November 21st, 2014
Life moves continuously and in measured waves; it ebbs and flows like some ethereal tide that I can never quite touch or make sense of. Ideas, memories, longing. Some days I wake filled with optimism, inspired and ready to accomplish anything. Other days I fail to summon the energy necessary to read a book, write a letter or feed myself. Seemingly random factors and events contribute to all of these emotional meanderings — the weather, my own assessment of self-worth, the amount of projects I’ve taken on. Instead of evaluating myself harshly by what I fail to accomplish, I want to try and be more kind to myself. I want to claim little victories in the stream of life and celebrate both simplicity and the seemingly mundane. My appreciation for the little things has diminished of late and I’d like to get back in the practice of physically writing in my journal and really taking note of the world around me.
I wear a variation of this outfit quite frequently (sweater remixed here & here). I recently acquired this Southwestern print scarf and threw it on top of, what I consider to be, a tried and true ensemble because the recent mornings have had this fabulous nip in the air that requires an additional layer. The below photo happened to capture the only sunny day we’ve had this week. But no matter, I like the London-esque gloom.
Sweater & Boots: thrifted // Leggings: StitchFix // Skirt: Target // Scarf: H&M
November 19th, 2014
I am a total noob to the field of mobile gaming. However, I keep hearing about all these super fun, fabulous games that are available for the iPhone and I thought that I should at least give it a go for the sake of experimentation. The first game I decided to download was Toca Nature by Toca Boca, a San Francisco / Sweden based company. The game has a 2.99 price tag, but I think a beautiful game indie game (with no ads) is definitely worth the same price as one cup of coffee — so I went for it.
And I am now addicted. My favorite handheld games have always been things like Zenscapes or Aquarium DS. These games don’t have a plot, or even a strong overall point, they are just pretty, relaxing and promote creativity. Toca Nature is definitely of the same ilk. Essentially, you start out with a plot of land — a blank slate that you can shape to your own whim. You have all the tools of creation at your fingertips.
The tools are, from left to right, the magnifying glass, the mountain tool, the water tool, the tree tool, and the axe. You use the tools by swiping your fingers over the screen. If you are using the mountain or water tools, you will need to smudge your finger on the screen for quite a while to dig a successful pond or build an impressive mountain range. Once the mountains get to a particular height, you can spot snowy caps and arctic foxes.
The tree tool plants different varieties of trees. Depending on which variety you focus on will in turn affect the animals that inhabit your world. The axe tool, alternatively, eliminates trees. The zoom tool allows you to get on the ground level and observe the different habitats you’ve created and the animals who live there. The animals interact independently with your world to find food, scamper about and sleep. You can also collect berries, mushrooms and fish to feed the animals.
And my favorite feature is the in-game camera which takes snapshots and adds them to your phone’s camera roll!
The only really big gripe I have about the game is that there’s no save feature. I realized this after creating 2-3 different worlds and logging back in to find them gone. I mean, I have no problem paying for a game, but I was really bummed that my progress was lost every time because I don’t always have a half hour to create the world again. Maybe I need to be more zen about it, every time I log in I should embrace the opportunity to start over — but, really, I would like a save option.
Here’s the Toca Nature trailer on YouTube.
November 17th, 2014
I’ve been sporadically participating in #Nerdvember on Instagram and this was one of my outfits — because winter is coming, FOR REAL THO! I love Game of Thrones so hard, y’all. It really transcends the fantasy genre — but that’s a post for another time. I mentioned previously that my Final Fantasy sweater from LookHuman fit a little weird (bat-wings, anyone? also, I was wearing the same red shoes), so I sized down when I ordered this one — however, it came up a little short (hence the under-tank). I think these sweaters (which are American Apparel) look best over high-waisted skirts or dresses. Sometimes I like encountering weird-fitting clothes because it presents a challenge for me to work with stylistically and I greatly enjoy stylistic challenges. A year ago, I never would have thought to wear a sweater (not a cardigan) or t-shirt over a dress! I am totally aware that sometimes I leave the house in sort of mis-matched or borderline tacky ensembles, but experimentation is the key to finding what makes oneself feel good. Plus, I am rarely the stylistic sore-thumb in San Francisco. I love that the people who live here are SO accepting of diversity and doing your own thing. I get compliments occasionally, but never side-eye. Also, I moved to a new part of the roof — yay!
Sweater: LookHuman // Tank & Leggings: Gap // Skirt: UO (super old) // Shoes: Zara (Korea)
November 14th, 2014
Gratitude Journal is one of my favorite apps. The artwork is visually pleasing — which is probably what compelled me to download it in the first place. I started using this app before all of their more recent updates, but I still like the current version. I typically write down things I am grateful for, compliments from strangers (and friends) and things that make me happy. Re-reading my old entries makes me extra happy.
Pocket Yoga is amazing! I downloaded this app several months ago on a recommendation from another blogger and it’s a great way to hit the mat when I’m traveling or can’t make it to a yoga class. The various asana practices are adjustable to your skill level and your time availability.
Rover: San Francisco. Okay, this app is SF specific, but I can’t tell you how many times it has gotten me out of very confusing scrapes. My favorite thing is that, if the distance is shorter, the app will instruct you to walk — which I appreciate because Google Maps doesn’t do that as intuitively. The app is easy to use, fairly accurate with scheduling, and there’s a cute robot as the mascot.
Instagram & Afterlight. I feel like Instagram is pretty self-explanatory, but realistically I use this app more than any other form of social media. And Afterlight is my favorite tool for photo editing. The photo editing is so much more customizable than Instagram — you can edit the intensity of your applied filters, layer multiple filters and toy with the levels, contrast, etc. as well.
November 12th, 2014
Letter writing is one of my favorite pastimes and one I rarely have the opportunity to consistently partake in. Mostly due to the fact that I will exchange a few letters with someone, until life gets in the way, or someone moves, or the snail mail friendship just ghosts away. I used to send out Christmas cards each year, but the reciprocal nature of the exchange has dwindled significantly. I receive sporadic emails, texts, Facebook updates, but no cards to deck the halls with.
Recently, two occurances have taken place that allow for an increased level of snail-mailery in my life. First, I joined the International Geek Girl Pen Pal Club (IGGPPC) and was paired with another geek in New York, with whom I’ve already exchanged letters. I simply cannot express how refreshing it is to receive something in the mailbox that isn’t an invitation to join another credit card company. Secondly, I received a stationery pack from Nicely Noted (featured above). I am a sucker for some good stationery. Nicely Noted is a monthly subscription service for cards of all flavors and, yes, it’s just as amazing as it sounds.
So, now I have pretty cards and someone to send them to. I am also going to make it my personal project to write Thanksgiving cards this year. I think it will be fun to tell people how thankful I am for their friendship rather than sending out a generic holiday greeting later on. Additionally, below I’ve collected some of my favorite stationery supplies off Etsy (did I mention I love stationery?).
hello // pen pals // snail mail stamp // better than a text
November 10th, 2014
As a super-amateur photographer, I know better than to take photos in full-on afternoon sun. As a full-time teacher who wants to put on pajamas immediately after work, I say this is the only time that works for my schedule. So, my photos have been tending toward the “omg so bright” end of the color spectrum. I want to continue photographing outfits for my blog, but finding a relatively secluded location + good lighting + the wind not blowing my hair / dress / sweater into an unidentifiable blur is a continual challenge. Luckily, I still feel inspired (some days) to give it a go after work.
Anyway, this outfit is 50% San Francisco thrifted — I am a really big fan of finding leather booties for less than $20. Additionally it fits into my current aesthetics of “a lot of black” and “put a sweater on it.” I am so glad today isn’t as sunny as when I took this photo. I mean look at that cheerful blue sky, I am most decidedly over it. Bring on the cold, misty, grey haze while I stand on top of my roof, seeking that perpetual fog rolling in from the bay.
Sweater & boots: Thrifted // Skirt: StitchFix // Shirt: Everlane // Leggings: Target
November 5th, 2014
I’m a firm believer in wearing what you love. Over the past year, I’ve decided that I love oversized sweaters (or cardigans), tights / leggings and ankle boots. My entire wardrobe has begun to move toward that inevitable climax in which I only possess the aforementioned items. Previously, I would have shied away from embracing what I consider to be my true aesthetic; perhaps even when I began this ootd endeavor on my blog, I was hesitant to showcase looks I actually felt inspired by. To some, the below outfit might appear plain and dark, but to me, this outfit is a visual outpouring of my self-acceptance. I love wearing black. Most of my outfits involve one black piece. So, I had to cross a threshold and recognize that all-black is a perfectly acceptable look. Thus, I basically became Batman — except, replace the cape with a cardigan. This basic black dress is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. It’s so versatile and flattering, but casual and modest enough to wear at work. Workwear that can transition to personal-wear has also become a necessity for my closet. I rarely buy something that can’t be multi-functional.
Cardigan: Ross // Dress & Boots: Old Navy // Tights: StitchFix
November 3rd, 2014
- LookHuman‘s geeky t-shirts. My collection of fandom sweaters and tanks has grown by 5 this month. Here’s my new FF shirt featured prominently in this ootd post.
- Pumpkin shaped candy corn.
- Reign — I’ve been watching on Netflix. It’s ridiculous & I love it. Expect a post soon.
- The FFXIV Soundtrack — uh, I’ve been playing a lot
- Explosions in the Sky Pandora station — usually playing in the background of my classes
- Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux
- Shirt of Flame: A Year with St. Therese of Lisieux by Heather King
- Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead
- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (my review)
October Experiences & Exploration: