Friday, September 30, 2011


Maybe you think they are ugly. Maybe you think they are outdated. But I think nothing quite says "I'm an artsy college student and I shop at thrift stores" like a giant, vintage sweater.

I love big sweaters. They look adorable paired with messy hair, skinny jeans and converse. They are every so cozy (I do not like tight clothes. I avoid them as much as possible). They feel like warm, comfortable fall. And there are multitudes of them @ your local thrift store, in all sorts of colors and patterns. Everything from wild Christmas sweaters (which aren't adorable) to artistic looking ones with bold patterns. Some are horrendously ugly, but others are quite charming.I find ones I like quite often. But I have one problem. I am allergic to wool. Maybe not 100% allergic, but very sensitive. Anything with more than 10% wool makes me break out in red swollen hives and that ruins the adorable outfit big time. Sigh. Woe is me.

Here's some cutesy ones that make me want to snuggle up with an afghan, a notebook/reading book and a cup of tea.
I have one just like this, minus the red and yellow. 
Vintage, bought at Savers, but originally from Gap like 30 years ago.

I like this one a lot. Black and red are my favorites!

 A large sweater and a walk in some beautiful woods? Mmm, yes!

See? How wonderful!
Lot of people wear them with leggings, but I think Skinny Jeans are much better. Tights are a no. I've seen them with flowy skirts too, if you want go for the all around loose and comfy look. 

I need to specify one rule, though. DON'T WEAR IT AS A DRESS, no matter how big it is. That is no longer artsy, it is just trashy. Pants, please and thank you. Strong suggestion: feel free to wear shorts that cover your posterior as well. Much obliged.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

{Reading} Nooks & Crannies...

Last week I bought a horribly cute vintage chair. At Savers. For $5. Yes.

It was green vinyl. I obviously needed it. When you already have a green vinyl (cucumber)couch in your room it is hard to say no to any other pieces of green vinyl vintage furniture. Especially when they are only five bucks.

The problem was my couch was right at the top of my staircase against the wall, between a keyboard and a dresser. Meaning no room for my new chair. Which in turn meant I had to rearrange my whole room to accomodate my find, and I ended up liking this new layout better.

Welcome, one and all, to my new READING NOOK!
Much cozier than before! It makes me really happy to snuggle up, buried in pillows and blankets, and read a nice book. Now if only I had time to do that...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Awesomebella (who is an awesome girlfriend) "cooks" -PUPPY CHOW

This week I "cooked" (using that word lightly as this only involved measuring, melting and mixing) my Air Force boyfriend some Puppy Chow.

Okay. I know it sounds gross. But it's not. Trust me. Dog food isn't involved.

He has one month left of tech school before he can come home for a couple weeks (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and I figured some tasty snacks would help him in his final stretch of studies, labs and tests. Tasty snacks don't fix problems or make people stop missing each other, but they are helpful in one way or another in just about every situation. Or so I think.

Lets be honest people, if I created my own religious philosophy it would revolve around snacks (or dishwashers...but that is another story for another day). I love snacks. So much. (But creating your own religious beliefs is way bad so...I don't. Eternity is a long time) I walk into my kitchen at least twice a day, throw open the pantry and forage. Usually say "I NEED SOME SNACKS!" Sometimes this is followed by a made up snack song. Nothing unusual there.

Anyway, this is puppy chow:

I promise, underneath there isn't any dog food type product. It is all humanly edible and all delicious. And super duper easy to make. The entire production takes maybe 10 minutes.

All you need is some Chex* cereal (or something of the like), Chocolate Chips, PEANUT BUTTER, butter, vanilla extract, powdered sugar, 2 bowls and a microwave. 

I followed THIS RECIPE here, only I added extra peanut butter.

I've heard it said that "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach."
I am not sure that this is true, but I do know that JoJo sure likes spreadable peanut product.
The more peanut butter that can be in cooperated into food, the better.

*megaplus to this whole thing: puppy chow is very easy to stick in a plastic zip bag and send to anywhere. Always a plus when your favorite person in need of snacks is 1,400+ miles away. Easiest thing I have made and sent so far. So why not send some delicious coated munchables to your favorite long distance relation/military member/whomever?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Christians only...sinners need not apply...

Today it was "club day" on my college campus. All of the clubs (outdoors club, art club, anime club, PRIDE club, etc) had set up little tables in the main foyer and were trying to get new members.

Smack dab in the doorway, separated from the masses, was one table that caught my eye.


On the table were some archaic looking pictures of Jesus with one of those orbs of utter holiness coming from his head.  A little box with a slit in the top was labeled "prayer requests." The only person at or around the table was the woman behind it. I couldn't help myself. I had to talk to her and try and figure this out.

"So...are only Catholics welcomed in your club?"

"The majority of the attendees and members are Catholics."

"Why do you have a club?"

"It is nice to have a group of people who share the same beliefs as you on campus. It is a good way for us (Catholics) to get to know each other. It is always nice to gather together, pray and spend time with other believers. If you would really like to check us out you could though."

"Oh, I'm a Bible-believing Christian. I was just curious, that's all." and I walked away.

The woman seemed nice enough. But something bothered me. I was bothered by the location of her table. She was so separate from the rest. The gays, lesbians, Hispanics, African American, culinary arts people, outdoorsy people, artists, military, writers, science majors and everyone else were grouped together, tables forming lines or semi circles. But the Catholics had their own table, off by themselves. I felt like they needed a sign that read "SINNERS NEED NOT ATTEND."

Now, I am not saying bad things about Catholics here. Really. I am also not against gathering with believers and praying. Not all at. It's Biblical. It is good and wonderful to build up each other and share in one another's lives. In fact, I am about to go attend a small group meeting with girls within my church. This is more me feeling let down by the "religiosity" we pin onto Christianity, though it shouldn't be that way.

People stereotype Christians. The horrible thing is that people are usually right. So many Christians come across as religious, "Holier Than Thou," and too good and clean for sinners. Instead of loving people, they judge them. Church gets portrayed as a place for the holiest of holy people who can manage to follow all the heavenly regulations without fail and filthy, rotten sinners need not attend.

Hold up. Maybe your church is fully of saintly perfect people, but I know mine is full of sinners. Lots of them. About 900. *GASSSP* As my pastor would say "there is no such thing as a perfect church and if there was, you'd it up when you start coming."

Church is practically a sinner club. Sounds awful? Not really. We are all sinners. Yes, I am saved and made clean by the blood of Jesus, but I do not live a spotless perfect life. Only Jesus did that. Church isn't supposed to be a place to protect Bible-believers from the big bad world. In fact, the Bible says BE IN THE WORLD, but not of it. Not hide from the world in your clubs and churches until Christ comes back to rescue you.

Jesus loved sinners. He hung out with them and liked it! He didn't do it to condemn them to eternal damnation in hell, but to show them the love of His Kingdom. He hung out with them far more than he did with the "holy" religious leaders of the time. Jesus hung out with the unlovely. The rejects of society. The people no one liked. And he loved them.

Jesus didn't attend community college, obviously, but if he had I don't think he would have joined a group promoting religious beliefs alike only to His. He wouldn't have joined the Jewish/Pharisee/Holy People Only club. But he probably would have gladly joined all the others.

In his book the The Irresistible Revolution, author Shane Claiborne (He is amazing, btw) says this:
What would twenty-year-old Jesus have said if they asked him "What are you going to do when you grow up?" I don't know, maybe something like "I am going to turn the world upside-down. I am going to hang out with prostitutes and tax collectors until people kill me."

I think this view of Jesus loving the unlovely is wonderfully portrayed in the Relient K (a band I once loved, but no longer would recommend) "Failure to Excommunicate." The chorus contains these lines...
"Jesus loved the outcasts. He loved the ones the world just loves to hate. And as long as there's a heaven, there will be a failure to excommunicate."
 I want to love the one the world just loves to hate too. Because Jesus is the one I want to model my life after.

Maybe this is all an unnecessary rant. Maybe there is nothing at all wrong with Christian clubs. But I would feel a whole lot better if Christians as a whole stopped segregating themselves from the world and just got out there and did some loving. Real, Jesus-style.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's that time of year- CUSTOM KNITS AND CROCHETS!

Hey everyone. I generally try and avoid posts like this on my blog, but now that I am no longer trying to run an etsy and am only doing custom orders (and am a broke college student who drives a gas guzzling SUV)  I wanted to do a post about cozy knitted and crocheted items I would happily custom make for anyone who is interested!

Crocheted Animal Ear Flap Hats! 
I can do whatever sort of eared animal you desire, with or without felt/button faces. Or simply a ear flap hat, sans animal characteristics if you would prefer. Adult or child sized.
Below are a panda, fox and a sock monkey.

Knit or crocheted BEANIES and BERETS! 
Any size! Any color combo!

 These are great alone, or layered over fingered gloves. I have only made adult sizes, but I would be able to alter the pattern to a child's size. You pick your colors! (Perhaps to match your favorite coat. Or a fabulous above pictured custom hat!?)

And these aren't wearable really, but are equally as cozy...
Pretty much any animal, in colors of your choice.
I've done bears, dogs, cats, bunnies, elephants, turtles, pigs, birds, pandas...
Usually around 8-12 inches in height.

Fun stuff, eh? Great for fall. Wonderful for winter. Also, all of these things make great gifts!

Comment, or send me an email at call(DOT)me(DOT)ardent(AT)gmail(DOT)com if you are interested in discussing a custom order or pricings! Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I am anti-amusement park. I am anti-fried food. I am anti-crowds of people. But for some reason, I love, love, love fairs. I think because I associate them with fall? There is something uniquely fallish about them.

In the last week I went to two different fairs; a larger one by a local town (to watch a friend compete in a demolition derby) and one little, tiny held-in-a-parking lot one with my boyfriend's wonderful mom and sisters, along with 2 sister of my own. Both were fun.

The other great thing about fairs is they provide some unique photo ops. Enjoy!

 *this reminds me of the "world's best coffee" scene in Elf...
 you know where my loyalties lie...
 KG's chicken car. and no, that guy leaning on the car is not our friend KG...?
 Why would anyone send their children into a "fun house" with this sort of face painted on the front. Oh I think NOT!

 JoJo's lil sister and I were pros @ the Fun Slide (note to anyone who wants to run a children's fair. Insert the word "Fun..." in front of all your ride names and you will be all set).

Thursday, September 8, 2011

In a galaxy far, far away on my fingernails...

Oh hey there. Maybe you can't tell from the bad laptop webcam photo but...
I have a galaxy on the tips of my fingers. 
I am also the proud owner of a Star Wars lunch box.
Hmmm. Yes.

sidenote: bella needs to do math homework. bella does not really want to. so instead she put like 9 layers of nail polish and glitter on her fingers and hummed Star Wars tunes to herself. Yes, yes she did.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hello, Hurricane (Irene)

Collection of shots from Hurricane Irene, as promised:

In Summation: Power outages, fallen trees, downed wires, gas outages, leaves, leaves, leaves, and generators, generators, generators.

Everybody is safe and sound now and our house is just fine (thank God!). I think at this point most of, if not all, of the state has its power restored and crews are hard at work restoring the millions in damages.

Not the best pictures I have ever taken, but I at least sort of documented the chaos that was going on during Hurricane Irene (which by the way was the worst storm in our area within the last 26 years).

*for the more artistic view of the whole scenario, check out my photo blog: Sometimes I Shoot Things.

Monday, September 5, 2011

What really happened last week...

I told you I was going to school. But that was a lie.

Sort of.

I was supposed to begin my college course load on Monday. My family was supposed to be at a Rhode Island beach and I was going to pop back and forth and visit between class times. But that isn't what really happened. Because Saturday destruction came to town. And by Sunday, Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene was creating a full blown power outage in most areas of our state.

700,000 homes in our state had no power. We were one of them.

My family was supposed to head out Saturday, but held off on the drive because of the heavy wind and rain. By Sunday we were waking up in a dark house. After some consideration (and a lot of whining and talk of apocalypses from me) my family packed up and went to my grandparents farm. They live an hour away but they had a generator. We stayed with them, in their well lit, complete with running water house from Sunday to Tuesday.

Classes were canceled Monday and Tuesday. My family couldn't go to the beach even if they wanted to because of flooding, loss of power and evacuation of the beach area they had planned to go to.And back at our house we still had no power.

FINALLY by Wednesday they were able to get down to the beach and settle in. The beach house was safe and sound, save for some driftwood in the lawn and sticks in the yard. I was able to go to classes (I was getting antsy!). Power came back on at our house. I drove back and forth from the beach all week going to classes, going to beach, coming back. We had a really nice time. Even with the chaos, it all worked out in the end.

This is the point where you must be thinking that the storm must have taken away my camera, because WHY would I not have photos of this?

Well...Chaos never sleeps, my friends. I returned home to a computer horrifically infected by a rogue antispyware disease. Not sure how it got there, but it is so bad that we don't know what else to do to remove the horrificality from it, so it is going to see a doctor for a little while until it is healed up all nice and proper. Until then I am on my dad's laptop, sans photoshop. I think it will only be a couple days, so be patient with me. I will share my hurricane damage and beach fun shots with you as soon as possible.

Until then... I have a lot of homework to do to recover from those canceled days. Delicious.


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