June 26, 2009

I found a panda!

This fabulous statue was accenting the downtown sidewalk of Sioux Falls, SD.
Thanks to my uncle for stopping in the middle of traffic for me.

My Cat Brings Me Joy

Jasper's First Photo Shoot

I love my cat. I can't have a dog, so I have trained my cat to act like a dog. I am a bad trainer. He is smart. He knows my schedule better than my own mother. When I open the door to my abode he darts between my legs in a mad dash for the hallway. I (he just ran over my head)think he might be lonely, so I have been contemplating another adoption. The only thing I am fearful of is that I'll be classified as a cat-lady. I haven't reached crazy status, but I certainly don't want to be that person. You know, the one that has more cat hair on her pants than on her own head. Yeah, that one.

I need blog inspiration

I can't think of anything entertaining to blog about. Do you want to share some inspiration with me? I'd much appreciate it.

June 17, 2009

Pronto Pups

I miss the long standing family tradition of eating as many Pronto Pups as the stomach can handle during summer vacations in Grand Haven, Michigan.
On top of juggling a few too many pups in your hands you can enjoy this beautiful area with a walk on the pier. There is nothing comparable to the fresh lake breeze either.
Pronto Pups are these tasty deep fried dogs that come either naked or with ketchup or mustard. That is it. Whoever came up with this concept 61 years ago is genius.
Whoever wishes to join on my Pronto Pup run, please let me know. It will entirely be worth our time.
For further info visit their website: http://grandhavenprontopup.com/

Now, if you can't make it to Grand Haven, you could certainly try making these at home. If you do, I need to know how they turn out.

2 beaten eggs
1 1/2-2 c. milk
1 c. corn meal
2 c. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 c. sugar
24 wieners

Combine eggs and milk; add dry ingredients to form batter. Heat wieners in boiling water; dry. Insert wooden meat skewer into each wiener. Dip wiener into batter, fry in deep oil at 375 degrees. Yield 12 servings.

June 2, 2009

Des Moines Farmers' Market

Welcome to 342L: Laboratory in Basic Visual Principles.

I am currently taking a couple of summer classes, so I chose to finally take subjects that peaked my interest. My first creative project is a 16X20" poster for the Des Moines, Iowa Farmers' Market. If you are interested in ever visiting the midwest, farmers' markets are about as Iowa as one can get.

An Oldie But Goodie

Think back at least a decade. How inviting while at the same time overwhelming was the cosmetics aisle of Walgreens or Target? Remember when it was okay to buy your makeup at the grocery store? How long has it been since your first experience with make-up? Most likely you were like me, completely oblivious to style. Purple cream eye shadow (not the tasteful type), too orange of foundation, hot pink gloss and cheap mascara.
Cheap mascara you say? Of course. I have long since forgotten the days of purchasing cosmetics from the array of choices in the beauty aisles, but last night I ventured up and down the aisles of the local Target in search of something special. What I found was better than I could have expected. You all remember the plush pink tube of mascara with the neon green lid? That is right. Maybelline Great Lash Mascara. America's #1 selling mascara, according to Maybelline.com. Oh, this little tube of $3.99 goodness has made this make-up aficionado very happy. I forget how wonderful simplicity is. At first the wand felt too tiny. Compared to the other mascaras I have been using, the brush was a tad on the limp side. Since I typically pay upwards of $14.o0 for a tube of black goo that inevitably ends up boring me within weeks, I've tried a lot. For the most part I haven't been as pleased as I feel I should be with such an expensive splurge. Not so with this little gem. I opened the tub up this morning.

Now for the tru e test. I've always been leery of waterproof anything on my face, but since it is raining in Ames today I a m going to give this bad boy a go. I think I am going to be pleasantly pleased.

May 29, 2009

Animals in Space

This monkey looks either pissed or incredibly sad. Sad monkey.

While I was listening to NPR yesterday a very interesting piece on animals in space peaked my interest. Then I got to thinking. If one of these animal filled ships landed in some distant galaxy and its inhabitants opened the hatch and out flew this monkey, what would they think?

May 26, 2009

Swine Flu Pandemic

The news media certainly sensationalized the swine flu. What received breaking 24-hour news coverage has definitely lost its momentum even though the number of cases globally continues to grow. In fact, Iowa had 72 confirmed cases as of May 21, 2009. One poor Freshman even had to be sent away from campus after contracting the flu during a weekend trip home.

As I was heading home from class today on the commuter bus I was fortunate enough to witness the widespread fear of infection. Several Asian students, obviously new to campus, boarded the bus wearing face masks. It was such a bizarre sight. When one sat next to me, I was more terrified of him than he probably was of me. All I could think of was: AVIAN FLU.

Well, I will definitely be bringing my camera with me tomorrow. This is a culture shock in my own backyard, and I would be mindless not to document it.

Shopping Cart Sins

After a so-so day of class I decided to run into the local grocery for a few items. I attempt to avoid the grocery store during peak hours and on certain days of the week. I should have stuck to my guts on this.

What should have been a quick trip turned into a life or death expedition between myself and altered wire carts.

Everyone thought the shopping carts with the plastic vehicles attached were cute. I even thought it was a clever idea. It was one of those, "Why didn't I think of that?" moments. Not so much today. I found myself trapped on several occasions by the same two creature carts in every aisle I needed something! The pushers of these contraptions need to sign some sort of etiquette waiver. Pushing those enormous carts is a privilege. I was trapped in the cereal aisle from both ends. To make matters worse the passengers in these vessels were snotty, small and making awful noises. I'm so aggravated. I feel like avoiding the grocery store indefinitely, except those darn carts are EVERYWHERE!

May 21, 2009

Recession Me Beautiful

I was visiting Sephora.com as I do on a regular basis and must say that Fekkai Salon Color has me seriously contemplating an at home dye job. I have tried this only once before with horrendous results. I picked the wrong shade and the process made my already damaged hair go into intensive care. I went from a bubbly brown to a gothic black in a matter of minutes. It was terrible. I still ended up spending over $100 trying to undo the damage.

This Fekkai Salon Color claims to give the user salon quality results at home. The price tag: $30. I want to try this... but it isn't like I can return it if I am not happy with the color. Other users have given it excellent results.

What do you think? Do I dare?

May 20, 2009

Sweet Dreams

RĂªves doux

Sweet dreams are created in beautiful bedrooms. My current style began as something Middle Eastern meets thrift store finds and has snowballed into a conglomeration of impulsiveness. As my iridescent plum and pink quilt slowly becomes more threadbare and my cheetah sheets scare me from sleeping on them, I have begun creating a new bedroom ambiance. This is what I have come up with thus far.
I stopped at Target this afternoon and purchased the kissing pleats comforter, and I am not sure I love it so much in person. It is laying on my bed and every few minutes I check on it to see if I like it any better or not. It actually feels kind of cheap, which isn't usually how Target does things. I'm dissapointed. I think I'll be returning it as I continue the hunt for beautiful bedding.

I Hope...

Eye Hope

Philosophy's newest eye cream lives up to its claims. According to Philosophy.com, Eye Hope delivers clinically proven results in six weeks. The cream is a true multi-tasker as it claims to address just about every eye concern I have spent hours staring at in the mirror (over my lifetime): darkness, puffiness and fine lines. As soon as this bad boy arrives I plan on keeping everyone who will listen updated on the results.

  • Plus, I restocked my Hope in a Jar and splurged on Beach Party body wash. As a thank you for my patronage I also got a FREE gift!

May 10, 2009

Breaking down from boredom

I am thrilled that the Spring Semester is officially over!
I now have an entire week ahead of me with no major commitments! What is a girl to do?
Here is what I have been thinking:
  • It has started to warm up in Ames. Therefore, I feel that dress shopping is necessary.
  • I may order something brand-new and exciting from Sephora (Eye Hope by Philosophy).
  • I also plan on reading a book just for fun. I am going to try to get a A Lion Named Christian from the library. I am total pushover for animals.

Speaking of animals, I adopted Jasper a few weeks back. He has adjusted too well. He is taking over my apartment! Between bouts of hysteria he is slowly playing a lethal game of tic tac toe with my hands. He shows my three-year old bamboo plant no mercy, and as if that isn't enough he eats like a little pig.
I love him.

April 22, 2009

Pioneer of the Nile

The Drama of the Derby

We are down to the final 11 days until the KY Derby. My lovely pals at Steak & Cakes and Mass for Shut-Ins host the annual derby party. Who knows what sort of memories will be made this year. I've got my eyes on Pioneer of the Nile. All of you who know the reference to the Egyptian toodle know this must be fate of some sort.

As for the ever important question: Do you pick a hat and then your dress or does the dress come first with a hat to match afterwards? Decisions. Last year I waited too long for a fabulous hat, so this year I've splurged on a fine hat fit for church (if I make it on the Sunday after Derby). My hat reminds me of Kate Winslet's character, Rose, from Titanic right before she boards the ship. "It's been 84 years, and I can still smell the fresh paint. The china had never been used. The sheets had never been slept in. Titanic was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really was." Cheers!

April 20, 2009

I think I'm finally ready for summer

Bring on the bronze! I am a fan of self tanners, and Clinique has an amazing addition to the self sun line. OPI launched their summer shade collection - South Beach. I can't help but love this shade called I'm Feelin' Hot Hot Hot. This gold tote is from Felix Ray for Target's collection. She has a fun coral on straw clutch available that I'm also particularly fond of.

I splurged on Estee Lauder's summer fragrance, Bronze Goddess. I evenly mist all my pulse points for an aroma that reminds anyone around me that somewhere there is a pristine private beach (Esmee Island, perhaps?) with a cabana boy named Pedro waiting to massage oil on their backs and never let their cocktail go two sips below full. With base notes of amber, sandalwood, vetiver, caramel and coconut cream this fragrance is sure to become a summer staple.
In reality, the closest thing to public and water that you'll find me is floating on the mighty Mississippi while praying that a dead something doesn't touch my legs.

Aren't these sandals from Miss Trish for Target enough to evoke summer, too? Next pay day I will splurge. The only place I plan on wearing these bad boys is my apartment, but its about my happiness afterall.

March 27, 2009

Meet Jasper

I am now a proud cat parent. I shall call him Jasper. He is approximately nine months old, soft as bunny fur and currently hiding under my bed. No amount of coaxing it working, not even ice cream! We went to the vet as soon as we left the shelter. Everything is okay, but I have to collect a stool sample, and I haven't seen one yet... That, by the way, will make for a fantastic post. Welcome the little guy to his new abode.

March 19, 2009

San Antonio

Don't Mess With Texas

I arrived in San Antonio on Tuesday. Since my trip began I've visited a wild animal park. A zebra stuck its head in my sister's Jeep for kiblet. We also witnessed the demise of abusive ostriches. If it wasn't for ranch hands keeping them under control, I'm quite confident a small child would have lost a finger.

Today, we went to the Alamo. It isn't what I thought it would be. Although it is impressive for what it is, I was expecting something on a more massive scale. We took the tourist trolley to Market Square where we had the most amazing lunch. The wait of 45 minutes was completely worth it. We also toured a Mexi-Mart. Apparently the hot import at the moment are wrestling masks. I'm unsure how I feel about this trend. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Last, but not least I was waiting in the check-out with my mom and sister when I looked down and saw this reptile in the cart. I thought it was fake until it winked at me. Amazing. You don't see this every day.

February 22, 2009

DKNY & Barbie

DKNY has added a new version to its Be Delicious line! This fragrance is Fresh Bloom. Apparently there is a scent sample in the March 2009 issue of Glamour. I can't wait to give this a whiff. I've always liked more fruity citrus scents, but the DKNY Be Delicious has always been a personal favorite. Since I just used up my last bottle I've got a tough decision ahead of me. Do I Be Delicious or Be Delicious Fresh Bloom?
According to Sephora, this fragrance has notes of grapefruit, cassis, apricot, muget, rose, jasmine, apple, blond wooods, and smooth skin accord (whatever that is). Its style is bright, alluring, and sophisticated.

Perfect. I aspire to be all three.

Now, on to one more somewhat entertaining thought. Who didn't have a Barbie growing up? I had an insane Barbie family with dolls ranging from Kelly, Skipper, Stacie to a knock off with chopped hair that the neighbor girl dubbed Shanae O'Connor. Well, as Barbie celebrates her fabulous fiftieth, she helped to inspire fashion icons like Bob Mackie, Calvin Klein, Christian Louboutin, Betsey Johnson and Vera Wang at the 2009 Mercedes Benz Fasion Week. If you have a chance to watch the show featuring fifty well known designers know it will be worth your time. Barbie Loves Stila is also available at Sephora. Four sets featuring Ponytail Barbie (1959 - this is the one that started it all ladies), Malibu Barbie (1971), Foxy Barbie (1980), and Jewel Barbie (2000 - this looks like a Britney Spears knock-off). Which one do you choose? I like the classic Ponytail Barbie, but Malibu Barbie is just too fun.

Party Planning vs. Homework

Greetings on this lovely Sunday evening. I started to watch the Oscars, but as soon as Hugh Jackman failed miserably at being funny I had to forgo the fashion and film for a healthy dose of C.O.P.S. In fact, a dude just got picked up for soliciting an undercover prostitute. I bet his wife is going to be mad.
I spent this weekend Goodwill, Salvation, and antique mall shopping with my lovely mother who had come to visit me in Ames this weekend. I discovered an amazing antique mall in downtown Ames with three levels of all sorts of beautiful relics from the past. I can't wait to go back and browse. I found a few pieces of vintage jewelery that I absolutely don't think I can live without. My mom and I were in search of inexpensive crystal, lace, and other baubles to accent a party I am hosting for one of my co-workers. The theme is soft pinks accented with a touch of Victorian elegance, on a budget. Here is a sample of what I've come up with so far. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

February 17, 2009


Meet Leo!
I am cat sitting this creature for my friends this week. One minute Leo is like a mogwai, and the next she is like a vampire cat. Yes, she has alrady bit me. She defenitely has a slight cat-titude. Yikes! I just couldn't resist.
The fastest way to this feline's heart is through salmon snacks. Yummy, salmon.

February 10, 2009

A Wake for Fred and His Friend, Fish Doe

The neighbor ladies' purchased two glow-in-the dark gold fish. Unfortunately, the lil' guys didn't make it. In honor of the lost souls we toasted to their short, twenty minute existence. While the neighbor ladies return the fish for a frog I'm settled in for another episode of my favorite show, Nip Tuck, while I await their return. I can't wait to meet the new addition.

February 5, 2009


Five years ago today, I lost my best friend. What a miserable memory. I can honestly say that I have not been the same since.
Shade. She came from a less than savory breeder somewhere north of Iowa. She was shipped via an airplane and became another member of our family. Her hunting days eventually came to a halt after an especially difficult season. Once she officially retired, Shade became my best friend. She slept on my bed. The softness of my ears soothed my bad days. She was intense in her loyalty towards me. She loved nothing more than being with me. She was my constant companion. She was my shadow.
Her favorite task was retrieving, stick mostly. She'd roll in dirt and lay in the sun. When it was time for her to be heard she'd softly yip. It sounded like water dripping from a faucet.
Shade developed bone cancer. My dad brought her to Ames, Iowa to be treated by the veterinary staff at I.S.U. Since treatment would only endure the inevitable, I ended up spending the next three months as close to my companion as possible.
The one evening my friend finally talked me into going out with her was the last night I could have spent with Shade. Instead I went to a sleep over and upon returning home the following morning had to hear that a difficult decision had been made. Our veterinarian was going to wait for our family after his office closed. On the ride to his office, I sat with Shade's head on my lap. Stroking her ears, tears welled up in my eyes and my chin quivered. Her passing has been the saddest memory in my life. I've never witnessed life slip away, so easily.
Today, I can only vaguely remember how happy she made me. I know the feeling was there, and I can't say I have felt something as strong as it since.

The Rainbow Bridge poem is meant to give our beloved friends a safe place to wait for us.
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

January 31, 2009

Snacking in the Stacks

I made it! I am officially in the library ON A SATURDAY! It really took a lot of effort, and a trip to Target to check out their Garden Party that I saw on Steak & Cake's Blog before I was really ready to deal with my educational commitments.
Everything from the collection was very floral and feminine. It inspires springtime feelings of warmth, blooms and happiness. Since I was on the prowl for some gift wrapping inspiration I discovered that this line even extends into the stationary department. If anyone has a birthday, shower, wedding or they just want to give a pretty little something to someone they love, check it out. I actually ended up picking out a gift bag with matching tissue.

I'm popping M&Ms since I just spent $175.00 on an Economics textbook.
Page one already has me confused.

Sigh. Ladies, you all enjoy whatever wonderful adventures Saturday has in store for you. I'll be thinking of you.

January 30, 2009


I'm proud to be a Cyclone. I'm even more proud to know I am attending class with students like A. Merchant. Thank God for honesty.

I just had to share this response to a question posed by Iowa State Daily staff writers.
Question: What have you done in the dorms that you wouldn't have done if you had known a camera was near by?

Enough said on this topic.