...and they all lived happily ever after...

Well, I'm back! Today was my first day back to college, and holy moly. I hope I can maintain this blog while balancing four college courses, my high school workload, a website for a client, etsy orders, office work for a friend, a relationship, housework, family responsibilities, friends...........


But it's ok. Because today we're going to go back in time. Hopefully when you were a little sprout, you were blessed with at least a couple of really good fairy tale books. And when I mean really good, I mean outrageous, outlandish, and a little gruesome too. They weren't called the Brothers Grimm for nothing.

Artists like Kay Nielsen, Arthur Rackham, and Edward Gorey are my favorite fairy tale illustrators. When you look at their dark and delicate pictures, you can't help but remember the chills you got while your parents read you the true version of Hansel and Gretel, or the feeling of clutching your stuffed animal while absorbing Hans Christian Anderson's telling of The Little Mermaid.

So whether you're dealing with stolen tarts, manipulative toads, or the occasional beheading of a loved one, just remember that there's always a happy ending. Well, most of the time, anyway.


How To Be Stylish Whilst Camping

I'm going camping this weekend. It might not seem like it if you know me, but I love camping! I love having no makeup, wild kinky hair, grungy stinky campfire clothes, and bare feet. It's the perfect time to be anti-Andrea. But, as with everything else I do, there is a measure of fashion and dignity required. Even when being rugged and slightly animalistic. Here's a useful checklist for maintaining style in the wilderness...

*Hats. Polka dot, shearling, knit, neon, whatever. Wear them.
*Cherry chapstick. Protects your lips and serves as an emergency food source.
*Big, baggy, bright, fleece sweats. Preferably with a moose motif.
*Red sunglasses and aviator sunglasses. Sporty sunglasses are a big N-O, unless you actually play sports.
*A head scarf for when the weather is warmer but your hair is still atrocious.
*Baby wipes for washing your face. (Because honestly, who's going to shower while camping?)
*Purple acid wash skinny jeans. Yes I bought them, they're bear proof!

And since I'm going to be gone over the weekend and Monday, here's some links to help make the withdrawals a little easier.

Hollywood walk of fame star generator.
36 different ways to lace your shoes.
Make your own techno beat that beats up the fellow in the music video.
Free Rice. Test your vocabulary while feeding starving children in third world countries.


Hot Chocolate vs. Hot Cocoa

Call it hot chocolate, hot cocoa, cocoa, drinking chocolate, or hot brown cow moo juice (ok, I totally made that one up, can you tell?), it's all the same right?


According to these articles, there is a difference. Hot chocolate, or drinking chocolate, is made with chocolate. Hot cocoa, sometimes just called cocoa, is made with cocoa powder. Personally, I think hot chocolate is better (and sounds a lot less snooty than hot cocoa). It's traditionally made with hot milk, so its creamier and richer. Hot cocoas are healthier though, since they're mostly made with fat-free milk powder and can be made with water.

This is hot cocoa...

and this is hot chocolate. See the difference? Me neither.

I've tried lots of different hot cocoa and hot chocolate mixes, my favorite so far is Trader Joe's drinking chocolate mix. Super decadent and smooth, it's the closest I can get to the short-lived but much loved Chantico.

Starbucks now has "specialty" hot chocolates (or is it cocoas?) in salted caramel and hazelnut. The hazelnut is bomb-diggety. Thick and nutty, just the way I like it ;). The salted caramel is pretty good, I like the salt but find it too tame for my tastes. My mom worships Border's hot chocolate, but I think it's too milky. I guess hot chocolate (cocoa, drinking chocolate) is different for different people. Sweet, milky, mild, thick, cinnamon, nutmeg, white, dark, and milk chocolate, it's all good right?

But don't get me started on the marshmallow vs. whipped cream issue....


The Miracle that Was... WDIY

Guess what? I did something! For reals, y'all! But I can't take all the credit, because this was the most poorly thought out, impulsive, caffeine-induced, nightmare project I've ever undertaken and I'm convinced the gods of DIY blessed me. Maybe because the fabric I used was salvaged out of a clearance bin it was thrown into for being too purple-diamond-and-amoeba-y. The gods of DIY are compassionate deities.

In case you didn't know, knit fabric is the Gary Busey of the sewing world. It is unpredictable, unforgiving, and forces its philosophies on you when you try to interview it. I kid, I kid (check out the link, it will be much funnier, but watch out for the curses and whatnot). So after perusing my mom's knit fabric book for a languous twenty seconds, I decided I taught myself enough through osmosis and went to cutting up the fabric. I didn't have a pattern, because I didn't want to buy one, and I wanted to make the shirt NOW. Not after a trip to Wal-mart.

So I got my favorite t-shirt and estimated what pieces went together to make it and traced around those. I found the fabric to be quite easy to work with, as long as I was constantly shifting and patting and loosening, so that it averaged out somewhere between being pulled too tight or held too loose. Then I sewed together the pieces the way my old t-shirt was sewn together. I did change the sleeves so that the trim matched the collar though. It just looked nicer and... covered up a mistake I made in cutting them out. Tee hee. Then it was done, and voila! A shirt that doesn't look too terrible. It's a miracle! Now to find the human sacrifice I promised...



Through posting in this blog almost every day for the past two weeks or so, I've come to an interesting realization... I don't do much. Well, let me correct that, I don't do something interesting involving music, art, diy, food, and fashion every week. For example, the most interesting thing that's happened to me this week so far is the fact that I measured myself and I'm a half an inch taller. That brings the grand total to a dazzling 5'2". I didn't even know you could continue growing after sixteen. But I digress, all of you, hundreds of loyal readers, are waiting for an interesting and insightful post on art, of which I am an expert.

Do you like photography? I do.

Ye Rin Mok

Michael Worful

One more thing, do you love angst depression sadness melancholy etcetera? No? Why the hell not?! Oh so you do... much better. Get your share here with this brilliant doodler who knows his stuff.

Mmm, well, that's all. Because I haven't done anything interesting myself this week art-wise. But hey, good enough right? See ya tomorrow.


M-m-m-music Monday*

Have you heard of Andrew Bird? If you haven't, you need to. He will be your best friend. He's my best friend. We hang out (in soul) most weekends while I watch video after youtube video of his live performances and quirky music videos. His recorded music is like a good drugstore candy bar. But his live music is like drinking cinnamon hot chocolate in the rain while riding a technicolor pony. It's. That. Good. Anywho, if you are interested, here's the ultimate Andrew Bird youtube collection. By the end of this post, you will be addicted.

Imitosis Music Video

A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left (Live at Bonnaroo)

Andrew Bird as Dr. Stringz

Glass Figurine (Live Showcase)

New Song Fitz and and the Dizzyspells

Holler if you love alt folk, and then check out these fancy fellows too.

Bye bye.

*This post is dedicated to my one and only fan, Andrew Brown. Who shares the same name and last initial as my aforementioned best friend. Jinkies!


Friday Flapper Fashion

Do you ever wish you were one of those rich young socialites with their fringed minidresses and patent leather spike boots, taking random pictures in exclusive clubs and canoodling with up and coming fashion designers and magazine editors? Me neither. But that doesn't mean the lifestyle still amuses me. And when you combine an insider peek on club life in l.a. with quick and easy inspiration, you've got the fantasmic blog because im addicted. Check out her blog for frequent mini updates, full of beautiful fashion photography and fun outfits.

As for me, I'm contemplating turning a new fashion leaf. I've always wanted to have a "look." I had my junior high emo/punk phase, I had the contrasting tight jeans and surfer brands phase, but pretty much everything else has successfully eluded definition. Now I'm seriously considering trying a flapper girl phase. Check out these classy, irresistable ladies...

What's surprising is there were so many diverse styles in the 20s. You usually think of baggy dresses, fringe, bobbed hair, and heavy eyeliner. But if you were a stylish young thing in the silent film era, you could wear headscarves, knee socks, romantic blouses, huge hoops, cut off shorts, mounds of jewelry, and even rock a sexy Robert Smith hairdo. All I'm saying, people, is that I know what date I'm setting my time machine to.


Ode to Asian Markets :: Foodie Thursday

Garish rainbow packaging, toothy grinning mascots, odd flavors, and uninterpretable labels. It sounds like the world's worst grocery store, but is in fact, the world's greatest. Creamier candy, crunchier cookies, and unexpected flavor combos any food connoisseur would be impressed with can be found in your local Asian market. We just got one in our tiny coastal hicktown, and I couldn't be more pleased if we were bestowed with a Forever 21 or a fourth Starbucks. Please, do you and your mouth a favor and find one in your area. Or if you're lacking, try ordering from an online store. You can also check Cost Plus World Market or even the regional foods section of your grocery store for goodies such as Pocky...

Dipped toasted cookie sticks in myriads of lovely flavors, my favorite being classic chocolate.

Sanko Hakumai Yaki...

Crispy rice crackers with delicate crunchy icing and a dusting of soy sauce flavored powder.


Moist little pancakes filled with red bean paste (don't knock it til you try it, red bean paste changed my life, y'all)

Ramune Soda...

Your typical soda, but in fun flavors like lychee, mango, peach, and melon. Also for some reason, there's a marble in the cap that you have to punch into the bottle to open the seal. Personally, I think it adds magical yummy happy time flavors.

You can find all these products and more at the online store I linked above.

So get out to your nearest Asian market and go crazy! You won't be sorry.


Late Night Crafting :: WDIY

Hello, welcome to Wednesday.

If you're one of those odd people who has all these big ambition plans and spends hours hunting for their next project to tackle this week, you will really like One Pretty Thing, a blog that daily lists not just one but many pretty things you can craft yourself. On the other hand, if you're like me and you spend equal hours searching for projects, but never commit to doing anything but decorating your room with clothespins and clearance twine, you'll enjoy this blog too, I promise. Lots to be fruitlessly inspired by. Nesting doll salt and pepper shakers, hanging lightbulb vases, and rocket ship pillows, to name a fraction. Oooh yeaah.

I've only DIYed one thing this past week, it's super duper awesome but also top secret. So instead I'll give you some awesome things I'm serious considering crafting sometime soon. Really, I am!
Vintage handmirror wall art
Free printable calendar- it looks like an awesome little 3D town!
Make your own Millenium Falcon
Necklace out of tights- or nylons or stockings or what have you
Scoodie- it's not what you think, or, well, maybe it is
Tomorrow will be a better day. Because we get to talk about foooood. Mmmm. I'm seriously salivating as we speak. It's a wonder I'm not four hundred pounds and covered in chocolate and olive tapenade.


Nostalgia :: ArTuesday

Art, art, art. It's a lovely day to talk about art. Next semester I'm taking a class on 2D Design, so I bought the tearfully expensive textbook today and perused it. And I am so excited! I may just decide to keep the book instead of selling it back, it's that great. So many beautiful works of art explained so nicely. It doesn't pick apart the canvas, it just clues you in to how deep and almost scientific these works really are. I'm so excited to start this class, even though it's mandatory to receive my web design certificate, this will help me a lot in my drawing and painting as well.

Now check this out, Wool and Water. The artist, Amy Earles, creates the most elite paper dolls on the planet. My favorite is this vampire bat girl.

But she also makes lovely prints, like this oddly enchanting print called "Mutation of Instinct."

Check out her Flickr page for more paper dolls. They are mind blowing. Like kafrickenboom.

Last, I'd like to share the work of Brian Despain. He's already well known in indie-art circles (if there are such things) and his paintings of robots make me want to cry. The same way my mom's vanilla cupcakes do.

Beautiful, right? Unspeakably tragic and graceful robots floating through a monotone sky. Perfect. His viewpoints on art are fantastic as well. Couldn't agree with him more.

I hope I brought some beauty to your life today. Or entertainment, or whatever. I'll talk to you cats tomorrow.


We're Fated To Pretend :: Music Monday

Ah, hello and welcome to another Music Monday.

Most people already know about Pandora, and if you don't, you've been missing out on one of the greatest gifts the internet has given us in the world of music. Pandora is totally free internet radio with no ads. Even better than listening to free music, is that you simply enter a favorite song or artist, and they play hours of lovely related tunes, helping you discover your next favorite band. Sometimes you get really annoying, crappy music. When that happens, give it a thumbs down and Pandora will never, ever play it again. If Pandora was a person, he'd father my children.

Another nonperson concept that would vie for paternity would have to be the band MGMT. I've listened to their music once before, just a taste of their song "Youth." Putting it lightly, I wasn't impressed. I found it annoying and the music video creepy. But after hearing their song "Kids" at my uncle's house (the supreme techno and anime lord of central California) I decided, reluctantly, to give them another try. Oh yummy yummy. This is the stuff of teen years. If you are young, conflicted, mirthful, or all three, this music will reach into your soul and pull out your wisdom teeth. Yes, it's that good. The only link I'll post to their music is the fanvid for Kids, because the rest is pretty much all about drugs. But the beautiful thing about music, (and art, and literature, and everything else in the world) is that the listener defines the message. So for me, it's not about drugs, it's about going from swing sets and barbie weddings to college transcripts and real, intense, you-and-one-other-person-stuck-together-for-the-rest-of-your-entire-lives weddings. And being both happily awed and scared out of my mind. Good stuff.

And if techno is your bag, I found three more artists that will have you doing the robot at your laptop. If it so moves you.

Have a mystical Monday. See you tomorrow.


Fashion Friday and Weekend Web Mashup Y'all

Sorry I missed yesterday's post, oh nonexistent blog readers. I hope you weren't paralyzed with dissapointment. The day was crazy busy what with tailoring my bridesmaid dress three hours before the wedding and fixing my cousin after she came over with sloppy makeup and ridiculous hair. I think she was attacked by my aunt. The wedding was great, in case you were wondering. I didn't trip or pass out. Success!

For the belated fashion post, I have one blog I'd like to share. It's called Ambiguous Alliterative Abomination and the name alone should be enough to convince you of its awesomeness. It's also written by a precocious sixteen year old. Band together youth of blogdom! Her posts are fresh and intelligent. If Audrey Hepburn shopped in the clearance bin at Anthropologie, she would look like this girl. And yes, that's a compliment. Do take a look.

I know we already had DIY day, but I decided I'd save this little beauty for today, because, let's face it, I keep forgetting to take pictures of my daily style. I made this skirt based on a project in the book Complete Embellishing. I tailored a previously owned pencil skirt to be laughably narrow at the bottom, so I have to take itty bitty secretary steps, and then sewed on various grosgrain ribbons I got at wal-mart. The book said to secure the ribbons with fabric glue before sewing them on, big no no. The glue makes the ribbons look wet, so now there's unintentional grease polka dots everywhere. Whatever, this was so labor intensive I honestly don't care.

For the weekend web mashup, I'm going to leave you with a list of links of odd, random, cool, pretty, intense, strange things I find on the internet that you may or may not find interesting. Someday I might post interesting and informative articles on the merits of CSS and how the W3 consortum should regulate security issues. But I really don't feel qualified or inspired, and I have a feeling you'll enjoy these a lot more.

BBC Psychology Test--Disgust (What's your sensitivity to disgust? Warning: ew, ew, ew, ew)
Celebrity Face Recognition (Apparently I look like Rachel McAdams and Selma Blair?)
The List Universe (Who doesn't love lists?)
Kingdom of Loathing Game (An adventurer is you!)

See you Monday. Have a nice Sunday.


Foodie Thursday

Yay, it's Thursday. And that means.... food! Yummy yummy. I'm writing this as my mom is cooking soup. The scents are harrassing me, because all I've eaten is a chocolate croissant, honey mustard pretzels, and nabisco cakesters all day. Fun, fun.

The best cooking blog in the world (and coincidentally the only one about food that I read) is Joy the Baker. This chick is adorable, humorous, and scandalously talented at procuring unique and tantalizing recipes frequently. Her stories alone (oftentimes related to food, my favorite thing in the world) are worth checking out, even if you don't try a recipe... Actually, I have a confession, I haven't tried any of her recipes. Yet. But I get an urge to whip out the confectioner's sugar whenever I see things like this and this.

For those of you interested in actual food products that I've actually made.... I'd like to now direct your attention to the recipe found here. Best. Cookies. In the world. Honestly, I don't even know why I'm showing you this, this recipe should be sealed, laminated, and stored in the family vault. But hey! No one reads my blog, so I think I might be safe.

I have nothing else for you today. I wish I could show something more of interest, but I'm stressing about my aunt's wedding tomorrow. I'll be standing by her throughout the ceremony, holding flowers, wearing a burgundy nightmare, trying not to fall asleep or freeze into a strapless gowned ice cube. I'm so excited!!! Talk to you later lovelies.