Saturday, March 30

Pooh Bear Take III

I've talked about Pooh so many times before on this blog. Most recently, I've made use of "pooh bear" as a pet name, I heard about him on improv comedy night, and I totally forgot but I've actually dedicated an entire post to him before. Long story short, I love Pooh Bear. Recently, I read a book called the Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff as a part of my goals to read more books. 
via weheartit
This book was all about how Pooh Bear represented someone who followed the way of the Tao. It's been on my to-read list for a long time and when my friend said that I reminded her of Pooh, I had to read it. Some parts of the book I agreed with... other parts, not so much. I'm going to include a few select quotes for you to read. I think that's the best way to see if you want to read this book. 

According to Lao-Tse, the more man interred with the natural balance produced by the universal laws, the further away the harmony retreated into the distance. The more forcing, the more trouble. Whether heavy or light, wet or dry, fast or slow, everything had its own nature already within it, which could not be violated without causing difficulties.  
The Tao is about of going with the flow and being happy-go-lucky. Exactly like the willy, nilly old Bear. 

From the state of the Uncarved Block comes the ability to enjoy the simple and the quiet, the natural and the plain. 
I really wanted to agree with everything I read in this book, but I just couldn't. I don't think I need to do anything extreme to feel excited. I don't need to travel the globe or jump out of planes. However, I do get so bored so often... so I'm not sure that I'd be happy enjoying what's natural. 

Tao does not do, but nothing is not does. It means that Tao doesn't force of interfere with things but lets them work in their own way to produce results naturally. Then whatever needs to be done is done.
One of the aspects of this philosophy I had a huge disconnect with was not trying. As you can probably guess, I love trying things out and making attempts at my goals. But Tao distinguishes the difference between producing results naturally and forcing something to happen. 

...that doesn't mean goals don't count. They do, mostly because they cause us to go though the process, and it's the process that makes us wise, happy or whatever.
This is such a sweet reminder, isn't it? 

When you work with Wu Wei, you put the round peg in the round hole and the square peg in the square hole. No stress, no struggle. Egotistical Desire tries to force the round peg in the square hole and the square peg in the round hole. Cleverness tries to devise craftier ways of making pegs fit where they don't belong. Knowledge tries to figure out why round pegs fit round holes but not square holes. Wu Wei doesn't tries. It doesn't think about it. it just does it. And when it does, it doesn't appear to do much of anything. But Things Get Done.
Reading this passage does make me think I'm a bit Taoist. I wonder about the Whys and the Hows, but I don't get hung up on them. I try my best not to get caught up in thinking and thinking about thinking. 

In order to take control of our lives and accomplish something of lasting value, sooner or later, we need to learn to Believe. We don't need to shift our responsibilities on to the shoulders of some defied Spiritual Superman, or sit around and wait for fate to come knocking at the door. we simply need to believe in the power that's within us , and use it. 
This quote says to me that we should rely on ourselves to build our legacy. I've been thinking a lot about "legacy" lately. Not a statue that society should build in our honor, or an everlasting impact on society, but just the way that our family and friends remember us. 

Overall, this book was a quick short read that you should pick up if anything in this post got you thinking. 

Thursday, March 28

Sandstone Soap Review

I don't know where half of this Lush stuff is from since I haven't gotten anything in an year. I suppose that this is that old then. Just as well as it's getting to be summer again. This soap is an excellent exfoliator. So excellent in fact, that it functions better as an exfoliator than as a soap. 

I wouldn't recommend this if you're searching for a specific scent or a nice soap. The scent is lemony. While it's there when you hold it up to your nose to smell it, you can't smell it in the shower at all and the is nothing left on your skin after shower. As for its function as a soap, it doesn't really lather too great. But I would definitely repurchase it for its use as an exfoliant. The sand in this product is a bit stronger and finer than sugar and having it in a soap bar form.

Have you tried this? What's your favorite exfoliant of the moment?

Tuesday, March 26

Dalek Socks

This outfit is win because it has Dalek Socks. They were a gift from a dear dear friend. I don't think I have the occasion to wear them often, but I worked 'em into this outfit. I love how they look peeking out here, but the actual socks are striped and blue, black, grey and orange colored. Not easy to work with, in my opinion.

I used to dress in really... alternative ways. I have never dyed my hair or anything like that, but I used to wear pants under long dresses, shirts given to me by 40 year old women, and ill fitting jeans. (I still wear ill fitting jeans.) I wasn't trying to be fashionable in alternative ways, I just really didn't give a crap what I wore or who looked at me. These socks makes me wish I could go back to that a little bit. 
Sweater: Mossimo (Old)
Jacket: Forever 21 (16.99)
Scarf: Gift 
Jeans: H&M (25.46)
Socks: Gift 
Boots: Target (29.99)

Do you ever wear crazy socks? How do you work them in?

Saturday, March 23

Noteworthy Pictures: Mostly baking

My friends and I do this thing where we get together and bake. I've posted pictures from one of these baking days before (see here) but I thought that I'd just throw some more pictures up here. Warning, may cause diabetes. 
 melt aways // madeleines

my unattractive contribution, a coconut creme pie // cherry chocolate dump cake

the only healthy dish of the day: pumpkin spice oatmeal cookies

The following are from another session. 

zucchini bread // homemade root beer floats

honeyed banana berry cake cookies (mine) // coffee chocolate mousse with kiwi

last, but not least. blackberry tarte

What activity do you hate doing by yourself, but enjoy doing with friends?

Thursday, March 21

Television Fashion

Are you ever just watching television and realize that you REALLY love what the characters are wearing? I have, for a little while, so I started screencapping what I was watching. 

These first images are of Lucy Liu's Joan Watson in Elementary. I love her coat here! Part of it stems from simple coat envy, but the other part of it is that I love the color and especially how she styles it!

See? A simple scarf and hat and she is set to go!

The second show that I was watching over winter break is Arrow. It is not a fantastic show, but they keep adding fantastic actors. It's frustrating. Anyways, I love the way Moria Queen dresses in this show. She's a rich businesswoman/wife/powerhouse. Her choices are always classic.  She's not in the foreground in this first picture but I love her navy sheath dress. You can dress it up or down and wear it plain or with a bunch of accessories. 

I like this second outfit for many of the same reasons. Her clothing is just professional and flattering. 

Who is the best dressed character in your favorite show?

Tuesday, March 19

How to Deal with Google Reader Retirement

If you haven't heard already, yes, Google Reader is going away. Upon hearing that news, you probably have one of three reactions. 
via weheartit

1. I don't use it. Whatever. 

Congrats. Move on with your life. Skip the rest of this post even. But it's going to be funny so you're kinda missing out. 

2. Ohhhh Emmmm Geeeee. AHHHH. 

There's freaking out from two camps. First:

a.  I know they're retiring it. Will you all shut up about it?

Most of us are trying to gather information to prepare for the switch. We may be a little bit frantic, but this too shall pass. Then, second: 

b. What do I do? I use Google Reader for everything! The world is ending!?!

Freaking out rarely helps. I'm sure there are situations where typing in all caps solves problems (though I can't think of any). This isn't one of those situations. This too, shall pass. 

3. Hm. That's inconvenient. Where do I go from here?

Ah, hello there. I think that you should start with these two articles. Both articles, one from Forbes and one from Lifehacker, both tell you what services you should replace the Google Reader with. I found myself deciding between feedly and bloglovin. At first, feedly seemed like my best option but I didn't like the layout. Then, I realized that bloglovin' was a real big contender. I mean, I used Google Reader mostly for reading blogs anyways.

I choose bloglovin' because I already use bloglovin'. I noticed that the number of my bloglovin' followers doubled in the 2-3 day span after Google came out with the news. Secondly, I had reservations that bloglovin' would not link me to other blogs that did not have bloglovin'. Not true. I can search for and follow whatever I want to on bloglovin. Lastly, I've also downloaded the bloglovin' app. Works great. 

Now, for a bit of clarification. A lot of people are saying that Google Friend Connect is also going to disappear. That isn't official. However, I do believe that it is likely... perhaps within a year or two? Given Google's past actions with GFC (stripping it from non-blogspot blogs), it doesn't seem like they are completely invested in the product. That's another reason I choose bloglovin'. Though bloglovin' does not offer the ability to see who is following you at the moment, I think that they have recognized the gap that GFC will leave and are working on it!  As some of my commentors have pointed out, they've already fixed it. Now I have no complaints. 

All in all, those are my four reasons for choosing bloglovin'. For you to deal with the Google Reader Retirement, use these classic 5 steps. 

1. Denial - Create petitions on Email Google a million times. Believe that you can prevent it from happening. 
2. Anger - Type in all caps, send out angry tweets and exaggerated blog posts. (Don't let my calm demeanor fool you now, I freaked out too.)
3. Bargaining - Perhaps if you had stopped complaining to Google...  Or perhaps if you had truly appreciated Google Reader and brought it flowers? Or took it dancing? Now your Google Reader is dancing with another man. 
4. Depression - Without Google Reader, blogging is meaningless. Include sad emoticons such as :( and ;_;
5. Acceptance - Great, now choose a replacement/alternative.

What are you replacing Google Reader with? Why?

Saturday, March 16

First Modcloth Order: Styling Loose Black Blouse

I've been a fan of Modcloth for a long time, but I'm just NOT an online shopper! I don't like the hassle of paying return shipping or not being able to return items as well. I always have to try on pants, dresses and even shirts before I buy them. This combination is not a winner for online shopping. But, I wanted to get my friend a gift... and for free shipping... I brought myself somethings as well. That happens to everyone, right?

I got this black shirt... but when I put it on, I had no idea what to do with it. To the left, you can see me confused. The shirt hit me at such an awkward place on my hip that it didn't even look like I was wearing pants. So, my next step was to put on some jeans (Right). As you can see though, it still didn't look very good. The blouse was oversized... and it was not working for me!

Left: So I looked down and I thought..."Hmm, what can I do?" Right: And that's when I got an idea...

Left: When it doubt... belt it! Belting the tunic really brought up the hemline to hit at the widest part of my hip instead of some awkward place. It defined my waist too! To use an overused phrase, you gotta love that pop of color too. Right: Throw on a pair of loafers... and this is an outfit that I would leave the house in!

Shirt: Modcloth (25.99)
Belt: China (2.77)
Jeans: H&M (25.46)
Shoes: Old (unknown)

Thursday, March 14

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes Review

I've been looking for some Makeup Remover Wipes lately and the Neutrogena ones came highly recommended. Prior to this, I had only tried the ELF make up removing wipes. While I loved the packaging on those, they were not highly effective in removing my makeup. These work so much better. 

Though there's kind of an old lady smell to these wipes, but I can't deny that they work well. They don't sting... but they do take off all kinds of eyeliner, eye shadow and mascara. I would definitely repurchase these, considering their price and how easy and convenient they are to use. 

PS. In all the Google Reader crazyness, you can follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Do you use makeup removing wipes? What brand?

Tuesday, March 12

Elephant Bar

The Elephant Bar was one of those places that you see all the time, but all the time, you pass it. I was always under the impression that it was a small cafe-like place... but when I went in, it seemed more like a Rainforest Cafe. 

I decided to be such a child (and an unhealthy eater) and have chicken tenders and mac and cheese. The mac and cheese was delicious. Part of it was a bit crunchy/textured and that was absolutely amazing. The chicken was really good too. Instead of like the chicken you have at fast food restaurants, this was actually good quality chicken. I even loved the coleslaw, a dish I absolutely hated as a child. 

To finish off, I had this apple crumble dessert. Though this was incredibly delicious, I definitely ate too much and couldn't finish it. ...not finishing dessert is always sad. 

The Elephant Bar has never been on a list of places I'd think of visiting, but that changes after this trip!

Saturday, March 9

Musing on Boredom

I used to have this description on my blog. I took it away, but somehow it's still on my bloglovin' page. It says this: I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation. - Sherlock Holmes, on drug use". 
via weheartit
I took it away cause the drug part was weird, but I still believe that it's the point of my blog. I feel like right now, I'm going through the dull routine of existence. And I really, really wish I didn't feel that way because I'm at such a unique and special time in my life.  My master's program offers night classes and this semester, I'm not working. My entire day is free and I feel like I have very few responsibilities. I mean, how often in my life am I going to not work and be responsible only for myself? I don't think I'll ever get this opportunity again.
So instead of feeling bored and antsy (and guilty for not having a job/working on what I'm supposed to be) I'm going to take this time to ENJOY LIFE.

1. I want to vlog. I know that I've done this a little before (see here) but this type of vlog is a little different. Lately, I've gotten into watching daily vlogs, where people just carry a camera while they go about their day. Not every second of it is always interesting, but there's a few personalities out there that I really like. I'm very much a beginner at editing and mostly doing it for myself, but I might post it if I feel like it would actually be interesting to others. 

2. Go shopping during the day. Most people shop on the weekends, at night, or during their lunch break. However, since I have most of my days free, I could hit the mall when there's no one in sight. 

3. Lunch with friends. Most of my friends are working, but I'm sure I can scrounge up a few friends to try some new restaurant lunch menus with me. 

4. Read more books. I have a few days of break between this quarter and the next so I'm going to take the time to read some books... Recommend me your favorite classics!

5. ..   What's on your bucket list? What would you do if you had my weird schedule? What have you always wanted to do but have never found the time to. 

Thursday, March 7

Herbal Essences Honey I'm Strong Shampoo and Conditioner Review

You know you're a beauty blogger when...your little brother comes over to take a shower after swim practice. And after 8 minutes, he walks out, claiming to have just taken the longest shower in his life. When you ask why, he says that it's because there are so many bottles around your bathtub. (And you know for a fact that there's only face wash, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and soap.) Then you asked him, cautiously, exactly how many things he used. 

His response? All of them. 

 "I smell so good," he claims.

Well, little brother, here's one more to the collection. I got this shampoo and conditioner set after hearing about it from the ladies at Her Late Night Cravings. This is a relatively new line of products. Here's the short review:I like it, but I don't love it.

Here's the long review:I feel like everything about this shampoo is just satisfactory. The scent, the cleaning properties, the conditioning properties... It all works, just nothing to rave or rant about. The scent isn't a super sweet honey, like Lush's Honey I Washed the Kids. There's more of a floral note to it. For some reason, the scent is stronger in the shampoo than the conditioner. I think the shampoo works okay though I think I preferred Dove Damage Therapy Intensive Repair better. I feel like my hair gets greasier faster with this shampoo. 

The conditioner is almost below par because I've tried so many great conditioners. It doesn't match up to the Aussie Three Minute Miracle or the Aveeno Nourish and Condition Leave in Treatment.

Tuesday, March 5

Featuring...Graphic Sweatshirt

Though I've been wanting one long before it was winter I still haven't found the perfect one yet! And what do I do when I am searching for that one perfect piece? Make outfits with it, of course. I find this irresistible because of how comfortable it all is. 
Featuring... Graphic Sweatshirt

Why can't I find one where the fit, price, and print are all to my liking? Ah well, at least winter is almost over?

Saturday, March 2

Link Up: The Year that Ended and the Year to Come

Yay! It's been a month or so since my last link up so I thought that I'd share my favorite reads with you! I also have something else exciting to add. After a night of googling and staring at HTML, I managed to add a tweet button to my posts. Feel free to click that if you feel like what I write is worth sharing. 
via tumblr//for more, visit chibird

Are You Acting Like a Girl At Work? - As a young woman who has a tendency of acting even younger, I really want to be professional & approachable at work. I also remember a co-worker's comment about my cell phone charm: "What is that? Oh... that's cute." I knew that the small cartoon character wasn't obnoxious, but it stood out as juvenile. From that time on, her impression of me might have been about how I was young enough to care about cell phone charms instead of mature enough to reflect the quality of my work. 

2012's Best Cheap Thrills - Allure tells you which 2012 products work while keeping your wallets full. I love trying out new products (except that I don't want to spend a lot. And I want them to work. So this is perfect.)

5 Must Have Pieces for 2013 - CollegeFashion tells you what you need to spruce up your basic closet this year.

Food Choices: Then and Now - This article talks about the foods we used to hate and what we're suddenly into now. I love spinach now! When I was a kid, I couldn't care less for it. I think I also hated beets... which is now one of my favorite foods. 

Pictures of Hipsters Taking Pictures of Food - I think the title's self explanatory! We may find ourselves on this site.