Sunday, September 30, 2012

People Who Clap At The End Of Books.

I love reading, but once school is in session, I don't get as much reading done, unless its for school. This year, I decided to change that. Instead of window shopping on the 'net [as much], I decided to spend part of my free time reading. I'm currently working on The Graveyard Book for Read + Rant, but I recently finished People Who Clap at the End of Books + wanted to share a little bit about it.

The author, Todd Caiazzo, is a friend from high school. We used to sit by each other in a few classes + occasionally have lunch at the red picnic tables on campus. When I heard that Todd had written a book + was donating 100% of the profits to charity [for terminally ill kids], I asked him if he would mind if I reviewed the book for the blog. He happily agreed + sent over a copy of the book for me to read. Before I read it, Todd informed me that it was a compilation of short stories, which were sure to bring a smile to my face. I was really excited to see what my old friend had put together. 

Right off the bat, I was hooked. Todd writes how he speaks - some of these stories actually sound like random conversations we would have had in class, when we should have been doing our math work. Some of the stories that I really got into covered these topics:
- the fact that we eat birthday cake, covered in germs, + don’t think twice about it
- when a couple decides to live together, more pillows start to appear
- the economy downturn + the hobo baby
- pickled egg jars + lava lamps
- conversations in history that never happened [but after reading, you'll wish they had]

I really enjoyed the book, although I am now slightly creeped out by birthday cake, which is probably better for my figure in the end. You can snag the eBook over on iTunes for $1.99. If you prefer the paperback edition, its $7.50 plus shipping via Lulu. As I mentioned earlier, Todd is donating all of the profits to charity, so how can you go wrong? $2 for a book that'll make you laugh, plus the funds will go toward helping terminally ill children. Consider it one of your good deeds for the day. If you've read the book already, let me know what you think!

Sunday Social, Volume Four.

Sunday means it time for another Sunday Social! These questions are accompanied by a plethora of pictures, but I think that makes this post pretty rad. If you want to join, link up here.

01. What do you miss most about being a kid? I miss having my only worries be what games to play with my friends, or what the next song on my mix tape would be. Oh, and the only bills I had to pay then were to buy BOP magazines + pencils for my pencil collection.

I was a stylin' little lady. Everyone looks so 80s, I love it!
02. Did you have a nickname growing up? What was it? My parents called me Mushkatelle. My dad gave us unique nicknames as kids. My brother’s nickname is Finster or Finster Michael [his name is Vincent Michael – yes, that is his first name].

I eventually grew into my ears.

03. What was your favorite thing to do at recess? I recall that I was a fan of the monkey bars + some jungle gym type dome on the playground.

Family wedding - my brother + I were in the bridal party.

04. What did you want to be when you grew up? A teacher or a lawyer.

Visting family upstate. I was OBSESSED with my aunt Pat's Topo Gigio doll.

05. What was your favorite toy? I had a bunch! I was a big fan of Teddy Ruxpin, My Buddy [I got him after I learned how to use the potty, haha] Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony, Glo Worms + Potato Heads. I liked Barbie dolls as well. If my mom reads this, I’m sure she will comment + tell me what my favorite toy was - she probably knows better than I do.

My mom always made us the best Halloween costumes.
06. What is the funniest thing you did as a kid that your parents still remind you about? Hmmm, probably the time my brother pulled the mouth of my Teddy Ruxpin doll + I freaked out [saying I freaked out is an understatement]. Ever since then, I have been scarred for life + have never wanted to let people touch belongings that I hold dear, for fear that they would break them. I feel like there is something far funnier that I am unable to recall. Like I said, I’m sure my mom will remind me.

First name: Sassy. Last name: Pants.

I hope you enjoyed these tidbits + flashbacks. Relax + enjoy the rest of your Sunday! 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

No Doubt's Triumphant Return!

Back in 1995, I was up way past my bedtime + saw the video for a song called, "Just A Girl," by a band called No Doubt. I fell in love, bought the album that the song was off of [Tragic Kingdom] + bought the two albums that had come out years earlier. In fact, No Doubt was the second concert I ever attended. I have seen them a handful of times since then + really love the show they put on. The energy is amazing + you can tell they love being on stage, just jammin' with their friends. The band went on hiatus for a few years + hadn't put out an album of new tunes since 2011, so when I heard they were finally releasing a new album this year, I did a happy dance. No, seriously, I did - Erich looked at me like I had three heads. I'm in love with the latest album, Push + Shove [I downloaded it from Amazon - they have every single No Doubt album on sale for $5.99 right now] + love dancing around to it. The video below is for the single "Settle Down." Watch it, dance around + enjoy!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fall Into Fall.

As you may have noticed, I have been having a lot of fun joining link parties, in order to connect with other bloggers + readers. I noticed something really interesting, called a Fall Into Fall Swap. What happens is that you are paired with another reader + you swap cool autumn related goodies, with a $20 limit. It sounded like something neat to partake in, so I signed up right before registration closed. I was paired with Megan from My Life In Words + was so stoked about my parcel!

Megan got me an awesome notebook, which I am using to track my Etsy + Instagram sales in, a fantastic purple pen [it became my favorite pen as soon as it touched paper], two fun red nail polishes, a pumpkin scented candle, + Halloween stickers. I was so thrilled to see such wonderful goodies! Thanks to Megan for my sweet goodies, + to Neely, Erin + Tracy, for putting together the swap. I'm looking forward to the next one!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Teach Me Something Thursday, Volume Four.

The fourth post in the TMST series comes from my friend, Lauren. She has been making killer nail art for quite some time, + I asked her to create something special for the blog. Lauren is going to teach us how to create an ikat pattern nail art manicure!

This nail art tutorial is for an ikat pattern nail art manicure.  Ikats are patterned textiles and fabrics produced by tying and resist-dying threads before weaving, similar in process to tie-dying.  Ikat nail designs are fun and easy to do and you can use just about any colors.  Also, this mani is great because it doesn't have to be perfect!  This is always a plus, especially when trying to paint your non-dominant hand.  When doing an ikat pattern, I personally prefer to use bright contrasting colors but neutrals will work too.  The options are endless!  

Suggested materials:
ANY brand is fine, but I will tell you which brands and colors I am using for this particular mani
  • Base coat - Seche Clear
  • Top coat - Seche Vite, which is very quick drying and super shiny
  • White nail polish - Sally Hansen Insta-Dry in "Whirlwind White"
  • Black nail striper - Kiss brand Brush-On Nail Art Paint striper  "Black"
  • 2 different colored nail polishes, a base color & an accent - China Glaze "Turned Up Turquoise" as the base color, Sinful Colors "Fusion Neon" as the pink accent color 
  • A clean, small paintbrush or cotton swabs, for cleaning the cuticles afterwards (optional)
  • Nail polish remover (optional)

Before you begin painting your design:
These steps are totally optional, but definitely recommended!
  • Put down some paper towels on your work area, in case of any spills. 
  • Be sure to remove any old nail polish.  
  • Gently file nails into desired shape and remove any deep ridges with a buffer
  • Push back cuticles with a cuticle pusher or orange wood stick and trim if desired.
  • Put down some paper towels on your work area, in case of any spills. 
  • To make things easier to find (and because I'm super neurotic) I always set up my polishes in the order that they will be used.  
  • Apply a base coat to protect from potential staining from color polish; wait for it to dry completely.

Step 1:
Apply 2 coats of the base color and allow to dry.  
It is important to allow all polish to dry before applying a different one over it, otherwise the colors will bleed.

Step 2:
Apply the white polish in an oval-type shape.  It doesn't have to be perfect, just a general oval.
It is better to make the ovals going up and down the nail, instead of across, because you will run out of room.
Try not to keep too much polish on the brush, because you don't want the color to accidentally drip on the nail in a spot that doesn't look good.
Wait for the white to dry.

Step 3:
Apply the accent color over the white ovals.  This can be done any way you'd like.  You can leave more white showing or less, it's up to you! 
Paint the accent color in a similar fashion as the white, not using too much polish on the brush to avoid drips.
For the sake of variety, on some ovals I did a smaller oval-ish blob in the middle, others I did 3 smaller blobs and some I made a C or G shape.
As always, let it dry!

Step 4:
Using the black striper, begin to paint multiple thin lines lengthwise, thus creating a border on the white ovals.
Don't worry if your lines aren't perfect and the same length.. varying and imperfect lines actually look better and more "textured" and fabric-like!
Personally, I found that starting with the longer lines on the side of the ovals was easier to get the desired shape.
The side edge borders can be as thick or thin as you'd like, just paint more or less lines.

Step 5:
Once the 2 longer sides are done, paint shorter lines lengthwise, very close together until you've made lines all the way across the top and bottom.
As in step 4, varying lengths look better than using the same length line over and over.
You can make your end borders as short or long as you'd like, just by painting shorter or longer lines.

Step 6:
Using the black striper again, and in the same manner as the border, paint thin lines lengthwise somewhere in the center of the oval.  
This will create an imperfect center dot.  The center dot can be as big or small as you'd like and it doesn't have to be perfectly centered.
Allow to fully dry, and apply top coat.  

Step 7:
This step is completely optional, but if you are as neurotic as I am, it will help achieve that perfect neat manicure.
You can use either a small paintbrush or cotton swab, dip it in nail polish remover, and use it to erase any excess polish on your cuticles and skin.
Be careful not to use too much remover, otherwise you will risk ruining your design.  If you opt for the brush, be sure to use brushstrokes in the same direction, don't "swish" the brush around, it tends to spread the excess polish rather than remove it.

And that's it!  I hope this tutorial has inspired you to try ikat patterned nail art!

Check out more of Lauren's awesome nail art on Instagram + her brand-new blog, Bad Luck Barbie.

October Advertisement Sale!

For the month of October, I have decided to discount my ad space, seeing as I have such a fierce love for autumn. There are a bunch of awesome Teach Me Something Thursday posts that will be coming up [yes, some will be Halloween-themed], and Sarina + I have a few adventures up our sleeves to show you all. Plus, I will be adventuring once the leaves change, to give my new camera a workout [I need to show you all how beautiful Long Island truly is]. If you have a blog or a store, this is a great way to gain exposure. Each ad comes with special add-ons, so check out the rates on my sponsor page.
All ad space is 25% off, when you use the code autumn. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to email me at michele at shortgirllongisland dot com.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Loving: floral halos by That Madonna Girl. Michelle, who runs TMG, sent me over a few new designs to check out. I'm pretty much in love + spent an hour playing with my hair last weekend [E was not amused, especially when I was doing it when we had someplace to be]. I have to go to my internship after work tomorrow, so I'm trying to figure out what outfit to wear, so I can sport one of my floral halos. :)

Reading: school related things, blogs + The Graveyard Book, for the digital book discussion Sarina started. So far, I’m only a few pages in, but I can tell this is going to be awesome. If you'd like to join Read + Rant, click that link + sign up!

Watching: a whole lot of nothing. The only time I’ve watched anything lately is the television on the elliptical or the treadmill at the gym. Although when I babysat last week, I watched Dolphin Tale, which was pretty cute [based on a true story as well].

Thinking about: the fact that I am going to be thirty + still don’t have a real job. I know, the field I went into is hard to secure a job – that’s why I went straight to grad school [I took a few years off from school in mid-twenties, in order to experience life + figure things out]. Still, I feel pretty useless at times + wonder if all of that time I took to enjoy myself was worth it. Sometimes I think too much, and this is one of those situations. I have also been thinking about what the heck to do for the big 3-0. I told Erich that we should just go bowling, but he said I should do something else, since this is a milestone. I'm totally stuck on this one. Help!

Stressing about: Student teaching in less than a week [again], registering for two state exams [I was under the assumption that it was only one], student loans, work [+ the lack thereof while student teaching], bills, not having health insurance, etc. Basically everything. I know I need to take everything day by day, but when you’re an over thinker who has anxiety, its easier said than done.

Looking forward to: spending the afternoon with one of the littles – we are going to paint her nails, have lunch together, + watch shows [all of these were her ideas]. Part of their birthday presents is to spend an afternoon with me, doing whatever they’d like. After Dom died, I knew that I needed to spend more time with them. I figured having a special day with them, doing what they wanted, could be a special birthday tradition. If anything ever happens to me, I want them to remember that I loved them with all of my heart + have something to reflect back on.

Making me happy: starting up a workout routine again. I fell off the wagon this summer + just got back into it again. I won’t be able to get back into the gym until tomorrow night due to work, internship + school [I wanted to go today, but I dropped a knife on my toe + that threw a wrench in everything I wanted to do today], but being able to zone out + just concentrate on my reps or the captions streaming across the television while I use the elliptical helps. Hopefully, I’ll be able to catch a yoga class this week, because I really need to get my ohm on.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Social, Volume Three.

As you can see, I am really getting into these Sunday Social Posts! As I mentioned last week, if you want to join in on the fun, here is the link-up information.

01. What is something you have wanted to do but are afraid of? I would LOVE to go skydiving, but I have an odd fear of heights. I can go on a plane, but I can't be anywhere out in the open, where I can look down + can possibly fall. I have had the same bizarre nightmare since childhood, where I would be in a mall, on the stairs of the top floor, leaning over a glass partition, then I would fall. Strange, isn't it?
02. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Either writing, teaching, or doing a bit of both. I would love to have a job within the sphere of print media or social media, but I really love being in a special education classroom. 
03. What are you looking forward to before the end of 2012? I'm looking forward to ringing in the big 3-0! I'm also stoked about a ginormous contest that will be running on the blog at the end of the year. 
04. What are your hopes for your blog? I hope that people read it + are inspired to do something - anything, really. Maybe its to start a blog of their own, try a new recipe, or recreate a craft I have done on here. I also hope that this will become a place where people share things. The most recent feature on the blog, Teach Me Something Thursday, has been fantastic. So many bloggers have connected with me to participate. The response from readers has been wonderful, so I hope to keep this feature up for quite some time [if you're reading this, blogger or not, I'd love for you to participate]!
05. Do you always see yourself living in your current town/city? I truly love Long Island, but the cost of living pretty hefty, at least for my wallet at the current moment in time. In all honesty, I can't picture myself living anywhere else. I might venture to another part of the island, but I doubt that I will ever leave this place. 
06. What is your morning routine? Depends on what I am doing + how late I sleep in! My clothes are [almost] always laid out the evening before, so mornings usually consist of a quick shower, brushing my teeth while checking my email, + snagging coffee at work. I am a night owl, so I stay up pretty late doing work. Once I start student teaching, I will have to get up a bit earlier, to make myself "look alive." I rarely wear makeup to work [I don't like having it on my skin daily - personal preference], but a more polished look is expected in the classroom.

Etsy Giveaway!

I have always held contests for other companies, but since I'm running my own now, I decided to host a giveaway with some of the items that will be available in my Etsy store this autumn! There will be a variety of items included - hair accessories, housewares + jewelry. It might be something in the store, or something brand new that hasn't made it there yet. Either way, its going to be fantastic! There is a lot in the works, regarding my creations. Later in the year, certain items will not only be in my store, but other stores as well. That is all I can say for now, but as the launch date gets closer, I will give more hints as to where my wares will be. For now, you can shop over at my store + use the code sgli10 to save 10%!

some of the newest items added to the store.
The contest will run until October 7, and I will be using Rafflecopter to choose a winner. This contest is open to US entrants only. Good luck!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

She's Crafty.

Last night, I created awesome Halloween goodies with my partner in craft, Sarina, and her friend, Marlene. I also learned how to use a sewing machine! You can read about our adventures in crafting over at her blog, Nerd Craft Librarian.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Laughing With Broken Eyes.

This afternoon, I was featured over at Laughing With Broken Eyes for the You Are Perfection series, which ran for the week. I submitted two pieces - one on friendships + blogging, + another about blogging + bodies. Head over to Amber's blog + check out what I had to say.

Words Strung Together.

How is it that September is nearly over? Time seriously flies once autumn hits. I feel like the last month of the summer took forever to come to a close. Now I am insanely busy + running on limited sleep. I was so exhausted after a personal training session the other day, I intended to take a ten minute nap, which turned into a small sleep + I totally missed my internship. This is not like me + it was totally unprofessional. Obviously, my lack of sleep caught up with me. Speaking of training, I'm walking like a weirdo because my calves are hating me from the workout I did on Wednesday. Erich thinks its hilarious when I groan + stumble after I get out of a chair. I, on the other had, think it sucks. But nothing comes easy, so I'm just going to have to suck it up. 

Last night, after hanging new dresses for student teaching in my closet, the bar broke, + all of my dresses came tumbling down. I had waaaaayyy to much stuff on the bar. I started to cry, because I was so frustrated that this happened at midnight, when I wanted to go to sleep. I decided while I was hanging things up, I would go through what I need + what I can afford to get rid of. The things I can afford to get rid of went up on Instagram. I made an additional page, called ClosetShopaholic. I plan on adding more next week, after I pull down the bins we have in the attic. I also have another full closet + drawers at my stepdad's house. I've sold half a dozen items already, which is great, seeing as the store has only been open for 24 hours. 

I babysat two of my favorite littles tonight. I wasn't even in the front door all the way when I was attacked by the best hug ever. He just kept climbing on me - it was so adorable. We colored, did puzzles, + watched Dolphin Tale [which was really cute] after the bebe went to bed. Mr. Kindergarten tried his hardest to stay awake to hang out with Shelly, but he passed out shortly after the movie started.

I should really get into bed, but I feel like I haven't written a real blog in awhile. Erich is sitting next to me, playing Pokemon Pinball on my Game Boy [don't judge, it is pretty awesome], while I write this + struggle to keep my eyes open. I am really stoked for craft night tomorrow, but I really hope I can squeeze a nap in after work. If I get six hours tonight, it'll be a miracle. It takes me forever to fall asleep lately + I wake up at the smallest movement or sound. Or, if my feet get to cold. 

Totally random picture to post, but while we were waiting in line at the grocery store, I saw this + I told Erich to remind me to tell Sarina that we should make cake pops for our Halloween parties [ours are a week apart]. Boy Genius says, "Just take a picture of it." Duh, why didn't I think of that? Oh wait, because I've been a walking zombie all week. I will probably forget to tell her, but I'm sure she'll see it on the blog. Alright, I'm falling asleep as I type this. I hope you all enjoy your Friday + have an excellent weekend ahead of you!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Teach Me Something Thursday, Volume Three.

The third installment of TMST introduces another area I am fond of - clean beauty. Nia, who blogs over at CherryFashion, gives us a great recipe for a nourishing hair mask!

 I love my hair, and I know you do too. So I decided to share a super easy recipe, which you can use to nourish your hair and it can all be done at home. Forget chemicals and spending loads of money on hair masks sold in stores. Forget waiting till your stylist is free and paying him/her for making a hair mask. Go into your kitchen and get a few items, which you can use to get beautiful, healthy hair. If you don't have any of these items (for example coconut milk) just go to your local food store, they should have it.

What you need:
1 Avocado
3 teaspoons Olive oil
1/2 Coconut milk
1 egg
1 tbsp Honey

Making and applying the mask:
1. Mash the avocado in a small bowl.
2. Add the egg and mix it together properly so the egg white and yolk are properly mixed with the avocado.
3. Add all the other ingredients
       Apply this mask on your hair for 30 minutes. You can apply heat to it to let the hair absorb the vitamins and minerals better. Or you can just apply it and leave it on longer if you can. This just gives the mask more time to do it's magic.
Wash it off with warm water and then wash your hair like you normally would.

The effect of the ingredients:
Avocado - It is rich in vitamins and minerals, like all fruits and vegetables. It has been shown to contain pantothenic acid, which is said to reduce gray hair. It is also believed to help in hair growth.
Olive oil -Reduce hair loss and stimulate hair growth.
Coconut milk -It is rich in protein, essential fats and iron. Prevents thinning, stops hair breakage and boosts hair growth.
Eggs -High protein content which can be used to strengthen hair follicles.
Honey -It is a humectant, which adds moisture to your hair.

Overall effect:
Soft, supple, shiny, healthy looking hair.

Check out more of Nia's clean beauty recipes (like this simple face scrub) over at CherryFashion!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Things I'm Loving Lately.

You are graced with another glimpse into what I do the 'net for when I should really be sitting down + doing my graduate school work - window shopping. There is a bit of a perk to it, though, if you decide to get . All of the items I chose can be purchased with a coupon code. So it could be worse, right?

This twisted gold snake necklace is only $36, but it is the closest thing I'll get to this vintage Givenchy choker. For one week, you can get 15% off at Outfit Additions by using the coupon code FALL.

I seriously love Cambridge Satchels. Modcloth is now carrying these handmade bags for $134.99, + is giving $20 off of your first order [coupon linked here].

These Gold Dot Desiree Wedges in Navy are so unique + under $55 over at Karmaloop. They also come in Grey. You can snag 20% off your entire order if you use the rep code ShortGirlLongIsland.

I love high-low dresses. This one from Lulu*s is one of my faves. If you use the code FLORALFUN, you'll save 15% off of your order. They also always order free shipping on orders over $50.

I can't get over these mouse rings. They are the cutest. Oasap is selling these for $8 each. If you use the coupon code SGLI, you will save anywhere from 21% - 35%. The more times you use the coupon, the greater your discount will be. Crazy, right? I'm not complaining though!

If any of you know of great deals that are going on + have coupon codes, comment below to share the deals with other readers. Enjoy the rest of the week - its halfway over already!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Come Together.

The other day, my friend Rachel had posted a picture on Instagram, about a fire in Maine. Apparently, her good friend Kate is reaching out to help her brother, sister-in-law, niece + two nephews. Early in the morning on Sunday, September 16, Patrick MacDonald's sister-in-law woke up to the smell of smoke, and alerted her brother-in-law. At first, he thought it was the neighbors house, and ran outside to get a hose to help. At some point, he realized that it was his home on fire, and made sure he ushered out his family. According to Bangor Daily News, MacDonald tried to put out the fire, but was unable to do so.

For the last six years, this family has poured their hearts + income into making this a wonderful home to raise their three children in. Unfortunately, the MacDonald family has to start from scratch. I asked Kate a bunch of questions, because I knew I had to blog about this. I know that my readers are giving, compassionate people that would jump at the chance to help this family out.

Kate started an indiegogo fundraiser page, to help raise monetary funds for the family. I asked about the children, to make sure that they are taken care of. This has to be devastating for the children, so here is the breakdown. For privacy of children, they will not be named.

Girl, 6 years: Wears size 6X in clothing. She is very upset that she lost all of her Webkinz + loves Barbies + Disney Princesses.
Boy, 3 years: Wears size 3T in clothing. He loves tools, Captain America and Iron Man.
Boy, 5 months: 5+ months in clothing + his mother, Christina, was using cloth diapers for him. 

If you have toys lying around that your kids aren't using anymore, perhaps make a care package with your child + have them create a card for the MacDonald children. Kate tells me they are literally the best little kids in the entire world, so lets help make this easier on them. When I inquired about what grocery stores are in the area, Kate told me that there is a Hannaford and Food City, along with various chain stores in the town of Windham. They also have a Target + Wal-Mart nearby.

Here is the address where gifts + clothing can be sent to:
The MacDonald Family
53 Sweden Rd.
Waterford, ME 04088

If you can't help out monetarily, it is totally understandable. Please do not feel pressured if you cannot afford to do so. The only thing I ask is if you could please post this onto Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram - basically any social media source that you utilize. The more people that see this, the more people that we can round up to help this family. I have never posted about anything like this before, but when I saw it on Instagram, I couldn't turn a blind eye. 

Thank you for taking time to read this, and thank you for passing this along to others. Hopefully, we can all come together + help the MacDonald family out in their time of need.

Sugar Junkie.

I am such a sucker for anything kawaii - have been since I was a youngin'. Some of you might be asking yourself, what the heck is kawaii? It basically translates to "cute" in Japanese. When I came across Pajamie's Sugar Junkie creations, I spent a good twenty minutes drooling over her Etsy shop. One day, she asked if any bloggers would like to review some Sugar Junkie accessories, + I jumped at the chance!

I was sent a plethora of goodies in the cutest wrapping, with an even sweeter card! What you are feasting your eyes on are the Crochet Chocolate Chip Cookie Brooch, Star Lollipop Bracelet, Pastel Strawberry Hand Painted Wooden Heart, and a Pastel Rainbow Valentine Bracelet. Each item is so fun + you can't help but smile when you see them. When I saw the Cookie Brooch, I immediately thought of my favorite little cookie monster, Julia. She would be so excited to have this, so I'm saving this to put in with her Christmas present. The Star Lollipop Bracelet reminds me of Rainbow Brite, which was one of my favorite shows growing up. The Strawberry Heart is really cute + reminds me of Strawberry Shortcake, which was another one of my favorite shows. The Rainbow Valentine Bracelet reminds me of hair accessories I had when I was younger - my hair was down to my behind until I was nine or ten, so my mom was always using super cute barrettes + hair ties to keep my mane in check. 

Once I can justify making purchases again [Erich gives me the evil eye if I even mention shopping - I'm on a budget until further notice], I plan on snagging a Cat Coffee Cozy. It will keep me from wasting sleeves at Starbucks, in turn helping to save trees. I'm torn between the blue + orange [not pictured]. 

When you have a moment, head over to Sugar Junkie + check out some of Pajamie's recent creations. Pajamie also has a really fun blog, which you should swing by as well.

UPDATE: Sugar Junkie has added a coupon, just for the blog! Use the code shortgirl10 and get 10% until Sunday, September 23.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Life After Death.

A few times on the blog, I mentioned how I was reading Life After Death, written by Damien Echols, a man wrongfully imprisoned for eighteen years for a crime he did not commit. I finally finished the book on Sunday afternoon, and had to sit down to write down all that was swirling through my head. 

I first heard of Damien Echols when I saw the documentary, Paradise Lost. He, along with Jason Baldwin + Jessie Misskelley, were accused of murdering three children. I remember watching it really late at night in the basement at my Aunt Lil + Uncle Marc's house - I believe it was the summer after eighth grade. I was flabbergasted at how these individuals, teens expressing themselves through their attire + music, had been pegged for these murders. I remember wearing questionable clothing [it covered my body, don't fret] + listening to Marilyn Manson. My mom would say that Manson was not a good influence - she even blocked MTV from being viewed at her home, because of questionable content [aka Beavis + Butthead]. I would get so frustrated with her reasoning, but being an angst-ridden teen who was attempting to cope with the recent death of her grandfather, I did not handle it with grace. 

I wanted to write these boys, who were a few years older than me, to tell them that I believed they were innocent. To say that I, too, have been misunderstood + called a weirdo, because of how I dressed + what I listened to. But I never wanted to bother them. I figured they received loads of letters from people, stating that they were on their side. Who would want to hear from a thirteen year old kid, anyway?

Over the years, I randomly thought about the gentlemen + would hop on Google to see what was going on with the case [I even wanted to order them books from their Amazon wish lists, but I was afraid the guards wouldn't deliver the parcels]. Eventually, they were released in 2011, with a plea deal that was less than stellar, but to get off of death row - I would have probably done the same thing. When I heard about the West of Memphis documentary, I also caught wind of Damien's memoir, Life After Death. Luckily, I was able to snag an advance copy so I could tell my readers about it.

I don't even know where to start, folks. There is so much that I learned while reading this book. After spending over half of his life on death row, the fact that he made it out intact truly amazes me. He is a fascinating person, someone I could see myself randomly chatting with in a coffee shop about the weather, a book, or music. Not fascinating in a negative sense, or in some freak-show sort of way - I want to clarify that. When you read the text, you will understand what I am getting at, without revealing the contents of the book. I also have such a great respect for Damien's wife, Lorri. My god, what a wonderful + strong woman she is. I can't begin to imagine what the both of them went through [pieces are given through the book, but there is only so much you can put in a book just shy of four hundred pages], but I am so glad they had each other. That's the power of love [yes, that is a Huey Lewis + The News quote, plus my second BTTF reference this week, but hey - it works].

In all seriousness, this book brought out a variety of emotions, as Echols has a way with words + connects with readers on a level I didn't think that was possible. I am kicking myself for never sending letters of support, after reading what Damien experienced throughout the course of his life. Luckily, he received continued support over the years from notable folks such as Peter Jackson, Johnny Depp, Eddie Vedder + Henry Rollins, just to name a few. These people helped shed light onto the case + made sure this wasn't forgotten, that these men would be freed.

Life After Death will be released on Tuesday, September 18. If you'd like to pre-order or purchase for your Kindle, head over to Amazon. If you are going to be in the NYC area on Friday, September 21, there will be a speaking engagement of sorts with Damien Echols + Johnny Depp at the Union Square store. If I didn't have to work that day, I would be there in a heartbeat. If any of you attend the event, please let me know how it went!