Friday, October 24, 2014

I Do Spy — Ladies of the Night

Not those ladies of the night. Jeez, get your mind out of the gutter. I'm talking about the ladies that make your spine shiver.

1. Nice Day for a Fright Wedding — ModCloth
2. Snow White Witch Candy Bowl — Amazon
3. Hocus Pocus Spell Book — Oddsurd
4. Happy Halloween Witches Oversized Sweatshirt — DentzDesigns

Song of the Blog: Witchy Woman by The Eagles

Some of these links are affiliate marketing links. This means that if you click them and buy something, I get a little tiny piece of commission. But that doesn't mean I don't love each and every one of them. I need that Hocus Pocus spell book. Need

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My Five Necessities to Stay Productive

To say I struggle with staying productive is an understatement. I suffer from the same problem that most people under the age of 40 (let's be real, probable 85) fight with: The Internet.

There's just so much happening. Between Facebook and Twitter and other people's blogs and your own damn blog and the never ending list of things you have to respond to, it can be quite over whelming. That doesn't even include the distraction that is Netflix (I'm looking at you, Gilmore Girls)!

So how do I do it? I generally manage to post three to four times a week while working a near-full time job while writing part-time for an SEO company and taking two classes. There are times that I really need to ignore that witty commentary between Lorelei and Rory and just sit down and write by a deadline. 

That's where these five tools and requirements come in. 

1. A Clean Space to Work In
As you know from my weekly wishes, I'm not very good at keeping my house organized. It's clean, but it's messy. But the one space I do keep tidy is my kitchen table (desk still to come — one can dream). I do all of my writing on my kitchen table so I keep nothing on there but my place mats, laptop and to-do list. 

In those few times that I'm not able to clean up my dinner guest mess up quickly enough, I turn to a coffee shop. There is nothing to distract me but my mind, which is dangerous enough, and the cute barista. 

2. A To-Do List
Isn't it annoying when you have a never ending list of things you need to get done in the day running around in your head. Then, just as you're falling asleep, you jolt awake thinking, crap! I forgot to email so-and-so back!

This is why I have a constant and never ending to do list. My favorite part about it is when I get to cross something off. 

3. A Calendar
I know what you're thinking: shouldn't this be under the same category as the to-do list? And everyone who is a list maker will give you a resounding "No!" The to-do list is for tasks that have to get done. The calendar is for two things: blog posts and work/life events. I'm not going to put "flight at 8:30am" on my to-do list. That would be just crazy!! 

I'm beginning to think that the reason I keep my life so organized is because I'm so bad at keeping my apartment organized.

Note to self: add organize my apartment to my to-do list.

4. No TV
It's pretty self explanatory. I work great when there is just music on, as long as it's not musicals or T-Swift. But if I turn on a movie or a TV show for "background noise," there will be no writing had that day. 

5. Go For A Walk
You've either heard this a million times before or you think I'm being ridiculous. But when I am having a hard time concentrating, I do not browse the Internet or make food or turn on the TV (see Tip #4). I go for a walk around my apartment complex. 

I'm sure this would be a little less creepy were I to have a dog but I do it anyway. It clears my brain, I get some fresh air and Vitamin D and I'm ready to go when I sit back down at my kitchen table (seriously, I'll take donations for a desk).

Are any of you entrepreneurs out there? I know a lot of you are starting your own design companies or even social media companies. You all should really check out Kabbage. They offer small business loans in seven minutes or less. In addition, they have a plethora of awesome business tips in their Community section. It doesn't hurt that they are the number one online provider for business loans. 

How do you stay productive throughout your work day?

Song of the Blog: Cigarettes and Coffee by Otis Redding

Monday, October 20, 2014

Weekly Wishes | Twenty-Eight

Last Week's Wishes

Get Work Done: Well, it was two weeks ago so I did get all the things done (and Beauty and the Beast was perfection). But, it's been two weeks since my last wishes so of course my house is in complete disarray again.

Successful Bridal Shower: How lovely it was. The bride to be was beautiful, per uge. The food was fantastic. The tea was refreshing. I got to see a ton of people I hadn't seen in a while. Which will only increase exponentially for the wedding in four weeks!!

Halloween Costume: I may have gotten a little over my head when it comes to my epic Halloween costume. I decided to make it myself, which is fine. I've done that before. But this time I decided to do that with a pattern, which I've not done since high school. So I will be watching a lot of YouTube videos. Advice and tips are welcome.

Clean House: I think I need to make a chores list... Anyone have any great pins for that?

Song of the Blog: Dressin' Up by Katy Perry

Weekly Wishes is where I join up with The Nectar Collective amongst many other bloggers to share the goals or challenges we wish to achieve this week. We're a community of goal-setters.

Friday, October 17, 2014

I Do Spy — Black Cats

I'd like to give a big shout out to my Ukrainian friends. I somehow made it onto a bunch of sites that I can't understand and you all seem to love this post. All I have to say is: спасибі і ласкаво просимо !
As I was looking for awesome things covered in awesome black cats, I started asking myself, why are black cats bad luck and scary? Weren't they highly praised in Egyptian times?

It turns out it's all because of old cat ladies. In the middle ages when the stoning and drowning of witches started to become a thing, they cast the first stone at old ladies. And what do old ladies do best? Take care of cats. Even further, because of some idiot father and son duo harming a black cat, soon people started to believe that witches turn into cats at night.

And now, we get to have adorable black cats on dresses and shoes and in movies and as decor at the greatest time of the year.

1. Sexy Cat Leggings Amazon
2. Lovely and Lush BagModCloth
3. Paw Me a Cup Tea Set ModCloth
4. Count Cat-cula TopModCloth

Song of the Blog: Black Cat by Janet Jackson

These links are affiliate marketing links. This means that if you click them and buy something, I get a little tiny piece of commission. But that doesn't mean I don't love each and every one of them. In fact, the second that cat tea set is back in stock, it's going straight to my shopping cart. 

ModCloth has an entire section dedicated Halloween. At a loss for what you're going to be: check it out.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Women Who Rock | A Playlist

It is my great pleasure to have Cassie from Witty Title Here guest posting today. I can't recall how I came across her blog but I'm sure it's because we both share our love for all things feminist. She's also really funny and caring and pretty and I have such a blogger crush on her. Whatever. 

Keep reading for Cassie's Spotify playlist of women who know how to rock. 

I had plans to become a rock star.

It was high school, I’d learned every note of Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” on the guitar, and I even had a leather jacket. I thought I was on my way.

Turns out I wasn’t (it’s hard to play bar chords with tiny hands!), but I developed a deep respect for songwriters. Later, I’d become especially appreciative of the women who were carving out their own rebellious paths in such a male-dominated industry.

The list below features 11 women or women-led groups that I love and think you will, too. Some are old favorites, others are new discoveries. Check them out in this Girl Power playlist:

Patti Smith
I "discovered" Patti Smith early last year, a few decades late. It was thanks to her National Book Award-winning memoir Just Kids that I did. After seeing her perform live in what was an electrifying show, I was hooked.

This band is a new discovery for me. Hearing them perform live in-studio on the radio with just a couple of guitars, handclaps and those two powerful voices in harmony, I knew Lucius was a force to be reckoned with.

Jenny Lewis
Rilo Kiley remains one of my favorite all-time bands, and I adore its frontwoman solo, too. She's always struck me as a "one of the guys" types, which is why I especially love the lyrics to this one.

Those Darlins
This quartet performed at one of my favorite spots in Baltimore a couple years ago, and I just happened to be there. This quartet brought me back to a different time, and meeting them after the show was pretty cool, too!

Etta James
What an incredible legend. This woman so effortlessly bridged R&B and rock ‘n’ roll and gave millions chills doing it.

What's not to love? I hope this trio of sisters releases a new album soon. I can't get enough of their voices in unison and those poppy tunes.

Sheryl Crow
Always and forever a favorite of mine, this woman. I went for one of her more slow, haunting hits, as it really shows off her incredible range as a singer and songwriter.

Amanda Palmer & the Grand Theft Orchestra
Have you see this music video? It's totally creepy, but it's what grabbed me when I had no idea who the Kickstarter success story was.

Sharon Van Etten
When I started out making this playlist, I decided to include someone I'd never heard of. So I did a little snooping around the interwebs and found this voice, whose aching quality stopped me in my tracks. I'm a new fan.

St. Vincent
Here's another one to see live. I saw St. Vincent perform alongside David Byrne in Baltimore last year and was mesmerized by her quirky yet solid stage presence. Before that, I didn't really understand what she was about. I got it—and loved it—that night.

Alabama Shakes
That voice. This is another band whose style and production takes you back to a different decade. I'm willing to bet they're pretty fantastic live.

This list of kickass women, of course, is hardly exhaustive, but it’s a snapshot of what I’m into at the moment.

Who are some of your favorite musicians (who happen to be women)?

Friday, October 10, 2014

I Do Spy — Candy Corn

Happy Halloween Month! As I told you last week, it's my favorite time of year so you're going to be bombarded with all things spooky and sweet.

Another reason this is my favorite month: it all revolves around getting free candy from strangers.

1. Brach's Classic Candy Corn — Amazon
2. Favorite Favor Earrings — ModCloth
3. Candy Korn Flats — Amazon

These links are affiliate marketing links. This means that if you click them and buy something, I get a little tiny piece of commission. But that doesn't mean I don't love each and every one of them. In fact, I have an entire jar of candy corn in my apartment. Ok ok, you caught me. I *had* a jar.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

I Put A Spell On You

Screamin' Jay Hawkins' original version of I Put A Spell On You is shear brilliance.

Many have tried to imitate the genius in their own renditions: Joe Cocker, She and Him, Marilyn Manson. They've all done great jobs but nothing compares to Nina Simone's cover. Her voice has that old timey-ness (I just invented a word) that is the very essence of the song. While she does do her own take on the song, I feel that she still captures the original version.

And then there is Hocus Pocus' version of I Put A Spell On You. I consider this scene the greatest singing scene in all movie history. First off, Bette Midler is brilliant in her own right. But Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as back up singers just makes it completely perfect.

Hocus PocusI Put A Spell On You