Another Online Diversion–Just What You Needed…

You’re already on Pinterest, right? We’ve talked about this before. It’s not the diversion I’m talking about, but it is related, as I found this diversion on Pinterest.

It’s called Tagxedo. It’s similar to Wordle, only you can make your word clouds into shapes! Also, you can plug in a web address or your Twitter name, and it will make a word cloud out of that source. Here’s the cloud I made from Furnished Souls:

You can also enter text in paragraphs or a list of words. It’s very fun, and another good way to waste time on the internet. Enjoy!

How Lovely…

What with all the craziness of life recently–starting grad school, vacation to NYC, etc.–I have yet to get around to this wonderful piece of news: Revival Girl (aka Angela) from the blog A Grand Revival nominated my blog for the One Lovely Blog Award!

A Grand Revival is well worth checking out, as Angela renovates her home on a budget. She is stylish and classy both, and I LOVE the fact that she used the movie Amelie for her wedding inspiration. Thank you so much for the nom!

To accept the nomination, I must:
*Thank the person who nominated me and link back to them in this post. DONE!
*Share seven possibly unknown things about myself.
*Nominate fifteen bloggers whom I admire.
*Contact and link back to these bloggers.

I love this idea, so with no further ado…SEVEN SECRETS…SORT OF.

1. This may be the first post that I’ve mentioned it in any detail, but I just started my Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing this summer. One of the main aspects of this program is writing a full-length novel. Currently I am working on the plot–here’s some teasers as to what this novel will involve:

Paris in the 1920′s and The Lost Generation.

The surrealist photography of Man Ray.

Playing cards.

Pickers.

Should be interesting.

2. I’m obsessed with the British television show Green Wing. I have watched it on Netflix more times than I care to count. And I ‘ship Mac and Caroline HARD.

I have mentioned this before. What I have not mentioned is that it is beyond frustrating that I keep talking about it AND NOBODY WILL WATCH IT! I AM ALONE. ALOOOONNNNNE.

It is one of the funniest shows ever. EVER.

3. In high school, I wanted to be a professional singer. Opera or lounge, not pop.

4. I can’t dance. I’m quite good at swaying to music, but dancing–especially with a partner–is likely to be a failure. I can’t let someone else lead.

This cat is a better dancer than I am.

5. I’m a vegetarian. But I don’t make a big deal out of it to others–everybody gets to make their own choices. I don’t know how to cook meat, and the smell of bacon makes me nauseous.

6. I think the sexiest clothes are not necessarily the most revealing or overtly sexual. Except for fishnet stockings and garters. They’re trashy and sexy.

7. When I try to garden, things die. My mother is a fantastic gardener, but I can’t even keep a potted plant for more than a month. My mom keeps trying, because I love looking at gardens, but I cannot seem to get that bit of magic right.

And now, the blogs I would like to nominate:

1. The Lipstick Gal
2. The Tiger’s Eye
3. Bewitchery
4. Sadie & Daisie
5. Underscoredesigns
6. Let’s Leave It Up To Fate
7. I Want Your…Blog
8. Tattoos and Running Shoes
9. The Kitchenette
10. Outrunning Autism
11. People Places and Bling
12. Scandinavian Vintage
13. That’s Normal (Blog still in development, link is to Tumblr)
14. Anonymous Hedonist
15. Over My Styled Body

Fantastic blogs, all!

And I’m still in the process of discovering new blogs and people to follow, so if you have any suggestions to round out my list, I’d appreciate it!

Kimono Three Ways

I obsess.

I find something I like and I want to listen to it, read it, or watch it over and over again. Right now I’m obsessed with these things:

Fun. Some Nights

Electric Guest This Head I Hold

Green Wing on Netflix

and Tamsin Greig (as Caroline Tod) in particular.

And right now, I’m kind of obsessed with Girls on HBO. I am not sure I actually LIKE any of the characters, but I find it compelling. So I have to watch.

A lot has been said about the fashion (or lack thereof) on Girls. (Check out Vulture’s Girls paper dolls!) I am kind of digging Jessa’s personal style, which tends to the Boho. I’m all about Boho this summer–I think it’s the maxi dresses that bring it out in me. In particular, Jessa’s kimono in the park outfit has stuck out. I wouldn’t ever wear a bathrobe out in public (which is essentially what she has going on–robe, tank top, Uggs), but I love the idea of a kimono, a topknot, and dark red lipstick.

She uses her employer’s lipstick without her permission, which seems so audacious and even upsetting, which is so part of her character. Bold lip, bold personality.

I came up with a “kimono 3 ways” set. An all-out costume-y kimono, a bathrobe-style kimono (like Jessa’s), and a wearable kimono-style dress (that you could even put a tank top under). Dangly chain earrings, hair up, MAC Russian Red lips, and you’re doing a passable Boho Jessa impression.

Kimono 3 Ways

My own personal bit of Boho today? (Aside from my maxi dress…) My vintage 1976 Egyptian scarab reproduction ring. It was sold at the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the first tour of King Tut’s tomb in the USA. And it swivels. Awesomeness.

So…Boho? Kimono? Or just plain no? Also, any obsessions right now that you want to share?

True Blood Season 5 Premiere!

SPOILERS AHOY! If you didn’t see last night’s True Blood, that is.

Last night was the season premiere of True Blood. Since I love this show, I went ahead and ponied up some dollars to start up my HBO subscription again (just for the course of the series) so I can watch live and up close in HD. I decided to take a close look at the style and fashion of True Blood, so I live-tweeted the experience from my Twitter account, @FurnishedSouls. Some of the things I noticed:

1. Pam stole the show from the moment she said “Fucktarded”. And then she followed that up with “Super Snatch”. Also this:

2. Steve Newlin is a gay vampire American. He has terrible gay man style. He needs to take a cue from Lafayette. Gay does not mean pleat-front khakis, purple plaid shirt, and a sweater around the neck. Seriously.

3. From my tweet, upon seeing Luna and Sam: “I didn’t know HRH Kate’s influence reached all the way to Bon Temps. Nice pantyhose.”

I am pro-tights, anti-pantyhose. Look at Luna here–she looks so buttoned up. She’s so upstaged by all the naked people in that shot.

4. Sookie’s house is vintage twee.

So very Laura Ashley. Her place is worn-in, vintage, and cutesy. So definitively feminine. But also–not very distinctive, sad to say. She put up a shower curtain last night (after they wrapped Debbie Pelt in her old one) that looked like it came from the bargain bin at Bed Bath & Beyond.

5. Let’s talk Nora. Eric’s new “sister” (aka they were both turned by Godric) with benefits. The girl is gorgeous, with the gorgeous skin and gorgeous hair and she had some gorgeous lipstick on in last night’s episode.

Of course, I couldn’t find a picture that looked like it did on my screen, but it was a stunning red that didn’t overpower her. It just enhanced the whole of the gorgeousness. Also, she had some great boots on. And she used to be in the British series Robin Hood, which had my favorite man as its prime baddie who wants to be good, Richard Armitage. Trivia!

6. Lafayette shaved his head. They did a whole “Lafayette looks at non-safety razor longingly while in Sookie’s tub” thing that had everybody worried, then it turns out it was just a haircut. Then he got in a fight with Alcide, which takes some brass ones.

Then Alcide growled. And I slid off my chair.

7. True Blood is trying to bring the 80′s back. Steve Newlin and Jessica Hamby would be prime examples. Check out Jessica’s dress from the episode:

I couldn’t find a full-length shot, but it was short, and tight, and floral with long sleeves. Very Robert Palmer video girl. And the color clip-in? Please, child. She looks like a model for American Apparel. Except with better hair.

8. My favorite garment of the episode ended up in a pool of blood. It was a biker-style hoodie sweatshirt with an asymmetrical zip, found on the “extractor” who gave Eric and Bill their new identities. (IKE APPLEBAUM!) She was then killed.

The hoodie looked a bit like this one from Metropark USA.

9. Predictions: as this was the follow-up to the season finale, there weren’t a lot of changes, like when Sookie’s house got made over or Bill’s house underwent its stylish renovation. But I think there will be some new, fantastic interiors, like this one from an upcoming episode:

I am LOVING that chandelier. Also, I love it when Sookie gets dressed up in her retro girlie style. And, as always, naked is a very popular look on this show.

P.S. I’m not usually a GIF fan. But seriously, if you want a picture of something that happened in a series last night, the richest ground is Tumblr. And those people SERIOUSLY love GIFs. So, thank you, Tumblr Trubies. (And I do love the GIF of Lafayette.)

This Week Inspired By:

Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Oh, YA fiction. You are like a mistress I just keep coming back to. I try to only read YA that is highly recommended, and I saw a bunch of my friends on Twitter talking about these books a couple of months ago. It’s taken me a while to get around to it, but I managed to read both of these within 24 hours today. I slept little and snuck reading into my work day. And now I’m sad that it’s over. Signs of a good book! I think I like Lola a little more, because the characters are a little quirkier, (and Anna shows up there, too), but I love them both. Which brings me to…

Paris

City of Lights! The city I could/should/kind of do love. Allow me to explain.

In college (I was just a couple of years older than Anna!), I finally got to visit Paris. I went with one of my best besties, who I love. However, I discovered once we got there, that my friend did not like art. Or great food. Or history. Or culture. Or basically anything Paris had to offer. Except for architecture, but she got bored of that pretty fast. And we were poor; too poor to drink, too poor to eat well, to poor to take public transit, too poor to afford anything but a hostel, too poor to even go up the Eiffel Tower. And then I got sick mid-week, and we were locked out of our hostel in the rain. Needless to say, Paris is my do-over city.

I am ready to live la belle vie in Paris. I need my do-over.

Quote of the Week

My writing sample for my master’s application is not going well.

Song of the Week
Foux da Fa Fa by Flight of the Conchords

You know. To go with the Paris theme.

Who wants to plan a trip to Paris with me?

This Week Inspired By:

BIRTHDAYS! Okay, my birthday in particular. I will be turning [insert random age here] on Friday! So it’s time for a happy birthday week, inspired by some of my favorite things.

Mad Men

The return of Mad Men has made me so happy. I feel like I’ve stepped back in time with them. And I’m loving Don’s new apartment.

Song of the Week: Young Forever by Jay-Z

(Yes, I remember the original by Alphaville.)

Quote of the Week

Harold and Maude
Just watched this movie for the first time last weekend. What timing! This movie is all about someone older who embraces life and wants to truly live, who meets a young man who wants to die. Quirky, weird, unorthodox, and beautiful.

Michelle Dockery

Guess who’s on the cover of Vanity Fair?

I’m sorry, Juliana Margolies, Claire Danes, and Sophia Vergara. You are gorgeous women, but Michelle Dockery really is the standout here.

English Rose done to perfection. She also played one of my favorite literary characters ever, Susan from Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather.

What’s inspiring you this week?

This Week Inspired By…

Everybody needs some inspiration. My inspirations for this week:

Lola Montez

Not admirable, but jaw-dropping. In brief (there is so much more than this!): An Irish girl who went to Spain, learned to dance (badly), went to Bavaria (pretending she was Spanish), performed a tarantella dance where she pretended there were spiders all over her skirt (just so she could lift it high). Carried a whip. Bedded a king (Ludwig of Bavaria), who built her a castle. Got chased out of Bavaria by angry Bavarians. Opened a cabaret in California during the Gold Rush, where she was the only performer. Died alone and unrecognized on the streets of New York. My favorite Lola story is as follows: She had an affair with composer Franz Liszt (a notorious womanizer himself). His exit strategy out of that relationship was to lock her into their hotel room while she slept, and leave money at the front desk for all the furniture he knew she would break when she woke up. And yes, “Whatever Lola Wants” is based on Lola Montez.

My Daguerreotype Boyfriend

This Tumblr account is rocking my world.* Pictures of hot guys throughout history.

*(This guy’s plaid pants are also rocking my world.)

The Week’s Mantra:

Song of the Week (or the month, or the year, or until I get tired of it, which seems like will NEVER happen)

Gotye featuring Kimbra
Somebody I Used to Know

What are your inspirations for the week ahead?

Choose My Satchel

I need a little help from all the tasteful ladies out there…and any gents (I love gentlemen. I just don’t really expect them to hang out here.)…it is time for a little luggage upgrade. I want a weekend bag, and my heart is set on a rolling duffel. Nothing too sporty, always classy, something that looks more like a satchel than a sports bag. I’ve picked four that I like, now I need your help. Which should I choose?

Mellow World Carnation in Burgundy

DVF New Hearts Rolling City Bag in red/purple

London Fog Cambridge Rolling Bag in black

Anne Klein Country Club Bowling Duffel

What do you think? Leave me a comment with your favorite, or add one of your own!

Thanks for your help!

Girl Crush

Remember that girl in college, the one who kind of blew you away with her awesomeness? For me, that girl was R. She stood out from the crowd of Communications majors in their Birkenstocks and flannel with her flawless complexion, big hair (love some big hair!), and her perfectly turned-out appearance. I was in awe, and a little bit intimidated, too. I couldn’t imagine that a girl who used a seamstress to custom-make her dresses would want to be friends with me.

However, I came to learn that she was one of the sweetest, funniest, most generous people ever. We shared a love of music, clothes, and makeup, as well as a crush on a very talented pianist of our acquaintance. We also shared enough bitchiness between us to criticize the pianist’s undeserving (in our opinion) girlfriend. She introduced me to my favorite red lipstick, Clinique Angel Red, and made me think it might be okay to wear a crinoline under a fancy dress.

PYTs in (nearly) matching dresses and red lipstick! Soulmates even at 18.

The years passed, and we drifted in and out of each other’s lives. R. got married to a wonderful guy and had two adorable girls. She’s in radio broadcasting, so the people she talks to every day can’t actually see her. We finally got to see each other in the flesh over Thanksgiving, and she was still gorgeous and sassy and lovely. But she admitted something shocking: she has slipped into “Zombie Mommy” mode, where so much energy is put into her family that she hasn’t really bothered with herself.

She decided that this year, she’s going to find her inner glamour girl again. To document this journey, she’s started a blog, The Lipstick Gal. So go, say hi, support her in her endeavour, and give her some ideas and challenges. She’s also on Twitter at @TheLipstickGal. She’s just getting started, but I think some of you who are wives or mommies will relate to R.’s life.

And for the rest of you–go be glamorous! You’ll be glad you did.