What's Making Me Happy

Friday, March 30, 2012

Another week is past and it's on to the weekend!! I'm especially excited to (continue to) celebrate Miss Emilie's birthday with a little hootenanny downtown tomorrow, her first weekend as a 21 year old!  I promise that we won't let her get too out of control Marcia.  In other happy news, I have finally experienced the ultimate New England sport of candle pin bowling... it was so much fun!  I won't tell you that I did very well, (I'm nearly positive my high score was 43) nevertheless, it was a good time.  You can read more about our experience over at Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, & Thyme, as well as see Emilie's review of flatbreads, (the restaurant attached to the bowling alley.)  It was AMAZING!!   Anyhoo, here are some of the happy things I've found this week, hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

*This is how I make all of my food decisions...
Image via: Stumbleupon

*This video from The Girl With Glasses Show is too cute.

*I can't wait to try out Avis' DIY screen printing... I have so many ideas and so many embroidery hoops!
Photo via: Avis Designs

*For all of my fellow Walking Dead fans, buzzfeed did an awesome round up of some of the best memes this season.
Image via: Buzzfeed

*European astronaut Andre Kuipers' flicker stream of photos from space is BEAUTIFUL.  The pieces of earth and space he captures are simply breathtaking.
Images via: Andre Kuipers

*I'm obsessed and so jealous of Jenny's vintage radio collection!  I think this might have to happen in my home...
Image via: Frecklewonder
*I'm not sure if I've talked about dazeychic's pretty prints before, but I'm smitten with them, especially this one...
Image via: dazeychic

* I am totally obsessed with this.  I would like to do it immediately.  PLEASE?

* I've been loving receiving daily emails from 31 Days of Adventure... it completely helps me to rethink my daily tasks.

*I totally love Carmen over at Cheeky Cheeky's sense of humor, her post My Brain On A Diet was SO funny! (And SO true.)

* You all know how much I love NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, especially Glen Weldon.  This week Glen tweeted his recreation of the Hunger Games at work.... too funny!!!

For the love of... dinos

Thursday, March 29, 2012

So I have to tell you guys about this dream I had the other night.  Possibly the greatest dream ever. In this dream, I had a baby T-Rex.  Like a tiny waist high pet T-Rex that I would cuddle and love, and carry around in one of those baby-Bjorn knapsacks.  My T-Rex would love me, and adorably lick my cheek, and snuggle with Monty like those baby puppy you tube videos.  All of my friends were like, "Ashley, you need to take him to a zoo, he's a T-Rex and eventually he'll get bigger and try to eat you..." But I knew better.  (Hello, greatest guard-dog EVER?!?) Then I woke up, saddened by my lack of Tiny the T-Rex.

So what's the point of all this you ask?  Well, I kinda love dinosaurs.  Ever since I was a kid and my mom would teach the dinosaur unit during summer school, I've been totally fascinated by them.  (The brontosaurus and T-Rex are my favorites...naturally!)  Now as an adult, I'm still watching Jurassic Park at least once a month (and sometimes even a little land before time... memories!)  and am totally addicted to buying cute little dino things when I come across them!  Here are a few of my favorites lately!

*This poster from Yellow Heart Art is just sooo cute!
 *I'm kinda obsessed with these dinosaur magnets, I'm wondering if they could be made into coat and bag hooks as well?  They'd be so cute in a kids room.
 * Okay this is the coolest.  In East Germany there is a sort of dinosaur graveyard at the now abandoned amusement park, Kulturpark Pl√§nterwald.  These pictures of the park littered with the "bones" of the dinosaurs are sadly beautiful. 
 *Isn't this tea rex infuser from Modcloth the sweetest thing you've ever seen?
 * Okay, I need this dino mini dress RIGHT NOW.  I'm completely obsessed with minis, and the print?? Swoon.
 *A bicycle built for his tiny T-Rex arms.... so sweet.  From Dark Cycle Clothing
 *T-Rex can't leave the house without his matching satchel....  From Linocutboy.

Tattoosday: Valerie Vargas

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

At my recent tattoo appointment I was chatting up Jamie about some of his favorite tattoo artists and he mentioned the name Valerie Vargas. I hadn’t heard her name before, but after an almost explicit showing of Jamie’s new tattoo by Valerie, (on his upper thigh,) and a quick google search I can see why he loves her, her tattoos are simply beautiful!  I'm smitten.  Vargas (currently tattooing at First Street Tattoos in London) has a classic tattooing style that incorporates LOTS of color, so obviously I love them.  Here are a few of the lovely pieces I’ve come across on the Internet, (what did we do before Google?)  Enjoy!!  

*  A poster drawn by Valerie for the London Tattoo convention.  So pretty, I want to be this girl!
Image via: Tumblr
 * I've never wanted leg tattoos before until I saw these... so lovely.
Image via: Tumblr
 *I have been a huge fan of russian doll tattoos lately, and I love the imagery of the butterflies coming out of them.  How cute would these be peeking out a pair of flats?
Image via: Tumblr
* One of my favorite aspects of Vargas' work is the carnival like themes like this bearded lady.  She's beautiful even with a BEARD. (Beard lovers unite!)
Image via: Ink Butter
*  Even with no color this tattoo is perfection. 
Image via: Ink Butter
* Maybe the prettiest sleeve I've seen.  I want blush like this :)
Image via: Ink Butter

Mad Men: Fashion Inspirations

Monday, March 26, 2012

I don't know about y'all but I'm so excited for the return of Mad Men!  One of my favorite parts of the show is seeing the incredible mid-century fashion and decor featured in every episode, it's simply beautiful.  I love the idea that women used to dress to the nines for every moment of their lives, right down to matching hats & gloves.  It's inspired me to try and be more fancy every day... or at least to not live in jeans t-shirts for the most part.  I'm so excited to see what new fashion inspirations this season has in store as we move towards the mid 60's (last night's mini dresses and bright colors made me swoon!)  To celebrate the series return, here are a few of my favorite fashion moments in the previous seasons and some pretty fashion inspirations from Modcloth that I can't wait to get my hands on!  (Also check out this Rolling Stone Mad Men inspired playlist.... I've been listening to it all day!)

Currently: Sunday Afternoon

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Weather: Chilly and spitting rain... perfect day to stay all snuggled in bed with Monty and a good movie!
Reading: Chuck Palahniuk's Lullaby
Watching: My favorite movie The Shawshank Redemption & tonight's premiere of Mad Men
Listening to: Rainy Day mixes on 8tracks.com... currently on Spring Showers
Playing: Plants vs. Zombies on my iPhone... I'm totally addicted to this game!
Drinking: A big ol' glass of Diet Pepsi!
Enjoying: A lovely little crafternoon working on Emilie's Birthday Scrapbook & my Art Journal
Looking forward to: Little Miss Emilie's 21st birthday & Kaitlin coming into town!

Hope you all are having a lovely little Sunday as well!  It's beginning to look like Spring here in Boston and I'm so looking forward to some fun outdoor projects, road trips, and picnics!  What are some of your favorite Spring activities?

What's Making Me Happy

Friday, March 23, 2012

Here's a little dose of Friday happiness!!

*So, it's been almost an hour since I left the theater and I'm still talking about how freaking good the Hunger Games was.  It's pretty much what's making me the absolute happiest of all this week.  I'm urging you all to immediately go out and see it, it's that good. TEAM PEETA!   In other excitement, I'm obsessed with Cinna's gold eyeliner, going to buy it immediately!
Available at Sephora

* Another one of the beautiful missed connections paintings.  I completely agree with this sentiment.
Sophie Blackall
 *This is SO true.
 *I love this quote
*This acapella clip of Bon Iver singing For Emma, is soooo lovely.

*These watercolor painting of high fashion models are magical.  I want to learn watercolor SO badly!
Cate Parr

 *Speaking of AMAZING paintings, I'm enthralled by these by Pedro Campos.  Painting you say? It looks like a photo.  I KNOW!  They're all oil on canvas.  Beautiful.
Pedro Campos
  * This video made Lauren and I laugh soooo hard.

*The article that inspired my Wednesday post on movie adaptations.... lists the 25 novels that SHOULD be made into a movie... I want to read them all!

*Tumblr pick of the week: White Whine.  Tehehe so funny.

*Ooo and this one too... The Composites.  (Composite sketched based on famous literary characters.)

*Gotcha. You have just been Rick Rolled.

Book Nook: movie adaptations of epic movies...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I don't know about the rest of y'all but I am totally getting pumped up for the release of The Hunger Games this Thursday!  (Thursday you say?!? That's right friends, in one of the first awesome moves that Boston University has made since I graduated, they are having a early showing at 7:30 for alumni here in Boston.  Just a small penance for the obnoxious amount of tuition I paid them.... I digress.)  I've been hearing nothing but great things about the movie, with many saying that it's one of the best film interpretations of a book people have seen. 

Generally when a studio announces that they will be making a film from a novel I can be heard grumbling for months... Hollywood just doesn't always do the best for novels, (I'm talking to you writers for Water for Elephants.  I hate you.)  In a time where Hollywood seems to be grasping at straws for new film ideas, (hello, Battleship the movie? Kill me) it's inevitable that they will eventually turn to our favorite novels for inspiration.  This really got me thinking about some of my favorite film interpretations of various novels, so I figured I'd share just a few of my favorites with you!  Now I have to tell you all, this in no way means that you shouldn't read the book first, it's ALWAYS better, (with the exception for Twilight, just go see the movie,) but if you're just not the reading type, then these movies do a pretty legit job of telling an already wonderful story.

10. Interview with a Vampire
I recently had a friend recommend that I read the novel by author Anne Rice to cleanse my mind of awfulness of the aforementioned Twilight debacle, and I'm so glad she did.  I originally saw the film starring Brad Pitt & Tom Cruise YEARS ago, and it continues to be one of my favorites.  Now having read the novel, the movie did a (surprisingly) excellent job of capturing a darker (and completely sparkling) vampire life.
9. Trainspotting
Both the book, (by author Irvine Welsh) AND the movie are not for the weak of heart.  Danny Boyle's  adaptation of the creepy and often hilarious novel, featuring an incredibly frank portrayal of drug abuse (particularly heroine,) was actually on the list for the 1993 Booker Prize, eventually being rejected because it "offended the sensibilities of two female judges."  Sold. 
 8. Bridget Jones' Diary
Helen Fielding's hilarious novel about the eternally single Bridget Jones was really brought to life by Renee Zellweger's pitch perfect comedic performance.  (And, I would argue, one of her best bits of acting in quite some time.)  With the help of dreamboats like Hugh Grant and Colin Firth, it's one of my favorite guilty pleasures.
7. The Road
I won't lie that at first, Cormac McCarthy's novel The Road wasn't the easiest book for me to start, (it's kinda depressing,) but was one that I became more and more engrossed in page by page.  The 2009 adaptation was not only excellent, (and Viggo Mortensen was perfection,) but really captured the bleak and grimy landscape of the novel.  (Also an honorable mention should go out to No Country for Old Men, which was equally AWESOME.) 
6. Jurassic Park
 As a general rule, I feel that Michael Crichton books just lend themselves to movie adaptations (um, hello...Sphere), but the Jurassic Park franchise was definitely his pinnacle achievement.  I actually read this book after seeing the movie, (at far too young an age might I add, I had nightmares about raptors for weeks,) and was immediately drawn right back into the story.  Any who doesn't love dinosaurs!?!
5. To Kill A Mockingbird
Gregory Peck IS Atticus Finch plain and simple.  I really have no more words.  (Oh yeah, and this book is AWESOME.)  There.
4. High Fidelity
So I was only recently introduced to this book and film by my good friend Kaston, but let me tell you it's such a winner.  Adapted from the novel of the same name by author Nick Hornby and starring the always adorable John Cusack (and Jack Black, exemplifying that he is actually hilarious, Year One be damned,) whose loves lists and records...there's no wonder why I was in love with this adaptation. 
3. Fight Club
I'm a total Chuck Palaniuk superFAN, so naturally I had to include his most recognizable book to film, (adapted by David Fincher.)   I'm not even going to pretend that nearly everyone reading this blog hasn't seen this movie, but this is me urging you to go back, read the book if you haven't then see it again.  Not only was it perfectly cast with Pitt and Norton, (and MEATLOAF, who was surprisingly excellent,) but it came out at the perfect time for my angsty teen heart to devour. 
2. Stand by Me
I'm just going to start by saying that Stephen King is a genius, which is why I simply can't overlook the fact that I could have made a list PURELY out of Stephen King book adaptations.   I chose Stand by Me, adapted from King's novella The Body, simply because it was one of the most moving and beautiful coming of age stories I have ever read/seen.  AND it started my massive childhood crush on the late River Phoenix.  I'm totally going home to watch it again tonight. 
1. The Shawshank Redemption
 Shawshank is the best movie ever.  EVER.  I will fight you on this.  Also adapted from one of King's stories, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, this film proves that perhaps King's strengths really lie not with his more well known horror writing, but instead in the more free-to-adaptation short story.  If you haven't seen it, do yourself the greatest favor of your life and go see it immediately.  You'll be spewing Morgan Freeman quotes in no time. 

Honorable Mentions:  Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Godfather, The Green Mile, The Shining, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, The Help, Memoirs of a Geisha

Tattoosday: Pino Bros, Boston, MA

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

 I can't tell y'all how happy I am with my new tattoo!  It's still in the healing (a.k.a. not very pretty/peeling stage,) but I can already tell that it's exactly what I wanted!  (On a side note, it's amazing how much people touch your shoulder during a day...ouch!)  I was so impressed with my experience at Pino Bros. and with Jamie that I wanted to do a shameless plug for their shop and all of the amazing artists that work there.  I chose a few of my favorite tattoos done at Pino to show you all their amazing talent and range, if you're in the Boston area this is THE place to get new ink done.  They're friendly, funny, and willing to work to create the perfect piece for you.  And if you need someone to come hold your hand, I'm your girl!  (My wonderful friend Lauren sat with me for all 4 hours!) (They also do piercing and the piercer was a riot while I was getting mine done!)  Give these guys (and girl!) a call the second you get an inkling for some new ink!

**Note: All images are c/o Pino Bros**
*Just wanted to brag on Jamie, (the guy who did my tattoo and who'll be doing Lauren's).  He's wonderful!  I'm completely jealous of whoever owns this tattoo, it's the prettiest stained glass tattoo I've seen!
* Two of my favorites from Bob.  I'm in love with the book theme of this sleeve it's so dark and pretty!!

* Most of the photos I've seen of Deirdre's tattoos are so unique, I'm amazed by her technique.  It looks almost like a painting instead of a tattoo!

*Pino's newest apprentice Ken has such a sense of humor in his tattoos, this party horse just makes me smile. 
 *The level of detail and artistry in Kurt's tattoos is UNREAL.  And I love deer tattoos.  (Jonah, this is your hint.  Go Blake Shelton. :)

Thank you Pino Bros. for the wonderful experience and completely AWESOME tattoo!  I can't wait to see you all again soon!