A Sweet Wednesday

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velvet dress: thrifted
crochet collar: ebay
black & white saddle shoes: urban outfitters, similar
specs: zenni optical
heart clip: my shop!
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I have a 4 hour layover at PDX, so of course I'm blogging. Actually, I had planned on exploring around the airport, but I found the most amazing service center where I can charge my devices and access the free wi-fi. How awesome is that? I wish all airports offered free interwebs. It's bad enough that the seats in both the waiting rooms and the planes are uncomfortable, and the food is generally not so tasty, so I really appreciate it when they make the waiting more bearable! 

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I've been traveling for about 14 hours now, so I'm getting tired. I have been catching some zzzs, though, while flying, and the motion sickness meds I'm taking are helping me relax and fall asleep easier. I have another 7 hours to go before I get to Alaska, and most of that is just waiting for my connecting flight. It's a good thing I have a couple books with me, and I can get caught up on my reading goal!

This outfit was from two days ago when I had the impromptu idea of visiting a local craft store to get some supplies to play with. I really love this this velvet dress, but I think the waist is a little high for my body type, and it makes me look wider than I would like. I purchased it because (well, it was velvet AND it was a dress, duh) I thought I would have time to alter it a little, but it's been sitting in my closet for months now in its original state. It may never be altered, ever. 

My saddle shoes were being neglected (they have no traction), so I put them together with the dress, and the collar just made sense. I wasn't intentionally going for a Wednesday Addams look, but I guess it kinda turned out that way in the end. I thought about going all out and braiding my hair, but decided to pin on a heart bobby pin instead. It makes me look a little sweeter. 

The tale of the darling suitcase

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sweater, dress, boots: thrifted
fox purse: ebay
bracelets: Forever 21
cashmere scarf: gifted
barn owl pin: my shop :) 

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These pictures were taken a few days ago before I touched up my roots. It's been only a month since I bleached and retouched, but I refuse to dye more than once a month, so I go for a week or so with ombre-ish hair. It's honestly not as big of a bother as it used to be, but mainly because I'm really too busy to notice.
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Here is the vintage gem I found over the weekend at an adorable shop called Just Vintage. If you happen to live in the Tuscola area, I definitely recommend it. It's been such a long time since I've seen such a well-curated shop! I got this lovely suitcase for a steal!  I don't even know if I'm able to have it as my carry-on, but I'm taking it with my anyway.
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It's a bit heavier than I want to carry around, but it's just so darn cute. I mean, look at the matching powder blue interior! POLKA DOTS, ya'llz, polka dots. 

This morning was a bit slow, since I'm taking my time getting last minute stuff ready for my full day of traveling tomorrow. My husband, B, made me a scrumptious breaky, so I'm still energized for running a few errands before calling it a day. 

I'm sure that in my boredom of waiting between flights, many a photo and mini-video will be taken, so if you wanna join in on my trip, follow me on facebook, twitter, instagram, and vine! 

currently

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I recently managed to go through a lot of books in one afternoon snuggled in the couch, sipping tea while my kitties meowed all over my general vicinity. My friend M loaned me these hilariously awful Nancy Drew books that I devoured instantly. These were the first chapter/series books I read when I was a kid, and I remember writing up Nancy-inspired mini novels back then. 
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I've also been consuming a ridiculous amount of tea in my husband's oh so clever octopus cup. Isn't this the coolest cup ever? There are other designs too (t-rex, skull, spider) but this is my fave. My brew of choice is Twining's Lady Grey, which is light with a little hint of citrus. But I've also been sipping on some nettle leaf tea and chamomile.  What's your brew?
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No reading trip is complete without comics and a good non-fiction. I've been immensely enjoying Brian Wood's Northlanders series because... you already know-- VIKINGS. I picked up the last volume by mistake and read that first, so now I'm playing catch up. I also picked up Shakespeare's Tremor and Orwell's Cough which is about the various diseases famous writers may have had. It's a fascinating read, especially if you're familiar or interested in famous writers' physical ailments/ 
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I actually finished packing yesterday (read: I decided to take whatever fit in my suitcase, and will just buy whatever else I happen to need when I get there) so I plan on taking things easy and cleaning up my craft room today. I'm planning on closing my shop until I get back  in a couple weeks, so if you need anything for presents or such, get em now :)

I leave you with a picture of Pandae and Flash chillin by our wee skull collection. I think they were mesmerized by my doughnut phone charm as I took this picture. 

What are you currently reading?

The procrastinating packer

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dress: Target
cardigan, boots: thrifted
rings: Vintage finds
cat necklace: Forever 21
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Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Most of my mine was spent "pre-prepping" for my upcoming trip. I spent Saturday afternoon vintage shopping with a very good friend of mine, M, who also helped me bleach my unsightly roots. I finally scored the  sweetest suitcase I'll be taking along with me, and it's the cutest, little find! I'll be sure to share it with you later this week. 
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My husband and I also hung out with M and her man later on for a night of boardgaming, yummy food, and Argo, whose nomination for an Oscar boggles me. It was a decent movie, I thought, but not Best Picture-worthy. Then again, my favorite movie of all time, which I think should win Best Picture of Forever is The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, so..
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Most of Sunday was spent cleaning up my craft room until I uncovered a whole box of bows I had made when I first opened my shop. I stopped selling bows a while back since my felt work took up most of my time, so I still have a lot of fabric waiting to be sewn. Instead of listing them on Etsy, I decided to sell most of my bows on Instagram, instead, as well as other hair accessories I've been making. So far, so good! I've made a few sales and some custom orders. Selling on Instagram is awesome and saves on listing and store fees. So if you're looking for cute hair accessories like bows and clips, check it out!   
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Today is gonna be spent packing and packing and packing. I have such a short attention span that I already know that it's gonna take me the bulk of the day to get everything I need in order. I tend to get bored doing monotonous things, so I know I'll be dawdling. 
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Do you like packing? How do you make it seem like it's not such a chore? 

goal-writing


Motivation can be found in the most mundane of phrases. And the simpler they are, I think the more genuine they feel. Lately, I've been telling myself to "work hard & be nice." Simple? Yes. But these five words have an impelling power over me more than any quote that has come out of the mouth of any writer, painter, mogul, or celebrity ever. Work Hard & be nice.

Inspired by Sarah, I decided to list some goals that I've had brewing in my head for a while now, but never really wrote out. Hopefully, airing them out in public will be even more motivation to work hard at accomplishing these goals.

1. Manage my time more wisely// Working from home has its perks : I get to be in my jammies, I set my own hours, I do whatever I want to do. Working from home also has its downfalls, which are pretty much the same exact ones I've listed above. I need to set and follow a schedule that will keep me on track.
2. Do at least 2 craft shows before May// This is a complicated bugger. There are lots of sub-goals to this mega goal, most of which involve making more product. And that is tied to goal #1. I may be golden once I figure out how to add more hours to a day.
3. Vlogging// I am not ashamed to say that I have no idea how to edit videos. Or how to record them. I promise to at least learn how to get over my "valley girl voice" insecurity.
4. Be nicer// Probably the most difficult goal of all. If you don't really know me, I'm pretty sure you think I'm all "Hellfire and Satan, bitchiness to the nth degree." I snap a lot, yes, and I can be a bit curt. So I need to work on being more approachable. I also need to stop declaring how much I "hate" (even though I don't mean it) a lot of things even though the compunction to do so is pretty much innate.
5. Be Agressive// And stop doubting myself. Be murderous on purpose. Like Columbus. Just kidding.


the amazing power of pockets

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rose cardigan: GAP
Coach Tour Dress: Modcloth
thrifted boots
Yesterday we got dumped a helluva lot of snow. It's a good thing I got these photos before that happened. After getting a good look at all the ice that had accumulated on my street, I decided that the best way to spend the day (and today, looks like) was to stay indoors and cuddle with my kitties while reading comics and playing video games. 

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I've been glued to my PS3 for hours these past couple weeks never since I picked up Katamari Forever. And you know those warnings about epilepsy and whatnot you read at the beginning of every single video game? I never thought they were truly worth heeding until now. Not that I started jerking and seizing in the middle of playing, but I definitely have been getting a lot of headaches afterwards. I guess I need to wean myself off of the games for a while. 
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My husband got me this dress for Christmas, and it's one of the comfiest dresses I've ever owned. I love the high collar and the fact that this dress has POCKETS, because let me tell you: I have the hardest time coming up with ideas on where to place my hands when taking outfit photos. I end up including whatever bag I'm carrying for the week in almost every single picture because... HANDS! we have them! what should we do with them? 

must read: x-men season one

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X-men Season One
In a nutshell? Your favorite mutants revamped for our times. I was skeptical about picking this up since I am a huge purist, and I didn't like the idea of people messing up things I think aren't broken, but it turns out, change can be good. 
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X-men Season One casts the original Five: Cyclops, Beast, Marvel Girl, Iceman, and Angel and follows them as they try to understand and control their powers. The story is told through Jean Grey, the newest member of the team. And though she has never been a favorite character of mine (ever), I thought that she was written as an extremely likable, accessible, and grounded character-- exactly how I imagine new-to-comics readers approach the daunting, continuity-filled world of comic books. The X-men romp around doing their Danger Room exercises, getting trapped in the Savage Land, meeting the members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and realizing that not everything is as black and white as they thought things would be.
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Dennis Hopeless (who also penned the amazing Legion of Monsters) , I think, captured exactly how contemporary teens would react if they one day awoke with powers they had inexplicably contracted (read: extremely annoying and hopelessly naive). Jamie McKelvie's bright and clean art (as in Phonogram and The Defenders) works amazingly with storyline, so I forgive him for portraying Iceman as Justin Beiber (or is is the other way around?)
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A great read for newbies who wanna get into reading comics but are unsure where to start. But it's an entertaining read for long-time fans as well.

Who's your fave mutant?

We all have skulls

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In a little over a week, I'll be headed to visit my family in Alaska. I was rather looking forward to the snow and the cold, especially at this time of year when everything is usually frigid and white, but apparently, there's no snow in sight up there at the mo, and none to be expected in the forecast. Instead, all that precipitation has found its way to greet me at my Illinois doorstep. I'm not going to lie and say I'm glad it did, because, combined with the wind chill, this chilly weather is brutal on my skin and mood. 
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I still haven't thought about what I'll be wearing during my stay up north, and I also haven't gotten a suitcase yet. I'm considering wearing these boots, though, while traveling since they come off easily which is handy in airports. 
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I'm probably going to end up bringing this skull and crosses tank, even though it's hardly appropriate, weather-wise, and I've worn it bazillions of times already (here and here, for instance) But it's just so insanely comfortable and easy to pair. I mean, skulls go with everything, right? We all have skulls. 
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skull and crosses top: TJMaxx
cardigan: Christopher & Banks
striped bodycon skirt: Forever 21
boots: Target
specs: Warby Parker, Sinclair in Burgundy Fade

Who's It? & February Ipsy Glam Bag

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I just wanted to do a really quick post on the goodies in my Ipsy Glam Bag for February. This is my second bag from Ipsy, and though I thought January's loot was better, for $10, I'm still quite pleased with what I got in this month's bag. I'm wearing all the products in the February bag, and on lips I have on NYX Matte Lipstick in Shocking Pink

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1: Last Cards
2: Pixi Flawless and Poreless Primer
3: Coastal Scents Glitz and Glamour eyeshadow set 
4: MICA beauty Gel eyeliner in black
5: PopBeauty Smokey Last Kapow Mascara

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I think the best product in this bag is the Pixi Primer, which totally fills in my large pores and keeps my foundation from melting off my skin. I'm also really liking the Mica gel liner a whole lot. The consistency is super easy to work with, and I've been using it everyday since I got my bag. I thought the PopBeauty mascara was Ok, nothing really special about it. And I really was disappointed with the Coastal Scents sample. Over the years, I've heard tons of good things about them, but I thought the colors in the Glitz and Glamour palette weren't that great, the pigmentation was so-so, and there was just too much fall-out for me. I also wasn't too pleased with the Lash Cards. Perhaps I was using them incorrectly, (which I doubt, since I watched the videos before trying to do it twice) but I didn't see a difference in my lashes.

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The always lovely Larie tagged me in one of her posts, so here are my answers! Play along and tell me an answer to one or more of the questions below!

1. Favorite lipstick of all time (Or just right now. I know we're fickle)
Currently, I've been wearing this NYX  Matte Lipstick in Shocking Pink! I've always loved bright pinks, but the consistency of this lippie is out of this world!
2. What album/band/song have you been listening to lately?
I've been looping the I-Monster cover to "Daydream". So good. 
3. If you found just $10 in your pocket right now, what would you spend it on?
Kale. I forgot to get some over our weekend grocery trip. And stamps. I need to squeeze in some letter-writing soon!
4. Last book you really enjoyed? 
Nothlanders vol 7 by Brian Wood. Vikings in comics? Yes, please. Obviously, Wood takes a lot of liberties in his take on the Viking history, but I love it. Vikings make me happy. 
5. Favorite healthy snack?
Carrots and hummus.
6. Favorite not healthy snack?
Those flavored pretzel nibblers. Good lord, the cheddar ones are fucking amazing.
7. Favorite body lotion?
Is it awful that I don't have one? I swear I use lotion, I just switch when I get bored of the scents (which is all the time)
8. Favorite children's novel?
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
9. Mac or PC?
I own a PC, but I would love to have a Mac.
10. Last item you returned?
Uhm. a library book? I haven't shopped in forever.
11. Favorite ice cream flavor?
TARO. I love Taro froyo (which is almost the same as ice cream, right?) 

A New Adventure

Last week, I hinted at a new adventure. Now, I'm not really the adventurous type of gal (except when it comes to noms, that is). I'm  the kind of person who likes to overplan and make sure that everything is just right before trying something new.  So this is a huge step for me, and I wanted to share it with all of you since you all have been a big part of my life. Let the cheese begin. 

As many of you might already know, I started my shop, The Shop of Worldly Delights,  as a hobby back in November 2011 because I was having the worst time coping with unrewarding jobs. I needed something to cheer me up and help me forget about the many mind-numbing tasks I was assigned. My shop was my solace, and I enjoyed sharing bits of my idea of cute to everyone around the world. Late last year, still stuck in a thankless job that drained every bit of my sanity and well-being, I finally decided that only I could prevent myself from hating that facet of my life, so I quit. 

I didn't have a backup plan, and no one in my area was hiring an outspoken, Old English-loving gal who wanted to edit and translate for the rest of her life. (The outspoken part freaks people out a bit, I think ) So I immersed myself in my shop, tirelessly creating. I honestly thought that I would be able to find another job after a few weeks, but that didn't happen. For a long time, I worried about our finances. But my husband, being the extremely supportive person he is, goaded me to stop thinking about that and just do what I want to do. That worried me even more.  

Since I was little, I always thought I would work in academia. I always loved teaching, and I expected that I would either teach Literature or Chemistry. I've had loads of teaching and tutoring experience, and I just thought things will fall into place after college. Lately, however, I've been enjoying designing and sewing so much more than I have grading papers or having conferences. And I had been entertaining the idea of doing more of that to support myself. But it's scary for me to go into something so completely foreign. It's even scarier having to do it by myself, without any kind of assurance that I'm doing the right thing. For a while I kept on asking myself, Wouldn't it be a waste of schooling to pursue something you didn't study? What if it doesn't work out?

Well, Laura, how will you know if you don't try? So I put my big girl pants on and decided to create the life I wanted to live. 

I've decided to make my shop my full-time job. Which, for me, means selling in craft shows and fairs, wholesale orders and consignments. It may not sound like a big deal to many, but I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and I only show and sell the best of what I make. This move means I'll be working more than 8 hours a day, not just producing but also doing the accounting, advertising, etc all by myself.  I've already been reading up a bit on how to manage my shop, and I've been setting goals to make it more profitable for me.     

Last week, I took my first HUGE step and brought some of my wares to Vintage Karma, a lovely shop in Tuscola, IL that houses loads of different pieces of locally crafted art for sale. This is the first shop I'm selling my stuff in, and I couldn't be happier working with two of the sweetest ladies I have ever met. (Laura, Ainslie, you both are awesome possum). If you live in the area, please check out their storefront! It's definitely one of the coolest shops I have ever set foot in. 

Phew! So there's the big news, folks! I wish I could hug each and every one of you for being so supportive of my endeavors. You have no idea how happy it makes me whenever I read a sweet comment. It's like a virtual high five. Thanks for being such great readers! Hugs and hugs, 

♥Laura

Bright Eyes

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When it comes to makeup, I have been striving for a very clean, neutral, and thus, very wearable look. Since my hair color already attracts a lot of attention, I want to wear looks that complement, not take away from that. I love that this look emphasizes my brown eyes, which I always used to complain about (I want purple eyes, darn it!). And looking at these pictures, I sometimes forget that I have green hair.

This look doesn't call for a lot of makeup, but it does involve a lot of time blending and contouring. I like to start with Glamazon all over my lids and then use Lost to give an impression of a crease in the middle of my lid. After blending, I line my eyes, staying as close to the lashline as possible. I draw a very thin line with an angled brush, extending the line a bit on the top. I line the bottoms of my eyes as well, but only half-way, and I connect that to the top line. To brighten up my eyes, I use lots of Zephyr, both near the tear ducts and inner eye and in the inner half of the bottoms of my eyes. I finish the look with lots of mascara (because  I have wimpy lashes), then add just a bit of gloss to my lips for color and shine.

Perfect for looking polished everyday or a cute date look for Valentine's Day! 

chocolate peanut butter cupcakes

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I'm tearing up a little bit inside as I type this post because it's this batch of cupcakes that confirmed my recently developed peanut allergy. It doesn't really surprise me that I had a reaction since I've been allergic to so many kinds of foods my whole life. But it was still unpleasant watching everyone around me eat the cupcakes I made and not  be able to eat one myself. Ah well, the 2 cupcakes I ate (1 to taste, and the second to REALLY confirm that I was allergic) were super good and will stay super good in my memory forever.  

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I like to think of myself as a low maintenance baker. I like simple, but quality ingredients and classic flavor combinations.  Taste is king, and peanut butter and chocolate is a prime combination. I'll confess that I prefer to eat cupcakes without frosting (too sweet for my tastes), but these actually needed just a little bit of creamy chocolate to pull the flavors together. 
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Plus, after baking, they come up with caved in tops, so a bit of frosting can fill in those unsightly cracks.

Give this super simple recipe a whirl. It's a great, simple Valentine's Day treat!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes (adapted from Annie's Eats) - makes 2 dozen
Ingredients:
For the cake:
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
2/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. almond extract
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs

For the peanut butter filling:
1 cup confectioner's sugar
3/4 cup of creamy peanut butter
4 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the chocolate frosting: (If you like a LOT of frosting on your cupcakes, double this recipe)
1 stick softened butter
1.5 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. almond extract
2 Tbsp heavy cream or milk

Directions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Line your cupcake pans with paper liners
2. For the filling: In a bowl, combine the confectioner's sugar, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla. Beat it with an electric mixer until well combined. Roll into 1 inch balls. Set aside.
2. For the batter: In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate container, stir together the sour cream, milk, and almond extract.  In  (yet) another bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Alternately add in the dry ingredients and the sour cream mixture to the creamed butter mixture. Mix until incorporated.
3. Spoon a tablespoon of batter on the bottom of each cupcake. Add a ball of the peanut butter filling, and then top with more batter so all the cups are filled. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes completely on a wire rack before frosting.
4. For frosting: Cream the butter for a few minutes with an electric mixer. In another bowl, sift together the cocoa, salt, and confectioner's sugar. Add these to the creamed butter, mixing slowly until well combined. Turn up the speed and add in the almond extract and the cream/milk.
 

Three hearts

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sweater: thrifted
skirts: Target/ Forever 21
booties: Forever 21
headband: the shop of worldly delights 

Many bare beams stretch up into the steely skies, 
but those that have held too much for too long 
bend in defeat 
and try (instead) to clutch at the unwary passerby 
strolling during the lifeless season. 
Sweet liquid exudes out of the freshly chopped limbs, 
surprising even the busiest of foraging squirrels 
who have lived in their hollows for many moons. 

In my prickly boots I skip, 
wearing some warmth in the form of one.two..three...hearts.

Today marks the first day on another leg of my adventure. I apologize if I'm being vague, but I promise to share everything when it's all certain and fixed. Happy Monday!