Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Floral Scarf Round-Up

In case yesterday's post didn't make it crystal clear, I'm kind of addicted to scarves! In fact, I pretty much wear them everyday, all year-round. Sure, sometimes they're not the most convenient accessory (think puppies trying to play with them, or the wind blowing them all about), but most of the time they not only add a stylish flair to an outfit, they also serve a practical purpose.

I recently had a conversation with a friend who is also a scarf-enthusiast and I think we scared those around us a little bit with our passionate discussion of the benefits of scarf wearing. Here are just a few of the things we mentioned:

- Scarves add instant color or pattern to an outfit
- Scarves are absolutely wonderful in the winter when you're in that in-between state of too-cold-in-just-a-shirt and too-warm-in-a-jacket-or-sweater. You can simply take your scarf from your neck and wrap it around your shoulders. Voila! Instant maintenance of a comfortable temperature.
- Scarves are absolutely marvelous in the summer when you need protection from the sun - wrap it lightly around your shoulders or over your head.

Anyway, after organizing my scarves, I realized that one thing I am sorely lacking is floral scarves! So today, I decided to round up a few under-$20 scarves from around the internet. In no particular order:

$12.97 from Lands End Canvas. Also available in a pale coral palette. 
I've had my eye on this one for quite a while and may have to snap it up soon.

$16.94 from Old Navy. A beautiful, orangey-red tone.

$19.95 from Gap. Technically not floral, but I'm calling it "close enough."

$12.00 from Pier 1 Imports. So bright & fun, perfect for summer!

$14.99 from World Market. A more sedate floral scarf.

$14.99 from Target. I think this one may be my favorite of the bunch.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bedroom Changes

I recently made two changes in my bedroom. Unfortunately, I forgot to get before pictures, but here are the afters!

The first change I made brought more organization to my scarf collection. I was given a couple scarves for Christmas and I also recently purchased a couple more. My once stuffed-full scarf drawer had been overflowing for a few weeks so I knew it was time to reorganize them. My bedroom has two closets, a large walk-in one and a random, very small one. So I decided to move all my clothes into the large closet and use the little one for scarf storage:

I still have some knit scarves in my drawer, but all the flow-ier scarves are now hung in my closet. I used a chrome tension rod from Target along with doubled-up plastic shower curtains rings to hang the scarves. I didn't put much thought into the order in which they're hanging, but I generally put the winter-weight scarves on the left and the summer-weight scarves on the right...though the thickness of my summer-weight scarves does vary quite a bit!

My summer-weight scarves.

My winter-weight scarves.

Here's the second change I made:

I've been meaning for a very long time to set up a little jewelry station on top of my two (stacked) bedside tables and I finally got around to doing it last week.

The great thing about this organization project is that I merely used things I already had. The white tray I got on sale from Target last year for only $5! The multi-colored dish is a present my sister brought for me when she went to India back in Fall of 2001. The other items are from a variety of places, including Target, Marshall's, World Market, and Ann Taylor Loft.

I purchased this ring holder a number of weeks ago from Amazon for $8. It's definitely worth it to have my rings so easily accessible.


 This dish came from World Market a couple of years ago and I use it to hold some of my more frequently worn bracelets.

So these are the two little changes I made. So far, I love them! My jewelry and my scarves are so much easier to access that I actually do put things away more often than I used to. Hooray!

(Linking up to Thrifty Decor Chick's closet link party.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Men Act, Women Appear

I thought I'd share an excerpt today from a book that I read last semester in one of my grad classes. First published in 1972, Ways of Seeing is a book made by John Berger and four collaborators, based on the BBC series with John Berger.

I'm sharing this passage here because it struck a chord with me when I read it and I've thought about it frequently since then. I'm currently reading some books in my American women writers class that, I think, could easily be analyzed using the arguments in this excerpt. I will probably write some more about that in the coming months.

Please note that this is not easy reading, but I think it is worthwhile reading. You may want to read it more than once. And please feel free to comment with your thoughts and reactions.

According to usage and conventions which are at last being questioned but have by no means been overcome, the social presence of a woman is different in kind from that of a man. A man's presence is dependent upon the promise of power which he embodies. If the promise is large and credible his presence is striking. If it is small or incredible, he is found to have little presence. The promised power may be moral, physical, temperamental, economic, social, sexual - but its object is always exterior to the man. A man's presence suggests what he is capable of doing to you or for you. His presence may be fabricated, in the sense that he pretends to be capable of what he is not. But the pretence is always towards a power which he exercises on others. 
By contrast, a woman's presence expresses her own attitude to herself, and defines what can and cannot be done to her. Her presence is manifest in her gestures, voices, opinions, expressions, clothes, chosen surroundings, taste - indeed there is nothing she can do which does not contribute to her presence. Presence for a woman is so intrinsic to her person that men tend to think of it as an almost physical emanation, a kind of heat or smell or aura.
To be born a woman has been to be born, within an allotted and confined space, into the keeping of men. The social presence of women has developed as a result of their ingenuity in living under such tutelage within such a limited space. But this has been at the cost of a woman's self being split into two. A woman must continually watch herself. She is almost continually accompanied by her own image of herself. Whilst she is walking across a room or whilst she is weeping at the death of her father, she can scarcely avoid envisaging herself walking or weeping. From earliest childhood she has been taught and persuaded to survey herself continually. 
And so she comes to consider the surveyor and the surveyed within her as the two constituent yet always distinct elements of her identity as a woman.
She has to survey everything she is and everything she does because how she appears to others, and ultimately how she appears to men, is of crucial importance for what is normally thought of as the success of her life. Her own sense of being in herself is supplanted by a sense of being appreciated as herself by another. 
Men survey women before treating them. Consequently how a woman appears to a man can determine how she will be treated. To acquire some control over this process, women must contain it and interiorize it. That part of a woman's self which is the surveyor treats the part which is the surveyed so as to demonstrate to others how her whole self would like to be treated. And this exemplary treatment of herself by herself constitutes her presence. Every woman's presence regulates what is and is not 'permissible' within her presence. Every one of her actions - whatever its direct purpose or motivation - is also read as an indication of how she would like to be treated. If a woman throws a glass on the floor, this is an example of how she treats her own emotions of anger and so of how she would wish it to be treated by others. If a man does the same, his action is only read as an expression of his anger. If a woman makes a good joke this is an example of how she treats the joker in herself and accordingly of how she as a joker-woman would like to be treated by others. Only a man can make a good joke for its own sake. 
One might simplify this by saying: men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves. The surveyor of woman in herself is male: the surveyed female. Thus she turns herself into an object- and most particularly an object of vision: a sight.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

It's the Small Things

People often say that it's the small things that make life utterly wonderful or utterly unbearable. Well, this is a very small thing but it makes a positive difference in my morning routine.

I got the idea for the cup & mason jar from Pinterest, only I put flat little cotton pads in mine. I've had it set up like this ever since I moved to my current apartment and the system works really well. The mason jar is one I got from my mom and the cup that rests inside the rim is a $0.50 find from Goodwill.

The clock is a very recent addition (found at Target for around $6!). I was having a hard time keeping track of the time when I get ready for work/school/life in the mornings, so I bought this clock to help me stay on time. I love its shiny finish & the roman numerals.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Wife - at Daybreak I shall be by Emily Dickinson

A wife - at Daybreak I shall be -
Sunrise - Hast thou a Flag for me?
At Midnight, I am but a Maid,
How short it takes to make it Bride -
Then - Midnight, I have passed from thee
Unto the East, and Victory -

Midnight - Good Night! I hear them call,
The Angels bustle in the Hall -
Softly my Future climbs the stair,
I fumble at my Childhood's prayer
So soon to be a Child no more -
Eternity, I'm coming - Sir,
Savior - I've seen the face - before!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Power "Green" Smoothie

A few weeks before Christmas, I came across this recipe for a Green Smoothie and I immediately thought, "I need to try that!" So a couple days later, I went in to Target and walked out with a brand new blender. I then gathered my ingredients, modifying the recipe to suit what was easily available to me and could be frozen to keep for a long time.

This smoothie is amazing! I love it. In fact, I think I'm addicted to it. Every morning I don't make it, I feel like something is missing from my life. Here's the recipe I use (all measurements are approximate):

1 cup of water (or minty green tea*)
1 banana
A few handfuls of spinach
1 cup of frozen mixed berries
3 frozen strawberries
2 smallish handfuls of almonds**

Here it is, starting to get blended! In case you're wondering where I get my ingredients, here it is:

Bananas - whatever grocery store is most convenient, because they go bad pretty quickly. Usually when I run out of bananas, I buy a ripe one, a medium ripe one, and an unripe one so I don't have to buy them again for a few days.
Spinach - I buy a huge 3lb bag from Costco and then stick it in my freezer.
Frozen mixed berries & frozen strawberries - Costco
Almonds - Trader Joe's

Sometimes I throw in other random things I have on hand, such as an orange, cranberry juice, or pineapple, and adjust the quantities of the other ingredients accordingly.

So I know those ingredients don't sound good but, trust me, this smoothie tastes sooo good! Every time I tell someone about it, they look at me like I'm crazy for putting spinach and almonds in a smoothie, but my roommate can vouch for the fact that I'm not crazy (at least not when it comes to the taste of this smoothie) and that it is, in fact, delicious.

*I often need the caffeine provided by green tea and I don't mind the metabolic boost, either! Therefore, I use minty green tea instead of water most of the time. I just put some mint tea and green tea bags in a pitcher of water and stick it in my fridge. I let it sit for about 24 hours and then take the bags out and use the tea in my smoothie throughout the week.
**I was reading about the nutritional benefits of spinach and it was mentioned that eating some fat with the spinach helps your body absorb the nutrients better. The almonds also provide some extra protein, which is something I'm always OK with!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Photo of the Week

This photo of double rainbows was taken several years ago on our parents' property, just after we'd planted over 700 blueberry bushes!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Weekly Round-Up #39

Things of interest from the past week (or 5):

Adri discovered the music of Agnes Obel. It is full of beautiful, haunting melodies. Listen for yourself.

Centsational Girl shared a tutorial on how to DIY stamped tea towels, which would make a great hostess, birthday, or really, any kind of gift.

Kate of The Small Things Blog shared how she made a makeup brush roll from a placemat! Adri may have to try this next time she goes home and has access to one of our mom's showing machines ;)

The Art of Manliness wrote about some awesome note taking strategies. This was particularly timely as Adri began her second semester of graduate school two weeks ago.

Over Christmas break, Adri was also introduced to City and Colour. Northern Wind is one of her very favorite songs on their latest album.