Wednesday, April 30, 2014

C&LM: The Lees of Happiness-F.Scott Fitzgerald

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Last year when the Gatsby craze happened, I realized I had not read any other Fitzgerald books and I felt a little guilty. I've re-read Gatsby every summer for many years now, but I decided it was time to expand my knowledge of his works. I've read two of his novels, The Last Tycoon and This Side of Paradise, and recently I came across The Lees of Happiness which you can actually read online for free! This is a short story that was published in the Chicago Tribune. It centers around a couple named Jeffrey and Roxanne. Jeffrey is a struggling author and Roxanne is an actress. Their friend Harry comes to visit and Roxanne attempts to make biscuits and they turn out so badly that they nail them to the wall. Jeffrey has a stroke before he can write his grand masterpiece and lives for another 11 years as Roxanne cares for him and her career wanes as well. Harry visits periodically and we learn his wife leaves him. He and Roxanne remain friends.

I was not expecting a story called The Lees of Happiness to be this depressing, but I didn't realize that "lees" was not their last name, but that it meant "sediment, dregs" according to dictionary.com, so that makes more sense that they were supposed to be struggling to get to happiness. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to me that they did ever find happiness, I suppose Roxanne and Harry became friends so that was good? I don't know. I thought it was okay, let's say a 3/5.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sawbones

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Cardigan: LOFT//Skirt: LOFT//Shoes: Target

I love podcasts, they are so nice to listen to when you just want to listen to something that's not music. Well, I was told that I should listen to a podcast called Sawbones by my friend Carrie and I have been listening to episodes ever since! Sawbones is a husband and wife duo who talk about medical history and all the weird things that people have done in the past. Sydnee McElroy is a doctor which is cool because you get knowledge from a doctor's perspective and her husband Justin gives you a bit of comic relief. I have listened to episodes on epilepsy, magnets, left handedness, Dr. Mesmer (the reason we have the word mesmerize) and I've queued up all of their old episodes. If you enjoy medical history but are not very up to date on science, that's okay! The show is not extremely technical, it's just kind of fun, you should check them out!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Weekend Recap: 3D Printers and Shopping and Sushi Oh My!

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Hi everyone, I hope you all had a lovely weekend! Mine was so busy compared to my quiet weekend last week so I have lots to share!

Friday night my friend Sarah and her roommates had a birthday party for their dog Drogo (like Game of Thrones) and I went with my friend Christina. It was really fun and there were a lot of people there and so many people actually brought dog treats for Drogo so that was cute. He even had another dog friend that came along so he had someone to play with! I think my favorite part of the night was that Sarah had everyone write a diary entry like it was back in 2003, most of us were in middle school then so these were pretty dramatic times. After we were done writing them, we mixed them all up and read them aloud, some of them were pretty right on!

Photo Cred: Michelle from EMP
Saturday I was out of the house for 12 hours, who does that?! I was so tired by the time I got home, but the day was fun. First things first, I went to a Cleveland EMP event at the main branch of Cleveland Public Library which is this beautiful old building downtown and it's so pretty and has so much detail in every room. The reason we were there was because we got to talk to their head of technology about their 3D printer and got to see it in action! 3D printers are so cool, if you've never seen one, they use a type of melted plastic and it is poured out into whatever shape you input into the computer. We got to see it made a safety cone with red and white stripes and our speaker also had a lot of examples. The green piece above this block of text was printed all in one piece, and opened and closed really easily. What?! We then got a tour with the Special Collections manager which was such a dream because that's really my interest area in libraries. She showed us some really cool books, pages from incunabulas (which are books printed in a small period of time before 1500), and they have a large collection of chess books and chess sets.

After the event I met up with my friend Simone and we went shopping! She just got a new job (yay!) and needed some new clothes and I am always ready to help someone shop. She got some really cute things so she's definitely ready to start. We went to dinner at Tree Country which is a sushi restaurant and it was so good! I love sushi but I rarely get sushi at an actual restaurant, I usually just settle for the Whole Foods kind. After dinner we went to the movies and saw The Other Woman. The movie was hilarious, yes it was about a scummy cheating husband, but the ladies in the movie were hilarious and I like how they got even with him.

Sunday was quieter, as I  had to do schoolwork for majority of the day. I have two more weeks of the semester and I'm done for a bit, woo!

How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Ukulele Dreams

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 Top: LOFT//Skirt: thebraveboutique via Etsy//Shoes: Target//Ukelele: Mahalo

I tried for indie band album cover with these photos, do I look like a goof? So I bought this baby blue wonder last summer, determined to learn to play a stringed instrument. I can play an instrument, flute and piccolo (which are pretty much the same thing, piccolo is just an octave higher and much smaller!), and know how to read music thanks to being a band geek from 5th to 12th grade. Even so, as of now I am still struggling to even tune it. It's pretty sad, but I also just didn't pick it up for a few months so that just adds to my problem. I am once again going to try to learn at least a really easy song before my birthday so I can say at least sort of completed on my 23 Before 24 list! Maybe watching youtube videos for instructions would be better than trying to read and follow along.

Do you have an instrument you would love to learn how to play? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Lady Fashion Crush: Kiera Knightley (Atonement & Pride and Prejudice)

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 All photos found on Pinterest

Period clothing such as the costumes worn in Pride and Prejudice are not really practical for today's standards, but nonetheless I can still drool over them. Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennett, one of my favorite Jane Austen characters, looked beautiful in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. The story is set in the Regency era which you can read a bit more about here, and while I've learned that the costumes are not completely period accurate (here) I still think they are beautiful. I love the empire waists on all of the dresses and especially love the overcoat in the last picture.

Did you enjoy this film? What style of period clothing is your favorite?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

C&LM: Behind the Candelabra (2013)

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Lately I've been choosing movies based on how often and how popular they are with patrons at the library I work at. My first loves in choosing movies are classics and sundancey/small film studio kinds of modern films, not typically a lot of blockbusters. This has been helping me be able to recommend more relevant to our average customer movies because many times when someone asks me for comedy and I tell them Jerry Lewis movies are hilarious, they kind of give me a funny look! Not always, but a lot of the time...

Anyway, long introduction but that was the reason I picked up Behind the Candelabra. I was interested to see it because I really don't know that much about Liberace other than he was a very glitzy piano player in the 70s and 80s. The movie depicts that last few years of his life and his secret relationship with a much younger man named Scott. It showed how his career was at its peak and the deterioration of it and his life towards the end. It kind of showed him in a bad light because he broke up with Scott, left him with nothing, and refused to admit that they ever had any kind of relationship other than a professional one. Granted, this was during a time when being gay was entirely unacceptable and not talked about so I could see why he wouldn't. I don't know if I really thought of this movie as good or bad, it was just kind of a one-off biography kind of thing. It was interesting if you are a fan of Liberace, maybe that's why I feel a bit indifferent.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Knitting and Purling and Whatnot

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So a freak thunderstorm has come through this morning and turned my backyard into a mud pit and it's really dark in general so outfit photos are a no go today. Instead, I wanted to share my next big knitting project! I went to a knitting day a few weeks ago called Knitter's Fantasy which I talked about here and one of the things I bought in the vendor's mall was this book called Sock Yarn Shawls. I have been holding on to this pretty multicolored sock yarn that I bought on impulse a few months ago for just the right project. I really dislike making socks, I feel like they take a really long time and the small needles frustrate me a lot of the time. But, this yarn was really too pretty to pass up and I figured I could find some use for it.


I'm actually making the shawl called Flower Garden from the book for my mom. It is definitely a challenging pattern as she picked an experienced level pattern (thanks mom), but most of it is stockinette which is just normal knitting so that makes it better. I'm hoping that the finished project looks as pretty as it does in the book. I am a bit worried that because I'm using this multicolor yarn instead of a plain color that the pattern is going to get lost, which it may a bit but I think after it's blocked and everything it should be okay!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Weekend Recap: Great Wide Somewhere and Happy Easter!

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This weekend was so lovely! Friday my mom and I were both off so we did a little shopping for Easter and went on our first outdoor walk of the year! I took my mom to the new Acacia Reservation that was just opened last year because somehow I'd never taken her there with me, it's right down the street from us! It used to be an old golf course and country club but it was sold to the Cleveland Metroparks and they are letting it naturally go back to being forest. It's really cool watching the grass kind of take over slowly. I'm a freeze baby so I choose not to go walking in the winter, though I am always impressed by the runners who run outdoors all year long. Friday night I made sure I had zero plans because I really just wanted to totally veg out and read and spend a quiet night at home. I really like doing that sometimes, I got through four Star Trek graphic novels and had some tea. 

Saturday morning I started out with another walk, this time through Beachwood's city park, and the place that the picture above was taken. I didn't realize how much I missed walking outdoors, I like to go alone so I can think and listen to music and just enjoy the trees. When I got home, my peacefulness turned into panic because somehow I forgot that the next day was Easter and that I would have no time for schoolwork and it all needed to be done then! I then spent the good majority of the day doing homework, but I did stop long enough to make this beauty:


Well, it's actually not so pretty but it sure tasted good! It's just ice cream sandwiches layered with chocolate icing, covered in whipped cream and frozen overnight; pretty much a really easy version of an ice cream cake. It was a big hit for Easter dessert. For Easter my grandparents and a family friend came over and we all had dinner and spent some time together, it was a really nice day.

How was your weekend?

P.S. These pictures are taken from my instagram, you can follow me there if you'd like at amiacw

Friday, April 18, 2014

Eggshelland

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 Dress: eShakti//Shoes: Payless

The other day my friend Christina and I enjoyed our day off by taking a little stroll by Eggshelland. Eggshelland was a large Easter display set up by an elderly couple in our neighborhood for Easter and it had grand displays every year made out of plastic colored eggs, example below (not taken by me):


Last year, the husband passed away and the wife decided that it would be the last year for eggshelland in their home because it would be too much of a burden for her to set up alone and there were always so many crowds. This year a local group called the Euclid Beach Boys decided to revive it and set it up at the local community center. The display it much smaller now, I didn't take pictures (silly me) but it was really nice that they still put it up. I did not go see it every year but it was a tradition to look forward to seeing what would be new. It's kind of like another house in our area that sets up a light display set to music around Christmas for people to stop by and see.

Do you have anything similar in your neighborhood for certain holidays?

P.S. I haven't done this in forever but today I am linking up with Passion for Fashion over on Rachel the Hat's blog!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lady Fashion Crush: Jean Harlow

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 All photos found on Pinterest

I follow a few vintage/old hollywood accounts on instagram and this stunning lady kept coming up every once and while and I was always so intrigued by her beauty. All of Jean Harlow's photos just exude 1930s glamor and confidence. I have definitely put some of her films on my list of things to watch! The 1930s are a fashion period that I really don't look to for inspiration too often, but I think that if I ever had a fabulous formal event to go to I'd love to raid Jean's closet! Her makeup is gorgeous as well, I love the long skinny rounded 30s eyebrow look with a red lip.

What do you think of Jean Harlow? Have you seen any of her films?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

C&LM: Call of the Wild-Jack London

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I read Call of the Wild after reading and watching Into the Wild and became a bit obsessed with reading and watching anything that had to do with losing oneself in the wilderness and leaving society behind. I also read this because Chris McCandless/Alex Supertramp, the boy who inspired the book Into the Wild, was heavily influenced by this story and some of Henry Thoreau's works as well. Call of the Wild is a story of a dog named Buck who is stolen from his Alaskan home and is forced to become a part of a sled dog pack. The story focuses on Buck and his adventures and how he becomes stronger from being in the wild and becoming a pack leader as he begins to feel the "Call of the Wild" (allll the cheese). I really enjoyed it, it was a quick read, less than 200 pages, so if you like stories like this I suggest you pick up a copy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cleveland International Film Festival: Ludwig II

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Dress: eShakti//Cardigan: H&M//Shoes: Target

 The Cleveland International Film Festival happens every year in March and it brings hundreds of wonderful foreign films to downtown Cleveland and for about 10 days you can really immerse yourself in the world of film. I try to get to at least one each year, one year I actually saw five! This year the museum group I'm a member of, Cleveland Emerging Museum Professionals, was a sponsor for the film Ludwig II  which was a costume drama depicting the life of the king Ludwig II of Bavaria. 

Since we were the sponsors, one of the leaders of our group was supposed to make a little speech welcoming everyone to the film, but she couldn't find parking (it gets really crazy because the film festival is so popular!) so I actually had to do the welcoming speech in two different theaters!! Geez oh man I was nervous, I am the worst at public speaking, but I think they went okay, I really only had to talk for about 30 seconds but it felt like forever.

Ludiwg became king at age 18 after his father passed unexpectedly from illness and he really had no desire to be. He was much more interested in music, particularly Richard Wagner's operas, and refused to assist the Bavarian military with new weaponry and even refused for a long time to sign the orders which allowed them to go to war because he thought the music would make every army lay down their weapons. He built some beautiful castles and as he got older he succumbed to mental illness and had very strict orders for his staff and lived secluded in one of the castles. The movie was so great, I don't know a lot about German history so this was the first time I'd ever heard of this king so now I want to read more about him. There's also a few more movies about his life so I'll try to watch them too.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Weekend Recap: Movies and Dancing

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Hi lovelies! I hope everyone's weekend was grand, mine was so much fun! Friday night I finally went to see Divergent. I was afraid because books to movies don't normally turn out well to me, but I must say the movie was amazing and stayed pretty true to the story. I won't go into detail further than that just in case some people are late movie-goers like me, but I suggest you see it!

Saturday night I got to see Wesley Brite and the Hi-Lites for the second time with a few friends. I was so excited to see them again after seeing them to ring in the New Year, and they were just as fun and energetic as the last time around. I danced my behind off and there was even a soul train line at the end! Too much fun may have been had because Sunday my legs were definitely feeling the dancing!

Well, I am off to knitting night, hope you had an a-ok Monday! Tell me about your weekend, did you do anything fun (relaxing in pjs counts as fun too!)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Don't Stop Me Now

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Cardigan:LOFT//Jeans: Freddies of Pinewood

Tuesday night I was brave and did some karaoke with some of my friends. I love to sing, but generally just in the car and in the shower when no one's around! But I put on my big girl pants and actually sang two songs: If I Fell by the Beatles and Don't Stop Me Now by Queen. Queen was my whole music life for a good portion of my later high school years and Freddie Mercury was an incredible singer so they are usually my go to for karaoke, I mean who doesn't like a Queen song (at least for karaoke purposes)? I kind of botched If I Fell, I sang way to high because of nerves but oh well, I had fun! My friends all did great too, we all kind of became the karaoke cheer team for anyone and everyone who came up to sing because we were sitting the closest to the microphone so that was pretty awesome. I think it's just helpful to have a little cheering because getting up and singing can be a bit nerve wracking.

Do you like karaoke? What's your go-to karaoke song?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Lady Fashion Crush: Veronica Lake

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Source: 1/2/3/4

Veronica Lake is the epitome of glamor. She is stunningly beautiful and has the most perfect hair. She was a lovely actress, I quite enjoyed her in the movie I Married A Witch. Her style was simply fantastic.


I love the wrap top and the pleats in this dress.


This is one of the only casual outfits I found of her and she still looks stunning.


This is my favorite out of the bunch. The tailored suit and hat are perfection.

What do you think of Veronica's style?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

C&LM: Designing Woman (1957)

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This was a such a cute romantic comedy starring Lauren Bacall as Marilla and Gregory Peck as Mike. The two meet at a hotel while they are away from their hometown in New York City and in a whirlwind romance end up married before they even fly back home! Marilla is a big fashion designer and Mike is a sports writer and boy do their lives clash at times. Marilla and Mike have a few squabbles over things like where they'll live, who gets to have parties on which days, and lots of little things. Every time they have a squabble they end up coming back together. Mike is hiding a secret from Marilla which gets more and more difficult to hide and causes a lot of strain between the two, and even puts Marilla in danger. But, in the end, the two solve their problems and live a happy life. I loved this movie, it was very funny and I suggest you watch if you'd like a laugh!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Jenny and Brad's Bridal Shower

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 Cardigan:LOFT//Skirt:Pin Up Girl Clothing

My sweet friends Jenny and Brad are getting married next month so they had their bridal shower last weekend at this beautiful mansion that we all got to explore. The shower was so wonderful, they both are very animal friendly and their centerpieces were dry dog food and bird seed in mason jars which were going to be donated to animal shelters around the city afterwards, which I thought was such a cute idea! We had food and treats and Jenny opened all of her gifts and we took a million pictures (disclaimer: since those are Jenny's pictures I don't have any to share and since it's not my event I thought that would be strange to anyway). The mansion had a hidden third floor so we all went up and looked around and it was right on Lake Erie so it was really pretty. It's so exciting and so surreal that they are actually getting married, they've been engaged for a while so we knew it was coming, but the bridal shower made it feel so real, I already wanted to tear up. I'm just so happy for them and can't wait until May!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Weekend Recap: Knitter's Fantasy

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This weekend was a whirlwind of beautiful knits made by expert knitters and some not so beautiful swatches made by me! I went to this knitting day called Knitter's Fantasy in Youngstown, Ohio (about an hour from Cleveland) and it was so fun having an entire day filled with knitting! I went with one of my knitting circle friends who is actually one of my former Girl Scout leaders and the one who taught me to knit! There were knitting classes, yarn swaps, a fashion show, and a vendor's mall. I bought way too much yarn!

Example of Double Knitting-not my own
I took two classes, one was on double knitting and one was on stranded knitting. The double knitting class was not what I expected it to be, but I thought it was interesting to learn nonetheless. The technique allowed you to have knit on both sides of a closed piece, so if you wanted a truly reversible scarf that looks like stockinette on both sides, you can! I thought it was a bit tedious but I think with practice it wouldn't be as terrible. The other class was so exciting because I have wanted to try making something with fair isle for the LONGEST but I've been afraid of color work. It was called stranded knitting because our teacher explained that not all color work patterns are fair isle, which honestly I didn't know, I thought they were all called fair isle. 

Example of Stranded Color Work-Definitely not my own!
Now, this class was a bit difficult because I knit the English way (holding and "throwing" the yarn with my right hand) as opposed to Continental knitting (holding the yarn in your left hand and not having to "throw" it). For color work, you use both hands to move the two different strands of yarn. My left hand deicided it wanted to be useless for that hour haha! It was such an awkward movement I felt like I was learning how to knit all over again. But it's something I'm definitely going to try again, it's my goal to make a fair isle sweater someday (right now I'll just settle for a hat or scarf).

How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun? Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Typhoon

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 Skirt: LOFT//Jacket: American Living via JCPenney//Top: H&M//Scarf: Made by me// Shoes: Target

Last Saturday I went to see a new to me band called Typhoon and I must say they were so good! I went with a group of coworkers and we first stopped for dinner at Groovewood Tavern which is pretty close to the Beachland Ballroom where they were playing. I'd never been there before but now I'm in love because they actually give you the option to get a veggie burger with bacon! I used to order a veggie burger with bacon all the time at another restaurant and every time they would look at me like I was a bit looney. I see nothing wrong with liking the taste of a veggie burger as well as bacon, and obviously enough customers at Groovewood Tavern agree since they actually had it on the menu!



The actual concert was fantastic. There were two openers, both with girl leads which was nice and I'm sad to say I don't remember either of their names and don't have an actual ticket because I did will call. But they were both great! Typhoon was awesome! I've had their cd sitting in my room for a few weeks now and hadn't even listened to the whole thing before I went, but now it's on repeat. Do you ever do that, just hope you like a band based on one or two songs and just go to their concert anyway? I wouldn't do that if it was an expensive concert, but this was like $12 so I figured if anything one of the bands would be good.

Have a lovely Friday!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Lady Fashion Crush: Alison Sudol

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 Sources: 1/2/3/4

Alison Sudol, the lovely lady behind A Fine Frenzy has the sweetest style and the most beautiful voice. Her red hair is one of the reasons I went through a red hair dye phase back in 2010 (my hair never looked as pretty as hers of course). Her style is very feminine with some retro elements and I love it!


This dress is perfect. I love the shape, the voluminous skirt, and the way the shoulder straps come to a "v" in the back.


 The simplicity of this shift dress is beautiful, the beaded details are perfect.


Bow ties are cool, so this outfit was cool with me :) I like the puffy sleeves , simple and chic.

What do you think of Alison's style?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

C&LM: Children of the Mind-Orson Scott Card

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Orson Scott Card is a fantastic writer and I love all of his books that I've read. Children of the Mind is the fourth and final book in the Ender's Game quartet, which if you haven't read Ender's Game, go to your local library right now! It's amazing, and it took me YEARS to actually read the rest of the quartet even though I've owned all of the books including the Shadow series books since Border's closed in 2011 (oops!)

Now I don't want to ruin the story since this is the final book in the series and all, but I'll just say that the ending was great, I was really happy with it. A short summary to catch you up without giving too much away is that at the end of Ender's Game you see that Ender leaves to go and help other alien species, he finds on which are called Piggies by the human inhabitants, and to very quickly sum up the three books he tries to save the Piggies from the same fate as the Buggers. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

CLE Librarians

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 Dress: eShakti//Cardigan: LOFT//Shoes: Target

Last Wednesday I (finally) made it to one of the meetups of a new group in town called CLE Librarians. I wasn't sure what to expect from the group and I get so nervous when meeting big groups of new people but I was really happy that they were all so welcoming! I went with a coworker so that helped too. We all met at the Pub which is a few blocks from my job for trivia night. The trivia questions were tough ones and we weren't allowed to use Google. Our team name was the Dewey Decimals, obviously.


Many of the librarians there used to work in my current system so it was nice to be able to relate that way. I think my worst fear in talking to new people is not having anything to say! Everyone was super sweet and it was nice to just have a great bunch of librarians to talk about library things with. We all traded stories on our goofiest reference callers and things like that. I hope I'll be able to make it to another meetup in the next few months.

**Happy April Everyone! I hope no one got pranked too badly today!**