Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wanna do stuff with words?

My brain has been so busy spinning around with other stuff lately that I've been kind of lame at blogging. Would anyone like to write a guest post? I'll give you a cookie! Well, I'll actually eat the cookie by myself, but I'll probably tell you about it if you ask.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Missing home again

I've been incredibly "homesick" lately- an odd word to use when you are back in the state where you grew up, around family. But I miss my other home, the one I picked out for myself.

At the end of April, it will be a year since I left Orlando. I originally thought I'd only be back in Missouri for about 6 months, but things so rarely work out the way we expect. My current mental timetable has me making my triumphant return to O-Town towards the end of the year, but that's up to so many things falling into place. Or me finding a way to shove them in. (Kinky!)

There are so many random things I miss. Today, I miss standing underneath Spaceship Earth at Epcot, looking up. SSE is one of those icons I never get tired of looking at. I love how it seems to change in different light and weather.

I found myself wondering if I even remember how to BE that other person anymore, the Florida version of me, if that makes sense. You know how you are sometimes different around different people? That's me with different locations. Obviously, they are both ME, so it should be easy to fall back into the rhythm of that life, but I still wonder.

Here, you are expected to make friendly conversation with the person checking you out at the grocery store. (Um, checking out as in ringing you up, not attempting to seduce you.) There, it's fairly rare that the cashier speaks English, protocall suggests you spend the time they are ringing up your groceries either texting or looking exhausted and annoyed. (Want to play "Spot the Disney Employees!" at any Wal-Mart, Target or Publix in Orlando? Look for the person in bad-fitting pants looking like they haven't slept in a week and really, really just want to get home already.) I remember when I first came back to Missouri, I thought it was SO WEIRD that the people you passed in the grocery store aisles would smile at you and make eye contact. Not store employees, just other shoppers. It creeped me out. Now I'm used to it, but I kind of miss the anonymity of shopping where nobody even notices you, let alone makes eye contact. I guess I like not having to fake cheerfulness.

Another thing I miss is the absurd over-availableness of stuff. Of choices. Here, if I want tea, I can choose from a few dozen varieties at the grocery store, and then make it my damn self. In Orlando, if I want tea, I can do that, or I can go to Animal Kingdom and get a chai freeze (or an awesome hot tea like vanilla rooibos or masala chai) from Royal Anandapur Tea. Or I can hit the tea shop in the UK at Epcot for a box. Or I can go to the Garden View Tea Room at the Grand Floridian for a steaming pot of Eros with some scones and raspberry tarts. Or I can hit the Joy of Tea stand in China at Epcot for a Plum Wine Green Tea freeze or a Straberry Oolong Tea Bao Bing slushie. And those are just the at Disney options off the top of my head. There are zillions of little coffee/tea shops around town, or I could just go to Starbucks like a normal person. Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is the plethora of choices. I miss that.

Target Tuesday!

Inspired by the lovely Tara of Fabulous but Evil, it is...

I love hats, mostly because they go along so well with one of my other interests, lazyness. When my hair looks craptacular, I can just stick a hat on and bam! Awesomeness.

(Note- No matter how many times I try to CENTER align the pics, Blogger keeps shoving them to the left. Pardon the weird formatting.)

Mossimo Fedora with Band (Brown)

I love that this is a fedora in brown! They're always black, it seems.

Mossimo Captain's Hat
It's $10. I need it.

Merona Navy and White Bucket Hat
I can't decide if I like this in blue or white better. Perfect beach hat!

Adi Designs Cotton Canvas Fashion Military Hat
I've been digging Adi Designs lately, love the military details on this!

Adi Designs Fleece Lined Haley Cap with Braid Detailing
I have no idea why this hat is $27 while most of the others are $10-12, but I still like it. I like anything that you can basically throw on like a baseball cap, but with way more cuteness.

You should do a Target Tuesday, too! If enough people link up, Tara is giving away a Starbucks gift card and dude, I need coffee. So get on that.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Duh, winning!

I've been all about the giveaways lately, and now we have some winners!

The winner of the Costume Squad t-shirt giveaway was...

Comment #7, Amy!

And the winner of the $5 EdenFantasys gift codes is...

Comment #12, Katie!

Enjoy your free stuff, ladies!

And don't forget to enter my giveaway for some tasty GoodOnYa bars (next post down).

Friday, March 25, 2011

GoodOnYa Bars Review & Giveaway

"The GoodOnYa Bar is a bar gone rogue. Not afraid to use real food with healthy fats. This is not just an energy bar, but an organic nutrition bar that offers you real value for your money. Organic, dehydrated and full of flavor. This is what you should you be eating."- from GoodOnYa's website

The folks at GoodOnYa sent me some of their organic bars to try. I'm a big fan of healthy foods that require no effort on my part- open wrapper and eat! I tried out all three flavors, and am definitely a fan! I wish now that I had taken some photos to show you, but I was too busy eating!

The bars come in 3 flavors. I tried the Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate ones first because hello- chocolate! The texture is a little like a very moist, chewy chocolate chip cookie, or maybe like an oatmeal cookie, thanks to the little crunch from the sesame seeds. There isn't a ton of chocolate, but the chocolatey bits are super dark, so you still get a lot of chocolate taste. I think my favorite was the Breakfast Bar, which has sunflower seeds, raisins, brazil nuts and maple syrup, among other tasty ingredients. I love looking at an ingredient list and seeing all things I can pronounce! And the third flavor, Peanut Butter Honey, is quite tasty, too! It tastes like real peanut butter (which it should, since that's what's in it!) instead of the fake peanut buttery taste you get in most regular granola bars. It was hard to resist trying all 3 bars in one day!

The bars are hand made in small batches in California, which I like- there's something nice about eating something that isn't one of millions made that day. Allergy note- Some of these obviously contain peanut butter, and the location where they are made obviously works with nuts, so you should probably skip this one if you have nut allergies!

If you are interested in trying them out, GoodOnYa ships orders for a flat $5 fee (only to the US for now), or you can try out a sampler pack like the one I got (one bar of each flavor) for $10 including shipping.

GoodOnYa is offering one of my readers the chance to win a sampler pack of bars- one of each flavor, a $10 value! To enter, leave a comment telling me which of the 3 flavors you think you would like the most! (Be sure I have a way to contact you in case you win!) This giveaway is open to USA residents only.

Entries must be recieved by 11:59 PM on April 3, 2011! I'll e-mail the winner on the , they have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Target Tuesday: Road Trip Edition

Be sure to stop by Fabulous But Evil to see all of the other Target Tuesdays linked up!

My collection of favorite items this week is inspired by the awesomeness of road trips. And a little bit by the new story I just started writing, which involves a road trip. Oooh, ahh!

Something about this dress just says road trip to me. And it totally appeals to my inner hippie.

Converse® One Star® Hobo - Brown

Every road trip needs a hobo bag!

Comfy yet awesome shoes for driving! May result in awkward tan lines, though.

Is rounding it all out with a weathered cowboy hat kind of cliche? Yes? I couldn't resist, though. I'm a sucker for hats. And oooh, all the ones I found looking for this one might mean an all hat Target Tuesday next week! Or that I am going to go rob a bank and buy them all. Or that you should all send me Target gift cards so I can buy hats and coffee and more coffee. Or that Target should give me a million, billion dollars. Any of those would be ok.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dive into the season's sexiest swimwear at Express!

This post brought to you by Express. All opinions are 100% mine.

Spring isn't even really here yet, and I'm already ready for summer.  Bring on the sun and the heat and the little drinks with umbrellas, please!  I'm craving the smell of sunscreen and chlorine and cheesy chick lit novels by the pool.  I can't wait to move back to Orlando where the beach is just an hour away and I have the two Disney water parks plus my apartment pool!

I've been browsing the new Spring  women's swimwear  on Express today, in search of that perfect suit.  Their line this year is all about bright colors, graphic prints, flirty ruffles, beaded embellishments and side ties.  My favorite is this classic black tankini; I love the neckline and the ties on the bottom!  I'm way bigger on top than on bottom, so I think this would be flattering.

I love that from a distance it is just basic black, but if you get closer you see all the sparkles!  They would be so pretty reflecting sunlight!

I love that most of the Spring collection is made up of two piece swimwear, so you can customize your fit by buying a different size top and bottom!  

Right now if you sign up for Express e-mail, you are entered for a chance to win one of ten $200 Express Gift cards!  You can check out all of the sweepstakes rules on their site.  Advertisement  If I win I plan to get some fun accessories to go with my swimwear, like a hat and sunglasses!

What are your poolside must-haves?


Visit Sponsor's Site

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring has sprung!

Goodbye, grey winter! Hello pretty colors! Here's how things are looking here at Casa Crystal!

Is it Spring where you are yet?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Stuff I Totally Need Saturday #6: Urban Outfitters

I was looking around online at some bedding sets and came across this ruffly blue one. I'm so in love, I just wish I could afford it!

I haven't done a Stuff I Totally Need Saturday in a while, so here are a few other things I loved from poking around the site!

Breezy Branch Curtain

Flounce Ruffle Stripe Curtain

Bear Rug Coaster - Set of 4

How flipping cute are these? I don't think I even own coasters, but these are awesome.

You can make cute-shaped pancakes with it! LOVE!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Costume Squad T-shirt Review and Giveaway!

Many great things came out of the 80s, myself included. Sadly, not many sites sell t-shirts celebrating my awesomeness, but you can find all kinds of 80s t-shirts on a snazzy site called Costume Squad!

Even though the site is called Costume Squad, they obviously have more than just costumes. They also have a whole slew of funny t-shirts, including a lot with great references to favorite TV shows and movies.

I had the opportunity to review a shirt from the site, and I couldn't resist their Star Wars shirt!
I was surprised to see that the tag inside says Star Wars- it's an officially licensed shirt. Score!

This is where I would normally post a lovely photo of me in the shirt, but I am home alone and Ashlee is still holding the box of stuff that contains my Gorillapod hostage, so instead you get these sad attempts at self photography:

Sadly that pic on the left may be the most accurate representation of my proportions ever.

I ordered the size Large, and other than being surprisingly long on me, it fits great. (When you're almost 5'11" and 90% boobs, shirts are NEVER long on you!) It is super duper soft, which I love, and has a nice amount of stretch to it. It is on the thinner side of t-shirt material, perfect for warm Florida summers! (Star Wars Weekends at Hollywood Studios, maybe?)

The lovely people at Costume Squad are offering one of my readers their choice of any t-shirt under $18 from the site! To enter the giveaway, leave me a comment with the name of an item you like from the site! (Be sure to leave your e-mail so I can contact you if you win!)

Really want to win? Do one or all of these Bonus Entries! Just be sure you've done the mandatory one first!

1. Become a fan of Costume Squad on Facebook
2. "Like" or "Share" one of their products. You'll find the buttons to do so on each individual product page, above the main image.
3. Follow my blog with Google Friend Connect
4. "Like" Straight on Till Morning on Facebook
5. Tweet or post on FB about the giveaway with a link back to this post.

Please be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry!

The giveaway starts now and ends at 11:59 PM Central on 3/23, so enter with speed, dear friends! I'll contact the winner on 3/24 and they will have 48 hours to respond, or I'll pick a new winner. Costume Squad requests that entrants not have reviewed their shirts or won a shirt from them within the past 90 days.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a sample product for this review, and Costume Squad will be providing the free shirt for the winner. There was no financial compensation for this post.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Target Tuesday (Actually on a Tuesday this time!)

Happy Tuesday! It is time again for...

I was in an odd mood putting this together, so my list is pretty all over the place! Pardon the lack of links, but Blogger had a big ol' HTML seizure and I ran out of patience to fix it. I trust you are all smart enough to use the search box on the ol' Tar-zhay if you want to find something!

Xhilaration® Juniors Palm Tree Print Coverup Dress - Purple

I have been pondering this dress since I saw it when I was putting together last week's list. On one hand I think it is super cute and vacation-y, but I can't decide if it crosses the line into cheesy, especially when I'm living in FL. Opinions?

Journee Collection Rope Detail Boot
I must have these in brown ASAP!
Circo Sea Life Waste Can
Shut up, I need this. It is an octopus wearing an eyepatch.
Glass Mosaic Solar Tea Light
I had no idea that Target had snazzy solar-powered lights like this! Want!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

We have a winner!

In the wee small hours of the morning (7am, which is really 6am and totally not fooling me with this whole time change thing), I have drawn a winner for the CrazyDog T-Shirt giveaway!

Winning shirt

Our lovely winner is.... Comment #3, Megan!! WOOT WOOT!

Good news for those of you who didn't win- I have ANOTHER t-shirt giveaway coming up in just two days! Get ready for more awesomeness!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Theirs is a beautiful love...

Sometimes I like to read through the Missed Connections posts on Craigslist, because although they are usually boring, every now and then you come across a gem like this one I found last night:

"I was testing the area for radiation walked into the restricted area, thus risking your life, and had really hairy arms...we fell in were wearing a bob marley shirt."

And they say romance is dead!

Also, this is my 400th post on this version of my blog! If you add that to the 813 posts on the old version (creepily falling apart but still available here) and the 188 posts here from when I posted directly to my site, and the missing dozen or so posts from when I used AOL's website builder back in 1999, you have... um, a crapload of posts. Like over 1,400. That's kind of crazy!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Not that I plan ahead or anything...

I still don't know when I'll be moving back to Florida- hopefully some time later this year, but being the freakish planner and list maker that I am, I have already started making a list of the things I will need for my new place.

Here's what's on my list so far:

*Pots & Pans- Not that I do all that much cooking, but I at least need things to make grilled cheese and Rice a Roni in! I gave mine to Ashlee when I moved out of my last apartment, since they wouldn't fit in my car.

*Something to organize shoes in my closet. I especially need something to stick flip flops in- I have billions!

*I'm pretty set when it comes to furniture, except for needing a desk to replace mine (which is falling apart) and something new to put my TV on. My entertainment center is unbelievably heavy and my TV doesn't even fit in it right, I have to put it at an angle. Totally not worth lugging halfway across the country! I'm thinking about something like this LCD TV stand from

*A water filter for my kitchen sink. Orlando water is TERRIBLE and I'm tired of spending an absurd amount of money on bottled water.

*A new showerhead. I refuse to use the crappy generic ones that come in apartments, and I gave my good one to Ashlee when I left Orlando. (Needless to say, Ash got a lot of stuff!)

*A few packages of those removable sticky plastic hooks.- I use these ALL over the place! A big one by the shower to hang a towel on, a little one by the oven to hold my potholder, one by the front door for keys, etc.

Am I forgetting anything? Is there anything unusual that any house you live in MUST have?

Disclaimer: CSN Stores provided me with a gift code as sponsorship for this post, but all words and opinions are my own.

Target Tuesday! (That is kind of on Wednesday because I forgot to post it)

I love the Target Tuesdays that Tara at Fabulous But Evil does each week, and this week she invited everyone else to join in!

Here are a few things I've been drooling over lately:

I don't even remember what I was searching for when I came across this guy, but I'm in love!

I also just discovered the "Global Girlfriend" line- they have some awesome stuff!

I like that all of their stuff kind of goes together without being all matchy-matchy.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

I am somewhere between confused and delighted

I was just flipping through, checking out the latest from Paris Fashion Week when I came across Jean-Charles de Castelbajac's collection and had to totally stop because... dude, is that girl wearing a dog??

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Answer: Why yes, yes she is. And then I clicked next a few times and saw this look...

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Does this remind anyone else of Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? This chick just looks so incognito (in the most conspicuous way)! Plus, how great would that hat be when you are having both a bad hair day AND a major dark circles under the eyes day? Am I right?

But then...

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Really? Is this whole collection a tribute to the 101 Dalmations buildings at the All Star Movies resort, where I worked for several months straight? (because I missed the bid and didn't get to pick Music and dude, that was bad.) So many doggies!

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

OMG. THE HAT HAS A FACE. FACE HAT! I'm guessing that there is some sort of Cruella DeVille thing going on here? Especially since there is also a lot of fur in the collection?

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

And wait! What is the hand thing? Is that a necklace? Or a scarf? Or is something really shady going on with an invisible man on the runway?

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

This chick is basically wearing horsie pajamas. I want to be her friend.

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

Me at 10 years old wants this sweater SO. BAD.

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

I just... I'm just... I can't even comment anymore.

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear

If you don't buy me a tarantula hat for Christmas, I will probably never speak to you again.

I don't need to see anything else, best show of the season. I don't remember the last time a show left me both totally delighted and totally saying "WTF??" I am in love!