Friday, February 22, 2013


What a crazy week it has been! I've gotten quite a bit of good news, including the results of my surgery.

Friday, February 15, 2013

heart on my sleeve: DIY heart print blouse

Happy (belated) Valentine's Day, everyone! I loooove dressing up for the holidays. Seeing as I've been on a bit of a crafting rampage, I decided to make a festive blouse. Here's how I did it.

1. Get your materials. I got all of mine from a thrift/craft place for like 2 bucks (nice, right?!). I used fabric paint, and am not sure how acrylic would compare; if you're feeling adventurous, go for it. :)

2. Place cardboard between the layers of the shirt. A tip: If you can, cover the cardboard with packing tape, as it makes it much easier to pull the shirt off from later.

3. Hold  your shirt down with something heavy (I used books I've been reading, haha). This keeps the material from moving around while you stamp.

4. Put paint on your stamp. I used a paintbrush to spread it evenly.

5. Stamp! If there are any weird bits (and there very well may be), use your paintbrush to fix it up. :)

There you have it! After letting it dry for ~24 hours, you're ready to rock your new blouse. :)

blouse: diy ~ blazer: H&M ~ skirt: American Apparel ~ socks: thrifted ~ shoes: Urban Outfitters

I'll post pictures soon of my gift for Henrik! :) I hope you all had a love-filled, wonderful day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

DIY valentine's day banner!

I've recently been doing a lot of thinking about consumerism and this desire we all seem to have to buy, buy, buy. (I mean, when I'm bored, I always get the itch to go thrifting, so I am 100% guilty). I wanted to spend this week making as opposed to purchasing, and with the holidays coming up (tomorrow!) I thought I'd make a very DIY craft project. I didn't buy anything new for it!

If you want to free-hand each letter, go to step 4.

1. Take your thicker paper (I used a manilla envelope) and write out your letters. If you want them to be perfect, you might want to print out large letters and trace them onto the cardboard/the envelope. I think having it handwritten is a nice touch, though! :)

2. Cut out your letters from the thicker material. These will be your stencils.

3. Place your letters on the backs of your scraps of paper. (Scrapbook paper works nicely!) Trace the letter.

4. Cut out your pretty banner letters!

Cut a length of string that looks right. I laid out the string and my letters to get a good idea of how long I'd like it. Consider spacing when doing this step.

6. Glue. I cut out small little rectangles of scrap paper and glued them so that the string was between the letter and the rectangle (it stays sturdier that way).
And you're done! I put mine above our bed. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

leather and stripes

late outfit post for y'all :)

skirt: thrifted ~ jacket: thrifted ~ shoes: thrifted ~ shirt: express ~ necklace: thrifted ~ purse: thrifted

I'm a big fan of maxi skirts—when I found this one, with its great stripes and slit, I was super excited. A nice wintery piece to add to my wardrobe. :) Any neat thrift finds recently?

Monday, February 11, 2013

what I wore: weekend outfits


What I was up to: 
  • buying craft supplies
  • watching 90's movies
  • hanging out with my childhood friend (after almost 10 years!)


What I was up to:
  • crafting
  • going to Joann Fabrics
  • watching The Wild Thornberrys Movie with Henrik

Sunday, February 10, 2013

book two: self-help

Self-Help was a book I picked up while prepping for graduate school apps because, while I am a poet, Lorrie Moore is currently a professor at the MFA program at Wisconsin-Madison (and will be joining the Vanderbilt faculty this fall). I think it may actually the first book of short-stories I've read all the way through. And—it was fantastic! I have nothing but positive things to say about this book. The stories cover a variety of topics, from how to be the "other woman" to divorce to writing,  but each tale is tinged with perfectly human mourning and is written in a clever, beautiful way. Lorrie Moore has a gift with language; she even works wonders with second person narration. If you're looking for a thoughtful book that stirs up some heart-feelings while simultaneously making you smile, I cannot recommend this book enough.

**This post is part of my 50 Books In 1 Year challenge. See other posts here.**

Friday, February 8, 2013


I'm updating with something not so pleasant. After a series of doctors and tests, I am faced now with two possibilities—one benign, and one very much not. The stress of this has gotten to the point where I cannot take on much else. As a result, I have made the decision to take two weeks leave from work.

I feel the need to post this here because this blog is meant to be about my life and, honestly, this uncertainty about my health has consumed every part of my life now. I think it's important to see the not-so-pretty sides of people. So often, bloggers post glossy, selective snapshots of their lives. This isn't beautiful, but it is what it is.

I wouldn't be surprised if I begin posting more often as opposed to less in the upcoming weeks; I have decided to use this time making things, as I find this best helps distract me. I will try to do my best to keep optimistic and do the things I love while we continue the testing and hope for the best.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

liebster award

 I was very lucky to be nominated for the Liebster Award by two fantastic ladies: Sara of Sunshine and Pretty Things and Hannah of Stay Gold. I think these sorts of blog highlights are wonderful; there are so many great blogs out there, and I love finding new and exciting things to read. You should definitely check out their blogs, because they are seriously amazing.

So, here's how it works!

The Rules:
Thank the person who nominated you and link your post to their blog. List 11 facts about yourself then answer the 11 questions given to you. Create 11 more questions for your 9 nominees, all of whom have 200 or less followers. Comment on their blogs informing them of their Liebster Award nomination.

11 facts about me:
  1. I am 50% Tunisian, 25% Irish, 12.5% Dutch, and 12.5% Finnish. (strange mix, eh?)
  2. I don't have a middle name.
  3. I have had a MAJOR crush on Alan Rickman since I was 9 years old. I have written him a number of letters but have been too afraid to send them. Alan, I hope I one day become famous and meet you. Or that you stumble across this and tell me I'm dreamy, too. ;)
  4. I am terrified of driving, but I do have a driver's license. I haven't driven in almost 2 years.
  5. I buy nearly all of my clothes second hand. If I had to estimate, 90-95% of my wardrobe is second hand.
  6. I don't own a blow dryer.
  7. Things I wanted to be when I was a kid: a pilot or first female president.
  8. When I get scared, I recite all the Qur'an verses I've memorized. If you see me whispering on a plane, roller coaster, etc., that's what I'm doing.
  9. My favorite foods are soy sauce (yes, it counts), pickles, and olives. I can't get enough salt.
  10. I have a cowlick! I used to hate it, but now I deal. (If any of you have secrets on how to deal with them though, let a sister know.)
  11. I own like every 90's song ever. Try me.

11 questions from Sara:
  1. What song best represents your outlook on life? Lately, I would say "Hand In My Pocket" by Alanis Morissette (there's that 90's, baby!) I've been having a pretty hard time, but as rough as things get, it's not so bad.
  2. If you could be fluent in any language, what would it be? I think standard Arabic. It's quite a bit different from the Tunisian dialect I know, and I think it'd be nice for cultural reasons. Next up would be Swedish because of my Swedish sweetie pie. ;)
  3. Who is your style icon? Edie Sedgwick, that girl fiiiiine.
  4. Which would you rather possess: the ability to fly or the ability to become invisible? I think fly. I used to wish for invisibility, but now I'd rather just get around places.
  5. What are your top three favorite movies? Galaxy Quest, The Great Mouse Detective, and The Breakfast Club. Don't judge.
  6. If you could live in any decade (20s, 40s, 60s, etc.), what would it be? 90's!!! No question whatsoever.
  7. Other than your blog, what is your favorite social media outlet? Facebook because I'm a creep and like to stalk.
  8. Who are you closet to in your family and why? Probably my dad. When I was growing up, we didn't get along at all, but something clicked when I moved out. He's one of the most intelligent, kind, thoughtful people I know.
  9. What hobby do you wish you had more time for? Writing. Either that or biking.
  10. What is one of your happiest childhood memories? I think summers in Tunisia. It was so great being there, all of us cousins cramped together on mattresses, waking up late, playing dumb games, going to the beach, getting ice cream. I was a lucky, lucky kid.
  11. If you could have dinner with any person in the world, living or dead, who would you choose and why? I think Jesus. I'd just want to get the story straight, you know?
11 questions from Hannah:
  1. when did you have your first kiss? and where? Haha, oh my goodness! I was 13 and it was in a movie theater. We were seeing the last Lord of the Rings movie, The Return of the King. Nerd 4 life.
  2. where do you see yourself in 10 years? 32, wow. I think married with a child, maybe on my way to becoming a professor?
  3. what are your hobbies? Writing, sewing, taking pictures, making things, thrifting, and riding my bike! I also really like video games, but hardly ever have time for them. :'(
  4. why did you start blogging? I wanted to have a place that I could look at from time to time and remember how good I have it.
  5. 3 places you want to travel to. India, Greece, Egypt.
  6. how many books do you read in a year? I'm trying for 50 this year!
  7. where are you from? Born in Oakland, lived in Michigan, Tunisian-American dual-citizen, now living in Oakland again. I'm never really sure how to answer that question!
  8. how did your parents meet? I think it had something to do with my dad crossing a street during my parents' college days and my mom thinking he had a nice ass? That is true love.
  9. what was your favorite subject in school? ENGLISH. No competition! Writing and reading, all the time? My dreeeeeeam!
  10. what was the last thing you bought? Clothes! (as usual) And groceries.
  11. what is most important to you? That is a very interesting question. I'd say my family (including Henrik), my health, and my happiness.
 My questions for my nominees:
  1. What is your most prized possession?
  2. What was your favorite vacation of all time?
  3. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  4. Favorite super hero?
  5. If you went to Hogwarts, what house would you be in?
  6. Song that makes you want to punch somebody when it comes on the radio? 
  7. If you could have any strange animal as a pet, what would you choose and why?
  8. What were you like in high school?
  9. Who was your first love?
  10. If you were stuck on an island for a year, what 3 books would you bring?
  11. What is your favorite word?
And my nominees! Check these folks out, they're awesome.
  1. Kelley
  2. Carli
  3. Lesley Jean
  4. Lauren Elizabeth 
  5. E.M.
  6. Dani
  7. Meg
  8. Kathy
  9. Julia


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