Great White Snark: January 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

What I've been doing and reading.

I started this post out as a book review, but then I was like, "omg, all I do is talk about BOOKS." So now I've decided to give you all a general life update. "You all" being like, the three people who still read my blog. ;)

-My job is going well! I started in October as an associate and by New Year's was the store manager. Yeah, I got promoted again (albeit unintentionally). So now I'm in charge of more stuff. I'm enjoying it, actually. And we (the store) have some exciting news in the not-too-distant future, so stay tuned!
-My grandma is doing pretty well. She's moving out of the nursing facility and into an assisted living/retirement apartment later this week. It's the perfect combination of having help on hand and enabling her to retain some independence, which is exactly what she needs at this point. We're blessed and happy that she seems to be doing better and that she's out of the woods in NC and closer to us. It's been so much fun decorating her new apartment, too! Even though I secretly wish I was decorating an apartment for's good practice, though!
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-I don't miss school at all. I thought I'd be weeping every morning and like, sniffing the inside of my backpack to jog my schoolish memories, but no. I hear my coworkers talk about parking and registration and I'm like:
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-I still haven't really had any luck in the search for a "career job," but see point #1. I'm definitely getting by at this point in my life.
-I miss my friends. Most of them live kind of sizable distances away from me, and I wish I had people I could call up on the fly and be like, "We're hanging out now," and have that be okay.
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Friends are just really important, and I miss mine.

So on that depressing note, I thought I'd show you a couple of books I started reading then hated and stopped reading (BECAUSE I CAN DO THAT NOW!!! It's such a novel concept to me that I don't actually have to finish a book if I don't want to!), and then a couple that I actually liked.

Books I Couldn't Bring Myself to Finish

The Girl Who Chased the Moon, by Sarah Addison Allen
To be fair, I'm not sure I gave this book enough of a chance, but it just didn't captivate me in the way Allen's other two books I've read did. With those ones, I couldn't put them down and I didn't want to. This one I was like, thinking of other stuff to do while I was reading it. Which I don't really take as a good sign. I love to be engrossed while I'm reading. So if I get desperate or in a book rut, I may go back and try this one again, but for now, I feel like there are SO MANY THINGS to read!

The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, by Patricia A. McKillip
I love fantasy/fairy tale novels. I always have, and I know I always will. So while I was at the library one day, I saw this book (and another by the same author, The Tower at Stony Wood) and was absolutely convinced I needed to try and read it because the writing seemed "literary." And a lot of fairy tales tend to get a little too childish and I was like, "BEHOLD! I am a literature major! I cannot read riff-raff! My fairy tales must be LITERARY!"

Utter. Crap.

I got like, halfway through this book and I honestly had NO idea what was happening. This was like living in Miracle Max's hut while eating shrooms and sniffing noxious fumes in the 1960's, all set to a soundtrack by the Cocteau Twins. It was just WEIRD. And the story wasn't that good. Nor were the characters. I don't know. I've had enough of having to interpret the words that I'm reading. I'm reading now to be entertained. This felt like hard work dressed up like funtimes. NOT COOL.

The Exploits of Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doily's freaking Doily offspring.
I should've known from the title of this book that it was going to be a failure. That and the fact that Doily's son wrote it. *sigh* For those of you who don't know, I have a love/hate relationship with Arthur Conan Doyle. The man wrote Sherlock Holmes, so I can't actually hate him. But he hated Holmes, killed him, BROUGHT HIM BACK, and then wrote him so lackadaisically that it's embarrassing. But without him, Sherlock Holmes wouldn't exist. And I love Sherlock Holmes.

So naturally, I was excited when I saw this book because Watson frequently mentions cases in his narratives of which we don't actually have any record. The whole idea is that Doily's son found the names of all those unwritten cases and made up stories about them. Except he like, didn't make them up. He stole them from his dad. One of the stories I read dealt with a guy smashing every clock he came into contact with. Well, okay, that's fantastic...unless you've read "The Adventure of the Six Napoleons." Which basically had the same premise, same problem, and same resolution. Not cool. was a shame, because you could tell that he was trying SO HARD to write in the same style as his father. It's so incredibly difficult to emulate someone else's style of writing. It's like doing successful impersonations--it's just hard to do. And Doily Jr. fell short. He tried too hard to be his father as opposed to building off his father's creations and doing it his way. Maybe if he'd tried to write like Adrian instead of Arthur it would've been easier for me to get through. As it is, it was a painful caricature, like reading about wax figures of Holmes and Watson trying to be as clever and vivacious as their original doppelgangers.

I think the problem right now is that I'm not sure what to read. Now that I'm not being told, "You have to read this by Friday and then this book by next Friday," I have no idea what to actually read. So I'm just looking for stuff that is similar to things I've enjoyed before and trying to go from there. Sometimes it's successful, but mostly, I think, it's not.


A Book That I DID Finish

Picture the Dead, by Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown
I got this book because it was supposedly romantic and creepy--both good, right?? I started to read it Saturday night, and I only intended to read like five chapters, but I ended up finishing it. And I'm still not sure if that was because I was intrigued or if it was just a simple read.

This book is a YA book, which is kind of a genre I like to dislike. But I thought, "what the hey, I'll give it a try." It's basically a Civil War ghost story/romance, but it's also part graphic novel. The story is told from the point of view of Jennie Lovell and her scrapbook. But the cool this is that the illustrator actually based all her drawings on actual period photographs. If you go to the book's website, you can see the pictures she based her illustrations on (she's also married to Lemony Snicket, so winning). The story is essentially a southern gothic mystery. However, having read every Sherlock Holmes story and many of the later pastiches, I called the end of the story about a third of the way through. You all probably could, too.

So was it mysterious? Not exactly. Creepy? Yes, but not as scary as I thought it would be or as it could have been. However, when it comes to scariness, I'd rather be left wanting. Romantic? NO. NOT AT ALL. It really bothers me! The protagonist came off as shallow and flighty and I didn't like that at all. In fact, my favorite characters were dead, if that tells you anything. Overall, I think it was a highly forgettable novel, but if you're into any of the aforementioned stuff, yes, I'd recommend it.

I also read Ron Paul's book, Liberty Defined. I don't like being overly political, but if you're not sure who to vote for and you don't want to vote Obama, I suggest you check it out. Just do it.

This has gone on long enough, now. Just like, yeah. That's what I do.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"There are a lot of people at Versailles today."

I just finished the book Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Gray, and all I have to say is: WOW.

Okay, so that's not all I have to say.

This book was so delicious. It was magnificently detailed (and I have a love for ridiculous little details like iced tea cakes and satin-ribboned hat rims), had quick pacing, meticulous attention to character development and had that "I don't want to stop reading" quality.

The book starts in Marie Antoinette's childhood in Austria (yeah, a lot of people think she was like, BORN FRENCH. False.) and charts her progress from awkward, uneducated archduchess to poised, coiffured dauphine of France. Gray really gets into the characters' heads, too, which is something I love. I've always felt sympathetic towards Marie Antoinette. She was too young to handle what she got, and she was absolutely in the wrong place at the wrong time. Gray shows this beautifully. You can't help but feel sympathy towards a girl of fourteen who's whisked away from her home, placed in a foreign castle, and expected to be pregnant within a week.

Gray also characterizes other major players, too, like Maria Theresa of Austria, King Louis XV, Madame du Barry, and Louis Auguste. In addition, she fleshes out the minor characters that add depth to the story (the governesses, aunts, hairdressers, dancing instructors, etc.); it gives that feeling of overwhelming crowdiness found in Versailles. She mixes anecdote with fact seamlessly (ex: the story of when Mozart proposed to Marie Antoinette makes an appearance), and gives a highly realistic and factorial picture of Versailles, which is impressive considering it IS a work of fiction.

It reads like fiction, and moves along quickly. Within 300 pages we go from 7 year old Marie Antoinette pranking her governess to the eve of her coronation as queen of France.

It was just SO GOOD. If you love Marie Antoinette, or Versailles, or the 18th century, you absolutely have to read this book. If you're at all disiullusioned with the Hollywood portrayal of Marie Antoinette as a haughty shopaholic or Versailles as a glittering beacon of decadence and debauchery, you should read this book. A lot of historical fiction tends to get really dry and too factual. Either that, or it reaches the other end of the spectrum (wherein Marie Antoinette was actually a lesbian dragon-slayer or something). This is the perfect balance. I also appreciated that the author included a) a works cited list even though it IS fiction, and b) a note at the end detailing where she took creative license and what was actual historical fact.

I am so excited that this is the first part of a trilogy, because you can bet your biscuits I'll be reading the next two!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Makeup takes up space.

Hey, guys!

As I mentioned a couple posts ago, we thought my grandma was going to be moving in with us and when that was the case, she was going to have to share my bathroom. No big deal, because my bathroom certainly has enough room for two people's stuff.

(Unless you're a cosmetics hoarder/soap addict and your grandma has toiletry stuff she's kept since like, the 60's)

So I was trying to figure out ways to make more room and the simplest solution was "move your makeup." The soap, shampoo, towels, etc. needed to stay where the shower was. MAKES SENSE. But I could definitely move my personal makeup stuff upstairs. I did before during the flood, and it worked fine. The only thing was then, I shared space in my brother's bathroom (he was very generous). And since this was kind of going to be permanent, I decided it needed to be out of his way.

Well. I graduated. And I have a desk which I no longer actually need for homework. I put two and two together and moved my makeup to my desk!

This actually works BRILLIANTLY for me because the counters in my bathroom are SO BIG. They're tall and they're wide, which makes it hard for me to get close enough to the mirror to see what I'm doing properly. After teasing me about it for a months, my Mom bought me a vanity mirror so I could pull it closer. It helped, but it doesn't change the fact that those counters are made for incredibly tall people.
It's also great because I've always wanted a vanity table, a place where I could SIT and do my makeup. And now I can do just that!

Anyway, blah blah blah, all that to say: I moved my makeup upstairs to my desk and I want to show you how I organized it!
(As always, click pics to enlarge!)

The primary organizational tools I used were a set of those tiny drawers, a pencil cup, and an acrylic medicine cabinet organizer. Not too bad! You can get all that stuff at Target or Walmart and it's way cheaper than the absurd makeup organizers that go for upwards of $50. Ridiculous!
The clock is one of my favorite things and it was on sale for $4 at Target! After two days of leisurely sitting and applying my makeup, I realized a clock was absolutely necessary to keep myself in line. ;)

I like this thing because it has a big space in the middle which fits some of my larger powder compacts. On the side, it has some smaller compartments which are useful for mascara, concealer and eyeliner.

That's the mirror my Mom bought me. It gets better use up here! And to hold my palettes I just used a letter organizer.

These mini-drawer sets are dorm room/desk essentials. I used some leopard contact paper from Duct Tape (it was like $1) to decorate the drawers a bit. In the first drawer I keep my foundations (L'Oreal Magic Smooth Soufflé and CoverGirl Aquasmooth for days when I don't want to put forth a ton of effort. Both are fantastic!). In the second drawer, I keep my collection of eyeshadows (mostly from E.L.F.), and in the top drawer I keep my eyelid primers and my Too Faced Natural Eye palette because it fits.

I LOVE this pencil cup to hold my brushes! It has three little dividers, so I can put my eye brushes, face brushes, and miscellaneous brushes all where they belong. I also used a strip of that leopard contact paper to tie it all together. And Hello Kitty because she's cute (after years of repressing my feminine side due to narrow-minded thinking that all pretty "girly" girls were mean and stupid, it's been nice to get in touch with all that).

It works really well for me. And I LOVE being able to actually SIT and do my makeup. And I've always wanted to be able to do it near a window so that I could get natural lighting, and voila! It's been wonderful.

And for those of you wondering where I keep my lip stuff....

I went to Home Depot and got one of these things, because makeup organizers for women are expensive, but tool organizers for men are CHEAP. Riddle me this, marketers and corporate America! But anyway, I got one because I used to keep my lip stuff all over the place (in purses, on my dresser, in my bathroom, in random boxes in places that never see the light of day...) and I never knew exactly what I had. Consequently, I ended up using the same lip gloss every single day. Now I've organized them by color so that I know what I have and where to look for them. It's been incredibly useful.

Thank you for indulging my vanity. I realize this might seem incredibly vapid and materialistic to a lot of you, but I adore makeup (always have, actually). It's something that I love to play with and "collect" I guess (but I'm too cheap to have a legit makeup collection), and I was just SO excited that I got it all organized!

If you ever have any makeup questions or suggestions or anything, leave a comment! It's one of my favorite things to talk about!

Monday, January 9, 2012


You have to read the title in the manic Oprah voice.

So every year, Oprah would do this show called her Favorite Things wherein she'd give everyone in the audience a veritable treasure trove of stuff. And while I was sick (the first time, I'm sick again now. Should've asked Santa for a new body that was healthier) I watched my first one.

Now, I generally can't stand Oprah. But when I flipped channels and it was her last Favorite Things episode, I HAD to watch because of all the great spoofs that've been made of it. And they are DEADLY accurate.

So then I was like, "Omg, I could do a Favorite Things blog post of all the stuff I'd give out if I was Oprah!" So that's precisely what I'm going to do.


The first thing I'd give away would be Lush Dream Cream, because this is hands-down my favorite lotion for ANYTHING. There are claims that it cures everything from minor cuts to eczema and it's completely, 100% natural. You can use it on everything from hands to legs to the sensitive eye area and it does AMAZINGLY. Some people are put off by the smell, but I personally love it (roses and lavender!) and I think the results would outweigh any displeasure from the odor.

And to go with it, I'd give away... three favorite Lush soaps!
I'd give away 13 (Unlucky for Dirt) Soap because it's naturally antibacterial. At first I despised the smell--roses and oregano! Seriously?? But it gets rid of germs and rinses off so cleanly, and ultimately I ended up liking it. Spicy and floral aren't usually mixed together, but it's kind of a sweet combination!
I'd also give away Sexy Peel, because it's like you split open dozens of oranges and lemons inside your shower. It smells so refreshing and invigorating! It's got little pieces of orange peel in it, which sounds like you're washing with garbage but it doesn't feel that way at all. It's very clean. I absolutely love this soap. And it's perfect for ladies AND gents, just like 13!
And lastly, I'd give away 17 Cherry Tree Lane, not only because I love the name (and Mary Poppins, of course!), but it's probably my favorite Lush scent. It's like a soft, sweet jasmine floral with just a hint of spiciness. It's also got the gratuitous "spoonful of sugar" thrown into the mix...what's not to love?

Oprah usually gives out diamonds and like, real bling, but since I don't own any of that, I'd give out something I DO have and love. I bought myself these Brighton earrings as a graduation present, and I adore them! The lever backs are by and large the most comfortable, and I do love Brighton. I almost exclusively wear silver (not that I hate gold, I just think silver looks better with my coloring), and Brighton is my favorite "drug of choice" when it comes to silver. It's thick, heavy and long-lasting. But the earrings themselves aren't heavy to wear. I also like the faux diamond because it's just enough bling to add a little fabulosity to your everyday.

I would absolutely give every person in my audience Star Wars on DVD. These ones are the ones I own and they come with the unretouched theatrical editions, too, which I think is important. I'm not against the changes George Lucas made, but I watched the originals obsessively before the re-releases came out, so those were the ones I was used to. I can still point out every change he made and tell you what happened in the originals. So yeah, I think I'd like everyone to have these, especially people who grew up watching the re-released versions just so they could see the originals for themselves.
Also, Star Wars has shaped my ideas on right and wrong, death, morality, duty, and friendship more than I'd care to admit. So while Oprah lauds Eckhart Tolle, I recommend Luke Skywalker.

If you've never tried Peterbrooke's Chocolate Popcorn, you have not lived. This stuff is the single most delectable treat I think I've ever had. I am a MAJOR fan of the sweet/salty combo, and this stuff hits the spot 100%. Also, Oprah always gives out some kind of food (she gave out chicken pies on the episode I saw. CHICKEN. PIES.), so here you go.

I very honestly believe laughter is the best medicine for all kinds of ills, so I'd give everyone the Best of Jimmy Fallon SNL DVD. Saturday Night Live is (almost) always funny to me, and I love Jimmy Fallon, so this is two birds with one stone!

You'd also get a Team Coco T-Shirt because while Jimmy Fallon is funny, no one holds a candle to Conan. And if I was Oprah, the first person I'd reach out to befriend as celeb BFF's would be Conan. You better believe it.

It is my firm belief that every woman should own something luxurious...or even something that makes her feel luxurious. There is something innately female about feeling glamorous, and the person who I feel best encapsulates that feminine vigor is Betsey Johnson. Everyone in my audience would go home with a Betsey Johnson Wallet and a sample of her new fragrance, Too Too, because a little luxe goes a long way. And perfume isn't universal. I like this one better than her original (even if the original's packaging is WAYYY better), but that's not everyone's opinion. So you get a trial size. CHEAP OPRAH.

Since these shows happen around the holidays, I felt obligated to give something Christmassy or seasonal. So I chose this Pashmina Scarf from Target. YES, TARGET, OKAY?? I'm not ACTUALLY Oprah! Anyway, I have this scarf in a few colors and I love it because it's WAY bigger than it looks, so it can double as a wrap or shawl. And there are loads of different ways to tie it, and it's so soft. You'd get it in red, like Mattie Silver (and if you haven't read Ethan Frome, you really need to because it's a beautiful story and not all about sex as my brother would tell you).

SPEAKING OF READING (and don't pretend like you weren't expecting this), I'd give my audience a collection of my favorite or most-inspiring books.
Pride and Prejudice is my blanket-statement favorite book (though it ties with Wuthering Heights...P&P is just so much more cheerful), so you'd definitely get that.
I maintain that reading Sherlock Holmes drew me out of one of the severest depressions of my life, and I can't thank him enough for that. The stories are incredible (and short! Perfect for cozying up with before bed) and kind of changed the way I observe the world around me.
Little House in the Big Woods was my gateway drug to reading. My Mom used to read that series to me when I was little, and it was the absolute highlight of my day. I've since re-read them as an adult, and they are such quality stories! And it's fascinating to me because the books are steeped in fact--that stuff actually happened. So this one's definitely one of the top influential books in my life, and I'd like to pass it on to everyone to either read for themselves or gift to a kid they know.
This is such a cop-out, but I'd give everyone the first Harry Potter, just to get them going on it. And I'd give away the adult cover ones so you don't feel like a fool reading it in public.
No-Fear Shakespeare is such a great tool, and not just for students! They have the original text of the play on one page and then the "real English" translation on the cool! So you can actually blast your way through Hamlet without getting tripped up by the language. And while Hamlet is arguably Shakespeare's best play (and probably my favorite from a literary standpoint), Midsummer Night's Dream is my favorite story, so I'd give that one away.
I know I've already talked about Yes Man, but this was one of those books that sticks with you and I really believe it's a life-changing story. So I'd want everyone to read it. It's hilarious, too, and that never hurts. :)
I just finished reading The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen, and I could NOT put it down. I finished it in two nights. And it was so good! Allen almost always uses food as a motiff in her writing, but it takes center stage in this novel. This book is like eating dessert--it takes place in the modern world but has a touch of magic (her books always do...think the movie "Practical Magic") and a hint of Southern gothic. It's really a treasure of a book, and had a message that was so relevant to me and where I am at this point in my life. Loved it.
And finally, I'd give everyone a copy of The Duchess, because this book changed the way I feel and think about being a woman, especially in today's world. Georgiana of Devonshire was CENTURIES ahead of her time and trapped cruelly in a society which caged her in a loveless and faithless marriage. She was brilliant, beautiful, and brave, and really an inspiration to me. She's up there with my Favorite People of All Time. She was also a pal of Marie Antoinette's, so if you love that era or history or women or ANYTHING, you've got to read this book. It's a historical non-fiction that reads like fiction...I couldn't put it down and it hasn't left me yet.

I would definitely give everyone gift cards to Plato's Closet and TJ Maxx, just because money goes further there than anywhere else. You can score designer stuff for wayyy less than retail price at TJ Maxx, and I believe in Plato's as a company. I like that people can recycle their clothing as opposed to filling landfills with them, and it's an affordable way to keep your wardrobe current. So, happy shopping!

Everyone gets a throw blanket with whales on it because I have one and love it and it's super cozy.
That really doesn't merit any other description.

Oprah usually gives away something kitchen-y, but since I'm an absolute domestic failure, I'd give away Tervis Tumblers! I LOVE these cups! They're insulated and can keep hot or cold beverages the right temperature for HOURS. You can customize them, too, with whatever name or images you want. And they have a lifetime guarantee, so if yours gets crapped up all you have to do is mail it to the factory (there's one in Fort Myers!), and they'll send you a new one, free of charge. They're AWESOME.

And lastly, I FINALLY got a REAL Coach bag this year and it is by far the best bag I've ever owned. The classic Coach monogram is timeless and goes with everything. The size and style of this bag is ideal for everyday use as it's big enough to hold your essentials (and a book!), but small enough to carry around with you. The leatherwork and stitching are the eye of the beholder (aka: me), these bags are works of art. So everyone would DEFINITELY get one!


Seriously though.
Hope you enjoyed the list!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

You've lost your muchness.

(Image credit with help from PhotoFunia.)

I feel as though, lately, I've lost my muchness. I can't really describe what "muchness" is, but I think everyone has a general idea of what it means to them.

I've been coasting lately. I'm terribly complacent with my life, which isn't the most terrible thing ever, but I dislike it. I don't like feeling just "okay." The other day I was trying to verbalize what was wrong or missing in my life, and the word that came to mind was "inspiration." There is nothing around me that inspires me. I'm stuck listening to the same old songs, seeing the same few people, going the same places...there is very little "scope for the imagination," as Anne of Green Gables put it.

I figured with my lack of inspiration, and therefore decent blog posts worth reading, it was time for me to be completely honest with you, my readers. I feel like lately my blog's been a lot of BS, and I HATE that because when I started it I never wanted it to end up at that place. And it has.

When I started this blog, I made two Cardinal Rules which were never to be broken:
1. Do not blog about family.
2. Do not blog about work.
I've held to those pretty well. I don't write about family (apart from the odd mention or quote here and there) because I love them, and my extended family reads this, too, and I'd hate to inadvertently offend or overexpose someone. Also, it's really none of your business whatsoever what my family does.
And I NEVER complain about work on this blog unless it's something that I've brought to my boss's attention. If you can't bring a complaint to the higher-ups, then you either have a) a crappy boss or b) an illegitimate complaint. I know people who've complained online about their jobs and then promptly lost them. And I DON'T want that to happen to me.

Herein lies the problem: my life, right now, is centered around family and work. My friends all live far away, so I rarely get to hang out with them even though we talk daily. The only places I really go are work, church, and errand-running. I have an incredibly active imagination which usually serves me very well as far as inventing things to write about. But lately, my imagination has been dormant. I imagine it to be like a fat guy who hasn't had the proper diet and exercise--it's there, it's just being terribly lazy and not getting the right treatment. Which is all my fault.

We've also had some trying times family-wise which have taken up a lot of my time and mental space right now. I won't get into the nitty-gritty, but on Christmas Day, we got a call that my grandma had been admitted to the hospital in North Carolina. She's lived alone on a mountain since my grandpa died 15 years ago, so we've always been concerned. The day after Christmas, my Mom and Dad drove up and brought her back here, presumably to live with us. After a day or so, she had another bad turn and ended up in the hospital here. She was just released on Tuesday into a nursing and rehabilitation center down the road. She won't be returning to NC and will probably be in this area in some sort of assisted living facility for the rest of her life.

This, naturally, has been extremely trying for my family. However, I feel better about her being here. As she gets older, it's simply not SAFE for her to be alone in a massive forest (it's not safe for anyone, really, regardless of age), and it'll be better for her to be here getting the care she needs and deserves. Also, we get to see her more, which makes us all happy. :)
But it has been hard the last couple of weeks, especially on my mom. If I've been quiet around here it's because I've been doing all I can to help out my family. Seriously, I'll be 23 in two months and I don't pay rent. The least I can do is help out.

I've also been fighting the world's most epic flu/sinus infection during all of this. I had a fever of about 101 for three days straight and felt absolutely MISERABLE--like, to the point where I couldn't even watch TV. You KNOW you're sick when you can't even rot your brain properly.

So that's why things have been quiet here in the Sea of Snark. I beg your understanding, dear Readers. I know you're a forgiving lot. :)

So ANYWAY, while I don't condone making New Year's Resolutions, my resolve this year (in between looking for a career to jump-start my so-called adult life, helping my family through their transitional time, and generally being awesome) is to find something I'm really passionate about. It'll probably be something totally stupid. But if it makes my heart race when I'm doing it and if I think about it when I'm not, I'll know I've found it. I want to find something that inspires me; something that inspires me to write again.

I thank you all for bearing with me on this journey and for reading my blog even through the awful dry patches. You guys are the BEST and I appreciate each and every one of you!

For further reading, Miss Gala Darling has, once again, a perfectly timed article on regaining your "spark." Or, "muchness" as the case may be. ;)

(Image credit.)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

First post of 2012!

Laura Berger)

Happy New Year, Everyone!

I hope you all had a beautiful Christmas and an awesome (safe!) time last night ringing in the new year. I know I've been quiet lately. I have been unpleasantly, disgustingly ill with the flu (I swear I have the sickliest constitution...I could've been a withering Austen heroine) and that, coupled with some familial stuff, has kept me either busy or in bed. The last few days I haven't even felt well enough to check my Facebook (or READ! Do you realize how awful it is to not feel like READING?), let alone write a blog post. So, anyway, I'm resting a bit and hoping to God I feel better soon, because I'm not one of those people who's happy to lie about in bed day after day.

For some excellent New Year's reading, I can't suggest Gala Darling enough. She always makes me feel fresh and sparkly inside, and I wanted to share her two newest articles with you!

1. 10 Fantastic Ways to Get Ready for 2012!
2. ...More Ways to Prepare Yourself for 2012!

I hope you all go out and buy a calendar or planner that makes you smile, and fill it up with your beautiful wishes, ambitions and plans for the new year! Don't worry about making and keeping resolutions. Focus on doing what makes you feel best, happiest and most fulfilled. And the only real resolution worth making (and keeping!) is to love more--others AND yourself. So many people give and give and give until they've got nothing left. And that kind of generosity is beautiful, but it's important to remember to give some love to yourself, too. So go ahead and buy that fun planner, eat that delicious new year's treat, get a glam pedicure or massage, and give yourself some love this year!

Love to all of you! And all the best for 2012!!