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Slowed Down Sunday – 4.3.11

10 Apr

Project 4B

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My boyfriend, just because. Also, he’s the artist behind that beautiful portrait of me that you see up there.

New beginnings and opportunities, because while I tend to keep them close to my chest until they’re definite, there are a lot of great things brewing for me on the horizon. I’m so excited I could scream.

Drag Shows and Mansion Parties – The Pride festivities at the University of Pittsburgh were absolutely amazing, capped off by a fabulous drag show. Every year the drag show attracts a huge crowd – the doors opened at 8:30 but I had to show up at 7  – there was no way I’d miss out on a front row seat! The performers were fantastic and all the money went to a great cause – the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force. The next day, we went to a mansion party on Mount Washington hosted by SNAP, the Student Network Across Pennsylvania – talk about awesome!

The Sims, because there is no bigger timewaster out there. I’m one of those players who refuses to turn on aging, even though it’s kind of like cheating. But seriously, I could spend hours browsing for custom content online and working to make sure my Sim succeeds in her career and finds love! I love how the dating pool is as awkward as in real life, where you’ll meet a guy who looks like he has potential, only to find he 1) already has a girlfriend, 2) is a commitment-phobe or 3) is highly inappropriate and decides to end a date by peeing on the floor.

Heavy Duty Workouts, because I didn’t know the palms of your hands could be sore! I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a milk truck, or rolled over like Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda. I’ve done kickboxing for over a year now, but never have I felt so utterly whooped. But I love those feelings.

Jacks and Jills, not just because they’re great to work for, but they also have great taste in t-shirts. (And they have fabulous notes, too.) I’ll be linking my articles from J&J here, so check them out!

What are you thankful for this week? Leave a comment and let me know!

xoxo, Tara


Slowed Down [Superbowl] Sunday – 2/6/11

6 Feb

Okay, if that isn’t the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, you’re lying.

Here’s my ode to the things that made me smile this week!

The Superbowl – In case you didn’t know, today is SUPERBOWL SUNDAY! (Ahhhh!) While it’s disappointing that my hometown team (the Baltimore Ravens) didn’t make it to the big game this year – so close! –  I can’t be completely upset, because my current city of residence is representing this year. GO STEELERS!! If the game doesn’t go well, I have the Puppy Bowl and the game commercials to make me feel better. Now, if the University of Pittsburgh can somehow resist its natural urge to have a hugely destructive riot, this night will be just peachy.

Computer Issues – My computer has been through it! Through it! I had gotten a suspicious warning that my hard-drive was facing imminent failure. While my hard-drive was too corrupt to make an image of my computer (it couldn’t even run ChkDsk!) I was able to back up my files in the nick of time – the very next day, my computer was too damaged to even boot up. My friend was nice enough to lend me hers for the time being while my hard drive got replaced. Soon after that, my ethernet cable decided to die on me, leaving me internet-less for a little while. But it looks like I’m back! Knock on wood for me.

Getting Cultured – This weekend there were two different cultural festivals which were awesome – one put on the various Asian Student Associations on my campus, and one celebrating Vietnamese and Chinese New Year. I had a great time learning about different cultures and enjoying what makes every college student weep with joy – free food.

RuPaul’s Drag Race – I was going to put this under “Getting Cultured” – but RPDR is so fabulous that it deserves a bullet point all on its own. I absolutely adored season 1, season 2 was great but not as great, but season 3 is fantastic! The personalities on this season are amazing, and I already have some favorites – from Raja (America’s Next Top Model’s Sutan, if you’re into that) to Delta Work, to Manila Luzon to my GIRL, Phoenix. This is shaping up to be one hell of a season, and I will be faithfully watching it every Tuesday morning on So, if you’re an American viewer who doesn’t get Logo on their television, you have no excuse. Watch this. You won’t regret it.

Miscellaneous – Working on art projects that feature unicorns; Shameless on showtime; THE PUPPY BOWL!; getting my butt kicked in kickboxing; planning an amazing Valentine’s Day weekend with the boyfriend and the best friend (!); lunch dates with friends you haven’t seen in weeks; the fact that a movie called Cowboys and Aliens exists; coconut tea; planning a scary-exciting international trip; knowing that the Pittsburgh Panthers have picked up a player from my small hometown; Nutella; winning a raffle (I never win anything!); getting featured on a wonderful blog (more details later!)

Anything really make you happy this week? Speak your mind in the comments.





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

Slowed Down Sunday – 12.12.10

12 Dec

Hey everyone! Here’s what has been making me smile this week – in short order. Hit it!

Dressing up – When you’re in college, sometimes opportunities to dress up (beyond party wear, at least) are few and far between. Having the opportunity to burn off some steam and put on a cute dress? Fantastic.

My cold is (mostly) gone! – I’m no longer spending my nights hacking up a lung! Yes!

Reverb10 – It’s a lot of fun, and a great way to reflect on the year that has passed. Join in! If you plan on doing it, link me!

Being done with duty for the rest of the semester! – Okay, so it is the last week of the semester, but I’m glad nonetheless. Actually, I’m on duty tonight, but I’ll be done soon!

Secret Santa exchanges! – Because who doesn’t like a surprise gift from a friend?

-Winter Break – Enough said right? But although mine is criminally short (two weeks?! really??) I absolutely need time to rest and recharge before I pull my hair out. Seriously. I am going to designate a day to sit and take stock of my life, what I want to do, and what is simply unnecessary. Being overwhelmed and unfocused is simply not an option.

Miscellaneous: Finally getting Thunderbird to work; planning a finals respite at Phipps Conservatory; successfully budgeting the last of my meal plan; orange shipments; PG Wodehouse; vent sessions with friends; nightly stretching; egg nog frozen yogurt; successful weekend duty; finishing season 1 of Twin Peaks; finally having a lady date with a good friend; breaking in a new sketchbook; making a new start

This week has been ultra hectic – classes are winding down, finals are coming up (I’ve already had two!) and of course, there’s the fact that the holidays are around the corner. For that reason, I am abstaining from posting for the next two weeks so I can catch my breath and focus on my school work. See you soon!

xoxo, Tara

Slowed Down Sunday – 12.5.10

5 Dec

Hey everybody! I hope your week was absolutely amazing. Mine was absolutely jam-packed, but hey: it’ll be worth it when I finish my final examinations.

Anyway, here is my weekly toast to the things that brightened up my week.

Snow!!! – Yes, snow deserved three exclamation marks. I have a love/hate relationship with precipitation. I absolutely love looking at it from my window. If I’m not in a hurry, I don’t exactly mind being outside in it, if I’m adequately prepared (umbrella, etc). If I’m in a hurry and I have things to do, it can be the greatest irritant ever. At times, the snow annoys me in Pittsburgh – especially when it refuses to stick to the ground, instead resigning itself to flying in your eyes and creating a hazardous walking environment – but snow is a big way to usher in the winter and for that, I can’t stay angry.

♥Organization – Let me just say, whoever invented the cascading folder and command hooks: thank you for being a friend. These things have saved me – especially the command hooks/strips, because there are so many uses. And by the way, I only use 3M command brand adhesive strips, because the other ones I’ve tried haven’t worked nearly as well. And no, I’m not being paid to say this. I’ve used them to hang posters, my backpack and purses, aforementioned the cascading folder, holiday decorations, my power strip, and goodness knows what else I could use them for. I feel so much less stressed when my room is a cluttered mess (which is often…and a problem) so this is great.

♥Beginning of the End – This semester is almost over! It’ll be great to take a break and get some real sleep without worrying about my upcoming school obligations. (Thanksgiving, anyone? Who can relax knowing finals will be waiting for you the minute you hit campus?) I – well, my group mates and I – have reached a major point in a huge project we’re working on (I’ll probably be providing details as it comes closer, so stay tuned!) and it’s a relief that I couldn’t previously imagine.

♥Miscellaneous: Getting a surprise apple caramel cupcake from a friend to brighten up a long, tiring week; dramatic lipsyncs of Disney songs; watching old Mary-Kate and Ashley movies, no matter how terrible they are; going on lady-dates with some fabulous women I need to spend more time with; hatching epic plans; listening to someone’s epic plans, knowing they’re well on their way to completing them; late night Dunkin Donuts; shutting out mid-morning sunlight with a sleep-mask; Maple Blondie ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s; P.G. Wodehouse and the Jeeves stories; taking steps to cross things off a bucket list; Twin Peaks (seriously, three episodes in and I’m farther from figuring out who killed Laura Palmer than I was in the pilot – and don’t you dare spoil me!) and the Psych tribute episode

Anything that you loved in particular this week? Feel free to share!

xoxo, Tara

Slowed Down Sunday – 11.21.10

21 Nov


Light Up Night 2010! (More on Monday)

Happy Almost-Turkey Day! I’m sitting in bed with my sister, counting down to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert while eating some Five Guys. Anyway, my love letter to this week:

♥My Sister is Here! – So, as you may have guessed from the opening couple of sentences, my sister is here visiting me in Pittsburgh. It was an adventure trying to find her (who knew finding the downtown Greyhound station would be so difficult?) but we finally managed to get her back into my dorm room. We’re going to go to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert together tonight, but before that, we’re going to spend some quality sister time, eating food, shooting the breeze and catching up on the latest episodes of Modern Family. This is the first time she’s ever been up to see me, which is awesome – plus, it helps pass the time before…

♥Thanksgiving, which is [almost] Here! – I absolutely love Thanksgiving. Not just because it is the precursor for Christmastime, my favorite time of the year, but also due to the fabulous food, good times with family, and the annual Thanksgiving parade! And no, I’m not ashamed to say I faithfully watch the parade in its entirety every year. Then I catch fleeting moments of the dog show while I help my parents with cooking for that evening. I can-NOT wait!

♥Pittsburgh in Autumn – I wanted to make a bullet just about Light Up Night, but that was so fantastic that I’m going to dedicate an entire blog post to it on Monday. On the other hand, this autumn brings wonderful things to Pittsburgh, from the leaves changing to the unseasonably warm weather we’re having – I’m not sure what’s causing it, but I will enjoy it while I can! Plus, there’s the farmer’s market, fall festivals and college basketball! What’s not to love?

♥Miscellaneous Items – The Pop/R&B Holiday station on Pandora Radio; Architecture tumblrs; Michael Buble; putting the new Girl Talk album on my ipod to listen to on the four-hour ride back to Maryland on Tuesday; white chocolate peppermint lattes; looking forward to family; new beginnings; errant alfalfa hairs sticking straight up in the middle of my head; friends both in Pittsburgh and ones at home; seeing people I haven’t seen in AGES; new starts; being better late than never; HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1; Straight No Chaser, big news for this blog…

Do you have anything to share? Let me know!

xoxo, Tara

Slowed Down Sunday – 11.14.10

14 Nov

Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope your week was filled with happiness and abundant sunshine. Here is my weekly list of things that made me happy!

♥Care Packages – Okay, so see that shirt up there? It was among the items my mom mailed to me in a care package this week! I’m not exaggerating when I say this shirt is older than I am – I think she got it around when the Thriller album came out. Either way, I will wear it with pride because I absolutely love it. Here’s the back if anyone’s wondering:

I think I squealed and ran into my hallway when I got this shirt! So excited!! A package of watermelon pull-and-peel Twizzlers didn’t hurt either.

♥Movie Nights/Quality Time with Friends – In other words, hanging out and shooting the breeze with people I enjoy being around. Even though very little in the way of movies were watched, I had a fantastic time. I also sat through an informational session on various forms of Italian gourmet cheese before I got to go crazy and taste every last one (although one tasted like body odor, I swear!). I also went out to Thanksgiving dinner with a few friends and although they ran out of turkey (!) we had a great thing discussing everything from afros to questionable wigs to the merits of houndstooth. I also got to go to the release party for the  And who can forget having an impromptu RuPaul’s Drag Race marathon in my room?

♥Learning Lists – One of the things that makes me really excited is learning new things. Recently I’ve been brainstorming a list of things I’d like to learn in my lifetime (preferably soon), among them are knitting, cooking (beyond the super-simple), conversational French, scuba diving, proper make-up application and beekeeping. We’ll see how these go…is there anything you plan on trying to learn?

♥Miscellaneous – Sitting around on a lazy Sunday in a t-shirt and some leggings; seeing “Our RA” as something my residents are thankful for (thanks guys!); Hello Kitty band-aids to cover kung-fu battle wounds (I’m serious!); doing punching and kicking drills to Too Hot by Kool and the Gang (almost as great as doing push-ups to Hootie and the Blowfish!); the Firefox beta (although it looks suspiciously like Opera); knowing my sister is coming to Pittsburgh in less than a week (expect to hear more about that weekend, which is bound to be fabulous); the re-injection of the word “fabulous” into my daily vocabulary; cancelling plans to sleep in; daily Skype sessions with my boyfriend.

What about you all? Let me know!

xoxo, Tara