Thursday, October 31, 2013

Things I Love Thursday

Happy Halloween!

While I don't have any terribly thrilling plans - my motivation to carve pumpkins this year was zero, much less put together a costume. This is the first year in ten that we'll have trick-or-treaters, but otherwise it's just the same ol' Thursday tradition which I love - hit up our favorite spot with the friends. There will probably be much more gawking at others' either amazing or horrible costumes. It really could go either way.

♥ I am not a texter. It's not that I don't enjoy talking to my friends, but frankly, unless it's hilarious and/or earth-shattering, I just don't feel the need to whip out my phone to text people every single second. So my phone basically lays dormant, at least, the actual phone part of the phone. Ha. But this past week was somewhat nice when my phone started blowing up with sweet texts from my darling cousin, bestie, and Batman-dealer. Each conversation made me smile in its own way :)

♥ On that note, the Thanksgiving preparations have begun! Thanksgiving is a huge event on my Mum's side of the family, with aunts, uncles, cousins, and extended family coming in from all over for a week of festivities, including stuffing our faces, dek hockey, adult dinner, Black Friday shopping, ice skating, seeing the Christmas lights, and apparently, also walking a 5K! The more I think about it, the crazier it seems, but I'm stoked!

♥ Have I mentioned that I have an awesome little sister? Cause I do. She's growing up to be such an incredible person, and frankly, she knows what's up - blanket campouts and watching The Avengers? Oh yes.

little loves
♥ Sesame Street's ability to stay relevant and make me chuckle ♥ thumbprint cookies ♥ Tom Hiddleston being perfect and doing Muppets impressions ♥ Feminist Hulk ♥ blanket forts ♥ Slapsgiving references ♥ girl talk ♥ hockey season! My babies! ♥ the best curry ever ♥ dinner with the darling Paperclippe, who might've given me NaNoWriMo inspiration unintentionally ♥ little jokes that get you through the day ♥ grey skies

What are you loving this week?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My Tech Top 10

Blogging Tools 
The degree to which technology and gadgets have infiltrated everyday life is insane. Seriously insane. Take a moment to stop and think how long it's been since you looked up a review for a new restaurant or sent your friend a quick text.

A half an hour? A few minutes?

Just how much technology is seeping into every aspect of our lives is a different story for a different day. But no matter how many tech detoxes you partake in, you can't deny the fact that gadgets make even the simplest tasks more efficient.

Okay, enough preaching. Point is: I really like technology. Whether we're talking laptops or apps, technology can do some pretty neat things, like edit your photos with a click of a button, or let you talk to you friend who lives on the other side of the planet.

I'm taking a cue from Apartment Therapy today and sharing my own list of gadgets and devices that make my heart go pitter-patter:
Blogging Tools
1. Devlin Actions - For a while I had an old-as-dirt copy of Photoshop version, like, 2. Grateful, yes, but did it really do what I wanted it to? Not so much. I was fortunate to score a the updated Photoshop from my old university for a pretty rad discounted rate, and I've been using it ever since to stitch together blog graphics and edit photographs. Enter Lisa Devlin Photography and her fairy godmother-level actions which magically transform your photos into editorial worthy gems. Whether its Basic Pop and a little Highlight Rescue, or an action that makes more of a statement (hello-o, Camden!), Devlin Actions are my go to for photo editing.

Macbook "15
2. 15" Macbook Pro - Despite not having Retina display, my 2011 model Macbook Pro is a beast. It's almost embarrassing how glued to my side my laptop is. It probably is very embarrassing, but I'm past the point of noticing. 

3. Brahmin laptop case - Toting all of this tech around is great, but how do you keep your Macbook Pro and other gadgets protected while on-the-go? Brahmin's laptop cases are chic, shiny, and do the trick. A typical day consists of my tossing my laptop in my bag with my chargers and cables for the day, my clearances in the back pocket, papers to grade, and I still have room for little odds and ends with the pockets inside. Did I mention the inside is fuzzy and soft to protect your tech?
4. iPhone - I feel like listing my phone as one of my top ten gadgets is cheating, especially since I feel like I'm going on an Apple product crusade, but I can't stress how much I love the iPhone. The features, capabilities, interface, and design just fall into line to create such a complete device that I don't think I'll ever change. My iPhone 5 is currently sporting Ann Marcellino's Sailors Assemble! case, which might be another reason I'm so fond of my phone. And prettying it with patterned and adorable wallpapers? Oh yes. Design Love Fest's Dress Your Tech is brilliant.

5. Google Drive - Everything is moving to the cloud, and there's no one I trust more than Google. Since I already had a Gmail account (and just about every other Google-related account under the sun), it made sense to just use my Google Drive as well. Have a surprise extra hour to kill? With Google Drive I can run into the computer lab on campus and work on my paper - never mind the fact that I didn't bring my own laptop with me that day. Coupled with the offline syncing capabilities, I have access to all of my documents, anytime, any place.

6. Evernote - Are you even surprised Evernote is on here? I sing its praises whenever I can, and I'll do it again. Right now. Evernote's interface on the new iOS7 looks incredible, and being able to sync between all of my devices means that I'm never without my blog drafts, grocery list, or township contact information.
7. Quirky Pivot Power 6 Outlet Flexible Surge Protector Power Strip - I'm the girl with so many gadgets that I've run out of places to plug them into, since most plugs these days are so huge that they take up the whole outlet and won't let you fit something else into the socket underneath! Sheesh. The Pivot power strip has six outlets that individually swivel so you can arrange your tech and plug in more than one device at a time.

8. Belkin Conserve Socket - This little guy runs on a timer so you can charge your device for either 30 min., 3, or 6 hours. I've been yelled at to not leave my phone and other gadgets plugged in all the time, yet it's nice to wake up to a full charge for the day ahead. I'll set the Belkin Conserve to about 3 hours to charge my phone overnight, and wake up to a full charge without loading up on unnecessary energy! Plus, I'm then confident that my phone won't die in the middle of the night and my alarm will indeed go off .

9. Afterlight - Afterlight is my favorite photo editing app, period. Not only are the filters a step up from Instagram's (and by step, I mean a very long stride), but you can rotate, crop, fix lighting and contrast, temperature, etc. Plus some of the filters are more subtle - I don't want every picture I've ever taken to come out with a Lomo finish.

10. Nintendo DS Lite and Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten - I know, I know, the new Nintendo 3DS is out and while I'm dying to play Pokémon X, I just can't part with my DS Lite. While I do have a fair share of games, the appeal of the DS Lite was that I could buy the "game" Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten to use as a Japanese dictionary to use with the DS Lite that I already had, instead of buying a specialized digital translator. The "game" isn't really a game at all, but a dictionary that lets you look up kanji by drawing it with the stylus, which comes in handy when you don't always know how to read the kanji you see.
Blogging Tools
What gadgets do you have a massive tech crush on?

Monday, October 28, 2013

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.75

marin.a )

chagrin n. [shə-ˈgrin]: distress of mind caused by feeling of failure, humiliation, or disappointment (via

The ill-timed comment tumbled from her lips without a thought and, realizing her mistake instantly, Ariel stood stunned, biting her lip in chagrin.

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, October 27, 2013

link love

The 10 Most Unusual Libraries in the World
♥ I'm with Alycia on these grammar mugs - fabulous. But then I'd feel a bit pretentious.
9 Clever Ways to Deal with Negative People
♥ While I don't think pumpkin carving is going to happen this year in my world, these literary pumpkins are incredibly detailed!
31 Signs You Like Books More Than You Like People. Yep.
♥ Neil Gaiman does it again. Why our future depends on libraries, reading, and daydreaming.
♥ Words to live by: How to be a better (& happier) human being
30 Non-Americans on the American Norms They Find Weird are hilarious. I don't notice half of these things, I'm sure.
♥ Kind of creepy, yet incredibly fascinating: How Companies Learn Your Secrets
♥ Autumn Pairings: Fall drinks & novels

What links have kept you entertained lately?

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Gothic Novel

Cathedral of Learning

What do Dracula, The Castle of Otranto, Frankenstein, The Monk, Jane Eyre, The Mysteries of Udolpho, and The Picture of Dorian Gray all have in common, aside from sounding like the obscure required reading list from a college literature course?

Technically, if you answered that all the book titles listed above sound like a college course's reading list you are correct, but that's not the only trait these book share. With Halloween just a few days away, I would be remiss to not talk about some very spooky stories and what makes them so. These aren't any type of scary stories, however; you'll find no Stephen King or Cabin in the Woods-type tales. These classic novels all scream Gothic.

Gothic novels - and no, the characters are not clad in black, or angstily listening to Bauhaus - represent a pretty substantial period of literature. Throughout college, my specialty in Victorian literature often intersected with the Gothic genre and it was hard to not be captivated by the many scintillating tales of terror.

Think of this list as a little crash course in Gothic literature. Impress your friends at your upcoming Halloween party (you know, if discussing centuries old classic literature is your thing) with your newfound knowledge of the sensational and Romantic elements of a Gothic novel. Or you could always just create a new Goodreads shelf and bookmark your favorite Gothic works, old and new.

Passageway Hogwarts
A Brief History
Gothic literature can be traced back to Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto written in 1764. The exaggerated style of the Romance literary movement explored the dark and horrific themes of the period, creating a suspenseful tale of the sublime and macabre. The story became so popular that imitations caught on and up sprung other Gothic tales. The popularity of these novels led to the creation of a genre of Gothic fiction, inspired by the settings of Gothic revival architecture and ruins that often served as settings for these tales of horror, including Matthew Lewis' controversial The Monk, to contributions from Romantic poets and authors, such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Polidori's The Vampyre.

By the Victorian era, Gothic literature was being reinterpreted by folks like Edgar Allan Poe, who incorporated themes of ruin and decay into The Fall of the House of Usher. The Brontës drew upon a Gothic atmosphere to create a sense of supernatural foreboding and madness upon the moor in Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. In this period, a new branch of the Gothic emerges as well - one with an urban twist that reflects the changing social climate and what some would consider a social "decay" that paralleled the ruin seen in earlier works.

Elements of Gothic Literature
It's not terribly tricky to spot a piece of Gothic fiction. As a genre so popular and long dominated by the Romantics, elements of the genre stick out pretty sorely. If you notice one or more of the following, you probably have a Gothic novel on your hands.
  • Castles. Yep, you heard correctly - castles. More generally speaking, the setting plays a major role in Gothic literature, from the sprawling labyrinthine ruins of castles, to secret trapdoors and underground cavernous mazes that invoke a sense of entrapment. The more lost you can get, the better. 
  • The atmosphere is one of mystery and suspense. Environmental factors like stormy weather and bleak landscapes help to establish an eerie mood that heighten the hidden secrets and threats the protagonist must face.
  • The supernatural and sublime play a major role. Ghosts, moving paintings, or suits of armor come to life, just to name a few. There may be a rational explanation for some of the supernatural beings in Gothic fiction, but sometimes the reason is simply that the event is otherworldly.
  • Prepare for the "damsel in distress" trope, because Gothic novels lay it on heavily. The virginal maiden is threatened by the tyranny of men, oppressed, alone, abandoned, fainting, running, screaming, sobbing, etc.
  • The Gothic genre is never short on prophecies and omens. Some secret or ancient prophecy sets the stage for events to come and adds an air of mystery and more secrets to the story.
There are plenty more elements to be found in Gothic fiction, and that's not counting modern Gothic stories, parodies (hello, personal favorite Northanger Abbey!), and other branches from the classic genre. But if you're ever in a bind, the above elements ought to serve as a good checklist for identifying a Gothic novel.

Cathedral of Learning
Gothic Novels
Whether you're looking for the earliest works of fiction or those of a more specialized or modern genre, Gothic novels are plentiful. Here are some of the classics to get you started:
  • The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
  • The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe
  • The Monk by Matthew Lewis
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (a parody of the genre)
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  • Vathek by William Beckford
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
What are some of your favorite Gothic novels?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Things I Love Thursday


I can't believe it's almost the end of October. Just last week I was trying to plan to see the duck when someone so kindly reminded me that it was only here for a few more days - until the end of October.

♥ One of my favorite things to do each autumn and winter is to make soup. It sounds like the simplest of things, but warm soup, like pasta, is like a hug in a bowl. The ultimate comfort food. On that note, I also made Habitual Homebody's crockpot chili and it made the house smell amazing (as well as do what chili does best - taste delish!)

♥ Be the classmates, cohorts, or coworkers, having people that you enjoy seeing on a regular basis makes each day much more enjoyable. The people I work with are pretty fantastic, and most of the students in our tiny cohort for the Masters program have banded together to help each other out throughout this whole process.

little loves
darling hairpins from the best friend from Ireland! ♥ our Thursday night waitress, who earned her tip last week after jukebox man decided to blast Tal Bachman during a Penguins game ♥ fresh deer meat ♥ autumn colored candies ♥ kitten love ♥ feeling like you nailed it ♥ doodling ♥ sleeping in sweatshirts ♥ free samples that you'll actually use (and like) ♥ a smiley face staring back at me from a band-aid on my finger - it's surprising how much that little thing made me smile and remember that everything is ok

What are you grateful for this week?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Campfire Chic's About YOU: A Simple Guide to Writing About Yourself with Confidence

The Blogcademy

Nestled up on a plush vintage sofa at the NYC Blogcademy earlier this year, I found myself twirling my pencil and tapping it along the blank page of my notebook while I tried to write my answer to the prompt: write your bio for your blog's about page. After ten minutes of staring at a blank page, I had nothing. How could it be so difficult to write about myself? It's what I know best; it is, well, me. And I like to think that I know a thing or two about who Kristin is and what she does best.

Writing about yourself is, put simply, hard. You may know yourself the best out of anyone, but putting those facts into words that are meant to epitomize your presence and brand can be a daunting task. Enter Campfire Chic.

Kam has managed to boil down writing social media bios, about pages, and project introductions into a slick and straightforward new ebook - About YOU: A Simple Guide to Writing About Yourself with Confidence. There are writing exercises at the end of each chapter to get you more comfortable with the idea of writing about yourself in a way that is genuine and oriented toward your goals. Laden with tips and tricks throughout, you'll feel like you have a master task list of what and how to write about YOU by the book's end.

So what do YOU want to say?

About YOU: A Simple Guide to Writing About Yourself with Confidence 
  • 26 page no-frills ebook focused on getting you more comfortable writing about yourself 
  • "10-minute tasks" to get you thinking about and implementing the lessons 
  • Learn how to stop feeling at a loss for words when responding to interviews 
  • Craft a brand narrative and about page that really capture who you are and what you do 
  • Get Kam's super simple formula for creating author bios for guest blog posts

You can download About YOU at a special price through Sunday, November 3rd and get writing about what you know best - yourself!

Do you find it tough to write about yourself too? What do you do to help yourself write your bio or about page?

This post contains affiliate links. I was provided with a complimentary copy of About YOU to review, but all opinions are my own. I think it's a great resource for writing your own bio!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Most Anticipated Fall Television Show Guide

I know the new season of television shows have already premiered, but this whole t.v. watching thing is new to me. After years of racing home from school to watch new episodes of Sailor Moon on Toonami as a kid, my television watching has significantly decreased. Between not having much time to get engrossed in a new show, none really caught my interest until the past few years (I blame Lost, truly). Even then, I would never remember what show was on when, and without DVR, trying to keep up with a series was an impossible task. My solution? Wait until the whole season came to Netflix and then binge-watch 20-some episodes in a matter of days. In some ways, viewing the whole series in a "movie"-style was kind of nice (but that's another post!), but I missed being able to jump into discussions with friends and co-workers.

I don't know what happened in the past year, but I've slowly gotten better at keeping up with new television shows I'd like to watch. And it helps that there are so many great shows (or, at least, ideas for shows!) that have popped up over the years. 30 different sitcoms that follow the same formula get old quickly, so it's refreshing to see such inventive, creative ideas.

What shows am I excited about enough to make an effort to put on my calendar and watch this season? Or at least DVR and try to remember to watch (ha!)?

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - There was a lot of hype. There's still a lot of hype. Not to mention quite a lot to live up to. While I don't think the show is Firefly-level for me, at least not at this stage, I am really enjoying it. The characters can go for some more fleshing out, which honestly surprised me as that is a Whedon-clan forte in my opinion, but the show is solid and keeps getting better episode after episode. Hopefully, it keeps going in a good direction!

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland - A sucker for anything Alice, I love the idea of a badass heroine navigating the fairytale world to find her love. Also: Naveen Andrews as Jafar. I'm pretty pumped. (Doesn't hurt that Alice-inspired fashion translates really well, in my eyes. Case in point: Sara's recent Inspired By post)

Sleepy Hollow - While I haven't had the chance to tune into this one yet, I hear nothing but good things. What's not to love about one of my favorite pieces of literature come to life on television? I'll admit, I'm a little apprehensive as to how they're going to turn a fairly short story into a longer arc, or what major things they'll use as fodder for a modern arc, but the idea intrigues me!

Supernatural - I'll admit, the first few seasons were my favorite. I just don't understand where you go from such an epic battle between Heaven and Hell like in season 5. The last year's story arc worried me, after a forced plot and some questionable characterization, there were some good elements that I'm hoping the writers will let shine through. Charlie? Yes. Castiel? Yes. Please turn this around, guys. No more bizarre, out of place love subplots for Sam. At least not if they don't make sense.

How I Met Your Mother - While it's definitely time for this show to come to a close, I'll be sad to see it go. It manages to be hilarious and poignant at the same time, and I've enjoyed the laughs and tear-jerking moments over the years. But FINALLY! We get to meet THE mother.

 The Tomorrow People - My co-op teacher actually recommended this, as she knows its original version through her husband. Sci-fi mutant-y, it's a storyline I fall for more often than not. Fingers crossed that it wows me!

The Big Bang Theory - A show rarely comes along that makes my sides hurt as much as The Big Bang Theory. While I'm not extremely invested in this show as far as plot is concerned (do I like Leonard/Penny? Yeah, sure, fine; I'm not emotionally attached like I am with HIMYM), it provides many good laughs. And opportunities for board game trivia games.

The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special is a whole 'nother ordeal. Not to mention I just power watched 2 full seasons of New Girl in under a week. I swear I'm not really a television person...

What shows are you most excited to watch this season?

Monday, October 21, 2013

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.74

Eerie Dawn 
Van Corey )

eldritch adj. [ˈel-drich]: strange or unearthly, eerie (via)

The eldritch symbol that decorated the door of the abandoned cellar matched that of the map they had discovered.

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, October 20, 2013

link love

Why is it so hard to write about yourself? I remember having such a hard time writing about myself in one of our Blogcademy exercises. Even now, I still struggle with it. But Kam's new ebook tackles the tough stuff!
10 Beautiful Book-Inspired Designs including a lovely bookish pendant and a bookworm tray.
♥ I'm guilty of over-thinking things, but we don't need a reason for everything.
Thoughts on selfies. While Instagram streams that are nothing but selfies is an immediate deterrent, the selfie is still an important, er, development. I'm still not the most comfortable taking them of myself, but I'm warming up to the idea; embrace YOU! Take your own picture!
6 Reasons Why You Should Read.
Yes and Yes (one of my very favorite blogs!) shares tools for organization addicts and unapologetic daydreamers 
7 Ways to Organize Your Bookshelves. I've tried alphabetical and color coding, but right now my bookshelf is just a hot mess.
The Best Witches in Literature (quick! Go read Macbeth! And Good Omens! And all of these - they're fabulous!)
♥ This animated video explores the invented languages of Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, and Star Trek, which is just fascinating.

What links have kept you entertained lately?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Zines 101 with Sonya Cheney

10.17.13 / zine books + resources

Good day, lovely Teacup readers! I’m Sonya, and my lovely hostess Kristin has so wonderfully agreed to let me not only do a post on zines for you during my month of sponsorship, but also offer a few of my own issues for a giveaway! So scoot a little closer to your screen while I offer up some resources and basics in a bit of Zines 101 for you.

Books are my preferred way to learn about subjects, and zines are no different. Although a lot of libraries I’ve encountered over time don’t have many books on zines--sad face--if you’re willing to spend the money, I have some suggestions for books to learn with.

Stolen Sharpie Revolution by Alex Wrekk: This was the first book on zines I got, and it’s probably been one of the most useful. SSR provides a wealth of information on zines, DIY supplies, and the USPS. It’s a quarter legal size, with a cut-and-paste look to mirror the zines it will teach you about.

Girl Zines by Alison Piepmeier: If you’re interested in something a bit more historical to read, Girl Zines is a good way to go. This book will give you the basics on the history of feminist zines, especially those from the ‘90s. Its subject does tend toward feminist zines in particular, but it’s still a great way to learn some history and get thinking about your own connections with the craft.

Various Compilations/Anthologies: Lastly, if you’re someone who likes collections more than single issues (think graphic novel compilations of comics), I’d recommend checking out some different zine anthologies. Ones on my shelf currently include Mend My Dress, A Girl’s Guide to Taking Over the World, and a personal favorite, Telegram: A Collection of 27 Issues. Often these can be found in Distros, which brings us to my next resource list...

10.17.13 / distro notes in my filofax
This a note from Heather of Stranger Danger and a flier from Vampire Sushi (which also has a note on the back; the Stranger Danger one is on a flier from Chicago Zine Fest). (I keep them both in my Filofax!)

Distros (distributors) are my favorite way to order zines, even though Etsy can be more convenient sometimes. Distros are typically themed in their curation, so you can find ones specializing in feminist zines, anarchist zines, nerdy zines… I’ve even found some while browsing around that had a selection of herbalist zines!

Stranger Danger: Another one of my firsts, Stranger Danger was the first distro I ordered from and is always the first one I check when I’m in the need for more. Not to mention that Heather, who runs the distro, is just super nice. The last time I made an order, Heather sent along a few extra issues to make up for taking a little longer to send out the order--though it didn’t seem long at all to me, honestly.

Fight Boredom: Fight Boredom is based in Canada and a thoroughly different ordering experience from Stranger Danger (or Vampire Sushi, below). Amber, who runs the distro, asks you to do a bit of math when you order. The zines in the catalog don’t have accompanying “buy now” buttons; instead, they have their price plus their weights, and when you order you let Amber know which issues you want via a message in Paypal and send through the appropriate amount of money. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can do it the old fashioned way and snail mail your order with concealed cash and a list of what you’re ordering.

Vampire Sushi: Vampire Sushi is based in the UK and like every other distro runner I’ve encountered, Tukru is a total sweetheart. When I’m feeling a little better about opening my wallet, I’ll make a special order from Vampire Sushi because even though it might cost me more, it’s nice to help everyone out once in a while. Often I can find the same issues from here as I can from, say, Stranger Danger, but honestly, who doesn’t love mail from another country once in a while?

Lastly, and unsurprisingly, the internet is always a good to find some information on something new, at least to begin with. 

How to Make a One-Page Zine: If you’re interested in making your own and don’t know how to start, I would recommend a one-page zine. It takes one sheet of paper and is small enough that you shouldn’t feel pressured to fill pages and pages with content. Plus, as the tutorial shows, you can add a poster if you’re so inclined!

WeMakeZines Ning: The WeMakeZines ning is a great way to find other zinesters, some local and some not. There are discussion boards for trading, learning, and connecting, so after you’ve finished that one-page zine I mentioned, you can let everyone know you’re up for trades.

Etsy: Etsy seems to be the perfect resource for anything handmade, including zines. It has by far the widest variety I’ve seen in terms of subjects, from Sailor Moon mini zines to half-page feminist perzines to zines about cats. So if a distro doesn’t meet your needs, Etsy probably will.


And now, for those of you who like games of chance: a giveaway! Today I’m offering not one...not two…but THREE issues of my own zines. The lucky winner will receive a copy of One-Girl Bicycle Club #004 (my personal zine) and Small Parts #001 + #002 (my prose poetry/mini story zine).

10.17.13 / giveaway zines

A huge thanks to Kristin for letting me share something I love so much with her readers and offer up some of my own writing as well.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sonya blogs at Sonya Cheney and is a zine mastermind. I'm so grateful to her for providing this primer on zines! I've got quite the reading and research to do now, how about you?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Things I Love Thursday

I woke up to these two emails yesterday morning from my mother - a link to why Oreos are like a drug, and an announcement for the 1st Annual Pittsburgh Pierogi Fest. Clearly, we have our priorities straight. Currently, that is my headspace, which I'm sure is very telling.

♥ As a sort of pick me up for the stress of the past week, Julie and I drove downtown to see the giant duck after school one day. It worked. I don't know how you can look at this big, yellow, adorable thing floating in the river and not be happy. As grey a day as it was, as hectic as things have been, seeing that duck, silly as it sounds - a duck, ha! - made me feel a little bit better.

♥ I met up with Kelly and Tiffany in South Park last weekend for The Color Run, which was fabulous and quite the happy occasion. Even though it rained for a good ten minutes as soon as we set out on the course, it dried up fairly quickly and overall was a pleasant day. The color? Fabulous! My sneakers are now tye-dye

♥ Over the past few months, I've been rediscovering my awe for the city of Pittsburgh. I went through a period of bitterness for various reasons, but I've lately come to fall in love with it again. The Pittsburgh-grey days, kooky traditions, and little things here and there are starting to outweigh the positively crappy public transportation. I'm finding a magic again, and I couldn't be more excited about that!

little loves
simple lunches and surprise visits with Grandma ♥ finally being able to see Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing - brilliantly done! ♥ Batman Hush and watching Under the Red Hood (Jensen Ackles' voice is so recognizable xD) ♥ delicious salted caramel macarons from Jean-Marc Chatellier's bakery ♥ semi-regular sushi dates with friends at what's slowly becoming our favorite (only?) dive sushi spot ♥ warm tea and miso soup ♥ flowy, chiffon tops ♥ boot season! ♥ morning tea ♥ my new discovery of Luvocracy ♥ cafe au lait

What are you loving this week?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

sponsor love

Oh boy, have I got a treat for you this month. You might recognize some of October's sponsors from months past, but the lovely ladies listed below are responsible for writing and managing some of my personal favorite blogs. I couldn't hand-select you a better list of exciting new blogs to follow!

I'm Sonya, and I blog mostly about reading and being a writer/zinester, throwing in bits and bobs about witch punk, feminism, and life in general. You can find a weekly gratitude list posted on Fridays, what have apparently turned into monthly book recommendations, and discussions of my love for Tarot. If you're looking for a new book to read, wondering what the heck a "zinester" is, or curious what it's like to be a newbie witch punk--or if you just feel like being a creeper and taking a look into someone else's life--pop on over.

What's your favorite type of candy?
My favorite candy is absolutely Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I love them in everything (especially Friendly's Friend-z ice creams with no hot fudge + extra peanut butter sauce).

What's one fear or challenge you've overcome this year?
The only thing I can think of is driving, and that's just happened in the last couple of weeks with my sudden need to drive to and from work several days in a row. I still don't like it, but at least I can do it without taking a day to emotionally prepare for a ten-minute drive.

I am Amy T Schubert – writer, editor, photographer, encourager. I live in Southern California with my recording engineer husband Andrew and our two monsters cats. At Lemon and Raspberry I help you learn how to tell your story, build your online platform and find your GREAT WORK.

I was able to quit my day job in June 2013 to do my GREAT WORK, and I am running my annual online workshop, Onward and Upward, to help others find their great work.

What's your favorite type of candy?
I don't have a favorite-favorite type of candy. I'm open to all kinds! Recently I've been loving dark-chocolate-covered pretzels and skittles.

What's one fear or challenge you've overcome this year?
This is the year I have finally been able to quit my day job after years of saving money and building up my blog. I could not be happier!

Don't forget to use the code Teacup for 20% off when you sign up for Lemon & Raspberry's Onward and Upward e-course! Registration for the class closes on Friday, October 18th.

Sincerely, Sara is a blog where style, books, writing, and inspiration come together. Behind the scenes is Sara, a Creative Writing grad student in New York, who likes peach tea, watching way too much TV, and writing her novel.

What's your favorite type of candy?
My favorite candy is pretty much anything with chocolate, but I absolutely love KitKat bars. De-lish!

What's one fear or challenge you've overcome this year?
Since I'm in my last semester of grad school, one of my big fears is finally entering the real world and getting a full-time job. Recently, I had my first phone interview with a great company and I've already done an event for them at the New York Public Library. It's a fear that I'm happy to say has been mostly accomplished, so we'll see where life takes me.

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!

What's your favorite type of candy?
I LOVE dark chocolate. And real (homemade) caramel. And dark chocolate and caramel together!

What's one fear or challenge you've overcome this year?
I'm in the middle of a big challenge right now--my husband quit his job, we're packing up, and we're on our way to a new life in Colorado. It's scary and challenging, and I haven't overcome it yet, but am excited to see where this next chapter in our life takes us!

Scrawny Girl is my personal blog where I talk about my fatal attraction to cuteness, my daughter and the dolls I make/sell in my Etsy shop. I believe a handmade gift, is the best gift because it comes from the heart, and that's why I started making dolls. I have a passion for screenprinting, and plan to introduce some special products to my shop soon!

What's your favorite type of candy?
My favorite candy is the mini Reese PB cups. Perfect ratio of chocolate to PB.

What's one fear or challenge you've overcome this year?
One fear I've overcome so far this year is putting myself put there with my dolls. It's scary to show, let alone try and sell, the things you make. I hope this leads to more bravery with my blog and shop. :)

A big thank you to all of October's sponsors, who have been tackling some really brave and exciting challenges! Interested in sponsoring My Life as a Teacup? I'd love to have you!

What fear or challenge have you overcome this year?