Friday, August 30, 2013

Literary Crushes

I shared my list of Literary Crushes over on Sincerely Sara earlier this week (and yes, I suppose Mr. Darcy can have an honorable mention). Pop on over to see what sassy Austen gentleman is on the top of my list, as well as some other strapping fellas!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Things I Love Thursday

I'm amazed that I'm even awake at this point in the week. Yesterday I was up from 5am and didn't get in from work/class/meetings until 9:30pm. This will repeat every Wednesday - whew! O.O

But on to some not-so-tiring news: the winner of all of the blogiversary goodness? That would be Kayla K.! I've sent you an email, so keep your eyes peeled. Thank you all for participating and I definitely hope to do something similar in the future; I loved hearing everyone's responses (I have the best readers! :D). Congrats, Kayla!

♥ You might've already heard, but I'm one the new ambassadors for this September's round of 30 Days of Lists! I'm so glad to be back after participating in all 6 challenges to date, and I do hope you'll join us. It's great fun, even if you just scribble down your list on the nearest napkin :)

♥ Taking a little moment to breathe. I've been on auto-pilot and burying myself in everything: school, writing, blogging, work, life. Some of it intentional, some not, and just taking a minute to take a deep breath is such a relief

♥ Doctor Who. I don't even want to talk about the emotional rollercoaster I'm on, and I know this isn't the worst of it. <3

little loves
Welcome to Night Vale ♥ I love how cozy my bedroom is! ♥ lunch dates with my sister (and dinner dates with the whole family, by extension, complete with Oreo pie!) ♥ striped paperclippes ♥ ongoing countdowns and how they're technically not as long as they seem ♥ the tease of pumpkin flavored things on the horizon ♥ crazy LOFT sales so I can buy teacher clothes ♥ copious amounts of coffee ♥ shortcuts home

What are you loving this week?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Inspired by... with Sincerely Sara

Sincerely Sara first captivated me with her impeccably styled outfits based off of literature - everything from book covers, to favorite characters, even movies. Lucky for you all, she's here to share some of those book-inspired outfits! I can't even handle it, I want them all. And she even has a surprise for you, too :)

Hello, My Life as a Teacup readers! I’m Sara from Sincerely, Sara, which is where I write mostly about fashion, books, and finding inspiration everywhere. Since I’m a book lover (writing a novel as we speak!), one of my absolute favorite things to do is combine my love of books with my love of fashion. Awesome, I know! I like being inspired by book covers and the books themselves, and then creating outfits around them. Let’s take a look at my favorites, shall we? If I love a specific character from a book, it’s easy to be inspired by their personality and to bring what they love into the outfit I’m creating.

Inspired By: Stardust -- Tristan Thorn

Stardust, a novel by Neil Gaiman, is a favorite of mine, as is the movie. Tristan Thorn is the lovable main character who crosses into a magical realm in order to find a fallen star in order to prove his love to the town beauty. However, he learns a lot along the way and finds love in an unexpected place.

Inspired By: Austenland {Jane Hayes}
Austenland, by Shannon Hale, follows Jane Hayes, a woman obsessed with all things Mr. Darcy. She decides that she should get it out of her system and goes to a Regency-inspired English resort, where they pretend it’s the early 1800s. As an Anglophile, I can completely relate to Jane Hayes’ love of the Regency era and Pride and Prejudice. Sometimes it’s fun to be inspired by a book’s cover. While I’ve been told countless times to never judge a book by its cover, some of them are just so pretty it’s hard not to.

Inspired By: The End of Night Cover
The End of Night, by Paul Bogard, is a non-fiction work about how in our modern era most of us no longer experience true darkness, and how the spectacular view of the night sky influenced the human experience. I immediately fell for the illustrated cover and the beautiful blues.

Inspired By: Z Cover

Z: A Novel About Zelda Fitzgerald, by Therese Ann Fowler, tells the real-life story of the beautiful Southern belle who meets F. Scott Fitzgerald, a young lieutenant, in 1918. She falls for him despite his unsuitability due to his lack of wealth. I like how striking the giant Z is on the cover, the soft colors, and how the woman is popping out of the letter.

Thanks, Kristin, for having me on your little nook of the blogosphere! To let you guys get inspired by books, I’m giving away $15 to Barnes & Noble!

Isn't Sara a doll? I love these looks that she put together, and it doesn't hurt that they're based off of some of my very favorite authors and novels - Gaiman, Austen, and that gorgeous looking Zelda Fitzgerald book? Gaah!

Monday, August 26, 2013

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.66


vertiginous adj[vər-ˈti-jə-nəs]: causing vertigo, dizziness (via

The vertiginous mountain trails twisted and turned all the way up to the peak.

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!

30 Days of Lists Blog Hop

30 Days of Lists

I don't normally post this much, let alone twice in one day! But this little extra post today is dedicated to one of my favorite crafty projects - 30 Days of Lists.

If you've been around these parts awhile, you're no stranger to my adoration of the 30-day creative project known as 30 Days of Lists. Each day for a month, a prompt is posted, to which the only requirement is this: make a list. You can scrapbook it, blog it, scribble it on the corner of a napkin - whatever your heart desires! The point of the challenge is that you can do something creative each day, even if that is something as small as jotting down a list. Some years I've gotten creative, and other years I've just doodled my list on a notebook page - how you do it is totally up to you!

#30lists I'm craving... List 27 of #30lists
Evidence: latest round (left) vs. very first round (right) which still has my mouseover on it xD

I don't use the word "adoration" lightly. I've participated in all five rounds to date, and this September will mark my sixth time listing!

The lovely sponsors and ambassadors, including myself, decided to get together for a little blog hop today to share some listing inspiration. The challenge is to draw from the March 2011 round of list prompts to create our list today, and if you're feeling adventurous, feel free to browse the 30Lists tag to see my whole set from 2011 (warning: my newly discovered Instagramming skills were rubbish at the time. These pictures are filled with bad filters, composition, and borders galore!). But as the very first prompt is "A few things about me", I figured I'd update my list and take the opportunity to say hello to some of my new readers!

Factoids ahoy!

A few things about me...

♥ I used to dance ballet, and will still occasionally bust a move. Though mostly, I just get stared at for standing in fifth position (though, that is how I met my best friend!). My knees are shot because of it, however.

♥ I studied Literature in undergrad, focusing primarily on Victorian Literature, as well as emerging digital literacies. Somehow, I also ended up taking quite a few classes with gender studies overtones by complete accident, and have thus declared myself an honorary certificate holder. It's funny how those things work out.

♥ Mornings are my favorite. It's when I feel most productive, not to mention brunch, which is only the most glorious creation ever.

♥ In high school, I was voted most artistic. I spent the majority of my senior year in the art wing painting the prom backdrop, and relished my time with my paints - watercolors and gouache - as well as trekking outside on "photography assignments". I hardly paint or draw anymore, but I do perform with a local Shakespearean theater troupe in the summers!

♥ I spent 3 months studying abroad in Japan, where I lived with my host family and finished my Bachelors in Japanese Language and Culture. It was the absolute best experience ever, and I'm so glad I got the chance to live there!

♥ Sometimes my mouth gets ahead of my thoughts, and I spew out more Spoonerisms than one could think humanly possible. I just keep tripping over my words and can only watch helplessly while I flounder.

♥ I'm a Playstation girl at heart. Lately, the Xbox has been winning me over, however. Final Fantasy VII got me hooked on gaming, though, and Aerith remains my favorite video game character to this day.

♥ I reread the entire Harry Potter series annually.

♥ Despite being a native Pittsburgher, I don't care for football. Hockey, all the way. And pierogies. And yinz. And french fries on sandwiches.

You can play along with the March 2011 list prompts for free, or download the other previous 30 Days of Lists challenges here.

List 24

To add to the excitement, we're having a giveaway if when we reach 600 listers for a $100 gift certificate to Studio Calico (I know! How awesome is that?). All you need to do is be one of the first 600 registered and you're automatically entered to win.

Don't forget to pop by the rest of the blog hop to check out some more lists!

So tell me, what are a few things about you?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

link love

♥ Not sure if you should go digital? Strange & Charmed joins in on the iPad vs. Filofax debate
♥ Of Corgis and Cocktails styles an everyday Japanese schoolgirl look inspired by Haruhi Suzumiya
♥ Beautiful photos of midnight in Paris. How is it possible to miss a place you've never been?
Disney heroines as Sailor Scouts - I love this! (Ariel!)
♥ Happiness studies have always intrigued me, and Happify has been a great exercise in gauging my own. The science of achieving your goals is another reason why I love the incredible motivational community.
♥ Holy 90's fashion: 19 Reasons Why You Miss Getting the Delia*s Catalogue
Librophile has free audio and eBooks
The problem with "chick lit". I'm not a fan of the term myself. Your thoughts?
10 of Literature's Most Unreliable Narrators

Any links up your sleeve?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sponsor Love

Hey there Teacups! Hope you're having a good weekend so far.

I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to Sara, who I actually got the chance to meet in New York a few months ago! I never thought it possible to hit it off so well with someone I've only known online for just a few months, but Sara felt like an old friend and we instantly were chattering away.

Erin's blog, Erin E. Flynn, has become one of my favorite reads. She's all kinds of inspirational, and blogs about everything from self-employed life to tips for small businesses (and the occasional crochet project!). I don't remember how I first stumbled across her blog, but I feel like we'd totally be friends in real life (we've found ourselves going "me too!" on quite a number of occasions)! 

But I'll stop gushing, corral my girl crushes, and let these lovely ladies speak for themselves!

Fall has been being a tease lately, so what better to chat about than some of the things we're most looking forward to about the season!

 Blog | Bloglovin | Facebook | Instagram

Hi, I'm Sara, the girl behind Sincerely, Sara! I'm a grad student in New York currently working on my first novel. My blog is a fun place where fashion, writing, books, DIY, and inspiration come together.

Is there an autumn activity you look forward to most? To be honest, there isn't a fall activity I most look forward to, mostly it's all about the food! I'm always excited when fall arrives because it means pumpkin pie, apple cider, mint hot chocolate, and broccoli cheddar soup. Yum! 

What's your favorite fall accessory? My favorite fall accessory is most definitely the cardigan! I'm seriously a cardigan addict! Since autumn isn't too hot or too cold, it's the only thing I need to top off my outfit. Okay, well sometimes I can't resist a cute floral scarf!
pictured cardigan

EEF Designs | Blog | Pinterest | Twitter

Hi! I'm Erin and I'm a self-employed web designer. I've been working for myself full-time for about a year and a half now. I love it! On my blog I write about what it's like to be self-employed, awesome small-businesses you should check out, plus all the fun stuff I do when I'm not working!

Is there an autumn activity you look forward to most? 
I love having bonfires! Such a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, eat s'mores, and spend time with friends and family!

What's your favorite fall accessory?
Scarves! I have so many scarves, it's ridiculous. They're such a great way to add interest to an outfit.
pictured scarf

Ugh, ladies after my own heart! Cardigans, scarves, and yummy fall foods? Seriously, is it fall yet? 

What's your favorite autumn accessory? Any fall activities on your radar that you're excited for?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Favorite Book Superlatives

Half-blood Prince
My favorite in the series :)

A word of advice: never, and I mean never, ask an English major what his or her favorite book is. Doing so will unleash a lengthy diatribe of uncertainty, questioning their life philosophy, and tears. It's not a pretty sight, trust me.

Disclaimer aside, I am an English major who frequently gets asked what my favorite book is, many times with an innocent intention. Since I myself am prone to bouts of turmoil about this deeply complex and layered question, I figured it was time I sit down and figure out an answer, if only to appease the inquirer and not tie them up for an hour and twenty minutes while I have a heart-to-heart with myself while rationalizing my "favorite" book and just what exactly "favorite" constitutes.

Part of my trouble is defining what exactly is meant by "favorite"? "Favorite" can mean a lot of things; is the most well-written book? The most imaginative story? The novel that is the most thought-provoking? Or simply the good story that gives you warm fuzzies? My favorite story is far different than my favorite literary work, just as my favorite movie may not be the most profound or a cinematic masterpiece (The Mummy - yes?).

And so it seems to make the most sense to break down my favorite books in to categories, much like high school's senior superlatives. I doubt I'll ever be able to fully sift through all the categories that I could come up with, and truly make an exhaustive list, but I think this is a good start...

Comfort Book (For when you're in a bad mood, good mood, or somewhere in between. Pair this book with your favorite feel good meal, get comfy, and read): Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Favorite classic: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
Favorite series: The Harry Potter series (because who can pick just one) by J.K. Rowling
Most beautifully and hauntingly written: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Favorite story: American Gods by Neil Gaiman (challenge: read any of his books aloud)
Favorite book that's kind of depressing, yet beautiful, and frankly, I still don't really know what to do with it: Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
Most nostalgic: The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien (also wins the special mention for being the book I checked out of the library the most during middle school)
The perfect book (Captivating story, subtle yet powerful message, beautiful prose, characters you both love and love to hate, not too lengthy, timeless...): F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

Do you have a favorite book? Or do you also fret over the eternal struggle of picking a "favorite"? I tag you to fill in your book superlatives!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Things I Love Thursday

Yesterday marked the first day of my student teaching placement. Just inservice and meetings; the kids don't start until next week, but it was nice to go in and get acquainted with things.

♥ I've had so much energy lately, it's incredible and more importantly, it feels incredible. Granted, somedays I don't really know where the energy comes from (the coffee that I pumped up with espresso? The killer workout? Getting up on the right side of the bed?), but knocking things off of my to-do list when it's dauntingly long is amaaaaazing!

♥ Batman: Year One and The Dark Knight Returns have absolutely captivated me. I never really got into comic books because there are so many arcs and knowing where to start is completely baffling, but I've got two good friends who are Batman junkies, and I think it's safe to say, they're turning me into one too. It really gets you thinking about issues with morality and heroism, and now I want to join in on their crazy Batman-analyzing academic pow-wows. Special mention: The Killing Joke. <3

♥ Writing content that I'm proud of. I've been re-formatting some old posts to fix broken links, image sizes, etc. and looking back, I am amazed at how much my writing style is changed. Some of the old posts have me laughing - "Why did I think this was publishable or even remotely good?" xD -but everyone has to start somewhere, and this blog has turned into a portfolio of sorts, where they growth is evident. I think about the things I've written recently, and those drafts and ideas I have floating around in my head, and I feel excited and proud. Yay, growth!

little loves
how obsessed am I becoming with Doctor Who? I'm still not a huge fan of Martha - no reason in particular, just feeling "meh", I'm absolutely smitten with the show as a whole ♥ the literal weight lifted from your shoulders when you get a hair cut! ♥ impending birthday plans ♥ Pacific Rim doing well overseas (I could launch into a whole diatribe about this, but I'll spare you. For now.) ♥ I've basically been addicted to playing Plants vs. Zombies 2 - it's a great sequel! ♥ 30 Days of Lists starts soon! ♥ exciting emails ♥ migrating all of my desktop docs to Google Docs through the offline app ♥ the season for dirty chai lattes is nigh! ♥ finishing A Beautiful Mess's 30 Day Self-Portrait Challenge! I'm not the most comfortable taking pictures of myself, and find myself taking the same kind of photograph ALL the time. Branching out and finding different poses and angles was kind of tough, but I'm glad I gave it a shot. Observation: I never wear my contacts xD

What are you loving this week?