Sunday, April 29, 2012

Brave






I already love Merida so much!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Linky Love

I always mean to share more links of awesome blogs and sites I come across, but I so rarely get around to doing it!  Here's a bit of what's been filling up my laptop's screen lately:


Trouble on Bubble: You know my post where I said Sophie was the only one on this season of Top Model that really stood out to me?  This is her tumblr! She's done several vlogs recapping episodes, which are super fun to watch, and the rest of her tumblr is filled with cute photos of herself, other models, and random lovely things. Also, she is adorable.

Savannah for 91 Days: I came across this blog while looking up some things from the book I've been reading (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil). It's the blog of two guys that are traveling the world by spending about 3 months in different cities, and this is the tale of their Savannah adventures. It took place like a year ago, but who cares? (They're currently in Sri Lanka.) I clicked all the way back through the archives so I could start at the beginning, and I was totally sold on it while reading the post about getting ready to leave for Savannah:

Step One: Back the car up into the driveway, so that it’s easier to pack.
Step Two: Call my parents to explain how I smashed their car into a fire hydrant.
Step Three: Duct tape.
That's spectacular and you know it.

Last night on Twitter I said I'd plug the blog of whoever replied first, and my friend Sharon managed to reply in less than 30 seconds, which is an impressive Twitter feat. It was slightly ironic, since I planned to mention her blog anyway, but haha! Less work for me! Sharon blogs over at Sharon's Space, where she mostly talks food, but occasionally mixes things up with some music (she just saw Coldplay!) or other miscellaneous fun. You should go follow her, 'cause I said so, and it's what all the cool kids are doing.

Next, as someone who thinks that "haul" videos are one of the stupidest inventions ever, this glorious spoof from Daily Grace totally killed me. It's just so spot-on. I'm sure you're already subscribed to her, but just in case...
 

 Finally, if you happen to be a Sims aficionado like I am, you might enjoy these reviews by Lazy Game Reviews. They're both informative and hilarious. I watched all of them in a row, and actually laughed out loud several times.

 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Books I've Read So Far This Year- Part 2

Back in January, I posted here about some of the books I'd read so far this year.  I've finished quite a few that are at least worth mentioning since then, so I thought I'd post again!  These obviously aren't *all* the books I've read since that post, just the ones I felt like babbling on about. You can click on any book image to go to its Amazon page for more info.

Patriotic Fire: Andrew Jackson and Jean Lafitte at the Battle of New Orleans


I've learned that my enjoyment of visiting a place is directly linked to how much I know about it, so I grabbed this book about the Battle of New Orleans in anticipation of my future trip. I'm so glad I did!  It was interesting to read names I recognized as street names there now, or about buildings that are still standing. It made me even more excited to visit Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar. It also made me super bummed that the tomb of Dominique You (Lafitte's brother) is in St. Louis Cemetery #2, which is in a not-so-safe part of town.

This book did add to my total frustration about President Jackson, though. I've never been really able to wrap my mind around him.  On one hand, the Trail of Tears is pretty much totally his fault, which I kinda take personal offense at since I'm 1/4 Cherokee. Both in this book and throughout his presidency, Jackson did some pretty horrible things. He also did some pretty impressive things. If the US had lost the Battle of New Orleans, chances are good we would have lost the Louisiana Purchase to the British, and who knows what country we'd even BE now.

One of the best examples of how confusing Jackson is was in this book. He pretty much slaughtered a whole village of Creek Indians who had been at war with the settlers. There was a little boy left a live, and he asked some of the remaining women of the village what to do with him, and they reportedly told him they should just kill the boy too, since his whole family and most of his people were gone. Instead, Jackson adopted him and raised him as a son till he died at 17. It's almost like the "One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic" quote applied to an actual situation. Bleh.

Midnight in the Garden of Good And Evil


I just finished this one, and it was SO different from what I expected. Most of the book (at least the first half) was MUCH lighter than I expected. Going into it, all I knew about it was a) it had an awesome book cover, b) it was about the city of Savannah, GA and c) I remembered hearing good reviews. It's actually the nonfiction work of a writer who spent some time living in Savannah, about the people he met there and the crazy things he found himself in the middle of. I don't want to give anything away, but you can check the Amazon page for more info, obviously. Still, from the cover I was expecting something very dark, possibly a bit spooky, but much of it is light, funny even, although it does have a fair share of mystery and darker elements thrown in. It reads almost like a novel, I had to keep reminding myself that these events and people were real.

One thing I love about nonfiction is that you can actually, at least a little bit, throw yourself into the world of the book. You know how when you read Harry Potter, you wish you could wander the grounds of Hogwarts?  I love that I could actually go to Savannah, and actually tour the house where much of the story takes place, walk through the graveyard that's mentioned many times, possibly even run into some of the people mentioned.

The Hunger Games


I finally got around to reading this last month. I know I'm in the minority here, but I didn't love it. The story itself was interesting, but I found the writing style to be really lacking. There were also a few plot points that were just WAY too convenient and contrived. It's a quick read, though, so you're only out four or five hours of your life if you end up hating it. I might pick up the 2nd in the series eventually, just to see if it gets any better, but it's not the type of series where I'm excited to return to the world and the characters.

My Name is Grace


I won this one on GoodReads, which was awesome, but just judging from the blurb and the cover, I wasn't THAT excited to read it. It's the split story of a young girl in Scotland during WWII, and the teenage girl who finds her diary in the 70s. I ended up being really pleasantly surprised, I liked it a lot more than I expected to. I actually loved the first 80% or so of the book, but the last few chapters let me down.

Loving Frank


I picked this up at the thrift store, vaguely remembering having heard good things about it. It's the story of Frank Lloyd Wright's mistress, and the ups and downs of their relationship. It was an interesting read, but I think this might be the first time in ages that I found myself really wishing I'd read spoilers before reading it, because the ending seriously screwed with my head.

What's been your favorite read so far this year? Any suggestions?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Decline of Top Model

Oh, guys, I am so disappointed in this season of America's Next Top Model.  This used to be one of my favorite guilty pleasures, but now it's basically become a caricature of itself. The shark has been jumped.

So far, the worst has been the two teams (UK and USA... we'll come back to that in a sec!) making music videos. One of the prizes for the winner this season is to have a song produced. That kind of made sense when they did it on the All Star season, since that season was kind of about being a "star" in general, vs. just modeling. But it makes no sense in the context of a regular season. I don't see Coco Rocha or Lara Stone or Arizona Muse dropping tracks at the recording studio. They're busy modeling their asses off.

Out of that, came this:



I can't even.

It also seems so unfair that while the American girls were picked as normal, the UK girls have all been on UK's Top Model. So you're putting girls with zero experience up against girls who have already done this before.  How is that fair?

I think Tyra has SERIOUSLY lost touch.  This show has become such a joke!

To make things worse, almost none of the girls from this season stand out to me. I probably couldn't name more than 3 or 4 of them.  The only one I really like is Sophie:



I'll probably try watching next season, but if it's equally sucky, I'll have to say goodbye. Thank goodness there's plenty of other terrible TV to fill my guilty pleasure void!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It's Spring Gardening Time!

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

While I was cleaning out old boxes of stuff in storage, I came across this super cute cat planter:

I wasn't really planning to plant anything this Spring, but now that I found that I pretty much HAVE to, right?  I mean, how cute would the cat look with plants sticking out of him?  (Maybe this is just a crazy cat lady thing? Whatever.)

Amusingly enough, while I was trying to decide what to plant, and if I want to grow several different things this year or just stick to this one little container (catnip seems really appropriate- and really useful in my house!) I got an e-mail that led me to finding out about a company called Whitney Farms®, a gardening supplies company that specializes in natural products like organic soil and organic plant food

Whitney-Farms-Logo_Banner_New_C.jpg (6 documents, 6 total pages)

To tell you the truth, I'd never really thought about the soil that I use to grow things before.  I mean, you hear about organic groceries all the time, but organic soil?  It makes sense, though, since plants get their nutrients from the soil, we should probably put a little more thought into what they're growing in if it's something you plan to eat! Advertisement

Clicking on any of the above links will take you to a coupon for $3 off any Whitney Farms plant food or soil!  They're made by the same company that makes Miracle-Gro, and I thought it was pretty snazzy that they have specific types of plant food designed for different types of plants, like rose food, tomato and vegetable food, and even hibiscus food!

109103_1.jpg (6 documents, 6 total pages) 

I'm thinking about trying to find a few more cute, unusual planters and doing a whole little window garden, kind of like this:

image source

Are you guys growing anything? If so, do you go all organic, or not really worry about it? Any suggestions for what to put in my kitty planter? 

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A Visit From the Fairy Hobmother!

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When I worked at the Magic Kingdom at Disney World, I used to run into Cinderella's Fairy Godmother all the time. Like seriously, ALL the frickin' time. We had lockers near each other. Disney World is a weird place.  (What does a fairy godmother keep in her locker, anyway?  She's frickin' magical, can't she just wave her wand when she needs something?)

This week was my first encounter with a slightly different fairy, though, the Fairy Hobmother!  If you haven't yet seen any of the posts around the blogosphere, the Fairy Hobmother is on a mission to spread a little extra joy and light to bloggers!  But instead of glass shoes and pumpkin carriages, he works in Amazon gift cards!  (When he's not doing fairy stuff, he hangs out at Appliances Online, so he must be one of those tinkerer fairies, like Tinkerbelle!  Oh, don't act like you haven't seen the Tink movie and don't know the different kinds of fairys. I know you have.) You can also find him on Twitter!

I'm trying to narrow down my wishlist of 87357845 items to figure out what I want to spend my gift card on!  I always put WAY too much thought into these things.

Of course, since it's no fun for me to be all excited about shopping and leave you guys out of the fun, His Royal Hobmotherness mentioned that if you comment on this post, he just might pay you a visit, too!  So let me know if you have ideas of what I should buy, or what kind of wishes you could use a fairy godmother/hobmother for!  And seriously, what DOES Cinderella's godmother keep in her locker? And why did I never try to sneak a peek??

He learned to fight from West Side Story

YOU GUYS, I can't believe I forgot to post this here!  I took this video of my kitten Hathaway a little over a month ago, when I gave him his very first furry mouse toy.  His way of attacking it was basically to woo it with cool dancing. There's just really no other way to explain it.



I like kittens because they are basically like tiny, adorable drunks.  He just didn't have full control of his body yet, and it was awesome.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Target Tuesday #24


Target!

I haven't done a Target Tuesday in foreverrrrrrrr! I won a Target Gift card last week, though, so I've been poking around on the site drooling over options!  Here's some of what I've been checking out:

Mossimo Supply Co. Juniors Short Sleeve T-Shirt Dress - Assorted Colors.Opens in a new window
Mossimo T-Shirt Dress
I'd belt it and be super comfy all summer!

Merona® Womens V-Neck Cap Sleeve Value Dress - Assorted Colors.Opens in a new window
Merona V-Neck Cap Sleeve Dress
Can't decide if I like the purple or jade best!

Merona® Womens Draped Neck Value Dress - Assorted Colors.Opens in a new window
Merona Draped Neck Dress
I can't quite decide if this one would look good on me or not.

Xhilaration® Juniors Hi-Low Sleeveless Dress - Assorted Colors.Opens in a new window
Xhiliration Hi-Lo Dress
Here's the thing, I'm kinda in love with this dress.  But it, like all the others above, isn't sold in stores.  I'm SO hard to fit in dresses because I'm super different sizes on top and bottom, so I'm a little nervous to buy it online without being able to try it on!  I know I can return it and all, but...

Merona® Maternity Scoop-Neck Shirred Fashion Top - Assorted Colors.Opens in a new window
So, um, this one is technically a maternity top, but I think the shape would be really flattering on me!  (I have boobs, y'all, finding tops that fit is hard.)

So, basically, I still have no idea what I'm going to use my gift card on!  I'll probably end up with jeans and shoes, to be honest!


(Random note- I want to punch whoever made the "Coral is the new black!" thing on the dresses page on Target's site. Coral is a currently popular color. That does NOT make it the new black. Ugh.)

Head over to Fabulous But Evil to check out the other Target Tuesdays or link up your own post!

Indeed.



I like these things.

Monday, April 16, 2012

To redesign or no?

I'm thinking about redesigning my blog, since it's looked like this for... oh man, I don't even know how many years. At least 5 or 6. I though I'd ask you guys for input, since you probably see it more than I do! (Unless you subscribe via a reader, in which case I could decorate it with zombie llamas and you wouldn't notice.)

What's your vote?  Time for an update?  Just leave it as-is?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Stuff I Must Do In New Orleans: Sucre

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you probably know that I get pretty obsessive about my trip planning when I travel. I've been pondering my future trip to New Orleans for four or five months already, even though I might not be able to afford to go for quite a while. My Google Doc of notes is way over 20 pages long.

I have issues.

(But my weirdness in this area made me an AWESOME concierge.)

One of the main attractions in NOLA is obviously the food. I'm not a fan of seafood, so that automatically eliminates like half of the dishes New Orleans is famous for, but there are still plenty of must-eats on my list!  I thought I'd tell you guys about one that my friend Katie and I spent like half an hour drooling over the other day!

Sucre is on Magazine Street, where I was already planning to go to do some shopping. They're famous for their king cakes and macaroons, but the whole menu is pretty droolworthy. (It's on their site here if you're curious.)  The only down side is that they're kind of expensive. When I first read through the menu, I was like "Crap, I'm going to have to budget like $80 for this place!" but I think I've narrowed my choices down to around $20.

Here's some of the food porn that I found around the ol' internets:

Gargantuan!

Sucré

(above photos all from UrbanSpoon)

I think I have it narrowed down to hazelnut, pecan, pistachio, salted caramel, bananas foster flavored macaroons, a cup of brown butter pecan, banana creme pie, cafe au lait, or nectar cream gelato (or peach reisling sorbet!), and their praline cafe glace (like a frappe).

One last photo from Flickr:




(This is not a sponsored post, but if Sucre wants to give me free stuff I'd be more than happy to write more about them!)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

YAY, JKR!

I'm sure everyone has already seen this, but just in case... JKR's first novel for adults is available for preorder on Amazon now!!





I'm not really sucked in by the description, but I'm sure it will be awesome!

Paris Fashion Week- Part 1

Yes, I'm just now getting around to posting about the shows that happened at the beginning of March!

Andrew Gn Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
I really liked the Victorian-inspired Andrew Gn collection! It was feminine and ladylike, and you could see the Victorian influence without being hit over the head with it. Plus, they were pieces you can actually wear!

Andrew Gn Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
Although this look is a little less wearable for everyday people, I think it's just killer!

Andrew Gn Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
I want these leather shorts like... yesterday.

Andrew Gn Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
Oh shiz, now I want these shorts, too. Well done, Andrew Gn, you just made me want black velvet shorts. Well. Done. (HATE those shoes with this look, though. HATE.)

Balenciaga Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
This look from Balenciaga reminds me of She-Ra, Princess of Power.

Balmain Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
This dress by Balmain. I don't even know what I want to say about it, I just felt the need to put it here. Feel free to discuss.

Balmain Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
This Balmain dress belongs in a couture show, not ready to wear!  All of the details for this show were exquisite.

Carven Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
I really liked that Carven was inspired by Hieronymus Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights, since I think that's my favorite altar piece. In some looks the inspiration is obvious, in others it's a much looser interpretation. There were a few total misses, but at least the collection as a whole held my interest.



Dries Van Noten Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear

While I wasn't a huge fan of Dries Van Noten in general, I did like their unconventional use of fabrics. I saved this dress for future inspiration, because I really like the placement of that panel of fabric.

Gareth Pugh Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
Gareth Pugh shows us exactly why humans and muppets should never mate.

Gareth Pugh Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
I really like this Gareth Pugh look, though. It's almost like an update on Matrix-style cyberpunk.

Alexander McQueen Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
I have to say how bummed I am that I didn't like the McQueen show. I have no words for how much I miss clothes actually designed by the man himself.  I keep waiting for Sarah Burton to wow me, or at least have SOME spark of the old McQueen magic, but it still hasn't happened.

Alexander McQueen Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear
I'm officially calling these "the horsie shoes", btw.

I still have several shows to babble on about, but I'll cut this off here for the sake of decent post length!