Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ch-ch-ch-changes!


I can't contain myself anymore, which tells me that this break has accomplished just what I intended it to do! Angie's wise words convinced me that it was okay to miss writing and blogging during my "hiatus", and it's about writing when the mood hits me rather than stressing about not writing at all.

New features to look forward to!
Ever since The Blogcademy last month, my gears have been spinning and I've been up most nights scribbling ideas into a notebook or jotting things down in Evernote. Lately, I've really come to understand my voice and my passions, and have been so inspired to amp up My Life as a Teacup with wicked fun content that's more reflective of who I am as a person, and what you all love and enjoy as a part of this community! Enough with the fancy-shmancy inspirational talk, though. What kind of content are we talking about here? More books (and I'm not just talking reviews)! More lists! More ways for you to maximize your time; be more productive; and be your best, unabashedly fabulous self! Will there still be food? Of course. Maybe I'll even get dressed some days too and show you what my growing closet is up to. And like any good lifestyle blogger, you'll still get snippets of my everyday to share with you all. Nothing's going away, per say; this blog is just turning into a better, faster, stronger, My Life as a Teacup 2.0.

And if at any time you're not feeling something, let me know! Your feedback from my survey has been incredibly helpful at brainstorming what features I like writing best, and what I would like to write more of. I've read every single ounce of feedback that you guys left, and though certain things might not happen immediately, I've got some great ideas bookmarked in my brain attic to really polish and pull together something neat for you all :)

One of those neat things might have something to do with My Life as a Teacup's 3rd Birthday, which is coming up in August! I might be channeling Oprah, but that's all I'm gonna say...

Changing and Growing
One of the big changes I'm hoping to set in motion is the monetizing of My Life as a Teacup. Ew, you say. I know, I know. But I love pouring my time and energy into writing for this blog, and to be able to do more of what I love, I need to support both myself and the blog in some way. I've always been one for honesty, and my stance remains the same: I will only link to and partner with brands, products, and causes that I believe in wholeheartedly. I want to be able to share the best of the best with you, and will always give you my honest opinion. I know this kind of thing isn't uncommon in the blogosphere, but I want you all to know what's going on behind-the-scenes. I will remain open and honest with you. You won't see a ton of changes in this regard, but I want to make My Life as a Teacup the best that it can be, and with the help of sponsors, affiliate links, and the like, I can continue to build and grow this space. When you click on an affiliate link, I will receive a percentage on any sales (think of it as supporting My Life as a Teacup!). I will partner with companies to bring you products and recommendations if I think it's something you might enjoy. If you have any questions about any of this, you can always visit my disclosure page or shoot me an email. I hope you'll continue to support My Life as a Teacup and grow with me!

More things will slowly change over the next few months, I'm sure, and once I find a groove I'm happy with, the blog's design will come to reflect those also, with things like new category buttons with My Life as a Teacup's new features, etc. As much as I plan things, most of this is a trial and error process for me, and I'll be tweaking things as I go. I welcome your feedback along the way - if something isn't working for you, or there's something you'd like to see more of please send me an email or tweet or comment - anything at all!

I want nothing more than for My Life as a Teacup to be a blog that you enjoy reading, where you can find inspiration, and for you to feel welcomed. I love that I've gotten to know so many of you better, just through comments and chatting (and some of you, even in person!). If you haven't said hello already, get in touch! Whether you want to talk shop, exciting Comic Con announcements, or a new book you've read, I've always got an open ear. I don't bite, promise :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.62

flock of birds
marfis75 )

pullulate v. [ˈpəl-yə-ˌlāt]: to sprout, bud, breed or produce freely or rapidly; teem, swarm (via

Recent efforts to revitalize the town cause shops and restaurants to pullulate, making it a rather trendy spot.

For the Love of a Linguaphile is a weekly series celebrating the snazzy words we encounter, from those found in great literary works, to those pesky words that keep popping up in everyday life. Hopefully you can incorporate a new word into your vocabulary, or even share one of your favorite words!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

link love


( The Happy Secret to Better Work from Shawn Achor/TED Talks )

I don't know how or when it happened, but I've found a treasure trove of new blogs, sites, and articles over the past few weeks, which are always keeping me occupied with something provoking and thoughtful to read! Or, y'know, just take my mind off of Comic Con and all of the exciting entertainment news to look forward to xD

And I can't love the above TED talk of Shawn's enough; it's on happiness and changing the lens with which you view your circumstances. What great advice!

♥ Casee of Literary Inklings has put together a stellar list of 16 free online literature courses you can take (for fun!). I'm pretty excited for Comic Books & Graphic Novels and the Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner classes myself.
♥ How to Be the Best Version of Yourself
♥ Here are 10 Words That You've Probably Been Misusing
♥ I'm not surprised that Moby Dick is one of the 20 books people pretend to have read. I still have no desire to ever touch the thing.
Mondo has released 2 Miyazaki prints, that have already sold out. Doesn't make them any less stunning! I'm in love with the Spirited Away poster!
♥ For my fellow classic lit nerds, here are 10 Pieces of Shakespeare Swag and 10 Pieces of Jane Eyre Swag (I'm in love with the silhouette sweatshirt!)
♥ There is a Kickstarter project in the works for a live action Final Fantasy VII web series and I cannot contain my excitement! This is one of my favorite games to date, and I've been drooling over the prospect of an update or live action take for ages. It just looks incredible and I really hope it happens!
♥ This dress is made out of a book. That is all.
The decline and fall of the book cover. I know I've made some questionable choices in the past based off of covers alone, but I do miss the diversity; every cover seems to look the same nowadays!
♥ Paleofuture has put together a trip through the 1893 Chicago World's Fair where I can satiate my World's Fair fix (for a little while, anyway)
♥ Neil Gaiman reads The Graveyard Book in its entirety!
♥ Zenhabits on Living the Quiet Life. I've been trying to simplify and slow down myself, and Leo's got some great ideas on how to make space in your life for those moments.

What good reads have you found this week?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Things I Love Thursday



Who am I kidding? Not doing a Things I Love Thursday gratitude list makes me feel like I'm forgetting something, and what could be more important than reflecting on things that make you happy?

Keeping it short and sweet this week.
little loves
fresh peaches and sweet corn-on-the-cob ♥ photos of Ewan McGregor, his dog, and vintage bikes that pop up in my Instagram feed ♥ Neil Blomkamp's District 9 ♥ emails from lovely friends ♥ relaxing canoe trips on the river ♥ being a redhead again ♥ cool days and cool nights that tease fall in the middle of summer ♥ canoe trips ♥ getting my first StitchFix (affiliate link! help a girl out and support the Teacup!)  in the mail and falling in love with bold, graphic fall dresses ♥ surprise Boden catalogues ♥ one of my photos making fatmumslim's Fab Four! ♥ oogling fall sweaters and styles ♥ getting creative blog and writing juices flowing ♥ being addicted to Blogilates workouts - I can't live with myself if I skip a day on the #thisismyjuly calendar! ♥ chai ♥ making ridiculous and cheery Pinterest boards with friends (like hockey players + puppies!) ♥ can we talk about AFI's new single, I Hope You Suffer for a moment, and how they're coming to Pittsburgh in October!? I'm sensing childhood dream fulfillment!

How about you? What little things make you happy?

Monday, July 22, 2013

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.61

deceptive bends
Paul Lim )
It's really hard to find a picture for "fallacious", so this will have to do. Hello, deceptive bends!

fallacious adj. [fə-ˈlā-shəs]: deceptive or misleading (via

His fallacious argument fell apart when members of the opposing team carefully picked apart his theory down to the last detail.

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, July 21, 2013

link love

For you Sunday morning, coffee-drinking (Comic Con-lusting - which I don't even want to talk about. Let's just say it started with the capes...) perusal:

♥ Here are 14 Things You Didn't Know About Neil Gaiman
Book titles that would make great band names. Personally, I'm a fan of Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs xD How about you?
♥ This pop art skirt from Sourpuss Clothing is killer!
♥ Kyla Roma gets real and talks 5 Reasons Why Your Productivity Does Not Equal Your Self Worth
♥ The story coaster wonderfully illustrates the elements of a story's plot. I see you, unreliable narrator. And you, unresolved subplot, I don't even want to go there...
♥ Interesting cultural commentary on The Record: When pop stars flirt with bad taste
♥ Buzzfeed just totally gets me lately - 27 Signs You're an Obsessive List Maker. Really? Tell me this wasn't made for me.
Gertrude Stein sends a review of The Great Gatsby to F. Scott Fitzgerald
♥ Alexandra Franzen shares 21 mantras for people who are ridiculously, painfully, excruciatingly overwhelmed
♥ Portraits of Grandmas and Their Cuisines From Around the World

 
I know this is old, but that doesn't make it any less adorable. Or hilarious.


Sign me up. Please. Also: Brett!?
What links have you giggled or marveled at this week? Share them in the comments! I'd love to check them out.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Small Break and Blog Housekeeping

Cottage

Over the next few weeks I'll be taking a small break from blogging. In part, to prepare for some exciting changes here on My Life as a Teacup! Nothing major; I'm not suddenly going to turn this space into a punk-themed interactive art exhibit or anything (cool as that could be). But I do have some tricks up my sleeve in terms of making this blog a more cohesive space that celebrates reading and a productive, organized, kick-ass life. And cupcakes. We're still celebrating cupcakes here (a very important component of aforementioned kick-ass life).

If you'd be so kind as to share your input with me and take this survey, I'd really appreciate it! I want this blog to be something you enjoy reading, so knowing what things you like and value are incredibly important to me!

You'll still see a few scattered posts - I've got some links to share this week, as well as pretty slinky word to slip into your vocabulary on Monday. Otherwise, I just need time to work through some things. I need to focus on one thing at a time, and give myself a bit of a mental rest.

You might've noticed the lack of Things I Love Thursday. It's most important to keep your head up and be grateful when times are tough though, so you can bet I still have my weekly gratitude list written down for this week, and I urge you to do the same. I'd love to hear all of the highlights of your week! Share them in a comment or tweet me :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Book Review - The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains


Amazon*


This book might seem a little out of the realm of what I usually review here on My Life as a Teacup, but trust me - it's relevant and quite an intriguing read. I'm actually reviewing this for a school project, but my undergraduate seminar work revolved around a concept similar to what Carr discusses in The Shallows - digital humanities.

Now, digital humanities is a broad topic and I won't go into it too much here, but the presentation or structure of a text, whether outwardly visible (like the way a book is set or an ebook organized on your screen) or behind-the-scenes (a la the XML markup and designation of language - see Gabrielle Kirilloff's paper on the philosophy of markup for more on that) plays an important role in the meaning of the text itself. With a changing literary culture where hands and fingers are glued to touch screens and attention spans are of the nature of NOW, you can't help but wonder: is the Internet changing how we think?
"Try reading a book while doing a crossword puzzle; that's the intellectual environment of the Internet." — Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains
That pretty much sums up the fragmented, multitasking nature of the Internet right there.

Rather than spew baloney about how being fixated on a glowing screen is making the human race stupid, Carr presents an insightful look at how the Internet and its functions - from Google's autocomplete to the need (or lack of) to recall memorized information - have caused us to adapt our way of thinking and understanding. Historically, reading has been an act requiring deep thought and concentration, yet in an age of hyperlinks and multitasking, the ability to jump from segment to segment is a necessity for navigating a webpage. Whether for better or worse, we are adapting to the demands of our technology, and Carr weaves together a myriad of reasons why and how our minds are reacting to the digital age in this way, and just what it means for learning, reading, and functioning with technology.

Verdict: Though Carr gets a bit heavy on the neuroscience for a few chapters, the book is an easy read, and will satisfy the academic as well as the casual reader interested in analyzing his or her own technological habits. A good way of making sense of how our minds are adapting to technology, and maybe spur some ideas to aid in your personal productivity. I'm biased, but I liked it.

Perfect for fans of: psychology, social implications of technology, the digital humanities, general technological paranoia, Reality HungerHouse of Leaves

*affiliate link

Monday, July 15, 2013

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.60

After hearing the synonym "miserly" used with this word, I couldn't get this song out of my head. You're welcome.

churlish adj. [ˈchər-lish]: difficult to work or deal with (as of soil); surly, a lack of civility or graciousness, rude, unyielding (via

It would be churlish not to accept the committee's invitation.

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, July 14, 2013

link love

Untitled
That up there is the infamous bun of yours truly! Photo by June Cochran

I don't know where I got the idea in my head that I'd have trouble filling a post with inspiring and hilarious links on a weekly basis. Apparently, this was not so daunting a task as I first made it out to be. I've even tossed in a few links with nuggets of advice, just because I can (but mainly, silly things. Like a 12 foot wet Colin Firth). And so I present you with some end-of-weekend reading!

What does your handwriting say about you? I may or may not have spent a good 20 minutes this morning analyzing my own handwriting. I've got round, yet connected letters, and emphatically detailed dots on my 'i's that just scream compulsively logical and detail-oriented. What about you?
♥ Shauna of Nubby Twiglet shared her recap of The Blogcademy New York this week and Kat of Rock 'n Roll Bride posted her Instagram video of The Blogcademy with her log as well. June Cochran's photos from that day turned out so dreamy - I've been gushing all over them all week! Can The Blogcademy just happen every weekend?
Penguin Random House's company history timeline is gorgeously designed. Though, I'm still disappointed they didn't opt for the merged name, "Random Penguin".
♥ I'm just going to let The Mary Sue's headline do the talking here (really, it doesn't get any better): There's a 12 Foot Tall State of Colin Firth's Wet Shirted Mr. Darcy Emerging From a Lake in Hyde Park. What a Time to Be Alive.
♥ This Alice in Wonderland-inspired wedding shoot is beautifully styled!
♥ I met Jasika of Two Back Flats at the Blogcademy, and she makes the most darling hats and headpieces, hands down!
♥ The lovely Alexis of Strange and Charmed has a list of the 5 Best iOSApps for Writers, especially since she's usually working from her iPad herself. iPad or not, these still sound like awesome ways to organize and research articles (I'm especially excited to give Paper and MindGenius a whirl!)
♥ Between a trip to the States and two Blogcademy sessions, Kat has managed to keep her to do list and inbox at bay. And she's sharing her secrets on How to Get Shit Done When You Have No Time At All ("A task will take as much time as you let it" - Yes. Yes, yes, and yes.)
Gala Darling danced naked in front of 13 women - hear how it changed her! (Even though I'd probably die of embarrassment, this sounds like an incredible experience!)

I wouldn't expect anything less intense from Alan Rickman. Yet here he is, epically making a cup of tea. The whole clip is only about 11 seconds at original speed, but artist David Michalek has slowed each to a "glacial pace" for his series, Portraits in Dramatic Time.

Amuse me! What links have been keeping you occupied this week?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Wanderlust: Road Trip Edition

I've been lucky enough to be on the road in some way or another for the past few weeks; first New York City for The Blogcademy, and then Washington D.C. for a somewhat impromptu vacation with the family. As if I hadn't been bitten by the travel bug before! Now far-off locales and exotic places are on my mind more than ever (still drooling over Paris), but as I ride the "road trip" mentality of the places I've been to lately, I figured I'd put together a little list of road trip dream locations!

During high school I had mapped out my fantasy road trip across the States (as I'm sure every freedom hungry teenager does), and though I've never found much appeal in Americana except for that little window of time, the thought of a road trip down Route 66 comes back to mind every now and then. I think a part of me feels guilty that I've seen so little about my own country, that I should get out and explore it. But gas is really expensive.

Without further ado, here's my road trip dream list to satisfy my most recent bout of wanderlust:

four states
Four Corners Monument - I think everyone's dreamt of being in two places at once at one point or another, and here you get to be in four different states - Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico - simultaneously! (also, fun word moment: quadripoint!)

Carhenge @ Sunset

Carhenge - This exists. Stonehenge with cars. I repeat: this exists.

Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest National Park - Full of petrified wood and Late Triassic fossils, this park looks stunning. Maybe it's because I'm an East Coast-er, but I'm not used to seeing such beautiful open skies and mountainous landscapes (the treacherous ice-covered traffic on the South Side Slopes don't count!). Plus - fossils!!

World's Largest Ball of Twine!
World's Largest Ball of Twine - I don't know whether to be astounded by this or, well, what. As of 2006, this ball of twine in Cawker City, Kansas was over 7,801,766 feet long and over 17,866 pounds. I feel like it's not a road trip if you don't stop to see something bizarre like a ball of twine.

the Winchester mystery house
The Winchester Mystery House - This place looks like some crazy, loopy fun, not to mention the wild story that surrounds its origin. The widow of Winchester fortune apparently oversaw the continuous construction of this house, which is said to be haunted. Ooooh!

Santa Monica Pier
SR-1/Santa Monica Pier - Every picture I see of California State Route 1 looks gorgeous, and what better way to cap off a road trip than coasting down a highway by the sea? And I mean, might as well stop at Santa Monica Pier while we're in the area :)

Where would you stop on your road trip?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Things I Love Thursday

This might be my favorite salad ever: pineapple and grilled chicken. Inspired by @taralynnmcnitt's recipe and the leftovers in my fridge. On the #path to feeling more awesome for sure! #fmsphotoaday I'm still kind of confused by @lushcosmetics 9 to 5 cleanser, but I kind of love it
Maxi Skirt & Chambray Three things...left to do on my project list #fmsphotoaday #filofax #planner

I've been doing a lot of journaling/brainstorming/strategizing/soul-searching over the past few days, and rather than try to focus on creating something finished and pretty, I'm just hammering out raw, unedited thoughts. Thoughts about blogging, thoughts about business, thoughts about me and who I am, thoughts about what I stand for and what I value. About writing, and about stories. Between The Blogcademy (which has wiggled its way into every sentence to leave my mouth over the past 3 weeks), some major life changes, and ruKristin Papercraft's Find Your Voice workshop (hello-oo fellow Kristin with an 'i'! I make a mental note of our ranks, because I think we're grossly outnumbered in the world) I'm finally getting things in my head organized about the person I am. For a while I think I lost sight of my goals and ambitions and frankly, didn't give myself enough credit.

So here's my friendly reminder to you: You are beyond awesome. You are an incredible, magical superstar full of energy and light who has so much to share with the world. What you have to offer is unique and valuable and you don't deserve to settle. So get out there and kick butt!

♥ I cannot recommend Kristin's Find Your Voice workshop enough. When I first heard about it I loved the idea, but didn't think I could commit to something that sounded, frankly, so intense. But then I saw all of the wonderful things my friends were creating just through sitting down with themselves and thinking about it. Everyone should sit down at some point and evaluate themselves, their goals. And if I didn't take charge and do it then it wasn't going to magically make itself happen. Like I said before, it's not pretty, it's nothing dazzling, but it's been a great way for me to take a look at who I am and what I value.

♥ I've been on the hunt for a nice set of colored pens, mainly to better color code my Filofax. And by nice I mean ones that won't bleed through to the page behind. The pens I'm currently using are okay, but just some cheap, random colored pens I've had for eons. Plus, there's only 5 of them so I've got to be pretty crafty with my coloring coding. I bought a pack of Stabilo .88 which are amazing to write with and have tons of colors, but they do bleed through to the back a bit. Ah well...but the colors are pretty!

The Fascination Advantage Test. Take it. No really, it's worth the money. Whether you're trying to analyze your strengths and style for a particular goal or just want to understand how to turn on your natural charm and play to your strengths as a human being, it's worth the brief 20-some questions. I know some of my key personality traits - I'm pretty reserved, detail-oriented, and consistent - but never really understood what value those characteristics had. 

little loves
embracing my freckles ♥ grilled pineapples ♥ speaking up for myself ♥ Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In, which I piggybacked on reading when Mum checked it out from the library ♥ thoughtful notes ♥ hilarious work antics with the most fun, loveliest ladies that I don't see nearly as much as I should ♥Blogilates workouts that kick my butt ♥ grilled chicken & pineapple salads ♥ going to the same froyo shop not once but twice in a matter of hours ♥ uniting friends

What are you loving this week?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Book Giveaway: The Fort


A few weeks ago, Jill Greenberg reached out to me to see if I'd be interested in reviewing Aric Davis' latest book, The Fort. Now, I have a confession to make. That "Japanese Detective Fiction" class I took in college was no coincidence; I have a soft spot for mysteries (and apparently, forts of the blanket variety). Three boys who witness a kidnapping from their tree house fort? Sounds like an intriguing summer thriller to me! With some extra time on my hands, I figured I would give it a try.

Now, here's the kicker: I'm not going to review this book like I've reviewed books in the past. I literally received a copy of The Fort in yesterday's post, and have yet to crack open the cover. I'd like you to read along with me! A book club, of sorts. The novel is currently a mystery to me (I'm full of puns this week) and I have no idea what to expect when I turn the first page. Towards the end of the month, I'll be sharing my thoughts on the novel, and I'd love for you to share yours too, whether in a blog post or comment - anything! - should you choose to read along.

While you can grab a copy of this book at your local bookstore or library, the publisher has agreed to give away two copies of The Fort to My Life as a Teacup readers! And who doesn't love a little summer reading? Just use the widget below to enter. The winners will be announced next Tuesday, July 16th. Winner must have a permanent, U.S. mailing address (no P.O. boxes, please!) to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I hope you'll join me in giving this book a read! I love hearing the thoughts you leave on books in the comments, and think it'd be fun to give this a read together!
*This is a sponsored post. While I received a copy of the book mentioned above, all opinions stated are my own.

Monday, July 8, 2013

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.59

Balancing Rocks
( by peternijenhuis )

tantamount adj. [ˈtan-tə-ˌmant]: equivalent in value, significance, or effect (via

Rejecting Sarah's party in favor of her mortal enemy, Jill's, was tantamount to treason.

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, July 7, 2013

link love

Dog Portraits

It's been a while since I've done a "link love", but even still, I'm finding my Evernote folder swamped with new and exciting sites! Rather than post links bimonthly, I'm thinking I'd like to turn link love into a more regular, weekly series. I'd like to know - when would you like a big ol' helping of links to explore? Friday or Saturday, for some early weekend reading? Or Sunday, to wind-down with some fun reads? I'd really love to know!

18 Obsolete Words Which Never Should Have Gone Out of Style - resistentialism tops my list!
The Everygirl is one of my favorite reads, and just recently posted an incredibly helpful article on 2 Effective Strategies for Managing Stress (much needed, for a crazily stressed person like myself)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane (a book & marriage review) by Amanda Palmer is an incredible insight into the book and story from quite a different perspective - Neil's wife!
♥ Speaking of Neil Gaiman, Casee Marie of Literary Inklings reviewed The Ocean at the End of the Lane as well, and can you tell that I'm trying to get your to read it yet!? Go! Go! Read! Enjoy!
♥ The many faces of the bride is adorable!
15 Facts That Prove Cat People Aren't Crazy (They're Awesome) My mother and I now send cat humor to each other; this was the latest offering
♥ These photoshopped book covers with one letter missing are genius (The Princess Brie had me giggling madly! I would totally read that)
♥ There's been a lot of hubbub about internships with this Black Swan ruling and it'll be interesting to see what it ultimately means for the unpaid internships.
♥ How to have a fun + fascinating conversation with ANYONE is probably the best advice ever.
♥ I have to admit, my city is pretty cool. Except the South Side slopes in the winter. Here's 20 Cool Things About Pittsburgh!
5 Google Analytics Tips & Tricks for Bloggers
Insights That Will Get You Through Your 20s (and the rest of your life)
Alas, poor Stormtrooper! What if Shakespeare wrote Star Wars? aka I can't turn down two of my favorite things smushed into one.
What does being negative even mean? Madelin is such a babe, and most of the time I feel like we're on the same wave length!
♥ Ricky Gervais on the difference between American and British Humour
♥ Oh linguistic divides. Here are 22 Maps That Show How Americans Speak Totally Different English From Each Other. Mind BLOWN. Okay, maybe not that much blown.
♥ The Barnes & Noble blog has been a regular read of mine lately. Recently, they shared their favorite opening scenes in fiction - I'm on board with Wind-Up Bird Chronicle! What about you - what are your favorite opening scenes?

This is awesome and adorable and I love it.

A few weeks back I happened to catch an episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and this segment had me howling. lite rally.

Whew! Didn't mean to dump so much on you! Find any neat links lately?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Travels: Washington D.C.

White House

My Dad had been planning a trip to Washington D.C. for a while now, and last weekend we made it happen! It had been years since he'd been there, and I must somewhat embarrassingly admit that I've never been to D.C.! Schools will usually orchestrate a trip there, but for some reason I missed out. Washington D.C. has never been on my list of fabulous, must-travel vacation spots, but I felt like I needed to see it at least once in my lifetime.

Washington D.C.

It's really not that old of a city, which I think goes forgotten by most. What architecture is there, however, is gorgeous, and I couldn't help but wander around gazing at the tops of buildings for most of the trip. With the help of a double decker bus (it worked more like a tram than anything, with stops at most of the major monuments; you could hop on and off all day and use it as transportation versus a tour if you wanted which was helpful) we were able to hit up most of the major sights, including the White House, Lincoln Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, the Air and Space Museum.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was one spot on my list of must-sees. I remember seeing a painting of it in a family member's house since I was a little girl, and something about what I'd seen and heard seemed so powerful. Concept-wise, the reflective wall is incredible, and for a piece that isn't necessarily as flashy or towering as other monuments, equally (if not more) powerful.

The Changing of the Guard was another of those moments. Definitely worth the hike out to Arlington Cemetery (though it could be a day in itself). I anticipated it to be stunning, but it was even more so. If you get the chance to witness it, please do!

White House

WWII Monument

Arlington Cemetery

Arlington Cemetery

Arlington Cemetery

Changing of the Guard

Arlington Cemetery

Arlington Cemetery

Arlington

Arlington Cemetery

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

I feel like D.C. got dwarfed by the fact that I was in the bustling, towering, remarkable NYC the week prior. Coupled with the fact that I've never been much of a U.S. history buff (British history, however, is an entirely different story) and I feel a bit bad, like I should've fallen more in love with D.C. than I did. It was amazing to see, really, but I think once was enough :) For a little while, anyway.

Have you been to Washington D.C. before? Any favorite spots?