Friday, March 29, 2013

Happify



One of the first blogs I ever discovered was Gala Darling's, which at the time was still called Icing. I was hooked immediately with her mantra of radical self love, confidence and savviness, and most of all, her weekly Things I Love Thursday gratitude lists. Some of my very first "blog posts" were my own Things I Love Thursday lists, as I aimed to make a point of jotting down a few things each week that put a smile on my face, rather than using journaling as a form of ranting. By putting a positive spin on events and taking the time to be thankful for all of the good happening around me, I found myself to be happier in general and more mindful and optimistic during the week.

I had been writing my own weekly TiLT gratitude lists when I heard of a book - The How of Happiness - which reinforced the habit I had already set in motion. The book itself was the first time that I actively sat down and thought about my own happiness, and realized how much my attitude affected everything that I did. Just thinking about things differently made a world of difference.

When I heard about Happify, I knew I had to try it out! I think I do a pretty good job of making conscious efforts to think positively on a day-to-day basis, and aside from a few recent stressful events, I've come a long way in my personal dealings with turning stress into something constructive. Every now and then, though, I need a reminder. A reminder to be thankful on all days, not just Thursdays. A reminder that some things are indeed out of my control and that's just the way the cookie crumbles - move on. A reminder that I have indeed accomplished so much to be proud of already. For me, Happify isn't as nicely articulated as a blog post, per say, but rather a more informal daily reminder that I have to choose to be happy - happiness doesn't just passively happen to people.

You first take a little quiz to evaluate your current state of mind and happiness level. This quiz also allows you to zero in and select a track based on your preferences - I started in the "Managing Stress" track since I'm prone to stressing over everything. You're then presented with a series of activities that you work through, such as gratitude lists and turning the negative into a positive, unlocking more with each activity you complete. There's lots of reflecting and recording your thoughts, and I've just been doing it more journal-y/stream of conscious style. There's even a pretty awesome community that provides great support, and you can help cheer people on as they reflect on their own goals.

I've noticed myself really enjoying the time to be mindful and reflect on my own progress and happiness. There are lots of little things - from remembering not to take things personally, taking a moment out of a busy day to meditate, and give myself a pat on the back for some pretty cool achievements in life - that deserve recognition, and I'm so glad that I've got Happify to give me that reminder and make me more conscious of my own state of mind.

I've got one remaining Happify invite left, if you'd like to try it out. Just comment and let me know!

EDIT: First of all, you guys are the greatest! Happify was so excited about everyone's interest in the site that they are in the process of hooking My Life as a Teacup readers up with a special invite code - you all will be able to try it out! As soon as I get the details, I'll post them here, so keep your eyes on this spot!

EDIT EDIT: Here you go, folks! Just click the Happify logo below and you should be able to set up your own account :) Enjoy!



What's your perspective on happiness? Is it something that you actively try to create or stay mindful of? How do you stay positive?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Things I Love Thursday

sakura zaka
( source )

If I'm being totally honest, I'm quite behind on schoolwork. Every final project has the same due date, or so it seems, and I've procrastinated a few things perhaps a bit more than I should. I'm not worried - in fact, I rarely get worried, because I think I know that it's not truly procrastination. There's still plenty of time to get things done and dare I say, I usually overplan for projects. I've got a few more weeks before I freak out entirely.

Tonight is also girls night! It's only the second installment, but ever since April, Julie, and myself sat down and made it a point to have dinner together once a month, it's been one of the things I look forward to most.

♥ Over the past week I've been hit with the best flood of hanami pictures courtesy of Hello Sandwich's Instagram and I can't get enough. Sakura only bloom for such a short period of time, but for about a week each spring I find myself oogling all of my friends' pictures out of Japan. Beautiful pink blooms, leisurely picnics in the park. And of course, I went smack dab in the middle of summer, but hey, what are you gonna do? I'll just live vicariously through them...for now.

♥ I'm in love with My Life as a Teacup's new design. I know, I know, I feel like it's been the sole thing I've talked about all week, but it's one of those things where you're so enamored by something that you just look at it constantly. Which sounds incredibly narcissistic, but I just can't help but stare at the pretty teals. Savannah did a rockin' job with the redesign and I can't urge you enough to go check out Maiedae if you're thinking of doing an update of your own (even just some a la carte features!)

little loves
The Sun Also Rises ♥ feeling like my bedroom is finally coming together ♥ even though the name still weirds me out, Baby Lips peach smells so good! ♥ Itso storage cubes from Target, which have made my closet pretty and organized ♥ playing dress up at work ♥ feta, grape, and walnut couscous ♥ John Green ♥ Zombies, Run! was a goofy app purchase that I'm actually really enjoying. I'm pretty sure that zombie apocalypse preparedness is the only reason why I've taken up running ♥ polka dots ♥ 13 in a row AND Shero signed Iginla? Let's Go Pens!

What are you loving this week?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A New Look!


Ahhhhhhhh!!! -insert excited Kermit flail here-

Ahem (that might have something to do with it being 1am. What is wrong with me lately? Ah well). I'm so pleased to introduce My Life as a Teacup's new design! I've been working with the lovely Savannah of Maiedae pretty under wraps for the past month or so on redesigning the blog and just getting things running a bit more smoothly. I've had the same layout since I started this blog back in 2011 (gasp!) and have been itching for a facelift for a good while now. 

As much as I loved my old quirky little teacups, I wanted something a bit more reflective of My Life as a Teacup itself, and of me as a writer. I love what Maiedae has brought to this blog, and really, it feels like a fresh start! Going on three years of blogging feels like forever and yet no time at all; I've still got loads to learn, but primarily, My Life as a Teacup is still a place where I can share my love of cardigans and Portal-themed mugs, to philosophical questions like "What makes a book a classic?". I love writing here, and I can't wait to dive in to a more organized, focused, blog.

I'd love to hear your input as I embark on this impromptu fresh start, so feel free to email me or fill out this snappy little questionnaire

(I'm also giving this whole sponsorship thing a whirl, so if you'd like to help a lass out, pop by my sponsorship page. Use the code SPRINGCLEAN to purchase any April ad spot for free!)

Monday, March 25, 2013

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.44

Card Trick
source )

legerdemain n. [le-jər-də-ˈmān]: sleight of hand  (via

The performer's show was phenomenal; his legerdemain was noticed only by my friend Howard, who was a skilled magician himself.

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, March 24, 2013

link love

Writers & Kitties - How did I get by before finding this site?

This latest collection of links is pretty reading-oriented, but there are some gems here!

Tea People vs. Coffee People. My friend sent me this, and I'm unashamedly a tea person xD
♥ Apparently this amazing Sailor Moon cosplay transformation from Anime LA is old, but nonetheless amazing.
♥ Stop apologizing for what you like to read. Really, just read!
♥ Two of my favorite things: Lord of the Rings and charts. That aside, this interactive project documents Tolkien's works and is pretty incredible. You can track how many times a certain word has been mentioned across works ("Precious!")
♥ I'm going to be crass for a hot second because this series of gifs of what it's like to have your period as told by Batman had me rolling on the floor.
7 Tips to Love Where you Are Right Now from Tiny Buddha
♥ Wearing clothes that motivate you to workout is an important and often overlooked aspect of building a good fitness habit, I think.
♥ Virtual Library Brings Books to NYC Subway
The best places to be if you love books features some of the most stunning libraries and bookstores I've ever seen.
8 New and Necessary Punctuation Marks. I know many who could use the hemi-demi-semi colon.
14 Classic Albums Reimagined as Books
♥  Academic Study Examines the Link Between Gender Cues and In-Game Harassment
18 Points in Life It Would Be Nice to Reach. The lamenting college graduate in my is counting the days til any of these are plausible.
♥ Cover art has always intrigued me, from albums to books. Usually, I pick up a gorgeous album to discover a crap record inside, but I'm drawn in regardless. The Millions took a look at the US vs. UK book covers of some different editions and declared a winner.
♥ This "blind date with a book" idea sound like a blast! I'm not normally one for surprises, but this is one I could totally get behind :)
Book Seer could be a handy tool to help you discover your next choice in reading material!
♥ For all of you 30 Days of Listers: Thomas Edison's to-do list, 1888

Are you a coffee or a tea person?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Neverwhere Radio Drama


A few months back I heard some news that immediately made my insides squeal with joy. Like, running around the house, jumping, flailing, and screaming to anyone and anything that would listen: Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere was going to be made into a radio drama for the BBC! And some of my favorite people in the world would be providing the voices! Anthony Head, Natalie Dormer, Benedict Cumberbatch, and James McAvoy all lending their voices to quite possible one of my favorite books of all time - yes please!

If you're not familiar with the story, it's of ordinary,
"Richard Mayhew, [who] stops one day to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London pavement, [and] his life is forever altered, for he finds himself propelled into an alternative reality that exists in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere" (goodreads)
BBC Radio 4 has been airing the installments of Neverwhere each day this week, and I've been eagerly awaiting stepping in from class and putting on the latest episode while I make dinner. I'm sure it's not quite the same as listening to an actual radio drama, you know, on the radio, especially with the whole being an overseas thing, but I would imagine it's quite close. I've got a little leeway with timing, as I'm listening some hours after it airs and can tune in at my leisure. For me, it's more the seriality of a radio show that's hooked me, not to mention the impressive voice acting.

There's something about the serialization of a story that intrigues me, and always has since I first started looking at the serialized novels of the Victorian era. There's a sense of anticipation, and I think an even greater sense of community that gets built around a story when it's treated as a living, malleable form, especially in today's age, where I myself am guilty of bingeing on an entire season of a television show on Netflix in a single sitting.

I've said it before, but Neil Gaiman's books have always struck me as ones to be read aloud. His stories have such rich language that beg for an almost oral approach, and that can't be said of every book. Not having any prior experience with radio dramas, I was a little hesitant to see just how variance in voices could be used to turn a pen-and-paper story into a followable and exciting narrative. I also might have had this internal dread of really bad, dubbed anime-style voice acting. Whoo, deal-breaker. But dubbed shows have no excuse - really great voice acting exists, and I'm amazed at what just dialogue and a few background sound effects can communicate. It's just as exciting as any other medium.

You can listen to Neverwhere on BBC Radio 4 here! Now I'm itching to reread the book :)

Have you listened to a radio drama before? Are you one to hold out for installments, or do you like to have the whole thing right away?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Things I Love Thursday

Spring Bloom
( source )

♥ I've felt out of touch with music, or anything remotely inspirational for a while now and I haven't been able to put my finger on why. But over the past few weeks I've been gravitating towards Jack's Mannequin records. Something about them just makes me feel hopeful and alive again, youthful, like all of the stress isn't worth dwelling on.

♥ Listening to Neverwhere on BBC4 in the evenings has been one of this things I've looked forward to most during the week. There's just something about hearing one of my favorite stories acted out by a fantastic cast that makes me giddy. Plus, there's an excitement to the whole prospect of listening to a story in installments that I don't get by binge-watching shows on Netflix. I'm totally not of the radio show generation (sadly), so this is all so magical to me!

Having dance parties - in the car, in the kitchen, in the parking lot - you name it! With a fair lack of furniture and hardwood floors, I've been sliding and dancing around the house any chance I get. It sounds a bit silly, but not only is it just plain ol' fun, it's something that I haven't felt like doing in a long time. For a while, some element of spontaneity and excitement and not caring what other people think were absent from my life. It's like all of the creative and fun energy had been zapped out of my life, but I'm finally starting to get it back it feels :)

I don't want to count my blessings too early, but I think the guy at the Apple store waived the fee for replacing my cracked phone. I was expecting it to show up on my next phone bill, but it's nowhere to be found. Having some extra funds in my bank account would be quite nice, and I'll owe him a big thank you.

little loves
sitting by the fireplace ♥ blueberries - I'm addicted! ♥ working with a group of great ladies ♥ pulling off surprise parties ♥ finally getting to see The Perks of Being a Wallflower ♥ rainy days that feel more spring-y than winter-y ♥ the smell of dirt - spring is almost heeeere! ♥ toasted marshmallow lattes from Sheetz ♥ working on #30Lists ♥ being home in time to watch Castle ♥

What are you loving lately?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Wardrobe Wishlist

1.Modcloth Freelance Finesse Cardigan 2.Ruche bow belt 3.Kate Spade be mine studs 4.Butter London Primrose Hill Picnic nail lacquer 5.Water lily loop scarf 6.Ruche Pompeii dress 7.Modcloth Fruit for Breakfast dress 8.Ruche Expedition Floral blazer 9.Orina Oxfords 10. Kate Spade Newsprint iPhone case 11.Polka dot envelope 12.Rotary club flats

These bitter days are killing me. It's no help that the sun is out, daylight is starting to last a little bit longer, and every now and then a warm, spring-like breeze blows this way. All I want is to shed the heavy wool coat that's become part of my wardrobe for the past five months and don dreamy dresses and flats in every color imaginable (and by every color imaginable, I mean navy. And maybe coral. 'Cause that's what I got). I wouldn't mind adding a few of these beauties to my closet this season.

Lounging in Schenley Plaza with a bright floral blazer on a boba tea date with Hemingway? Yes, please! Ruche, I blame you and your gorgeous style books.

What are you dreaming of this spring?

Monday, March 18, 2013

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.43

4
source )

apoplectic adj. [a-pə-ˈplek-tik]: extremely angry; furious  (via

Even having a full day to think over the professor's harsh critique of my paper, I was still flustered and apoplectic.

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!

Side note: I'm sure you're no stranger to the news of Google Reader's demise. If you're making the switch to Bloglovin', here's where you can find My Life as a Teacup.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Things I Love Thursday

Hill of the baby blue-eyes
( source )

Hello again! Long time no...blog? Things have finally settled down, at least on the moving front (which is exciting!). We're all moved in and officially living at our new abode, even if there are still boxes everywhere. And decorating? I don't even know where to start! Things I Like Thursday is a bit belated, do to a lack of internet until yesterday, which also means that I've got loads of email to sort through - insert sarcastic hooray here.

The move did coincide nicely with my spring break, which was pretty low key. Kallie and I did manage to snag some cheap-yet-awesome Blue Jackets tickets and took a mini-road trip to Ohio to see the Blackhawks play. Otherwise, there was some work here, some unpacking there, and some visits with friends in between. It'll feel good to get back into a schedule though; these past few days have been missing just about anything familiar at all. At least being back to the weekly drill will be a welcome fixture.

♥ Having a big bed to sprawl out in. 'Nuff said.

The CBJ/Hawks game was amazing. Not only was there an incredible 3-hour, LFO-filled road trip to get there, but the game was GREAT. Who knew seats 4 rows back are so cheap in Columbus? Even though it's so close, I keep forgetting they are (were?) part of the Western Conference, and we hardly ever get to see those teams play. Bobrovsky has a new fan in me, and the Hawks have totally won me over, which Kallie has been trying to convert me to for years. And Nationwide Arena is gorgeous! We befriended a Montreal-native, high-fived many Hawks fans, got to see my first shootout live, yelled at our neighbors (Umberger and Saad are both Pittsburgh natives) and stuffed our faces full of Cracker Barrel goodness. And yelled about Ohio's lack of streetlights.

Nothing better than LFO and a hockey road trip :)Pit stop for coffee. No Hawks sighting.
Warmups!Photo

30 Days of Lists - I'm so behind, it's not even funny. I caught up to list 10 the other day, but between  the movers coming and being out of town, lists 11-15 haven't happened yet. But I'm enjoying it just as much as previous rounds, when I was more on my game! It's so nice to see everyone's lists on Instagram and Flickr, and sitting down to work on a page or two at night is a nice feeling.

little loves
spring break ♥ Toews story on Patrick Kane must just be one of the most adorable and hilarious things ever ♥ witnessing my first shootout at a hockey game ♥ seeing my cousin, unexpectedly ♥ coffee in classy hotels ♥ receiving letters with out new address on them ♥ stellar ModCloth hauls ♥ remembering family trips down I-70 to Ohio when I was a girl (Zanesville Pottery, I still see you!) ♥ a shower big enough to dance in ♥ driving around and exploring ♥ Cracker Barrel. Dear Lord, you are delicious ♥

What are you thankful for this week?

Monday, March 11, 2013

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.42

U ROCK
source )

laud v. [lôd]: to praise or glorify (via

The affluent school district lauded their students' high test scores, even though their practical experiences within the classroom were lacking.

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, March 10, 2013

Words of Wisdom


from This Side of Paradise

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Things I Love Thursday

balloon
( source )

Moving is coming along just dandy! There's still a lot to be done, and I don't think it will quite hit any of us until we're actually living out of the new house and sleeping their each night. New floors are laid, carpets cleaned, most of the rooms painted (including the rubber duck-themed, bright yellow bathroom), and now it's just carting some more boxes back and forth, getting the big furniture there, and pulling it all together. Reiley's adjusting just fine, it seems. The first trip she hid in the car for most of the day, but since, she's ventured out to explore and finally looks to be more at home. Except she keeps climbing on top of the refrigerator to sit -.-

♥ The Boy surprised well, the both of us, by picking up season 2 of Game of Thrones the other day. We've been marathoning through the series again (and this time, not on an itty bitty computer screen) in preparation for season 3 here at the end of the month. I'm just thrilled that I got him hooked on the show; he's normally not one for much in the fantasy genre but he's been walking around, dropping the names of various houses into conversation, completely out of context, haha.

♥ I've been downloading the occasional comic book thanks to the Comixology app, and finally decided to start on the New 52 series Batgirl and am LOVING it. It's taking everything in my power not to just  drop a big chunk of money and power through the rest this week.

little loves
♥ having someone to help paint (because I can't cut in to the ceiling without getting paint everywhere ♥ latex-based paint that wipes off while still wet (thank heavens) ♥ finally delving into 1Q84 (after 3 years! Gaaah! What was I thinking?) ♥ full fitness classes online ♥ cozy sweaters ♥ how much better I feel by standing up straight, making eye contact with people, speaking clearly and articulately, and keeping my chin up ♥ printed dresses ♥ 

What are you loving lately?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

eShakti Spring Collection

Branches & Leaves

You might remember the eShakti dress I reviewed a while back. Flattering portrait collar, cute summery vibe, and - gasp! - POCKETS. I was smitten. Even more so by the fact that eShakti lets you customize each of their garments to your personal measurements, and even your style. Not a fan of sleeveless dresses? Want your dress a tad longer to pass at work? eShakti lets your play around with styling options to create a look that's everything you want. 

When they reached out to me to review a product from their new, eShakti Spring Collection, I couldn't refuse! I love the idea of a custom style, and being able to tweak things like sleeves and length is a big plus. And it's not just dresses you can customize; you can even customize shirts (lengths are a big deal, so having that option is quite nice!). Luckily I took advantage of the pretty nice, snowless afternoon we had yesterday :)

On the horizon

Leaves in the wind

Branches & Leaves

This dress in particular is going to become a spring staple in my wear-to-work wardrobe, I can tell. The soft boatneck and cap sleeves are charming yet appropriate, and my beloved pockets even make an appearance! Toss on a cardigan and I'm all set :) Really though, thank heavens for the customizable option. I loved the print on this dress, but wasn't a fan of it without sleeves. Though I usually don a cardigan with it being chilly in my building anyway, the sleeves will definitely help this dress transition into warmer, summer months too. The quality is fantastic too. It's thick enough that I don't have to worry about the skirt being see-through. Whew!

And eShakti is offering you 20% off through March 20th, 2013 with the following code (how sweet is that!?):

MYLFESTECP

I was compensated by eShakti for this post. However, all opinions are my own.

Monday, March 4, 2013

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.41

Troubadours (Montblanc)
source )

troubadour n. [troo-buh-dawr]One of a class of 12th-century and 13th-century lyric poets in Southern France, northern Italy, and northern Spain, who composed songs in langue d'oc often about courtly love; strolling minstrel (via

The troubadour's ballad of heroes and courtly love recalled the chivalrous knights of old.

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!