Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Walk

Recently, a copy of The Walk, Penn's very own fashion magazine, found it's way into my possession. I always knew about it, and would see students handing copies out on our campus' main thoroughfare, but I never actually took the time to look through it (it's hard to find time when you're writing papers on comparing the concept the representation of the subconscious by Freud and Nietzsche, and the military expansionism of the Russian Empire), but now that I have some free time on my hands, I though I'd give it a quick going through.

I was actually surprised when I found out that Penn had a fashion magazine as a student, considering that Philadelphia isn't exactly a haven for fashionable dress, or even fashion forward thinking for that matter (try walking down the street in Philadelphia in something other than jeans and a hoodie, and try to count how many people blatantly stare at you like you're from Mars). The magazine itself was pretty decent, featuring high fashion magazine-esque photos with current students as models. Naturally, there were the trend reports, how to create a designer look for cheap, where is the best place in Philly to get vintage clothes, etc. Looking through the photos, and articles on various "in" styles, I began, for the first time really, to ask myself,  "What exactly is my style?"

Honestly, for me, this is a very hard question to answer. As with everyone, my style changes throughout time. For example, in middle school, my style was brown/tan bohemian/peasant girl-with-the-occasional-sporty-girl-tee-and-jeans. By the sophomore year of high school, my style was preppy-business-casual-with-a-little-lace-and-satin. However, it wasn't until junior year of college that I actually started to redefine my look. Previous to this, I just wore whatever still fit me from high school (the Freshman 15 hit me a little harder than just 15 lbs!) By junior year, the on-campus style of skinny jeans, tights, and riding boots finally began to influence my wardrobe. Just for the record, I'm not a big fan of skinny jeans because of the way they make some girls' hips look bigger, so I always wear mine with boots, so that my lower legs look more even in proportion to my hips. By the time I graduated, I had started to incorporate more lace and ruffles into my wardrobe. Nearly one year later, my style has become a vintage-feminine-preppy-business-causal look. Lately, I've also begun wearing more skirts and dress (something that I had previously only reserved for special occasions), and playing more on my youthful, somewhat adolescent look (people always think I'm 13 or 14), despite the fact that I have entered the working world.

As you can see, the real problem of defining my fashion style is that I don't really have a single style that I wear of like. Instead, I enjoy a little bit of every style, I mix it all together to create my own. Also, my style changes depending on my mood, where I'm going, what the weather is like, etc. In my opinion, it is better to have a mix instead of just getting stuck in one box, or label, but then again, I've never been one to like conformity, or fitting neatly into stereotypes anyway, so this makes sense for me!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Prince William And Kate's Anniversary!

That's right Prince William and Kate (or should I call her Katherine since she is the Duchess now) have already been married a year!! Even though I'm in America, this is still a big deal, and it's even more of a big deal because Mattel has commemerated this event with William and Kate wedding dolls! Sorry for the random outburst, but my Barbie girl senses are really tingling on this one (no, I mean I'm actually giddy right now)! There is also this super cool, and super cute, video of the behind the scenes photoshoot of the royal wedding (the doll version of course).

How to Add Custom Fonts to Blogger In CSS

Now that you have a hot new background and gadget title images, it's time to add the finishing touches to your blog by adding your own custom fonts. On my CSS difficulty level, the coding for this has the potential to be at a CSS Difficult level, due to the amount of customization that can be added to each coding section. Unfortunately, my CSS skills have diminished significantly since my profile editing days on Gaia Online, so I'll be keeping the coding for modifying and adding fonts as simple as possible. If you do want to know how to do more with your font, or any other elements of your blog, than what I am showing please take a look at the CSS Tutorial.

There are actually two methods that can be used to add new fonts to your blog: the first is to add fonts using a web hosting site, and the second is to use either Google Fonts API, or Kernest Font API. Here is where research on outdated sources can mess you up big time. Kevin and Amanda's blog has step-by-step instructions on how to use their fonts on your blog through Host Webs. The major problem with this method is that the information on their blog is a bit outdated. I've tried to use Host Webs, but the "Join" link doesn't work (I've tried to open the link in different browsers on different computers), and you have to pay for the plans. When I did try to use follow the instructions, but substituting Free Web Hosting account with the Host Webs account in the code, the font didn't work. Although they have a wide variety of super cute, quality fonts on their blog, I wouldn't recommend using this method unless you are able to use Host Webs. There is also a fair amount of downloading of scripts and files involved with this method.

For the second method, several blogs and sites that have information about changing your fonts say that Kernest has a few fonts that can be used for free. This is no longer true. Kernest is now Kernest Konstellations, which charges for a subscription. I've never used this site, but if you are willing to pay for a subscription, then feel free to look into it.  For me, blogging is a hobby, and one that I feel can be productive, enjoyable, and presentable without spending money on. Honestly, I prefer to use Google Fonts API mainly because it is free and has a decent font variety, so the instructions that I will posting will be for Google Fonts.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spring Wardrobe

I always have a love/hate relationship with Spring. On the one hand my allergies kick into high gear, which makes my asthma start, so that I can't breathe through my nose or my mouth! Also, Spring means that Summer, with its scorching heat, and humidity that makes your curls drop, is right around the corner. On the other hand, everything is so bright and alive, and there is a wonderful sense of renewal in the air. The weather also warms up, so you an wear things you couldn't have a few months back. Where I live right now, the highest it gets in Spring is usually 60-65 degrees F, maybe 75, but this only happened before rains. Being from the South, this is not exactly what I call "warm weather," but I manage.

Spring always allows me to dress cute. In winter, I always have to worry about staying warm, so at times I have to go for a more functional style. That being said, I never, ever compromise style for function, though. I try to keep a good stock of stylish, cute, versatile, thick sweaters and tops on hand.  

Now that I can wear thinner, less bulky clothes, I've decided to take some pictures of a couple of the outfits I've been wearing to work lately. I apologize for the bad quality of the pictures. I took these with my LG camera phone, which is actually the best quality camera that I have available. I couldn't take any full body shots, and I don't have a full mirror (I know, I know: How do I live?), so I'll have to take pictures of just the clothes, so you can get the general idea.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Karen Scott Shoes

I made the mistake of wearing new shoes to work a few days ago! That block and a half walk from the trolley station did my poor feet in, and those awful soft corns starting forming on the sides of my little toes :(. I had to do some emergency foot rescuing when I got to work by borrowing some band aids from the first aid kit to prevent further irritation. I usually break in my new shoes by wearing them the entire time I'm at home with thick, cotton socks on. I've found this to be the fastest way to break in shoes, since the socks add extra bulk and quickly stretch your shoes.

I bought these Karen Scott shoes at Macy's a couple of weekends ago. The original price was around $59, but they were on sale and had another 15% taken off at the register, so I only paid $25! I like them because they're very versatile; I bought them for work, but they are also good for a night out, or just a dressy casual look. I also liked them because they weren't platform pumps. Honestly, I have nothing against platform pumps ( I think they're really nice, but haven't bought any because my mom thinks they're slutty), but I honestly doubt that I would be able to walk almost two blocks on broken, uneven sidewalk in platform pumps to get to work. But these shoes are perfect height for me to walk around in!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cold Coffee

There was not sun, only the sterile, white glow of the florescent lights. The silence in the temperature controlled  office was only broken by the dull hum of the air-conditioner. The cursor on the email she was writing blinked rhythmically, predictably. As her mind wondered, her eyes drifted to the side list of emails in the Inbox: a list of scheduled events for the next two months, a request for a reservation at a restaurant for senior staff members, a list of biographies to type up, and two more that had come in within the last 30 seconds. The abrupt gurgle of the water cooler near her brought her back to the task at hand; finishing those biographies.

She made a quick assessment and comparison of her surroundings. All the walls of the office were white, and all the doors leading to the inner, individual offices were painted a hard shade of steel grey. Everything, the furniture, the room, the people, were washed in the monochromatic, sterile, white light which emanated from the florescent bulbs positioned in the ceiling. Through the window, she could see the the strongly rooted tree that had withstood the test of time, and, yet, were still young, waving their vibrant leaves in the gentle, warm breeze. The warm, bright, radiant light from the sun made everything look vibrant, and a glow with life. It was early April, and already Spring, real Spring. As she thought, she looked over at her thick, paper cup of coffee, which she had completely forgotten about between her work and her musings. The instant half and half had separated from the rest of the coffee, resulting in light, cream-colored swirls appearing at the top of the coffee. "No sense in letting it go to waste," she thought as she stirred the coffee with a plastic red stirring stick. As she took the first sip, she realized that it was, in fact too late, the coffee was a cold as ice.

The idea for writing this little piece came to me as I was at my desk forcing myself to finish drinking a cup of coffee that I had let get cold. I actually wrote this while I was at work the other day, but don't worry, my job really isn't as monotonous as described in the story!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Languages: A Labor of Love

All of my well worn language books from college!
I'm so bad! I've already fallen off of practicing my Russian, and I've only been doing it for about three weeks. Now that I have my evenings free for the first time in nearly 18 years (no more homework!!!), I decided to start refreshing my language skills, especially my speaking skills. It's hard to keep up with your language skills when there is no one to talk to, so I've decided to refresh my Russian and Japanese using Pimsleur language software. This way I can practice speaking and listening on my own.

I started taking Russian in college due to my interest in Russian literature and history, and took two years of the language for my language requirement. Contrary to popular belief, Russian is not a hard language to learn, especially compared to Japanese! I can usually get the main idea of sentences and conversations on Russian movies without reading the subtitles.

My Japanese is practically non existent, since I only took it during my senior year, but the last time I watched Advent Children Complete about a month ago, I could actually catch a few phrases and particles! Japanese is such a nice sounding language, the culture is super cool, and I really want to go to Japan one day, but honestly, it's quite frustrating to learn (3 writing systems, and all that ridiculous kanji when the same thing can be written with hirogana!), but I persevere.

Oh well, that's all for now!

Пока! さようなら!

Friday, April 20, 2012

How to Add Images to Gadget Titles Using CSS

In a previous post, I showed how to change or add a custom background and banner to your blog, which was pretty simple, and only required one CSS code. This next step is what I call CSS Intermediate; it has very basic CSS coding, but finding and editing the code can be tricky. Now, I'll show you how to add images to the titles of gadgets like the ones you see on the right and left of my blog.

To begin, go to the Extras section on The Cutest Bog on the Block (TCBotB for brevity's sake) and choose a set that you like, or, if you're feeling creative, you can make your own. Download, extract and then upload your images to an image hosting site, such as Photobucket. Once this has been done, it's time to get a little more complex.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Caught in a Bad Romance with the Paparazzi

I've never really been a big Lady Gaga fan because I found her to be way too gimmicky, and I only accidently heard "Poker Face" from playing a casual dance MMORPG. Although I did actually like this song (I even added it to my "Favorite" list on Grooveshark), my tolerence of Lady Gaga stopped there. I had actually heard the beggining of "Bad Romance" and the corus of "Paparazzi" several times, but both of these songs annoyed me to no end until I heard the entire songs. The only reason I to "Bad Romance" all the way through in the first place, was that I heard the beginning "Ra-ra-ah-ah-ah part in a restaraunt and got it stuck in my head for days. As everyone knows, the only way to get a sung unstuck is to listen to it, so I did, and decided to give Paparazzi another shot while I was at it. I know I'm like three years late, but these songs are fast becoming my favorites (can't remember if they've made it to my Grooveshark "Favorite" list yet)!
Je veux ton amour
Et je veux te venger
Je veux ton amour
Je ne veux pas être amis

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Play Candy Dash!

I had a very industrious weekend last week! Despite being 23, I'm actually not that big on social networking (still don't have a Facebook page), but I joined StumbleUpon and Google+ in an effort to better advertise my blog (my one follower is looking a little lonely). During some initial exploration of Google+, I found this great shoot-three-or-more type game called Candy Dash. At first I thought it would be more like the Time Management Diner Dash series, since I stooped playing to three-in-a-row games llloooonnnnnggg ago. But once I started playing it, the heavy sense of nastalgia, and super cute graphics got me hooked immediately. If you are already on Google+, play it now. If not, then join so you can play it! Since I'm now a member of Google+, I've added the +1 button and the Google+ badge to my blog, so please, please recommend me on Google and Google+.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Blog Getting A Face Lift and Liposuction

In addition to the new background, banner, fonts, etc., you may have noticed that many of my older posts have disappeared. "Why?," you may ask. Well, I've decide to completely change the theme and subject of my blog. Originally, I envisioned this blog to be a place for me practice my creative writing. However, over the course a year, it turned into a blog with dress up game pictures and Second Life screenshots. Although this is not bad, I now want to blog about more uniform, personal topics. So, from now on, I'm going to try (with emphasis on the word "try") to blog more about myself and my creative writing.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Super Cute Animal Necklaces and Gift Boxes

Hi there! I've found these super cute animal necklaces and matching gift boxes from Shadora, a discount jewelry site. These necklaces make wonderful gifts for others, or for yourself. These are just a few examples, and there is a wider variety of animals available on the site, so everyone can find something that they like. And best of all, because they're discounted at a ridiculously low rate (nearly 90% savings!), you can buy them all, which is what I'm a little tempted to do! Just make sure you get them while they're there!

Butterfly Pendant

Cat Pendant
Dog Pendant
Dolphin Pendant
Lion Pendant
Panda Pendant

Friday, April 13, 2012

How To Customize Your Blog's Background and Banner

As you can see, I've decided to totally trick-out my blog!  The previous background was one that I had made on my own, along with the header. The other customizations, such as the font and font color, I used the Advanced customization tools. However, after seeing some of the other blogs out there still using the older templates, I really began to realize how seriously lacking the Dynamic Views were in customizations and the ability to add creative content. So, I decided to go old school and switched to the "Picture Window" template.

I found this wonderful background at The Cutest Blog on the Block, which is, by far, the best source of free blog backgrounds and templates that I have been able to find. There are an array of super cute backgrounds for Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, and websites, along with an assortment of page element accessories. While looking for ways to further customize my blog, I quickly found that there is very little up to date, concise information on CSS codes for Blogger. This is why I've decided to create I've decided to make a quick guide for customizing your blog using the new CSS section in the Advanced customizations.