Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Fashion: Striped Jeans

Can we talk about jeans for a minute?  Of course we can, because this is my blog and I can talk about whatever I want.  And right now I want to talk about jeans.  I love jeans.  I especially love weird, crazy, zany, fun jeans.  I don't even own a pair of ordinary blue jeans.  I don't own a single pair of blue jeans, not even one.  I do own: a pair of black jeans with distressing and red sequins, a pair of army green jeans with lots of pockets, a pair of khaki jeans, a pair of pinkish-purple jeans, a pair of dark red jeans, and a pair of dark gray jeans with a bleaching pattern that's sort of like tie dye.  The point I'm trying to make here is that I am a big fan of jeans.  They are a serious wardrobe staple for me.  And I want more, specifically a pair of camo jeans and a pair of black and white striped jeans, like in this outfit.

Why black and white striped jeans are so cool:

1.  I would feel like a character out of a Tim Burton movie every time I wore them, and I love Tim Burton movies.

2.  They're surprisingly versatile.  I would be able to wear them with just about everything, including plain tops and printed tops.  This would allow me to do some fun pattern mixing including polka dots and stripes, floral and stripes, and subtle zebra print and stripes.

3. It's all the fun and excitement of a circus without scary murderous clowns.

4.  I could wear them under skirts and dresses like striped leggings.  This would be especially helpful next winter when it's cold again.  (It's sunny in Seattle right now and has been this week.  Look quick before it's rainy again.)

So basically black and white striped jeans need to find their way into my wardrobe posthaste.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Movie Review: Wreck-It Ralph

This is one of my new favorite movies.  I rented it from Redbox and I loved it.  A lot of people think that it's a movie for kids, but I actually think that adults will enjoy it more than kids will.  There are so many video game references that kids won't get.  One example of a reference that will go right over kids' heads is the Alcoholics Anonymous style group for video game bad guys.  There are lots of recognizable characters including Sonic the Hedgehog, Dr. Robotnik, Pacman and a Pacman ghost, and Bowser.  This is a movie about a bad guy from a video game who wants to win a medal instead of being thrown into mud at the end of every game.  So he goes on a quest to win a medal so the other characters in his game will love him as much as the game's hero, Fix-It Felix.  He ends up finding more than he bargained for, and finds out that there might be more to people than just whether they're good or bad.  The movie is mostly hilarious, partially heartwarming, and occasionally shocking (I'm talking about twists, nothing that will make you have to cover childrens' eyes).  I think that everyone should watch this movie, especially adults who like video games.  I give it a 5 out of 5.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Need for a New Blog Design

My blog design has always been a bit of work in progress.  It's close to where I want it now, but not there yet.  I recently finished free online courses in basic HTML and basic CSS on, so now I'm ready to put that knowledge to work here.  So far I have fixed my nav bar with CSS.  I decreased the amount of links and picked a font, Century Gothic, that I will use elsewhere on my blog.  Because speaking of fonts, at the moment I have five different ones and I think that I should decrease that to two or three.  I also want to have a different color scheme and add more of my own drawings and graphics with an Alice in Wonderland theme, including teacup shaped social media icons.  And my margins could use a bit of work too.  So all of this is in the works, and by in the works I mostly mean in my head or on my Pinterest boards.

In somewhat related news, I'm now working 4 hours a day 4 days a week, so I'll still have lots of free time (for blog redesign things and Etsy shop things (like trying to get my jewelry into more local businesses)) but also not have to worry about being able to pay my rent each month.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Fashion: Girly Punk Spring Style

Girly Punk Spring Style

Girly Punk Spring Style by jaythejedi featuring studded wedge sneakers

This is what I wish I was wearing today, but I don't own any of it, except the necklace obviously, since I made it and it's for sale in my shop.  It's actually my favorite necklace.  I really really love the shoes and the shirt and the bag.

But Spring is here and I have been wearing much more colorful clothing lately.  The sun is shining and I feel like I have a lot more energy.  Goodbye Seasonal Affective Disorder; Hello Spring!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Etsy Love: Alice in Wonderland Edition

I made some Alice in Wonderland inspired jewelry for my own Etsy shop recently.  I have really loved Alice in Wonderland for years and years so I think that it's about time for me to share some wonderful Alice in Wonderland themed Etsy products.

Alice in Wonderland tutu dress with matching hairpiece
What little girl wouldn't love to have this pretty dress to play dress-up in?!

Alice in Wonderland red Mushroom note card / greeting card
This is such a cute greeting card!

Alice In Wonderland Necklace Valentine Gift Jewelry - Blue Jewelry Wearable Art Gift For Her
I love this necklace. The setting is the perfect style for Alice in Wonderland.

Alice in Wonderland Painting the Roses Red Paper Spiral Flowers
These are really cool and I kind of want them but have no use for them or space to put them.

You can see the rest of the items in the treasury I made on Etsy.

Friday, March 15, 2013

My House is Not Haunted, Probably

Yesterday I was doing yoga and the weather was overcast, so I had a lamp turned on in the middle of the day.  It was one of those touch lamps that you touch to turn on.  It has three different levels of brightness.  I had it turned to the lowest level.  I started doing my yoga and the lamp got brighter, brighter again, then turned off.  I immediately assumed that there must be a ghost in the house.  It was invisible and standing there touching the touch lamp to freak me out.  It was also clearly a pervert ghost and I wasn't about to continue with my yoga.  Then I remembered that science is a thing that exists and the bulb was probably loose.  At the risk of accidentally walking through a ghost, I walked over to the lamp and grabbed the bulb to see if it was loose.  The bulb was hot and I almost burned my hand so I let go and grabbed a tissue and used that to protect my hand.  It turns out that the bulb was loose so I tightened it and that solved the problem.  I was slightly disappointed that I didn't need to call the Ghostbusters though (because they're a real thing and not just fictional characters on a movie).  So my house is almost definitely not haunted, probably.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Gluten-Free Food Review 1

I have been eating a gluten-free diet since January when I found out that I have celiac disease.  I have found that gluten-free food is extremely hit-or-miss and also very expensive.  I thought it would helpful to other gluten-free people if I would share the products that I would highly recommend and the products that I would highly recommend you to avoid.

If you are gluten-free and you live in or near Seattle, there is this Fred Meyer that you have to go to.  It's in Lynnwood and the address is 4615 196th St SW Ste 175 Lynnwood, WA 98036.  There is a fantastic selection of gluten-free products located on the left side of the store.  I bought the pizza crusts in the above picture.  The brand is Kinnikinnick.  These are actually not expensive.  There are four personal-sized pizza crusts in a box.  They are frozen and you have to cook them in the oven.  I actually wanted to put mostly cold toppings on my pizza, so I cooked just the crust and added the toppings after removing it from the oven.  The crust is made of rice flour and it tastes just as good as a gluten pizza crust.  I have only made one of these so far, but it was really delicious.  I used Kraft brand Creamy Poppyseed dressing as sauce and bacon, avocado, tomato, and mozzarella as toppings.

I also bought some blueberry muffins by the same brand and they tasted just as good as muffins that have gluten.  I had previously tried Udi's brand blueberry muffins and they were ridiculously dry and I was not impressed.  Some people swear by the Udi's brand but I am not a fan.  I have also purchased the Udi's brand of granola and it is some of the least flavorful granola I have ever tasted.  It also doesn't agree with my stomach.  I would definitely recommend the Kinnikinnick muffins.  They are also located in the freezer case and you can just heat them up on a plate in the microwave for about a minute to thaw them before eating.

As far as granola, I'm still trying to find a really good kind.  I bought some by the Enjoy Life brand at Fred Meyer.  Their brand is really cool because they make sure not to have the 8 most common food ingredients in any of their food, which are wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts. egg, soy, fish, and shellfish.  The granola I got is really delicious, but it will probably break your teeth if you eat it by itself.  I have been letting it soak in soy milk to soften it up before I eat it.

As far as delivery pizza goes, if you live in the Seattle area, I highly recommend Garlic Jim's.  Their pizza crust is thin but very tasty and they have lots of gluten-free options for pizza toppings.  I always get the Hawaiian.  The gluten-free pizzas are only available in two sizes and do cost more than an ordinary pizza, but they are also delicious, and in my opinion, completely worth it.

The other brand that I highly recommend is Gluten Free Cafe.  Their canned soups are nothing special, but their frozen meals are delicious.  I especially like the Lemon Basil Chicken and the Fettuccine Alfredo, which uses rice noodles and I actually prefer it to any other fettuccine alfredo.

Last but not least is ice cream.  Sadly my three favorite flavors, Ben and Jerry's Dublin Mudslide, Ben and Jerry's Boston Cream Pie, and Ben and Jerry's Red Velvet Cake, all contain gluten.  But I have already discovered my new favorite.  It's called Safeway Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry and there's not gluten in it.  It has strawberry ice cream with real strawberry pieces and fudge swirl and it's delicious.

I hope that someone will find these recommendations helpful.  I think the worst part of accidentally wasting your money on disgusting or less-than-delicious food is that you (or at least I) feel bad just throwing it away, so I usually make myself eat it all so it's not a waste of money.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wanting Structure

One of the reasons that I'm so happy to finally be returning to work is that I want to have a little bit of structure in my life again.  For the most part I'm a free spirit, happy to do my own thing.  I enjoy being able to do whatever I want, whenever I want.  But during this time that I haven't been working, I have been crazy busy trying to everything possible to make enough money to pay my rent each month.  I spend every waking moment trying to be super productive, even to the point of not showering sometimes because it isn't productive.  I mean, I would never ever not shower because that's gross.  Um, yeah, that's totally what I meant...  Anyway I am really looking forward to returning to work and some structure because I might actually allow myself to have some free time now.  Because seriously, I have even been eating while working.  The only time that I'm awake and not trying to be productive lately is when I'm doing my yoga, except for this weekend when I went to Olympic Sculpture Park.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

An Exciting Announcement!

I'm feeling well enough that I'll be starting back to work on Monday.  I'm starting out with just one day a week.  I have the best boss ever.  Not many bosses would have saved my job for me since I was last able to work in November.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Introducing Nerdish Delight!

Welcome to the first Nerdish Delight post ever!  What is Nerdish Delight?  It's a post where I share some of the nerdy things that I've found around the internet lately that I find delightful.  These things include, but are not limited to: webcomics, video games, technology/gadgets, and science.

I adore the game Coma on Kongregate, by Thomas Brush AKA wittyhobos.  It is a point-and-click game, which is my absolute favorite kind of game ever.  It is not a difficult game.  That isn't the point.  It's beautiful and artistic and slightly creepy.  I also really like that the game doesn't just tell you outright what it means, but lets you draw your own conclusions.  I feel like that's something all good art does.

The Hubble telescope found a galaxy that supposedly looks like a Space Invader.  I think it looks more like a skull with glowing eyes.  To me, it would look like a Space Invader it it had the antennas and longer arms.  Nice try, galaxy, nice try.

A man had 75 percent of his skull replaced with a 3D-printed piece!  This makes me ask so many questions, but the first one is, 'How?!'  75 percent is a lot of a person's skull.  And skulls have eyes and noses and lips and ears on them.  I just don't even know how they did it.  I have always thought that 3-D printing was really cool, but I never even thought about something like this as a possible application.  It's super cool, but I wish that the article was more elaborate.

Here is a cool gadget in the world of 3D printing.  It's the first ever 3D printing pen.  It is by far the most affordable way to print in 3D.  The Kickstarter campaign for it still has 13 days left and over 2 million dollars has already been pledged, which is well over the $30,000 goal.  This thing is just cool.  I can't wait to see what amazing creations people make with it.  It works in a similar way to a hot glue gun.  You put in plastic and the pen heats and extrudes it.  The plastic cools so fast that you can actually draw in the air!  It kind of reminds me of that episode of Spongebob Squarepants with the magic pencil, only the drawings don't magically come to life and attack people.

And last, but certainly not least, is Codecademy, which I discovered through one of the people I follow on Google+.  I've been meaning to learn CSS and refresh my HTML knowledge for quite a long time.  I had found a few different sites that offered free online courses, but none of them that I really loved.  Enter Codecademy.  First of all, you earn badges when you complete lessons, and I am instantly drawn into any site that lets me earn badges.  (See Kongregate.)  They have lessons in CSS, HTML, PHP, jQuery, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, and APIs.  I can't really comment on the other lessons because I haven't done them, but the HTML and CSS lessons are really good for beginners.  I completed the HTML lessons last week.  It was really interesting to learn about lots of basics that I was never taught and also some basics that I was taught incorrectly.  I have moved onto the CSS lessons, which are new to me entirely.  I have been picking up CSS really quickly and I wish I had learned it earlier.  Each Codecademy lesson is made up of a number of exercises based around a concept, such as tables.  The first exercises teaches you the absolute basics, including any new syntax, and tells you exactly what to type and where to type it.  The following exercises do the same thing, with more advanced steps and less guidance until you can do it by yourself.  If you can't remember how to do something, you can go back to the exercise that taught you how to do it, or you can look at the hint.  It's a really great free resource for coders and programmers.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Fashion: Rocker Style

Tomorrow G and I are going to go to Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle.  I've never been there before but I've wanted to go for awhile.  One of the best parts is that it's completely free!  The weather is supposed to be nice and sunny tomorrow, so it will be great for walking around and taking lots of awesome pictures.  In a perfect world, I would be wearing this outfit, but I only own the jacket portion.  I especially love the black and white bag.  I really really want some camo skinny jeans.  I have camo shorts but that's not the same.  They're at the top of my wishlist, along with a lace dress.

Also make sure you remember to set your clocks forward on Sunday for Daylight Savings time so you aren't late for stuff.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Blog and Shop of the Month: Lotta and Brit

I discovered so many amazing shops and blogs this month that it was really hard to choose!  I ended up choosing Brit + Co. as my Blog of the Month and Lotta Losten as my Shop of the Month.

I discovered Lotta Losten because Twitter recommended it to me as an account to follow.  I saw that it was an Etsy shop so I checked it out and it was amazing!  They make beautiful jewelry that's like a wearable sculpture.  I was happy to see that they just barely squeaked by my requirement for having 50 sales or less, with 45 sales.  So without further ado, feast your eyes on the amazingness that is Lotta Losten!

I discovered Brit + Co. just a few days ago while checking out a ton of new blogs.  She's been called the Martha Stewart of Silicon Valley and I'm sure you'll see why.  Besides sharing cool DIY ideas, style, health, tech, and more, she has a shop where you can buy craft supplies.  She also sells Brit Kits, which are a monthly subscription for a box full of supplies for DIY projects.  So far this is my favorite tutorial I've read on her site.  It's so simple but something I would have never thought of doing!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Making Work Fun

I love running my Etsy shop.  But I have always loved actually making the jewelry, but not photographing it.  That's why I always end up with an overwhelming pile of unphotographed jewelry.  And because it is so overwhelming, I usually just make more jewelry until it is even more overwhelming.  Yesterday I decided that I would find a way to make shooting product photos fun, and therefore something to look forward to rather than dread.  I decided that the best way to do this was to be as creative as possible.  I tore apart my room to find everything that could possibly work as a photo prop.  Then I figured out how to arrange things to go with each piece of jewelry.  It was really fun.  I took 127 photos.  Also when I say I tore apart my room, I really mean it.

I also just had to take some photos without jewelry in them because I was struck by artistic inspiration.  So here they are.

This one is an abstract dreamcatcher made out of found stones and shells and store-bought feathers.
I haven't edited the jewelry photos yet.  My camera does this fun thing where the exposure setting makes the photo look super dark on the camera but everything looks underexposed on my laptop.  I have been setting the exposure higher and higher every time but I haven't found the sweet spot yet.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Shaving my Head for Cancer Research

You may remember that I have celiac disease.  It is an incurable disease.  It's not a death sentence, but it is making my life more difficult.  Cancer is a disease that is much much worse than celiac disease.  In some cases it is treatable, but the treatment doesn't necessarily work.  Cancer affects so many lives and not just the lives of those diagnosed with cancer, but also their friends, families, and colleagues.  Anyone can get cancer.  I have had two loved ones die of cancer, one a relative and the other a friend.  It is horrible to watch someone you love go through that when you can't do anything to help them.

In the past I have donated my hair to Locks of Love.  I have made donations on two separate occasions.  "Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis"  Some of the children who receive wigs from Locks of Love have lost their hair due to radiation treatment for cancer.  My friend Katy, who I sadly lost to cancer, lost all of her hair from radiation treatments.  She had to wear a hat all of the time because she was so cold.  The radiation treatments kept the cancer under control for awhile but eventually the cancer metastasized (meaning it spread to other parts of her body).

I would like to donate my hair to Locks of Love again.  In order to donate to Locks of Love, you must have at least a 10 inch long ponytail.  Your hair may be color-treated but not bleached.  It takes 6 to 10 ponytails to make a single wig.

But here's the thing, I want to do more than donate my hair.  I don't have any extra money (my tax refund is going towards being able to pay my rent this month), since I haven't been able to work since November and haven't made any Etsy sales since December.  So I am working with what I have.  I have a blog.  My blog has a little over 200 subscribers and many of those subscribers also have blogs.  So I am asking each of you to donate just a dollar (or more if you want) ,or at least share this post on your social media networks, to the American Cancer Society.  The American Cancer Society works to help cancer patients get well, stay well, and fight back.  They also do a lot of research to find cures.  You can donate in honor or in memory of a loved one or you can just donate.  You can designate your donation to 1 of 5 different types of cancer research or where it's needed most.  The problem is that the minimum donation is $50, so here is my idea.  If you want to donate less than $50, donate it to my Paypal.  Add a note that it is for the American Cancer Society.  I will donate the money every time it reaches $50.  If you are worried that this is a scam, don't donate.  If you've been following my blog for awhile, I hope you'll realize that you can trust me, but if not I totally get it.  I just ask that you would share this post.

No matter what, I'm going to donate my hair to Locks of Love again.  If all of you manage to raise $500 or more, I will donate my hair to Locks of Love and I will also shave my head.  My hair is long.  I like my long hair.  I am a female but I can be mistaken for a male when I have short hair.  But I have a choice.  People with cancer don't have a choice.  They don't choose to have cancer.  I don't know anyone who wants to have cancer.  And anyone can get cancer.  I could get cancer.  And if I ever do, I hope that there will be a cure for it, or at least better treatments.  That is why I will shave my head if we raise $500.  Because I willingly give up my long hair for the chance to contribute to a cure for cancer.  I willingly give up my long hair in the hope that others won't have to give up theirs.

If you donate on the American Cancer Society website, let me know in a comment on this post so I can add the amount to the total.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday Fashion: Peplum Top

Orange Skirt Casual Outfit

When I first saw that peplum tops were in, I thought they looked cute on some people but I could never pull one off.  Then I saw Candace Bailey wearing one on Attack of the Show.  She's one of my girl crushes and I wish that show was still on because it was one of my favorite shows.  Anyway she has a very similar body type to me and she looked really cute in a peplum top and green jeans (Let's be honest though; She looks cute in anything she wears.  And yes I am jealous).  So I realized that I might look good in one too.  I haven't tried it yet because of my illness and weight loss, I'm not buying any clothes until I'm back to my previous weight, so they'll actually fit.  Plus I still haven't been able to go back to work yet and no income means no spending money on non-necessities.  Anyway, if I had infinite money, I would buy a peplum top and style it like this.  It's more of a casual outfit.  And I love leather jackets (well faux leather).  I have a brown one and a black one.  That's the only part of this outfit I actually own, but a girl can dream.