly warm days in December ♥ a week off on the horizon ♥ receiving thank you notes on beautiful stationary ♥ when teachers bring cookies to class

What are you loving this week?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Finals Week Wear: The Versatile Sweatpant

It's dreaded finals week (which, somehow, has unfairly morphed into finals two-weeks). I can barely get dressed the rest of the year, but a sighting of me not in sweatpants during finals week is a nonexistent sight. Wearing pajamas on the bus to campus? No shame. Matching? Psht, more like tossing on whatever is in reach. Above is more or less what I can be found in for the next week - cozy and perfect for buckling down to write papers! 

Though it seems haphazard, finals wear is a particular concoction of comfort, warmth, and efficiency. With walking all over campus, or sometimes being holed up in the library for days, with various degrees of heat being on or windows open, layers are critical. Mittens that let you quickly switch between keeping warm and digging the change out of your wallet. A bra that doesn't dig into your ribs, socks that don't fall into your boots when you walk. All a delicate combination, yes?

What's your go to low-maintenance outfit? Are you more ambitious during finals and take the time to get dressed?

Monday, December 3, 2012

For the Love of a Linguaphile v. 29

source )

There's nothing here that even remotely looks like snow. Quite the opposite, really. But I kind of wish there was a sparkling layer of snow dusting the ground!

graupel n. [ˈgra-pəl]granular snow pellets —called also soft hail (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!