Sunday, June 13, 2010

#5: Organize All Computer Files

Well, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I've done it. I've officially completed one of my 101 goals.

#5: Organize All Computer Files

And man, did it take forever. I had to combine and clean three different versions of my hard drive that I had backed up on my external hard drive, and then I had to clean and defrag my laptop's hard drive when it came back from the computer doctor. But I am happy to say that all duplicate files have been purged, my beloved laptop Spock is running faster than ever, and I am happily organized.

Now I just have to remember to back up my hard drive periodically...

But on another note in a similar vein, I don't know why I put off my list for so long. I've been tackling a lot of the larger projects, but as of yet I've resisted actually finishing one. I'm not sure why that is...

five plays: Doubt

Last night I went to see my university's production of John Patrick Shanley's Doubt: A Parable. We usually don't include summer shows, but the department put on the production as part of the Christian Scholar's Convention. The show was directed by the head of the department and the cast was made up of Nashville actors (the crew was mostly university students).

The play is absolutely phenomenal on its own right, I can tell you that. It takes place in the 1960s in a Catholic school, where the principal, Sister Aloysius, begins to have doubts about a particular priest and his relationship with a particular male student- the first black student that has ever attended the school. It is an unsettlingly ambiguous play, but very powerful.

This particular performance was astounding. I've read the play, and a couple of fellow students used a scene from the show for class performance, but this was truly amazing. The acting was so believable, so motivated. There was never a second where I was distracted from their performance. And at the end I turned to my friend Erin and said "I know it's a good show when I'm tired at the end."

What makes it even more exciting is that the playwright himself, John Patrick Shanley, came to see the show and did a talkback session. He was very impressed with the production, and I have to say that I feel quite proud to be an alumna right now.

Friday, June 11, 2010

a thousand books: A Girl of the Limberlost

A Girl of the Limberlost A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I discovered my grandmother's copy of A Girl of the Limberlost when I was ten years old. I think I read it four or five times that year, and still come back to it on occasion, as well as the other two books in the trilogy (the prequels Laddie and Freckles).

The girl of the title, Elnora Comstock, is a lovely girl with a thirst for knowledge. However, her mother Kate, bitter over the loss of her husband sixteen years previously (for which she blames Elnora), has denied her any form of familial love. The book progresses from a coming-of-age story to a love story with a satisfying ending.

Is it melodramatic? No shiz. The book was published in 1909, when melodrama was at its peak. Is it worth a read? Most definitely. Unlike thousands of other sappy Perils of Pauline-esque novels of the time period, this one is still in print and still pulls in audiences. The novel ostensibly focuses on the sweet, wholesome heroine Elnora, but the charm of the story is found in the acerbic Kate, the dedicated Phillip, and the tempestuous Edith Carr.

The ecological themes are also still relevant. Many other reviews lambast Porter's hounding on taking down the timber and drilling for oil. I wish they would read a little further. The novel includes a character called the Bird Woman- that is Gene Stratton Porter herself. A devoted naturalist, Porter spent much of her life researching and documenting the moths that Elnora loves, amongst many other forms of wildlife. She also grew up in the Limberlost swamps herself. It wasn't until years later, when Porter returned out of homesickness to her beloved swamp, that she realized the timber and oil, while profitable, had destroyed what she loved. The 13,000 acre Limberlost Swamp in Indiana, while once a real place, is now desecrated.

At the end of the day, I realize this book is not for everyone, but the old-fashioned sweetness of the story with the relevant and poignant references to nature make it an interesting, enjoyable, and time-tested read.

Six books down, 994 to go.

View all my reviews >>

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-In #1

Well, ladies and gentlemen, here we are. The horrible, ugly, awful truth about my weight.

I've blogged about my weight before, but it's time for me to really get started on losing it.

Basically I'm just going to eat in moderation, exercise more, and log everything. Simple, really. I know better than to crash diet or starve or run marathons until they kill me. It's just a matter of sticking to it.

My biggest help is actually a video game. No, not the Wii Fit that everyone is so enamored with, but a Nintendo DS game called My Weight Loss Coach. It combines a food tracker, and exercise tracker, daily challenges, and a plug-in pedometer to help me lose weight. I've used it before and found it rather helpful, so I'm hoping it'll do it again.

I'll track my efforts here weekly (on Wednesdays, hence the title), and hopefully the numbers will start going down. And without further ado, here are the shameful numbers.

Heaviest Weight: 161 lbs
BMI: 31.4
Bust: 39.5"
Waist: 34"
Hips: 40.5"
Upper Arm: 11.5"
Thigh: 21"

Starting Weight: 148.5 lbs
BMI: 28.9
Bust: 38"
Waist: 32"
Hips: 40"
Upper Arm: 11"
Thigh: 20"

good news, bad news, awesome news

Good news: I've participated in Summer Blackout 2010 so far! I've created two whole outfits without any black in them at all.

Bad news: I haven't taken any pictures of them. Sad day. I'll have to do dramatic reenactments.

Awesome news: I've finally gotten off my lazy butt and have nearly finished a new dress! I'm sewing Simplicity 2883 in a green and white floral print. It's super simple, but very pretty. I don't know if I'll have it done in time to wear to work (since I have to leave in 45 minutes and I haven't even taken a shower yet) but at least I'll have it done soon!

Monday, June 7, 2010

sleepy lazy days

I haven't written much. Things have just been sort of meh.

I'm gearing up for a grueling week at work. Usually I work about thirty hours a week, which is tiring enough (and this is coming from the girl who used to work nearly fifty hours in the hot Orlando sun!). But the alterations manager is on vacation, so we're all working extra. I'm working five days in a row, which might possibly kill me. So I've spent most of the day in my pajamas, nibbling on my leftover corned beef sliders from the pub.

I might have to revamp my goals a little bit. I picked so many arduous, long-term sorts of things that while I've made progress, I haven't completed anything. And that makes me feel a little dumb.

Oh, well. Onwards and upwards, I suppose!

a thousand books: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was in middle school when the first Harry Potter book was published. My paranoid and overly conservative parents ordered that I shouldn't read them. I started the first one in sixth grade, but put it aside. I picked it up again as an eighth grader, read it in a day, and I've been hooked ever since.

There's really not a point in writing a summary of the plot. Everyone is familiar with the concept- the eleven-year-old hero finds out he's a wizard, goes off to magical boarding school, and finds himself embroiled in a war that he didn't know he was involved in. It's such a simple concept, and yet it has exploded in a fiery burst of awesomeness.

Rowling has created a whole new world- and most importantly, a believable world. Nearly everyone who has read her books has wished at some point or another that they could go to Hogwarts. Her characters seem so vividly real, and her pacing is incredible. I dare anyone to read this book and not get hooked.

(Case in point- my husband picked up Sorcerer's Stone for the first time on a whim just a week ago. By the end of the week he was already on Chamber of Secrets. He's hooked, and I'm excited.)

Five books down, 995 to go.

View all my reviews >>

a thousand books: Emma

Emma (Bantam Classics) Emma by Jane Austen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My mother got me a copy of Emma when I was probably around eight or nine- a desperate attempt to pull me away from the lure of the Babysitters Club, most likely. I tried reading it several times, but didn't actually complete reading it until high school. I also studied it for my English Novel class in my final year of college.

The titular heroine is a bright yet selfish young lady of privilege who doesn't feel the need to marry, so she busies herself with arranging marriages for others, particularly for her impoverished friend Harriet Smith. Very few of Emma's grand schemes come together, but in the end all is well and everyone is happy.

I have to confess something. I hate Jane Austen's books. They bore me to tears. Even the Keira Knightley version that everyone waxed poetic over couldn't hold my attention. (Second confession: I watch Jane Austen movies for the dresses). Out of all of her books, the only one that I have genuinely enjoyed is Emma, mostly because I see a great deal of myself in her personality. It's well-written and is undoubtedly a classic...but Emma is still hard for me to slog through.

Four books down, 996 to go.

View all my reviews >>

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thursday's 10: Life in Pictures

I haven't done a Thursday's Ten in months- and never on this blog- so I'm going to start back up again.

(I bet Lora will be surprised to see that I'm back...and from a different blog! Um...surprise?)

In any case, without any further ado, here's ten recent pictures.

#1: Me and one of my best friends, Erin, in the dressing room while we got ready for a performance of Beau Jest (I played the mama, she played the daughter). Please note the jet black hair, dyed specifically for this play. (September 2009)

#2: When one is bowling, one must definitely match their outfit to their bowling shoes. (February 2010)

#3: My onstage meet 'n' greet with the Beauty and the Beast cast. (August 2009)

#4: In my Guys and Dolls glory. I played General Cartwright (November 2009)

#5: Tasting cheap sake for the first time. Verdict: it tastes like warm bread dough. Yick. (March of 2009)

#6: Don't be fooled by my bridal getup. I am going to eat your soul. (March 2010)

#7: Bachelorette parties can be embarrassing, but the tiara makes up for it. (February 2010)

#8: Sleepovers are fun. Sleepovers where you drive to Walmart at 2am for coloring books are even more fun. (January 2010)

#9: Christmas caroling requires fierceness. (December 2009)

#10: Dragon Park in downtown Nashville is awesome. (February 2010)

I hope you've enjoyed this Thursday's Ten! I certainly did. I also learned that I wear my red and white polka dot dress way to often.

(Case in point: I'm wearing it right now. Coincidence? Yes. Entirely.)

Summer Blackout 2010

I've been reading Already Pretty for probably about a year now- one of my first tenuous forays into the world of fashion blogging, and when Sally posted the idea for the Summer Blackout, I was intrigued.

Basically the Summer Blackout is a whole week without wearing black pieces- black dress, black pants, black shirts. Black shoes and accessories are allowed, as well as prints with black in them, but it's a challenge to go as far as possible within one's wardrobe without settling for the comfort and safety of black.

I want to take the challenge because I want to push myself. I have a couple of nice black dresses to wear to work, and some black tees that I wear on my days off, and since I work at a bridal shop where wearing black is common, I can already feel myself slipping into that comfortable realm. I'd like to stop that in its tracks.

I also want to wear brighter colors. My usual palette is navy, red, and white, sometimes with yellow. Occasionally I wear pink. But I want to wear some outrageous color, and I feel like this is a good week for that.

So I'm taking the Summer Blackout 2010 Challenge. Are you?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

fifty movies: Gangs of New York

I was in high school when this movie came out...I remember wanting to see it, but too scared because of the R-rating. Well, it was on AMC today, and I realized I needed to watch fifty new movies, so I kept it on while I sorted computer files.

My first impressions? Leo DiCaprio: awesome. Daniel Day-Lewis: awesome. Liam Neeson, Jim Broadbent, John C. Reilly: awesome. Cameron Diaz: what?

Seriously. I don't understand how Cameron Diaz got this part, or managed to keep it. She's just terrible. She's a rom-com, cheesy action flick, television show remake kind of actress in an A-list actors' film. Her accent is awful and she never seems to connect properly with anyone else around her.

On the other hand, the film is beautifully colored, historically authentic, and tells a compelling story. It's almost like Newsies for grown-ups, just without the song and dance numbers and with a lot more violence.

I might watch it again, maybe if it pops up on TV another day. I really enjoyed, but I'm glad I didn't watch it as a fifteen-year-old. That would have been too much.

a thousand books: The Jedera Adventure

The Jedera AdventureThe Jedera Adventure by Lloyd Alexander

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this around the same time that I read the Illyrian Adventure, the first Vesper Holly book. So...somewhere around age ten or eleven.

Vesper Holly, the lively and clever heroine, embarks on a mission to return a fifteen-years' overdue library book in the dangerous country of Jedera (which is quite reminiscent of Aladdin's Agrabah). Along the way she and her stick-in-the-mud guardian Brinnie encounter blue men, a flying machine, and lots of recalcitrant camels.

It's not my favorite of the Vesper Holly books, but Alexander is a great writer and The Jedera Adventure is fun to read.

Read June 2, 2010, in under an hour

Three books down, 997 to go.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

a thousand books: The Illyrian Adventure

The Illyrian AdventureThe Illyrian Adventure by Lloyd Alexander

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I first read this book when I was about ten or eleven and just fell head over heels in love with the whole series. I devoured them all, although I only own the first two.

Basically, the star of the book, Vesper Holly, is what it would be like if Sherlock Holmes and Indiana Jones had a redheaded love child. She's a brash Yankee adventurer in the 19th century who has a penchant for globetrotting and strange adventures. The series is narrated by her Watsonesque guardian Brinton "Brinnie" Garrett, who is a prim and proper sort of man who nevertheless accompanies his teenage ward on all of her quests. The Illyrian Adventure, the first in the series, sends them to the Romania-reminiscent country of Illyria, where a centuries-old feud and a mythical folk hero wreak havoc.

Alexander is an amazing writer, and I'm glad that I still enjoy this book as much as I did as a child. The writing is brisk and breezy, and makes for an effortlessly enjoyable read.

Read June 1, 2010, in under an hour

Two books down, 998 to go.

a thousand books: The King's Shadow

The King's Shadow The King's Shadow by Elizabeth Alder

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

My mother got me this book from one of the monthly Scholastic mailers I brought home from school when I was in sixth grade. I remember enjoying it immensely, as I was keenly interested in English and Welsh history at the time. Reading it as a young adult, however, is a slightly different experience.

The story centers on a Welsh boy, Evyn of Carmarthen, who is a peasant but has a beautiful voice and is destined to become a storiawr. However, his tongue gets cut out and he is sold into slavery. Through a long series of circumstances, he becomes a right hand man to King Harold during his brief reign before William conquered England in 1066.

Alder blends romanticism with authenticity, and it's rather odd. While she paints a bleak portrait of peasant life and the harsh reality of the wars, she describes Lady Ealdgyth's manor and Harold himself in glowing terms. She also has a very formal writing style, which carries through to the dialogue- serfs and royals speak alike.

However, it's an absorbing, quick read, that delves just deep enough into a historical event that usually doesn't get remembered.

Read June 1, 2010 in about an hour

One book down, 999 to go.

101 in 1001

The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.

The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as New Year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.

Start Date: May 31, 2010

End Date: February 25, 2013

#1: Keep a daily 5-minute journal for at least 500 days
I tried to start this as a New Year's resolution, but it didn't really stick. I want to do it- just to keep a a quick handful of sentences to summarize my day so I can flip through and see what I was up to way back when. Sort of like the concept of the five-year journal. Actually, that would be a pretty nice goal. Maybe I'll end up doing that...

#2: Redesign my blog
I am a frequent reformatter. Very frequent. But I want to get it looking clean and simple and nice and something that I can stick to for a while.

#3: Post at least 1,000 blog entries
I really want to blog frequently. I think 1,000 entries in 1,001 days shouldn't be that bad, right?

#4: Answer "The Fifty Questions That Will Free Your Mind"
This was one of the popular entries for the list, and I thought it would be worth a shot. Answering fifty questions isn't that arduous, and it seems like a good idea.

#5: Organize all computer files
My hard drive is in absolute chaos. Absolute. It's pretty awful. Plus I have a massive external hard drive that is also really disorganized, which makes it a pain to back up all my information. But I really ought to, right? Right.

#6: Organize iTunes
This goes along with #5. An organized iTunes makes for an organized iPod, and both of those make me happy.

#7: Legally change my name
I need to do it, now that I'm married!

#8: Get a DSLR camera
My camera is pretty awful. It was a present for my nineteenth birthday, and it's spent the past four years bouncing around in my bag without a case. Plus it wasn't really a top-of-the-line camera to start out with. But I think a good camera would be a great investment.

#9: Watch 50 new movies
I have a tendency to just rewatch my favorites all the time. I think I need to branch out a little more, watch some new things.

#10: Sell something on Etsy
I have an Etsy store. And I'd like someone to buy something from it. So...yeah. Plus, it would be nice if I could make some sort of income from things that I make.

#11: Fill up a yearly scheduling planner
Every single school year I would buy a planner...and then never use it. I think that needs to change. I'm a grown up now and I need to keep track of things like my work schedule in a better manner than scribbling it on a scrap of paper and putting it on the fridge.

#12: Get a library card
Well, technically I have a library card. But I haven't used it in probably two years, and I think there's still some fines sitting on it. But if I clean it up I can start using it again, which will help with a lot of my other goals.

#13: Read 1,000 books
Yes, you read that correctly. One thousand books in one thousand days. I'm a mega speed reader, so I can read several books in a day- especially if I travel at all in the next three years. But I've kind of gotten bored with reading, so I haven't done it much in a long time. I'm going to reread all of the books I already own, and I'm going to visit the library regularly. And I do mean regularly.

#14: Watch every Disney feature film in order
I'm a huge Disney fan, and I've seen just about every Disney feature, but I'd like to sit down and watch them in order, just for the fun of it.

#15: Watch every Miyazaki film
This is along the same lines as #14. I saw Spirited Away in high school and loved it, and I really want to see all of his movies.

#16: Make mixtapes for 10 people
I think this will be fun. Plus, I have a huge music collection, and I think there are some songs I have squirreled away that some of my friends would like.

#17: Finish the final edit of Beatrice and the Cat and send it out
I started writing my book in 2007 (after two years of development) and finished it during the summer of 2008. And it's been languishing since then, waiting for me to finish editing and send it off. I desperately want to see it in print, and even though it's a rather small goal, I know that having it on here will motivate me to finish it.

#18: Get published
Originally this goal was just to send out query letters, but I think I can do better. I think I can get published. I really, really, really think I can. A lot of people put "get published" on their list, but they never finish writing a book in the first place, or they settle for an article published on line or a poem in an anthology. I have a finished novel that I labored over for years and has been well-received by the handful of people that have read it, and I know it has something special because I keep coming back to it. I think I can see it published before three years is up.

#19: Write an original novel
And when I say "original," I mean not Beatrice. It's planned as a twelve-book series, but hey, I can have other ideas, right? Right? Yes. I think I'm going to write my Beauty and the Beast retelling first.

#20: Write another Beatrice novel
Time to write book #2, Beatrice and the Greenfinch Carnival. I wrote up to chapter seven and stopped, so it's time to start again.

#21: Complete NaNoWriMo
I've participated three times and never won, so I think it's time for a change.

#22: Complete fanfictions
I have a lot of unfinished fanfictions that have been languishing since my high school days (that's about seven years, yikes) and I'd like to get them done.

#23: Sort through my wardrobe once a year
I stopped growing as a sixth grader and never threw anything away. I did a massive wardrobe purge a few years ago, and let me tell you, it was bananas. I want to have a nice big sort every year...followed by a nice shopping trip.

#24: Dye my hair red- really red
My hair has been in various shades of red for about two years, but I'm not satisfied with the color anymore. It's kind of a darkish auburn, but I want it to be more of a glorious red-gold color. I picked out a Garnier color (hot tamale!) that I'm going to try this summer.

#25: Join Chictopia and Weardrobe
I love those sites, but I don't feel that my wardrobe is good enough quite yet. Once I get more comfortable with my wardrobe (and, to be quite honest, with my body) I want to join.

#26: Sew a hundred dresses
When I was a little girl, I read a novella called The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes. It was about an immigrant girl named Wanda, who was quiet and kept to herself and wore the same dress every day but claimed she had a hundred dresses at home. Well, the other children teased her and she ended up leaving the school, but not before she entered a school contest for a drawing of a dress. Not only did she win, but she had entered one hundred unique sketches. That story stuck with me as an eight-year-old, as a bullied kid and a lover of fashion. I'd like to put my sewing skills to use by sewing one hundred unique dresses.

#27: Buy a grown-up perfume
I usually use body splash or little testers of grown up perfume, but I want to go into Sephora or something like that and pick out a grown-up perfume to be my signature scent.

#28: Buy a bathing suit I actually like
I have three bathing suits in my closet- an orange one-piece that I got as a high school sophomore that I use for whitewater rafting or washing cars, an aqua tankini that I wore twice and is now so large on me that it doesn't fit in the slightest, and a china blue bikini that I bought for the sole purpose of owning a bikini. I want a bathing suit that's flattering and doesn't make me want to run and hide when I need to wear it public.

#29: Buy a Betsey Johnson dress
This actually goes along with #18, actually. The day that I find out Beatrice is getting published, I am strolling into the Betsey Johnson store in Green Hills and picking out a dress.

#30: Buy five pieces from Modcloth
This goes along with developing a better wardrobe. I really love Modcloth, even if it can sometimes be pricey.

#31: Grow my hair to midback length
I'm really in the last stretch of having super long hair. Once I start having babies, I think having long hair will just get in my way and be completely unmanagable. So I'd like to have one last go with long, waving tresses.

#32: Stick to a nighttime routine for at least 500 nights
I'm really bad about not taking my makeup off before I go to sleep. I need to make it a habit.

#33: Take vitamins daily
I think that'll be good for me in the long run.

#34: Drink water every day
I am awful about not drinking enough water. Last summer I drank water incessantly because I was working in Disney and Orlando is unbearably hot, and I definitely felt much better. I'd like to get back to that.

#35: Go as long as possible with drinking soda
I'd like to go as long as humanly possible without drinking soda. I don't need the sugar and extra calories and caffeine.

#36: Have fruits and vegetables every day
Another one of those things that needs to change. I want to start with one serving a day and build up.

#37: Keep a food and exercise diary for at least 500 days
I'm going to use my Nintendo DS and the weight loss coach program I have to do this. It's a pretty useful tracker, plus it calculates exercise and tracks my weight changes.

#38: Walk more than 6,000 steps a day
My Nintendo DS game will track this too. I walked about 15,000 steps a day on average last summer, so I know it's more than possible.

#39: Relearn how to ride a bicycle
I have a simply killer pink Schwinn cruiser, but I stopped riding my bike when I was eleven when I flipped off. So I need to relearn it.

#40: Relearn how to rollerskate
I loved rollerskating as a kid, but stopped when I outgrew my skates. This needs to change!

#41: Regain my toe-touch
I cheered for several years in high school and loved it. I used to have a pretty killer toe touch, but with time and lethargy it's gone away. I'd like to get it back!

#42: Do the 200 situps plan
Basically it's a six-week plan to get you to be able to do 200 situps in one go. Better abs, here I come!

#43: Complete Couch to 5k
When I finish the situps plan, I'm going to the Couch to 5k plan. I'm a terrible runner (mostly due to a combination of apathy and asthma), but I think this can get me going.

#44: Complete the 30 Day Shred
And when I finish the situps and the Couch to 5k, I'm going to the 30-Day Shred. I've done the first level before, but never really progressed farther. I'm determined to finish it!

#45: Lose five pounds
I'm not at my heaviest weight, but I'm not at my thinnest either. And my thinnest isn't even as thin as I'd like to be. I want to lose a total of thirty pounds, but I divided it into chunks so it'll be easier to get to.

#46: Lose ten pounds

#47: Lose fifteen pounds

#48: Lose twenty pounds

#49: Lose twenty-five pounds

#50: Lose thirty pounds

#51: Get a tattoo
When I'm down to my target weight (in the 110s), I'm going to reward myself with a little tattoo, probably on my shoulderblades.

#52: Write a love letter
I think my husband would appreciate that.

#53: Renew my wedding vows
I know, I've only been married for two and a half months, but I still think it would be nice.

#54: Get a pet
I've never had one! My dream is to have a Yorkshire terrier or little yorkie mix, but I would also be happen with a kitten or a rabbit. Or just a small dog. Something like that.

#55: Go on a honeymoon
We didn't have the time or money to go on our honeymoon immediately after the wedding, but we're planning on going soon!

#56: Move to a larger apartment or house
We have a very nice little apartment, but it's teeny tiny. I'd like to move to something a little larger when our lease is up.

#57: Get a new job I love
I have a good job, and I like it, but it's not exactly deeply fulfilling. I'd like to work in theater, maybe as a teacher or a costumer. Or maybe I'll get to be a published author and I can do that full-time!

#58: Get pregnant
I definitely don't want to have a baby within the first year of marriage, and I'd really like it if we can get through a few anniversaries with just the two of us. I'd like to have my first baby after I'm twenty-five, which will be in 2012. So if I can at least get pregnant before the end of the 1,001 days, I'll be a happy camper.

#59: Go on an audition
I've got a theater degree. Might as well use it, right?

#60: Pay off credit card
After the wedding, my credit card balance is a bit...well, a bit higher than I want it to be. I'd like to get it completely paid off.

#61: Maintain a money ledger for 500 records
When my name is changed, P and I are going to combine our bank accounts, and I want to have a physical ledger where we can keep a record of all of our spending.

#62: Hold a garage sale
There's a lot of stuff we can get rid of. A lot.

#63: Regain fluency in French
I started learning French in third grade and studied it extensively; I was conversationally fluent in high school. Then I had to take exhaustive French classes to fulfill my requirements for my bachelor of arts degree, and I was so fed up with it that I dropped it. Now I still have a decent accent and a handful of vocabulary words, but no memory of grammar and an inability to speak it. I need to fix that.

#64: Listen to 100 different musical artists
I have a pretty exhaustive collection of music, and I'd like to amp it up. Some of them will be rediscovering old favs, and some of them will be ones.

#65: Learn to sight-read harmony lines
I taught myself to play the piano when I was ten, and while I can sight-read melody lines and fake an accompaniment, I want to play well.

#66: Write down ten of my recipes
I experiment when I cook...but I never write anything down. Some of them are keepers, though!

#67: Learn to play the ukulele
Particularly "Soul Sister" by Train. I think it would be awesome.

#68: Complete the 365 photo challenge
I want to do this once I get a nice camera. It would be a great way to learn photography skills.

#69: Complete a coloring book
This is just pure fun.

#70: Have a tea party
Basically this is an excuse to put on a ball gown and be a princess for a day.

#71: Buy something from Etsy
I've oohed and aahed over Etsy for years, but I've never gotten the courage to buy anything. That should be remedied.

#72: Go to a concert
The last time I went to a concert was ninth grade, when I went to the Ichthus festival in Kentucky. I'd like to go to a legit concert, though-Regina Spektor, Kate Nash, Florence + the Machine, White Tie Affair, Cobra Starship...something awesome like that. Unfortunately most of my favorite bands are British...

#73: Start a garden
I've always wanted a garden, ever since I was six and read The Secret Garden. It's too late to really plant anything at the moment, so I'll just wait until next spring.

#74: Have a picnic
P and I sometimes go on spur-of-the-moment picnics, but I want this to be a fancy, well-planned picnic.

#75: Host a dinner party
I want to something outlandishly fancy.

#76: Have a spa day
I've never had a manicure or pedicure, or a massage, or anything. I think I'll splurge on some nice products and spoil myself for a day.

#77: Buy an iPad
This is completely selfish, but I really want one. I'm debating between the iPad or an iPhone, but I really kind of want one.

#78: Complete a Sudoku book
It shall make me feel smart.

#79: Go on a road trip
I have the perfect car for a road trip, now I just need to get a posse and go somewhere.

#80: Go to a non-Disney theme park
I love theme parks. Love, love, love. It's been a while since I've been to one, and I think that needs to change.

#81: Visit a historic house in Nashville
I'm surrounded by beautiful historical locations. Have I visited one in the past six years I've lived here? No.

#82: Go to five plays
I love plays. I need to go see them more often.

#83: Go back to Disney World
Disney is my drug. Seriously. I need to return to my home.

#84: Take pictures in my wedding dress
I never took any bridal portraits, so I'm thinking about putting on my dress and romping through a park.

#85: Go to dinner and a movie by myself
I love my husband and I love my friends, but I need to have time to myself.

#86: Spend the day at the zoo
I haven't been to a zoo in years!

#87: Go to the midnight showing of a movie
I love midnight showings, but I haven't been to one in ages. And with two Harry Potter movies and the Last Airbender, I think this will be easy to achieve.

#88: Sing in public
I took voice lessons for years, but I've been too self-conscious to actually sing in public.

#89: Have a birthday party
I haven't had one in a while.

#90: Throw someone else a birthday party
I've never thrown a birthday party for someone else. And it's a great excuse to bake a cake!

#91: Thoroughly clean the apartment every Sunday
Sunday used to be my cleaning night in my dorm room. I'd like to keep that going.

#92: Clean out bedroom at parents' house
I moved out as much as I could, but my bedroom at home is still stuffed with old things. I think it would be nice to fix that.

#93: Go to a state fair
I went to the Dutchess County state fair in New York when I was in the fourth grade, but I've never been to the Tennessee one.

#94: Complete three projects
More chances to improve my photography skills!

#95: Have parents over for dinner
My mom still hasn't seen the apartment. Plus, I like cooking.

#96: Finish writing post-wedding thank you notes
I'm terrible about thank you notes. Terrible.

#97: Go to a Predators game
I went to a Preds game a few weeks ago, but I was very out of my element and confused. I'd like to go back and see another one.

#98: Have a killer Halloween costume every year
Usually I wait till the last minute. But not this year! I fully intend to plan, design, and construct my costumes in August or September. Or at least the week before.

#99: Beat Mario Kart
I've never beaten a video game, but I think I can handle this one.

#100: Save a dollar for each completed task
That's $1,001, man. I could do a lot with $1,001.

#101: Write another list
My goals for the following 1,001 days.

Monday, May 31, 2010

goals and ideals

Long time no write, eh?

Well, my trusty laptop Spock has been shipped out for maintenance...the screen wasn't lighting up anymore. I've been using P's computer instead, and I thought I might take a break from blogging for a while. But apparently I like blogging even more than I realized.

One of the main reasons I returned is because of this website. It was mentioned on the groupthink thread on Jezebel, and I checked it out of curiosity.

Oh my goodness. The Day Zero Project appeals to several facets of my personality- primarily the list-making and the constant need to set goals for myself. The theory of the project is to set 101 specific, attainable goals that you can reach within 1,001 days (or roughly three years).

I sat down for about two hours or so and hammered out a list that I'm reasonably happy with. It all centers on things I really want to achieve, and I think three years is more than decent time to do everything.

I'm excited. Really, really excited.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

a sudden lack of creativity

I love this outfit, but I'm simply too tired and unmotivated to say much about it. I later added a sage green organza flower that I rescued after it was separated from its bridesmaid dress while I was in the alterations shop today. So I pinned it to my hair, and yea and verily it was precious.

May 12, 2010
Top: Old Navy
Dress: American Eagle
Shoes: Target children's department

Scent: Bath and Body Works Pink Grapefruit

For some reason I look uncomfortable and makeup-less. I can assure you that I was quite happy, and was wearing lip gloss and mascara.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sleeping Beauty

Today was a lovely, lazy no outfit post. No sewing, no wrangling bridal gowns at the shop.

Kat came over and we enjoyed lunch from Panera and a movie marathon. It's nice to spend time with my friends without school or work interfering.

She introduced me to a game called Dark Parables: The Curse of Briar Rose. It's a PC search-and-find game based on Sleeping Beauty. It's terribly addicting, and I beat the easy level in a few hours.

It's very atmospheric and appeals to the logic side of my brain. And it also piqued my interest towards my ideas for a Sleeping Beauty-inspired novel. I've dabbled in it on and off since my sophomore year of high school, but playing the game gave me some great ideas.

Also, the princess will be named Faustina. I think it's pretty.

Monday, May 10, 2010

sexy librarian

This is the kind of style I'd like to wear more often. It was completely effortless to put together, but looks all grown-up and planned.

May 10, 2010

Top: Ann Taylor Loft Petites (thrifted)
Skirt: Barefoot in the Park skirt, handmade (self-drafted pattern)
Shoes: Jessica Simpson

Scent: Vera Wang Glam Princess

I found the top at Goodwill for $4.29, but I got it half-price. It's a super thin knit shirt from Ann Taylor Loft Petites. It fits perfectly...the only problem was that it had holes all over the bottom.

I solved it pretty easily, though. I turned the shirt inside out, folded it all the way around at the center of the hole-y area, pinned it, and pressed it.

Then I sewed a seam all the way around, creating a tuck. and pressed it down. Voila! Now it looks like a design feature.

Also, the holes are completely disguised. SWEET.

I already talked about sewing the skirt here, but I have to say it's ridiculously comfortable. And it makes me look thinner, which is always a plus.

Also, the shoes belonged to my sister, who outgrew them. She's four years younger than me.

I think that girl's shady

I discovered Kate Nash back in 2008, when I was a sophomore (or maybe a junior) in college. My roommate and best friend, Kat, as a serious love affair with VH1, and we used to watch the music video hours in the morning while we got ready for classes. One day the channel played "Foundations" by Kate Nash. I remember standing there with my toothbrush in my gawping mouth, staring at the screen. Kat got me her album for my birthday that year, and that was that.

I've been waiting for a long, long, LONG time for her new album, and My Best Friend Is You finally dropped last month. My friend Rose and I have been listening the crap out of it.

Kate Nash has a very fun, very quirky style, with all sorts of sometimes silly, sometimes deep lyrics. There's something very childlike and lighthearted about her music...although she can oftentimes swear like a sailor. It's all part of her charm.

This is one of my favorite songs from her new album. It's called "Do-Wah-Doo," and I really want one of those vintage flight attendant uniforms.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Fail in Neon Yellow

Sometime a pattern works...and sometimes it doesn't.

A Fail in Neon Yellow

I give you New Look 6722. It is a fail.

The front bands are too long and loose, the waistband is all wonkified, the hem is crazy, and did I mention that I took it in by about 4" on each side and it was still too large?

Yes. A rousing fail.

It just goes to show you that not every sewing project is a winner. Oh, well. I'll give it another go soon, just to prove to myself that I'm not stupid...

Barefoot in the Park skirt

Whenever I audition, I tend to dress for the role I want. Like when I auditioned for Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, I wore a royal blue wiggle dress. And when I auditioned for Snoopy!!! The Musical, I wore chucks and pigtails. So when I was called back for Barefoot in the Park, I wore a high waisted skirt, a white buttoned blouse, black tights, and black heels with my hair in a bun.

Barefoot in the Park skirt
Barefoot in the Park Skirt

November of 2008

Made for: Barefoot in the Park callbacks

Pattern: none

Materials: black and purple plaid wool

Cost: free!

Time to Make: about an hour

My sister brought me about a yard of purple and black wool when she cleaned out the costume closet at her high school. It was too pretty to waste, but I didn't know what to make with such a small amount.

When I was getting ready for Barefoot in the Park callbacks (I was called back for the mother), I pulled out this fabric and whipped the skirt together in just about an hour. It's my first high waisted skirt, which makes me a little nervous, seeing as how I am large of boob. It actually looked rather nice on me.

I haven't worn it in a while, but I've lost some weight since then, and I'm hoping it fits even better when I wear it to work tomorrow.

Here's the back view. The skirt fastens with a zipper and a hook-and-eye tab disguised by two large buttons. I used white because it was the only color in my stash.

Barefoot in the Park skirt (back)

Here's how I wore it:

May 10, 2010

gingham bubble

I bought this dress last summer at Forever 21 in Orlando. I considered it to be a very trendy purchase at the time, and wore it to the Disney parks on my days off, usually with a black or white tank underneath. When I got back to school, I wore it to classes and rehearsals with a black cardigan, black leggings, and red shoes.

It's still one of my favorite pieces, but I'm debating about it. The knit fabric is a little on the worn side (like I said, it's a favorite piece) and I don't think the bubble does much for my figure. But at the same time, it's super comfortable and still cute.

May 8, 2010

Cami: Macy's
Top: American Eagle
Dress: Forever 21
Shoes: Target children's department
Bag: Harajuku Lovers via Kohl's

Scent: Bath and Body Works Black Amethyst

I really need to take more risks with accessories. Of course, that means I need to actually get accessories...any good recommendations?

this...this doesn't help me at all.

In my never-ending quest to discover my personal style, I realized I don't even know what that is. So like any girl who had a Myspace in the early 2000s, I turned to internet quizzes. And they offered almost no help.

(from Ladies Home Journal)

Your Style Is: Classically Chic

You're a woman who loves her life -- you've worked hard to get where you are, and you're darn proud of it! You are brimming with confidence and assertiveness, and friends and colleagues know that if they need help solving a problem, you're the woman to see.

Looking pulled-together at all times is a priority for you. That's why you rely on classic, simple items that don't require a lot of thought and have timeless style.

Your wardrobe staples:

  • Several impeccably-cut suits in neutral shades of navy, black, charcoal, and chocolate. Buy pants and skirts for more options.
  • Tailored button-down oxfords. They look great under a jacket, and just as good paired with weekend jeans.
  • Cashmere crewneck sweaters. Stock up on sleeveless versions for summer, long-sleeved ones for winter.
  • Glossy leather pumps with a manageable heel of 1 to 2 inches.
  • Man-style oxfords to wear with pants.
  • A stainless steel tank watch, which goes with everything.

(from Quiz Rocket)

Style Quiz

(yeah, that helps a lot)

(from iVillage)

You Are Romantic
Things aren't worth much to you unless they have some personal meaning or a foothold in the past. For you, objects in the material world have a spirit that they carry with them, so you gravitate towards vintage clothing and jewellery. You are very sensual and feminine, and the way things feel is as important to you as how they look. You're not particularly interested in current styles because your reference points are timeless, but when you think of trends, you tend to think in terms of century rather than season. You often have a signature colour or hairstyle that you're loyal to, and perhaps even known for. You are a dreamer, and you often think of clothing as a costume.

Style role models include Winona Ryder, Nicole Kidman and Helena Bonham Carter.



I love timeless, elegant styles: a flat front trouser, a well-cut suit jacket, a luxurious cashmere sweater, a frame purse, a midheeled black pump. When I try on a garment, I am as interested in how it feels on my body as I am in how it looks. My favorite pieces were handed down to me from my grandmother or discovered at my favorite vintage store. I wear them year in and year out. After all, good taste never goes out of style!

(from Daily Fashion)


Sweater sets and khaki's are a major part of your expanding Jcrew and GAP wardrobe. You like to stay updated with the up and coming fashion styles but you don't go too crazy! You tend to buy clothes that will stay in fashion for more than a season and ones that you can mix and match!

Although the bright colors, leather and the bohemian styles don't exactly flow with your own personal style you still find room in your wardrobe to stay hip with the changing trends.

Your "good girl" look pleases your mother but is also timeless and fashionable. People realize that you care about what you look like, but not at the expense of expensive clothes that are only fashionable for one season!

We at say "Go Girl!" You have chosen a style that is simple, fashionable and timeless but that won't put you out a pretty penny either! Your preppy style gives guys the impression that you are sweet and innocent but with a little mystery to match!

(from Ok Cupid)

Glamorous Soul

40% Flamboyance, 56% Originality, 55% Deliberateness, 50% Sexiness

You choose your outfits carefully according to many criteria. You don't like looking cheap, dull or random and you go to great lengths to avoid this. You are successful, too. People admire your taste and sex appeal. Many try to imitate you but not many can recreate your unique style. Sometimes, however, they find you too intimidating to approach. If you don't wear retro style yet, perhaps you should consider it. It would become greatly your sexy, mysterious self.

See? See? This does nothing for me. Nothing. I'm apparently a classically chic, romantic, frumpy, preppy, glamorous soul. I have no idea what I am!

Did any of these quizzes nail you, or are you as confused as I am?

(Also, I would just like to say that I can only spell "glamorous" by singing the Fergie song of the same name in my head.)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

the Indie Darling Dress

So I'm addicted to Modcloth. One of the first dresses I fell in love with was the Indie Darling Dress- which, unfortunately, was out of stock. So I waited. And waited and waited and waited. A few months later, lo and behold, it came back! I ordered it promptly, and today was the first day I wore it out.

May 8, 2010
Dress: the Indie Darling Dress via Modcloth

Shoes: Earth Spirit

Headband: Claire's

Scent: Miss Dior Cherie

Since it was my first time to wear it, I didn't feel the need to remix it a whole bunch. But I have an oh-maz-ing owl belt that will look fabulous with it.

Also, I think this project is really helping me with my goal to get in better shape. I'm very uncomfortable in all of these pictures...I think once I feel like I look better, I'll be more at ease.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I feel like a teddy bear

It has been an odd day, and I am currently in a rather out-of-sorts mood. My allergies are out of whack, I'm going to miss my best friend's college graduation tomorrow, and it's unreasonably hot. Maybe that's why I'm scowling so bad in this picture.

May 7, 2010
Top: thrifted
Jumper: Target
Boots: Target's children's department
Necklace: a gift from my husband's best friend (and the best man at our wedding); he bought it in San Francisco
Headband: Snitched from my sister
Bag: Target

Scent: Abercrombie and Fitch

I have a funny story about the A&F perfume. I've only entered one of their stores once, when I was fifteen. I was in the middle of my rabid anime geek phase, and had just purchased a Naruto headband (this was in 2003ish, before it was cool). My friends dragged me in Abercrombie, and I rebelled by tying on my headband and loudly complaining that the store smelled.

(I was a delight to be around in middle school/early high school. Seriously.)

But P was working at the mall in another store, and one day he was cleaning up after the mall had closed only to find a forgotten bag containing a newly purchased bottle of $65 Abercrombie and Fitch girl's perfume. There was no lost and found he could take it to and his store was just going to toss it, so he brought it to me. It actually smells nice on me...although I won't be purchasing a new one when it runs out.

Tomorrow I'm working open-to-close at the bridal shop, but I might be running out to see newly-graduated friends. So I'm going to wear the Indie Darling dress from Modcloth. It is love in navy and ruffles.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

Rose and I finished our thrifting afternoon with Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Shaun of the Dead, and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Plus I had fish and chips for dinner, so the British quota was quite high.

But really, if you've never seen Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you ought to. It's chock full of gems like this:

"In the beginning, the universe was created. This made a lot of people angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move."

Sartorial choices are hard to find- the main character, Arthur Dent, wears a bathrobe for the entire film- but the humor is wonderful, especially Alan Rickman as the adorably depressed Marvin. And Zooey Deschanel plays Trillian, so the cool factor is upped by several points.

So, in short, if you feel like watching an enjoyable British sci-fi movie, this one is excellent.

And if you ever wake up to find that the Earth is about be blown up to make way for a intergalactic super highway, grab your towel, stick out your thumb, and most importantly:

Current Inspiration:Tasha Tudor's A Little Princess

I hate to say it, but I'm not inspired by runway shows and editorials. I find them intensely beautiful and fascinating, but I've never really looked at one and said "yes...I want that."

I get inspired by movies, music, and books more than anything else. And right now, I've been rereading one of my favorite books.

I read A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett for the first time when I was about six or seven. I adored Sara Crewe- she was and is one of my particular childhood heroines. My parents gave me a beautiful copy of the book for my birthday...the inscription is dated 1998, so I must have been turning eleven.

My mother insisted on finding me the version illustrated by Tasha Tudor. She illustrated many classic children's books, and her version of A Little Princess is just gorgeous. Her illustrations are very pretty, very sweet renderings in colored pencil that make me want to sit in an English garden and drink up the sunshine.

One of her illustrations has really caught my eye. I've loved the cover of A Little Princess for years, and lately it's inspired me to sketch out a couple of dress designs.

There's a full version of the illustration inside the book, and it's really gotten my attention.

Things that I've noticed:

-gray, soft blue, and rose pink

-soft pleats and gathering

-open necklines or a shirtwaist front


-ankle boots


What has inspired you today?

feels like summer

I am so awkward in front of cameras. I feel really self conscious asking people to take pictures for me. I can't wait to get the tripod from my parents' house.

I had the day off from work, so I grabbed lunch with my friend Rose and we went thrifting. I had a pretty exciting haul (as well as a story about the romper from hell). I just wanted to be cool and comfortable. And I was, but unfortunately I don't look very comfortable in the picture.

May 6, 2010

Top: Macy's
Shorts: Walmart
Heels: Walmart
Necklace: made by a friend
Sunnies: sale on campus
Bag: Harajuku Lovers

Scent: American Eagle 77

These shorts are incredibly comfortable. I bought them last summer to wear to the Disney parks when I wasn't the Disney parks.

Tomorrow- depending on how much I get done on my sewing list- I might wear a purple plaid skirt. It all depends on how fast I sew...

altogether separate

You know, I'm not quite sure why I started this blog. Honestly, I feel a little narcissistic. A blog all about me, me, me...

And it's not like I've never blogged before. I actually maintained a blog for about two years, writing about school and theater and my wedding and working in Orlando. I just got the urge to start something new, and here I am.

I went for a walk today, and with plenty of time to think, I mused about my blogging. And I think I know why I started this.

I've gone through a lot of changes in a very short amount of time. Since last December, I performed my last university role, graduated from college, got my first "grown up" job, got married, and moved out of the house. That's a lot of upheaval in the span of five months.

And in those five months, I've gone from someone who identified herself as a single girl, a student, and an actress. Now I'm just your average housewife...and I don't want to be that.

I have always been stubborn and fiercely independent, and getting engaged never changed that. Don't get me wrong- I feel that getting married was the right thing for me to do, and I love P dearly. But while we were engaged, we were at separate schools an hour apart. I could still stay out late, spend hours in rehearsal, and lounge around my private room. Now I'm living in a rather small apartment, married, and without classes or rehearsals to go to. While P and I still have our separate friends and hobbies, I am still rebelling a bit against the fact that I am a wife.

I think I have to re-identify myself, especially when it comes to my hobbies. I've been in theater since I was three years old; I've been involved with 34 different productions. The last time I went a full year without being involved with a show I was in kindergarten. I feel a bit lost without the constancy of auditions, memorizing lines, showing up at rehearsals. And I definitely miss the camaraderie.

I think I'm blogging to find myself. And I think that's why I started a new blog, rather than continuing the old one. My original blog was full of college-girl insecurities and problems that I don't deal with anymore. My life is completely different, and I think I needed a new outlet.

And I think that I'm turning to fashion as a way of expressing myself, now that I no longer have a reliable source of theater. Well, fashion and writing. I have a lot of novels and short stories tumbling round in my head right now...

So that's that.

Although, before I close this entry, I just want to reiterate one last point. Yes, I am stubborn and independent, but I am also completely sure that I was meant to get married, and meant to be married to P. No amount of stubbornness can change that fact.

biting the bullet

Well, I did it. I opened a new Etsy shop. It needs a spiffy banner, but if you go to Good Call, Baby Doll on Etsy, it'll take you right to me.

So far I only have two listings: a custom stomacher gown, and a custom chemise a la reine. I'll add the ruffled frock gown, standard frock gown, and pinner apron as well, but right now I have other things to do. Like picking out an awesome outfit, and getting ready to go thrifting.

But in the meantime, please visit here!: