Etsy Loves #2

Welcome to the second week of ETSY LOVES! This week’s theme is CHEVRON. I am still kind of smitten over this pattern — the curtains in my office are a grey and white chevron — so this was a fun theme. So many gorgeous items!

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First row, from left: Brass chevron necklace from foxtailboutique ($44) | Herringbone mouse pad from SSKDesigns ($12) | Chevron secret message quote ring from ZennedOut ($22.50) | Gold party straws from MailboxHappiness ($4.75) | Second row, from left: Chevron three-quarter length peasant dress from ShelbyJaneandCo ($18) | Chevron makeup bag from PlatoSquirrel ($22) | Peel-and-stick removable wallpaper from Livettes ($34) | Vinyl switch cover decal from BugzyBoutique ($2.25) | Third row, from left: Colorful fabric belt from LiliesBoutiqueEtsy ($18.99) | Chevron mouse pad from SSKDesigns ($12) | Wooden forks from SucreShop ($12) | Original wood watch from Freeforme ($12) | Bottom row, from left: Knuckle rings from LLIwireworks ($8.50) | Washi tape from PrettyTape ($2.25) | Geometric iPhone case from OvercaseShop ($16.75) | Wood arrow wall art from SparklePower ($55).

Wishlist Wednesday! #1

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Welcome to the first official installment of WISHLIST WEDNESDAY! Yes, once a week you can come here to see things that I want to buy and most likely end up wanting to buy some of them yourselves. CONSUMERISM. On to the list…

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#1 Make Up Store LED Lip Gloss in Atomic (only available for purchase online at Nelly, but sadly they are out of stock otherwise THIS BABY WOULD BE MINE).

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#2 Cheese! Bag from JumpFromPaper ($39.60 on Fab). This company has TONS of amazing bags so if orange isn’t your thing, go look around their website and then realize you can’t possibly make a decision about which awesome bag to buy. SPOILER ALERT: I just bought this bag. Couldn’t resist. It’s a full $60 cheaper on Fab than on the official website and I COULDN’T SAY NO.

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#3 This Is NPR: The First Forty Years ($21.55 on Amazon). I love NPR so this is a no-brainer. “This beautifully designed volume chronicles NPR’s storied history, featuring dozens of behind-the-scenes photos, essays and original reporting by a who’s who of NPR staff and correspondents, transcripts of memorable interviews, and an audio CD of the most memorable programming throughout the decades.”

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#4 Truly Unforgettable Dress ($59.99 on ModCloth). Purple and lace — winning combination.

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#5 Cool Story Bro (Now Make Me an Equal Member of Society) Tank Top ($26 from Look Human). A play on those idiot “Cool Story Babe, Now Make Me a Sandwich” shirts that you can buy at the mall. GAG.

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#6 Kymera Magic Wand Remote Control ($89.95 on Amazon). Yes, this is a remote control. For your TV. That looks like a MOTHER FLIPPING MAGIC WAND. Need I say more?Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 7.31.13 PM

#7 I Was Here: A Travel Journal for the Curious Minded by Kate Pocrass ($13.56 on Amazon). I travel a bunch — mostly around New England but also around the US — and this just looks like fun.Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 7.51.15 PM

#8 Head of the Sass Flat in Black ($34.99 on ModCloth). I just love these — and most flats with straps. :)

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#9 Sriracha Mug ($9.99 on ThinkGeek). Everyone knows I love sriracha so this just seems appropriate!Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 7.56.14 PM

#10 Assembly Home Moa Rug ($44-$199 from Urban Outfitters). I don’t think this would go with the decor in ANY of the rooms in our house but… I love it.

Wear What Makes You Happy

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There’s a link going around from late October that is a list of “20 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30″. I’m not going to link to it because ya know what? That’s a bunch of bullshit and I won’t be responsible for more traffic going to that site. The list includes things like leopard print, mismatched socks, short dresses, American Eagle jeans, and glitter eyeshadow, among other so-called faux pas. I’m 27 — a mere 2.5 years away from 30 — and I still wear these things, and some others on the list. Because they make me happy.

To me, that should be the only fashion rule that exists, for any age. Does it make you happy? Does it make you feel confident? Does it make you feel like you could take on the whole freaking world and win? If you said “yes” to any of the above, WEAR IT, and rock it, and don’t let idiot lists like this make you feel ashamed for a goddamn second.

Makeup Review: NYX Studio Liquid Liner in Extreme Plum Purple

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I bought this eyeliner a few weeks back and today is my first time giving it a shot. It’s NYX Studio Liquid Liner in Extreme Plum Purple — you can get it on the NYX website for $4.50. I found it at ULTA and couldn’t resist… it’s a shimmery purple eyeliner, how could I!? I only wear eyeliner on my top lids so my review is based on that. I started with a base of Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion — my go-to primer. My first impression is that the applicator is all wrong. It’s almost like a nail polish brush… if you apply the slightest bit of pressure it goes from a super thin, sleek applicator to more spread out bristles, making the eyeliner apply thicker than intended. More of a negative if you typically go for a super thin line right against your lashes. I also noticed that when the bristles spread out, the color tended to do the same… so I had these spots of super thick, condensed color and some others with a more faded color that I had to attempt to even out. Not very smooth.

The color is great — a beautiful deep plum with some shimmer to it but not overly so. Definitely appropriate for daytime wear (not that I think anything should be confined to just “daytime” or “nighttime” but if you’re more conservative with color, this would be fine!).

It’s been on my eyes for about 15 minutes and I can tell it dries tight, if that makes sense. I can almost FEEL it on my eyelids. This may have to do with needing to apply it so liberally to get a thick, dense line… I imagine there’s a decent layer of liner on my lids right now. The plus side is while it feels super wet while applying, it does dry quick, within a minute or two.

I’d say overall it gets a 6/10 from me. The color is gorgeous and I think with some more experimenting I could work out a better method for applying, but the messiness and crappy applicator definitely bump it down a bit.

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Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response

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So, for those of you who have never heard of it, ASMR — or autonomous sensory meridian response — is… well, kind of awesome. I’d be willing to bet that there’s lots of you who have experienced this before and just didn’t know what it was, or that it had a name (and its own Wikipedia page!).

There’s very little scientific explanation for it — for why it happens, what exactly is happening in the brain to cause such a pleasurable feeling, or why some people experience it and some don’t. It’s also referred to as “brain tingles”, “head tingles”, or “brain orgasms”, though many people within the ASMR community dislike this term because of the sexual connotation it has (the “brain tingles” one feels during ASMR are not sexual in nature at all).

The only way to explain the feeling is an intensely relaxing tingling sensation starting in the head and sometimes radiating down the neck and into the arms. Everyone has different triggers and many of them are auditory — whispering or other soft talking, tapping, scratching, foreign accents or speaking in a foreign language, and water sounds (dripping, pouring, etc). There are tons of videos on YouTube that cater to people who experience ASMR and include various role playing videos, many of which are people describing or acting out a visit to a spa, hair dresser, dentist’s office, etc. There’s also physical stimulation that can cause ASMR, most commonly having your hair combed, braided, or otherwise touched (I LOVE having my hair washed at the hairdresser for this very reason).

The first time I realized ASMR was a thing was while listening to This American Life. There’s an episode from March 2013 called “Tribes” where novelist Andrea Seigel talked about her experiences with it (and her boyfriend’s lack of ability to relate).

For many people it’s a great reliever for insomnia as well as relief from anxiety and panic attacks. I personally have soothed myself out of several panic attacks and generally anxious times by watching or listening to some of these videos on YouTube. It brings on a sense of relaxation that can’t really be matched by anything else.

Do any of you experience ASMR? What are your favorite triggers?

All That’s Left To Do

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My friend Elle said something on Facebook this morning that really resounded with me. One of those rare and delightful times when someone else puts to words something you’ve been thinking and feeling and trying to pinpoint for weeks. Her exact quote:

“Right around this time of year I get a nostalgic, cozy feeling. It’s too late to exact massive change in 2014 and too early to kick 2015′s ass. All that’s left to do is whatever is in front of you.”

I just… yeah. This is exactly how I’ve been feeling. It coincides nicely with my work schedule — crazy from April-October, slowing down in November-December, and then a big long break from January-March. That big long break is when the “behind the scenes” magic happens — tightening up contracts and e-mail templates, back end work on my website, making FAQ documents and contacting the next year’s assistants and finally updating my poor, neglected blog. It’s really satisfying. But right now? It’s too early for that, especially considering I still have a load of editing to do.

So I’m trying to put things into perspective. It’s OKAY to just be working on that editing right now. That’s what I’m meant to do. As much as I want to get a jumpstart on that other list of tasks… this is my priority. This pile right in front of me. I need to get a hot cup of tea, keep The Office playing as background noise, and just demolish what’s in front of me so I can move onto kicking 2015′s ass ahead of schedule. ;)

PS: If your version of “kicking 2015′s ass” includes designing a new website (or updating a current one), getting a kickass logo for your company, or maybe crafting some unique-to-you branding for your business… you should really contact Elle. She’s the owner and head designer at PostFilm and she does AMAZING work — she even did my photography business’s branding. Go check her out… you won’t be disappointed.

Let’s Deciper Robert Pattinson’s Hair TOGETHER!

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I know what you’re thinking — this is CLEARLY worthy of every single site in existence FREAKING OUT. I mean… it looks normal from the front! But WHAT is going on in the back!?

We’ve got MTV speculating (it’s crazier than they thought!). Huffington Post decided to weigh in (something funky has definitely been going on, they knew it all along). The Daily Mail added their two cents (drastic!). Even CBS freaking News had to chime in (you’re not seeing things!).

Did he lose a bet? Is it VELCRO? It’s EDGY! It’s RIDICULOUS! It’s DRASTIC! It’s “CONFUSING OUR SOULS AND DISTRESSING OUR MINDS” (thanks for that one, Sugarscape)!

Or perhaps he’s having just as much of a laugh as I am that his haircut — while unusual — is getting a WHIRLWIND of media attention. I freaking hope so.

Dumb and Dumber and… Me?

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Apparently the result of seeing Dumb and Dumber as I scrolled through Netflix and desperately wanting to watch it stuck in my brain last night, because I dreamt about Jim Carrey (Lloyd) AND Jeff Daniels (Harry). Nothing sexual, thank god — that would have completely destroyed 12-year-old me — but Jeff Daniels was some kind of wise old professor/natural supplement guru and was counseling me on my hypochondria and letting me sample things like green tea tablets and mango-infused water and then I ran off with Jim Carrey with all intentions set on marrying him because he made me laugh so much. Weirdness.