Monday, March 31, 2014

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.97

1148 Please watch how you park.
( Ryan Sims ) 

mordant adj. [ˈmr-dənt]: expressing harsh criticism in a way that is funny; sharp, biting (of humor) (via)

Her mordant sense of humor often left her friends wondering if she was being serious or sarcastic.

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, March 30, 2014

link love

On needing silence - I find myself craving silence most days too; a big change from a few years ago.
Organization Tips for Bloggers
♥ I can't believe we've been in our new house for a year now! As exciting as moving was, I don't know if I'd want to go through the process of moving again anytime soon, though with Kate's helpful tips for moving, I might be okay with it.
How does a word make it into the dictionary?
Ways to find calm in a busy girl's day (and, in case you hadn't heard, Xandra just released her ebook on living minimally, which is worth a read!)
♥ In Aeternum's Porcelain Doll-themed photoshoot is positively dreamy!
♥ I've always admired wig stylists' ability to get wigs to do ridiculous things. Enter cosplay. Mia Moore has a great guide to styling a wig. Aaand part 2!
♥ Kirsten Learns shares how she overcomes social anxiety
7 Hints for Finding Fantastic Books to Read
♥ I may have given my Filofax a break this year, but Alexis has some stellar Filofax Organization Tips
Navigating the Post-Grad Job Search
♥ This is one quote that has really stuck with me recently...
♥ Captain America: The Winter Soldier comes out this week! Here's the history of the term "Winter Soldier" and why Ed Brubaker used the term in Captain America
Captain America's to-do list from The Winter Soldier made me giggle and now I really can't wait for the movie.
♥ I would like a science-themed afternoon tea, please!

What fun links have you found this week?

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Magic of Re-reading Books

The Blogcademy
I have countless unread books littered around my room, dotting my bookshelves, and sitting dormant on my Kindle. I frequent the bookstore (I'm probably there at least once a week, intentionally or not) and find myself picking up new books on a whim. My Goodreads 'to read' list is comprised of over 500 books, novels, and short stories. And plays. And graphic novels. And poetry collections.

So why do I find myself stashing my favorite, crinkled-cover, page-worn, and spaghetti-stained book in my bag to read day after day?

To my credit, I did just finish reading two, new-to-me library books that I quite enjoyed. Yet while I have a variety of types, topics, and genres to choose from for my next read, I keep coming back to the same favored books that I've already read three, four, five times.

What makes rereading such a pleasurable, magical experience?

Part of it is a sense of nostalgia. I often pick up a book that I've already read because a whole barrage of memories, sentiments, is conjured up when I read those words on the page. I remember what it meant to me at a particular time, how a story resonated with me at a certain time of my life. Though the words remain the same, my reading of them changes every time I open the book. As I grow, a book takes on a whole new life, a whole new meaning.

Many times it's out of comfort that I open a treasured book. Like a bowl of macaroni and cheese, or a favorite worn-out t-shirt, a book can be just as much of a comfort object. Sometimes I need to hear my favorite character's quips, or draw strength from a hero. Sometimes I need to meander around the grey, dreary landscape too, or find magic in the everyday just as the protagonist does. Sometimes I need to just read something that warms my heart, and that gives plenty of comfort. I don't think there's a feeling in the world as comforting as wrapping yourself around a favored story for a few hours, nothing that provides as much peace of mind.

But what warrants what books are worth revisiting, even buying and thus adding to our permanent collection?

Honestly, a good story is worth rereading. No matter why you enjoy it, enjoyed it then, enjoy it now; if it puts a smile on your face or a thought in your head, it is worth rereading. It's the same reason we buy and watch movies - to experience something again. Perhaps something fun, something thoughtful, something that allows you to empathize, or transports you to a different world. It's the same reason I can't pick a "favorite" anything - there are so many types of favorites! But whether I'm rereading a book to discover something I hadn't before, to visit my favorite characters, to hear my favorite prose, or relive my favorite story, I'm loving every minute of it just as much as I would love reading something new and exciting.

Yes, I reread Harry Potter every year (my students were only slightly concerned for my well being when I told them this). Sometimes I crack open a book just to reread my favorite short story or poem, like an afternoon snack (Neil Gaiman's The Day the Saucers Came, if you're wondering). Should I tackle some of the unread books, classics and otherwise, that are collecting dust on my bookshelf? Probably. But some days, I am perfectly content visiting my favorite worlds, just to see how things are coming along.

Why do you reread books?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

This week has been full of adventures! I recently talked about rediscovering the magic in my own city of Pittsburgh, and lately, I've been getting my fill. From scouring the local indie comics convention, munching on (can one really "munch" on a massive burger? Probably not...) monster burgers from Fatheads, and poking my head into a number of tantalizing shops on Carson street, I'm shocked that we've barely scratched the surface of all the things to do in the city! Here's to many more adventures (and hockey games, and street murals, and Primanti's sandwiches, and giant Great Danes, and toy store visits...).

♥ I highly suggest having a blogging buddy in your life, and the good news is, you probably already have one! Alexis of Strange & Charmed and I met at the Blogcademy last summer, and have Skyped at least once a month since, chatting about life, the field of blogging, and bouncing ideas off one another (not to mention the fact that every time we Skype, an X-men movie just happens to be on television). It feels good to be able to talk business with someone on the same page as you, and motivate you to get started on those goals that you want to achieve!

♥ Case in point: Alexis very firmly told me that she expects a draft of something when we chat in April. It's like a blogging NaNoWriMo. I've got so many great ideas floating in my head that it's time to make them happen. Setting impossible goals is terrifying (when Alexis gave me a deadline, I just about cried) but you've got to start somewhere. I know that if I never am held accountable for my plans, they won't materialize. So why not dive in?

little loves
peach tea ♥ seeing Divergent with my little cousin - I was pleasantly surprised with the movie ♥ unexpected hellos ♥ exploring Pittsburgh ♥ hidden gem bookstores with spiral staircases ♥ novel puns ♥ talking to my students about books they're reading (and seeing that my Gatsby tote might have inspired a few middle schoolers to pick up the classics) ♥ donuts + coffee ♥ a little extra daylight in the evenings ♥ having new + healthy snacks to pack in my lunch that I don't have to pick out from lackluster choices at the store (you can use my personal invite to sign up for graze and get your first box free...and fund my snack habit) ♥ surprise Amazon book credits ♥ befriending local artists and seeing some amazing work at Pittsburgh's Indie Comix expo

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March Sponsor Love + Spring Playlists

I'm honestly sick of talking about the capricious weather we've been having lately, and my March sponsors are here to help get into the spring spirit! I've been surrounding myself with fresh flowers, bright colors, and peppy spring playlists to keep my mood cheery and entice spring to come and hang out.

My current spring anthem? The Beatles' Here Comes the Sun! I'm hoping it does come to stay, but the song itself is strum-happy regardless, and never fails to brighten my mood.

Here's how my awesome March sponsors are keeping their spirits high:

I mostly blog about my life which includes books, crazy stuff that happens to me (which is surprisingly something that happens regularly) and my cat, Leia.

Blogging for me means community, so I'm trying to reach out and meet new bloggers, and have other bloggers meet each other. I'm offering my blog up to a guest blogger every Tuesday to take over with a post, answering questions, or really anything that tickles their fancy. And it's totally free!

What's your spring anthem? My spring anthem right now is for sure XO by the one and only Queen Bey. She reigns supreme.

What do you do to combat cabin fever and get prepped for spring? The best way I combat cabin fever is to buy fresh flowers to freshen up my apartment. I listen to music that reminds me of spring and summer, and throw myself a dance party. When all else fails, I bundle up and brave the cold to get some good ol' vitamin D and fresh air.

blog | twitter | instagram | pinterest
Hi! I'm Danica and I blog over on Goodheart. I'm a recently-turned 25 year old (February 27th!), Pinterest enthusiast, and obsessed with chai tea lattes. On my blog, I love to share lovely quotes, fashion, travel, and much more.

What's your spring anthem? Chasing the Sun by Sara Bareilles. Pretty much anything by her is fantastic!

What do you do to combat cabin fever and get prepped for spring? South Texas doesn't have much in terms of drastic weather changes, but I combat cabin fever by finding new places to go to. There's a new juicing place here that I've been meaning to go back to. Also, adding some pops of color to outfits is the best way to get prepped for spring! Been loving all the pretty pastels lately.

At the daily blog Lemon and Raspberry, Amy T Schubert helps you tell your storybuild 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.

I'm Mia - I'm an MBA student and a geek of all trades. I love dressing up, digital media, and geek girl culture. My blog, xo Mia, is a love letter to everything I'm passionate about, especially style, cosplay, and living the geek life.

What's your spring anthem? I love songs about nature and falling in love for the springtime. I love Bruises by Chairlift, Eisley's entire catalog, and Of Monsters and Men!

What do you do to combat cabin fever and get prepped for spring? When I get cabin fever, I like to switch up my entertainment of choice. If I've been watching a lot (read: an excess!) of Netflix, maybe it's time to crack open a book. Been blogging too much? Time to try a new craft! Changing it up reminds me that there's still lots to enjoy indoors.

What's your spring anthem? We are just wrapping up Summer here in Australia so my anthem is more of a summer anthem - I went to a few music festivals this summer. I have never done that before so one of the songs that really stuck with me is Booyeh by Showtech ft. We Are Loud & Sonny Williams. It’s a dance track but it gets me instantly excited every time I hear it!

What do you do to combat cabin fever and get prepped for spring? March is that slippery month here in Australia where it is still kind of hot but its a bit rainy. It reminds me that winter is on its way but summer is still here to play. I like to get my fitness and diet organised and reevaluate my goals in that area. I want to stay healthy through winter so that next summer I am already on top of my physical game so I am changing up my diet and just started yoga!

Hi, I'm Danielle and I'm the owner of Fairytale & Forest, a new tea shop on Etsy! I've been obsessed with fairy tales and the stories and artwork inspired by them for years now. When I got into blending my own teas a while ago, I realized that these two loves would go together perfectly! The whole process of making a new blend is so much fun- from tasting cup after cup after cup until the ratios are just right, to coming up with their punny names and selecting vintage artwork for the tins! I hope our customers have as much fun with the teas as we do!

What's your spring anthem? The Starships cover by Megan Nicole & Lindsey Stirling

What do you do to combat cabin fever and get prepped for spring? This spring I finally have an apartment with a balcony, so I've been planning a container garden! It's still a bit too cold to put anything outside yet, but I've been starting some seeds indoors that are doing beautifully!

And don't forget that you can get 20% off your order from Fairytale & Forest with the code TEACUP!
♥ ♥ ♥ 

Are you looking to promote your blog or business? I'd love for you to join My Life as a Teacup's family of sponsors, and help you spread the word to a smart, creative, sassy bunch of readers! Advertise with My Life as a Teacup this spring!

What's your spring anthem? How are you getting ready for spring

Monday, March 24, 2014

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.96

bucolic adj. [byü-ˈkä-lik]: of, or relating to idyllic country, rural life; the pastoral (via)

His life goal was to live in a small, bucolic cottage away from the everyday bustle of the city.

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, March 23, 2014

link love

♥ See the ratings of your favorite television shows in graph form!
♥ How to Succeed at Public Speaking
♥ In a rut? Break through that creative block
♥ I've been playing a lot of new board games lately, and Mia's post has inspired me to add some more to my board games to play list!
The 20 Things You Need To Let Go To Be Happy
♥ I'm in love with these classic books as brooches...
Why we need liberal arts
♥ Sometimes you just need to start over
17 Everyday Words You Just Might Be Mispronouncing
The best pickup methods in Victorian Literature. Oh, Victorian lit...
♥ The Barnes & Noble blog has been on a roll this week, and I enjoyed their revisions of 20 classic novels so kids can relate
♥ 19 Tiny Things You Can Do To Make the World a (Slightly) Better Place
Breaking up with a book is completely acceptable sometimes
♥ Wouldn't it be nice to fly like these vintage airplane promos depict?
19 Hard Things You Need To Do To Be Successful
♥ Kate shared her #projectselflove list last week, and reminded me to think about the things I love about myself!
An open letter to English majors
♥ Have you heard about the Awesome Ladies Project?
♥ I loved Allison and tWitch on SYTYCD and their wedding seems like it was adorable/amazing/fabulous!
23 Signs You've Read Too Many Jane Austen Novels - yep.
♥ A physical metaphor for the Kindle...

What fun links have you found this week?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Book Review: The Secret Side of Empty

The Secret Side of Empty
As a teacher of predominately middle schoolers, I am constantly being asked for book recommendations, whether it be an adventure, "something in the style of John Green", sports-related, or just "something good". While my co-op teacher during student teaching had quite the extensive library of YA literature, my personal recommendations in the genre were few, and limited to the best-sellers that take center-stage at the book store (and that most of my students had already read).

In an attempt to build my own personal YA bookshelf, and have new stories to recommend to my students, I vowed to expand my horizons this year and read more books in the genre. So when Valerie contacted me about reviewing Maria E. Andreu's The Secret Side of Empty, I jumped at the chance. A story about teenage drama and heavy, perspective-broadening issues of illegal immigration and deportation? I know a few of my students who would be intrigued already.

M.T. - or, Monserrat Thalia - is a straight-A student with a secret to hide: she is an undocumented immigrant. While she has managed to hide her status, now that senior year trips abroad and college applications are on the table, her immigration status is getting harder to hide. How is a girl to make the life she desires when she can't even take her driver's license test without revealing herself?

Andreu's writing is easy to digest and full of everyday, colloquial conversations that capture M.T.'s interactions and inner feelings about her difficult position. The topic itself is an interesting one that isn't common in YA literature, and shines a light on the regular, everyday things that are affected by one's immigration status (not to mention, just being a high school girl in general).

As much as I was interested in M.T.'s story and where her choices would take her, M.T. herself is kind of meh. She showed promise as a character early on, but by the middle of the book I found her annoying. The bratty - especially in her "relationship" - paranoid, obsessive, and possessive really came out in her relationship with a boy from the local public school, and while the relationship fuels some more immigration-driven drama, M.T. just read like an ignorant and bratty teenage girl. Which I guess she technically is. But she made me want to gag. Though her friendships and relationships with other characters are more interesting, her complete lack of communication to anyone just makes me want to smack her. I can understand her fear of not wanting to open up, for fear of what could happen to her and her family, but her lack of communication seemed unmotivated; the fear just wasn't in the equation when the words came out onto the paper.

While I wished the characters were a bit less annoying, I overall enjoyed The Secret Side of Empty, especially for its unique topic and commentary on immigration status. It's refreshing to read YA lit that isn't super quirky or supernatural.

Like my reviews? Follow me on Goodreads for more book recommendations and reviews!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

Slowing my pace down in general has felt great. I haven't been blogging as much lately, or even online, and while part of that is due to adjusting to a new job and new schedule, I'm trying to make a more conscious effort to unplug and slow down, to savor. Don't worry, I'm not going to stop blogging or Instagramming pictures of my cat any time soon, but I've been less frantic, pausing to ask myself, "Do I really need to do this RIGHT NOW?" and stress myself out?

♥ On that note, my aunt and I went to a Pure Barre class, which totally kicked out butts, but it felt good to have a structured time to workout. I'm not usually one for classes - anxiety gets the better of me and I usually chicken out of exercising in public, but I'm glad the two of us went, if even for some bonding! But working out in a class setting really makes you focus on what you're doing; me at home is just a focusing nightmare!

little loves
Beyonce, I've had XO on repeat like crazy ♥ Bite lipstick in Quinta ♥ Jess of Bookworms in Dresses little doodle of yours truly is incredible! She has such an adorable style ♥ new workout gear from lululemon ♥ simple brown chicken curry that reminds me of Japan ♥ floral dresses and cardigans! ♥ 40's era Castle episodes with delightfully cheesy Nathan Fillion ♥ soup & ginger tea ♥ rainy days ♥ floral print scarves and otherwise bright work attire ♥ soup spoons! One of my coworkers brought us all wonderfully amazing soup spoons - well, more like soup ladles! ♥ the first ice cream of the season ♥ a St. Patrick's Day #currentlylist ♥ my little cousin, kicking butt in the musical!

What are you loving this week?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Get Organized: How I Use Evernote to Organize My Life

Finding an app to organize your entire life sounds like an inconceivable task. Yet, dare I say, I think I've found the perfect one? Enter Evernote; I've been an avid user of the app for at least the past year, and often find myself wondering how I managed to live without it. As far as resources go, I'd be willing to put Evernote up there with the Oxford English Dictionary on the "inanimate objects that I would marry" list.

But would you believe I hated Evernote for a solid 6 months at first?

The Golden Rule
Before I became an Evernote addict, I had trouble using the app in my everyday routine, and frankly, it was just hard to get into period. And then my mother shared some sage advice that has not only converted me, but completely transformed the way I use Evernote. That advice?

The more stuff you put in there, the better it works.

Sounds counterintuitive, right? Aren't I trying to simplify and minimize? More stuff, more notes, more clippings just screamed clutter! to me. But oh-ho, was she right.

The more I saved and clipped things to Evernote, the better it worked for me. And that's just it - Evernote works for you, so you don't have to.

For Blogging
I've created notebooks for my main post series, including "For the Love of a Linguaphile" (which includes notes with words for future posts) and just a general notebook where I brainstorm ideas for potential posts or days when I'm having writer's block.

"Link Love" is a different story; with Evernote's web clipper I'm able to quickly bookmark links I find throughout the week and save them all in one notebook. On Saturday, I'll sit down and open up all the links to write my post, without having to hunt for my bookmarks or save the whole page as an article!

Sponsor information is easily stored so I have the information of all of my sponsors for the month, including web addresses, emails, and answers to sponsorship highlight post questions. Rather than going back and forth between documents and Blogger, I find it easier to make Evernote my sponsor "workbook"

I also keep a notebook full of resources for editing graphics, writing about page blurbs, and the like.

For Life
Did you know you can add checkboxes to tick off as you complete a task on your to do list? Now if I need to make a trip to Target, I can jot my shopping list down before I leave and check off the things I add to my cart.

Meal planning is made easy with a file that I've saved as a shortcut to my home screen. I map out the lunches I need to pack for the week, and dinners I have planned. Plus, I'm able to link to the recipes for gathering my grocery list or for when it comes time to start cooking.

My mother and I share a notebook where we save all of our township's information, such as utility companies and contact information, important phone numbers, recycling collection dates, and even library hours. We always have access to our community resources, whether we're at home or on the go!

For Your Career
My career use of Evernote is two-fold. First, I have a notebook titled "Professional" which holds all sorts of career resources such as resume tips, interview etiquette, and company information. Whether I save cover letters that I've written myself, or use the web clipper tool to save helpful articles to refer back to, my "Professional" folder has become a goldmine of information tailored to my job hunt needs (not to mention, bookmarking a bunch of handy, but not immediately needed articles can get messy).

I've also begun two separate notebooks for my portfolios: one for teaching, one for writing. I've saved everything from emergency substitute lesson plans to questions I might pose in a paper workshop, and am currently in the process of compiling my own teaching portfolio to highlight lesson plans that I've created during student teaching.

My "Writing" portfolio allows me quick access to standout articles that I've written when I need to send in writing samples, or just want to see my personal growth over the years.

For Collaborations
Some of my Literature friends and I have started brainstorming ideas for a side project, and Evernote is the best place for us to plan, compile our thoughts, and share ideas. We all have access to view and edit the files, and can keep working at our own pace while seeing what the others are creating at the same time.

Some Final Tips
Organize your notebooks and notes in a way that makes sense for you. Not everyone has the same purpose or goals with their Evernote use, and that's perfectly fine. As much as I like seeing how others organize their lives, not every setup suits my needs. It's more important to be able to find the information you need in a pinch than have layers upon layers of notebooks meticulously buried inside of one another for the sake of "organization".

Create a habit. Evernote has a ton of great features like a web clipper and keyboard shortcuts to make incorporating it into your routine easy as pie.

Condense. I know I said the more the merrier when it comes to Evernote, but combine notes when you can to save yourself an organizational nightmare. For instance, I don't have nearly enough notes about my car to warrant an entire, dedicated notebook, so I've just made a general "car" note in my personal notebook to keep information about my latest inspection, oil information, etc.

Maintain your files! Just because my mother told me to PUT ALL OF THE THINGS! in Evernote doesn't mean my notebooks don't need an occasional spring cleaning.

Evernote's blog has some great ideas for using the app, from new product information to how real people are using Evernote to get stuff done!

What's your favorite way to use Evernote?

Monday, March 17, 2014

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.95

Pillow fight

bellicose adj. [ˈbe-li-ˌkōs]: having or showing a tendency to argue or fight (via)

After a few drinks, Noah's bellicose behavior began to anger the other patrons and caused the owner to ask him to leave.

Even though it's St. Patrick's Day and there are probably bar fights aplenty, I'd like to advocate the pillow fight, which is a much friendlier, much more pleasant 'fight' that leaves everyone, at most, feeling frustrated as they pull all of the feathers out of their hair.

Happy St. Patty's Day - enjoy it (and do so safely)!

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, March 16, 2014

link love

10 Jobs That No Longer Exist - woah!
Why you should never, ever use two spaces after a period. In which camp do you fall?
♥ I have a feeling I'm not going to be able to get enough polka dot and denim this spring...
♥ Today's task: make a hero list. Who inspires you?
How do British and American attitudes to dictionaries differ?
♥ Random Acts of Kindness can be hard to get started. Magical Day Dream shares some tips to help you find the courage to do RAK and street art.
5 Ways to Simplify
♥ A graph showing all the languages whose words invaded English
♥ Book-related words (thanks Mandy!)
35 Things You Should Never Say to a Book Lover - #17! #32! Gaaaah!
♥ After this winter, I'll need Real Simple's guide to removing salt stains from leather and suede shoes
Becoming emotionally self-reliant

What interesting links have you found lately?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

Tuesday I was wearing a sundress to work and tossed on flip flops to run to the store, and today I'm back to being bundled up in long sleeves and flannel. March really is a crappy month, weather-wise. It seems like the longest, dragging month and I don't really know how to handle it except brace myself for the capricious weather, and try to ride out the usually heavy month by trying to keep my mood light and staying active.

I'm off to Levo League Pittsburgh's Networking Event with Marissa of The Modern Austen tonight, so that should keep me on my toes and hopefully make time fly a little quicker towards spring...

♥ Can I just say how thankful I am for my patience? It's something I've had to learn and really work at, but it comes so easily now, in jobs, relationships with others, hobbies - you name it. Sometimes I get antsy, whether I'm excited or restless or just want to see results now, but so much good has come out of keeping my head on my shoulders and taking things slow that I can't help but appreciate patience and thoughtfulness when it matters.

♥ I did some major student loan strategizing over the weekend and am feeling much better about where I'm at financially. I have a tendency to panic (big surprise) and it took some sensible talking to for me to realize that I'm better off than I thought and that sometimes, the best plan of attack is just to start somewhere, anywhere.

little loves
ice skating with the family; I'm bummed I didn't go more this year, but skating outdoors, even once, reminds me how much I love it! ♥ Fairytale & Forest tea - Oolong Time Ago tasted like spring, right before the temperature dropped from 60 degrees to 12, of course. ♥ Thin Mints (I've already eaten an entire box in a matter of three days, which is why I started only buying one box in the first place) ♥ dinner and chats with Gram ♥ motivational kitten posters ♥ happy memories of loved ones ♥ Batman: The Animated Series ♥ wearing a sundress, if only for a day

What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

If My Blog Was an Outfit

My Life as a Teacup

I stumbled across the blog, Hairspray & Highheels, and a recent post about her upcoming link up with A Dose of Paige for 'If My Blog Were an Outfit' and thought to myself, "What fun!" - I've never considered how my blog's style and personality would come through in an outfit before.

While I've got TiLT on the menu for tomorrow, this prompt was too fun to pass up, and I thought I'd participate anyway, even if it is a bit early. Plus, you've still got some time to put together your own outfit for your blog and add it to the link up. I'd love to see what you come up with!

When I think of My Life as a Teacup, I immediately think cozy and dainty, hence the sweaters, flats, and soft floral and watercolor patterns. Loose-fitting button-downs and effortless sweatshirt dresses have become recent favorites of mine, and no outfit is complete in my book without a scarf! I could easily see myself curling up for a good book and mug of Earl Grey in any of these ensembles, and can't think of a better look for being stylish yet comfortable.

What would your blog look like as an outfit?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

List #11: When I Need to Focus I...

List 11
Happy Tuesday!

It's March, and you know what that means - 30 Days of Lists is in full swing! I'm hosting today's prompt and couldn't be more excited because Day 11's topic is right up my alley.

I may be the Queen of Focus, but there are some days when I'd rather do anything but get to work. While I used to feel guilty about my procrastination, I've learned to go with it. That doesn't mean procrastinating is magically okay, but I've learned to embrace the days when I don't radiate energy and enthusiasm and instead of forcing it, do one little thing to redirect my putting-off and get back to work. It's amazing how the simplest of things, like moving to a different room, can change your concentration.

You can get my full thoughts on today's list prompt, as well as access to all 30 prompts (and quite the amazing Facebook community, if I do say so myself) at the 30 Days of Lists website. It's not too late to join the listing extravaganza!

*I am a #30Lists ambassador, and do receive a small amount in exchange for every registration through the links I promote, however, I live for this creative challenge every year and think you'll fall in love with it too!

Monday, March 10, 2014

For the Love of a Linguaphile v.94


ostensible adj. [ä-ˈsten(t)-sə-bəl]: seeming or said to be true or real, but not necessarily so; intended for display (via)

His ostensible reason for talking to her was to return the pen she had dropped, though he really intended to ask her out for coffee.

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, March 9, 2014

link love

♥ Don't get me wrong, I love JLaw, but this essay on Jennifer Lawrence and the History of 'Cool Girls' shines some light on how the 'cool girl' image emerged over the years.
5 Reasons You Should Speak Up (Even When You Think You Shouldn't)
♥ I'm completely blown away by this portrait of me that Kayly of My Open Sketchbook drew as part of her Blogger series!
♥ A call on 20-somethings
♥ While it may sound oxymoronic (yet, not really), the busy person's guide to reducing stress offers some simple ideas for making your day less stressful
♥ On that note: meditate!
Kayaker finds 110-year old ghost ship in the Ohio River. I have yet to find a ghost ship while kayaking. Maybe this year...
♥ Academia is a strange and stressful place, and I know plenty of students and PhD candidates who are affected by mental health issues. This piece on the culture of acceptance around mental health issues in academia really resonates.
18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently
♥ If you're on the hunt for a new job, don't forget to organize your search! Did you know that Excel is your best friend while job hunting?
♥ It's Women's History Month! Apply an appropriately themed critical lens to your reading with the help of ruKristin's Feminist Theory Reader (Literature majors, bookmark this ASAP!)
How to be awesomer - yes!
♥ I may enjoy wearing glasses, but not everyone does. And while they have their downfalls (glasses + rollercoasters = no), Kate highlights the perks of wearing glasses.
♥ 10 Painfully Obvious Truths Everyone Forgets Too Soon
Get through the March doldrums with Mia Moore's March activity guide
♥ I'm a re-reader, but while there are plenty of unread books on my bookshelf, I have to wonder, why is rereading such a joy?
What I've learned as a writer
Whether you're new to blogging or a veteran blogger yourself, these tips from veteran bloggers as they reflect on mistakes made in their early days is a goldmine of blogging advice!
♥ Liked my Batman for Beginners primer? Check out some more comic book resources on Superheroesque: Girls Don't Read Comics (Obviously)

What interesting links have you found lately?

Friday, March 7, 2014

On My Bookshelf: March

Did you know that March is National Women's History Month? This month, in honor of women everywhere, I'm highlighting selections from my favorite female writers. 2014's theme is "Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment", and these authors embody just those traits in my book (ha! Puns. Unintentional, of course...):

 The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls - I've been meaning to check this out of the library for months now, having heard so highly about this peculiar memoir of a dysfunctional yet loving (ish?) family.

Bossypants by Tina Fey - While I'm not normally one for biographies and memoirs, but Tina Fey is hands-down fierce. I always appreciate insightfulness, especially when it's funny, and from a woman who is so unabashedly herself, which these days, seems to include navigate a whole mess of hurdles, stereotypes, and other people's impressions.

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft - The grandfather mother? of women's discourse. Whatever you want to call her, Mary Wollstonecraft is plain old awesome and in this early manifesto of feminist philosophy, she shuts down poprular 18th century ideas and argues that women are human beings too, deserving of the same rights that men have. You tell 'em, Mary.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi - Apparently, memoirs are a theme this month, as Marjane Satrapi's memoir-in-comic-strips rounds off my picks. Persepolis is the story of a young girl's coming of age in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution. It's intense and unforgettable, yet Satrapi makes it humorous all the same. Bonus: there's an animated movie, too.

Who are your favorite female authors? Which women in your life embody character, courage, and commitment?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Things I Love Thursday

It's 7 degrees, then it's 40 degrees - weather, make up your mind already! March is the worst month, because all I feel is antsy - antsy for spring, for bare feet, for sundresses, and picnics outside. For iced tea, fresh berries, and road trips (windows down is a plus!).

♥ Having the weekend off is fabulous. I can do things, meet up with people, and just generally get more done than I did when I had a random Wednesday off. Plus, I kind of feel like I've joined the land of the living. I used to be so tired after work that I didn't want to do anything afterwards, even if it was only 8pm.Going for Indian food and hitting the museum last week felt so much more like an adventure because it was Saturday!

♥ Accepting new challenges. I'm the first person to be a nervous wreck and not be able to sleep the night before something exciting - good or bad - happens. I like knowing where I stand, be it literally (knowing your way around a building is important, believe it or not), or just the expectations of those around you. Feeling uncomfortable, feeling new freaks me out. But there's a time when everyone is new at something, and as nice as it is to ease into something familiar, there comes a time when you just need to dive in. I'm still panicking on the inside sometimes, but I'm trying to get better at accepting new things and getting used to them without having a melt down.

♥ As crazy as it sounds, I've been eating much better now that I'm not working retail. Packing my lunch everyday and not being home to snack has made a difference in how I'm feeling health-wise, and it's nice to not be blowing my paycheck on eating out all the time on my break. Now I'm just hoping I don't run out of packed lunch ideas! Any favorites?

And did I mention that #30Lists is in full swing!?

little loves
friendly people ♥ game nights with old friends and new, The Empire Strikes Back, and outdoor hockey games ♥ making instantaneous new friends when you realize you're almost the same person ♥ neighborhood children who save you having to shovel snow twice in one day ♥ zombie selfies ♥ chai everything ♥ Boots Beauty Ionic Clay Mask (a BK worker complimented me on my skin the other day while I was in line. Day. Made.) ♥ the sun being out at 6pm ♥ ruKristin's new Instagram-size #currentlylist (sign up for the newsletter for the free template!)

What are you loving this week?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Venus Snap: Smoothness On the Go

For a girl who constantly catches missed hairs on her kneecap the moment she gets in the car, the Venus Snap is my new must-have accessory. Here's me, stepping into my car after work, getting ready for a networking event with a blog friend or a dinner date and, I kid you not - every time I sit down at the wheel, the sunlight/planets align and I can see all the little hairs I missed when shaving.

Usually I spend the rest of the evening crossing my legs to hide missed patches, or with my purse on my lap in an attempt to shield my Chewbacca legs from view. But now I can whip out my Venus Snap to get rid of those missed hairs in a flash!

The Venus Snap is like having a full-fledged Venus razor at your beck and call. It comes with a Venus Embrace blade and a cute compact case that makes it easy to toss in your purse (without accidentally shredding your fingernails when you're digging through your bag in search of it), your car, your gym bag - you name it! The easy-to-grip mini-handle makes using the Venus Snap a breeze, and with a water-activated ribbon, I can get a smooth shave just by drizzling the remnants of my water bottle over the razor head.

Ta-da! Instant smoothness!
I keep mine in my car, just because it still acts as my second home; I can only imagine my 8-hour days stuck on campus with this little guy, and undergraduate me would've loved being able to touch up from a hasty shave while waiting for my next class to start (no one else may be able to tell, but I know and it kills me! Not to mention, makes you feel kind of uncomfortable for the next few hours).

And did I mention you can snag your own Venus Snap mini-razor at Target for instant smoothness on the go? Reason number #117 why I can't walk into one without blowing an entire week's pay. Productively, of course. Target really is the blogger mothership.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.