Update!

Hello everyone!

 

I’ve been absent from this blog for quite some time, and after much deliberation, have decided to go in a new direction.  I will be posting more along the lines of fashion design/illustration over on my other blog, Sweet and Spotty!  Take a gander if it sounds like something you’d be interested in!

Inspiring Blog Award!

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted, which I will explain in detail in a later publication…

But I danced in my desk chair when I found that I had been nominated by Sara for the Inspiring Blog Award!  (Thank you so much!)

Award Rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you

2.  Share 7 things about yourself

3.  Nominate 15 other bloggers that you admire or inspire you

4.  Go leave a comment and let the people know you have nominated them

7 Things about myself:

1.  I’m a night person all the way.  But I’m trying to change that.

2.  I love drawing naked people.  And trees.  But not feet.

3.  I get way too excited when I see dogs.

4.  I have too many jobs, and consider them all to be very temporary.  Except babysitting.

5.  Even though I’ve grown up skiing with my family, I can’t find a single reason to like winter past the first snowfall.

6.  Speaking of first snowfalls, I’m never wearing a scarf when it happens.  I know this because I love scarves (I’m rarely found without one) and I always wish I was wearing one during the first snowfall to make the occasion cuter, cozier and a lot more fun.  This time I’m going to be prepared.  Cross my heart.

7.  I will never be seen crying by anyone other than my mom, boyfriend and best friend.  My sincerest regrets to the three of them.

Okay now 15 bloggers who I find inspiring: (some of these will be repeats from the Sisterhood Award)

Olivia’s Opinions- I wish I could read as much as Olivia does.

Make Something Mondays

A Certain Shade of Black

Holistic Complications

Sadie & Dasie

Commander in Chic

Act Like a Lady, Eat like a Man

The Thread Affect

skymunki

Snapette

Not Just a Mummy

Pimkipop

It’s Good to be Pham-  his fashion illustrations are amazing!

Just a Smidgen

Cozywalls

I’m also supposed to comment and let everyone know that I nominated them, but I know I’m going to forget someone so sorry in advance!

Snack Attack review

In case I’ve never mentioned it before, I am a HUGE FAN of Lauren Conrad.  I’m pretty sure her existence is what motivated me to become a fashion major once upon a time in that far away land.  So naturally I follow her Pinterest, Twitter, buy her books and read her every word as posted on her blog.  Nothing excessive :-)

A while ago when visiting her blog, I came across one of her “slim” tip snack ideas and was immediately grossed out at the first one: graham crackers with cream cheese and grapes.  So disgusting!  But are they really?

I was bored and haven’t had the equipment required to safely build a fire for making s’mores, so I decided my grahams could be used to test out Lauren’s slim tip snack recipe.

I was so surprised not only to find out that I loved it, but that it tasted like cheesecake!  CHEESECAKE!  That delicious dessert that was banished, along with all other desserts upon realizing that bathing suit season was approaching.  If you can recall the ingredients for a cheesecake, it really does make sense: it was one of those “Ohhhh, why didn’t I think of that?” moments.

So there you have it, a borderline healthy dessert-ish snack attack fix.  I’m sorry for doubting you Lauren.  To visit her original post, click here.

 

Happy snack time everyone!

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

It’s been a few days since I’ve signed into my blog (I was getting a little too ‘stats’ obsessed) so I’m just finding out now that this lovely lady has nominated me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!  Thank you so much HC!

I didn’t know too much about this award so I had to do some research, but just the name suggested that it would mean a lot to me.  I am a big fan of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books (and movies) so to be a part of a real life sisterhood must be great!  And besides being weirdly obsessed with the fictional characters of the aforementioned novels, I feel that we ladies should band together more often.  It has been observed in girls-only schools that in the absence of their male counterparts, female students tend to take on more leadership roles and voice their opinions more frequently, making for more active learners and better personal development.

So in order to accept, I have to post the award, tell you a few things about  myself and nominate other bloggers that inspire me.  A few things about myself:

1.  I wake up with a different random song stuck in my head every morning

2.  Breakfast is my favorite meal, but I’m not a morning person

3.  I don’t enjoy shoe shopping as much as I’m “supposed to”

4.  I’d much rather read or scrapbook on my Friday and Saturday nights than go “out”

5.  The Fourth of July is my number one favorite holiday (love fireworks!)

6.  I have been satisfied enough to call only two pieces of art “complete” in my entire life: one was given to my sister as a gift, the other was auctioned off at my high school to raise money for a friend’s sibling.

7.  I can’t see an animal without talking to it.  In a really weird voice (obviously).

And lastly, a list of bloggers I just can’t get enough of!  I’m not very vocal on all of these blogs but it’s important that they know I love their style!  I hope you’ll accept, and if not, no hard feelings.

1.  Make Something Mondays

2.  The Thread Affect

3.  Coco J. Ginger Says

4.  {Dream, Create}

5.  Olivia’s Opinions

6.  365 til 30

7.  The Educated Derelicts

8.  Commander in Chic

9.  My Thin Eats

10.  Her New Leaf

“I went to the…

Image

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

- Henry David Thoreau

Just something I do at work: sneak off to take pictures of trees.

Happy Saturday!

12 things Italy has that America… just doesn’t

Other than the obvious things (the Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel, every amazing painting or Bernini sculpture you can imagine) there were some aspects of life in Italy that Americans don’t get to enjoy on a daily basis.  Here were some of my favorite parts.,

1.  A leisurely lunchtime

It seemed like every time of the day was lunch time in the city.  Men in power suits made their way to the fancier lounges for their lunch break, while some just sat outside of a cafe to people watch.  But no matter where people were eating, it was clear that they were not in any rush.  Lunch time was a huge priority to the working community.  Speaking of food…

2.  Food with a sense of humor

“Sexy pasta” (picture the Kraft Spongebob shaped pasta, but shaped like male genitalia instead) was marketed to us everywhere.  We went to restaurants, shops, boutiques, carts on the side of the road- all tried to sell us sexy pasta.  They had so much fun with it!  Just how it should be.  (I didn’t buy the sexy pasta, but it was entertaining).

3.  Perfect portion sizes

If you go out for Italian food in America, you’re most likely served a “plate” that is actually closer in shape to a bowl, overflowing with about 4 servings too many.  And we tend to eat as much as we possibly can.  In Italy, I never left anywhere hungry, or feeling like I was going to explode if I took a sharp breath.  Leisure + humor + perfect portions = a much healthier relationship with food.  Take notes Americans!

4.  Ruins, ruins everywhere!

Everywhere you turn, ruins are blooming.  In the middle of a modern-day city, in the middle of an abandoned field.  The aqueducts, and various other forms from the Holy Roman Empire, remain.  This ever present history made everywhere in Italy feel like home to me, a very obvious outsider.

5.  A collective community color scheme

The sun setting in Rome is something everyone should see.  The pinks and oranges of the stucco building make the  sunlight glow, blanketing the entire city in a hazy golden blaze.  It’s like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  And then swimming in it!

6.  Gelato worthy of its own food group

Gelato with Nutella mixed in was just too good to be true.  This flavor of gelato was the inspiration for my first and second (brilliant) inventions, which should be incorporated in everyone’s daily life:  Breakfast dessert and Lunch dessert.

7.  Fountains that you can drink from/ bathe in and not get arrested

I was frightened the first time I saw it, and never actually did it myself because it is still too weird to think about, but I saw a little boy and his mother drinking the water from the fountain by the Spanish Steps.  It was crazy!  My mom would have washed my mouth out with soap and threw me in my room, quarantined for the week!  That’s public water!  It’s outside in the open, birds can bathe in it, pee in it, poo in it… who even knows.  Oh to have the freedom to drink the beautiful water from the beautiful fountains in beautiful Italy.  It’s on my to-do list for my next visit.

8.  Corona and… lemon?

Since there were lemon trees lining ALL the streets in Italy, the citrus slice in our Coronas ended up being lemon rather than lime.  I thought it was weird at first (and I’m really not a beer drinker anyway) but I liked it better that way!  Now if I’m forced to order a beer (college budget), I get it Italian style with a lemon.

9.  No genetically modified frankenfoods

This goes for all of Europe but I just loved having a large, authentic Italian food fest knowing that everything was produced organically as mandated by a law made to protect the health of those living under it.  I read the ingredients on the coke cans we got: real sugar! Crazy!  Americans pay extra for that stuff! (More note taking)?

10.  Open air restaurants and markets

Everything was so open in Italy.  Even the windows in houses didn’t have screens in them, making the outdoors that much more accessible.  People bought their groceries while walking around outside.  Restaurants easily opened up to the outside air, without food health and safety monitors worrying about how “unsanitary” it is to let everyone breathe while they eat.  So refreshing!

11. Ma and Pa shops

America is the land of corporations.  Chain restaurants largely outnumber small individually owned, more personal dining experiences.  In Italy that was not the case at all.  I don’t think I’ve ever stepped foot into a grocery store in America that was owned by a family.  In Italy that was all I could find!  Every business, restaurant, store and vineyard I saw was so personal and community oriented that they almost have no choice but to help each other out.  As a result, all the food we ate was made from locally farmed produce, all the clothing we bought were locally made out of the threads spun from locally harvested plants and animals, and all the souvenirs we collected were created by local artisans.  That means that all the people and animals involved are paid what they deserve and treated with respect.

12.  No laws against drinking in public

I understand why that law exists in America (some people don’t know when enough is enough), but bars are definitely not my thing so it was nice to be able to order a drink and head out for a walk around town.  Without having to worry about being arrested while still completely coherent.

And now I have to revisit Google to find out how I can gain Italian citizenship…

Until next time!

10 things I hope my cat has been doing in the week that she’s been missing

Baby Chloe in the recipe box!

My cat Chloe has been missing for a week.  A whole week.  I’ve put up posters, informed Home Again, and have looked for her in all the surrounding sheds, garages and lobster traps.

Talking to people has made me optimistic: some people have stories of cats that went missing for years and then came home again.  But I can’t help but feel guilty for all the trouble I’m causing in my neighborhood.  There are approximately 100 cats in the area that are cow colored, just like my Chloe, and now everyone’s trying to capture them for me!  Oh, the poor non-Chloe cow cats of the neighborhood!

Just the other night I got a phone call from Home Again saying someone had gotten Chloe into their basement and she was waiting for me.  I was so excited!  I got to this girl’s house (her name was Jennifer also) and realized one of her cats had gotten stuck in a tree in my backyard a year ago (that cat’s name was also Chloe. Weird).  So I knew she was a cat person too, and hopefully she could tell the difference between cow colored cats.  But she couldn’t, it wasn’t my Chloe.  My Chloe has a pink nose.  All the other cow cats have black noses.

I guess you’ll never know how different cow colored cats look until you’ve had one.

So I’m still looking, but these are the things I’m forcing myself to think about instead of all the perilous and less optimistic options:

1.  I hope Chloe’s drinking lots of water.  In all 3 of the bowls I’ve left out for her.

2.  I hope she’s hunting lots of animals.  Including the coyotes.  She can take the coyotes.

3.  I hope she’s running around.  In open spaces.  Ones that are obviously blocked from my view no matter whose backyard I trespass on.

4.  I hope she’s laying out in the sun, getting her cat tan on every day.

5.  I hope she gets to take long lazy naps like she usually would.  Waking up only to roll around until someone rubs her belly because it’s so cute.  And then promptly scratching that person for rubbing her belly.  She hates that.

6.  I hope she’s with another family.  And they feed her and let her sleep on the bed.  She’s a snuggler.

7.  I hope she’s purring and chirruping lots.  She has a nice chirrup.

8.  I hope she’s learning to climb trees.  I’ve never seen her do that so I’m not sure she knows that that’s what cats do.

9.  I hope she remembers me.

10.  I hope she’s thinking about coming home soon.

 

Does anyone else have a lost pet story with a happy ending?

Last picture I took of her!

Handwriting analysis: what your signature says about you (other than your name)

Handwriting and signature analysis, commonly called graphology,  is used in many fields to understand personality traits.  It is used in crime investigations, as well as in clinical therapy to solve problems.  Your future boss may even use a few graphology tips to determine whether or not you are a good fit for the job and/or your future colleagues.

So I think it’s only fair that you can look at your own handwriting and have an idea as to how you are subconsciously portraying yourself to the world.

While a professional graphologist can identify up to 700 different personality traits just from looking at one sample of writing (crazy!),  I’m only going to cover things that are easier for a rookie to pick out.

Signature Analysis vs. Handwriting Analysis

Although both handwriting and signature analysis are included in graphology, they reveal completely different feelings.  In general, your signature displays what kind of person you want to be seen as, while your handwriting shows what you really think of yourself.  Your signature is just a facade: the “J.Lo” to the “Jenny from the Block” that is your handwriting.

Printing vs. Cursive

Printed writing is used most commonly for clarity (hence why you often have to print your name after signing something).  Many fields that rely on numbers or money use printing to avoid confusion.

Because printing is mainly used for clarity, it is less expressive than cursive writing.  However, there is one exception (isn’t there always?).  Those who print in ALL CAPITALS (Norman Lewis, Adolph Gottlieb) don’t want to be seen for who they really are.  They’re hiding behind the least adaptable letters, allowing for little creativity and little personality to show through.  (This was not surprising to me, as many guys write in “caps lock”).

Cursive writing is much more revealing.  The connectedness allows for much more variation in the loops, tails, and slant.

Size

The size of your handwriting also says a lot about your personality, and how much importance you place on yourself.  Small writing signifies an introverted person who may be very self-conscious.  Large writing displays how much importance an extrovert places upon him or herself.

Lack of Capitals

Writing your name, or “I” without using a capital letter shows a lack of self-importance and confidence.  I found this great blog post about “graphotherapy”.  Graphotherapists claim that by changing certain aspects of your handwriting, you can change your attitude towards yourself and your overall outlook.  If you’re guilty of the name-without-a-capital syndrome, I suggest you start by fixing that one!

Slant

Little to no slant shows balance and independence

A slight slant to the right indicates emotional importance and sentimentality.  Extroverts usually have a right slant.  However, beware of the extreme right slant, which indicates an overly emotional and irresposible person.

Left slants show how reserved or self-conscious someone is.  Extreme lefty slants indicate emotional repression.

If your writing is a combination of these all the same time, that shows how unpredictable and mysterious you are.  (Girls must have loved you in your day).

Baselines

A wavy baseline shows unpredictibility.

An upward slanted baseline (as in my signature and printed name above) shows optimism.

On the other hand, a downward slanted baseline shows negativity.  If you’re feeling sad, force your writing to form an upward slanted baseline.

What do you think: do these basic rules hold true for you and your writing?  Has changing the way you write ever made you feel different?

If you liked this post check out this book.  I found it very useful (and interesting) in doing my research.