Book Review: Flair

I was lucky enough last week to win a copy of Joe Nye's Flair from a contest Marsha had on her wonderful blog Splenderosa. This is the first time since I was 4 years old that I've won anything, 
and I must say it was worth the wait!
 Flair is all about how to entertain fabulously, from the invitations to the napkins to the flowers on the table. The photography in the book is great and the advice keeps style in mind while also being practical.

 Joe Nye loves the use of silver in table settings, I must say I like the look a lot myself!

 I'm always going to enjoy any book that has lots of pictures of flowers!

The book also has lots of examples of really unique and interesting table setting ideas.
I appreciated how Nye broke down how to create different moods and themes
through table settings that create an overall ambiance for a party.

I also liked that Nye's section on invitations. I really hate that letter writing
and paper invitations are only used for the most formal events these days.
I particularly liked this invitation for a book publication party.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book and am so grateful for Marsha for having such a fabulous contest! Definitely check out Flair for inspiration for your next great soiree.

Black Dog Mini Album

So I borrowed this Cricut, and then I had to buy one. And then I made a dog mini album. And the lender of the Cricut said I had to make an album for her big black dog. So I did.
 It's hard to make a black dog so I had to improvise.
 I used an assortment of papers that I thought the lender might like.
 And I kept it simple so she could add her own touches to the album.
 I think she'll like it. If not, I'll keep it.
 And I made this fleur-de-lis frame. I'm looking for the perfect picture and I have one in mind. I just have to print it, when I get it all done, I will share it again. And then you will think I'm more crazy than I you already think I am.
 I made a few mini purse. A girl can never have to many small bags.
This one has a handle out of black twill but it didn't want it's picture taken. I'm using paper from the box of goodies I bought off Andrea.

is self indulgence the answer???

The national institute of mental health claims more than 26% of all Americans over 18 years old to be mentally depressed! One in four adults! That’s a lot of unhappy campers. :( Is this a state of existence we are forced to suffer with or is there a better way?

In order for a person to make the most out of their lives they must be happy. There is an expression “G-d does not dwell but only where there is Joy”. You want the power of G-d, the power of your own soul to burst it’s brilliance in your life? You need joy and happiness. One of the reasons for music in the Holy Temple was to elevate the spirits of the Levites while serving G-d so they could be good conduits for the blessings to be drawn down.

Depression is a negative harmful energy G-d created within, to test and strengthen us. Its’ force like all the negative forces within is mainly form and no substance. For the most part, a person who grew up and is surrounded by people with a faulty perspective to life will have caught the influence of this negative energy. The first step is to recognize the characteristic of this destructive energy.

Let’s take the root of depression, arrogance and a selfish, self absorbed person. Our society is all about what can I; get out of … whatever it may be. What’s in it for me and how will it serve me. This has its’ extremes, but even on a low key level let us consider the ramifications of this attitude.

This person believes he DESERVES to be happy and friends and family owe it to him. Everything is going in one direction and that is towards himself to serve him. Besides the fact that he is in for a big bad surprise and everyone in the world doesn’t “owe him”, this is a good prescription to become very lonely in life.

Because he is so self absorbed he thinks of himself and not others and the fact is, if you don’t serve others no one will serve you. Expecting always to be served will leave the person totally disappointed and disillusioned. Depressed - dejected and disheartened.

This person thinks life should be perfect, because he is perfect – arrogance, - which can lead to acute compulsive disorders, anxiety when subconsciously he faces the realization that he may err, and fear and doubt that he may not live up to the picture he has created of himself in his mind.

All this is a figment of the person’s imagination and not rooted in reality. The worst part of it all is that this faulty attitude perpetuates itself. Once we have trained our mind to see something in a certain way we seem to find more and more tidbits of information that support our faulty conclusions.

Being depressed is being a victim to the unbridled animalistic emotions within, which is self centered.

The solution – be happy. Not from another beer or more jewelry. Happiness comes when a person is internally fulfilled. The soul – the G-dly spark within needs an outlet, a channel to express itself. The G-dly spark within wants to create good and spiritual worthwhile endeavors like G-d did when he created the world. The G-dly spark wants to be able to think like G-d and not be inhibited by the coarse pleasures of the body.

When a person begins to align their bodily lives with the unique G-dly purpose we where put in this world to accomplish, happiness and joy starts flowing. Blessings and strength starts finding their way in to this person’s life.


Jogja basah. di atas becak.

This is my first time visiting one of the beautiful towns which contains a high historical & art value of Indonesia (with artsy & friendly ppl all around-- lovely) and I could say this might be one of my favorite place in Indonesia, Jogjakarta. If you're looking for somewhere artistic, ethnic, and vintage, this is the right place. I took some random pictures in my trip... hope they could bring you a whit of Jogja's atmosphere. :)

+) i've inserted some of wikipedia links of the interesting places & words here, if you want to know more, just simply click the words :)

A long wall behind me is a relief of Keraton Jogja. Its like a fretwork / sculpture ancient people made on the wall long time ago, and it tells so much about the royal, the battle, and other interesting history of Jogja. I'm wondering how they could made this, they must be cool and super artsy aren't they? :) wait till you see this mega Lego puzzle in the real version, made a thousand years ago:

you'll found this marvelous temple at Magelang, not too far from Jogja.
It's like a HUGE puzzle of kallizion super artsy relief stones!

Super cool fact: this great temple built WITHOUT using cement / any concrete, they arranged the stones one-by-one and made it so somehow the stones locked one another, just LITERALLY like a Lego puzzle. :D Borobudur made of more than 2000 reliefs panels, which each panels told a different story of the ancients life. It's just somehow magical, a bit scary, and impossible how they could built this in 9th century. no wonder UNESCO listed Borobudur as World Heritage Site. Ubercool.

A part of the wall in Borobudur :)

Other thing that makes me so proud, they're care so much to conserve Indonesian traditional arts. They held some kinda theater act like Wayang Orang (left above is the antagonist / evil character of the drama. Scary, eh? :D) & Gamelan music everyday. :)

..and I learned to make pottery there. Yayness! :D

Oh, last thing, I got this vintage carving leather pouch at Borobudur, yeay ♥ :D

I still got sooo many pictures that if I upload them here, the post would be too long, so since now im gonna post the rest of the photos on my Flickr. Click click!

...visit Indonesia. :)

These are a few of my favorite things

[images found via tumblr]
Graduate school is picking up the pace and taking up more and more of my free time (yay research project site assignment), so I apologize with the slow down in posting. I have at least three posts planned and the next and hopefully I'll be able to get them done once I'm finished with my first real paper this week.

Cute things

 I'm putting my Cricut to good use. I have to because I promised Kerry I would. I spent the better part of yesterday cutting, scoring and assembling little boxes for my advent calendar class. Whew.  I'm waiting on my patterned paper I ordered to complete the boxes. They are so cute. Small, but they really only need to hold a couple chocolates.
When we went to the fall bazaar, we picked up fresh corn. I find it hard to eat a dozen by myself, I can do it over days but it's probably not the best idea. Kerry ate one and the dogs shared one. Kerry had to hold the cob because Sally didn't chew hers well enough years ago, and a cob in the tummy of a dog for 3 days doesn't make for great scents! 

 It was Dave's birthday and M-R is a vegetarian. So we thought it would be nice to get him a gift card for Johnny's Meats. I brainstormed and made this gift card holder for him.

 And on the way to their house, we saw this. A million crows/ravens flying over. We weren't the only ones standing on the sidewalk taking pictures. It was eery.
We are trying to decide what to dress up as when we go to Mickey's Halloween Bash. Providing Amy gets the tickets, I'm not sure if there's a huge run on them.  Any ideas?
Emily has already nixed...
- Flintstones
- Addams family
- Mad Hatter, White Rabbit
- anything frou frou

We can't have our faces covered, we don't want hot costumes, we must be able to go on rides or move in them.


Moseying along past Samford on this morning's ride, Aido assured me that the Goat Track (yes, that's its REAL name) was open, despite there being signage up saying road closed for grading. He left home at 5am for a cruisy pedal while I did some uni work, and left for my ride at 8am.

Goat Track CLOSED: 7.30am–1pm. Epic fail. It was even manned, so I couldn't sneakily slip past up the gravelly road climb. Dammit!

What to do, what to do...the only answer was to go back down, turn left en route to Glorius, and chew your bars at 15% for two km. Brutal. Needless to say the road down through Neebs was a slow and painful one. But that's why we do it, isn't it?

This photo was taken at the top of the corkscrew, while I hastily shoved a bar in my mouth while pondering my mortality. Somehow made a Coot-tha after that too, the day was too good to waste! A beautiful day, but now a thunderstorm looms. It's nice to be alive!

PVR update

It's magical. But not that good. Kerry set it up for the Medium. And I was so paranoid, I watched it while it recorded. Years of having a bum video tape has made me that way. It worked just fine.
Did I mention 'we' opted to put it on my craft room tv because I'm the one that misses or even cares that I missed a show? Did I tell you I set it up by myself and only had to call Shaw once? Did I tell you they shut off the cable to the other box and we had to phone them 3 times that day?
Did I tell you we get the box for free for a year?
And I know I didn't tell you that Sunday Kerry checked to see what had recorded. And he was surprised to see Saturday Night Live was listed. He asked me if I'd done that, and thought I was pretty smart to think of recording it, we always fall asleep watching it. And when I said no, he thought the machine had thought to record it. After my little laughing fit, I told him that he did it, he must have been so tired the night before that he didn't remember going downstairs to do it.
Here he is at the St. Teresa's Church Fall Bazaar. Emily begged him to go on the tractor ride with her. He negotiated a ride at Space Mountain out of her. We might get that in writing!
I've booked the hotel for our trip. It's a bit sad that Shaun isn't going. I feel mostly for Emily as those two do so much together and she might be lonely hanging out with her parents. But other than that, we are mostly excited. We have so many lists!

A Minty-Fresh Pick Me Up!!!

Okay, so you loved the MAC "Shroom" eyeshadow, now I'm going to let you in on another product that I adore that combines two of my favorite things, fresh breath and caffeine...

FOOSH® Energy Mints.

These little suckers rock!! As you know, I love the burst of energy I get from my coffee and Diet Coke, the drawbacks of these two little addictions are, frequent trips to the ladies room, brown teeth, aspartame and coffee breath. YUK.

FOOSH® Energy Mints are sugarfree, fat-free and made with premium peppermint to give you amazingly fresh breath while energizing your life! More than that, each energy mint in every tin or blister pack of FOOSH® is like having a cup of coffee ready to go in your pocket!

Get Fooshed Today!

Imagine, smelling minty fresh while you whiz through your day full of vim and vigor.

FOOSH Mints. Truly a dream come true.

(The people over at FOOSH asked if I would be their celebrity spokesperson, but I politely declined. As you know, I'm too busy with tennis, Facebook and reading The National Enquirer to hold down such a demanding job...if any of you are interested in the gig, let me know and I'll pass the word onto the folks at Vroom Foods, Inc.)

Village Roadshow

Virtous. The combinations of colors on the clothes are totally representating what I love.
Check out their Spring photoshoot, even much cooler. :)
*anyway, the cows on the first picture cracked me out.*