Friday, January 31, 2014

Manga Must-Reads

As a Japanese major in college, it was often assumed that I had an extensive knowledge of anime and manga. When I revealed to the curious people who asked that my knowledge of popular animated television shows stopped in the mid-90's with Sailor Moon and Neon Genesis Evangelion, I would get stared down like I was from an alien planet. How could I not watch anime?

Truth me told, I was never much an anime devotee. My pathway into Japanese culture was through music, which, though more common nowadays I'm sure, was pretty obscure in 1999 (this was all pre-YouTube - oh fun). I did enjoy reading the occasional manga, which I could snag at Borders for a mere $7-10 a piece. Such easy access was a dream, and I dove into the bishoujo/magical-girl genre as an extension of my Sailor Moon-watching.

Manga isn't just all magical girls fighting evil, though. There are genres like you wouldn't believe, from fighting robots to romance. I've even spotted a number of popular books and movies given a manga-makeover lately (Gail Carriger's Soulless, anyone?). The comic-book style is readily recognizable, and aside from some editions reading in the traditional Japanese, right to left style, easy to read. What's more, most major book stores now carry a huge selection of manga, so you're bound to find something!

While I've seriously downsized my collection over the years, I couldn't help but snag some of my favorites (like the entire 20-some book Nana series for a mere $10) in Japan. Most of them are girly, but hey.

And it takes me significantly longer to read a teeny-tiny manga in Japanese than my host sister, who breezes through one in a matter of minutes. Who knew comics could double as Japanese language practice.
  • Sailor Moon - I've seen a resurgence of the series lately - probably due to the anime reboot this coming summer. You could walk into a Barnes & Noble and easily snag the whole arc from the shelf, and it's worth it. A classic for a reason, Tsukino Usagi finds a talking cat one day that informs her she's a superhero meant to protect the princess of the Moon and save the planet from the baddies. A team of female superheroes? Yes please!
  • Nana - Recently made into a live action movie, two girls - both named Nana - are brought together and their lives intertwine. Keywords: Friendship, love, drama, rock music. Emphasis on the awesome friendship. And rock music. And Vivienne Westwood.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth - More super-heroines, this time saving a fictional world, courtesy of the awesome writers and illustrators of CLAMP.
  • Paradise Kiss - Ai Yazawa has a very distinct illustrative style, and Paradise Kiss is just as visually appealing (and fashion-tastic) as Nana. A short series, Paradise Kiss follows one girl's fall-in with a college fashion label and the love and friendships that ensure. The characters are quirky and lovable, an area where Yazawa really shines. Check out Gokinjo Monogatari if you want more background on the supporting characters, in a better-than-the-original prequel-y kind of way.
  • Mars - An oldie but a goodie. This might not even be in print anymore, but I remember following the high-school drama of the artistic goodie two-shoes and resident bad boy. Typically girly, full of drama, but somehow touching and addictive
  • Anything from CLAMP - These are the ladies behind Rayearth, but pick up anything of theirs and you won't be disappointed. Not always magical-girl related, but often feature supernatural beings and fantastic worlds, there's always something epic and fairytale-ish going on. Chobits, Clover, Wish, X/1999, Miyuki-chan in Wonderland (a bit risque, but a fun take on Alice in Wonderland)
Do you read manga?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Things I Love Thursday + BRAVE e-course giveaway

Holy excitement! Lot's is going on this week, it seems, yet I'm managing to have a fairly relaxing and uneventful one. Things are low-key and running smoothly, which never seems to be the case! I've been keeping up on my to-do lists and taking things as they come, which sounds counterproductive, at least to one another, but it's working. Who knew letting go a little bit meant a more time, more opportunities, and peace of mind?

♥ Sometimes I need to disconnect and in order to do that, just leaving for a dinner date a few hours early means that I can stop into a coffee shop or bookstore and just read. It sounds simple, but an hour or so to myself to read, uninterrupted, makes me feel like a whole new person.

Fragile Things is one of my favorite works of literature ever, and that's saying something, seeing as I don't particularly care for short stories. The cover of the edition in the picture above caught my eye at the bookstore the other day, and I spent some time rereading some of my favorite stories, notably "October in the Chair", "Harlequin Valentine", and "The Day the Saucers Came". I don't think short stories have every captivated me so (bonus for being bound in a lovely cover!)

♥ Continuing with the reading theme of this week, I'm enjoying the L&R book club tons. There have been lots of insightful discussions about technology and disconnecting, creating versus blindly consuming, and it's really got my gears turning. Amy is A+ at coordinating a thoughtful read and keeping everything organized and on schedule - book clubs never seem to get off the ground just due to the lack or coordination! Speaking of Amy...

newsletter | twitter | pinterest

She's one of my sponsors this month (and has a little something for you!):

At the daily blog Lemon and Raspberry, Amy T Schubert helps you tell your story, build your platform and find your GREAT WORK … and how those all combine to help you live your best creative life. She has been a writer, photographer and encourager for most of her life. If you're looking for a free guide to jumpstart your creativity or one-on-one blog-business coaching, head over to Lemon and Raspberry. For more day-to-day fun (including cat photos), follow Amy on Twitter and Instagram at @amytschubert.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
little loves
♥ girls' night (complete with funky Mexican mosaic tables and enchiladas) ♥ Spaceballs on the big screen! ♥ feeling proud that sat down and figured out how to make templates in Photoshop! ♥ Skype dates with Alexis of Strange and Charmed ♥ the cheery older gentleman who cashiers at Target and makes you feel like a superstar! ♥ breezing through a fun, YA read ♥ cozy bathrobes ♥ Essie's Mademoiselle nude nail polish ♥ being a Currently list ambassador! ruKristin has an amazing journaling card that lets you capture your 'right-now' story that's simple yet addictive. Join the Facebook group and follow me on Instagram to keep up with my lists!  
What are you loving this week?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

6 Things I Can't Live Without

A few weeks ago, Sara of Sincerely Sara shared 'Six Things I Can't Live Without'. If you know me, you know I'm rarely seen without a few select items, myself.

Take lip balm, for instance. I have one in every conceivable place: in my car, in my purse, on my nightstand, in my makeup pouch, on my desk, in my pocket at work. If I don't have lip balm within arm's length at any given time, I turn into a verifiable catastrophe.

So what, exactly, are these six essential things?
  1. Pilot Precise V5 extra fine pens -  I'm the person who will gladly whip out my own writing utensil than use an inferior pen. These babies write so smoothly that I almost refuse to write with any other pen.
  2. Lip balm - My lip balm of choice right now is EOS' Raspberry Pomegranate, but I've got a Salted Caramel lip balm from The Gnarly Whale in my purse, and peach Baby Lips on hand too. Smith's Rosebud Salve has a permanent spot in my makeup bag.
  3. Say Yes to Cucumbers facial wipes - It kills me to go to bed without washing my face or taking off my makeup. These easy wipes are wonderful when on the go or when I feel too tired to actually pull out the soap and a washrag. 
  4. Comfy pants - I keep a pair of sweatpants in my car. It first started as an emergency have-to-stay-over-somewhere or get stranded deal, but now it's just so I can put them on whenever I feel like it.
  5. Hair ties - I recently discovered these wonderful, no-kinks hair ties that masquerade as colorful bracelets. Honestly, I was happy enough just not having a line through my hair that required a wash just to get out. The fact that these look much cuter than a stack of black elastic ties on your wrist is a plus (and they don't snap in half! Hooray!)
  6. iPad mini - Until last month, I would've been fine just saying my laptop. But the fact that my iPad fits so nicely into my purse means that I can always have a book on hand (I know, I know, but I can't beat the convenience!) or whip out Evernote to jot down some ideas on the go.
Bonus items: I nearly always have on my silver bow pendant, signature pearl studs (3 in each ear), and my crazy won't-ever-spill-ever travel mug.

What six items can you not live without? Link up in the comments below!

Monday, January 27, 2014

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.88

( anjakb )

assuage v. [ə-ˈswāj]: to make (something painful) less intense or severe (via)

Though just a minor scratch, having a colorful bandaid assuaged the child.

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, January 26, 2014

link love

How to fit reading into your schedule and actually finish the books you want to read
♥ I love the idea of naming a pet something literary. Here are the best names in literature to give your cat.
12 Historic Bars Every Book Nerd Needs to Visit. What I wouldn't give to visit Cerveceria Alemana, or Antico Caffe Greco (or any all of them). It is also no surprise that Hemingway frequented most of the bars on this list.
Game of Thrones in Feudal Japan art. How fitting.
♥ These cards Ella from Paper Umbrellas made are gorgeous!
How to write a thank you note (because those little notes can be tough!)
♥ For all of you looking to expand your reading horizons this year, I Believe in Story has literary merit badges for your blog!
10 Habits of a Highly Organized Person: How pro organizer Jeni Aron keeps her own life under control (some awesome tips in here!)
♥ Everyone loves books! How to be a good book fairy.
The problem with list posts on life - condensing "everything" into a list has its issues
♥ Some perspective on switching from ebooks back to traditional books

What fun links have you found this week?

Friday, January 24, 2014

How to Write a Thesis Statement

Coming up with an interesting thesis statement is the bane of my existence. Or it least it was when I was a student (it's still so strange to not be in school! I like writing papers and doing research!).

To this day, I still experience a complete mind blank when asked to come up with a paper topic. After a long chat with a fellow English major over coffee, we both agreed that crafting an argument is something that's not-so-commonly taught in high school, but all too expected in college writing and beyond (plus, it makes your writing more sophisticated sounding! And interesting!). Once you finally grasp what exactly a thesis is, it's so easy to fall into summarizing or regurgitating common arguments that have been made a thousand times over. Yet after awhile you start to find little systematic ways to take the interesting parts of a text and turn them into writing material. 

Now, these tactics aren't just food for thought when you're writing a thesis statement. Give them a try at your next book club meeting if you're finding yourselves covering the same themes month after month, or need to add a new angle to the discussion. I wish I would've kept some of these questions in mind in my high school English classes, so I wasn't wandering into group discussions blindly!
  1. Pay attention to weird moments - If you find yourself scratching your head at a particular moment in a story, chances are there's something to be said about it! To fuel your ideas, think about why it feels strange or out of place, or how it differs from the rest of the text.
  2. Play devil's advocate - It's a common strategy to use, but aligning yourself against the normal claim can help stretch yourself in a new direction if you find yourself making the same, seemingly obvious observation time after time. Flipping the typical claim can provide you with some insightful counterarguments, at the least.
  3. Make a parallel - A lot of times you can compare characters or events within a story, or even two different stories. Drawing parallels between two similar or different elements can create an interesting dialogue.
  4. Track a word or theme - Whip out the handy dandy OED and follow how a word or theme evolves or is applied over the course of the story. Sometimes the theme undergoes changes over the course of the story itself. Also, look for moments of ambiguity when a word could have a double meaning. Often, interpreting a word both ways can lead to some pretty intriguing discoveries.
  5. Compare adaptations - Have you ever noticed that certain scenes are portrayed a certain way as works are modernized and adapted into different formats? Think about what elements have stood the test of time, and which are subject to change. Take Pride & Prejudice, for example: the BBC version differs from the 2005 film, which differs from the Bridget Jones' Diary take, and the more recent Lizzie Bennet Diaries. You could easily look at the evolution of communication and gossip, the change in cultural portrayal of the scandal, how Lizzie's famous character has been translated into a more modern portrayal, etc. Lots to work with!
Granted, not all of these strategies can be used in every context. Sometimes you just can't argue against a normal claim, because you just can't support that position (trying to make the text say something it physically doesn't is a no-no). But often, just thinking about your angle in a different manner can help expand your ideas into new territories.

And when in doubt, just come up with a catchy subtitle for your paper. And you can probably throw agency into your argument somehow. I'm only half-joking with this advice.

How do you craft an argument?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

#PolarVortex part deux is upon us, though Pittsburgh just got the below zero temperatures again versus the inches upon inches of snow. As much as I don't mind winter (in fact, I rather enjoy the chilly weather!) I'm getting a little sick of having to clean off my car every morning and lace up my snow boots just to get to the mailbox. Spring, are you out there?

♥ After a few months of a bizarre workout schedule (read: going from working out daily to just a few times a week) followed by the holiday terrible-for-you-but-oh-so-good food blitz, I'm back to working out regularly with Blogilates, yoga, and the occasional run. Sitting down with April last week had us both wondering why we were in such great moods and I think the culprit was the fact that we had both went to the gym the day before! I've been feeling much better physically and been in a better mood overall - can't beat that!

Talking theories over coffee - any time Steve and I get together the English major in both of us comes out and we end up talking for hours about literary criticism, new forms of multimedia, the education system, motifs in our favorite movies -- you name it! It's kind of refreshing and gets my creative juices going again.

little loves
vanilla bean + espresso almond butter ♥ J.crew Pixie pants ♥ the awesome (and somewhat grotesque) cover of Death of the Family ♥ hot pink lipstick ♥ the sci-fi, Indiana Jones feel of Planetary ♥ getting stuff DONE! ♥ fresh snow (and when it blows across the road like powdered sugar!) ♥ being free from a book that I just wasn't into ♥ super secret buffalo sauce from our Thursday night haunt ♥ being able to park my car in the garage again ♥ taking the time to make a special breakfast for no special reason at all

What are you loving lately?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

tips on forming habits + sponsor love

There are a number of ideas floating around out there about how long it takes to turn a task into a habit. Some say it takes 21 days to form a habit, others a little over a month. Getting a habit to feel less like a chore is another story. With January all about fresh starts and goal-setting, I decided to ask my lovely sponsors what they do to stay on top of their game and turn a regular ol' task into something they look forward to doing each day.

blog | instagram | twitter | bloglovin'

I'm Jessica and I've been an incurable bookworm since I learned how to read! You can normally find me curled up at a window seat in a cafe with a cup of tea and my face in a book! I love to blog about books, cats, fashion, and things that happen in my life.

How do you make something a habit?
I feel like I formed habits without even meaning to form them! I think repetition is important, and sometimes it doesn't even have to be conscious! If I really want to make something into a habit though, I put it on my daily to-do list and make sure I do it everyday until I don't need to put it on my to-do list anymore.

What kind of year do you want to create in 2014? Describe it in no more than 3 words.
Exciting, meaningful, new.

Allie Trumpower of Alexandra Rae Design and Document Life Workshop works in marketing by day, but by night is a crafty designer, a photographer, and a memory keeper. She loves list making, great design, memory keeping, pinterest, twitter, and instagram– and loves meeting new people via social media! Follow along with her memory keeping, lists, craft projects, and every day life on twitter and instgram at @abandy.

Use the code teacup for 20% off items in Alexandra Rae's shop!

How do you make something a habit?
I like to use Ali Edwards' "One Little Word" philosophy -- she picks a word and keeps it at the forefront of her life for the year. I think keeping the "habit' you want to create at the forefront of your life and mind can help make something a habit-- whether it's keeping a vision board, or constantly writing your goals in your planner- --keeping it visible is the most helpful!

What kind of year do you want to create in 2014? Describe it in no more than 3 words.
Balanced, joyful, creative.

Hi, I'm Ella! By day I work in a high school special education classroom, and by night I craft and blog! I'm an avid list-maker with a constant travel bug, who believes washi tape is the only kind of tape one should use, turns almost everything into a craft project, and has an affinity for anything sea foam green. Paper Umbrella is where I share DIY projects, fashion and design inspiration, my favorite music, recipes (I especially love creating new cocktails), lots of photos, and anything else that inspires me.

How do you make something a habit?
One thing that works best for me is if I decide on one small goal to focus on exclusively for the next month or so (seriously, throw out all those other lofty goals for a minute), and then give myself a little reward at the end if I succeed.

What kind of year do you want to create in 2014? Describe it in no more than 3 words.
Productive, kind, inspired.

Call for sponsors! Interested in sponsoring My Life as a Teacup? I'd love to have you! (Don't forget you can use the code LOVE for 20% off your ad spot through February 14th!)

How do you turn something into a habit?

Monday, January 20, 2014

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.87

One Sly Fox
( Rik Ruff )

surreptitious adj. [sər-əp-ˈti-shəs]: done in a secret way (via)

The fox snuck surreptitious glances at the campers, in hopes that they might abandon their campsite full of food.

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, January 19, 2014

link love

♥ Remember: the bad days don't define you
How To Tell If You Are In a Bronte Novel
♥ The amazing Kyla Roma is at it again! 5 Actions You Can Take Today To Get More Done and Start Having More Fun (yes please!)
♥ Xandra of Fashionably Light and Caroline of Sparkles and Crumbs teamed up to create a podcast about what you bring to the tea party - essentials for the modern heroine. Episode 1 of FabulosiTEA has been sitting in my Pocket queue for an embarrassingly long amount of time, but I finally listened to it the other day and am in LOVE! These ladies make it feel like you're truly out for a chat over a cup of tea and it's delightful!
23 Reasonable Things Every Person Should Resolve To Do In the New Year
♥ I don't often reflect on my own reading habits, but The Perpetual Page Turner wrote a wonderful piece on how unemployment has changed my life as a reader.
♥ Did somebody say long-lost Mary Shelley letters!?
♥ The original Alice in Wonderland manuscript, handwritten and illustrated by Lewis Carroll himself!
♥ An article on commercial grammar blunders and the low grammatical standard
10 Things to Avoid For a Happier 2014
♥ My comic book education continues, and yours can too! A comic about how to talk about comics
Cut-rate Jane Austen reviews the good, bad, and the ugly Jane Austen retellings
Why Working Hard May Not Pay Off: It's not about working hard or working more, but working efficiently. (seriously, read this if you read one article this week!)
♥ A round-up of the best and most popular words of 2013
The curious story of London's first coffee houses


What links are you loving lately?

Friday, January 17, 2014

High School Reading List

One thing that seems to be on everyone's reading list are the "classics", but what books actually make up the classic canon (also known as the "dead white guys" - problematic in itself, but that's for another day) can be a little bit shaky.

Upon entering college, it seems like everyone has read Mark Twain, Shakespeare, and a spattering of Dickens. High school students are handed Romeo & Juliet and Catcher in the Rye is an American public school staple. And yet, there are still books that I somehow glossed over in my high school career!

Even from a teacher's standpoint, there are some books that are unofficial required reading of public schools. What books seem to be on every high school reading syllabus?

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

Since part of me feels guilty having majored in English Literature without having read these books, one of my goals this year is to read some of the classic novels it seems that everyone read in high school except me! To be honest, I didn't read many of these books at my school, and the ones I did I didn't care for (I still can't bring myself to read the whole of Catcher in the Rye; I just don't see its charm. But I will tackle it!). Maybe I'll put together a reading list of what my school read, hmm....

Be my friend on Goodreads and we can tackle these classics together!

Did you read any of these in high school? What books do you feel like you missed out on?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

This week I've made an effort to get going on my goals and stop putting them off! I may be good at making to-do lists (and oh, do I enjoy it), but sometimes it takes all of my effort to cross off the tiniest of tasks. Putting 'NOW' to good use, I've really cracked down and stayed on top of things and it feels good.

January has also been the unofficial month for cleaning. I'm cleaning out my computer, rooms in the house, my closet - you name it. I'm hoping to get everything tidy and organized by the end of the month!

♥ Last night I cleaned out my iPhoto, which felt so liberating, especially after putting it off for months (pictures always bring out hard memories). Tough as it may be, I pulled through. A technological detox is needed just as much as getting rid of physical items sometimes; out with the old, y'know? Things are organized, categorized, and up to date and it feels good.

♥ I've had my eye on the International Geek Girls Pen Pal Club since I first caught wind of the idea with round one. I never worked up the nerve to register for a round, but I figured better late than never! With the launch of the new site this week, I've been enjoying the myriad of topics being discussed, even if I am a bit rusty on my forum etiquette. Snail mail! Like-minded geeky ladies! Are you part of the #IGGPPC?

little loves
♥ BBC Sherlock season 3 ♥ April & Josh have the comfiest couch in the world that you can just nestle into ♥ black and white, stripes and polka dots ♥ surprisingly warm days in January ♥ fresh berries ♥ Sherlock! The Sign of Three had me howling and His Last Vow - woah ♥ hazelnut chai tea ♥ getting things DONE!

What are you loving this week?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Girls' Night Out Ideas with Datevitation

When Camille at Datevitation reached out with the opportunity to try out the platform, I honestly brushed the idea off at first. Having just ended a five-year long relationship, I wasn't really feeling up for creating an adorable coupon book to share with a sweetie, much less celebrate Valentine's Day.

But then I got to thinking...

Why not create a book to celebrate my very best relationship ever?

No, not with my cat. With resident best girl friend April! In the end, I couldn't resist taking Camille up on the offer and making my own custom love coupon book with Datevitation! A loved one doesn't need to be a boyfriend or girlfriend, and this Valentine's Day I'm choosing to celebrate with a loved one all the same.
Datevitation allows you to customize everything, from personal messages to the activities (hence the Pride & Prejudice & Brie reference). You can even plop your own faces in there in lieu of the smiley stick figures! How nifty is that?

But if you're short on ideas, never fear! Datevitation has a whole library full of date night ideas (over 500!) at your disposal. And not just the romantic kind, either. You can customize your book with ideas for family nights, activities with your kids, or go the route I went: Girls' Night Out.

Datevitation takes care of the printing and shipping, and I have to say, I'm impressed with the quality of the booklet itself. Perforations! Yay! And did you see the adorable surprise! envelope it came in? Double yay!

Books normally start at $25 (making them adorable, thoughtful, and I-just-graduated-and-have-looming-student-loans friendly), but as a special treat for my followers, you can use the code TEACUP10 for $10 off your purchase plus free shipping (that means you can get your loved one a one-of-a-kind gift for Valentine's Day starting at just $15!). While the coupon is good through February 27th, the order cut-off date for guaranteed delivery by Valentine's Day is February 3 so make sure to get your order in before then!

So April and I have some quality time to spend with one another. I highly doubt we can cram a dance class, Jane Austen night, brunch, a wine tasting, and game night into one day, but I think we'll manage.

Want to win a fully customizable love coupon booklet of your own? Oh ho!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
What's a thoughtful way to show a loved one you care without breaking the bank? Let's make a list of Valentine's Day (or any day!) ideas in the comments!

*I received a complimentary coupon booklet from Datevitation, but all opinions in this review are my own.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

One Little Word: NOW

For the past few years I've been meaning to choose One Little Word to live the year by. This year was the year I stopped meaning to and chose one. I stopped dreaming and I did.

Frankly, my choosing of the word now was by complete accident.

After inadvertently living 2013 by Campfire Chic's word brave, I knew that having a guiding principle helped keep me focused in my goals and actions for the year. I couldn't think of a word of my own, and I was perfectly content living 2014 by Kam's finish, as it too was a concept I could make a little more time for in my life.

And then now came to me. So simple, yet so powerful.


My commitment to my One Little Word was a lax one, and I was okay with that. I didn't set concrete goals or expectations with 'brave', and I was fine just using now as a mantra, asking myself "Why am I not doing this now?" or "Am I living in the now?". But then Amy so wisely devised a system to focus on tasks as she keeps her own word in mind this year, and I thought to myself, "Why am I not setting a tangible goal?". And so I am.

I don't quite have 12 intentions to guide my year from start to finish, but here are the ground rules:
  1. Check off my to-do list now; there's no need to procrastinate replying to emails, vacuuming, or emptying the dishwasher (all of which take less than 5 minutes to do)
  2. Enjoy the now and do things
  3. I am good enough to reach for my dreams now, I don't need to wait 5 years.
  4. Say it now.
It's as simple as that.

This year I want to live in the now by not procrastinating, which I've been doing too much of lately. I want to enjoy the little things - why am I waiting to do the things I want to do, even if they are as easy as trying a new restaurant or going to a friend's open mic night? Speak what's on my mind; it's on my mind for a reason, it must be important. And my dreams do not need to wait. I need to get started on them.

So let's get started now.

What's your mantra for 2014?

Monday, January 13, 2014

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.86

( doviende )

temerity n. [tə-ˈmer-ə-tē]: excessive confidence or boldness; audacity, nerve (via)

Sofie finally had the temerity to enter the 5K after gaining confidence by running every day.

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, January 12, 2014

link love

♥ Words of wisdom, featuring my word of choice for 2014: A Quick Guide to Living in the Now
Thor is the new Superman
How to Be Productive (Even In Your PJs) - now we're talkin'!
♥ Chin up! How your greatest failure is leading you towards even greater success
5 easy ways to build trust with your readers
♥ It's no secret I love my hometown. Here are 25 amazing photos of the Steel City from the early 1900s
♥ Speaking of Pittsburgh, did you ever wonder how Pittsburghese (hear my horrid accent! Well, it's not too bad...) got started, and how it's grown to be such a powerful symbol of identity?
Discovered after 70 years: A Stunning, Untouched, WWII Era Paris Apartment. Such a beautiful time capsule!
Why I quit Google Analytics. A must-read for bloggers.
♥ Bloggers: Stop Hatin'. Alexandra Franzen talks blogger smack talk.
♥ Sonya wrote an introduction to comics! I'm excited to pick up more single issues now...
♥ Fuji is introducing a portable Instax printer that lets you print photos from your smartphone!
The High School Cafeteria Guide to Choosing Your Yoga Class. With so many options, this somewhat humourously tries to identify the different yoga practices.
♥ My favorite find of the week: lol my thesis, a Tumblr that showcases hilarious attempts to sum up years of academic work in one sentence. This is how I've spent most of my time this week.

What links are you loving lately?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Judge a Book By Its Cover: Favorite Cover Art

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Sometimes I find myself perusing the shelves at the library or bookstore and a certain colorful, whimsical cover catches my eye. Either the colors, the artwork, the daintiness of the illustrations - something compels me to pick up that book.

Think about it. What draws you to a book? What makes you even want to pick it up to read the back cover?

Aside from being a book you're already privy to, or one form a familiar author, you're probably drawn to how the book presents itself. What type of story is the cover conveying? Is it an adventure? Something fantastical? Is it a bold, graphic cover that says READ ME?

I'll admit, sometimes picking up a book based on the cover art alone isn't a wise decision. There are books that look so charming at first glance, only to reveal themselves as droning and dull upon further reading. I'm attracted to pretty covers, so sue me. Even covers that are out of the ordinary intrigue me (a map cover!? Awesome!), but might not always be a good read. But when it does work out? When the cover creates the sense of adventure and excitement found on the pages within? Jackpot.

What book covers do you absolutely adore? 
Does the cover speak for the story within?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

Let me tell you a fun fact about me: I don't like to wear shoes. Barefoot or bust. But with the -7 degree weather the past two days, I have been all about the slipper socks that my stepmom got me for Christmas. It's amazing what warm tootsies will do for the rest of you (plus, the juxtaposition of the Batman sweatshirt I'm currently donning with the dainty little bows of my socks has me laughing). With wind chill, it felt like -20, even -30 degrees in some areas here. How was it where you were? I hope you stayed warm!

♥ My diploma came in the mail! Even though trying to time being home so that I could sign for the UPS delivery was tedious, I can't believe that my wall of diplomas has grown to 3 (plus 1 certificate!). It's just a piece of paper; what really counts is my certification on file with the Department of Education, but it feels good to hold my accomplishment in my hands.
Influenster sent me Gillette's new Embrace Venus razor to try out, specifically designed for sensitive skin, and it couldn't have come at a better time. The recent cold spell has left my skin drier than ever, and believe me when I say it's pretty dry to begin with. Constant lotion usually helps, but it's nice to get silky smooth legs without having to worry about how badly my razor is going to destroy my skin, or how many bottles of lotion I'll go through this season. Plus, it comes with a little wall caddy that suctions onto the shower. How cute. (PS: If you'd like to be a part of Influenster, let me know! I've got some invites left :D)

♥ How have I lived without my iPad mini? Well, I know the answer to that: I just did. But since getting my mini at Christmas, I've been loving it more and more every single day. I'm sure I'll be sneaking in a guide to the iPad mini soon enough here on the Teacup!
little loves
It's amazing how the sounds of a coffee shop (via Coffitivity) will up my productivity ♥ I forgot how cute How to Train Your Dragon was! ♥ peppermint bark ♥ I've just discovered the joy of VSCO cam and am addicted to its simple edits that make pictures pop! ♥ cozy socks ♥ making it to the other side of #arcticdeathtrap ♥ lots of new opportunities locally and in the blog world! ♥ emails from some of my Twitter idols (is that a weird thing? Twitter idols?) ♥ clementines ♥ classic movie night has become a staple that I look forward to - this week? Clue!

What are you loving this week?