Archive | January, 2011

My HDD’s Dead and Gone, Dead and Gone…

20 Jan

Hey Everyone.

I’m sorry I have been absent lately – I’m dealing with a matter that is outside of my control, namely, the premature death of my hard-drive.

Thankfully, I was able to back up all of my data, so nothing should be lost, however, my computer access will be limited as my computer is no longer capable of actually…functioning. For that reason, posting may be sporadic (or delayed) until my computer problems are solved.

Thanks for bearing with me guys!

Tara

 

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Slowed Down Sunday – 1.16.11

16 Jan

Hello, everyone! It’s time for my weekly ode to what made me smile this week – the things I’m thankful for and love. Here we go:

♥ Being back at school – That sounds weird, because being back at school means coming back to classes and homework (and boy, do I have a lot of those). But while I love coming home – and I do think going to school four hours away from my hometown does help me appreciate my visits back to Maryland – I do miss Pittsburgh, with the hustle and bustle, sports fanaticism and copious amounts of sidewalks and public transit (at least compared to the neighborhood I grew up in). And of course, a lot of my friends are here!

♥ Late classes – Okay, this seems kind of silly to include here, but it is important to me: my classes start at 1pm this semester, every day! This isn’t as exciting as it could have been, because I’ve adjusted to my sleep-all-day habits of winter break by waking up late, but I plan to start getting back to waking up bright and early and getting a bunch accomplished before I officially “start” the day. Fingers crossed! Plus, I don’t have any Friday classes this semester! That’s a first for me, and I’m grateful, although it is pretty disorienting. I feel like Friday is Saturday now.

♥ Learning new things – I finally took the time to learn how to do basic knitting – I’m making a scarf, but the success of that endeavor is to be determined. I’m learning a ton of new techniques in my Foundation Design class (frustrating, but rewarding at the same time…) and I’ve made plans to learn how to play chess. Many of these things are on my so-called “bucket list” for things I’d like to have a passable amount of skill in. Other things on the list include (but are not limited to): scuba diving, driving a car with a manual transmission, becoming conversational in Arabic, skydiving, doing the splits, cartwheeling (it’s something I’ve never mastered!), basic sewing.

Misc: My new hair; running to an art store, forgetting my debit card, running to my dorm and back and making it with five (!) minutes to spare; marathoning Merlin, having an amazing professor for Introduction to Western Architecture; the oatmeal at McDonald’s (it’s seriously delicious); Birthday Cake Batter scented lotion from Dylan’s Candy Bar (even better? finding it at Ross!); super-cozy socks; the writings of PG Wodehouse; lunch dates; planning Valentine’s Day adventures with the boyfriend

Weekend Link Roundup – 1.14.11

14 Jan

Hey all! Here’s some weekend reading for you!

◊ This guy created a man-made rainbow machine! What a great invention!

◊ Danielle LaPorte shares 20 personal practices that got her to a place of prosperity…as well as those that cost her a lot of money to learn. Worth the read.

◊ I don’t do graphic design as much anymore, so my laptop isn’t overflowing with fonts, but this is a great resource – a site that displays a word of your choice in all the fonts on your computer! Nifty, huh?

◊ I want to swim in this pool.

◊ Ever since it was featured on Fly, I’ve checked out Style Like U, an “inspirational online experience that showcases people who possess exceptional personal style”.

◊ I absolutely adore impressive typography, so of course I was all over this feature on Dzine.

◊A list of common misconceptions on Wikipedia, via Gala Darling. I had no idea ostriches didn’t actually bury their heads in the sand, or that Vikings probably didn’t have horns on their helmets. My life has been a lie!

◊ The holidays are over (or, depending on your viewpoint, coming up…a long time from now) but these decorations are gorgeous!

◊ A review of the Master Class television show on Oprah’s new network, this episode featuring Jay-Z. Interesting.

◊ How to be Yourself, on The Art of Non-Conformity. Short, simple and sweet.

◊ I love hats, I love firecrackers…a firecracker hat? Yes, please!

Song of the Week – Bad Boy by Fuckkk Offf (safe for work, except for the title on the video)

Help! I Have Too Much Stuff!: A Shopping Intervention

12 Jan

Clothing By Iris

Picture it: Maryland. Right after New Year’s.

I have an extremely large suitcase, filled to the brim with both clothing I had brought from school and had purchased or received over Christmas. The hulking purple creature uncomfortably squeezed through the hallways of my house, settling in its comfortable fate weighing down the back of my mother’s car as I departed for my home-away-from-home in Pittsburgh. Let’s not even talk about the two shopping bags that came with it.

You can only imagine the fun times that were had when I realized I had to take a flight of stairs to my dorm room later that night. If you hadn’t realized by now, yes, I was clearly a passenger on the struggle bus.

I won’t even get into the fact that it took me at least three days to find the courage to open that behemoth and start putting those things away in the limited space that I had.

Why?

Simply put, I have WAY too much stuff.

Has this situation ever happened to you?

You quickly decide that you don’t want something in your wardrobe anymore, because it fits poorly or you got it in junior high, or it’s out of fashion. But at the same time, throwing it away seems like wasted money (What if you lose weight? What if one of your little cousins could use it? What if it becomes retro?) so you keep it. Just in case. Meanwhile, it piles up, creating a maelström of clothing that chokes the life out of your closet and swallows the clothing that you do intend to wear.

Inevitably there are articles of clothing that become a lost cause, as I grudgingly accept that my favorite pair of leggings has been sucked into the abyss, never to be seen again – or I forget that I had owned them in the first place. What do I do next? Buy duplicates. And the cycle continues.

And thus, the experiment was born.

It was a delightful coincidence that one of my favorite bloggers, Gala Darling, has a similar conundrum, and is trying a similar challenge. Mine?

No more shopping, for the rest of the semester.

That’s four months. From now, till May 1st.

I’m not counting essentials on this list, or replacements of unusable items that I already own. This primarily applies to clothing, but I’m going to try to limit my consumption of things like books, trinkets and the like as well.

I have been slowly but surely preparing for this day, as I pare down my wardrobe, giving articles of clothing away to charity, Goodwill and family. Difficult, but manageable.

Even harder is the itchy feeling in my fingers when my favorite online retailer beams their latest lookbook into my inbox, or when my “shopping” folder in my inbox gets filled to the brim with coupon promotions and free shipping codes!

Or the longing when I see inspirational fashion photos in my feed reader or tumblr dashboard and I want to replicate the look. It’ll be a temptation, but I’m going to try to stay strong!

But I need to make a change – so I will! Time to break the chains! Funnily enough, this happens just as I invest in a tripod to take outfit photos to improve my style sense.

I’m not sure exactly how this is going to work – if anyone has done a shopping detox before, your advice would be amazing – but I’m surely going to try. I’ll provide an update in the beginning of March, after two months have passed.

Have any of you gone on a shopping purge? Have you ever considered it? What are your thoughts?

How to Start Your New Year’s Resolution – Even if You’re Late

10 Jan

Also known as, “The Procrastinator’s Guide to Kicking off their New Years Right”.

Okay, so maybe you weren’t on the New Year’s Resolution bandwagon. Maybe you were too busy, or perhaps the holiday season was so stimulating, you could hardly take the time to reflect on this past year and decide where you want to go in 2011. Or maybe you spent your time playing Okami on the PS2 and marathoning Misfits. (Or…maybe that’s just what I did. Oops!)

Either way, maybe making a resolution list and checking it twice wasn’t the highest thing on your priority list but you still want to make a change. Good news: it isn’t too late!

Identify Habits Worth Changing – So maybe you weren’t able to brainstorm things you wanted to do, and the generic ideas (“eat better”, “go to the gym”) aren’t good enough. If that’s your problem, try to be mindful of your day-to-day activity and recognize behaviors you’d like to alter. The best part is that you don’t have to spend much special time doodling an impressive list – you’re just going about your day!

Maybe your cluttered desk is a source of irritation, or you realize that you’re spending entirely too much money on take-out and Starbucks. Take note.

Keep in mind, some of the things worth changing may not just be your habits – take a hard look at your living conditions or even the people you choose to surround yourself with.

Determine Your Next Action – The reason vague resolutions (see above) tend to fizzle out are because they’re so general, you don’t know what to do or even when to start. Eat better? What does “better” mean? More local? Less processed? More vegetarian? And how much “better” is enough? Make steps that have clear actions attached to them, and if possible, quantify your goals. (e.g. – read two books a month)

Do it – now! – Okay, so the whole deal with procrastination is the fact that you put this off until the last minute. But the surest way to get started is to get started as quickly as possible. The good part about waiting past New Years to form a list of resolutions is the fact that you don’t get to lose steam as you wait for January 1st to approach. Start tomorrow! Or even right now!

What’s your New Year’s Resolution, and how do you plan on keeping it?