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Slowed Down Sunday – 11/7/10

7 Nov

Happy Sunday, everyone, and a happy belated Diwali to all that celebrate it!

As with other Sundays, here’s my weekly ode to everything that made my heart sing this week!

♥Adventures in Oakland – I had a great time this week running all over my neighborhood doing all sorts of things – from taking in the Diwali sale at Bombay Mart to checking out the sketchy place next door (my friend Jade referred to it as a “random old shit” store, which is a pretty accurate description) that sold “Butt Naked” essential oil (?!?!), to running to catch a magazine release party that wasn’t actually happening (stupid misinformed flyers) to enjoying finger food for the opening of the Cup and Chaucer cafe on last-minute notice, this week (and weekend in particular) was pretty freaking fabulous.

♥Bhangra in the Burgh(The website has autoplay.) Yes, this had to have its own separate subheading because this was AMAZING. I have had brief exposures to bhangra before, usually at cultural nights at my school, but this was SO different – bhangra squads from all over the north-east (and one team from Florida) came to compete and brought the house down. The energy and enthusiasm of both the performers and the audience was electrifying and I was completely hooked.  Every performance had me and my friends chattering and wondering how well they would place and what the next group could do. And, proudly enough, the all-female DC Bhangra Crew came and rocked Soldiers and Sailors memorial, representing the DMV very well. Even though VCU took it in the end, they did a fantastic job. By the way, here’s the intro video from this year’s competition to give an idea of what took place last night:

♥No More Midterms (for now)! – I mentioned this in Friday’s post, but I’ve been M.I.A. because of midterms, which took up all of my time the past couple of weeks. Thankfully, I’ve finished the gauntlet, so for the most part, I really have to look forward to finals! (Yes! Not.) But barring future catastrophes, posting should run as usual. I’m trying to make arrangements for finals week with some pre-prepared material for you all to enjoy. And as always, if there’s anything you think I should write about, leave a comment or send me an email (info on my contact page).

♥Miscellaneous – Clearing my bedroom floor off (small victories); getting my schedule prepared for next semester (I’m taking art! Yes! No Friday class! Double yes!); Having a “Make it Work” moment and actually making it work; the anticipation of seeing my sister and then getting to go home for Thanksgiving (yaay); re-watching Cinderella starring Brandy; having someone walk into my room and say, “I may be mistaken, but is your favorite color purple?”; showing school pride with Silly Bands; planning fabulous cultured cocktail parties with friends; free food; seeing plans come together; letting go and moving forward; major life changes (shh!); amla oil; my sister on google chat

That’s all from me this week! If something was particularly awesome to you, please share!

xoxo, Tara

Slowed Down Sunday – 10.10.10

10 Oct

Hello everyone: I hope your past week was absolutely fantastic. While I usually take this time to discuss what I’m thankful for during the week, I’d like to modify it a little bit this time. I hope you don’t mind.

♥ My Dog, Desi:

I loved Desi from the minute I set eyes on her in the local Animal Shelter about six years ago. She was a Sharpei mix (German Shepard, maybe?) puppy found running around the local neighborhood, gone unclaimed. I reached out to pet her, she gnawed on my purse. In short order, we had taken her home.

It took her a little while to adjust to our household – especially to our two cats, Twist and Shout, who immediately disliked her energetic nature and loud barks – but eventually she settled into our family routine. In High School, letting her outside was the start to my day and it always ended with me shutting off the family room light with her curled up on the carpet, guarding the garage door, a silent sentry.

While we’ve had her times – her Houdini-like approach to our backyard was a regular headache, just like her picky eating habits (what a Princess!) – she was a beloved member of the family and the first one to greet me when I came back home from college.

This past Tuesday, my beloved dog Desiree was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. The very next day, her condition had deteriorated to the point where my family elected to have her put to sleep. The last thing they wanted was for our beloved dog to suffer.

I’ll always remember, love and miss her.

Slowed Down Sunday – 10/3/10

3 Oct

Isn’t that picture awesome? I love Kelis!

So here’s my ode to gratefulness this week:

Fall Break – It’s been a while since I’ve been in Maryland – almost a month! That’s a long time for me, by the way. I miss so many things back there, like my family, boyfriend, my pets and Mongolian barbecue. Thankfully for me, this coming weekend is fall break, and I’m flying home!  I can’t wait to sleep in my bed, eat my parents’ cooking and snuggle with the boyfriend. As if on cue, the Ravens, with a clutch move, defeated the Steelers today. I think it’s a sign.

Blasts of Inspiration – I took some time off from the blog for a couple of reasons: I had very little time to write and I was running out of ideas. I know: excuses, excuses. But after taking time to myself (also known as being on duty), I have had a burst of inspiration to write. More posts forthcoming! I’m excited! Also, if there’s anything you want me to write about, email me or leave me a comment!

Miscellaneous Loves – The scent of freshly done laundry; General Tso’s Chicken (I haven’t had it in a while!); knowing my socks from Sockdreams are on their way (mine are lilac and pink!); THIS HAT (I want it in lilac and pink too…); becoming penpals with the epic Alexandra Franzen; seeing the fantastic Esperanza Spalding in concert – the dinner at Bossa Nova was quite the bonus; WRCT‘s global radio show known as Sound Smorgasbord – the DJ is super-awesome, and the music is fantastic. Listen now!; another grueling session in kickboxing; the possibility of a few amazing trips on the horizon – Florida? California? CANADA?; purchasing RuPaul’s new book – finally; the Fuck Yeah Christmas Tumblr!

What are you grateful for this week? Let me know!

xoxo, Tara

Slowed Down Sunday – 9/26/10

26 Sep

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Hey everyone! I had a weekend – and what a weekend it was – on a fabulous retreat! Here’s a summation of my loves of the week:

Vira I Heinz Retreat! Overall, this was a weekend well-spent. I made new friends, learned valuable information and interacted with some amazing women. To talk to an amazing group of ladies who are clearly destined for big things in their lives was incredible – and I am honored and blessed that I can be among them. Plus, we had a ton of fun just hanging out, shooting the breeze and discussing our experiences. I would never leave this out, you know me – had some FANTASTIC food. The highlight of my culinary experience was at the Green Forest Churrascaria. I believe my reaction text read something like, “Turkey on a sword wrapped in bacon? This is a good day.” Lastly, this trip enabled me to update my Travel Bucket List. Who wants to go with me to Moldova?

Finally Cleaning My Room – Okay, I’ll be the first to admit it: I’m not the tidiest person. Don’t confuse this with “dirty”, because I’m clean…just cluttered. At the same time, I feel like my room is an accurate representation of my mindset. When I feel stressed and overwhelmed, it is clearly reflected in the state of my belongings. When I feel together enough to keep things neat, it means a lot to me. Keeping organized is something I struggle with, so I’m glad – hectic schedule and all – that my room has a semblance of order. It doesn’t look like an Ikea ad yet, but it’s getting there. Heck, maybe I’ll tidy up some more after this post…

Getting Focused – This goes along with the previous point, but sometimes you need a short-term meltdown to put things in perspective and move forward. I think I have my priorities in clear view now, which is comforting. I have a lot of thinking, work and planning to do, but the end result will be so worth it.

Miscellaneous: Watching Project Runway online, where there are no commercials…(I absolutely love Mondo. I just want to hug him & be his bff); FINALLY getting to wear this dress; the prospect of wearing tights; the StayFocusd extension for Chrome (desperate times call for desperate measures, you know?); conversations about genital piercings over salad and asiago bagels; the fact that FeelGood Grilled Cheese is coming back; Junior Senior; keeping it real; apple cider; getting to dress up for a weekend; single-tasking (multi-tasking is a really hard habit to break!); realizing my nails have grown and they’re actually pretty strong (this is new territory for me)

What’s been good to you this week? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo, Tara

Slowed Down Sunday – 9.19.10

19 Sep

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Hi there! I hope your week was filled with excellence and awesomeness. Here’s my brief note of gratitude:

Serendipity – Have you ever had those times when things just fall into place? Your plans magically come together and things develop in unexpected and exciting ways? Things seemed to fall into place extremely well for me recently, from employment opportunities to stumbling upon a farmer’s market in the midst of a craving. My dreams have led me into some interesting places, but my life has been more sensational as a result.

Clean room – I have a confession to make: my room isn’t the cleanest thing in the world, at least not often. I’m not very organized, my chair seems to be the sanctuary for lost clothes, and you don’t even want to know what’s underneath my bed. Last night, even though a portion of my plans fell through, it gave me a reason to get down and clean this bad boy up. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, right? I’m going to savor the feeling of sitting on my freshly made bed and peering at my dorm, which currently resembles an Ikea advertisement. It’ll be good while it lasts!

Fun with Friends – I’ve had a great time getting in some girlfriend-bonding time, whether they live four minutes away or four hours away. Eating cupcakes, impromptu fashion shows, sprawling out on a sea of emerald-green, sharing sushi, watching Formula One racing over pizza and making mad plans for the future.

Miscellaneous StarburstsDozen Bake Shop – oh my goodness, a taste of heaven in my mouth; watching RuPaul’s Drag Race from the beginning (Nina Flowers! Ongina! Bebe Zahara Benet!); the delayed gratification of having “me” time – which, for me, is sitting in bed watching the Golden Girls with no pants while I eat cupcakes; finding out about free shipping deals at your favorite online retailers; long naps with the window open; fresh peaches; apple cider; my boyfriend cracking me up; seeing the rain FINALLY come so I can début my sick bubble umbrella and rain boots; starting back and kickboxing and promptly getting my butt kicked; relaxing with a passion fruit-mango smoothie after getting your butt kicked; having dreams about my 20th birthday party (unicorn cupcakes! petticoats! tie-die stockings! Chinese food!)

Slowed Down Sundays – 9/12/10

12 Sep

Night Two

How can you help Four Mile Canyon?

Happy Sunday! It’s been quite a week, hasn’t it? Here’s my weekly ode to my life (ha!). Feel free to share tales of thankfulness and gratitude in the comments!

Visits from Home – First things first, I got to see some family that I hadn’t seen in months! Although we only got to spend time together for one day – and for a limited time, at that – it was still wonderful. You can’t beat being outclassed in clay workmanship by small children. Also, my boyfriend came up from Maryland to take a look at universities in the area. It’s always great to see him – I only see him about once a month, except for on breaks, you know – and we had a fantastic time! From catching up on Dexter (at least somewhat), to one of our favorite pastimes, trying new food (the Sunday buffet at Joe Mama‘s in Pittsburgh is delicious, by the way) to…

FOOTBALL!! – So, the boyfriend got to go to his first Pittsburgh Panthers football game on Saturday. Even though he was reluctant at first, he admitted that it was an awesome experience. I’ve never gotten to go to a pro football game, but I don’t think anyone would correct me when I say that college athletics is a unique, impassioned experience. We got to watch our (okay, my) Panthers take on New Hampshire in the season opener – and although we were gypped in the introduction video (get a taste of this greatness!) it was an amazing game, and a great comeback from that unfortunate overtime loss against Utah earlier this month. The team I (sort of) adopted, the Pittsburgh Steelers, opened the season by defeating the Falcons, and my number one team, the Baltimore Ravens, take on the Jets on Monday Night Football. While I’m not going to become a football columnist anytime soon, I am really glad football season has started. Also, if you’re wondering how I can reconcile loving both the Steelers and the Ravens, just know that if they’re playing each other, it’s all about the Ravens.

Care Packages (and packages in general) – My boyfriend brought a care package up to Pittsburgh, courtesy of my mother. Of course, it included those things that I forgot to pack on my first trip up – like hangers! – but she threw in a few surprises, like vegetable potato chips and my favorite comfy pillow. As she said, she “hooked me up”. I’m still unpacking some of the stuff she sent! Aside from that, I’m getting tons of packages in the mail, which I love, even though most of them are textbooks for my classes this semester. I’m expecting a few more things in the mail, so I’m sitting tight and waiting! (Bubble Umbrella, you are so mine!)

Miscellaneous Loves – Pinachio cookies at Trader Joe’s: Pistachios and White chocolate cookies! Delicious…; seeing the summer exhibit at Phipps the day it closes; an amazing retreat with the Blue and Gold society (I was practically there all night!); experimenting with henna in my hair, which I learned a lot from; taking multiple naps throughout the weekend; unintentionally color coordinating with my boyfriend; Stellarium, the open source planetarium (!); excitedly discussing shoes with one of my best friends; going on a field trip and finding that white sweater with Mickey Mouse ears that I’ve been coveting (you can see my proclamation of desire in the comments – plus it’s a great blog, check it out); fingernail painting parties with friends; barbecues on labor day; the massive bonfire that kicked off Pittsburgh football; creamy tomato tortellini (I’m sorry, it was delicious); making plans to purchase a tripod so I can photograph my outfits (ahh!); savoring the transition from summer to autumn

So, what set your heart aflame this week? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo, Tara

Slowed Down Sunday – 8.29.10

29 Aug


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One thing I can never get over is how quickly a week passes…I feel like I just posted last week’s SdS only a couple of days ago! Anyway, here’s my weekly dose of gratitude, from me to you:

♥ MICHAEL JACKSON – For all of you who don’t know, today, August 29th, would have been Michael Jackson’s 52nd birthday. Near the anniversary of his death, I wrote a post about my feelings for him as an artist, so I won’t recap it here. While I was pretty despondent then, I’ve decided that Michael’s birthday should be a day of celebration, not of mourning. I plan to listen to my favorite Michael songs all day and relive the amazing memories that I have attached to them, while appreciating the tremendous talent that created them. I’ll also be sprinkling this post with my favorites – because it’s impossible to just pick one!

♥ LOVELY PEOPLE – Okay, not just any people. But the people I’ve been interacting with on a regular and consistent basis have been fantastic. I’ve reconnected with my friends from last year in university – many of which I hadn’t seen all summer. Also, I got to meet my new staff for this upcoming school year in my residence hall, and I can safely say that I think it’s going to be a fabulous year. I have a lot of positive energy for the people in my social sphere, and I couldn’t be happier. Big things are on the horizon and I can’t wait. Plus, I’m already making plans to see the people who aren’t here with me in Pittsburgh and I can’t wait! My excitement for my plans could take up a whole post by themselves!

♥ AUTUMN IS COMING! – I love the seasons. Each and every one of them – because to me, every one of them brings something wonderful into my life, although some of them are less tolerable weather-wise than others (winter, I’m looking at you). I especially love the “moderate” seasons – autumn and spring because they are a lot more balanced than extreme, which suits my personality. So while I love summer, the season of sunshine, rain showers, sea breezes, swimming pools, ice cream, flip-flops and – my personal favorite part – summer vacation, I find myself pining for the days of autumn, where the leaves begin to change, football season gears up to start and you can finally pull your favorite trench coat and boots from the back of your closet. Hooray for Autumn!

♥ MISCELLANEOUS STARBURSTS – FavoRED Starburst packs (Starbursts with only the pink and red flavors – how convenient!); the fact there is going to be such thing as Planet Sheen; meeting in a coffee shop and talking about Tanzania; ADVENTURE TIME (can this show be on DVD already??); last week’s Project Runway; gummy dinos; color-coding my clothing; getting a *huge* package of dried fruits and pop-chips in the mail; having the freedom to try all sorts of things with my hair; the hope that I’ll FINALLY be able to learn how to knit; smiley face cookies; waking up, only to realize that you have the ability to snuggle back into bed; boxers with rainbows on them; making plans that frighten you and excite you at the same time

So that’s that! What is filling your heart with love and thankfulness this week? Let me know!

xoxo,

Tara