Category: General

GeneralSite to See: My Daguerreotype Boyfriend

Daguerreotype: an early photograph produced on a silver or a silver-covered copper plate; also: the process of producing such photographs.

My Daguerreotype Boyfriend: “Where early photography meets extreme hotness”.
 
As if scrolling through beautiful antique photographs weren’t fun enough, My Daguerreotype Boyfriend on Tumblr has a carefully chosen collection of dapper young men from the 19th century. Sure, some of them have a few quirks like Munchkin hair – or were involved in some rather sinister plots – keep in mind that these men may have never otherwise been important enough to be captured by the photographic process!
 
Proof that Munchkin hair was at one point considered cool.
 
River Phoenix . . . anyone?
 
Ok, so this hunk was a bit of a bad boy. That’s Ok, honey, I still know some girls who would date you.
 
Jude Law (um, maybe cuter).
 
(Photos courtesy of mydaguerreotypeboyfriend.tumblr, definition courtesy of merriam-webster.com)

GeneralA Legend Alive: The Orient Express

 Luxury. Romance. Mystery. Glamour.
 
 

In 1883, a legend was born to the name of Orient Express. With luxuries like hand soap and an unparalleled food and wine menu, this elegant train steamed out of Paris to exotic locations like Budapest, Bucharest, and Constantinople. Soon, the Orient Express became the Ritz of transportation, carrying celebrities and royality in addition to socialites and other intriguing characters:

“Dancer Isadora Duncan travelled on the Orient Express wearing ‘less than a veil, and that in the wrong place.’ A French president ‘fell off’ and was found wandering along the track in his pyjamas. King Boris of Bulgaria insisted upon driving the train through his country. Spies regularly spotted on board included exotic ‘artiste Mata Hari and Robert Baden Powell (posing as a butterfly collector).”
 
 
 
The 1920s were the train’s greatest years, its art deco decor still today a part of its luxurious and mysterious appeal. The famous Bar Car was a popular rendezvous, as were the grand salons and dining cars.
 
 
 

 
Ian Fleming’s 1963 From Russia with Love, as well as Agatha Christie’s 1974 Murder on the Orient Express both helped to keep this train on the map, despite its declining popularity due to the options of faster, more reliable transportation.
 
 
 
Although the line finished its run as a regular passenger train in 1977, thirty-five of its vintage carriages were bought and restored by James B. Sherwood in the late 1970s. In 1982, the line known as the Venice-Simplon-Orient-Express made its maiden run, bringing the legend back to life. Today, the Orient Express and many of its sister trains continue to provide one of the most romantic forms of transportation the world has to offer. 
 
 
 
 
In keeping with the stylish drama and glamour surrounding the elite line, formal attire is required at all times. (Sounds good to me!) And, while ticket prices range anywhere from $1000-$10,000, this is certainly one trip on my bucket list.
 
 
All aboard!
 
(Pictures and info courtesy of orient-express.com and Google images.)

GeneralDIY: Wine Cork Coasters

All right, winos; this blog is for you! 
 
For the last four years or so, I have been avidly collecting wine corks, poaching them from my parents’ kitchen, my friends’ recycling bins, and restaurant tables. By the time last November rolled around, I realized that I had quite the stash and it was time to do something with them. After a bit of Google crafty research, I stumbled upon the idea of creating (drumroll, please) . . . 

 
 
Because I was making these for Christmas presents, I did this over the series of several weeks and numerous hours in front of Netflix. However, it’s a super easy project, and the only thing you have to wait on is glue dry time.
 
What You Need
 
  • 8 corks for each coaster
  • Really good glue (I suggest wood glue or tacky glue; hot glue doesnt hold strong enough and it leaves a chunky mess)
  • Cork matting
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon (Optional)
  • Heavy books or other weight
 
 
 
What You Do
 
Step 1:  Glue together the corks two at a time. You want them to be roughly the same width and as close to the same length as possible. Do this to all of the corks so that you have four sets of two corks. Let dry.
 
 
Step 2:  Glue the sets of two together. You can either alternate the directions or have the corks all facing the same way. Glue together and let dry. On the left, you can see that I used plastic corks; on the right, I used real cork. Both options are fun to work with, but I won’t lie:  the plastic ones are usually way more consistent in same-sizeness.
 
 
Step 3:  Measure a square of cork matting that is just barely smaller than the bottom of the cork coaster. (To be honest, the square below is probably a bit too small; you probably want it a little bit bigger, but as long as it gets the bottom flat, that’s what counts.) Cut it out, and glue it to the bottom of the coaster to create a flat base. (Note:  my cork role had a “sticker” base that I tried to use at first, but don’t be fooled:  it pops right off. I just put glue on top of the sticky, and it held that way.) Cover with a heavy book or other weighted object to glue the matting firmly in place.
 

Step 4:  Ta-da! You’re done. If you want to make a cute gift, sign the bottom of two coasters with the date and your name and wrap them together with a bow.
 
 
Tip:  Another fun twist on this is to make trivets for hot plates and pots. I bought $1 wooden picture frames from Michaels, flipped them over, and glued corks in cool batterns all along the frames. I also glued some corks directly onto the bottom of the glass of some picture frames for another twist, like it the one I made below. I’ve already used mine for pots of pasta! 
 
 
Ready to try your hand? Pop open a bottle and get started!

GeneralSite to See: Cutest Food!

 
It’s time to give props to one my favorite new sites, Cutestfood.com. Aside from the obvious eye candy (and cake) the sheer inventiveness of some people will have you scrolling through page after page. So roll on over to Cutestfood.com for a peek at cookies, cupcakes and ice cream (oh my!) like you’ve never seen before!
 
 
 Loving this puppy Bento box and llama-themed curry dish. Even savory dishes deserve a chance at cuteness!
 
 
My personal fav is the pink bear doughnut with one eye munched out, but I may have to give this little elephant pancake a proper syrup bath one of these days.
 
 
What’s the cutest dish you’ve ever seen?

GeneralDeclutter Your Life: 6 Ideas for More Zen This Year

I don’t know about you, but I am certifiably one of the world’s biggest pack racks. Given, I do magically always have on hand that superglue/lemon zester/papershredder/pizzacoupon that everyone always wishes they had, but the time has come for me to let go of that cat calender from three years ago and move on to 2012. 
 
 
Okay, so maybe my room will never look THAT clean, but in the spirit of a new year and a fresh start, I decided I was going to declutter my life! I mean, I think the 39,000 emails in my inbox are starting to get a little dusty. Now, I have had this inspiration before, but it was all too overwhelming and I ended up sitting in the middle of my floor playing with my old Barbies. This time, however, I have rounded up some tips that are SURE to help me (and any of you wanting to declutter, too!) make a zen start to this year.
 
1. Start small: spend five minutes a day cleaning something . . . anything. 
 
It doesn’t matter what you decide to tackle; five minutes of cleaning is going to make something in your house much cleaner. In fact, you’d be surprised to see that 5 minutes can pretty much clean an entire bathroom.
 
 
2. Buy an 8 pack of cute file folders.
 
Label them with the names of papers that pile up in your car, desk, and counters. Examples could be receipts, coupons, electric bill, etc. That way, you’ll have everything together and can deal with each thing one at a time without having to dig through the trash to find that shopping list or water bill. To be even more organized, buy one of those expandable folders that comes with dividers in between; that way all your papers are together yet separate.
 
 
3. Buy cheap baskets or organizers in the same color.
 
I actually really like this idea for two reasons. 1. The same-colorness brings a matching continuity to a room, 2. it gives me a specific spot to put things, and 3. it makes things that always look messy look not messy (think odd-shaped items or bags, etc.). Okay and secretly 4. it gives me a place to stash things when I don’t want to fold.
 
 
4. Organize a cleaning game with your roommate/husband/cat
 
I love this idea from Better Homes and Gardens:  Get a bunch of pingpong balls, write tasks on them like “vacuum the living room” and “clean out hall closet.” Whoever accomplishes the most amount of tasks by the end of a set amount of time gets a prize (think pedicure, massage, catnip ball).
 
 
5. Make up your own kind of list that makes sense for your living arrangement.
 
I love this one from Little Lucy Lu.
 
 
6. Clean out your computer while you’re watching TV.
 
When you’re just sitting there watching marathon episodes of How I Met Your Mother (cough, what?), multitask by deleting old emails, files, and programs that are slowing down your computer and cluttering up your life. Pick a cool desktop background and make sure your desktop is organized and doesn’t have too many icons – mental clutter is just as distracting.
 

 
  “Three Rules of Work:  Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” 
 
- Albert Einstein