Friday, August 29, 2014

Life Lately...


I've decided to keep doing these little "Life Lately" Instagram updates :D Recently, a blog friend told me "you're a lifestyle blogger that doesn't really write about yourself." I'm not sure if I agree with that (this blog is about all the things I like, after all, hahah), but I sort of see what she meant. I often write about something I like, read, played, whatever, but I don't really write long posts like, "I did XYZ, here's pictures documenting the whole day." That is partly because I'm lazy, and partly because I never remember to take pictures until it's too late. If I'm lucky I'll remember to take one, and it ends up on Instagram. Oops. I guess those will have to do for now :)


Recently I ate my first DEEP FRIED OREO'S! I almost hate to say so, but they were seriously amazing. In my town there's a yearly Tomato Festival, and like any festival there's terrible-for-you deep fried everything. The theatre I work at happens to be on the same street as the festival, and at the theatre we were still running performances of The Who's Tommy. I had two hours off in between shows that day, so Andrew, a friend and I ventured out to the festival for some lunch (yes, I had more than fried Oreo's for lunch).

Pineapples

I am SO in love with my new pineapple bunting! I asked my mom to make me one after I saw the tutorial on the By Hand London blog. She's the best! It's hanging in my living room above my couch! I hope it's not weird to keep pineapples on your wall all year round, because that's exactly what I plan to do.

LEGO

Playing Saints Row and drinking chamomile tea out of my favorite LEGO mug :) I don't actually like chamomile tea very much, but I was out green, peppermint AND yerba mate. All I had was the chamomile tea that I bought for Andrew and he never drank (seriously, why do men do that?!)

Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan! On Saturday I was able to go to my families house for the first time in (or felt like) forever. My brothers and I played Catan twice, and I lost both times, hahah.

Klondike

Earlier today I ate my first ever Klondike bar! How weird is that? Hahah. I was lucky enough to be invited to Influenster's Ice Cream Stock Up campaign, so they sent me a coupon to get a whole box of Klondike for free! I saw that they also make Oreo Klondike bars, which I was SO close to getting, but decided to go with the original, since I hadn't tried one before. I'm happy to report that they did not disappoint!

Yay! What have you been up to lately?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Aquaman Inspiration!

I love Aquaman. He's my favorite superhero! It's an unpopular opinion, but I'm learning to be ok with that ;) I know it's still two months away, but I've decided that this year I'm finally going to be Aquaman for Halloween. I wanted to start gathering things early, so I'll have plenty of time to find what I'm looking for at a price I can afford. I'm usually a huge procrastinator, and every year I want to wear a costume but end up not doing it because I didn't give myself enough time. I'm keeping things simple, and will be emulating the original Aquaman.

Aquaman comic cover
Yeah, I've got some squats to do.

While the costume is pretty basic, I've still found myself looking for outfit inspiration. I'm finally learning how to use Pinterest, and I've been finding some pretty fun stuff! I started an Aquaman board and have been collecting images, whether or not I plan to use them in my costume. I just like 'em :)

aquaman nail art
Source!

Aaah! I love these Aquaman nails. My nail art skills are pretty terrible, unfortunately. I might just paint them orange and green and call it a day.

Source!

How badass is Medieval Aquaman?! My costume will be the furthest thing from this, but I still find it super amazing. I wonder how long that took him? His gloves are my favorite part, but really the whole thing is awesome.

Aquaman Casual Cosplay
Source!

I like the idea of simply wearing an Aquaman inspired outfit, without it necessarily being a costume. That way I can Aquaman WHENEVER I WANT. I even have pants just like those! I really like the sea creature jewelry. I have some earrings which I'll be wearing with mine! One is a pair of jellyfish, which is also my favorite pair, and from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The other is this pair of fish earrings from Betsey Johnson. I'll probably end up wearing the fish, because while I love my jellyfish, the fish are bolder and more blatantly saying "HI I'M WEARING FISH ON MY EARS! GET IT?!" Hahah.


One of my favorite bloggers, Cazz from Nerd Burger, dressed as Aquaman last year! I like that her outfit is pretty casual, but it still has some really specific Aquaman elements in it, like her gloves with fins on them! I found the same green scale leggings on Amazon, and I'm thinking about getting them. I already ordered the top I'll be wearing though, which has the scale print on it. I'm not sure if I want to wear scales on top AND bottom. Things like this is one of the reason I'm starting early, hahah. I also love her shoes! It looks like she just got a pair of white slide on shoes and painted them.

Aquaman Big Bang Theory Raj

...and then there was that time on Big Bang Theory, when Raj was forced into being Aquaman so they could have a complete Justice League cosplay group. He even has Storm, Aquaman's trusty seahorse. #winning

Monday, August 25, 2014

Read Play Blog!


Hey friends! I recently learned about this awesome blog meme (from Katherine, who is amazing). Read Play Blog is a monthly video game meme/discussion that goes live on the 16th of every month. It's hosted on Happy Indulgence Books and Read Me Away, who are both book bloggers who play games! That makes me smile :) Since I only learned about it this week my post is a little late, but I couldn't resist joining in on the fun. Every month there's a new gaming-related question to answer, and you also share one game recommendation, and what game you're currently playing. Let's get to it!

What's your favorite gaming genre?

I can't choose just one, I really can't. My favorite games aren't even in the same genre! I just don't know. Even when I was working at Gamestop and was borrowing different games all.the.time - I was never able to decide on a favorite genre. I have to pick a few, and they are action-adventure, hack and slash (sue me), and action RPG. While it isn't a genre, one common thread between all my favorite games is that they don't take themselves too seriously. I don't like horror games or anything too dreary. I like games that are witty, clever, and can make me laugh.


I'm still (and may forever be) on a huge Saints Row kick. Some people might say it doesn't take itself seriously enough, but whatever. I've already written about this game a handful of times, which you can check out right here if you like. Saints Row > Grand Theft Auto.

My Recommendation - The Stanley Parable

"The Stanley Parable is a first person exploration game. You will play as Stanley, and you will not play as Stanley. You will follow a story, you will not follow a story. You will have a choice, you will have no choice. The game will end, the game will never end. Contradiction follows contradiction, the rules of how games should work are broken, then broken again. This world was not made for you to understand. But as you explore, slowly, meaning begins to arise, the paradoxes might start to make sense, perhaps you are powerful after all. The game is not here to fight you; it is inviting you to dance."


It's hard to explain this game, because it's so many things all at the same time. The narration is my favorite part, as it's incredibly witty and fun. It's a weird game to play at first. You play as this guy, Stanley (or are you?), and you show up to your mundane office job to find that no one is there and the place has been ransacked. What happens next is entirely up to you. There are many different endings to this game, and they range from hilarious, weird, confusing, sad and downright terrifying. Do me a favor and watch the trailer:



Currently Playing


Right now I'm actually not playing anything super in-depth. I've been playing Hearthstone matches here and there, and sometimes I'll hop on Saints Row IV when Andrew isn't home (it runs better on his computer, hah)! I plan to start playing Thomas Was Alone again soon, because it has an expansion now! It is the most heartfelt yet frustrating game about jumping squares that you will ever play. I also really like the music :)

YOU ARE IMPORTANT, THOMAS! #SobsUncontrollably

So that's it for this month. I really love talking about games, but sometimes I don't know what to say. I think I like Read Play Blog because I can blab about games, but with guidelines to help keep me on track and motivated ;)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Brickify Yourself!

Today, while procrastinating and reading Buzzfeed articles (like ya do), I came across this little Brickify Yourself app! Since Lego's are the best, I had to give it a go. Then, because I was really procrastinating, I decided to come write about it on the internet. #productive

I started off with the first selfie I found floating around my picture folder...

Brickify Yourself
High fashion.

I like the way my lumberjack shirt turned out. If you click to enlarge the image you can actually see the Lego brick bumps! I had to shrink it down so it'd fit in this blog layout, hahah.

Next, I tried this picture of Andrew and I that I'm currently using as my Facebook profile picture...

Brickify Yourself
D'aw.

I like how Andrew's "Joseph" shirt just turned into a rainbow blob.

Finally, I decided to be really meta about the whole thing, and used this picture of my brother and I taken at Legoland...

Brickify Yourself
Lol wut.

...but that one didn't really work out. I mean, I can tell what it is, but if I hadn't already seen it before (and if there wasn't a comparison image), I wouldn't know what was going on here. Oh, well.

Alright, I guess I'll go do some real work now. If you're not busy (or maybe even if you are), go brickify yourself! I'm curious to see how your images come out, so feel free to link them here, tag me in them, anything! I'm always looking for more ways to procrastinate.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Buy for Good: Unlock Hope

Today I'm back with another post in the Buy for Good series, and I'm really excited to share it with you :) I think this might be my favorite one so far, but as I've been so busy, I've had to put off writing about it for weeks. Sigh. So, today we're talking about a company called Unlock Hope!

Unlock Hope Uganda

"In Uganda, young girls aren't given the same chances as boys.  Without access to education they often marry young, have large families that they are unable to care for, and are forced to work difficult jobs for very little pay.  We believe educating these girls is the first step in ending a seemingly never ending cycle of poverty in Africa.  Help us Unlock Hope in their lives for a better future." - unlockhope.com

So what's up with the key? In Uganda many children wear a key around their neck, which unlocks a box that holds all of their belongings. When you wear an Unlock Hope necklace you can think of all the girls in Africa who are wearing theirs, and be reminded of the difference you're making!

Unlock Hope Uganda

"To unlock something means to make something previously in-accessible available for use. Hope is defined as a desire of good accompanied with a belief that is is obtainable. To a young refugee in Uganda hope is an education. We want to remove every roadblock in their way and make sure they can receive the education that will give them hope for a future. While we will continue to provide food, we will also provide assistance with housing, utilities, staff, medical expenses, clothing, educational expenses, and more through the sales of our products. Your purchases will support these girls in every aspect of their lives." - unlockhope.com

Unlock Hope Uganda

As I was unwrapping my necklace, I was surprised to also find this little patch! In Uganda, children are required to wear a patch on their school uniform, which has a crest signifying which school they attend. Unlock Hope also makes t-shirts, and this design that they often use is based on one of those crests. Each school has a motto, so they borrowed one that says "Be known for good work." Sounds good to me! I'd love to put this patch on something, but I haven't decided what. I don't have one, but I think it'd look really nice on a denim jacket.

Unlock Hope Uganda

I really love wearing my key necklace :) Most people don't know what it is, and sometimes they'll ask me why I'm wearing a key around my neck, or sometimes they'll say "What's wrong with that key?" Hahah. I use these questions as an invitatian talk to them about what it really means (I keep it short, because I don't want to be that person, but you know).

I'd love to hear what you think! If necklaces aren't your thing, maybe check out their selection of shirts? This one's my favorite, and I'm sure you'd look awesome in it ;)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Life Lately...

Hi friends!

It's entirely possible that I'm the only one that noticed, but I've been pretty absent here lately. I feel pretty crappy about it. Life's been busy, but that's no excuse! Anyway, while I have some other posts I'm currently working on, today I decided to just do a simple "what I've been up to" post, featuring one of my favorite social media accounts - Instagram! This could also be because I'm missing the 100 Happy Days challenge (which I finished in July, geeze I need to update my navigation bar)...buuuut whatever, hahah. So here's what's been going on with me lately, starting with the oldest working up to today :)

Library Haul

I've been reading a LOT more. Unfortunately I have to do most of it during my down time at work. I tried working on my blog during that time, but it was just too involved, so I've been reading. Pictured is a recent library haul. I finished two of them so far. I HIGHLY recommend the book on the top, Half the Sky! If you're not super into reading, or just don't have the time, then I recommend the documentary (same title) just as much! It's on Netflix, too ;) I love them both so much, and I plan to write more about them eventually.



I started a Facebook page for Natalie Patalie! You should go follow me there, because I like using it 1000x more than Twitter, but I feel lame posting anything on the FB page at the moment because no one's really following it, hahahah.

Bonnie and Clyde

I started stage managing the musical Bonnie and Clyde! This is where most of my time has gone. I'm having lots of fun, but I can't say it isn't stressful. I've never seen it performed live before this, but I really like it! The music is fun, too.



I'm also currently working on the musical, The Who's Tommy. I've never been a huge fan of this show, but the music is starting to grow on me a bit. Last weekend there was a cast and crew party, and they had a photo booth! I was tired and didn't stay at the party long (I'd already been at the theatre all day and it was 11pm by then), but I made sure to shove all the techies in the photo booth with me before I left!

Hyperbole and a Half

With all the theatre stuff going on, I hadn't had time to see my mom in awhile, so the other day we went to lunch and then to Barnes and Noble to hang out and look at books :)

So that's me lately. What have you been up to? I haven't been able to keep up with Bloglovin' lately, either, so if you've written something you think I should check out, link it in the comments and let's catch up :)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Take a Moment with...me!

Happy Saturday! Do you have anything fun planned? I'll be working all day today, but I'm doing lights for The Who's Tommy, so I guess it's not that bad ;)

Anyway, I came here to say  that this week I was featured in the "Take a Moment" series on Hodge Podge Moments! If you like, you can check it out right here. She wrote lovely things about me, awe <3 Hodge Podge Moments is written by soon-to-be Californian, Pam! For quite some time we've been talking and getting to know each other through social media and our blogs, and soon we plan to do the same thing in person! It'll be great.


So check out the post, check out Pam's awesome blog, and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Boxers & Saints, by Gene Luen Yang

Last month I wrote about reading the graphic novel Boxers, by Gene Luen Yang. This month I was able to read it's companion, Saints. Boxers and Saints is basically one graphic novel in two volumes. Together they tell the intertwined story of a boy and girl on opposing sides of the Boxer Rebellion in China, at the end of the 19th century.

Boxers and Saints, Gene Luen Yang

Boxers is told from the point of a young boy named Little Bao. After groups of foreign missionaries and soldiers ransack his small town and destroy a statue of the earth god, Tu Di Gong, Little Bao decides he needs to take action. After much training and harnessing the powers of ancient Chinese Gods, he eventually becomes the leader of "The Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists," whose goal is to take out the "foreign devils" as well as the "secondary devils," who are the Chinese that joined them by converting to Christianity.

While going around killing people because they're Christian is obviously not ok, it's almost hard to hate Little Bao. He really believes he's doing what's right for China, as he is propelled by the belief that he was fighting in the name of their Gods and Ancestors.

Boxers and Saints, Gene Luen Yang
My copies were from the library, as usual. Hahah.

Saints is told from the point of an unnamed girl from the same village. She's called "Four Girl," because she was the fourth daughter born. For that same reason, she is also ignored and unwanted by her family. While it may have began for the wrong reasons, she finds solace and friendship in Christianity. She is determined to be baptized, with one of the driving forces being that she will be able to choose a name for herself - Vibiana.

While Little Bao believes he's harnessing ancient powers, Vibiana has visions of Joan of Arc, and hopes to attain the same glory. As China is a dangerous place for Christians at the time, her and Little Bao's path eventually cross.

I really like reading books with different perspectives, because there's usually more to someones side of the story than you're led to believe. The author, Gene Luen Yang, did it so well here that he makes it hard to even pick a side. Vibiana and Little Bao are both enemies in the others story, and both characters come off as likable, even if you might not agree with what they're doing.

Since these are graphic novels, the artwork plays a big part. The colors in Boxers are more vibrant, while in Saints they are more muted and almost dreary. I didn't really like that at first, but later on it felt very fitting.

From Boxers (click to enlarge)

From Saints (click to enlarge)

Have you read these books? Maybe you've read something else by Gene Luen Yang? I also like his other book, American Born Chinese! I love discussing books, so let me know what you think!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Buy for Good: Yoobi

After all the positive vibes from last weeks Buy for Good post, I've decided to keep the theme going for awhile. I don't know how long, but I will say I already have three more posts (semi) planned out. This week I'm sharing a new company that's really easy to support, because you can buy from not only their website, but at your local Target, too! This company also sells something that will never go out of style and is always in demand - school and office supplies!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to cool stuff. Purchases through these links result in me earning a dime or so that usually ends up going towards my Comcast bill or feeding my turtle. But more importantly it gets you some sweet office supplies that support a good cause!


Yoobi's slogan is simple, "one for you, one for me." You buy one of their products, and another product from their line of same or similar price is donated to a kindergarten through 3rd grade classroom in need.

"Yoobi believes that it should be a right, not a privilege, for every child in the U.S. to have creative and colorful tools for learning."

When you donate to Yoobi, one of their items is added to a Yoobi Classroom Pack. When the pack is full, they work with the Kids in Need Foundation and distribute it to a classroom in need right here in the US. Their goal was to donate 30,000+ Classroom Packs in the 2014-2015 school year. Here's what each pack contains:

- 90 3-packs of No. 2 pencils
- 60 glue sticks
- 30 erasers
- 30 pencil sharpeners
- 30 rulers
- 30 folders
- 30 glue bottles
- 30 pencil cases
- 30 5-packs of crayons
- 30 5-packs of colored pencils
- 30 5-packs of markers
- 5 scissors
- Loads of Yoobi stickers!

Not only are they doing something great, but their products are really colorful and fun! What's not to like?


I have a lot of Yoobi supplies. but the one I use most often is this 8 color retractable pen. I originally bought it because I thought it was cute and I had a muticolor pen as a kid that I really liked. Now I carry it with my bullet journal in my purse. It's super convenient because I like certain part of my bullet journal in different colors...so with a multicolor pen I only have to carry one pen to have most of the colors I need! Here's another thing I really like (and use regularly!)

Yoobi 75ct Assorted Paper Clips and Push-Pins Set

I've read that Oprah is also a fan, so you know it has to be good ;) What I like about Yoobi's method (buy one, give one) is that it's just so easy. A few examples being...

  • We all have a Target close by, or if you'd rather stay home and order in your pajamas, that's cool too.
  • They're selling something that most of us already need. While I LOVE it when organizations sell unique accessories and shirts, those things are definitely more of a "want" than a "need," and we can't always afford to buy things we simply "want." With Yoobi you can do both at the same time.
  • They're affordable! All Yoobi products cost between $2 - $10. While I like TOMS shoes as much as any other girl in leggings, buying a pair of shoes so another pair can be donated isn't always something I can afford when it has a $50 price tag (fyi I really don't hate TOMS, I've always wanted a pair but I honestly just can't justify the expense).

Yoobi also has this ballin' bus that they drive around and host fun events with. I wouldn't mind driving one, y'know, just because.

All images from yoobi.com!

Have you heard of Yoobi before? Maybe you've already seen their bright colors in Target. I hope you enjoyed my second "Buy for Good" post, because I'm really starting to get into this, hahah :P

Friday, August 1, 2014

"You know I have to blog about this now, right?"

I had a pretty exciting time on social media this week. Well, for me it was; to people that just don't "get it" I suppose it'll sound really lame, hahah! Let me explain.

Last Saturday, I wrote this post about some of the books I'd read this month. One of those books was The Songs of Willow Frost, by Jamie Ford. After publishing that blog post, I tweeted the link on Twitter with the appropriate #hashtags, as I usually do with new posts (If you're curious, I still hate Twitter, but I use it anyway as it is the blogger-y thing to do). Totally normal post-blog routine. A few hours later I hopped back on Twitter and saw:


Whaaat! Yeah, that was awesome. So obviously the next thing I had to do was take a screenshot so I could show everyone my EXCITING NEWS. I tweeted the screenshot and added "THANK YOU!" at the end, just in case he happened to see it. He must really like checking out his own hashtag (I don't blame him), because the next day, I saw this!


Oh, my heart. I favorited (I hate using that word *shakes fist at Twitter*) his response, and left it at that. I didn't want to look like an even weirder fangirl than I already did, because I'd already embarrassed myself enough for one weekend. Except it had slipped my mind that I had also posted the screenshot on Instagram (don't judge me), which I'd forgotten about until:


I die. I couldn't stop laughing, and tried to explain to Andrew what was happening, which he sort of understood, although maybe he was just humoring me?

Oh, and the title of this post? That's what I told him after seeing the comment he left me on Instagram. I didn't take a screenshot of it, but he said "Blog away!" with a thumbs and and smiley face emoji.