TV / Film – There Goes My Weekend …

Select HBO shows are now available to stream on Amazon Instant Video.  Not everything, mind you.  Game of Thrones is too new.  And maybe Sex and the City is too popular?  Anyway, I’ll finally get to see a couple of shows I’ve always wanted to see, like Oz, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, and The Wire.  Some of the current shows are also available, like True Blood and Boardwalk Empire, albeit 2 years or so after airing.

Now if only the internet in my room wasn’t THE WORST.  

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Style / Fashion – Here Comes the Brides(maid) Inspiration Week

My good friend Amy is getting married in Maine this September and I’m as pleased as punch to be one of her bridesmaids!  Yesterday, I traveled down to David’s Bridal to order my dress, this lovely number in petal

Bridesmaids Dress

 

{Photo Credit – David’s Bridal}

The detail is a little hard to see in  this picture, so you should check it out on the David’s site in a darker shade.  Fabulous, no?

I’m a little nervous about the dress fitting me – most are made for the classic, concave hourglass figure … and I’m more of a convex, apple shape.  According to the measurements, I’m 1″ smaller than the bust, 2″ smaller than the hips … but 2″ too big in the waist.  David’s doesn’t sell extra fabric, so I chose this dress precisely because I’m going to need to have it hemmed to knee length.  All that extra fabric can be used for any alterations so that the dress can fit.

That extra fabric will also come in handy – I plan to use some of it to some sort of sleeve so I don’t feel nekkid! (Seriously, why are so many wedding and bridesmaids dresses strapless?!?)  Here are some of my inspirations for modifying a sleeveless gown:

Sleeve Options

{Photo Credit – Left – Pinterest, Center – Southern Weddings, Right – Alibaba}

Now that the dress is ordered (no returns!), what about the SHOES?  Turns out, there are quite a few options .. and I’m not sure what to get!

Shoes - Sandals

 

{Sandals: 1 – Mark Kemp Leash, 2 – J. Renee Whirly , 3 – David Tate Beverly , 4 – Colorful Creations Minnie, 5 – David Tate Rosette}

Shoes - Peep Toes

{Peep toes: 1 – J. Renee Classie, 2 – David Tate Prom, 3 – J. Renee Chrissy, 4 – J. Renee Slader, 5 – Colorful Creations – Debra, 6 – Ross Hommerson Bolo}

Shoes - Closed Toes

 

{Closed Toes & Slingbacks: 1 – Barefoot Tess Brea, 2 – J. Renee Bev, 3 – Ros Hommerson Valeda, 4 – Ros Hommerson Kaitlin}

What to do ,what to do?  Some of these will be easier to work into my wardrobe than others … but these are also the same shoes that I’m less sure about being able to rock with the dress.  Then, of course, is the question of fit and comfort.  I think I’m gonna order ….. the J. Renee Whirly Sandal, the J. Renee Classie Peep Toe, the Ros Hommerson Bolo Peep Toe, and the Ross Hommerson Kaitlin Slingback.  With free return shipping at Zappos and Shoe Buy, I can try them on, see what’s comfortable and what matches well with the fabric, and send back the ones that don’t work!

 

Food / Wine – Inspiration Week

And inspiration week continues!

On the menu for this weekend:

 

Dinner – Asparagus Ribbon and Whipped Ricotta Pizza

asparagus-pizza-I-howsweeteats.com-3

{Photo Credit – How Sweet Eats}

 

Dessert – Red Wine Granita with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Red-Wine-granita-with-vanilla-ice-cream-

{Photo Credit – Honesty Yum}

 

Drinks – Sweet Tea and Ginger Lemonade Shot Bites

finished-jello-shots-9-e1400555215309

{Photo Credit – Joy the Baker}

 

Salivating already! (And a little tipsy … hmmm …}

Science / Tech – Inspiration Week

Continuing the Inspiration Week Theme …

Let’s be honest … it’s hard for me to find a Science / Tech inspiration that I can do in real life this weekend … especially since science is like, my ACTUAL JOB.

This inspiration one is a bit of a reach for the Science / Tech category, I’ll admit.  BUT … my good friend, former co-worker, PhD-granted current roommate, Lori, is the proud owner of Rocko’s Ice Cream Tacos, so I can’t not plug her awesome business.  Where’s the science, you ask?  Well it’s all in the magic of liquid nitrogen, which Lori uses to freeze delicious coatings onto the ice cream filled, waffle cone tacos.  Ch-ch-check out her “Meet the Maker” profile form the 2014 Bay Area Maker Faire … and this awesome video that they made to showcase

{Rocko’s Ice Cream Tacos by Left Coast Digital}

Tasty, tasty science!

Rocko’s is gonna be at the San Jose Taco Fest of Innovation (the name FEELS techy … and that counts, right?) this weekend.  Granted, I could have these tacos pretty much anytime … but I’m gonna indulge my sweet tooth and explore the rest of what Taco Fest has to offer as well!

Knitting / Crafting – Inspiration Week

Sorry for the last posts (dad, since you’re the only one reading this right now) … but I had a little brush with some nasty muscle spasms / back problems this past weekend, and recovering has distracted me from blogging.

Looking ahead in my calendar, I discovered that I have a wide-open schedule this weekend? (Say what?!?) What better way to spend a weekend than to take some internet-spiration and experience it in the real world?

For my crafting project, I’m going to solve a problem.  Specifically, this problem:

{Photo coming soon}

It’s not the worst solution to necklace organiaztion … but it definitely could be better.  Right now, I can’t see all of the necklaces that I own because they are stacked one on top of the other.  When I moved, I even re-discovered a couple of necklaces I hadn’t seen in YEARS.  The other big problem is that the necklaces get tangled all.the.time. Hand to God, there has been more than a few occasions that I decided to forgo the necklace as an accessory simply because I got too frustrated to continue untangling the desired necklace.  As frustrating as that was, at least it contributed to me unintentionally following the best fashion advice that anyone has ever given:

Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” ~Coco Chanel

Browsing around the interwebs, I’ve found quite a number of solutions/ideas that have inspired me.  Here’s my inspiration board:

Necklace Organization Inspiration

{Photo Credit: 1 – Oh, Everything Handmade, 2 – With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart, 3 – Dollar Store Crafts4 – Hello, Beauty}

Check back next Monday to see the finished product!  (And, maybe even a tutorial!)

TV / Film – Love it or Hate it?

I know, I know.  I’m a day late.  So sue me!

It’s that time of year again where pretty much all your favorite shows are on summer vacation, and you have to find new ways to spend all of that extra free time (what’s that?) floating around.  So, naturally, the first thing you’re gonna wanna do is check out what your NEW favorite show is gonna be next year!

That’s right, folks, it’s upfronts time!  I know what you’re thinking – what the **** is an upfront?  Don’t worry, I didn’t know either until about 5 minutes ago (INTERNET.).  It’s that time of year when the networks begin to woo advertisers by releasing their new schedule for the upcoming year.  This is when the renewals and cancellations become officially official, especially for shows in limbo (e.g. yay, Hannibal is renewed!).  This is also the time we get our first sneak peek of the all the new shows. (If you’re especially interested about new shows/pilots being picked up, you can check out Variety’s TV Pilot Season Scorecard.)

From what I’ve seen so far, no new show has been more polarizing than Selfie, a series picked up by ABC.  Selfie is My Fair Lady meets Myspace (or, you know, some other more relevant 21st century social networking site).  It stars AMY POND Karen Gillan as Eliza Dooley, and John Cho as Henry Higgins.

People like(?) it.  People hate it.  THE INTERNET IS A BUZZ.  Me?  I’m torn.

Pros

  • The cast.  I mean, hello, AMY POND Karen Gillam!  She brought to life what is BY FAR my favorite Doctor Who companion.  If any of Amy Pond’s sass-tasticness makes it into Eliza, we’ve got a winner on our hands here.
  • The inspiration.  Who doesn’t love My Fair Lady?  And who can’t relate to fact that world of social media can sometimes be the loneliest of places?

Cons

  • The lingo.  I can barely stand people speaking in hashtags online.  I can’t imagine watching 30 minutes of it on TV.
  • The characters.  From my first look at the pilot, I don’t really like Eliza.  And that’s a problem.  Because I don’t think this show will succeed without Eliza being relatable in any way.  And right now, from the trailer, she’s waaaaaaaaaay too shallow to be likeable in any way, shape, or form.  She’s more of a caricature rather than a character.

My (Temporary) Verdict – Clearly, I’m gonna have to wait for the show to actually premiere.  I think there’s a lot of room here for social commentary about the role of social media in society.  For me, the success of the show depends on three main things:

  1. Making Eliza relatable.
  2. The chemistry between Eliza and Henry
  3. Use of the show’s comedy to walk that delicate line between social commentary and, well, trying to be too trendy.

Selfie is getting a firm commit of 2 episodes from me … and then I’ll make my final verdict.

Check out the teaser for Selfie here:

What do you think?

 

Style / Fashion – Daisy, Daisy Give Me Your Answer Do

There are two things that 13 year old me would be so happy to find about right now.  First, that there are so many more plus-size fashion options today than there ever were back in the 90s.  Second, that the fashions of the 90s would become fashionable again in the next millennium.  Case in point:  daisies!  These amazing outfits from some fantastic bloggers caught my eye:

Daisies (Bloggers)

 {Photo Credit – And I Get Dressed (Left), Sticky Sweet Danish (Top Right), Sticky Sweet Danish (Bottom Right)}

{Dresses – Mod Cloth (Left), Yours Clothing (Top Right), Boohoo (Bottom Right)}

Here’s a photo of 13 year old me, back in 1996, rocking a daisy (well, sunflower … close enough!) print denim skort … and ‘modeling’ the heck out of it as well.  Who knew I was so fashion forward?

{Picture coming soon … it’s on my other computer!}

Want to re-live the 90s and get your daisy on?  From all over prints to delicate details, traditional black/white/yellow to all the colors of the rainbow, there’s an option for you to add some daisy to your wardrobe!

Daisies - Tops

Tops

  1. Rainbow Daisy Printed Top
  2. Fashion to Figure Alana Daisy Trim Striped Top
  3. Wet Seal Daisy Print Wrap
  4. New Look Inspire Daisy Print Bow Back Shell (via ASOS)
  5. G Stage Love Daisy Print Flounce Top
  6. Alice & You Daisy Print Cami (via ASOS)
  7. Wet Seal Daisy Boxed Tee

Daisies - Dresses

Dresses

  1. Rainbow Daisy Cinched Dress
  2. New Look Inspire 2 in 1 Daisy Dress (via ASOS)
  3. Rainbow Daisy Dress
  4. Pink Clove Baby Doll Daisy Print Tunic
  5. Boohoo Jordana Daisy Print Maxi
  6. Alice & You Daisy Print Skater Dress with Contrast Collar (via ASOS)

Daisies - Bottoms & Accessories

Bottoms & Accessories

  1. ASOS Curve Pencil Skirt in Daisy Print
  2. Wet Seal Daisy Crown
  3. Forever 21 Daisy Chain Headband
  4. Yours Clothing Black and Cream Daisy Print Skater Skirt
  5. Forever 21 Daisy Rectangle Sunglasses
  6. Forever 21 Daisy Chain Bracelet
  7. Yours Clothing Mint Daisy Print Snood
  8. New Look White and Blue Daisy Necklace

 

Sports / Games – More Cardinal in the NFL

“I wouldn’t want to meet him in a dark alley … or on Serra Street.” ~ Sadie, RE Shayne Skov

“I bet Shayne Skov gives good hugs” ~ Sadie

As evidenced above, my friends and I are some pretty dedicated fans of the Stanford football team.  I’ve been to nearly every home game for the last 6 or 7 years.   One of my favorite things about being a college football fan is to see these guys that have put in so much effort both into football and into their academics achieve their dream of playing in the NFL.  There are so many of them there now, I bet I could even field an entire fantasy football team with Cardinal alumni alone!

Here’s where the most recent batch of Stanford Cardinal ended up in the NFL:

Even with all this new Stanford talent in the NFL, the Indianapolis Colts still have the distinction of having the most Cardinal alum on the team.  Superstar and neck beard aficionado QB Andrew Luck rocks out with TE Coby Fleener, S Delano Howell, and WR Griff Whalen.

Tied for second place are the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers have a total of 3 Cardinal alums.

As one who grew up a 49ers fan, and then adopted the Colts during the lost years in Indiana, it’s a pretty sweet position to be in when your favorite NFL teams have the most number of players from your most beloved college team.

Congrats guys!  Can’t wait to see y’all in the NFL!

 

Food / Wine – The Meal I’m Craving

I have  a love/hate relationship with food blogs.  Nothing gets my mouth watering and my heart racing like some really beautiful food porn.  However, inevitably, it makes the meal I’m currently munching on shoving in my face look wholly unappetizing.

Here’s the dinner + dessert I’m most craving this week:

Dinner – Joy the Baker’s Cheddar Buttermilk Waffle BLT’s

14171395222_59d3457c0b_c

{Photo Credit – Joy the Baker}

Runner Ups – saucy pulled pork sandwiches, hashed brussels sprouts with poppy seed and lemon

 

Dessert – Bakerella’s Lemony Lemonies

14174215535_591458e613_o

{Photo Credit – Bakerella}

Runner Ups – rhubarb curd shortbread, baked banana foster doughnuts

 

As drool worthy as those recipes look, it’s hard for me to muster up the motivation to cook anything that involved after a long day at work.  Instead, I tend to rely on some simple, fast, & tasty staples.  Lately, I’ve been really into what I like to call “Lazy Girl Tacos”.  I take some rotisserie chicken, shred up it up, toss it in some fajita seasoning, warm it up on the skillet, and slap it on some warmed corn tortillas with some sour cream & guacamole.  I even got fancy tonight – I added some (canned) refried black beans and shredded manchego cheese.  All in all, the meal takes about 10 minutes to make … and is crave-able enough to eat before remembering to take a photo:

photo

Cooking for one is always a bit difficult.  I find that I waste a good amount of guacamole because it’s packaged in such large amounts and gets oxidized pretty quickly.  This is where things like Wholly Guacamole’s Minis are just perfect – each mini is the perfect portion to top  some tacos, or to use in lieu of mayo on a sandwich … and they’re only 100 calories!  Even though they cost a little bit more per ounce than their large container counterparts, I feel like I end up eating the same amount of guacamole, without all of the wasted food.  To my Lazy Girl Taco lovin’ delight, Budget Bytes came out with this great post this week about making and storing single servings of shredded chicken.  They also included some great recipes to use this shredded chicken in.  I’m most excited to try the creamy pesto pasta with chicken and broccoli and this curry chicken salad.  Fantastic (and frugal)!

Finally, did you know that May 9th was National Moscato Day?  Yeah, me neither … and I don’t know how that’s even possible!  I think I’ll crack open a bottle of J. Rickards Muscat Blanc from my stash and enjoy it with some of the remaining manchego cheese in a belated celebration of such a wonderful day!

 

Science / Tech – Brains, Brains, & Turn Lanes

There was so much to love this past week in science and tech … and something to hate – the fact that the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheath is past the point of no return =\.  Instead of focusing on just one awesome story, however, I’m going to give you three vignettes on brains, brains, and turn lanes.  Because, you know, rhyming.

Brains

You’d think that more brain cells would mean better memory.  And in some ways, it does – memory formation in adult mice can be increased by boosting the expansion of neurons.  But how do new brain cells affect the memories you’ve already made?  A recent study suggests that the formation of new neurons in mice can actually ‘erase’ old memories.

Neurons are made throughout life, but the rate at which they are made decreases as we age.  To figure out how the formation of new brain cells affects old memories, researchers at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada tested newborn and adult mice for their ability to retain a negative memory – fear from repeated electric shocks.  Newborn mice, who are rapidly making new neurons, were only able to remembered the negative experience for one day.  Adult mice, who are making new neurons at a far slower rate, remembered the negative experience for several weeks.

That’s great … but it’s really only a correlation.  You can find correlations between just about anything.  For example, did you know that the number of people who drown by falling into a swimming pool correlates with the number of films Nicolas Cage starred in?  (For other fun and ridiculous correlations, check out Spurious Correlations!)

What happens if you slow down the formation of new brain cells in newborn mice, or speed up the formation of neurons in adult mice?  Well, it turns out that slowing down the formation of new brain cells enhanced the persistence of this negative memory in newborn mice.  And speeding up the formation of neurons in adult mice reduced persistence of the learned fear of those nasty repeated electric shocks.  SCIENCE.

To use a (probably imperfect) metaphor, think of your brain as the hard drive of your computer, and the files on it as your brain cells, the neurons.  There’s only so much space on your hard drive.  And what do you do when you need extra space?  You have to get rid of some old files!

Brains

Why I decided to write this middle vignette last is a mystery to me … but read this article about how a specific variant of the longevity gene, KLOTHO, can not only make you live longer, but can also make you smarter.  I apparently do not have the super-human variant of this gene … or I do, but its effects are masked by the fact that I’m up way past my brain’s bedtime.

Fun fact:  The longevity gene was named after one of the Fates in Greek mythology, Clotho, who is responsible for “spinning the thread of human life”.

Turn Lanes 

Just a week and a half ago, I was driving up to J. Rickards, my favorite little winery, for a wine pick up day with some of my fellow wine club members.   We were leaving from San Francisco, the number one nemesis of my keen sense of direction.  My friend Ryan was guiding me out of the city, and, while he was doing a great job, he never gave me the piece of information I always want, but rarely ever get – what bleeping lane should I be in!?!?!  Apparently, I’m not the only one that loves this type of info – his lovely wife Johanna agreed with me.

This past Saturday, I was running errands and needed to go to a new store in a part of town that I’d never been to before.  I whipped out my iPhone and promptly opened Google Maps (sorry, Apple Maps, but you’ve steered me wrong enough times to give me some serious trust issues).   I typed in the address, chose my general route, and let the calming digital voice guide me to my new destination.  As I approached my first turn, that beautiful digital voice uttered those three six words every lady wants to hear – “Use the two right lanes to …” – before giving me her usual spiel of what direction and street to turn on.  It was MAGICAL.  So magical, in fact, that I used Google Maps to steer me home (even though I now knew the route) just to listen to the sweet, sweet music of lane guidance.

At first, I thought I was just one of the lucky ones – after all, I do live in Silicon Valley, where tech companies use their neighbors as their new tech guinea pigs.  However, it seems like we’re ALL the lucky ones – in addition to lane guidance, the newest version of Google Maps includes the ability to save directions to use offline, the addition of Uber (with the nearest car and time to pickup) as a transportation option, and more!