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Friday, April 28, 2017

You Might Call it Far, Perhaps, But What Does that Matter?

Hello, everyone!  It was brought to my attention that I haven't done a blog post in a while, so here goes.  As always, things are busy around here.  By the end of next week I'll have three thirty-five+ hour weeks at work, I'll be done with finals, and I'll have a new couch!  Yep, I ordered the traditional grey one from Amazon and it should arrive on Tuesday or Wednesday.  Expect a putting-it-together post.

During my nightly free time I've been indulging in one of my favorite things to do; watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  It is fascinating, every time I watch, which is usually about three times a year.  I never get bored with it.  How could I, when I have the extended versions complete with commentaries and hours of making-of vignettes?!  It is inspiring.


Anyway, this time I decided to watch them backwards, starting with Return of the King, currently watching The Two Towers, and next will be The Fellowship of the Ring.  I chose to go with the Actor Commentary this round, which is interesting.  They share details about character choices, different ways they filmed different scenes, what was a set and what was on location, and other good little tidbits.  And after each one, I watch the Making Of, with some of my favorite behind the scenes people.  Richard Taylor, who is the head of Weta Workshop, the production house that did everything, has a very distinct New Zealand voice, and is very knowledgeable on different details.  Alan Lee and John Howe, who did all of the conceptual design work, are interesting to watch.  They were famous before the movies, as they had done most of the well-known illustrations for the book up to that point, and it's very cool to see these typical, weird art guys work.  And then the stunt guys always have funny stories, and there's some great shots of Art Director Dan Hennah and the set-builders.  Oh, and the miniatures!  As you can see, I am quite fascinated with all of it.


I did choose a bad week to start the viewing party though, as this is Book Week, the last event of Cleanse Month.  Andrew, Taylor, and I decided to all read A Brave New World, and finish it before the end of the week.  Taylor figured out that it would take about twenty-five pages a night to get through it all.  Let's just say I have a lot of reading to do this weekend...

I hope you all have stayed dry over the past rainy week.  I don't like rain, but it's ok now because it helps keep the temperature in my apartment down.  I'm a little nervous about this summer: I only have one AC fan unit and it is in the living room.  Dad has a few ideas, like using a small floor fan to blow the cool air towards my bedroom, but maybe once I turn it on and get it going for a few days it'll cool the whole place.  It is a pretty small area, so we'll see.  Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

(photos collected from tumblr, cracked, forum.drawmixpaint, bradleybasement.wordpress, rebloggy, waymarking, tumblr, wanteddeadoraliveproductionblog, and reddit)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Nostalgic Leanings

After a little apartment time on Friday I headed back home for a pre-dinner cocktail.  Andrew got in a little earlier and we sat around catching up before walking downtown to Dewey's for some salad and pizza.  As always, it was delicious.  After that Andrew, Taylor, and I drove over to the Bottleworks where Dad was playing music.  Taylor and I set up camp near the stage while Andrew mingled with a bunch of his old high school friends.  A good time was had by all.


The next day we met up at Kaldi's for a pastry and coffee.  It was a beautiful morning so we sat outside.  The plan for the day was to clean out the Black Hole storage room in the upstairs attic.  The collection of boxes, furniture, and old toys had pretty much taken over the room over the years.



That first picture was taken after a couple hours of clean-out - look how much stuff is still in there!  Most of the boxes were pretty easy to tell whose stuff it was, so we just went through our own.  There were piles for Things to Go Back In, Things to Keep, Things to Donate, and Trash.  Once everything was out of the room, it was much easier to organize.  Andrew and Taylor fixed some leaning shelves and everything was vacuumed out.  Here's the final outcome!


Looks pretty good, no?  It was pretty fun going through our old things.  Some of it was more of a 'Why on earth did I keep that?!' but some it was pretty cool.  After freshening up a bit, we walked downtown again for dinner.  Once we got home it was pretty late, and we were all exhausted from the day.  I left to go to bed so I would be in a good mood at the work the next day.  They all went to Easter brunch with the family, and I made myself a special frappuccino at work.  Hope you all had a nice Easter weekend!


(photos by e.hunt)

Bloom Baby, Bloom

Wow, was your last week as crazy busy as mine?!  Between work, trying to get my assignments done before Andrew got home, studying for a test, doing my exercises, and trying to get some sleep, I feel like I had been going going going until last night!  It was a good type of going though.

On Friday I woke up early to meet Mom for coffee and a little shopping trip.  We used to do this more often when I lived at home and last week we both realized we hadn't had an outing since before Christmas.  We both happened to be off work and I was wanting some help in picking out some balcony flowers.  We started off the day with a Kaldi's coffee and headed to the mall for a little summer shopping.  I found two dresses that will be perfect for our beachy trips!  After that we stopped by a small plant nursery out by the mall to see what they had but everything was too expensive so we decided to go to Home Depot.  It was pretty though.



While Home Depot had less to choose from, their plant selection was nice and much more budget-friendly.  I was wanting a hanging pot of colorful flowers and maybe a bin of little plants to hang over the side.  We ended up finding a hanging one and a little pot of succulents for inside.  Mom even got some for the patio at home!




It turned out to be a very successful and fun morning!  By that time though it was the afternoon and we were both feeling the effects of waking up early.  Since Andrew was expected to arrive that evening, I went back to my apartment for a short nap and a shower before the festivities began.

(photos by e.hunt)

Monday, April 10, 2017

And I Think to Myself, What a Wonderful World

Ahhhh, another Monday.  I think one of my best work decisions was making Mondays my unavailable day.  It really helps because I'm always so exhausted after the weekend.  This weekend was no different.  I worked eight-hour shifts Friday-Sunday and they were crazy busy.  We had our first real Spring weekend, and people were out and about taking advantage of it.  I think I made more frappuccinos this weekend than I have over the last month!


On Friday I went out with some of my old sorority sisters.  Hannah was in town for Zeta Day and organized a get-together.  We started off at Schlafly for food and good beer then walked down the street to Boogaloo, a bar I hadn't been to in a few years.  It was really fun catching up and reminiscing about college.  One thing we all agreed on was how happy we all were at Drury and how going there and joining Zeta was one of our best decisions.  I think that officially makes us old now haha.


Yesterday I moved my patio chair back outside for a balcony re-opening party!  I celebrated the beautiful weather with a new bird friend and a beer!


I hope you all had a lovely weekend and got some outdoor time.  I think we'll be staying up in these 70-80 temperatures but it looks like we'll be getting quite a bit of rain over the next couple weeks.  You know what they say about April showers though...

Anyway, No Tv Week is over and Andrew is coming home this next weekend!  

(photos by e.hunt, and a kindly bar patron)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Wherever You Are, Be All There

Well, we're halfway through No Tv Week.  How is everyone holding up?  It's amazing that even if you only spend an hour or two watching tv a day how much time it opens up when you don't.  I've been splitting up my newly acquired free time between reading, sketching, and homework.  It's that time of the semester where I have a couple research-type papers and a presentation due in the next couple weeks.  Feels kindof nice to get a head start on them.


I've also been doing some at-home workouts.  They're quick, and mainly consist of the basics; crunches, push-ups, squats, wall-sits, and planks.  I even do jumping-jacks every other day!  I also got some five pound weights at Target to try to tone up my arms a little bit.  Well, all of this is to just tone up everything a little bit.  After all, my first beach trip of the summer is only ten weeks away!


(photos by e.hunt)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Hello Spring

Also, happy April, my friends!  And a new month means we need a new color to be inspired by.  For this Spring month I chose that bright, minty green.  It's perfect for this month of waking up and going outside more often.  With all the rain the trees and flowers will be starting to really come out, and we can all start wearing our bright summery clothes.  Here's to April, here's to Spring!




(photos collected from instagram/cntraveler, dashofdarling, instagram/ranbeneli, elihalpin, pinterest, allbeautyallthetime.tumblr, houseofjadeinteriorsblog, backtothewall.co.nz, flickr, mantripping, amabiebeauty.tumblr, flickr, studded-hearts, instagram/jessonthames, thehunt, weheartit, loveliberally, mydomaine, idthrowglitterintheair.tumblr, instagram/brightbazaar)

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Happy morning, everyone!  Today marks Day 2 of our second annual No TV Week. It's not the same week we did it last year (I think it was sometime in February) but Taylor decided that April would be The Cleanse Month so it was fitting to have it now.  He's cleansing a lot of things, like controlling portions, no alcohol, no cheese, waking up early on a consistent basis, and exercising more often.  I already do a few of those, but I will be trying to wake up earlier on my days off and trying to drink less.  I won't completely cut it out because well, I enjoy having a beer with dinner!


We talked about no caffeine, which was immediately nixed, and having a no gasoline week, which would be extremely difficult.  A less-strict form of that may happen, but we'll see.  I'm planning on cleansing my apartment too.  It will mainly be going through my closet and getting rid of anything I haven't worn in a while or I just don't like it enough to keep.  Thrift store shopping is great but because of the low prices I often buy clothes that I only wear once and don't really feel the need to wear it again.  Cleansing works in the cycle though.  The bags of discarded clothes will be donated back to the store and I will receive a discount coupon to use on my next purchase.

Even if you don't participate in No TV Week, try to do something productive before the week is out.  That's what this week is about - being more productive than usual.  Happy productivity!

(photo by t.hunt)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Bird's Eye Beverage View

Happy Thursday everyone!  And happy almost-end-of-March!  I've had a pretty packed week so far with work, schoolwork, going to class, going home for dinner, getting a haircut, etc.  Busy is good though, and I did get a little break on Tuesday.  I met up with the work girls for margaritas and then everyone came over to my apartment for a little after party.


On Sunday we had a big barbecue party with chicken, rice, veggies - the works.  Everything was delicious, and to top it off, we had grilled pears!  Combined with Bailey's-laced coffee, it was a perfect bake.  Now we're heading into another weekend.  For me it will be filled with work and homework.  Maybe I'll watch a movie one of the nights to switch things up.  You all probably have much more exciting plans.  Maybe not, but whatever you end up doing, have a lovely time!


(photos by e.hunt)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Separation of the S's

Good morning, everyone!  I'm sitting here at my table enjoying a slice of chocolate marble loaf and a fresh cup of coffee.  Mmmmmmm delightful.


I broke down and bought a pot of those cheap flowers at the front of Schnucks the other day.  It is officially Spring now, after all.  They do look nice, and brighten up the tablescape a bit.  As you can see in the picture, it is turning out to be a dreary rain day.  That's ok though; I have some homework to do and might read some of my book.  I'm still on The Handmaid's Tale, but I'm almost finished.  I have several books in the waiting room at the moment: A Brave New World, Clockwork Orange, and I've also been wanting to reread the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  This time around I want to underline things and write in the margins.  The first two were loaned to me from a friend down in Springfield.  He was shocked that I had never read them.  To me they don't really seem to be part of that you-have-to-read-this classics list, but then again he also sent me home with the movie Love Actually (that he was also shocked that I've never seen), so who knows.  Which one should I read first?

(photo by e.hunt)

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Couch in a Box, Fancy That

Happy first day of Spring!  And it really is Spring here in the Stl with temps getting up to 80 degrees today!  In a little bit I'll be walking over to the movie theater just across the street to meet up with Mom and Taylor to see Logan.  I've been a long-time fan of the X-Men movies since the first one way back in 2000.  They've ranged in quality from really really bad (The Last Stand) to really good (X2), but the consistent good factor has always been Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, the instant-healing, never-aging, be-clawed Canadian delight.  Logan is his swan song; his final foray into the X-Men world, and it is supposed to be extremely good.


In apartment news, I have started looking for a new couch to replace my thrift store find that has worked well for these last few months, but isn't quite as comfortable as I would like.  Surprisingly, Amazon has a pretty wide selection at good prices.  Apparently the whole thing comes in a box and you put it together yourself.  I've found three that have good reviews and seem like they would fit well in my little living room.

First, this traditional grey one looks comfy and you know my thoughts on grey.  It's dark enough that it wouldn't be too matchy with my rug and other grey chair.


Second, a bolder choice.  The berry color looks fun, and I love the tufted cushions.


And here is the third choice.  Another more traditional one, but the white piping adds a little whimsy. I also like the navy color.


What do you all think?  The grey and the navy look more casual and better for a relaxing movie viewing, but the berry one would be a great center-piece.  Hmmmm decisions, decisions.

(photos collected from comingsoon.net, and amazon)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

I'll Never Outgrow the Excitement of Looking Out the Window and Seeing Snow

With the warm weather we've had over the last few weeks, the tree outside my window is alive with lovely little white-sprig blooms.  What kind of tree is this again?


And then yesterday and today I've opened my window to little snow flurries whipping around and landing on branches.  Yesterday's melted during the day when it got a little warmer, and today's wasn't enough to stick.  While it is exciting to see some more snow during this not-really-winter Winter, it's not enough for a pretty, snowy wonderland, but just enough to be a nuisance.  Come on, nature.  Work with me, here!


(photos by e.hunt)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Good Laugh and a Long Sleep Are Two of the Best Cures for Anything

Did you all remember to turn back your non-iPhone clocks today?  I happened to take this weekend off of work, and didn't have anywhere to be this morning, so I didn't really have to worry about losing an hour of sleep.  I did sleep in pretty late though, still being exhausted from earlier this weekend.  On Friday I went down to Springfield to catch up with old friends and get out of town for a night.


It was quite fun, as trips down there always are.  We didn't get the 1-3 inches of snow that was predicted to come yesterday; although I did drive through some pretty farmlands with white-blanket roofs and snow-covered tree limbs.  After a little nap, I met up with Mom and Taylor for dinner at one of our local spots, PJ's.  It has simple, dependable bar food.  I always get the YPEC-approved big chicken caesar salad (no cheese), and it's always good.


Right about the time we were finishing up, Dad texted to say he was on the way back from his gig.  So we put our coats on and ventured across the street to another one of our usuals, Amigo's, for another beer and a Mexican meal for Dad.  Happy Daylight Savings Day!

(photos by e.hunt, and collected from rebloggy)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Under the Pale Sunlight

It's March inspiration board time!  I decided to go with pale, dusty pink for this month's mood.  It's trendy, but works well with this beginning-of-spring month.  I've included lots of different shades, but I'm leaning towards the lighter, almost-white version.  I think that's why I like it: not pure white, but not girly pink either.  Which is your favorite shade?




(photos collected from stylistmagazine, parisbytwo, suburbanfauxpas, instagram.com/acolorstory, ladyslider, bleucolette.tumblr, daisy-lemonade.tumblr, pinterest, vivaluxury.blogspot, artinourblood, instagram.com/niceislove, instagram.com/juliahengel, honestlywtf, whowhatwear, dominomagazine, memorandum, and pinterest)

Monday, March 6, 2017

Tell Us About Your Bake

Happy Monday!  And happy March!  Springtime is pretty much here, what with the trees blooming, flowers coming up, and strange storms blowing in out of nowhere.  I took this picture yesterday at work when I was taking the trash out.  The muted greys and whites are pretty, in a somber way.


And then I started playing around on an editing app called Layout.  After duplicating, mirroring, and flipping the image, I came out with some cool Rorschach-looking pictures.




After being sick with headaches and dizziness for the majority of last week, I was finally feeling better over the weekend.  I met up with Mom, Taylor, Debby, and Nana for dinner on Friday night, which was fun.  I hadn't seen Debby or Nana for several weeks so it was nice to catch up.  After that Taylor and I met up with a couple of his friends for a beer.  They've been friends since childhood so I've known them for a long time too.  We spent a good portion of the evening talking about old video games and whatnot, which brought out the nostalgia and was quite fun.

On Saturday I worked a long, stressful shift.  One of the espresso machines broke right in the middle of rush, and the ice machine was down too.  When things break at our store, they all wait until the same weekend so we can't get any of the daily cleaning tasks done.  Thanks, machines.  Anyway, I stopped at Schnucks on the way home for a salad and cookies, came home, watched a little tv, and was in bed by 8:30pm.  It was delightful.

Sunday was another long shift with more machines breaking, but I was off at 1pm and had time to take a nap before heading home for Sunday dinner.  Last week we started watching The Great British Baking Show on Netflix, and Dad tried a little creative baking of his own for dessert!  Look at these luscious baked apples with molten peanut butter on the inside.


After a bite or two I decided that the peanut butter was a little overwhelming and added some chocolate sauce over the top to even out the flavors.  Dad's critique called for bigger apples next time as well.  But in the words of the show, overall it was a marvelous bake!


(photos by e.hunt)

Monday, February 27, 2017

Another World is Possible, But it is Within This One

When I went home for dinner last night, there were a few little gifty's waiting for me.  Mom went to an antique mall over the weekend and found this tiny little dish to add to my Asian corner.


It fits right in with my other landscape plates of the Far East.  And look at my plant!  It has some new little shoots and leaves coming in.  The other item was this awesome surf book that Debby found for me at the bookstore where she works.


It is divided up by country (Norway, New Zealand, etc) and features beautiful photography of the oceans, nature, and surfing.  And because it is an oversized book, the photos jump out even more!  Thanks Debby!

On another apartment update note, I recently got some posterboard to frame my purple print that hangs above the couch.  I had been keeping an eye out for a frame but then realized that part of the appeal of the piece is the texture and matte-look of the paint.  I think this solved the dilemma, really making the colors and design pop, but at the same time allowing the texture to still be appreciated.


(photos by e.hunt)

Like An Afterimage

Happy last few days of February!  Where did this month go?!  I feel like I just started writing 2/__ dates on everything.  Anyway, I hope you all had an enjoyable weekend.  After a couple weeks of springtime 60s and 70s, the temps dropped back down into the 30s.  Good thing I decided against putting all my winter coats away last week!

I worked all weekend: nice, long, 8-hours shifts Friday through Sunday.  On Friday I went home for a delicious chili dinner and then got to enjoy it again as leftovers the following night.  I have spent my evenings watching Season 5 of Game of Thrones.  As expected, things got even worse for our band of Westerosi main characters over the course of the ten episodes.  Now I only have one more season to watch before the new one starts later this spring.


Last night Dad made soup for Sunday dinner.  I don't know if you all have heard, but Antiques Roadshow is coming to St. Louis this summer so we have been brainstorming items that we could bring that would be appealing enough to get us on the show.  There's the old airplane wing, a box of letters and other documents from the Mayor of Kirkwood back in the 1800s, a series of antique books, and these top hats that were made in St. Louis.  Dad and I modeled them for the table.



(photos collected from ew, gameofthrones.wikia, draysbay, laprensa, radiotimes, inquisitr, watchersonthewall, huffpost, popsugar, and by t.hunt)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Everything You Have Seen Here Has Been an Illusion

Good Wednesday afternoon, everyone!  Not too much going on here.  I have a couple days off work so I've just been sleeping in, having leisurely cups of coffee in front of the computer by the window, running a few errands, and trying to do a few sketches here and there.  This one is an idea for my friend Alissa's next tattoo.  She already has the fleur de lis on her inner wrist and wanted to get the famous flying birds image from Le Petit Prince on the same arm.  I thought it'd be cool to connect the two by having the prince jumping off of the fleur de lis.  She texted me a picture of a style that she liked so I just decided to draw it out.


I watched The Illusionist (2006) last night.  Edward Norton (Fight Club, The Italian Job, Moonrise Kingdom) is a turn of the century magician in Vienna.  He has traveled the world picking up tricks and magic, then returns and catches the attention of his childhood friend, the Duchess Sophie, played by Jessica Biel (7th Heaven, Justin Timberlake's wife).  They pick up their forbidden love where they left off, which is even more complicated now as she is intended for the evil Crown Prince, played by the always-a-villain Rufus Sewell (A Knight's Tale, The Legend of Zorro, The Holiday).  Meanwhile, the always-delightful supporting character actor Paul Giamatti (Love & Mercy, John Adams), as the Chief Inspector, is trying to figure out the mystery; not just the magician's mysteries, but the mystery of murder and intrigue within the love-triangle and the Crown Prince's evil plans.


Like most magician movies, it really wants you to question what is real and what is a trick, but this movie doesn't dwell on that.  It's more about the love story.  When it came out in 2006, my friend Katherine and I saw a commercial for a movie about magicians and murder and whatnot and decided we really wanted to see it.  The problem was that neither of us could remember what it was called so when we saw The Illusionist was coming out we just assumed this was it.  When this movie did not match the tone of the commercial, or star Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale, we knew we were wrong.  That movie was called The Prestige, and came out later that year.  Both are good, and are quite different from one another.  Maybe I'll watch that one next.

(photo by e.hunt, and collected from ntesla)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

When the Waterless Waters Rise

I started reading a new book the other night: Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.  In college I read another one by her, The Year of the Flood, and quite enjoyed it.  This one though is her most well-known and acclaimed.  Like The Flood, it is set in a futuristic dystopia, focusing on a woman's experience through the harsh, but at that point regular, reality and everyday life.  Survival is a big theme.


Seventy pages in, I still like The Flood better.  Both are set in totalitarian worlds that don't seem that farfetched, but the way they got there is different in both.  Handmaid hasn't really explained why the world is the way it is yet, but Flood was much more focused on the environmental destruction and sicknesses of humankind.  I remember there being much more detail and imagery in that book, although Handmaid seems a little more closer to our current reality, like it could actually happen in the future.  

Both are well-written and it's nice to be reading again.  Ever since reading books for high school and analyzing them into the ground, I've lost interest in reading books for pleasure.  I've read a few here and there (the Harry Potters, Lord of the Rings, Chocolat, and a couple others), but it's never been an enjoyable hobby like it was when I was growing up.  Maybe this will start a new trend for me.

(photo by e.hunt)