Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wishlist // Birthday Bitch

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8

Today is officially my last day of being 24, and holy shit that means I'll officially have been kicking it for a quarter of a century this time tomorrow. Honestly, I spent most of the last year (and all of my early twenties for that matter) absolutely dreading this birthday, because you know, from the minute I turn 25 I'll be closer to 30 than I'll be to 20 and just the thought of that has sent me into ridiculous fits of existential quarter-life crisis feelings.... and junk.

But now that tomorrow is literally about to creep up on me, I've actually found that it's not bothering me nearly as much as I thought it would. I mean, 25 will be the first year in my adult life that I can finally say, with sincerity, that I have my shit completely together. I have my own house, even if it's rented. I have a good, steady job, even if it's not what I want to do forever. I'm going to school, even though it's mostly online, which kind of sucks. And all the working out I've been doing is finally giving me some semblance of an ass, even though I'll forever wish it were bigger. I could sit and long to be 20 again, but looking back, 20 really freaking sucked. I lived in a shitty apartment in an even shittier area. I was surrounded by equally shitty people pretty much 24/7 between my deadbeat ex, my pathological liar of a first roommate and a handful of "friends" I haven't seen or spoken to since 21. I couldn't get down (legally) on vodka and Redbulls and my car insurance was at least $50 more a month then it is now. So there. 20 can suck it!

Of course, 25 has it's downsides that 20 didn't, but really, it's nothing different than what I had to deal with at 24. There will always be a million things I'd rather spend $300 per month on then my student loan bills (like those shoes up above, *swoons*). When Meg and I go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter next January we'll still look far more ridiculous in our fangurrrling than we would have at 17. The questions about when Zack and I plan to get married (we don't) or when I plan on popping out little cretins (never!) will come just as frequently. Really, this next year is nothing new, except for the whole "I'm starting the year out in a great place" thing. Which I'm equal parts okay and excited with.

I'll be celebrating this weekend with dinner in an old funeral home, copious amounts of hard liquor and a live shadow-cast showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I bought myself the gaudiest, tackiest sequined dress I could find and I'll be rocking my silver wig in style, because goddammit, I can. And at the end of the weekend, I think I'll buy myself something nice, because I'm not the perpetual broke ass I was at 20, 21, 22 or 23, and if I can make it through this birthday without a single breakdown or reversion to my existential nonsense-spewing ways, I'll fucking deserve it.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Dead Man's Bones

Are you in crazy mad lust with Ryan Gosling? Of course you are! Have you been looking for reasons to fall in love just a little more? Your wish is granted, here you go!

If you weren't aware, he was part of a sweet little two-piece band called Dead Man's Bones for a minute back in 2009. He played piano, guitar, bass, cello and sang under the moniker "Baby Goose," and all of their songs sounded like Halloween. They put out one album in collaboration with the Silverlake Conservatory Children's Choir, and I recently picked up a copy on vinyl that's been chilling on repeat in my turntable. It's full of love songs about ghosts and monsters, and I'm surprised to find that so few of his fans are aware that this album exists.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wishlist // Nevermore

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

When I was in elementary school, I used to participate in annual Oral Interpretation competitions and my Nana and I would spend months preparing my entry piece each spring. She'd help me select the poem, monologue or novel excerpt I'd present, and we'd get together every day after school to practice in her kitchen. In third grade, we spent hours rehearsing and rehashing every line in Poe's "The Raven" until I had it memorized in it's entirety. I won first place at Regionals that year, the only time I've ever won first place at anything really, and 16 years later I can still recite 95% of that poem from memory. It's one of my all time favorites, and every time I read or hear it I remember how hard my Nana and I worked together to win that award and how much fun we had preparing for those competitions every year. 

Friday, February 13, 2015


Corset: Orchard Corset // Top: Ross // Pants: SlickBlue via Amazon // Beanie: H&M
Wig: Map of Beauty via Amazon // Necklace and Boots: Hot Topic

As an early birthday present, Meg took me to see Marilyn Manson on Wednesday night. I danced far too hard, drank far too little, almost got in a fight, ran into one of my favorite teachers from high school and spent the night partying it up in a cramped little venue with 3,500 other people. This was my second time seeing Manson live and was a far more intimate experience than when I saw him at Red Rocks two years ago with a crowd of nearly 10,000. There were way less theatrics and he spent a lot more time talking to the crowd between songs, which was pretty spectacular. He skipped on playing "The Golden Age of Grotesque" and "Fight Song" (bummer) but did play "mOBSCENE" "The New Shit" and of course "The Beautiful People," so whatever.

This is the outfit I wore to the show, and I more or less felt like a super villainess every second I spent in those leggings, that wig and my corset. Meg realized I could totally cosplay as Black Cat in this outfit if I just added a mask, which I might do if I end up going to Denver ComiCon this year.

I got loads of compliments on my new silver wig, which I ordered just for the occasion. I was really unhappy with the quality of this wig when I first opened it -- half the tracks were sewn shut so I couldn't adjust the size, the netting was visible through the hair and fraying all over the place and the curls pretty much fell apart the second I put it on. After some quick thinking and chopping about 6 inches off with a pair of kitchen shears, it looked a lot better and I was able to hide the rest of the flaws with my beanie. I'm really bummed because the last wig I ordered from this company was incredible. I doubt I'll get more than another wear or two out of this one, and am not sure that I will purchase another wig from this brand again after having two completely different experiences.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tutorial: Coffin Stiletto Nails

When I saw this cute coffin manicure on Instagram, I thought I'd have a go at doing something similar, and I put together a quick tutorial for you ghoulish gals out there who'd like some creepy coffin claws of your own.

I recently bought this kit of stiletto shaped press-on nails off of Amazon, and holy crap am I impressed! The first time I gave myself a manicure using these, I was able to go 13 full days without breaking a single one! Keep in mind I type 8+ hours a day, so I'm definitely not very gentle on my nails. I'm always happy when I can keep a set on for a full week, let alone nearly two! The kit comes with 500 nails in 10 different sizes, so it's a total steal for $10.00  This is the only set of stiletto-shaped nails I've stumbled across, and I can't recommend them enough. I used these nails to complete this tutorial.

I have my own method for painting and applying press-on nails that probably deserves it's own post, but I'll try my best to show you how I do them in this tutorial. My method provides you with perfectly painted nails that can all be decorated/drawn on with your dominant hand. Huzzah! This means you'll never have one hand that looks fabulous and another that looks atrocious again!

Nail polish: Black, white, red, matte coat and top coat
Scotch tape
5 pens, pencils or nail dotting tools
Nail glue (I recommend this one)
Nail file
Cuticle stick

1. Pick out the nails you need in the appropriate size for each finger (duh). 

2. Roll 10 small pieces of Scotch tape so that they are sticky on both sides and press one onto each end of a curved object, such as a nail dotting tool, pencil or pen. Stick one nail to each piece of Scotch tape, as shown, and press down firmly to make sure they stay in place. This will allow you to paint and embellish the nails much easier and make giving each coat/step time to properly dry a breeze. You'll just peel them off the tape and glue them on when everything's completely dry. Genius, I know. 

3. Paint two coats of black onto each of the nails, allowing the first coat to dry before applying the second. 

4. Apply the matte top coat to each of the ring fingernails. Allow time for it to dry completely. 

5. Draw a coffin shaped outline on each of the ring fingernails. You can do this with a thin brush or dotting tool. 

6. Draw a cross shape using white nail polish in the center of each coffin outline. 

6.5 (Optional) Once the nails are completely dry, flip them over and carefully paint the undersides with the red polish. This way, the red will show above the tips of your fingers. I also clipped off the tips on the ring fingers to give them a more coffin-esque shape like the inspiration nails had. It just gives this manicure something awesome and extra, but it's totally up to you ;)

7. While your press-ons are drying, trim your natural nails and clean up your cuticles. 

8. Rough up your nails a little using the nail file. Be careful not to be too aggressive in filing, you just need a little bit of texture for the glue to adhere to. Trust me, it will make your nails stay a lot longer!

9. Apply a small amount of glue onto one of your pinkie nails. Apply the matching press-on and slide it down so it presses back against your cuticle at the base of your nail. Hold it down for a few seconds to make sure it sticks. Repeat on your other pinkie. 

10. Repeat step 9 until all of your nails are applied, working from your pinkies inward toward your thumbs. 

11. Apply a gloss top coat to all but your ring fingers and you're done!

My nails were super sharp, so I ran a file across the tip of each one just to dull them a bit. Depending on the brand of nails you use, you may need to do this as well if you don't want to poke your own eyes out while putting on eyeliner.

I hope you guys enjoyed this tutorial, and since it was my first, I hope it was easy enough to follow along with. If you have any questions or need clarification on steps, just leave a comment below!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wishlist // Slytherin Pride

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9

Did you guys really need to be told I'm a Slytherin? Probably not, as I feel I'm a pretty solid exemplification of the house's core traits. Cunning? Most definitely. Ambitious? Check. Resourceful? Oh yes. Interested in the Dark Arts? You got it! Though that doesn't count, and that's a pretty seedy stereotype that gives our house a bad rep. 

I've gotten into my fair share of arguments within the fandom about Slytherin being an "evil" house over the years, mostly because Rowling really only chose to showcase terrible people as the face of Slytherin with characters like Voldemort, the Malfoys and Bellatrix Lestrange. Of course, we found out in the end that our dear Half Blood Prince really was a good guy all along during the final book in the series, but that doesn't change the fact we were all led to believe he was basically just a giant, traitorous douchebag for years until you know, he died. And then everyone felt bad for like five seconds before moving on (RIP Never Forget).

RANT! Maybe it's just my house bias showing, but I've always felt that Gryffindor was really the house all the assholes were sent to. Take a look at the Marauders, often regarded as heroes, who spent years ganging up on Snape, engaging in such harmless pranks as sexual assault and attempted murder. Or Hermione, who lured Umbridge straight to a herd of wild centaurs fully knowing what would likely happen to her being well-versed in their mythology. Fred and George nearly killed a Slytherin student after locking him in a vanishing cabinet, which was a total riot to fans. And here's a complete list of reasons everyone's favorite Headmaster is actually a giant jerk. So there. END RANT!

In any event, I put together this nifty little wishlist after spending the past few Friday evenings drinking champagne, knitting house scarves and marathoning the film series with Meg, my favorite Hufflepuff (did you know Slytherin and Hufflepuff are actually the two houses most compatible as friends?) We're currently planning a trip out to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter next winter, and I hope I have all of these things to bring along with me to show off my house pride while getting down on some butterbeer and chocolate frogs. I totally cheated a little bit by adding the Tom Felton shirt to this wishlist... because I already bought it! It was a limited edition thing Tom designed himself for charity, and it should actually be arriving on my doorstep this week (via owl post, I wish!). My friend Dominique ordered one too, so we'll be twinning it up at this week's staff meeting like the complete dorks we truly are. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Stitch + Bitch Feminist Book Club // February

I never got around to posting a recap of last month's Stitch + Bitch book club meeting, but it was absolutely fantastic! We had 12 ladies and a gentleman crowded into my tiny little living room with needles in hand, which was a much better turnout than I could have ever hoped for. Despite everyone in the group pretty much hating the book we read, we had some really incredible and productive discussions and I can't wait to get everyone together for this month's meeting! Once again, we'll be Skyping or Facetiming anyone who can't attend in person, so if you want in be sure to email me your info to Don't be shy ;) 

If this is your first time stumbling across my blog or you missed the first book club post, you can check it out here to see what it's all about. 

For February, we'll be reading "Female Chauvinist Pigs" by Ariel Levy. We're taking turns selecting books for us to read, and this book was recommended by Meaghan, a friend of Zack's I'm thrilled to have in the group. I just ordered my copy on Amazon, and we'll be using the discussion guide that's included in the book as an outline for the meeting.

This month's meet-up will be held on Saturday, February 28th 2015 from 3PM-5PM MST.

I'll be continuing to work on my Harry Potter house scarf during the meeting, using this pattern with a few adjustments I've made after working on it for about three weeks now.

For people attending in person, we're offering knitting lessons before the meetup, but for those of you far away, I'd be happy to share my favorite Youtube tutorials and beginners patterns so you can get started! I learned to knit from video tutorials, so I promise you can too!

Happy reading! :D
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