Thursday, December 29, 2011

Blogger, meet Tumblr. Tumblr, Blogger.

5 (maybe 6) reasons you should have a Tumblr, if you don't already!

5. Deaf Muslim Punx

My deaf, Muslim, play write, feminist soul sister with the uncanny ability to light a spark in your heart and want to fight for causes you barely knew about 5 minutes ago.

4. All That's Interesting

Which is exactly what it sounds like.

3. Electric Orchids

So maybe it is a cop out to put my best friend's Tumblr on this list. But while she and I may not always get along perfectly, I'm still convinced we share the same soul.

2. Rules To Be Happy

If you don’t, who will? Standing up for what you believe in is one of the most important skills you’ll need in life. People in life will always try to knock you down, but as long as you get back up, you’re showing them that you can stand for what you believe in.

1. Dark Silence in Suburbia

Saying this is the best contemporary art blog I have ever seen would be both a disservice and a major understatement.  I wasn't truly addicted to Tumblr until I started following this blog when it was named Tumblr of the Year by Septagon Studios.

Honorable Mention: Etiquette for a Lady

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What to get for the boy that "doesn't want anything."

After a number of years and multiple relationships I have become fairly certain that all boys are difficult to shop for. There's the nerdy boy, who's taste is so expensive, you would probably have to sell a limb to pay for what he really wants. There's the music snob and the collector, the one who wants something so obscure and difficult to find, you'll drive yourself mad scouring the internet for months just to ultimately get him a gift card at the last minute. And finally there's the selfless boy, the one who enjoys phrases like "I don't really want anything", "Just get something nice for yourself!" and, "Give money to a charity!"

As sweet as he is and may sound, my selfless boy may have been the most difficult one to shop for ever. How do you get someone "nothing" and something at the same time?? I searched Etsy. Asked everyone of his friends and family. Snooped on his computer (Sorry Nick <3). And read every "What to get your guy" article I could find on the internet. Though everyone suggested a lot of "somethings" none of them were also "nothings."

Then a Christmas miracle happened! Who out there saw the Glee Christmas special? Rachel may not have liked her African Hog but my guy loved his new Ocelot!

This is Gracie, she lives at The Big Cat Sanctuary in Tampa . They rescued her from some idiot that decided to try and keep her as an exotic pet. The adoption packet I got came with bios of all the Ocelots at the sanctuary so Nick and I could read about them, pick which one we wanted to adopt and it also came with day passes to the park so we could go meet our choice! Money to charity and a day trip to Tampa to visit our chosen cat! Two successful Christmas' down, countless more to go!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Even when it doesn't feel like Christmas.

So how was everyone's Christmas? Food, family, presents and tons of fun? Oh and maybe even snow! Up until yesterday, I honestly wasn't expecting to have any of those things, and by the end of the evening, the only thing missing was the snow. In true Florida fashion, it was a sunny 83 degrees on my Christmas day.

Every year, for as long as I can remember, my Christmas has been the same. In Germany, it's tradition to do the gift exchange on Christmas Eve so after attending the candle light service at church, we would all head back to my Grandmother's for cocoa, snacks, Christmas music and presents. Then, it was off to bed early to wait for Santa to come to my parents house Christmas morning. But when I hit 19 things slowly but surely began to change. I moved down south, my parents got divorced, my dad got remarried and I gained 2 step sisters. The one thing that stayed ever constant was Christmas Eve with my mom and Grandmother, until this year. My cousin in Hamburg had her second child and my Grandmother decided to spend Christmas over seas. Thus, I decided I was enough of a big girl that I would stay in Orlando and work for the holiday, rather than going home.

I'm not as much of a big girl as I thought. I cried Christmas Eve. Then again Christmas morning. And finally, Christmas Day evening. Only the final time was actually a happy cry. While it was my first time away from my own family, it was my first time with Nick's huge family. And you guys, rarely in life does one feel so loved, so unexpectedly.

Nick's mom stalked this blog and got me a gorgeous necklace I've been lusting over from Tara's shop, his Aunt and Cousin's got me the cutest vintage apron and cake decorating bags, I had a blast chatting up his Grandmother about Italy and gushed over how adorable his baby Cousin is. Dinner was amazing and afterwards the members of the 'kids' table escaped to the movie theater for a super fun end to an awesome Christmas!

This weekend, after the New Years Eve festivities die down, I'll get be-lated Christmas and a mini vacation to Jacksonville to see my Mom then in March a super be-lated Christmas with my Grandmother! I think I can live with a Christmas that lasts 2 1/2 months!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

(Anti)Social Media Faux Pas...

Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, MySpace, and even Blogger. The world is at our finger tips every second of everyday and the majority of us have gotten used to what once was called our 'private life' being made public. But typically, made public to people that we deem fit? We use abbreviated names on Blogger, make our Facebook's friends only and keep our phone numbers and addresses hidden. So what happens when someone sneaks past? When a stranger with even stranger intent moves past these protective barriers to learn your likes, loves, dislikes, best of times and worst of times?

A few months ago a girl added me on Facebook. We had a mutual friend and she looked mildly familiar so I added her. I then preceded to think nothing of it and move on with my life. She invited me to protests, I went. I saw her on campus, I waved! We were acquaintances and again, I thought nothing of it. Until last night.

Last night I had another volatile conversation with Senior Toxic and he informed me of an ex-girlfriend of his that had moved to Orlando. After a bit of pestering, he revealed her name and I was instantly creeped out.

The girl that had randomly added me, did it to spy on me. Because she was dating my mentally unstable ex-boyfriend. He didn't see much wrong with this but then again, theres that whole mentally unstable thing. I immediately went home and sent her a nice-as-I-could-possibly-say message telling her I knew the situation, and that she needed to stop stalking strangers and blocked her from any and every account I could think of. And just for good measure, did a thorough cleaning of almost every other "acquaintance" on my friends list and blacklisted both his and her phone numbers.

I feel a little better, but still a little weirded out at the same time. I've never been a big fan of burning bridges like that, but I guess in the name of self preservation and privacy it's occasionally warranted.

Have you ever been forced into an awkward situation because of putting your life on the internet?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Linky Love!

  • How the Brain Perceives Art. The results aren't all that shocking, but the process is amazing.
  • Time Magazine's person of the year: The Protestor. This photo montage, complete with individual stories from around the world is touching, gut wrenching and all around beautiful. All social change comes from the passion of individuals.
Google's 2011 year in review

Indian Rosie The Riveter by a Deaf, South Asian, Muslim play write

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Affectionately dubbed, gypse fever.

Last summer I spent a month and a half on my first study abroad in Florence, Italy. Hands down, it was the most amazing experience of my entire life and at least twice a week I have glorious dreams of being back there.

That my friends, was the beginning of the end. For my bank account that is. Because since then I have hit Boston, Mass.

Then to a spur of the moment trip across the country to see water falls and falling leaves in Portland, OR

And now... the gypse fever, urge to travel, strikes again... I just booked a flight to NYC in the first week of January. I have 4 days alone of time to fill and this will be the true test of my new found layering skills! Wish me luck blog-o-sphere!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cure for the common bad day.

Sometimes, no matter how well you plan a day, they manage to go to crap anyways. Mean bosses, people with stank attitudes and unsupportive friends topped off with an early morning trip to the OBGYN is definitely not the making of a stellar day off work. So tonight it's time to wind down and remind myself why the world is still an awesome place!

  1. The Glee Christmas special airs tonight! Yup, I'm a Gleek.
  2. Curve-a-licious bodacious women who's style sense makes me want to gain a little more junk in my trunk!
  3. Inventing my own variation of Spiced Chai Tea Cupcakes.
  4. ...with my brand new mixer that I have used everyday since it came in the mail!
  5. Starting to redesign my layout (sit tight, I know you'll love it!).
  6. And most importantly, helping others with their problems.

Have you ever been to the wonderful website Emotional Bag Check? It's a fantastic website powered by Grooveshark that lets you opt to either 'Check' your bags or 'Carry' someone else's. Select 'Check It' and the site will ask for your (completely anonymous) e-mail address and then ask you to let out what's eating you up inside. After about 10 minutes you will start receiving some of the kindest words you ever thought possible from complete strangers who offer a song to fit the mood and some advice on what's bothering you.

Or, you can choose to 'Carry It' and the emotional bag check will let you send a song and an anonymous response to someone who has a problem. Either way, if you are ever feeling down on the world and want to restore your faith a bit in humanity, this site is the perfect place to waste 10 or 20 minutes. That and you get a pretty neat collection of music out of it!

This is all music I have either sent or received myself.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Puppies, panic attacks and motherhood.

This morning I woke up to Penny crying very loud and very panicked. I bolted out of bed like you do when you wake up an hour late for work or a test and felt a small pang in my chest as though I had had a small heart attack. I scrambled out of bed and ran downstairs so fast that I'm amazed I didn't break my neck (is a sudden increase in coordination part of the Mother-Bear adrenaline rush?).

Somewhere within the 45 second time frame, she had stopped crying and the sudden silence was even more terrifying than the jut wrenching cries. I dropped to my knees and yanked open her crate, half expecting to see a freshly dead puppy and what did I see?

She was perfectly fine. Wagged her little tail and wobbled out of her crate and over to her food bowl.

I sat on the floor dumb-founded for a few seconds, trying to put my heart back in my chest. Then realized what had happened. She had taught herself that when she cried, I came running. Thus, when she wanted to get out of her crate at 5 AM, she needed to cry like a dog shaped banshee. I had inadvertently trained my dog to give me heart attacks.

It was in this moment I realized I am 100% not ready for children. And I have a deep admiration for every single mother out there. Seriously. I don't know how you do it. I think I would have a panic attack every time they scraped their knee and God forbid there were ever any broken bones. I feel the need to call my own mother and apologize for being such a sickly and accident prone child myself.

Lucky for me, I was snapped back out of my thought bubble by her peeing on the carpet right in front of me. So we went for a walk around the neighborhood while it was not only raining, but still dark. Potty training is going well. Thanks for asking.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The good, the not-so-good and the adorable

Well, finals week is finally over. I passed everything with flying colors, scored my first 4.0 since high school and got into that class I need for next semester! That means about 5 months from now, get ready for some cap and gown pictures you guys cause I'm graduating!!!

One degree down. Two to go.

So after the torture of finals week, no time to even sleep none the less blog, I treated myself to a few days of fun that included more than my fair share of beer, a mini vacation and making time for the friends I haven't seen in almost a month.

There was also cake and perfect Florida weather involved.

But over the weekend before finals hell week, I actually had a few interesting experiences and marked multiple things off my 30 before 30. Some of these things were just as awesome as I expected them to be but some of them made me realize that out of 30 new goals... some of them are bound to be not what I was expecting them to be.

The bad: volunteering at a museum. Well.. I shouldn't say bad. Just, not what I was expecting. Had I been given a job that consisted of more than being a "greeter" I probably would have liked it more. But I wasn't, so I didn't.

I wish I had been back here.

But instead, I was here. Passing out brochures.

Luckily, that weekend I got to do something super awesome! I saw my favorite band again! I maybe more than a little obsessed with them... This makes the 5th time I've seen them in concert and I've loved life every time.

It also happened to be my first out-door music festival! he day was long, fun, perfect temperature and wonderful!!

And last night, my best friend made Penny a a Christmas scarf. You can tell by the look on her face that she loved it. (sarcasm...)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

If I only had the time...

I've been such a bad blogger the past few days guys... Forgive me? But between finals, fighting a seemingly loosing battle to still graduate next semester (Surprise! You need one more class! Second surprise! It's not offered again till Fall 2012!) and wrangling a puppy has me at my wits ends and I just can't wait for this week to be over. I should have thought about this ahead of time and did a call for guest posters. We'll just file that idea away in the For-Next-Semester category for now!

So tonight I'm taking a break, blogging, having a glass of wine and making baked mac and cheese. More studying can wait until tomorrow, my sanity however, cannot. I didn't have the free time to pull together a true top ten Tuesday so how about this time we go for a few less links and a few more puppy pictures?

  • I want to be friends with the blog lady over at Vintch just in hopes that hear heart is as lovely as her writing.

  • Jackie Magpie makes me long for my month of freedom from classes even more. If that's even possible!

Why studying has become an exercise in patience.

And the only time I actually get any of said studying done.

Friday, December 2, 2011


I had a full on post planned for today but then this morning, something magical happened.

Penny's breeder called and asked it we wanted to take her home early!!!

So instead of a post, here's a breakdown of Penny Lane's (our new Pembrooke Welsh Corgi) first day home!

The ride home

Driving lesson!

Meeting her big sister

Post-first bath time

Passed out after being coddled by everyone in Pet Supermarket

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Now is the Winter of our discontent...

And by winter I mean the end. And by discontent I mean Fall semester.

It's almost over! The 2nd to last semester of my 2 1/2 years at UCF is almost over! At first I can hardly contain myself until I realize that almost the end means one last thing...

Finals week. (bum bum bummmmmm)

In a strange and masochistic way, I wish I could pretend every week was finals week. I get so much stuff done that has absolutely nothing to do with studying, it's ridiculous. Yup, I'm a procrastinator. I also have a massive case of A.D.D.

Need to write a four page exhibition review? Better clean the kitchen instead!

Memorize a stack of note cards the size of my head? I bet Brinkley would like to go for a walk in this lovely weather!

Read three chapters? Do three loads of laundry.

Write a practice essay? Clean the bathroom.

And so on, and so forth... But now, it's crunch time. And the only way crunch time can truly happen is by a little process I like to call Self Bribery. So instead of a procrastination nation, I now live in productivity-ville!

Finish writing that exhibition review? Get a cupcake!

Read three chapters and finish highlighting notes? How about another cup of coffee (Starbucks Christmas blend, yummy)!

Write not one but two practice essays!? That deserves getting to write a blog post!

So, just incase I disappear for the weekend... You now know it's because I didn't complete enough tasks to be rewarded with writing a post :-( But! I promise I'll be back in full force for the rest of December on Thursday!

Until then, be sure to check out all my awesome new sponsors for the month of December! And, keep up with me on Twitterrr to see how well I'm surviving study-a-thon 2011!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Top 10 Tuesday

Weekly fun favorites from around the web!

1. I wish so badly that I had this DIY when I was in Portland! Preserve your colored leaves forever (or at least for awhile).

2. The other day Nick and I watched this amazing documentary called Life In A Day. Compiled from over 80,000 hours worth of video submitted from over 120 countries all over the world from a single day.

3. Salvador Dali's illustrations of Down The Rabbit Hole.

4. Rules to be happy.

5. BeyoncĂ© Songs Re-Imagined as Undergraduate Theses in Women’s and Gender Studies. Smart humor! Yay!

6. Speaking of smart and funny - Ugly Renaissance babies.

7. Julie Ann Art shows you the worlds cutest way to make your own snow globe!

8. Home made Olive Garden chicken gnocchi soup. Mmmmmmmmm...

9. Personal daily reminders to be happy. That I decided to share!

10. The US needs more ads like this.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Home & Handmade Christmas Shopping Guide!

This year, I have decided to do something a little different with my Christmas shopping. All of my gifts will be either home made out of materials from locally owned Orlando stores or they will be handmade by  other talented individual store owners!

What does this mean for you guys?

Etsy finds galore!

So many yummy recipes!

So many fun and simple DIY's you won't know what to do with yourself!

So to start the handmade off right, here's an idea that was a huge hit for me last Christmas: Canvas tote bags! These typically inexpensive presents are perfect for anyone. They can either be given alone as a new school bag or reusable shopping bag or You can stuff them with more presents and use it as fun, reusable and eco friendly wrapping!

1. Camera Tote via lastearth $10
2. Screw This wine tote bag via PamelaFugateDesigns $16.95 FREE SHIPPING
3. Foxy Lady Tote via squarepaisleydesign $15
4. Dandelion Tote via Westmama $28

And my absolute favorite, that I already bought 2 of as presents...

Pamela Fugate Designs is also having a Cyber Monday sale so snatch these babies up while you can get them for only $12.95 a piece plus free shipping!

If you are a handmade shop owner and are interested in being featured free of charge in one of these December shopping posts, shoot me an e-mail! I would love to help you spread the word about your art!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

More thankful than ever..

I'm back from a lovely road trip across Florida with Nick! We visited friends, family, took lots of pictures and ate lots of turkey! We also got an extra exciting turkey day gift in the form of a new picture of Penny! This is our little princess at 5 weeks old!!

Her big sister, our Greyhound Brinkley, went with us on the trip across Florida and she was so excited! There were new dogs to meet at every rest stop, all of my friends and family have pets that she got to play with and everyone under the sun was asking to take her for a run haha. I'm pretty sure she's now going to sleep for the next week. 7 hours in the car with her was a nice trial run for whenever I get into grad school and we have to pack up and move across the country.

Our first stop was Tallahassee to visit my dad, step mom and step sisters (they're adopted, if you couldn't tell). We only got to stay for a few hours because of time constraints but at least we were able to squeeze in Christmas card picture time!

Onto Panama City I got to visit with one of my best friends, Sam and relax (kind of). My Grandmother has a reputation of being one of the feistiest 80 year olds ever for a reason! We cooked, we baked, and we drank our weight in sangria! At one point, Nick and I ran up to Walmart to take a break at the only place open on Thanksgiving. We went to pick up water and sugar and ended up buying a board game and playing in the parking lot for awhile.

After Thanksgiving day had passed, while everyone else was shopping, my family was taking tons and tons of family pictures!

My Grandmother is spending the next 2 months in Germany so Nick and I are having a custom frame made for this last picture and shipping it to her for Christmas! I know she'll love it!

On the drive back, Nick and I kept ourselves entertained by searching for fun new music!

All-in-all our Thanksgiving was amazing! How was yours?