Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Look of the Day: Layering with Flannel

The chill in the air is beggining to descend in the great Northwest.  The cool air paired with a little movement known as GRUNGE makes Seattle the perfect spot for the totally wonderful flannel to reveal itself in all it's pride and glory!  Here are a few of my fav ideas I will just HAVE to try this fall:
Cute flannel dress with layered knee socks and boots.  I'd probably even throw in some sheer black tights under the gray knee socks!  Love how the simple black tote kind of balances everything else out.

Not sure how much I'm digging his mix-match pattern choices.  I find it rather busy because of the many different colors AND textures, but her girly white lace tee paired with the bright red flannel peeking through puts just enough color into this multi-textured ensemble.  It's got a really great balance because of subtle color yet multiple textures. 
Maybe Mr. should take a page outta Layered Flannel Icon:
Alexander Skarsgard
I LOVE him (True Blood fan alert) and I LOVE what he's doing with colors and layers!  The three solid pieces bring the flannel in nicely; it's subtle, but loud enough that it still comes through as the center piece.  I also love the two jacket look: the sports coat over the knitted vest - gorgeous! All the solid colors are tied together in the flannel center piece, allowing for the multi layers and pattern without risking the integrity of the ensemble as a whole. He gets the business without the busyness.  Great job, Alex!

Just a Thought...

"In 1450 there were about 100 new books published. Last year, there were more than a million. A new book comes out every 30 sec. It would take 15 years just to read the titles of every book published. And you're going to watch TV tonight? Fair enough, I suppose..."

It's pouring this morning!  And with the rain, comes many evenings spent snuggled in bed with a good book and a cupa tea :)  Here's what's on my Fall reading list -- most are taken from the list of 100 books the BBC thinks you should read before you die.  A challege, eh BBC?

Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
Middlemarch - George Eliot
The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
Bleak House - Charles Dickens
The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
Emma - Jane Austen
Persuasion - Jane Austen
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
Dune - Frank Herbert
Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
On The Road - Jack Kerouac
Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
Moby Dick - Herman Melville
Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
Germinal - Emile Zola
Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
Possession - AS Byatt
Cloud Atlas - David Mitchel
The Color Purple - Alice Walker
The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
Watership Down - Richard Adams
A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf
One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting - Milan Kundera
Howard's End - E.M. Forster
Sula - Toni Morrison
Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeline L'Engle
Mystery and Manners - Flannery O'Conner
Everything is Illuminated - Jonathan Safran Froer
Mysteries of Pittsburg - Michael Chabon
The Passage - Justin Cronin
The Irresistible Henry House - Lisa Grunwald
Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory - Peter Hessler
The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine - Michael Lewis
Millenium Trilogy - Steig Larson
Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War - Karl Marlantes
The Imperfectionist - Tom Rachman
The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot
Just Kids - Patti Smith
The Lonely Polygamist - Brady Udall
The Tenth Parallel - Eliza Griswold

And more to come... now -- where to begin?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Look of the Day: Cigarette Jeans

These are NOT your average skinny jeans.  The difference between the two is minimal, but crucial.

Skinny jeans are form-fitting all the way down your legs, even tappered in for a skin tight wrap around your ankles.  Cigarette jeans, like Skinnies, are form fitting through the butt and thighs, but aren't tappered as much at the ankles.  They maintain the same shape below the knees, not quite as fitted as the straight legged jean, but more like the love child between the skinnies and the straights.*

*Technically, it's all about the leg opening.  11'' for Skinnes, 12'' for cigarette, and about 16'' for straight -- see happy medium love child.
Cigarette vs Skinny

I love the cigarette because they give a much cleaner look.  As you can see in the picture, skinnies hold them ankles tight, so regardless if you're wearing flats or heals, you're going to have that bunching up look at the bottom that creates a little more edgy of an ending, kind of an abrupt stop to the flow of your legs.  With no bunching, the cigarette creates a more gradual, natural transition to your shoes and feet, elongating those stems.  And I'm 5' so the more elongating, the better!  Ultimately though, it really just depends on the look you're going for.

I like BOTH because they show off your shoesies!  With other styles, if the hem is too high it just looks like you're waiting for a flood -- not these!

Cigarette Icon:  Nicole Ritchie
See how they're not skin tight on the ankles?  And you can see her cute shoes?

Again: room at the ankles, peeking peep toes, and she's a shorty so good job on creating some height!

And here are some of my favs from Urban Outfitters

I'd Rather Be Knitting...

Today, the sun came up a little later than usual.  Today, there was a fog blanketing the city as I bussed my way downtown.  Today's high: a mere 66 degrees.  You know what all that means?  Fall is coming!  And fall means beanies, sweaters, and scarfs... and me, knitting.

Plus, I happened on a major sale on wool yarn yesterday.

And so it begins.

I've already started a slouchy beanie in mustard with stockinete stitch. 

And I want to make these scarfs:

And this pullover sweater in cashmere:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Look of the Day: Layered tights and socks

SO Perfect for the colder Fall weather up here in Seattle!

Here's a couple of AMAZING ideas from J.Crew's Fall line:

So awesome, no?  They're all such different styles - so many, many things to do with tights/socks pairing.  I'm LOVING the opaque tights with the socks scrunched down and the MacAlister boots (top left) -- Would look great with some aged combat boots as well, right? 

Or maybe a pair of these - OBSESSED:

Which tights/socks pair do you think is a match made in fashion heaven?

Bus Chronicles 7: Public Display of Affection vs Public Display of Hairy Legs

I’m enjoying my afternoon: I’ve finished work, found a seat at the bench at the bus stop and I can feel the warm sunshine on my bare legs, listening to my ipod, reading my book. I notice a cooing couple walk by, holding hands, giggling, and I roll my eyes at them (hidden behind my sunglasses) before I continue to read. It’s not that I’m offended by PDA, it’s the displays of contrived affection that really bug me: PDA that belongs in middle school and Doe-eyed Disney films – the kind that makes everybody feel, well, awkward.

I look up to see the bus coming and low and behold there’s the awkward couple, canoodling RIGHT in front of the bus stop. Making out in the front of the line. There are people within mere feet of them and they are eyes closed, holding each other close, last kiss before I go to war, making out.

We all get on the bus but the two cannot keep their hands off each other.  He’s got his arm around her and she’s holding the hand dropped over her shoulder, caressing it, kissing it, and then looking deeply into his eyes and giving him a dreamy grin. Gag me!

I do the “well this is awkward” downward glance toward the girls feet and this is what I see:

I kid… you not…

Her legs were hairier than the male bus drivers.

And then I really did almost vomit. In my mouth. Just a little bit.

On Repeat: John Mayer

Sister went to see John Mayer last night.  I miss Sister.  So I'm listening to Mr. Mayer today.  Brings me a little closer to Sister.  Can't wait until she moves to the NW at the end of September!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Look of the Day: Tie Dyed Jewlery

Just Look:

Amazing, no? Boho chic, tie dyed, soft natural fibers twisted, braided and paired with the rougheness of recycled industrial metal. I'm OBSESSED. Erin Considine is brilliant.

4 Simple Goals

So I came across this rad girls blog and she has presented an such a cool challenge! Make 4 Simple Goals -- simple meaning, somewhat easily reachable goals that are more for the enjoyment of and less for the end result. Here are mine:

1) Take more pictures! I'm not a photographer by any means, but I find that I really enjoy looking back at pictures (that others have taken) and re-experiencing special moments. Time to stop relying on others to capture those mini mementos!
2) Enjoy more walks with the pup. We just moved to a new place in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle. It's a few blocks from this HUGE (543 acres) park with hiking trails, a beach, and a light house. I recently perused the grounds for the first time and wow! it's beautiful! I hope to experience more hikes very soon. (And take pictures!)
3) Be more outgoing. Believe it or not, I'm shy (at first)! When it comes to taking the initiative in creating friendships, I tend to be really unsure of myself. I'm great at maitaining relationships (ehem, just TRY and get me to shut up), but the begginings are always so uncomfortable for me. Recently, I find myself whining about not having enough friends. It's time to get a little more involved in the primary makings of a beautiful friendship. Anyone want to come over for dinner?
4) Take more coffee breaks. Monday thru Friday, 8am - 4pm, you can find me sitting at my desk. I don't take a lunch because I like taking off a little earlier than the rest. But I'd like to schedule some coffee dates in order to spend more quality time with those I love. Deborah's got Fridays... Anyone want to grab a coffee tomorrow?

This is an AWESOME and FUN idea guys, make sure you let me know if you decide to do one as well. Strength in numbers -- we can hold each other accountable :) I'll make sure to post updates on how I'm doing in this lil challenge, too. Can't wait to see what the rest of 2010 will look like!

Monday, August 23, 2010

On Repeat: The Band Perry

Back to School Shopping (sidenote)

I also REALLY want some cami/panty sets for sleepware. I just think they're so girly and fun -- get's me all nostalgic for sleepovers of yesteryears. No luck this weekend but these are SUPER cute:

Ideeli is a GREAT tool for any bargain shopper. Sign up here to get the deal invites!

Fall Inspirations #2: Back to School Shopping

Well, you all know I. Miss. School. So, yes, I'm not REALLY going back to school, but are you really going to try to take Back to School shopping from me, too? Dig the knife in a little deeper?

This weekend, I picked up a few things on my wish list:

Jean Dress!!!
Jean Leggins -- jeggins?
Grey, wool tights
Saw some combat boots, but decided to wait. oh the woes of being a broke college graduate?
A couple cute tops
New bracelet
Tribal print dress

Pictures to come. For now, I'm adding clogs to said list (and stealing this look.)

And still looking for a mustard cardigan... and beige.

Isn't Annabel the cutest?!?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Favorites: Short Story

This is one of my all time favorite short stories. The best stories are the ones that attempt to observe, analyze, and demonstrate the true nature of humanity; telling Anders' story by listing the things he didn't remember, the important events in his life that somehow created a jaded, devisive man, shows that during life's final moments, even the worst kind of people yearn for the somehow lost innocence and pure intrigue of youth. His last fleeting thought dares to suggest we are all innately good, only living can sometimes get the best of us.

Also, I love the repetition of "they is," focusing on the one moment when all expect Anders of being typically critical, but in actuality he's being quite the opposite. He enjoys the grammatical mistake for its simple truth and rawness, appreciating the freedom of words unbound by rules. It's written beautifully: poetic in rythm and poignant in message.

"Bullet in the Brain" - Tobias Wolff
Anders couldn’t get to the bank until just before it closed, so of course the line was endless and he got stuck behind two women whose loud, stupid conversation put him in a murderous temper. He was never in the best of tempers anyway, Anders — a book critic known for the weary, elegant savagery with which he dispatched almost everything he reviewed.

With the line still doubled around the rope, one of the bank tellers stuck a “POSITION CLOSED” sign in her window and walked to the back of the bank, where she leaned against a desk and began to pass the time with a man shuffling papers. The women in front of Anders broke off their conversation and watched the teller with hatred. “Oh, that’s nice,” one of them said. She turned to Anders and added, confident of his accord, “One of those little human touches that keep us coming back for more.”

Anders had conceived his own towering hatred of the teller, but he immediately turned it on the presumptuous crybaby in front of him. “Damned unfair,” he said, “Tragic, really. If their not chopping off the wrong leg, or bombing your ancestral village, they’re closing their positions.”

She stood her ground. “I didn’t say it was tragic,” she said, “I just think it’s a pretty lousy way to treat your customers.”

“Unforgivable,” Anders said, “Heaven will take note.”

She sucked in her cheeks but stared past him and said nothing. Anders saw that the other woman, her friend, was looking in the same direction. And then the tellers stopped what they were doing, and the customers slowly turned, and silence came over the bank. Two man wearing black ski masks and blue business suits were standing to the side of the door. One of them had a pistol pressed against the guard’s neck. The guard’s eyes were closed, and his lips were moving. The other man had a sawed-off shotgun. “Keep your big mouth shut!” the man with the pistol said, though no one had spoken a word. “One of you tellers hits the alarm, you’re all dead meat. Got it?”

The tellers nodded.

“Oh, bravo,” Anders said. “Dead meat.” He turned to the woman in front of him. “Great script, eh? The stern, brass-knuckled poetry of the dangerous classes.”

She looked at him with drowning eyes.

The man with the shotgun pushed the guard to his knees. He handed the shotgun to his partner and yanked the guard’s wrists up behind his back and locked them together with a pair of handcuffs. He toppled him onto the floor with a kick between the shoulder blades. Then he took his shotgun back and went over to the security gate at the end of the counter. He was short and heavy and moved with peculiar slowness, even torper. “Buzz him in,” his partner said. The man with the shotgun opened the gate and sauntered along the line of tellers, handing each of them a Hefty bag. When he came to the empty position he looked over at the man with the pistol, who said, “Whose slot is that?”

Anders watched the teller. She put her hand to her throat and turned to the man she’d been talking to. He nodded. “Mine,” she said.

“Then get your ugly ass in gear and fill that bag.”

“There you go,” Anders said to the woman in front of him. “Justice is done.”

“Hey! Bright boy! Did I tell you to talk?”

“No,” Anders said.

“Then shut your trap.”

“Did you hear that?” Anders said. “‘Bright boy.’ Right out of ‘The Killers.’”

“Please be quiet,” the woman said.

“Hey, you deaf or what?” The man with the pistol walked over to Anders. He poked the weapon into Anders’ gut. “You think I’m playing games?”

“No,” Anders said, but the barrel tickled like a stiff finger and he had to fight back the titters. He did this by making himself stare into the man’s eyes, which were clearly visible behind the holes in the mask: pale blue and rawly red-rimmed. The man’s left eyelid kept twitching. He breathed out a piercing, ammoniac smell that shocked Anders more than anything that had happened, and he was beginning to develop a sense of unease when the man prodded him again with the pistol.

“You like me, bright boy!” he said. “You want to suck my dick!”

“No,” Anders said.

“Then stop looking at me.”

Anders fixed his gaze on the man’s shiny wing-tip shoes.

“Not down there. Up there.” He stuck the pistol under Anders’ chin and pushed it upwards until Anders was looking at the ceiling.

Anders had never paid much attention to that part of the bank, a pompous old building with marble floors and counters and pillars, and gilt scrollwork over the tellers’ cages. The domed ceiling had been decorated with mythological figures whose fleshy, toga-draped ugliness Anders had taken in at a glance years earlier and afterward declined to notice. Now he had no choice but to scrutinize the painter’s work. It was even worse than he remembered, and all of it executed with the utmost gravity. The artist had a few tricks up his sleeve and used them again and again — a certain rosy blush on the underside of the clouds, a coy backwards glance on the faces of the cupids and fauns. The ceiling was crowded with various drama, but the one that caught Anders’ eye was Zeus and Europa — portrayed, in this rendition, as a bull ogling a cow from behind a haystack. To make the cow sexy, the painter had canted her hips suggestively and given her long, droopy eyelashes through which she gazed back at the bull with sultry welcome. The bull wore a smirk and his eyebrows were arched. If there’d been a bubble coming out of his mouth, it would have said, “Hubba hubba.”

“What’s so funny, bright boy?”


“You think I’m comical? You think I’m some kind of clown?”


“Fuck with me again, you’re history. Capiche?“

Anders burst out laughing. He covered his mouth with both hands and said, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” then snorted helplessly through his fingers and said, “Capiche–oh, God–capiche,” and at that the man with the pistol raised the pistol and shot Anders right in the head.

The bullet smashed Anders’ skull and ploughed through his brain and exited behind his right ear, scattering shards of bone into the cerebral cortex, the corpus callosum, back toward the basal ganglia, and down into the thalamus. But before all this occurred, the first appearance of the bullet in the cerebrum set off a crackling chain of iron transports and neuro-transmissions. Because of their peculiar origin these traced a peculiar pattern, flukishly calling into life a summer afternoon some forty years past, and long since lost to memory. After striking the cranium the bullet was moving at 900 feet per second, a pathetically sluggish, glacial pace compared to the synaptic lightning that flashed around it. Once in the brain, that is, the bullet came under the mediation of brain time, which gave Anders plenty of leisure to contemplate the scene that, in a phrase he would have abhorred, “passed before his eyes.”

It is worth noting what Anders did not remember, given what he did remember. He did not remember his first lover, Sherry, or what he had most madly loved about her, before it came to irritate him–her unembarrassed carnality, and especially the cordial way she had with his unit, which she called Mr. Mole, as in, “Uh-oh, looks like Mr. Mole wants to play,” and, “let’s hide Mr. Mole!” Anders did not remember his wife, whom he had also loved before she exhausted him with her predictability, or his daughter, now a sullen professor of economics at Dartmouth. He did not remember standing just outside his daughter’s door as she lectured her bear about his naughtiness and described the truly appalling punishment Paws would receive unless he changed his ways. He did not remember a single line of the hundreds of poems he committed to memory in his youth so that he could give himself the shivers at will–not “Silent, upon a peak in Darien,” or “My God, I heard this day,” or “All my pretty ones? Did you say all? O hell-kite! All?” None of these did he remember; not one. Anders did not remember his dying mother saying of his father, “I should have stabbed him in his sleep.”

He did not remember Professor Josephs telling his class how Athenian prisoners in Sicily had been released if they could recite Aeschylus, and then reciting Aeschylus himself, right there, in the Greek. Anders did not remember how his eyes had burned at those sounds. He did not remember the surprise of seeing a college classmate’s name on the jacket of a novel not long after they graduated, or the respect he had felt after reading the book. He did not remember the pleasure of giving respect.

Nor did Anders remember seeing a woman leap to her death from the building opposite his own just days after his daughter was born. He did not remember shouting, “Lord have mercy!” He did not remember deliberately crashing his father’s car into a tree, or having his ribs kicked in by three policemen at an anti-war rally, or waking himself up with laughter. He did not remember when he began to regard the heap of books on his desk with boredom and dread, or when he grew angry at writers for writing them. He did not remember when everything began to remind him of something else.

This is what Anders remembered. Heat. A baseball field. Yellow grass, the whirr of insects, himself leaning against a tree as the boys of the neighborhood gather for a pickup game. He looks on as the others argue the relative genius of Mantle and Mays. They have been worrying this subject all summer, and it has become tedius to Anders; an oppression, like the heat.

Then the last two boys arrive, Coyle and a cousin of his from Mississippi. Anders has never met Coyle’s cousin before and will never see him again. He says hi with the rest but takes no further notice of him until they’ve chosen sides and someone asks the cousin what position he wants to play. “Shortstop,” the boy says. “Short’s the best position they is.” Anders turns and looks at him. He wants to hear Coyle’s cousin repeat what he’s just said, but he knows better than to ask. The others will think he’s being a jerk, ragging the kid for his grammar. But that isn’t it, not at all–it’s that Anders is strangely roused, elated, by those final two words, their pure unexpectedness and their music. He takes the field in a trance, repeating them to himself.

The bullet is already in the brain; it won’t be outrun forever, or charmed to a halt. In the end it will do its work and leave the troubled skull behind, dragging its comet’s tail of memory and hope and talent and love into the marble hall or commerce. That can’t be helped. But for now Anders can still make time. Time for the shadows to lengthen on the grass, time for the tethered dog to bark at the flying ball, time for the boy in right field to smack his sweat-blackened mitt and softly chant, They is, They is, They is.

"I have found that violence is strangely capable of returning characters to reality and preparing them to accept their moment of grace." Flannery O'Connor

Thursday, August 19, 2010


So I have this one friend -- we'll call her "Jesse" -- who had an unfortunate mishap the other weekend.

She was over at my place and got a headache so asked for some Advil. Innocent enough, right?

So I give her the bottle of ibuprofen. Tell her "Don't worry, it's the same as Advil, just the generic brand" and get back to playing a game with everyone.

As the night goes on, Jesse still has the headache so I give her the bottle and tell her to have at it.

She ended up staying the night and in the morning was complaining of reasons she couldn't sleep all night: restlessness, snoring, it was too hot, the futon wasn't comfortable, and that dang headache wouldn't go away! She took two more Advil and tried to go back to bed for a bit, crawling into my bed to see if she could get more comfortable.

By this time -- I'm getting a headache (from all her whining?) so I decide I need some Advil as well. I grab the bottle from her pop it open and pour out the drugs.

But wait, what are these? They're not the small orange circle pills I'd expect. No, they're HUGE, white, powder filled capsules that say Betastyx on the side in blue lettering. "What are these?"

Jesse shoots out of bed. "What do you mean 'What are these'" -- I glance at her face, eyes wide, lips pursed, shrug and say "These aren't ibuprofen... I think these are Deebs caffeine pills." Apparently my roommate had stored some of her diet pills in an ibuprofen bottle.

Chaos ensues. My roommate and I are cracking up at the mishap -- no wonder she couldn't sleep! And Jesse is balling because she thinks she's going to die from a drug interaction (we had been drinking a little the night before). Needless to say, we all survived (although I'd say my roommate and I were in more danger once Jesse discovered us laughing at the situation)

Anyways -- all this is to say this blog post is dedicated to you: Jesse

Crazy for Coffee: The Benefits of Caffeine

SKIN: Sure coffee is your usual morning pick-me-up, but did you know it can also perk up your skin? Coffee and caffeine are now being added to many popular beauty products because of their tightening and antioxidant effects on the skin. Caffeine constricts blood vessels, helping to reduce redness and under-the-eye puffiness. It also reduces the appearance of those pesky dimpled spots: cellulite. By dehydrating fat cells, caffeine can temporarily make the skin seem smoother. And now, recent studies suggest it may even prevent and repair sun damage!

WORKOUT: Caffeine speeds up metabolism. Taking caffeine before a workout can get to the root of your problem spots by targeting your stored fat. It breaks down the fat, turning it into fatty acids, which are then quickly turned into energy. Conversion of fat to energy is about 30% more efficient if caffeine is ingested prior to exercise. But you’ve got to feel that burn so have a cup and hop on that treadmill!

Caffeine works as an enhancer of performance and endurance during a workout. After studying the effects of caffeine on dozens of all different athletes, Researchers at Canada’s University at Guelph claim: “clear as a bell: caffeine works.” The study showed that those who ingested caffeine half and hour to an hour before their workouts resulted in longer endurance, faster times, less exertion, less fatigue, and more rapid recovery. One drawback: the caffeine tablet form works better than that extra cup of coffee since the caffeine in coffee is diluted.

HEALTH: First to debunk the many coffee myths. Caffeine DOES NOT contribute to any form of cancer, infertility or complications in pregnancy, high blood pressure or heart disease, or bone loss. In fact, Tomas DePaulis, PhD, research scientist at Vanderbilt University’s Institute for Coffee Studies claims “Overall, the research shows that coffee is far more healthful, than it is harmful.” What’s he talking about? Well, at least six studies conducted at his Institute and elsewhere suggest people who drink coffee on a regular basis are up to 80% less likely to develop Parkinson’s; those who have just two cups a day reduce their risk of colon cancer up to %25, reduce the risk of liver cirrhosis by %80, and reduce the risk of gallstones by %50! And it doesn’t stop there. Evidence also suggests coffee may help to manage asthma (even control attacks when medication is unavailable) stop a headache, and even prevent cavities.

MOOD: It’s probably no surprise to all of us don’t-talk-to-me-until-I’ve-had-my-morning-coffee folks, but caffeine is a big mood booster. Research shows that taking just 100mg of coffee increases feelings of well-being, self-confidence, energy and motivation. Plus, it improves your brain function. Because fat is the first source of energy to be consumed, your body lays off your glucose and other blood sugars for a while. Your brain functions solely on glucose and other blood sugars to facilitate thinking. Less for the body, more for the brain!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fall Inspirations #2

I can't wait for a day like this:

So I can go here:

Have a cup of this:

Enjoy one of these:

While listening to anything with this:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fall Inspirations #1

I have:

A few flannels
A few cardigans
Brown boots
Skinny Jeans

I want:

Mustard Cardigan
Jean Dress
Wool tights
Wool Knee socks
Black lace up cargo boots

So I can get this look:

I love the woodsy yet feminine feel. Reminds me of folk music, a good book, hot coffee, and rainy days. Fall come soon!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Letter from the Heartbroken

I first notice the subtle sting in mid August of 2009. Although I did not recognize what it was, I felt the bitter gnawing regardless.

It started off innocently enough, merely an awkward feeling of discontentment that was easily brushed off. I had a great life, good friends, an awesome family. I had a 9-5 job that was gift wrapped and given to me when other recent grads were settling for jobs at Starbucks and Albertson's. Life was good.

But it was different. It was...lusterless. Not quite boring, but it had lost it's shine.

I tried to throw some excitement back in, tried to fill that nagging hole that seemed to be progressively making itself more known. I bought a brand new car! Considered taking more vacations. Dated ALOT. And they all worked to keep me pre-occupied for a time, but no epiphany came from it. No "ah ha! So that's what I was missing!" moment. Growing up in a religious home, people tend to attribute a feeling of emptiness to a yearning for God: a hole only a relationship with Jesus can fill. So I tried this too. I read my Bible more, prayed more, tithed more consistently, theologized with friends - but, apparently, this wasn't that kind of hole either.

For a while, the restlessness in my heart was just uncomfortable. I was happy, but something wasn't right. For a while, I couldn't quite put my finger on it. But when I was touring the U of O campus with my soon to be a freshman sister, I realized what "it" was.

I realized, I miss you, Education.

I know I said I needed some time off. I needed a little freedom. Some time to do what I wanted, when I wanted and not have to worry about spending time with you: working on that paper due first thing Monday morning, memorizing important names and dates, scheduling studying sessions and reading groups.

But the truth is, you motivated me. You gave me something to work for, and once it was achieved, you gave me something to be proud of.

The truth is, I miss those late nights in the library fueled by coffee and the adrenaline of an approaching deadline. I miss the camaraderie felt between students analyzing stories and their accompanying cultures. I miss the confidence I gained from discussions with brilliant professors and pats on the back given for a theme well presented.

I know I have responsibilities: school loans, car payments, a job ect. But I can no longer ignore that once subtle feeling of unrightness; now named, it has turned into a vexing madness. I spend hours agonizing over how I can win you back, Education: expensive GRE classes? An exotic Institution location? A challenging, fascinating concentration? Name your conditions and I will comply!

I know it will cost a lot emotionally, financially; and I know I'll have to try to make it work, but I'm willing to do whatever it takes. I made a huge mistake when we broke up. Education, Higher Learning, will you please take me back?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bus Chronicles 6: Doggie Rehab

I’m on the bus with Gams and I’m trying to keep her sitting locked between my legs, but a noisy moving bus makes her anxious. And a bus filled with new strangers, whom she sees as potential new friends, gets her excited. So she’s fidgety. Very fidgety: leaping, jumping, alligator rolling, trying at all costs to get out from in between my legs, out of her collar and into the lap of the lady sitting across from me.

Luckily, she’s so small people think she’s merely a pup. That makes most very forgiving. Some even think her fish out of water behavior is cute. I’m getting a mix of emotionless, get-your-dog-under-control stares, to head cocked, isn’t-that-adorable gazes.

Then a man with long gray hair in a tie-dyed t-shirt with a cut-off jean vest gets on the bus, sits next to me and offers his hand to Gamble. This just gets her more excited and now she’s attempting to jump into his lap instead.

He laughs and says “Wow, and when you couldn’t find that money you keep stashed under your bed you thought your boyfriend stole it to buy drugs – I think your dog took it!” (“Blah blah blah your boyfriend blah blah blah” have you read this? You should)

I smile, trying hard not to get creeped out that sketchy hippy man is daydreaming about what’s hiding underneath my bed. He continues: “I think your dog’s the one with the drug problem! You better get her to doggie rehab before she hits rock bottom!” He laughs at himself, at his own joke. A deep throaty smokers laugh that fades into a fatal sounding cough.

I can’t figure out if he’s joking, high, or crazy, but luckily it’s my stop. I drag Gamble off the bus (she’s still trying to get into his lap) and thank the driver as I exit. I see the man slowly wave goodbye, his eyes glazed over, as the bus pulls away. If that money under my bed really does go missing -- I blame him.