A Few of My Favorite Christmas Movies

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone! It’s beenย foreverย since I’ve done a post of this sort, but I feel inspired because it’s Christmas.

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New Apartment Updates

Wow, how time flies! I can’t believe we’ve been in our new apartment for almost a week! I’ve been totally inconsistent with my blogging but I’ve been so busy. I’ve been taking pictures of some of my favorite parts of the new place, so here they are:

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Miniature cactus garden from Trader Joe’s helps cover our modem and router

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Mums are my favorite fall flowers so I had to get some to put by the front door

I really love decorating and I’m happy that Ben let me take charge apartment decor. I already have a pretty big collection of awesome things to hang on walls, including, but not limited to, my vintage sign collection:

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I hung these up in the dining area, right above the table. They add a lot of color to an otherwise bland nook and I think they’ll be a great conversation piece when new people come over. I’ve had most of these for years, but I’ve never gathered them all up together before; I really like the result.

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IKEA is such a great store. Ben and I went ham there on Saturday and got all new couch pillows, more shelving, wine glasses, this new duvet cover, and the cute little porcupine playing piano pillow! I really dig the alliteration of that.

We also bought this dope lampshade and clock. It was hard to take a good picture of it that also showed the clock reasonably well, but the inner coating of the shade is copper, and it shines through and looks really pretty.

The apartment is still very much a work-in-progress but it’s coming together really well and I couldn’t be more happy about it!

Favorite Thing of the Week: Making Apartment Project Plans

I decided to reinstate my favorite thing of the week posts! I really enjoy exploring and finding new things to be excited about, and I feel like writing these posts encourages me to have that kind of spirit.

I’m really excited about moving into my new apartment with Ben in September, so I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at Pinterest and other sites to get ideas for decorating and DIY furniture projects. Specifically, I’ve been obsessed with trying to fin this project of making a headboard with shelves out of cinder blocks, but I CANNOT FOR THE LIFE OF ME FIND IT. If anyone knows of this mythic project’s existence, please point me in its direction. However, not being able to find it means I’m just going to have to make it myself, which is probably better for my brain anyway. I want it to have the look of this cool shelving unit from Sian Pascale, simple and minimal, but behind my bed instead.

Picture from Sian Pascale's blog

Picture from Sian Pascale’s blog

I need to measure the height of the bed (I have it on risers so I can have storage space underneath) and figure out the diameter of the shelves I want, and then I can plan out the design. I really like building and putting together furniture, so this is a fun project for me.

One of the other projects I’m excited to try will be based on this bar cart IKEA hack from Lifestyle 365.

Image from Lifestyle 365

Image from Lifestyle 365

I love the idea of mounting stemware and wine bottle holders on a piece of furniture I already own, so I’m going to try it with the IKEA chest that we’re going to use as our entertainment center. Combination booze storage/ TV unit? Sounds perfect to me.

There are so many great projects out there! Do you have any favorites that you’ve used for your house?

Favorites of the Week: May 6th

Good morning and happy Wednesday! It’s a busy and stressful time for me right now, which is why I haven’t been posting as much, but I’m trying to keep sane by doing yoga, singing, and spending as much time with Ben & my friends as I can. I’ve had a series of really great weekends and this upcoming one should be no exception since it’s Whole Earth Festival and then Mother’s Day! Whole Earth is a big three-day hippie festival put on my UC Davis. There’s music and jugglers and vendors and vegetarian food and it’s a really fun colorful happening.

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I wore this skirt to the church service that my UU campus ministry put on last weekend even though Ben told me he didn’t think it was church-appropriate. He later took back that assessment because I got more compliments on it (mostly from people over the age of 50) than I’ve gotten on anything I’ve worn in a long time. It’s Ru Paul’s brand, Iron Fist, and I bought it a few years ago from the website Plndr but I didn’t know where I would wear it because I can’t really bike in it. Turns out it’s a church skirt, who knew?

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My substitute parents, Gayle and Greg,’s Canine Companions for Independence breeder girl, Annie, had 5 beautiful yellow lab puppies last Friday! I was lucky enough to be home for my mom’s birthday and we got to go see them the day they were born. There’s nothing quite like touching a brand new puppy, they’re as small and floppy as Beanie Babies (remember those?) They are so precious ๐Ÿ™‚

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I needed some new workout socks because the elastic is all sprung on my old ones, and I found pinata and Scottie dog ones at Forever 21. Fun socks, yay!

I hope the rest of the week is good for everyone!

Favorites of the Week: April 28th AKA Whitewater Rafting is the Best Thing Ever

I have several favorite new things this week. I discovered the magic of whitewater rafting and, I’m guessing, water sports in general, but I’ll have to report back on that after I try kayaking. Oh my god, it was without a doubt one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. Ben and I went with UCD’s Outdoor Adventures to the South Fork of the American River. We had a super knowledgeable guide named Scott and it was just the three of us in our raft, you know, just R3-ing down the American. (I pretended I knew what R3 meant for like all 4 hours we were on the river. It just means that’s how many people were in the raft.) Only having three made the raft much lighter than the others, which meant that we went differently over rapids and stuff but also meant that Ben & I were the only paddlers. It was great exercise, therefore, and I was tired at the end of the day. But I want to do it all the time now! Ben & I are going to take the Intro to Whitewater Kayaking as soon as we can. The whole experience with OA made me want to be a guide for land trips and maybe someday for rafting. It was so. much. fun.

Awesome clouds on the drive to the American

Awesome clouds on the drive to the American

I wish I had some pictures of the action-packed awesomeness of rafting, but it was actually really nice to leave my phone in the car for a day.

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Drinking coffee with my rafting shoes

The other thing I’m psyched about this is my new (to me) bike! Old Blue got me through almost four whole years of living in Davis, but she’s been pretty squeaky and old lately. Ben’s dad, Dave, mentioned that he had an extra lady road bike hanging in his garage, and now she’s here in Davis with me! Ben and I have his and hers Centurions now, but mine is red instead of silver. I’m enjoying riding it so far, but I need to have Ben teach me how to shift gears. I thought it would be more apparent, but my efforts have not yielded results yet. Thanks for the bike, Dave & Marilyn!

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Weekend Adventures: The Cat Empire at the Filmore & Wine Tasting

What an awesome weekend! Ben & I started it early this week, on Thursday, because his parents took us to the City to see the super-talented Cat Empire perform at The Filmore. It was my first time at the Filmore and my first time seeing Cat Empire, so I was really stoked on many fronts.

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In the poster room of The Filmore

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Ben & I went up to the front to meet our friends Izzy and Trevor. We were right in the front row! Our new friend Mary, a die-hard Cat Empire fan, took this picture for us. Here are my excited fan pictures I took of the band:

Felix singing and playing percussion

Felix singing and playing percussion

Harry singing in between rad trumpet solos

Harry singing in between rad trumpet solos

Trombone guy was so good

Trombone guy was so good, the other trumpet guy was great too

Another one of Felix :)

Another one of Felix ๐Ÿ™‚

They played an extra-long concert and it was so awesome. They had unflagging energy throughout and it really pumped up the crowd. We sang along and danced a lot, and I was really glad that I listened to their latest album a lot beforehand because I knew a lot of their songs. I guess we got out of the auditorium fairly quickly because we all got the artist-designed posters for the concert! I’m definitely hanging it in my room.

IMG_3684Friday, after breakfast and some shopping at Macy’s, we headed with Ben’s parents back to Napa to go wine tasting.

Good-looking parents :)

Good-looking parents ๐Ÿ™‚

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We had really good weather all weekend, it was kind of windy but really sunny and pretty for our Napa Valley day. We tasted at Black Stallion first. I remembered this winery from my days in NHS chamber choir; we sang here for a Christmas party once I think.

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Darioush was had very cool decor, but the atmosphere was super pretentious and the wine was not as good as the last winery we went to.

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Clo du Val was the best by far. We got to enjoy our tastes outside in the sun while looking out over the vineyards. It was lovely. After that, Ben & I assembled dinner and my day grilled it and we even all played cards together afterward. So fun to have both families together hanging out. I hope everyone else had a great weekend!

Favorites of the Week: April 6th

Happy Thursday! It’s been a pretty good last first week of classes for me. I’m really looking forward to this weekend because I’m going camping and then going home for Easter! We don’t really celebrate the religious element, but it’s a good reason to get together with family and good food.

My new necklace from Jilly Bean Jewelry

My new necklace from Jilly Bean Jewelry

I follow this lovely lady on Instagram, and when I saw that she was having a sale on silver bar necklaces a few weeks ago, I knew exactly what I wanted to get stamped on one. So it’s my anniversary present to myself ๐Ÿ˜› It’s so pretty and I love wearing it!

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My affinity for handmade pottery with rad glazes was met when I found this beauty in Eureka last week. I have been looking for another nice big mug at the Farmer’s Market, but the woman I bought my favorite mug from wasn’t coming anymore, so when I found this one I sprang for it. It’s gorgeous and has a cool little thumb shelf!

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I bought this nail polish remover from Sephora in an order with some awesome makeup (face powder with sun protection in it, great concealer) and it is the bomb diggity. The dispensing action alone is cool, it’s like a click and pump thing, but it also works SO well. I’m never going back to drug store polish remover.

Threads 4 Thought

Threads 4 Thought

The Easter Bunny brought me new yoga pants and a mat towel!! I’m in love with these leggies, so comfy and cute! I’m super glad to have a mat towel now, too, I think it will help a lot with my sweaty hands in class.

Hope everyone is having a good Monday! I’m going to go wear my adorable yoga pants and make pasta while drinking tea and reading my abnormal psych textbook.

Spring Cleaning Part 1: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I got the urge the other day to clean my room in a serious way. It’s pretty badly cluttered, and always has been. I can find what I’m looking for most of the time because I have a pretty good memory for it; it’s what my friend Amelia has referred to as “floorganized.” But I really don’t want my room to be a gross, shitty place to hang out, so I borrowed a book that my dad gave my mom for Christmas,ย The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

I’ve only gone through the tidying system with my clothes so far, but the effect on my whole room is striking. I took a bunch of pictures during the process, here’s how it went:

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When tidying using this method, you must pull all of your clothes out of everywhere and put them on the floor. I have a lot of clothes.

This image reminded me of the hypodermic needle  scene in Saw II

This image reminded me of the hypodermic needle scene in Saw II

Once you have all of your clothing on the floor, you go through it by category and decide what to keep and what to get rid of. You do this by holding each piece and asking yourself if it sparks joy. If it doesn’t, it goes. It’s an interesting way to decide, and I like it. If it doesn’t make you happy, why have it in your life? Marie Kondo also suggests that if you are getting rid of something, you should thank it for its service, whatever that may have been. Years of good use, teaching you what doesn’t look good on you, keeping you warm, etc.

Beautiful dress section of now-clean closet

Beautiful dress section of now-clean closet

So I sorted and decided what to keep and what to get rid of. I haven’t taken a picture yet, but I decided to get rid of A LOT. My roommates couldn’t believe the pile I was giving away. I had them look at the nicer things to see if they wanted anything, but the rest is going to the SPCA thrift shop.

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Using the recommended method of folding clothes, I found that, for the first time, everything fit in my drawers and I even (gasp!) had some extra space.

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I hope my dad reads this post, because he will be soo happy that I finally learned how to fold efficiently. My drawers actually close all the way now without jamming! And I thought of another pair of pants to get rid of while falling asleep last night. This is definitely progress for me.

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My room is an infinitely more pleasant place to be now. I cleaned the top of my dresser as well and the room feels so much lighter! Next up is my desk area and bookshelves.

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After many years, I’m parting with my bean bag chair. I haven’t used it in this room; it’s just been a place to put clothes, so I got a valet stand instead. Someone else will get to enjoy the bean bag now.

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It is so nice to have my clothes organized and some actual floor space in my room! Stay tuned for part 2 of my spring clean when I do my desk and shelves.

Spring Break 2015 Part 1

Hello, I’m back from the end-of-the-quarter and finals’ week madness!

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I really missed blogging but I was busy doing other things like studying for my tests and going to San Francisco. On Thursday, I went to see my professor’s first opera,ย Death with Interruptions, in SF with my music friends.

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It was a totally gorgeous day, and we had a pizza picnic in Dolores Park. It was my first time driving in the city, and it went really well. I even managed to park on a hill without rolling backwards.

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We are clearly able to be very mature in public. The guy in the glasses is my prof. and the opera composer, Kurt Rohde. He puts up with a lot of silliness surprisingly well, although he doesn’t yet know this picture exists.

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Death with Interruptions was my first modern opera, so I didn’t know what to expect, but I really enjoyed it. I didn’t even fall asleep!

Yesterday was Ben & my third anniversary, and we celebrated by going to Ikea (for the meatballs and fine Swedish home furnishings) and to a Dyro/Bassjackers/Stafford Brothers concert.

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Seriously considering trying to read Swedish

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Since we’re nightclub noobs who didn’t know what the right time to get to things is, we spent a couple hours riding elevators in fancy hotels on Union Square, looking at expensive knives in Williams Sonoma, and listening to a guy play a drum kit made of buckets and wine bottles. It was quite tourist-y and very awesome.

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Pose or do not pose for picture – there is no try

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Note to self: people don’t question why you’re wandering around in fancy places when you’re dressed up

We went into Ruby Skye eventually and it filled up and the show started within an hour. It was so fun! Tons of people, but everyone was really nice and the atmosphere was good.

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The Stafford Brothers threw big blow-up yellow kangaroos around the audience and Dyro had the best light show. I will definitely go see shows like this again, it was a great date night ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s been an excellent spring break so far.