31 March 2009

Martha Stewart is Awesome

Does it matter that I'm only 20 and loves it? No. It does not.

So I was especially excited to hear about Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts. And it came out today. OH, and Christy Nelson is giving FIVE away. So you should head over there and check it out. And enter the contest. Contests are fun.

(I did. And I hope I wiiiiiiin!)

Songs That Remind Me of Old School Days

You know the dealio. If not, check it out here.

School Day Songs

Junior High:
1. "Fly" - Sugar Ray

2. "Bye Bye Bye" - N*Sync

3. "Sometimes" - James

High School:
1. "Fa Fa" - Guster

2. "Blueside" - Rooney

3. "Zak & Sara" - Ben Folds

30 March 2009

Boyfriend Guestblog #2: Ukulele

Sorry for my absence in the way of guestblogging. I vow to make a triumphant return with more frequent posts about movies, music, and video games. Today's topic: the ukulele.

Here is how my journey with the ukulele began. I taught myself how to play guitar in high school while my brother was in the musical. I learned all the chords I could and got proficient. However, I soon got frustrated at my inability to play most songs (I to this day cannot read music). I was in search of a simpler instrument with a unique voice to rejuvenate my thirst for playing music.

my ukes!

When I went to Bonnaroo (one of my favorite concert experiences and maybe the subject of a future blog post), I bought a cheap baritone ukulele at a vendor. I fell in love with the instrument. I now also own a tenor and soprano ukulele. I got into the instrument at the same time as the indie rock world. Now, bands all over the place are using the ukulele! Here a few of my favorite uke songs.

Beirut- Elephant Gun

Bishop Allen- Butterfly Nets

Noah and the Whale- Five years Time

Wrapping Paper as Posters

Ah, Apartmenttherapy. I do love thee.

Saw this post today. Brilliance: using sheets of fancy wrapping paper as posters.

From Kate's Paperie:

White & Grey

Culinary World (Wouldn't this stuff look great in a kitchen?)

Natural Wonders

Hey, $4.50 may seem expensive for a sheet of wrapping paper, but it's not too bad for a poster!

Book Review: The Little Prince

I have a horrible, horrible confession to make: I cheated.

That's right. I first read Le Petit Prince in French, in high school, my junior year. The book was written (duh) entirely in French. I did not know French. Not after two and a half years. A year and a half later, after I had graduated from high school, I STILL did not know French. (So, yes, I wasted four years taking French. Learned nothing.)

So, to aid myself, and to help raise my grade, I bought an English translation: The Little Prince. It is fantastic. It's wondrous. It's really one of my favorite books. It's beautiful, and heart-breaking, and mysterious - just as is the writer, Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

Wikipedia tells me The Little Prince has been translated into 180 different languages and sold more than 80 million copies (bah! two of them are mine). Apparently it's been adapted into two operas, too! And into an animation series.

So this book really hit me, as a junior in high school, because while it is marketed as a children's book, it really has a lot of profound ideas. My favorite scene is when the fox and the little prince have a conversation about the prince's rose. It's so sweet. I cried. I really did. I remember tearing up in French class. I mean, I was crying towards the English version...I had no clue what the French one was saying...

"Nothing's perfect," sighed the fox. "My life is monotonous. I hunt chickens; people hunt me. All chickens are just alike, and all men are just alike. So I'm rather bored. But if you tame me, my life will be filled with sunshine. I'll know the sound of footsteps that will be different from all the rest. Other footsteps send me back underground. Yours will call me out of my burrow like music. And then, look! You see the wheat fields over there? I don't eat bread. For me, wheat is no use whatever. Wheat fields say nothing to me. Which is sad. But you have hair the color of gold. So it will be wonderful, once you've tamed me! The wheat, which is golden, will remind me of you. And I'll love the sound of the wind in the wheat..."

But not only was I crying. There are so many cute little lines, too - like one of my favorite quotes: "Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is exhausting for children to have to provide explanations over and over again."

Oh, and then this part (this could be good for a wedding reading, yes?)

"You're lovely, but you're empty," he went on. "One couldn't die for you. Of course an ordinary passerby would think my rose looked just like you. But my rose, all on her own, is more important than you altogether, since she's the one I've watered. Since she's the one I put under glass. Since she's the one I sheltered behind a screen. Since she's the one for whom I killed the caterpillars (except for two or three for butterflies). Since's she the one I listened to when she complained, or when she boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing at all. Since she's my rose."

And of course, perhaps the most famous of all:

Yeah, go read it.

Happy Songs

I have 110% stolen this from Melanie, over at You Are My Fave. I came across it this morning and immediately decided to participate!

Other people participating:
Sweetie Pie Pumpkin Noodle
All You Need is Love
Like a Hamster on a Wheel

Aaaaand, here's the schedule for the week!

Monday: Happy-Go-Lucky songs-Songs that put a smile on your face
Tuesday: Songs that remind you of jr. high and/or high school
Wednesday: Favorite songs from/used in movies
Thursday: Guilty Pleasure songs-those you are embarrassed to admit you like
Friday: Best karaoke songs

Okay, and FINALLY: here are my picks for Top 5 Happiest Songs in Existence (in my opinion)

1. "D.A.N.C.E." - Justice (this is an AWESOME music video. For some reason Youtube isn't letting me embed videos right now...)

2. "Happy" - Snowglobe

3. "Queen Bitch" - David Bowie (I used the end credits for Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou to show you this song. It's what made me fall in love with it.)

4. "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey" - the Beatles

5. "Montreal -40 C" - Malajube (Also a very cool music video)

Watch the videos! Let happiness ooze out of your every pore!

29 March 2009


We never had clocks in my house growing up. I mean, there were the clocks on the oven, and the microwave, and the VCR, and maybe even a couple of alarm clocks, but we never had "on-the-wall" clocks...clocks that weren't digital.

So I want one now. Target has three I really like. Here they are. Which should I get?

[this red one]

[this red one]

[this green one]

27 March 2009

10 Biggest Rock Star Crushes

Uh huh. That's right. I'm kind of just on a big music kick right now. Check it out!

1. Maja Ivarsson of The Sounds

[image here]

2. Robert Carmine/Schwartzman of Rooney

[image here]

3. Zooey Deschanel of She & Him

[image here]

4. Colin Meloy of The Decemberists


5. Tim DeLaughter of The Polyphonic Spree


6. Marcus from Ambulance LTD

[image here]

7. Zach Condon from Beirut

[image here]

8. Both Jemaine and Bret from Flight of the Conchords

[image here]

9. Ryan Adams

[image here]

10. Regina Spektor

[image here]

Thanks to the Secret Society of List Addicts for the inspiration!


1. Respond and rework. Answer the questions on your blog, replace one question you dislike with a question of your own invention; add a question of your own.
2. Tag eight other un-tagged people.

What is your current obsession? movie trailers, bicycles, and reading tons and tons of blogs

Good brunch place? Pete and I have been going to brunch someplace new every weekend. So far, I Think my favorite find has been La Dolce Via Bakery.

Do you nap a lot? No, because then I feel groggy the rest of the day. I wish I felt better after naps.

Who was the last person you hugged? Anne Garrabrant!

What’s for dinner? Tonight? No idea! I'll probably grab something with Pete, before I meet up with Megan

What was the last thing you bought? Jimmy Johns sandwich - #1, the Pepe.

What are you listening to right now? My Linguistics teacher.

What is your favorite weather? About 75 degrees, bright, sunny sky, with a slight breeze.

What’s on your bedside table? A lamp, some framed pictures of the family and the boyfriend, whatever book I'm currently reading and/or a sudoku book, water bottle, chapstick, lotion, etc.

Say something to the person/s who tagged you. Hey Megan! Thanks for tagging me! I'm pretty jealous you live in the Pacific Northwest area. I've visited California, but nothing north of there. It looks gorgeous!

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be? San Francisco or Tuscany

Favorite vacation spot? Anywhere, really - I like exploring new places. But the Southwest (Arizona, New Mexico) was one of my favorite family vacations

Name the things you can’t live without. water, love, pretty eye candy, sugar, chapstick

What would you like to have in your hands right now? keys to a new apartment, with my excellent roommate

What is your favorite tea flavor? apple. something fruity. I don't know. I've been trying lots of different teas lately and none have really hit the spot.

What would you like to get rid of? low self-confidence, the current C+ in my Shakespeare class

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? Paris. I need some pretty inspiration! Or a fruit snack factory, because the student next to me is munching on them and they smell amaaaaazing

What did you want to become as a child? A princess (seriously), or a writer. I still kind of want to be both.

What do you like better, e-mail or telephone calls? I like that e-mails quickly get the point across, but I like phone calls when I really feel like hearing someone's voice, or catching up. E-mails can definitely be impersonal sometimes.

What is your favorite sport to play? Tennis, volleyball, or general playing outside.

hat was your favorite concert you attended? OH MAN! Hardest question - either the Polyphonic Spree, or the Decemberists with the orchestra in Grant Park, OR the Hold Steady...yeah, probably between those three.

What is one thing that will ALWAYS make you smile? Babies laughing, kind words, or pretty pictures of balloons.


1. Laura of Quirkology
2. Laura of Laughter and Hope and a Sock in the Eye
3. Bridgett of South City Musings
4. Rosemary of 1017
5. Melanie of You are My Fave
6. Sara Christine of Miss Jane
7. Kathleen of La Art de Kat
8. Barbi Malibu of ...Fly Away to Malibuuuuuuuu...

Thanks again, Megan!

Feeling Down?

Then watch this video. It's pretty. And at the very end, you'll learn how they made it - pretty insane/awesome.

Here are the lyrics. I like them.
Do it, now
You know who you are
You feel it in your heart
And your burning with ambition

But first wait, won't get it on a plate
You're gonna have to work for it harder and harder
And I know cause I've been there before
Knockin on the doors with rejection (rejection)
And you'll see (you'll see) cause if it's meant to be
Nothing can compare to deserving your dreams

It's amazing, it's amazing
All that you can do
It's amazing, makes my heart sing
Now it's up to you

Patience, now frustration's in the air
And people who don't care
Well it's gonna get you down
And you'll (you'll) fall (fall)
Yes you will hit a wall
But get back on your feet
And you'll be stronger and smarter

And I know cause I've been there before
Knockin down the doors won't take no for an answer
And you'll see (you'll see) cause if it's meant to be
Nothing can compare to deserving your dreams

It's amazing, it's amazing
All that you can do
It's amazing, makes my heart sing
Now it's up to you

Don't be embarrassed, don't be afraid
Don't let your dreams slip away
Determination using your gift
Everybody has a gift
Never give up, never let it die
Trust your instincts and most importantly
You've got nothing to lose
So just go for it

It's amazing, it's amazing
All that you can do
It's amazing, makes my heart sing
Now it's up to you

It's amazing, it's amazing
All that you can do
It's amazing, makes my heart sing
Now it's up to you

FOUND via Black*Eiffel

26 March 2009

Girl Scout Cookies

My favorites are:

-and of course -
Thin Mints.

But my favorite thing to do with Thin Mints is to pop them in the freezer. Then eat them when they're cold and frozen-y. They melt in your mouth and the cool mintiness is just divine. You should try it, if you haven't. PLUS, at my house when I was little, I think mom would purposely hide a box or two behind the frozen spaghetti sauce and chicken breasts, and then come August or September, they would MAGICALLY reappear. SCORE!

[via here!]

Meme From Bridgett

Bridgett did this meme awhile back, and I'm finally getting to it. When I saw hers, I knew instantly I wanted to participate but things were so freaking busy that I didn't even have time...so here we go!

Think of 25 albums that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life or the way you looked at it. They sucked you in and took you over for days, weeks, months, years. These are the albums that you can use to identify time, places, people, emotions. These are the albums that no matter what they were thought of musically shaped your world. When you finish, tag 25 others (I'm probably not going to do this part)

***No being cool, which albums have you actually listened to hundreds of times? Readers should feel free to guess (or ask) why particular albums are there.

Toad the Wet Sprocket - Fear (We listened to this album every year in the car, on the way to Hilton Head. "Walk on the Ocean" consistently reminds me of the beach)

U2 - The Joshua Tree (The first poster I ever bought, with my own money, was a HUGE U2 Joshua Tree promo poster. It's still hanging in my art studio in our basement at home)

Classic Disney, Volumes 1-3 (I used to dance around the house, singing to Beauty & the Beast, or "Candle on the Water")

Sting - Ten Summoner's Tales (Dad and Mom used to listen to this when they worked in the backyard. Me and Emme would dig in the dirt and that's how I learned all the words...and then I fell in love with it myself)

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong - Compact Jazz (A very typical Hoffman family soundtrack during dinner)

Luscious Jackson - Fever In, Fever Out (Another yard work CD. Reminds me of planting flowers and playing on our roof)

James - Laid (ditto)

Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (Haha, dad bought this CD for me when I was in 7th grade. Then he realized there were a lot of curse words. I listened to it anyways)

Nobody's Angel - Nobody's Angel (Teenybopper beginning to show through! I listened to this when I was in the shower every day for like, years)

N*Sync - Home for the Holidays (For some reason, this is the N*Sync album I liked the most)

Norah Jones - Come Away With Me (Reminds me of composition camp, from high school)

Rooney - self titled (I heard about them RIGHT before The Princess Diaries came out. Robert, the lead singer, plays Anne Hathaway's flame. Sooooo dreamy. The music was perfect)

The Sounds - Living in America (This was my first "real" concert - I segued from teenybopper into "punk rock" pretty nicely. Also, the lead singer, Maja, is my almighty gal crush)

Ryan Adams - Gold (I heard about Ryan Adams on VH1, when they played a music video for "New York, New York" after 9/11. I cried and then immediately made mom drive me to Borders to get the CD)

Guster - Keep it Together (This is a Kaylen, Katherine, Kevin and Sam CD. Hands down)

The Format - Interventions & Lullabies (This CD also reminds me of high school, but this time it's geared more towards my sister (the first album that BOTH of us liked!) and my friend Mary)

The Velvet Underground - self titled (This one goes out to Rob- the establishment of a friendship with my favorite library buddy. He opened the Velvet Underground world up for me!)

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever to Tell (God, Karen O is AMAZING!)

Iron & Wine - Our Endless Numbered Days (Fell in love immediately. Read about it in a magazine. Sometimes magazine reviews are okay)

DJ Zeph - Sunset Scavenger (Definitely inspired by ex-boyfriend Domenic. But I still listen to it all the time. He really did help me to appreciate hip-hop more)

The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike! (My first band interview! I believe I've mentioned that The Go! Team will always have a special place in my heart...and their album is just plum amazing)

Love Mix by PRW (about a month into our relationship, Pete and I made love mixes for each other. His is AMAZING. I put it into iTunes and listen to it all the time. It reminds me of the warm, fuzzy beginnings of our luuuuuuv)

Sufjan Stevens - Seven Swans (This album helped me through so many looooong study nights freshmen year. That, and it is the first Sufjan album I ever heard in its entirety)

Decemberists - The Crane Wife (Probably my favorite Decemberists album. It's hard to choose. I also had a very reassuring, happy moment with Pete while listening to "The Crane Wife 1 & 2" in concert)

The Innocence Mission - We Walked in Song (My latest edition. Also read about the Innocence Mission in a magazine (readymade, I believe) and instantly was ga-ga. Perfection!)

Sigh. I love my list. And it's true - I could literally sing the entirety of each album to you. That's how much I've listened to them.

So now do it! And tell me when you do it so I can look at your list, too!

Home Decor: My Place

Okay. These pictures are a hodge-podge, because I didn't really get myself together to do it. And I don't have pictures of my house...YET.

Here are a few to tide you, dear readers, over...I promise there will be more next week. I've been a bit swamped these last few days.

Rainy day views.

Pete and Tim, hanging out in the living area. Sarah, Marcy and I had been hanging out and probably yelling and screaming about something (when all three of us are together, this typically happens). One of the boys said something along the lines of, "There needs to be more testosterone in here!" That boy said that as he and the other one were reading, respectively, Glamour and Nylon. Cool.

Some sweet lateral mirror hangings. Originally inspired from this photo. I have no idea where it came from, sorry!

A little detail:

This picture is worse than I remembered! My yellow elephant and pretty picture frame from this etsy shop

This is how messy my desk looked about three weeks ago. It got worse. I finally cleaned up it on Tuesday. Now you can see the wooden veneer surface!

25 March 2009

Craft Project: Doodled Coffee Table

This is kind of a lame one. But I like it anyways.

When Pete moved into an apartment by himself this past summer, he didn't really have a lot of furniture. It had all been provided through college. So, he asked family and friends for any unwanted stuff. His cousin, Jennifer, got him a coffee table. It came pre-stained with coffee and water marks.

I've been ITCHING to outline them with my own pen marks. So one day, I decided to. It's not like anyone sees the surface OF said coffee table - Pete usually has so much junk on it, it's hard to see my artwork...

[Sorry, no close-ups...]

Craft Project: Spray Paint Bulletin Board

OKAY. Man oh man! This was a fun project. I mean, I've had my trusty IKEA frame since August 2008. I've been using these last few weeks to FINALLY do stuff I've been meaning to do for a long time...it's been a good time :)

So, here's the deal. I blogged about this frame awhile back. I knew I wanted to spray paint it, but I wasn't sure what color. I decided that I didn't want it to be all WHITE, like I had previously said, because let's face it: I'm going to be renting apartments for awhile and they are typically all white walls and I don't want it to blend in. So I decided on a pretty, robin's egg blue:

[um...oops? This is the THIRD spray paint remnant I've left behind in the alley behind my house...]

I still spray-painted the cork white. But I didn't really take pictures of that. It was pretty boring-looking.

The saddest part of ALL? There's nothing to do with it. I'm moving out of Marchetti on May 11 or something like that. There's nowhere to put it up for REAL at home...so I'll have to wait until July, when I move in to the new place!

But it's pretty. And that's the important part!

Movies I'm SUPER Excited For

Okay. I love going to see movies. Pete loves going to see movies. Pretty much all my friends love going to see movies.

So, here's a round-up of trailers for your perusal. I just found out about one of them today, but I've been waiting with bated breath for the rest. EXCITING!

1. (500) Days of Summer - my initial thoughts towards this film...wow. I cannot even begin to describe it. First of all, I am OBSESSED with Zooey Deschanel. I think she is super talented and I love her music and, I mean...she's GORGEOUS! AND it has Joseph Gordan-Levitt. This movie will make me laugh and cry at the same time. Oh, and Regina supplies music for the trailer so it HAS to be good.

2. Where the Wild Things Are - I've mentioned this before. The trailer came out today. It made me tear up. I loved (and was scared of) this book as a kid. But the movie just looks perfect and heartfelt.

3. Away We Go - Okay. John Krasinksi. Not a huge fan of Maya Rudolph, but still. This movie looks very sweet. I want to travel all over the world! And Maggie Gyllenhael is in it...so that's good, too.

4. Sunshine Cleaning - I love Amy Adams. The premise for this show is, like, Little Miss Sunshine meets Law & Order. At least that's how it looks to me.

5. Adventureland - Bill Hader makes me laugh. Martin Starr makes me laugh. This should be good.

6. The Brothers Bloom - Okay, technically I've already seen this at the St. Louis International Film Festival, with Pete, Steve, and Mary - but I want to see it again and they keep pushing the release date back!

7. UP - I've previously mentioned this, but this is a BRAND NEW TRAILER! It still looks good. Disney/Pixar cannot go wrong.

8. Funny People - this one looks like a tear jerker. Adam Sandler, while I don't agree with ALL his career choices, does make some gems. This will be one of them.

9. Taking Woodstock - I used to own a jacket that my neighbor gave me. He claimed he had worn it at Woodstock '69. I mean, that's pretty cool, right? This movie looks great. Made me tear up. The actual trailer doesn't start for about 20 seconds or so; hang in there!

10. The Boat That Rocked - star cast. Cool topic. Generally, I'm pretty excited about this. I just love me some Philip Seymour Hoffman.

11. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs - Um, wasn't this EVERYONE'S favorite children's book? It was mine. This looks great! Although it seems to be pretty science-oriented at the beginning (booo-ooo-oooring), a lot of the scenes in the trailer are DIRECTLY from the book. Yes!

Other Movies I Am Equally Excited About (Alas, No Trailers Yet)

1. The Time Traveler's Wife - holy MOLEY, I have been waiting YEARS for this. I can truly say that. This is one of the best books I have ever read. It hasn't gotten old yet. And I don't care if the movie is totally botched. August 14th cannot come soon enough (although a trailer would suffice).

2. Julie & Julia - I've been wanting to read this book for awhile. It sounds nice. I like Amy Adams and Meryl Streep. So all around, this seems like it will be a "nice" movie.

3. Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World - Okay, this is pretty much 100% Pete's influence on me...but this movie is going to be AMAZING!!! [Note: I've linked this to Edgar Wright's blog. He is the director. Every day, he takes a picture of the production/filmings and posts it on the web. Schweet!]

4. the Arrested Development movie - No title. No information, really. But if it will come out, rest assured, I'll be there opening night (or at a preview screening before that, or a midnight show)

St. Louis Review: City Museum

Okay, I cannot sing enough praises of the City Museum. There is TRULY nothing like it in the ENTIRE world (I dare you to find me a place that has, like, half the awesomeness of the City Museum). I take every advantage I have to visit and spend as much time as possible exploring.

I know the word "museum" can have a negative connotation to some kids, but this is NO ordinary museum. The first floor is made of ALL recycled materials - concrete, mirrors, mosaic pieces, letterpress pieces (seriously. I want to steal them), fabrics, sticks, wood, there's part of a TREE...there's just everything. There are also these SWEET man-made caves that are all dark and cold and kids run around and explore.

[Essner and I discussing the meaning of life, by the "wooded" area]

The second floor is kind of boring - there's this supposedly "cool" aquarium, but I've never been in there because it costs extra money. There's also the remnants of a shoelace factory. The museum itself used to be a shoe factory, so a lot of the materials found in the museum are left over from the factory and be repurposed as something else. HOWEVER, there is also a new wing of caves that start on the second floor. They're fantastic!

[You will find yourself on hands and knees most of the time. Here I am doing JUST that.]

[Pete and Essner enjoying the cool air. We found a cold pocket in the caves]

[Yes. Those are SLIDES]

[A sweet organ in the upper caves]

The third floor is pretty great. There's a couple of "smaller" museums up there - a museum of mirth, mystery, and mayhem; an architecture museum (before buildings are demolished/knocked down/renovated, they pulled corners or sculptures or cornices off them) AND there's a skate park. They used to let kids bring in their skateboards, but now everyone just runs around like a crazy person instead.

[Big Boy figurine]

[Life-size Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots]

[Arcade Hall, in Museum of Mirth, Mystery & Mayhem]

[Pretty sunset on the third floor]

[Pete and Essner playing piano]

[Fancy schmancy shot of said piano]

[Pete and I posing in one of MANY fun house mirrors]

[Omie hanging out with an old pal]

[Pete and Omie rolling in a barrel]

So, as if that doesn't already sound AWESOME, there is the OUTSIDE - a huge mesh of wires, discombobulated fire trucks, platforms, steps, ball pits, airplanes...EVERYTHING.

[Pete and Essner being brave. I, on the other hand, stayed down below and took pictures]

Here are a couple of pictures I found on flickr, since I don't have pictures of EVERYTHING I wanted to show you...

[This is what it looks like when you walk in. AMAZING!]

[Walk into the whale's mouth]

[Yes, there IS a school bus mounted to the top of the building!]

AND, as an added bonus: the first pictures EVER taken of me and Pete together. While our first official date was at South City Diner and the Tivoli, the first time we ever hung out together, as a couple, NOT on SLU's campus...was the City Museum.