2013 goals


2012 wasn’t my year. Let’s be honest, neither was 2011. I refuse to let 2013 be a failure. I’m not one for resolutions, because I feel like they’re things I think are a good idea for about five minutes, then I kind of get over it (like going to the gym or getting consistent haircuts).

Instead of making a resolution I’ll never follow through I put together some goals that I want to work on this year, and hopefully they will help my outlook on life.

1. Get better organized
I am terrible at organization and terrible at keeping things tidy. TERRIBLE at it. I’d really like to get better organized and use the space Joe and I have more efficiently. I’d also like to streamline the things I own and get rid of clothes, shoes, etc that I don’t wear/use. I feel like it’s more of a clutter issue that I need to combat first, then I can figure out how to better store the crap I’m keeping.

2. Focus on happiness instead of negativity
I didn’t realize how negative I’d become over the past few months until Joe pointed it out to me. Once I realized it, I started to wonder who else had noticed it but didn’t feel like they could tell me, and it made me really sad. I’ve always been more of a happy (albeit cynical) person, but lately everything has just become a big pity party. And frankly I’m sick of it. My life isn’t any worse than anyone else’s and positive, happy things happen everyday. Those are the things I need to focus on. So I’m going to share something every day (maybe via twitter?) that made me happy. If I force myself to think of the positive things it should become second nature, right?

3. Find a job I enjoy
This one might be a little harder to accomplish, but I’ve been searching for a job in general and am hopeful I’ll be able to find something soon. I am also hoping to find something I enjoy doing, regardless of what it is. Who knows, I might really enjoy working at Starbucks!

4. Find a hobby
I really enjoy reading and writing, but these are both things I’ve been neglecting lately. I want something to do that doesn’t involve spending money or staring at a TV. Maybe that’s writing, maybe it’ll involved being super organized, or maybe I’ll become fantastic at painting designs on my nails (don’t count on it, ha!). Whatever it is, I want to find something that’s fun that I enjoy doing.

Do you have any goals or resolutions? Do you stick to yours or find yourself giving in by February?


Sugar skull makeup

I decided to try out a new makeup look last night, because I was bored (this is how it always happens). My sister keeps asking me to do a sugar skull, which I’ve never tried before. So armed with only my day-to-day makeup and $1 Halloween makeup from Target, I decided to give it a shot. This is the end result:



It’s not perfect, I can see things I’d do differently, but it’s not bad for my first try!


Read like Rory Gilmore

Gilmore Girls was one of those tv shows I watched all the time. My sister and I loved it, watching every week, always paying attention to what Rory was reading. My favorite scene was when Rory went on a date and had a book in her purse, because she always has a book in her purse.

I found this blog where they’ve compiled a list of all the books Rory reads throught the series. Yowza! I’ve added it here, after the jump, and am marking off the books I’ve read or as I read them. Although almost all my books are in storage (due to moving) I still try to read as much as I can, and right now seems like the perfect opportunity to do so.

Continue reading


7,000 mirrors are bested by a TARDIS

Last night Joe and I had to go pick up his car*, so while we were on the way there we had one of our typically strange conversations.

Me: It made me so mad I wanted to punch, like, a thousand mirrors. Without wearing gloves.

Joe: That doesn’t seem like a good idea.

Me: Ok, fine. I’ll wear gloves.

Joe: No, that’s not what I meant. I meant that breaking that many mirrors is 7,000 years of bad luck.

Me: No it’s not. If you break them all at once it’s only seven.

Joe: I don’t think it works like that. You can’t compunded the years of bad luck.

Me: Show me the rules. It only says seven years of bad luck; it doesn’t say those years begin now. So if I get to choose when they start, I pick 14 years ago.

Joe: What? It doesn’t work like that. You can’t just pick when you want your bad luck.

Me: Sure it does. That’s what I choose. If I have a TARDIS, I can totally make this work.

Joe: Time doesn’t work like that.

Me: You think it’s linear. It’s totally cylindrical. Er, circular. Time is circular.

Joe: Time is linear. You’re insane.

Me: Tell that to my bad luck that’s already over.

*we were either getting new tires or having it painted in a flaming unicorn motif. One of these is the truth, one is totally false. It’s like a pick-you-own-adventure game.


Ridiculously photogenic Ruckus

Ruckus usually doesn’t get much facetime here, mostly because she’s shy and doesn’t like to sit still for my camera. Today, however, she decided to be ridiculously photogenic, minutes before I hauled out the vacuum, so I was able to snap some super cute photos of her.

So here are some adorable kitty photos for your Sunday. Enjoy!

(She always seems to get covered in dust when we’re cleaning. Her dark fur attracts it like a magnet.)


My cat is trying to kill me

I’m pretty sure Loafy is trying to give me a heart attack. She’s been doing this for a while, ever since she’s had access to an open banister.


She has no fear.


Gangnam Style

This song has been stuck in my head all day, and the video? Amazing!
(Gangnam is the wealthy area of Seoul). I love a good K-pop song and thought I’d share this one. Just be prepared to want to learn the dance!


Be thoughtful when naming your child


When you’re going to be a parent, there’s nothing more fun than choosing the name your kid will be saddled with until they die, or until they’re old enough to legally change it. While I have no kids and am not planning to name any anytime soon because I keep threatening to name my friends’ baby Princess Consuella Banana Hammock, and they seem to have a problem with that, I do have friends who are planning their baby names. So to help their process I’ve devised some handy guidelines to keep in mind when naming your offspring.

1. When you name your kid after a virtue like Chastity, Destiny, Hope, or Serenity, they’re immediately going to be the opposite.

2. Last names as first names can be fun, unless their name sounds like a law firm. If your kid’s name is going to be Lincoln Harrison Johnson, you should rethink it.

3. Use full names, not nicknames. Sure, Bobby is a cute name for a three-year-old who eats paste, but it’s not cute for a 33-year-old lawyer.

4. Don’t use unusual spellings. We know- you want your kid to be unique! But when you decide to spell “Kyle” phonetically, it makes life harder on everyone, including little Kiell.

5. Try to steer clear of names that seem to pigeonhole your child to a specific lifestyle. Yes, Candi is a great name. For a stripper.

6. Put yourself in your child’s shoes and come up with the six worst names you’ll think they’ll get called on the play ground based on their name. If you can deal with them, chances are they can too. For example: if you name your kid Maxwell or Maxine, they’re going to be called maxi-pad (I’m looking at you, Jessica Simpson!).

7. Don’t just look at your side table or in your purse and pick something out that looks great that you think will make a great kids name. We don’t need another Apple, Blue Ivy, or Pilot Inspektor.

8. Pick a name with a nickname option. All kids want a nickname other than Sport, Bean, or Princess. Give them a name that has one built right in (see also rule 3), but still sounds professional for an adult.

9. Try to steer clear of super popular names. i know, you loved the name Bella before that girl fell in love with a pedophile/sparkly vampire. But do you remember 20 years ago when “Jennifer” was popular and there were 10 Jennifer’s in every classroom? Yeah, that wasn’t any fun.

10. Say the entire name, middle name(s) included, out loud to your partner and to yourself. If it sounds weird or makes you tounge-tied, rethink it. Too much alliteration (Jasmine Jayne Jonas) or first names and last names that are too similar (Billy Williams) can be a little off-putting If it’s weird for you, it’s weirder for others.

*11. Don’t name your kid after a company. Chik-Fil-A doesn’t get naming rights of your first born because you craved their sandwich throughout your pregnancy. Unless they’re giving you $1,000,000. Then, go for it. Just be sure to give your kid a normal middle name like Pickle, so they can pretend their parents aren’t insane.

There you go, my ten eleven tips about how to name your child. If you have more suggestions or hints you think I should add to my list, let me know in the comments below.
And for the record, if I have kids, I will name them Phoebe if it’s a girl, and Phoebo if it’s a boy. (gold star if you know where that’s from!)
(This post is meant as a joke, and was written by request for a friend who’s struggling to name her future baby.)

*edited to add this one. When I said it out loud to my friend, she literally fell down laughing. Seriosuly though, don’t name your kid anything like Avis, Ford, Chalupa or Hot Dog. That’s just mean.


The Color Run – Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti

Yesterday I took part in The Color Run in Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti (It was really in Ypsilanti, but they wanted it to be in Ann Arbor, but it couldn’t because of the art fair. Whatever.) It’s a 5k ‘fun run,’ so it’s untimed and you get doused with powdered color (it’s dyed corn-starch). My BFF Emily and my sister Cher and I all did it together. We’ve never done it before and weren’t sure what to expect.

We started out like this:

And ended up COVERED!

It was so much fun. I brought a camera, but had it wrapped in plastic to protect it from the fine powder, so some photos are a little blurry because plastic was in the way!

Rather than give a big write-up about the event, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. If you want more info about the color run, check out their webpage: www.thecolorrun.com. It’s really fun and I can’t wait to do it again!


DIY: Corkboard

Hello everyone, my sister, Cher, is a DIY-er who loves to try new things. Last time she was here, you saw this earring holder she made. This time she put together a really cool corkboard using a frame and wine corks and I wanted to share it with all of you! So, here it is! (And just in time for Sherry‘s Pinterest Challenge!)

Ung Drill. You heard me right. I have an Ung Drill. It may sound like I’m sporting a large tumor on my face or a wacky haircut, but no. Ung Drill is that ubiquitous snazzy frame from IKEA. You know the one…

I got one… and it sat around for MONTHS. I kept thinking to myself “What the heck am I gonna do with this?” Half a year of dreaming and scheming went by before I decided on framing a giant-sized photo from my brother’s Jamaican wedding….

Which didn’t work at all because the frame was OVAL. No matter which photo, none of them “fit” without some serious (and detrimental) Photoshopping, which totally killed the look I was going for. So then I looked on Pinterest for Pinspiration and found this:

And knew what I had to do. And here’s how I did it. Including massive mistakes and a little breakage.

Step 1: Gather corks. You can either drink 140 bottles of wine (hey, alkie, let’s be BFFs, kay?) and save the corks, or you can wait for your sister to purchase $25 worth of corks online, never use them, give up on a cork project, and you’ll inherit them.

Corks cost: Free! (Thanks to my eBay-loving sis)

Step 2: Lay out your pattern. This was the second-hardest step (see below for the hardest step) because the options are limitless and also because I’m an idiot who picked an oval frame. I knew there would either be some cutting of corks involved or areas where the cork didn’t cover. I settled on a chevron/herringbone/what-the-eff-this-is-below pattern. I still wasn’t sure how I was going to deal with the edges (you can see that the corks overlap the frame below.) but in my usual thorough and OCD-level of planning, I just rushed ahead and assumed I would figure it out as I went or screw up in an incredible manner. Luckily, I managed to do both.

Cost of frame: Free! (b-day gift from sister.)

Step 3. Prepare the frame for painting. I needed to remove the glass from the frame so I could paint without getting the glass all painty. My idea was to attach the corks directly to the glass, in order to have something really sturdy holding them up. The glass was wedged in really tight, so I was really careful to ease it out so I didn’t scratch it…

..or worse. Sh<bleep>t Yeah, that’s the glass, evenly broken in two.

NEW Step 3. Fu¢k Fu¢k Sh<bleep>t. Carefully dispose of broken glass shards.

Step 4. Figure out how to create a sturdy back for the corks now that you’ve broken the glass. Luckily, I’d been on a cleaning spree at work and we had piles (PILES!) of used foam core waiting to be tossed. One of the pieces was used on one side, but in good condition, so I used the cardboard that came with the frame to trace the shape of the fame and cut it to fit. I decided to keep the cardboard on the front of the foam core so when the corks were attached, you wouldn’t see bright white behind them.

Step 5. Prime the frame. I have never painted with spray paint, and had no idea what to use. Luckily, I’m a regular reader of Young House Love, which had just happened to cover spray priming and painting with the “the perfect yellow color.” I like yellow, and I love directions that include pictures, so yeah, let’s roll with that one.

I took the frame outside and used Rust-oleum Universal Satin Paint & Primer in white.  I did three thin coats, spraying constantly from about a foot away. Then, because it was going to rain, I took the frame inside to my bathroom and closed the door and turned the fan on high to remove the STRONG smell and also the off-gassing. I don’t recommend doing this unless you know -like I did- that the fan takes the air outside, instead of recirculating it like some bathroom fans do.

Cost of Primer: $7

Step 6. Paint the frame. This is pretty much the same as the priming, except you can end up looking like a featherless Big Bird if you’re not careful with where you point the nozzle. I used Rust-oleum Paint Plus 2X Ultra Cover Gloss in Sun Yellow. Why? Because it said RIGHT ON THE LABEL that it “Also Bonds to PLASTIC!” and I was really concerned nothing would stay on the frame. Seriously, it was so slippery, I was pretty sure this project would be a major scew-up and I’d have to toss everything (which it pretty much was, but for glass-shattering reasons, not paint reasons. Go figure.).

So I took the frame back outside (it was like 2 days later. I had been busy at work and also forgot that the frame was in my bathroom until I went to take a shower at 6am. Delightful.

Painted three thin and even coats on the frame, various surrounding rocks, and parts of some outdoor furniture that my landlord isn’t really fond of, then toted the frame back inside for its timeout in the bathroom.

Cost of paint: $4

Step 7. Glue corks. I used hot glue because It seemed like a good idea, and I had it on hand. I liked that it hardened quickly, removing the part of the equation where I accidentally kick half of the corks off the frame while they are drying.

I had laid out some of the corks beforehand, simply to ensure the corks made a pattern that was level and too screwy (because when I’m DIYing, there is always some level of screwiness.

Just keep gluing. Just keep gluing. Just keep gluing, gluing, gluing…

I ended up cutting a few corks to fit around the edges. Most were pretty big spaces, at least half a cork’s worth or more. Some of the smaller spaces I left empty.

Step 8. Hang that sucker high and wide! No, that’s curtains. Hang it however you want. Me? I went for the oldie but goodie hanging style of “level.”

To hang, I swore a lot and used anchors since this thing is actually pretty heavy. It’s been up for 3 months now, and is one of my most favorite projects (maybe I like the bell jar more…) to date!

Ung Drill Frame: free! (but would run $29.99 via IKEA)
Corks: free! (but cost Suze $25 on eBay)
Spray primer: $7
Spray paint: $4
Total: $11! (or $65.99)