Monday, December 8, 2014

I'm Happy I Don't Know What Death Smells Like

This post is dedicated to John Lennon

Hello friends!
So, over Thanksgiving Break, I visited California to see my grandparents, who live in an old people's home. Contrary to popular belief, it was actually really nice with big windows and good food and it didn't even slightly smell like death. (Besides, how do you even know what death smells like? Have you died? And if so, how did your brain register what it smelled like? And then how, among infinite other issues, did you come back from the dead to share the wisdom with us?) Anyhow, this place was lovely. Seeing my grandma, in complete bliss in her little apartment and meeting all her friends, and my grandpa, completely content and able to sit and read science fiction and enjoy his oreos, made me realize how wonderfully thankful I am.  And really, how fabulous life can be sometimes. So, inspired by Teia, Christmas, The Nutcracker, and thanksgiving, (yes I know it was two weeks ago) here is a list of things that make me happy, and maybe some of them make you happy too.

1) When people say hello to me
I'm really sort of shy, so if you don't say hi to me, I might not say it to you. Especially if we've only talked like once or twice. Or even sometimes if I've known you for years. If you initiate it though, regardless if I even know you or not, I'll say it back, unless I can't hear you over the din of savage teens. Also, you will make my day because I realize that someone knows who I am. Plus its friendly and it might seem really simple to you if you're an extrovert, but to an introvert you're probably giving them a significant self esteem boost and you're groovy.

2) Bead Curtains
I've only know one person who actually has these and they're magical and psychedelic. I think during the two weeks I've got for winter break I'll make some. (I spy a DIY!) Because they're fabulous and they're so mystical and when you go through them it feels like you're walking through a waterfall to a fortune teller and if you've seen my room that is exactly what I want it to be like.

3) Coconut Oil
On anything, with anything, in anything. Here's a short list of things it is used for/in: a healthier substitute for butter, lip balm, sugar scrubs, hair masks, face moisturizer, lotion, toothpaste, deodorant, coffee creamer, and diaper cream. Plus it smells like angel's tears. Here's a long list of things it can be used in: 101 Uses for Coconut Oil

4) The ding a typewriter makes when it reaches the end of a line
 It's like an auditory golden star. It's feels like it's saying, "Hey, good job. Look at this achievement. I'm proud of you."

5) How words match in different languages
The words for breakfast in French and English are twins.
English - Breakfast. Break = to stop or end fast = abstain from all or some kinds of food or drink
French - Petit-déjeuner.  = to undo or stop  jeuner = abstain from all or some kinds of food or drink (Petit = little)
 and lunch in French is just déjeuner. See? See how cool that is?
(I'm beginning to consider a career in linguistics)

6) &
The ampersand! I've seen it a lot lately cause it's sort of getting popular. I'm sorry I'm cliche. But it's swirly and it just looks amiable doesn't it? I feel like it's smiling at me.

7) Cloudy days
There is nothing that makes my morning better when I wake up and it's stormy and cloudy outside. It makes it so cozy inside. That is a day to wear a jacket that makes you feel cool and drink hot chocolate/chai tea and re-read the Harry Potter books for the fifth time.

8) Fruit Leather
It's the food of the gods. No other explanation.

9) John Lennon
Thirty-four years ago today, John Lennon died. That does not make me happy. But his life, and his creative genius and his accent and his wit makes me very, very, happy. John, thanks for being wonderful.

Indirect contributors:
Claire, wombats, and capybaras


on the left is a baby Claire and it is slightly cuter than a capybara


this is a capybara and it is almost
as cute as a wombat but not quite
Image courtesy to: Frabz.com
this is a wombat and it is one of the
most adorable things on the planet
Image Credit: ExperiencesUnlimited.com
just look at it it's like a giant teddy bear
Image credit: Karapaia.Livedoor.biz

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mini Post: I am indecisive and also terrible at parenting fish

Alright, if you actually read this blog you may have realized that I changed the template and some fonts and added some things and I'm sorry if it bothers you. It may be happening a lot, because like my room, I get bored pretty easily. But anyhow, this is what it looks like now. I hope you like it!

If you click the water on the little fish widget/gadget, it gives them a little bit of food and they eat it! Plus they follow your mouse and they sometimes just sit there wagging their tails and its just adorable.
I have spent so much time feeding these little guys today. They will have no discipline! 
I am a terrible fish parent


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Please Don't Hurt Me (Room Inspiration)

Okay, I feel like we're friends here. That's why this is not as creepy as it might be.
Oh my god all the possibilities of axe murderers and felons and burglars are running through my mind. They could figure out the architectural weaknesses thorough the pictures.
Maybe this isn't a good idea.
If you couldn't tell, I have a rather overactive imagination.


If you've read my about page, you may know that (often to the annoyance of my parents) one of my hobbies includes re-organizing the furniture my room. About every six months or so, the wall decorations shift as well. While this means that my walls are scratched and rather porous due to removed thumbtacks and my furniture's screws are a little loose (literally), I don't get bored. Sometimes the arrangements are slightly inconvenient. I'll admit, the "closet bed" wasn't a hit. These flops usually don't last long. Others, like my current configuration, is probably a record length for me, almost eight weeks. 
This current hold doesn't mean that I've given into status quo. Instead of moving the furniture, I've been changing the theme. For the past two years, it's been ocean/beach/nautical themed. But as my inner hippie has become more pronounced, it's been shown through the decor in my room. So in case you're looking for tips on how to change your theme, you can go on Pinterest. Or I guess you can look at what I've done. You know, if you feel like it.

Wall Decor

1) So first of all, you should get some posters. I've got some sort of vintage psychic stuff, a radical John Lennon one, Abbey Road, and that one where The Beatles are just walking down the street. You know the one. 
2) Also, you can put some pictures up on the walls. Make it personal. I had a giant mural of photos for a while, then I had a wash line with clothespins holding up the pictures. Now I've got these sort of photo-booth-row things I made with contact paper. 
3) Plus, if you want to be extra tumblr, (yes it is an adjective) you can get little wall stickers with quotes, or just draw your own if you're into typography and have enough talent to make it look good. I got a giant pack of quotes at Michaels for like $3, cause they were on sale, and I put them all over my room. They're cute and colorful and they interest people.
4) Bulletin boards are also cool for smaller stuff, like student IDs and miscellaneous business cards.


Pictured: Toby Martin, Tabitha, Jane (succulents), John Lennon, vintage palmistry poster,
photo strips, and my real fish, Lillian.
Bed 

1) Lots of pillows. I found this giant pillowcase in a closet, stuffed two pillows into it, and viola.
2) Add a blanket. Really, extra blankets just sort of slip around while you sleep and don't really keep you warm whatsoever, but they look really cozy.

Pictured: Bulletin Board, pillows, blanket, and The Beatles (you knew the poster
I was talking about)

Table Tops and Surfaces

1) I am really, really awful at taking care of plants, but I got some succulents from Home Depot for $2, and so far they have been thriving! They just need water every two or three weeks and a sunny spot to live. Bonus because they add an earth feng shui element to the space. And they're so cute, you can name them and it's not wierd. Mine are called Jane, Toby Martin, Clint, and Tabitha. 
2) I read once that there was this woman and she had little trinkets and decorations everywhere that were so unique you wanted to ask her where she got everything, because you knew there would be a story behind it. That's what I want my room to be like. For example, the teensie tiny ballet shoe came from when the lost and found got too big at dance and they just put the oldest stuff out for people to take, so I took the little shoe so I could pretend it was mine. Even though I have only been dancing for three years and the shoe is for a four year old. (Contrary to popular belief, I'm older than seven.) Another example is the Adventure Fund. It's just a jar with stray coins and some beads that occasionally fall in the mix, but it's going towards a hippie road trip that will be discussed further in another post.

Pictured: adventure fund, candles, neighbors, etc

Pictured: mini hippie van, ballet shoe, baby Faith, home-made shelf, and Turtle Rock sand.
Miscellanious

1) I have this cool lamp thing and these hanging puffball things that look like clouds. It's just whimsical.
2) Also, if you hang up curtains and such around, it makes the edges look softer and more boho.

(The curtainy things are in the background)



Okay, au revoir mes amis!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Not-Actually-So-Mini Post : Grandma Cookies

Okay, first of all, I'm sorry for not posting for a while. I've had an article about spirituality in mind, but when I tried to write it, I ended up having a minor existential crisis, which scared me enough to not attempt it again. Thus the delay. Hopefully I will be able to conquer the fear and deliver a spiritual article soon. (In the meantime, there will be one on a less intimidating subject up tomorrow or Saturday.)

Secondly, if you've read my post Irony and Questioning Society, you know that I've recently deleted all of my social media apps. This brings me to the subject of this mini post: cookies. This Thursday night, having finished all of my homework with time about three hours until bed, and no social media to waste time on, I decided to make cookies. But not just any cookies. The most decadent, buttery, chocolatey cookies you will ever taste. Also, I made about seventy two of them.

I've been making these cookies for about five years now, and while they can be a little temperamental, (sometimes crispy and buttery, sometimes full and soft) they're always fabulous. So fabulous, I almost have the recipe memorized. So fabulous, it has become a part of my life goal to make these cookies for my grandchildren and therefore improve their lives considerably. But since that's probably about seventy years away, you all will be my foster grandchildren. If you see me on Friday, November 14th, and can tell me the password (Hi, Grandma) I will give you a cookie. (First come, first serve.) If you're not so fortunate to see this in time or don't to school with me, here is the recipe. You are welcome.

The probability for mishap is probably pretty big here but it was artsy


1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups unsifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 secret ingredient - Side 2 of Stevie Wonder's Fulfillingness' First Finale album. Only side 2! (Singing along recommended)

Option 1) Heat oven to 375ºF. Stir flour with baking soda and salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat butter with sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy and lightened in color. Add eggs and vanilla, one at a time. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Gradually blend dry mixture into creamed mixture. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.

Option 2) Heat over to 375ºF. Throw everything into a bowl in random order (except the nuts cause no one wants nuts in their cookies.) Place misshapen lumps on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown/burnt.

Original recipe credits to Ghirardelli. Modified by me and Stevie Wonder.

Image Creds to Wikipedia

Friday, October 31, 2014

Irony and Questioning Society

Ballet is a precise art. Constantly, we strive for perfection: rounded arms, turned-out hips, pointed toes. Which, when added to school, extracurricular activites, and sleep, can be extremely stressful. What started out as a discussion with my mother on the way home from dance about my difficulty dancing en pointe turned into a full-fledged meltdown including a nearly-empty tissue box, sitting in the parked car for forty-five minutes, and a decision that I need a change.

I am what some might consider an overachiever. I get good grades. My goal for the end of each quarter is to have a ninety-five percent or higher in each class. To me, this is simply achievement. This is the standard I hold myself to because I know I am capable of it. However, this standard usually means I have to spend quite a bit of time on homework and studying each night. Often, I end up staying up past ten, being exhausted coming home from school the next day, and procrastinating homework until the later hours of the evening, and staying up too late again. Not to mention getting up at six AM. It's a vicious cycle. But for me, it's obvious where the cycle originates: the internet. Yes, I'm blaming Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, and Netflix for creating what's commonly referred to as "Procrastination Nation." They create a virtual hand that comes out of the device and pulls you into the cyber-whirlpool while your neglected math homework watches solemnly.

So I'm breaking the laws of teenager-ism: I am going to delete all social media and potentially distracting apps from my phone. They're diverting, and you gain nothing but useless social information from using them.  (She wrote for a blog to be posted on the internet and read by other people to learn information about her. Whoops.) I'm actually extremely excited to do this. I keep picturing not being exhausted in every class, going to bed at a decent hour, and having so much more time to draw, read, paint, etc.

Okay, here's the point: If you're crazy enough, I challenge you to join the rebellion. Just imagine all the free time you'll have! Bonus points because it's a type of self-realization that gets you more in tune with yourself and gives you more time to speculate on the universe or start an activist movement. Let me know if you do in the comments. Join the revolution!

(P.S. I even deleted the part of my About page that said my favorite Netflix shows... I'm committed!)

Total Number of Rebelled People: 2

Image Courtesy to 24-7 Family History Circle

Friday, October 24, 2014

Hello, I'm Faith and I'm Here to Help Your Life Be Better

It’s nice to know there are still places out there
where you can run, scream, laugh, sing, dance, 
or just listen to the immaculate silence.
It’s nice to know that there are still places where you have
two day old braids encrusted with sand and chalky dust 
grimy faces and cracking lips and no reflections
sand that sticks between your toes
and no one to be bothered but arid lizards and desert mice. 
It’s nice to know that there are still places where you can
watch the sun come through the clouds and illuminate the landforms
scale sandy red giants to feel untainted wind
or lay on your back at night and feel like the stars will swallow you whole.

These are the places that restore us.




After one fourth of the school year, I have already become disorganized, overworked, and constantly exhausted. Especially because I was up till eleven last night doing homework, danced for an hour and a half today, and then babysat a three year old for two hours. But I can deal, thanks to an incessantly welcomed break last weekend.
It was extra long for us due to UEA, so my family took a six hour car trip down south. Towing Steve, the trusty pop-up trailer, and blasting Birdy, we ventured about six miles into Utah desert outside of a itty-bitty town called Escalante. This particular “campsite” (I hesitate to call it that because that implies #54 with generator plug-ins and unsanitary bathrooms ten feet away. This is just a relatively flat area with a game trail that could be mistaken for a road leading into it.) had been named “Turtle Rock” on a previous trip to the same area. It’s a gorgeous spot with landmark resemblant of a reptile with a shell. 
My focus for this trip was completely self-centered. Thursday through Sunday, I was the center of my universe. I wasn’t going to look in a mirror for the whole four days. If I was cold, I would put on a jacket, if I was tired, I would go to bed and if I was hungry, I would eat. There would be no connection with any humans other than the ones I was face to face with.
Using no makeup and wearing stripes and tie-dye together felt like the promised land. I sung and danced and climbed on rocks and walked around barefoot. I cried and laughed and didn’t brush my hair and hiked with people I love. I slept under the stars for the first time next to someone I’ve grown up with. It was fantastic. It makes the current toddler-induced burnout abundantly more bearable.

The reason I’m writing this post is to remind you to look after yourself. Often, we get wrapped up in grades, or work, or social media, or activities, or sports, or all of the above. We forget to listen to our bodies and minds because of all the demands placed on our drained shoulders. So here’s your formal invitation: Go find your Turtle Rock. Sort yourself out. Reorganize. Return. Radiate.

Gus, Coco, and Arlo - biggest to smallest.

Squirrel Scat, Smiling Sage, and Hyperactive Hedgehog (nature names)
heading up to Turtle Rock.
Turtle Rock from the Campsite

Campsite from Turtle Rock

Too many sunset pictures.

The other side of Turtle Rock
A disappointing picture of the stars.

A Not So Disappointing Picture of Lovely People

Slot Canyons: Not for the even slightly claustrophobic.


Cities of Cryptobiotic Soil

The end of the canyon

Gee, what's that? Another sunset?


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Appalling Advertisements of the Sixties

While “I belong in the 60’s” makes a great Instagram bio, the reality of “the Golden Ages” wasn’t always as glorious as popular culture often portrays. 

Image Courtesy of Business Pundit
Image Courtesy of Business Pundit

Image Courtesy of Business Pundit

Image Courtesy of Tygarts Valley High School Class of 1964 


These ads in particular are especially jarring. They're so offensive they make my stomach physically hurt (although that may be because I’m writing this on a road trip and I’m rather prone to carsickness.) Even so, it’s appalling that my parents and grandparents grew up in a time when this type of propaganda was commonplace. In fact, hype like this has been around practically since Eve tempted Adam with that stupid apple. Generations were raised on this sort of sickening advertising, and nothing really changed until the 1960’s. 

Among the war protests, prayer circles, and dancing at concerts, hippies also popularized the idea of gender equality. Before the peace lovers coalesced on the streets, women were treated as second-hand citizens for simply being born female. 

Hippies brought equal opportunities to the masses, but they didn’t do it alone. Gloria Steinem
was one of the most influential feminists of all time, receiving national attention for her journalism and vehement support for pro-choice abortion. Alongside female emancipation powerhouses such as Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan, she founded the Women’s Media Center, Ms. Magazine, and advocated continually and effectively for abortion rights, same-sex marriage, and transsexual equality. In 1963, Steinem worked as a Playboy Bunny at the New York Playboy club, and later wrote an article on the experience and unacceptable objectification of women in those types of clubs. The article gained critical acclaim and was eventually turned into a movie.

Change doesn’t happen over night (just look at our dress codes) but we have come leaps and bounds since this type of ad. The mere suggestion of something of this type is unspeakable today.

 A lot of times we focus more on what we need to change. Sometimes, it’s nice to remind ourselves of what we’ve already done. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Hair Wraps - Like Dreads but Cooler

Unkempt, ratty, and distinctly hippie. I've written about it before, I'll write about it again. Possibly the biggest hippie cliché ever: Waist-length, disheveled, straggly hair. Bohemians often divorced social norms, which unfortunately often included a hairbrush. Due to the massive numbers of flower children who were unconcerned with personal hygiene, they earned an affectionate nickname: The Great Unwashed.
In fact, hippie hair was often barley a rat's nest away from a spiderweb of dreadlocks. To me, that is  revolting.  No matter how much I immerse myself in hippie idealisms, I will continue to bathe. Discovering hair wraps at a music festival in the middle of the Teton Mountains, however, was a life-changing moment.  These colorful accessories are perfect clash of modern-day boho style and dreaded hippie culture.(Ha ha, get it? Dread, like dread locks?) So here, dear readers, are your steps to add a temporary and vivacious vibe to your chic sleek locks or flower-child-esque straggly mane.

Supplies:

  • Multiple colors of Embroidery Thread
  • Small rubber band to hold hair
  • All-purpose thread (optional)
  • Beads (optional)











Step 1) Select a section of hair that's about 1 inch wide.











Step 2) Braid this section. This whole process will be easier  if you pull the rest of the hair out of the way.















Step 3) Select 2-5 colors of embroidery thread. Each color strand needs to at least six times the length of your braid.










Step 4) Double the embroidery thread over and tie it in a double knot at the top of your braid, as close to your scalp as you can get it.



















Step 5) Choose which color you want to start the wrap with. Take both strands of that color and begin wrapping them around the braid and the other threads.










When you have enough of that color, switch to the the next by simply placing the one you were using beside the braid, taking the next color, and beginning to wrap.










Step 6) Wrap, wrap, wrap! All the way down the braid, alternating colors. Remove the rubber band when you get to it.






















Step 7) When you get to the end of the hair, keep wrapping, until you've gone off the hair and are only wrapping around the other threads. Then tie a knot. If you want, you can add beads using all-purpose thread here. (Like these lovely peace sign ones I got at Michaels!)





























Wow, look at you! You did it! Congratulations!
As with everything, wraps may take a bit of practice. But once you can do it, they're delightful and easy to display. Plus, people to ask about them, which is an supercool opportunity to have a conversation in the grocery store about The Beatles with a fellow member of the flower children.

How to take care of your wrap:
It will be fine in showers, as just try to avoid getting much shampoo or conditioner on it.
It will stay in for up to three weeks, but after that the hair underneath can start to turn into a dread.

To remove, just untie the knot at the bottom and unwrap it.



Bonus: You can use them to adorn your ponytail!





Thank you to my wonderful friends for modeling these wraps, letting me pull their hair excessively, and making delightful mac and cheese.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mini Post : John Lennon's 74th Birthday!!!

Seeing as he was part of one of the most influential bands of the sixties and possibly the most creatively talented individuals of the century, a John Lennon birthday  post felt necessary. Bask in his glory.
Image Courtesy of Dick Mac (alive!)
Image Courtesy of Christian Science Monitor

Image Courtesy of Get Covers/Covers for Facebook
Happy 74th John!