Saturday, January 30, 2010

Of shoes and ships and sealing wax,

Of cabbages and kings.
That lovely line from Alice has almost nothing to do with this post, but whenever I think of a random hodgepodge of things, I recall that line from that poem. I really want to read Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland. I've started it countless times but always get distracted. I have my dad's Annotated Alice which not only has the text but in the margins has commentary on the text which helps explains certain things that I don't understand because I'm not an 11 year old British girl in mid 1800's. I highly recommend it.

One of my necklaces was featured in this Treasury, which is super cute and themed around the number 3! Check it out. :) It'll only be up until Sunday, so that link will be dead soon, SORRY!

Yesterday I took a leaf out of supercoolspyclub guys book and made some cards out of cut paper. Mind you I had to go get my self a small X-Acto Knife and a board to cut on. (In hindsight, my plastic cutting boards from the kitchen probably would have worked fine. C'est la via!) They're pretty much amazing. I will post pictures when I'm officiously done with them.

And I've decided that I NEED these shoes from Nordstrom. I've been looking for men's shoes for women for months now, but they always end up looking like my old tap shoes. Not these ones! Unfortunately they're back ordered until Feb. 10th. C'est domage. But someday they will be mine. Here they are:

See that link about shoes and ships and sealing wax wasn't COMPLETELY off the wall. (For the record I always thought it was ceiling wax, that is until I looked it up.)

Sorry I haven't updated, for some reason Blogger wasn't working forever and then I realized that it was just in Firefox, so I'm using Chrome now, sans probleme! I probably just need to clear my cache or cookies or something. For another time.

I realized tonight there is a fine line between being well-read and being pretentious, and I hope never to cross into the pretentious-ness area. It's just not fun to be around.

I hope everyone is having a good weekend and is getting ready to say goodbye to January!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Blog: Check My Shelf

I love peeking into other people's lives. I guess in that respect I'm a terrible snoop, but I can't help LOVING overhearing snippets of conversation, or glancing through windows with the blinds only half drawn. It's in these private moments that you really see people. You see the basic-ness of human existence. That despite the wars, and religious conflict, and ideological battles that make up the news and our daily lives, we're all just the same. We want to love and be loved, to read, watch, relax, and enjoy life.

With this in mind I love the new blog that's popped up recently Check My Shelf, where people send in a picture of a shelf and a little about them. And I love this blog not because I'm featured on today's post (which is rather exciting I think!), but because this really is a look into other people's lives. The books or shoes or fabric samples they have, the way they organize it, it all intrigues me. I love Mila's Shelf, it's so well organized and bright and clean and welcoming! I just want to lay in bed all day with a cup of tea and READ.

Which reminds me, this would make a great edition to any room, in any house, but especially a room with a great bookcase chockablock full of great books.

It's the READ recycled wood sign available from the charming Etsy shop of WilliamDohman. He also has great variations on the READ sign that say things like LOVE, ADORE, GROW, THINK, LIQUOR, you know, the usual. :)

Anyways, here is a lovely song that sometimes gives me chills if I listen intently to all the words.
It has a great message of peace and all that good stuff, check it out.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Win a Handmade Pillow!

So the amazing blog "oh, hello friend" has weekly giveaways, and this one is so sweet I had to pass it on to you!

It's for a $40 gift certificate for the lovely Etsy shop Olive. (That gift certificate is enough to get you 2 pillows from the 20 and under section!) All you have to do is go to Olive's Etsy shop, find your favorite item, and then comment on the oh, hello friend blog entry with what your favorite item from the shop is. Danni will pick a winner in 1 week, and it could be you!
Best of luck!
ps: I highly recommend adding "oh, hello friend" to your blog reader, it's fantastic!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Art : supercoolspyclub

So I saw supercoolspyclub's awesome artwork through the blog "Share Some Candy". Supercoolspyclub is the work of talented art school graduate Jared Andrew Schorr. Not only can he draw, but he also makes REALLY neat pieces of art based on cut paper. Like this sweet "Mix Tape" to the right. Going through his work I wanted to post all of them, because they are so cool. Alas I could not so here are just a few for your enjoyment.

That last one is actually a picture from his Etsy of a super cute paper cut of Love Bugs! Such a great idea. I love how their feelers come together to make a heart. It comes in a shadow frame and everything. Also on his Etsy you can buy that cute little lady with the bird in her hair, and it's a pocket mirror! Oh so handy. I'm really thinking about getting it...
If Etsy isn't your thing be sure to check out his website to see just how supremely talented he is.
That's all for now! I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

livin on espresso shots

So I didn't have coffee for an entire week when boyfriend and I started doing this crazy workout. I was doing really well. But now I've fallen off the wagon.

I've had coffee everyday for the past three days. Whoops. I can't resist the bitter flavor of espresso as it slowly gets diluted by the milk, it's just too good.

So coffee, here's to you. You've bested me for now, but I'll be back with stronger forces soon, (so you should feel free to be prepared with even stronger espresso. Trust me, I'm a worth adversary.)

Good luck to all in their own personal battles, they're difficult but we shall overcome. (Or we might get defeated, but then at least we can enjoy the sweet, warm, yummy taste of defeat.)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Decorating with Typography

So decorating our house has been happening slowly but surely, resulting in an amalgamation of furniture from my parents, grandparents, IKEA, and assorted things we've all picked up over the years. (Like the 100 lb. television Dot and I bought off Craigs List. Definitely buyers remorse on that one...) There isn't much of a theme to the house, although people always say our house feels very homey.

But I ran across these photos on the blog Design is Mine. And they make me want to redesign every room of the house, even the bathroom.

I love the way the letters (or numbers) used can sometimes help define a room (like the SOAP one), or just provide a creative montage to accent a wall (like all those letters behind the desk). Either way if I ever run across a bunch of letters, I may have to buy them purely because these pictures totally inspire me. And it kinda reminds me of those fridge magnet letters. I always thought those were really cool. So I hope that those lovely design images got your inner interior decorator neurons firing.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Music: Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

This song makes me so happy. And I love the crazy hippie revival feel of the band. They look like they're from the 70's but they're modern!

Check is out, it's "Home" by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros.

"Ooh Home, Let me go Ho-o-ome, Home is wherever I'm with you."

how to: help Haiti

how to : Help Haiti

This seems like a rather silly "how to", but I spent HOURS researching this and wanted to share the information I'd learned, to help others (possibly) help in the best, and most meaningful way possible.

To me the best non-profit and or aid organizations are the ones that maximize the amount of money people donate. So if you donate $1 to the org, the more money that goes to helping people the better, right? I'm sure I'm not alone in this. As such I used to double check what I'd found, as well as checking up on the websites of the organizations. They usually say how much out of every dollar actually goes to help people, the other part of course going to cover staff and rent and advertising and other such businessy things. So here are my top two org's for donating to:

The Red Cross gives 92% of all the money donated to them straight into their programs, and sending their doctors and nurses and whatnot around the world to help people. That's the highest figure I've found so far. They've also been around forever and have a solid infrastructure that seems to get things done in a great way. They get an A- from Charity Watch, but because such a high percentage goes to the programs, they've made my list.

The IMC not only gets an A+ from Charity Watch, but 92% of the money people donate to them goes to programs to help people. And they're all doctors so they are extremely helpful!

The third org, Oxfam, is more of my pet non-profit, the one that I would LOVE to work for someday. I recommend them for day to day donating to help people, although they do have lots of staff working in Haiti right now. (Unfortunately one of their staff members was actually killed in the earthquake.) They have this really cool program called Oxfam Unwrapped where you buy something (like a cow, or a child's school uniform, or books, or a well for a town) and Oxfam makes sure it happens, but they send a card to the person who you bought it in the name of, and the card says what was sent, and you can personalize it. That's a bit confusing but it's a really neat program. My sister and I bought school uniforms for children in honor of my mom for her birthday last year. She said it was the best gift we've ever given her. I would recommend donating to them because they provide shelter and water, and put on programs to support literacy, and are an all around awesome non-profit. ALTHOUGH, I haven't been able to find out what percent of donations actually go to programs, which makes me wary.

Other ways to help:
+ Comment on this entry of the amazing blog "oh, hello friend"!! For every comment on the entry (up until Jan. 22nd) the blog owner will donate $1 to World Vision. Super easy way to help, and a very generous thing of her to do.

+ Here's also a cool way you can help Haiti, while getting yourself something nice. Etsy has a list going called "Handmade for Haiti", and it's all the sellers that are donating a portion of their profits to non-profits working in Haiti right now. I think it's a great idea and I recommend looking at some of the stuff.

That is my take on the best way to help Haiti right now.
A lot of people want to donate clothes or toiletries, which would be very useful, but getting things out to Haiti is very difficult right now. I looked around A LOT for ways to send clothes and things but couldn't find anything, so for now that isn't really an option. Although if anyone sees anything on that please let me know, I'm very interested!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Read: The Lovely Bones

So I finished The Lovely Bones a few days ago (well actually almost a week at this point).

I absolutely LOVED the book. I could barely put it down. One of the most striking aspects of the book, at least to me, are the descriptions author Alice Sebold uses. [sidebar: Alice Sebold graduated from UC Irvine! That makes me very proud of my Alma Mater!] Where any run of the mill writer would say "the eggs which we dyed", Sebold says "the eggs which we had dunked in dye" (that's actually not a direct quote, just a from memory quote, so it could be slightly off. The word was either dunked or submerged, now I'm not positive). But somehow that description struck me as unique. It's the same concept, dyeing an egg is essentially submerging/dunking it in dye, but I felt like I had never seen it described like that. And that is just one example that stuck in my mind, though the book is littered with other examples. Also, that is only one facet of the novel, but it's the one I found most appealing, and most distinctive about the book.

The plot is a unique one as well. Despite the fact that the commercial for the new movie makes it seem as if it's just about solving the mystery of the main characters death (which happens in the first chapter, and is talked about on the back of the book, so I didn't give anything away), it's also a story about a family and a small town coming to terms with the death of their daughter, their sister, their friend. And while part of this "coming to terms" is trying to solve the mystery, it's also a glance at the coping mechanisms of individuals, family dynamics, and friendship. The writing and the story is unique, extraordinary, and sometimes funny, while other times heartbreaking. There really is no other way for me to say, other than I absolutely loved it.

PS: I finished The Little Prince today, and even though it is really short I'm counting it as my book for the week, as Reading Lolita in Tehran is taking much longer than I thought. So that will be my next book entry! Thanks for reading Amy! :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

An Ode to Books & Bookstores (in pictures.)

I actually tried to write a poem, but these skills escape me. So instead i will use images to convey the beauty that is books, and bookstores.
{{I wish I could be a wandering gypsy. Travel in a caravan with my love and all our books. We would live off our wages: he would fix or build things for people using his amazing engineering brain, and I would make jewelry and headbands and pretty things to sell to people. We could trade books with people we met along the way, spreading knowledge and a love of literature everywhere we went. And we would see the world. The caravan could also be traded for a river boat so we could live in the Seine or the Rhine. What a beautiful and simple life.}}
The above picture is from my favorite bookstore on earth: Shakespeare & Company in Paris. I took classes at La Sorbonne literally right around the corner, but somehow missed this gem until about a week before I was leaving. They have a little bed upstairs (pictured below) where they, as I understand it, let writers stay. When I was there I sat on the bed and leafed through an old kipling book with a charmingly chubby cat sitting next to me. I actually have a book "Time Was Soft There" by one of the authors who did that, about his time there. It's in my "to read" pile. But this place is tiny, and crammed with books, and just FEELS like home to a bibliophile like myself.

This is the first thing you encounter upon entering Shakespeare & Co. Isn't it beautiful! BOOKS, EVERYWHERE!

The above picture is like my dream room. But maybe with a king sized bed. But I love all the natural light and the books everywhere! This image and the next 3 are all from weheartit.

The above picture is the Livrario Lello, in Portugal. Isn't it beautiful! It begs quiet and probably smells like wood polish and books. I want to go there.
The Black Spot Books (etsy)
Beautiful abandoned library house. This image and the one following are from weheartit.

Reading is such a beautiful thing. I love getting lost in words and worlds. So far I've read a book every week of the new year. I finished Lolita on January 5 (see previous post), and I just finished The Lovely Bones yesterday afternoon (January 11). Don't worry a post will be coming up on that one too. Now I'm diving head-first into Reading Lolita In Tehran (the whole reason I picked up Lolita in the first place). I also have a Border's date with Dot tomorrow, so that may yield yet another book to add to the growing stack of "to read" books.

love it: vintage suitcase table

Using a vintage hardcase suitcase as a side table is great, but not terribly inspired. This on the other hand, blew me away:(apartment therapy)
It's such a statement piece! The thick wood with the crazy colored suitcases patchworked together underneath. Simply amazing. I want it. Or I want to make one just like it.

Here are some from Etsy to get me rolling... (if I had the money, that is.) So enjoy!
By swankysatchel (etsy)
By Vintagemimosette (etsy)
By LePinkChandalier (etsy)
By Newfriend (etsy)

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Happy 3 Year Anniversary my love.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Read: Lolita

So I finished Lolita (by Vladimir Nabokov) last night. I posted recently about the books I was reading, and that's the first one done for now! I'm working on The Lovely Bones now. (I'm 26% done according to Kindle.)

I really liked the book. I see why it was banned and is still rather controversial. Lolita is a like no one I think I have ever met. It's hard to put into words (mostly because I'm distracted by watching LOTR right now...).

It's creepy at times, because you think what you read, and you're reading about this man lusting for this young girl. But it's highly psychological and you begin to understand the spell he is under. While it is only one-sided I believe, Humbert's love for Lolita is truly beautiful. He loves her, is obsessed with her, would do anything for her. It is creepy, but it's also sweet how he finds beauty in her smallest movement, in the smell of her on the sheets, how he memorizes the way she moves her tennis strokes and her face as she practices acting.

I am glad I read it, and look forward to reading "Reading Lolita in Tehran", I hope they talk about Lolita a bit. And of course I recommend it, if you can take the slight perviness of falling headfirst into the mind of a certified pedophile.

Oh yeah I was image searching "Lolita" on and people have this odd impression that Lolita is extremely gothic. I do not know where they got this from. In my mind she was all gingham and bubblegum and short skirts and knobby knees and hollywood magazines. And those heart sunglasses are apparently her signature piece from the movie, or so I gather. I've added the Jeremy Irons version to my Netflix for viewing eventually, it sounds like it was very faithful to the book.
both photos are from

Beautiful Music Video!

I haven't seen a music video this neat looking in a very long time. The song is "Lucky" by All India Sound, but the music video was made by the Australian company "Dee Pee Studios", who are (as evidenced by the following video), geniuses.

The picture on the side is just a small taste, watch it for yourself!

This is the best I've been able to do, my sister left the shutter on her camera open for as long as she could figure out how to, and the chubby heart is lit by a light up frisbee. :) Photo cred is obviously Dot.

Friday, January 1, 2010


I hope the world had a lovely Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

I took most of the month of December off from the online. I went to Mexico for a week, stayed with my family in beautiful Northern California for a week where I had a lovely Christmas, and spent a week post Christmas with my boyfriend in Santa Barbara. It was a fantastic break from real life.
Now I am back in Southern California, we've started a small business we call "Bundles of Books" wherein we sell our old textbooks. I highly recommend it, it's profitable and will make moving slightly easier!
There were a lot things last year that I kept saying "I'll wait until after the holidays" to do, so now I need to get on it!

So here's to 2010. Drink up. :)