Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Animal-love + Kisses

This gif made me ridiculously happy, so I'm just going to steal it from my friend and post it here:
 Aren't you wondering who started the love-fest? I hope the cat is doing the reciprocating.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Teabags + Cookies

These would make my Monday.
via ifeelcook

And I would eat these just to spite the maker.
via Fonderia

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday night links + A bright weekend

via The Fancy
More trees! Click here for pink and pinker ones. This scenic spot is photo-shopped sadly, but it'd be lovely to drive through regardless of the color.

Blackberrys, Apples, and Androids -- can't we all just get along? (via 9gag)

10 ways to start eating better. I hope cereal really isn't that bad or I'll end up like this Fat Tony the Tiger. (via Simple Organic)

How to troll someone who gives out too much information on Facebook. I would not mind subscribing to Cat Facts. (via reddit)

Picnik is closing in April :(. I've been shopping all my photos here. (via Picnik Blog)

In case you missed it, the highlights of the President's State of Union Address. I hope even a third of these priorities get worked on. (via NY Times)

The Oscar nominations. Do you see your favorites on the list? I'm sad Drive didn't get any love. (via Oscar)

Have a bright one☺.

Bright + Fresh

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Books + More books

I finally got a library card from my local library last Tuesday, and I'm on a bit of a reading rampage. I wanted to do a quick review just to share my opinion on the ones I've read this past week.

First up: Bossypants, a series of anecdotes about the life of a comedian by the comedian.
via Barnes&Nobles
Like almost everything Tina Fey is involved in, I enjoyed it and laughed at all her silly antics. I admired her professionalism and her feminist views that were firm, but unpretentiously expressed. At times, I thought she overdid it with the self-deprecating humor. While I definitely recommend this and read her stories with a smile, I would rather watch (and re-watch) her made-up ones on 30 Rock.

On the other hand, I liked The Help more in written form than on a screen.
via Barnes&Nobles
Aside from the performances by Viola Davis who breathed life into Aibileen Clark and Jessica Chastain who made a ridiculous character likeable, I thought the book did a better job of fleshing out its characters (which is a bit understandable given the time constraints of a movie). My criticism for the movie remains the same for the novel, however. I thought the protagonists and antagonists were too clearly defined as such and that Hilly Holbrook's comeuppance was served much too easily. For a tale told in an "authentic black voice", it's not the most believable. Still, I enjoyed Kathyrn Stockett's feel-good story and found it a quick read.

You know what's not a quick read? The Land of Painted Caves, which chronicles the life of Ayla during the Late Stone Age.
via Barnes&Nobles
Had I not been given the first book in the Earth's Children series more than ten years ago, I would not have picked up this tome of more than 700 pages. This is the sixth and final book in the series, and each one grew increasingly repetitive. Everything and I mean everything from the many characters' actions, reactions, looks, clothing, thoughts, and feelings are carefully explained and repeated throughout the novel. If you didn't catch what they use cattails for, don't worry! It'll be patiently restated at least five more times in each book. In case you're curious, they can be used for food, beverages, medicine, fuel, baskets, and more. They're apparently delicious as pancakes. Don't get me started on which part of the cattail is used for what.
via Wikipedia
But while I've been a little catty describing the series, Jean M. Auel has clearly done extensive research and her love for the time period is sincere. And for all my complaints, I did care enough about the protagonist to read each book whenever I stumbled across them over the years. There's no need to worry about Ayla though. She is an impossibly perfect woman. She's an expert hunter, gatherer, healer, cook, craftsman, artist, animal-whisperer, racial mediator, wife, mother, leader, and overall good person. Read the series if you're into the prehistoric times, and start with the famous first novel, The Clan of Cave Bear, which was by far the best.

Next up is The Night Circus, the debut novel by Erin Morgenstern about two illusionists battling it out in a wondrous and fantastical circus. The game ends only when one succumbs to death. Except...they happen to fall in love with each other.
via Barnes&Nobles
Cue dramatic music. Maybe it's because I feel we've been inundated with stories of children being used as pawns for whatever harebrained scheme people will come up with next, but I didn't like this book. I didn't feel for any of the characters, and I thought there was a lack of tension throughout. The two lovers didn't really understand the point of the game, and I didn't either by the end. One of the characters advises early on that "[t]he trick is to make it seem as thought none of it is purposeful, [t]o make the artificial feel natural." And yet, I didn't understand why the two fell in love except that it was essential for the plot to move along. If we are to be told another story involving child abuse, I wish the author had gone much darker. When a child's fingertips are slit open so that she can learn to magically heal them, I don't want her tormentors to be redeemed so easily, especially if one of them is her father. Instead, we are treated to pages to pages about a delightful circus, created for the most part, by two illusionists who should be much less inclined to do so. Don't get me wrong; the circus is the best part about the book. And I am no doubt being picky since The Night Circus is lauded by many and being made into a movie. A movie I'm very willing to watch because I'm sure the effects will be stunning, and for once, I won't mind the changes they'll make.
via notsoaveragemama
This post is much, much longer than I thought it'd be...and I might have gotten harsher with each book. I'm currently reading about the rise of modern Israel because I thought it'd be a nice change of pace and because I was getting tired of nonsensical tales. No matter how much I complain though, if Le Cirque des Rêves did roll into town, you can bet that I would be in line.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday wishes + DineLA

Just a reminder that DineLA is happening these next two weeks (minus Saturday), and it's the perfect excuse opportunity for you to try some of LA's finest offerings for a reasonable (kind of) price. I'm going to Spago for lunch tomorrow and Little Next Door sometime next week, and I hope they live up to their hype. I'm already picturing the beautifully-plated food. The creative dishes. The desserts. I'm excited!
via Yelp

Monday, January 23, 2012

Under the weather + Stephen Fry

via Simple Organic
It's a little gloomy weather-wise today in LA, so I thought I'd share this letter. Stephen Fry wrote it to someone struggling with depression, and I found his way of comparing one's moods to weather as both simple and encouraging. It definitely brightened up my mood, and I hope it makes your day a little sunnier as well.
via Marley Magaziner
(Click on the images if you have trouble reading it.)

Happy Chinese New Year! + Lucky dragons

via PaperCulture
May you be blessed with happiness and joy.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday night links + A festive weekend

via sixth and main
The President sings! ...That's different :). (via The Obama Diary)

Coolhaus now has peking duck as an ice cream flavor. That's...different. (via Coolhaus)

One of these days, I'm going to stop being the annoying person who makes everyone look at cute, animal pictures. Today is not that day. (via Buzzfeed)

I've been wanting this mini-skirt for awhile, and it's finally on sale! But still not worth it, right? (via Zara)

Most alumni are satisfied with law school experience according to some survey. I hope they're telling the truth. (via National Law Journal)

The Afghan Women's Writing Project is a collection of stories and poems written secretly by Afghan women for the world to read. (via AWWProject)

And after you've read some of their stories, you deserve to throw yourself a 'pity party' if you still feel down about your own life. I love this fun way of acknowledging a bad day. (via Wit + Delight)

via Eye Poetry Photography
Chinese New Year is next week! Have a festive one ☺.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New + Newer

Resolution #4: Cut back on the old and try the new.
Embarking on a new adventure is like unwrapping a present, no? via Hellovina

Trying new things has never been a problem for me, but I definitely want to up my game this year. Now that we have technology at our fingertips, looking up a novel place has never been easier. I don't want to visit the same old fast-food joint for the sake of convenience or do the same old things just because it's familiar. I want to develop new hobbies and try different activities. I want to meet new people and visit unexplored grounds.

Even if the subject at hand is as simple as a restaurant, I would rather try one I haven't been to before. I know I've already mentioned this place, but La Descarga sounds so interesting to me. Entering a bar thru a wardrobe? It's like a grown-up Narnia. Plus, Brangelina has graced the dance floor with their moves. What other shallow reason do I need?

And since I've been taking way to long on these resolutions, I'll include my last one too.

Resolution #5: Better posture! So I can look more confident, burn more calories, and act less like a turtle. Win win win.
via someecards

Warmth + Lace

They can go together.
via Polyvore
I like this. A lot.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lost time + Creativity continued

Apologies for not posting my customary links last week! I had friends visiting from Norcal on Friday and then the Bockfest to go to all day Saturday...and then discovered I needed Sunday to recover. I thought I'd post these links to end the creative theme, but hey, it's probably better to start the week off with some inspiration, right?
via Pretty Peach Peonies
This is such a clever idea. If you have an iPhone and gym membership, you can sign up to earn or lose money when you sign up with this company. Just set up a gym schedule, and make sure you go. It's a pretty big incentive to work out. (via Gym-pact)

Interactive poster for caffeine lovers. Too bad it's not for sale. (via Column Five)

"Creative" North Dakota Tourism poster. (via The Daily What)

30 Rock premiere was fun and surprisingly sweet. Also, Tina Fey reads DListed too! That makes me happier than it should. (via Elle)

Weekend activities in L.A....for the coming weekend. (via Refinery29)

Golden Globes winners/nominations. And more importantly, the dresses. My favorites were Charlize Thereon's, Angelina Jolie's, Emma Stone's, and Tilda Swinton's. (via Golden Globes)

The BabyCakes creator has really got her life in order. She sounds kinda amazing. (via Garance Doré

A better way to treat cancer? My cousin is part of the research team! (via Yahoo)

Sunshine pills! For those who need a little extra Vitamin D. (via Vaulot & Dyèvre)

Honoring MLK. (via CNN)
An underwater hiking trail --whaaat. via Pinterest

Let's have an amazing week, everyone!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Liz Lemon + Jack Donaghy

via unchainedxmelody
Some of my favorite quotes:

          Listen up, Fives. A Ten is speaking.

– Jenna
L:Why are you wearing a tux?
J:It's after six. What am I, a farmer?
– Liz and Jack
T:I have no reason to hug her except for my love of having boobs pressed against me.
L:If I hugged you, I would angle it so you got no boob.
T:And I would anticipate your angling and I would get there.
– Tracy and Liz
S:Tracy, I don't know how to say this...deh-ay-bah-tees?
S:That's it! Well, now we know what we're dealing with.
– Dr. Spaceman and Tracy       
We are an immigrant nation. The first generation works their fingers to the bone making things; the next generation goes to college and innovates new ideas. The third generation snowboards and takes improv classes.
– Jack

I can't stop. More quotes here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday wishes + Disneyland secret passwords

We're going to the happiest place on Earth today!
via Pinterest
For free, of course. I still think it's ridiculously over-priced. As you can tell, I'm not the biggest Disney fan, but I have to admit that I appreciate the theme park more now than I did growing up. Maybe (probably) it was because I was spoiled, but I much preferred traveling to distant lands or even riding the faster rides at Six Flags to sitting on a "boring" ride at Small World. Last year, I went back for the first time in years and finally recognized the quality that is unique to Disneyland. As I sat watching The World of Color, I understood why the place is so famous and loved by many. This quality is prevalent in everything from its performances to its movies to its merchandise. It's also seen in its carefully crafted attractions and its hidden Mickeys scattered throughout the theme park.
via We Heart It
This brings me to the hidden passwords that you can use to cut the long lines and go in through the back of popular attractions. I talked with a Disney Foamer recently (as always, I mean that in the best possible way), and she shared that passwords are posted on the Disneyland website periodically. For example, the password of the day might be "Yo Ho" on one of the webpages. Once muttered to an attendant at the exit sign of the corresponding ride, you can be the annoying person that makes everyone else wait a little longer. I want to be that annoying person. I've been looking on the website for the past five minutes and haven't seen anything, but I'll be lurking around the exits today hoping to catch a phrase or two. I'll update this post if it works! *Update: The lines were too short to indulge in this pw business...next time!
via Explosm

Trees + Legos

Not that these street artists don't have talent, but I bet any one of us could have done this if only we had thought of it.
via My Modern Metropolis
This brilliant person needs to save some cool ideas for the rest of us.

via dispatchwork

This person, too. Geez.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Stawberry + Delight

Imagine getting this cake. It's so wonderfully bright and cheery. Could you bear eating cake this cute?
via Cutest Food

I would, of course. I totally would.

Blue Ivy + Glory

Despite reports of inadvertently blocking parents from their newborns, Blue Ivy Carter is clearly a creative genius; she's already collaborating with her daddy on his new song "Glory".

Monday, January 9, 2012

Good food + Good drinks

= great times.
Here's a little portion of what I devoured in 2011.
All pictures taken on my phone.

Pink + Creative

These week, the theme of my posts will be creativity because...why not? There is so much of it everywhere, and it's always inspiring to see and hear about.
All images via My Modern Metropolis
First up, these gorgeous pink trees by Hong Kong-based artist, Yiu Yu Hoi. He used infrared photography to achieve these dreamy shots. Having visited the beautiful and bustling city, I can say it never looks as idyllic as it does in these photos.
It's awesome that I just stumbled onto these pictures when there are more pink trees from Madrid in the post below.

I'll be fangirling about creative people all this week so look out for that! (I'll also be finishing up my resolution list because I even procrastinate when making goals.)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday night links + A resolute weekend

via Pinterest
It's Friday already. How are you doing on those resolutions this first week into 2012?

Apparently our problem isn't lack of motivation. It's not following-through. Oh, oookay. That solves everything. What the author is saying does make sense though. It's helpful to clearly identify the issues we actually need to work on, and he also has some useful tips for overcoming said issues. (via Harvard Business Review)

A plate for those (*ahem* me) who want to get into shape. (via Fishs Eddy)

Speaking of getting into shape, what do you think about those juice cleansers? Is it a miracle or scam? I've always wanted to try, but it's pricey. I think I'll try juicing my own fruits and veggies first to see if I can handle it. Joanna Vargas shares the necessary ingredients. (via DailyCandy)

But I'll start the week after I attend this all-day beer fest...don't judge. It benefits the Children's Tumor Foundation! (via Google Offers)

Machines now make your sushi just the way you like. Necessary? Apparently in Beverly Hills. (via U-Sushi)

This is so cool. (via Japan Trend Shop)

This trailer for the Oscars is not nearly cool enough. (via Youtube)

A nice, little poem for you to read out loud. If you get the whole thing right, I'll give you a cookie. (via Buzzfeed)

What do "bedtime stories for children you hate" sound like? (via Amazon)

Hilarious. Facebook is so judge-y. (via likeapairofbottlerockets)

Jenny Holzer, Mom, is on twitter. Also hilarious. (via @JennyHolzerMom)

Zoya is offering two free bottles of nail polish just because. But shipping is $7. It's for US citizens only :( and ends 8:59PM tonight. (via Refinery29)

Franky (dressed in black) is a guide dog for his blind friend, Elly. She leans on him so he can lead her. You're killing me, guys. Picture of the BFFs below.
(via Daily Mail)
I'm going to enjoy a slice of chestnut cake tonight, but I'm going to burn it off with a run too. Have a resolute weekend, everyone!

P.S. I just got accepted into my first law school an hour ago! ♥ 

Artistic + Tasty

Came across this picture and wanted to share. It's delightful, no?
via Photography and Pictures
I think this would be so cute if you brought it to a small party or gathering. It wouldn't cost very much, but it would brighten up everyone's day. Besides the cost of cake materials, the only extra expense would be the food coloring and a palette of your choice. You might have to dig a little deeper into your piggy bank for pretzels and fruit roll-ups(?) if you decide to include the paintbrush. I'm definitely saving this idea for something.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Vanity Fair + Leading Men

Oh, hello.
2012 February VF cover via LaineyGossip

Here's the blurb that comes along with it:

If George Clooney could choose what to come back as, it would be his dog because, as the actor states, “he lives better.” The Descendants lead also admits to being displeased with his posture and considers patience the most overrated virtue.  Daniel Craig values patience in his friends above all, but doesn’t like his knees, and you’ll never guess what he considers his most treasured possession—but then, we can’t really be sure; the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star admits that he lies when answering questionnaires. Matt Damon, who played a widower twice this year, in Contagion and We Bought a Zoo, is focused on family off the camera—he says that he was happiest in bed making his four children, and in the hospital watching them being born. Damon says that his greatest achievement is his marriage, that his real life heroes are his parents, and that his favorite names are those of his wife and children. He and Clooney both wish they could play instruments, while the more practical Craig only wishes he had opposable toes.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wednesday Wishes + Free brand-name classes

via Pretty Peach Peonies
Resolution #3: Sign up and complete free online classes at M.I.T.

I'm curious to see what happens with this new "online learning initiative" that will provide free (or with a small charge) online classes for anyone in the world. You could be from Germany or Malaysia or Brazil, and we would all be taking the same classes taught by a very exclusive school. How exciting is that? Those who finish the course will be granted a certificate of completion instead of a diploma, but I'm sure it'll still carry some weight in the real world. According to this article by Forbes, they're launching M.I.T.x in Spring 2012. I'll keep you updated, and hopefully, we can take the classes together. ♥

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Deals + Magazines

via Groupon
This sounds like a great deal. Buy a Groupon for $5 and get a year's worth of a selected Hearst Magazine. I think the only fine print is that you have to be a new subscriber and order by the end of February, but double check! List of available publications here. I'm waffling between Elle and House Beautiful. Or maybe Harper's Bazaar.

The difference between confidence + arrogance

via Male Minded
Resolution #2: Work out. Flaunt it. Repeat.

I rolled my eyes when I read this. This buys into the idea that Manic Dream Pixie Girls exist or that the Zooey Deschanels (sorry fans) of the world honestly don't know how pretty they are. I'm even going to have to call Tina Fey out on this (even though I will love her forever and ever). Do you really believe they don't know how attractive they are?


I'm sure anyone who was brought up normally (and we'll debate the definition of normal next time), is aware to a degree of how good-looking he or she is. Besides, this doesn't address the ugly girls who are unaware of just how disgusting they are, or the gorgeous girls who don't show it all off. But now I'm just being nitpicky.

My point is that even though I understand this little saying is promoting the idea that we're all beautiful and that our soulmates will see that under layers of fat and acne, the truth is that most people have to work to be beautiful. And I don't necessarily mean plastic work. I mean working out, plucking those eyebrows, and getting clothes that fit. I mean eating right, going after what really interests us, and then embracing that some things about us just aren't going to change. In real life, confidence is hot.

What's wrong with flaunting what you've worked so hard for, as long as you stay humble and grateful? This is a very long way of saying that my resolution is to work out, stay fit, and be confident. It's on everyone's list, but it's on there for a reason. There will be setbacks, of course, and then there's the fact that I'm a lazy bum, but hey...I'm working on Resolution #1 too.
via Fancy