The Bookshelf

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bookshelf

 

Hello Friends,

It’s been a while since we last spoke hasn’t it? I’m still here though. Lately I have been getting back in to reading so I figured for my first post back in a while that I would talk a little bit about what has been occupying my time lately.

The first book that I have been reading is Tell All by Chuck Palahniuk. I am a huge fan of his and I would even venture to say that he is my favorite author. I recently finished Damned and I am looking forward to the other two books in the series to come out next year and the following year. I thought I had read everything by him but turns out that I have not read Tell All. I must admit that I was not into this book when I first started reading it. Chuck has a pretty distinct writing style, so sometimes its hard to get into the flow, but when you do, it is so so good. The book is from the view point of the… assistant? I guess that would be the best word to describe her, Hazie who tends to her movie star train wreck Kathrine Kenton and her dabbles with love, pets, drugs, and men. My favorite part of Chuck Palahniuk books is that he is very descriptive without being overly wordy. So far I am about 70 pages in and addicted, I will most likely finish the rest today.

The second book I was gifted for Christmas on my Kindle called A Bad Idea I’m About to Do: True Tales of Seriously Poor Judgement and Stunningly Awkward Adventure by Chris Gethard. The book delves into personal stories about Chris growing up and is extremely relatable as an awkward weird arty person drifting through life trying to find oneself. The stories are hilariously sad, and I can’t put my Kindle down. This is the first book that I have read by him but threw it on my wish list because it was suggested by Amazon due to my love of Rob Sheffield and Chuck Klosterman – not bad Amazon, not bad at all.

And finally, I just finished reading Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh. If you are not familiar with her web comic, Hyperbole and a Half, please exit my blog and go read all of them. Most of the book is a collection of her best comics, but there are some amazing stories in there. Not only do I find that Allie has a way of saying ALL the things that a depressed person can sometimes not, its comforting to know that even in the darkest times we need to be reminded that we cannot take ourselves so seriously. The book is a fast read due to it being mostly pictures, but it is definitely on my re-read list after my mother returns it.

We also have the normal mixture of comic books thrown in there, though what I have been reading has a few missing issues here and there making all of the stories a tad bit choppy.

 

29 December, 2013
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Easy Fall Inspired Nails

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The last few weeks I have been rocking polish free nails. My work absolutely destroys my nails on a daily basis, so I try not to do anything too fancy that I would be disappointed that could potentially chip off the day I roll into work. Feeling the fall buzz in the air, I perused my polish collection and picked out a few polishes that reminded me of fall.

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Supplies Used:
– Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear – Golden-I
– Sinful Colors Professional – Lets Meet
– Spoiled by Wet & Wild – Don’t Be Cheesy
– Sephora X – Chaotic
– Sephora by O.P.I – Matte Top Coat

I alternated between the yellow and orange, saving the gold polish for my ring finger on each hand. I used one coat of Sephora X over the top and two coats of the matte top coat.

7 October, 2013
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Social Print Studio

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If you haven’t at least heard of Instagram, you’ve probably been living under a rock for the last few years. Whether you like it or hate it, its everywhere. I personally am a huge fan of Instagram and have been toying with the idea of printing some of the pictures I have posted. I thought about printing them at some place like Target or Kinko’s but I was really hoping for a nice matte cardstock finish. I checked out a few apps on my phone that offered printing service but none of them really grabbed me until I downloaded Social Print Studio.

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Social Print Studio offers 4 different sizes of prints. I opted to purchase 2 3/8″ x 2 3/8″ sized pictures because I have a journal that I planned to use the pictures in. The prints were super easy to order. I pulled up my library on my phone and scrolled through the pictures and selected the ones as I scrolled. Note that all of the pictures you select will have a white border on them, so if your Instagrammed pictures have another border, it is possible that you will have both. The app allows you to crop pictures that are not in square format as well as zoom in on pictures (any format) to crop out any other borders or if you want to zoom in on something else in the picture. After selecting the pictures you want to print, it allows you to select how many of each picture that you want to print. Check out is a breeze and shipping is not only a flat rate, but extremely fast. Two days after I ordered my prints, I had them in my hand.

I have created an album on my phone and I put a copy of every picture I want to print in there so that I don’t have to keep track of what I have printed and what I haven’t. I can’t wait to amass a few more pictures and place another order. I can’t recommend this app enough as I am really impressed by the quality of the prints as well as the fast shipping.

(note : please note that this post is my own opinion (like all other posts) and was not paid or compensated with goods from Social Print Studio for this post.)

3 October, 2013
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My Week In Geek – Vol. 1

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It is no secret that I am some what of a nerd. I have written about all kinds of nerdy fandoms here and on other blogs that would further cement this fact. Instead of my normal rambling on about what game I am currently obsessed with, I thought I would put together a handy list of geekery that I am either watching, playing, working on, etc.

  • I purchased my first copy of a Grand Theft Auto game. Now let’s not confuse this and jump to the conclusion that I have never played a Grand Theft Auto game, because that is not the case, but after watching Richard drive around Los Santos, I really wanted to play it for myself. I am about 10 hours in and so far really enjoying it – though I have come to the conclusion that I really suck at driving.
  • I also started playing Lego Hobbit from the beginning. This is some what of a daunting task, but at least this time around I will get trophies on my gamer tag.
  • I started playing my character again in Torchlight on my 360 in attempt to pacify my love of dungeon crawl games now that I am not playing Diablo III anymore until there is an update. About a week and half or so ago after entering into the second act with Richard, his game froze corrupting all of his game data, causing his character to become obsolete. Not wanting my monk to suffer the same fate, I have put off playing until Blizzard puts out an update (as I have read that this has happened to other people online) Back to Torchlight. Torchlight and I broke up a while back (see here) but we are talking things out and have been going on a few outings. The only reason why I am playing really is to get the last achievement I am missing for the game which is achieving maximum fame in the game. I was SO close on my last character that it is almost heartbreaking to have to start all over again.
  • If you are into Disney Infinity and you have reserved the new figures coming out, just a heads up that on Monday, GameStop announced a GameStop exclusive Limited Edition Jack Skellington piece that comes with a graveyard case. The upgrade is only a few more dollars and I was able to switch it over in a few seconds. I also have all of the other upcoming pieces reserved as well as the series 2 power discs. Where am I going to put all this stuff?!
  • A couple friends and I have started a Disney social club that we are really excited about – once we get a few more details hammered out I will post about it over here, but lets just say, I am pretty stoked on our jacket back patches right now and our upcoming visit to Disney in January.
  • While I understand the features of the new Steam controller that was announced, that thing is all kinds of horrible looking. Same can be said for the Nintendo 2DS, which if I didn’t know better, I would have thought was some cruel super late April Fools joke from Nintendo.
  • And last but not least, I am currently lusting over this Game Boy luggage over on Think Geek right now. If I didn’t think it would make me a prime target to have my luggage stolen, I might consider the 70 dollar price tag. Do. Want.

(image copyright Rockstar Games)

2 October, 2013
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Lunch Inspiration

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For the last month or so I have started packing bento-esque lunches for myself at work. For the most part I used to just eat cereal everyday, and despite my love a nice bowl of cereal, it can get a little boring. When I would get bored, I would end up going to the grocery store on my lunch and buying way too much to eat or hitting up a local fast food place. While in Los Angeles, I was lucky enough to visit a Diaso Japan store, and went a little crazy.

I have been wanting to make bento lunches for a long time, but I was completely unsure where to find supplies locally. I could always order off the internet, but truth be told, I am an instant gratification kinda gal, and would hate the wait. So while in LA I went on a mini shopping spree and bought a little bit of everything I could possibly think of that I would need to make bento lunches.

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Then came the hard part. What do I pack!? I am a super picky eater and will admit it until I am blue in the face. I won’t try and fool myself or you by attempting to like something when I clearly don’t. I am a creature of habit (see the part where I would eat cereal for weeks) and as a kid I pretty much had the same sack lunch from pre-school until 8th grade. Bento lunches are great for a few reasons, let me break it down for you why I think so…

1. It’s cute. Come on, who doesn’t love food in cute containers, food with faces, food presented in cute ways, etc. Part of why I love making bento style lunches is the creativity of turning an ordinary lunch into something fun.

2. Built in portion control. I struggle with this when it comes to food. It is not uncommon for me to eat an entire bag of chips, or two bagels, or a few more cookies than I should, but I don’t have that problem when it comes to lunch time. Everything that is packed is pretty much perfectly portioned. The bottom box I try to make sure that I have mostly protein and a side, then snack type foods for the top box. This keeps me from packing an entire box of cookies and chips.

3. I get a little bit of everything. I think the hardest part of packing a lunch is burn out, at least for me. I hate slapping the same thing together day in and day out, so I either eat something easy and simple like cereal or I go out eat. With a bento lunch, I get to pack all kinds of things that I normally wouldn’t.

4. It’s money saving. Because I am not going out to eat, I am saving money by bringing my lunch to work, and I am using all of the food I have at home. It forces me to buy things that I can use for lunch instead of just stuff I want to eat en mass while cross stitching infront of the TV. Because I am not using half a bag of chips in a normal sack lunch in a ziplock bag and only using a pinch in my bento box, I can stretch that bag of chips to cover over a weeks worth of lunches if I so please.

5. It fills me up. I was most skeptical of this one when I purchased these two boxes. The first night I put together my lunch, I stood in my kitchen and thought to myself “There is no way that this is going to fill me up.” Most days I feel like I eat just enough that I rarely eat dinner because I am still full from lunch.

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So back to the hard part – what do I pack?! The sky is really the limit when it comes to bento lunches. There are no rules or guidelines as to what you can or cannot pack. It is definitely a challenge to present things in a smaller way that they will fit in the box, but to me, that is part of the fun. Some of the staples that I include in my lunch are things like:

mini sandwiches pizza pasta pot stickers cereal
rice veggies chips pitas dried fruit
fruit snacks cookies trail mix candy apple sauce
dips mini bagels nuts graham crackers yogurt
crackers mini cheeses granola mashed potatoes peanut butter

 

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Like I said, the sky is the limit with what you can pack, but I always try to keep in mind that if it is something that needs to be eaten warm, how will it reheat since I store my food in the fridge until lunch time. I often make a little extra of whatever I am making for dinner to make into something for lunch. Tacos on Sunday are a ritual for us, so I always take some sort of taco dish on Monday. To keep it from getting boring I have made them in different ways for lunch. One week I made mini tacos by cutting mini soft taco shells out of a tortilla with a glass. One week I made cheeseless nachos (chips and meat, who am I kidding), and this week I spread grilled taco meat on a tortilla, rolled it up really tight and saran wrapped it over night in the fridge and cut it like a sushi roll in the morning.

In closing, here are a few tips I have learned in the last few weeks of lunch making.

– You can make almost anything bite size, it just takes a little creativity.
– Fun picks are a great way to make mundane things like fruit snacks cute. I make fruit snack skewers.
– Always make sandwiches day of to keep your bread from getting soggy
– Invest in some supplies upfront. Find a box you like, pick up some silicone baking cups in a couple of sizes, some picks, a few small sauce containers (I have a few designated that I always keep premade in the fridge and kitchen cupboard of things like soy sauce, taco hot sauce, salt, pepper, etc.)
– Make a list of lunches for the week. This will help not only help you possibly figure out what to make for dinner, but it keeps you from standing in your kitchen at 11 PM slapping together a crappy lunch because you feel obligated to make something.
– Your coworkers will be fascinated with your lunch and think you have tons of time on your hands when in reality it only takes about 5 – 10 minutes to the boxes together (if you have cooked things the night prior, etc)
– It doesn’t always have to be cute. So what if your mashed potatoes don’t have seaweed stars speckling them. Who cares, its your lunch.
– There are tons of inspiring bento internet resources.

Have fun with lunch!

1 October, 2013
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