Strawberry Switchblade Sings My Soul

shades

One band I cherished since a child (much like Bowie but more relatable on a sensitive and misunderstood girl level) and never outgrew is Strawberry Switchblade. I formed a cherished online friendship with Rose McDowall in the late 90s and grew to understand her in a more personal way as the creative soul she is. In grade school I created a very cute, pink and polkadot website devoted to the band visuals and audio decadence, I had musical appreciation websites for Strawberry Switchblade, No Doubt, Veruca Salt and Shampoo (my all-time favorite bands), to which I thought why not create features here as I’ve been meaning to do for years.

Rose is as magical as her music is. She and Jill Bryson wove visual gumdrops for my eyes to munch on obsessively and still inspire me heavily to this day. Miseducated’s first layout and many layouts thereafter were created while blasting Strawberry Switchblade songs over and over (and I mean OVER AND OVER). When I met my very best friend Kimi online in 1997 it was like the magical world they wove, a world of polkadots and acid-like colors dripping with cute psychedelia, came to life in our relationship. As a troubled child I often felt Kimi was the one person in the world who understood me, who would always be there (she’s still there). Our song was “Since Yesterday” by Strawberry Switchblade. When she calls even today that song rings out to let me know it’s my soul mate calling.

If you’ve never heard of Strawberry Switchblade and don’t appreciate the delicious 80s whirlwind of drum machines and their unique electronic music filled with happy, depressed, in love, best friend adoring, memory mourning troubled girl lyrics then you might not enjoy it but I honestly, yes with a big bias, cannot imagine how anyone could not want to dance, twirl in daisies and sing to their music. When I listen now it transports me back to memories from childhood, the good and bad, middle and high school filled with love, loss and raves, as well as today the love I still have for my very best friend Kimi, my cherubic three year old daughter and my boyfriend who is, at last, my love dream come true. Step back in time and many of the photos in the gallery below were posters on my wall and locker. Can you get enough?

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Many who know me well see the photos and instantly understand why I was so odd as a child (or even as an adult!) with my polkadot dresses and big, offensive, neon bows. I stood out like a miniature pop star in a small town school and many thought it was hilarious at my expense. I still get it to this day if I visit the town, people look at me like I’m an obviously lost alien. Hell it even happens in the city I reside in occasionally, I only seem to not be an eye sore in southern California on my many summer visits to stay with Kimi and in Tokyo, Japan of course.. but never really here, and so I know Strawberry Switchblade is singing my woes in a way that I will always understand. When you find a band like that you rarely let them go, who would want to? I’m still ready to dive into their “Deep Water” and never return.

Why Can’t Everyday Be Like My Birthday?

jamber tea party

We’re often told to do what we want to do on our birthday. We’re able to enjoy sweets without guilt and to celebrate with friends and family. It’s a relaxing day and I want to take time out though today to enjoy every single thing with my family. I want to remember this day.

Why can’t I do that everyday? Why can’t I just take time out to do what I want and enjoy every moment? That’s my new goal this week, for everyday to feel like a special day. To take time out during the day to do things that I want and to make sure to enjoy them.

1. Eat and really enjoy sweets and coffee.
2. Sit outside on the balcony all snuggled in a fluffy blanket and have cocoa toped in marshmallows.
3. Paint colorful deericorns on tiny canvases.
4. Have tea and dessert at a local coffee shop.
5. Read in the bathtub.
6. Have champagne with friends.
7. Dip strawberries in chocolate.
8. Make and decorate cupcakes.
9. Have a tea party.
10. Have a movie marathon.

Write down a list of things you enjoy doing. Write down things that cheer you up even when you’re feeling blue. This is a great list to refer to when you’re feeling bored, unmotivated or a little overworked. You’ll be surprised how much better just doing a few things on your list will make you feel.

Soon I’m going to create little printable journal pages for you to use when reading these posts — I’m hoping it will encourage you to take part in the lessons that have helped me when in need. What sorts of journal pages would you prefer?

Thankful for Monday: Happiness Through Gratitude

This is a new kind of project I’m forcing myself to do. Having a few scheduled posts a week really works wonders for my over-stimulated brain. I cannot mindlessly list topics and ideas forever, brainstorming over great articles and DIY-material until I’m suddenly too drained to write or publish any of it.. silly! As much as I love lists, I’ve recently realized I’m wasting a lot of time on them. And.. as you may or may not know, a new mother’s time is very precious and limited.

So I’m urging myself to again start keeping a gratitude journal which once helped so much with my positive outlook. I had been keeping one for months on my iPhone previously, another in a journal my doctor encouraged me to start.. I must say that although I enjoy journaling and scribbling nonsense, the gratitude thing worked best digitally because it was always on hand. I could attach photos in a flash and rate my days.. sadly when I updated my iPhone OS, however, my restoration went wonky and my gratitude journal -and all of the photos- were deleted. I had a bit of a melt-down -I’m lying, it was a full-on panic attack- .. I was so upset I couldn’t now see the progress I had made.. the once unhealthy things I was so grateful for and the realization of what I should be grateful for.. to which of course my husband reminded me, “You have what you are grateful for right here, it shouldn’t be hard to start a new one. I see the progress you’ve made and deep down you know you’ve made it.”

So, on Mondays I will begin to look back at all of the wonderful (and even not-so-wonderful!) things I should be and am grateful for. It is said that keeping a gratitude journal is very healthy, a great way to be open to all of the amazing things you have in your life that you might not be noticing. It’s also said to lift your spirits in a way that cannot be denied. I agree and I urge you to try it! Even if just for a month.

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One

The sweet taste of a homegrown strawberry that I happened to rescue from the brink of death! We were in the grocery store and the fluorescent lighting must have left the shriveled plants with much to be desired. I instantly usherd one to the register and planted it in new soil and a large pot — now it’s branching out into my yard and attempting to spread sugary-sweet red fruit to all of the rabbits in the area. I did get to taste one berry, one very delicious berry, however when I watered it today I noticed my other three berries had been eaten. We have a cottontail friend roaming around now and again so I’m sure he was the one who experienced the delight of the fresh berries — at least someone enjoyed them!

Two

Every single coo and grunt my daughter makes. And the fact that I unbelievably have a daughter and can talk about her. It’s absolutely a trip and I never could have imagined how wonderful it would be. She’s been in my dreams for quite awhile so I feel very fortunate that she has arrived in my arms and left me with a scar I will never forget. I can’t to experience every new moment with her and I want to remember absolutely every day.

Three

Heart-wrenching memoirs of hardship and survival. I’m a dark, depressing memoir addict. I think it has something to do with being inspired by overcoming one’s past to become an amazing and creative person. Having been through a rough and tumbly past myself and having watched many of those I love fall to the negativity of their own past, it’s very enlightening to see what can be accomplished if you devote your life to overcoming it.

Four

My husband’s new-found appreciation for cooking. Not just because I get to taste all of his experiments, either, but because I am also passionate about cooking up my own creations and it’s double the excitement! We have yet another interest that we share and it’s the best kind of interest — the kind that tastes delicious. He keeps practicing on fresh Tilapia and I keep inhaling it.

cups

Five

Thrifting for vintage, kitschy mugs. Thrifting is not only fun alone, it’s even more fun because of the people you do it with. I often go thrifting with my best friend or husband and we have a blast finding kitschy goodies, vintage magazines and trying on 70s bathrobes. It doesn’t get old! You don’t need a lot of money to have a great time combing through pop-culture memorabilia — just a lot of time and patience. Even a box of old records or postcards can become an exciting giggle fest. No matter what their selection, make sure you look through the mugs and vintage cookbooks — they’ll always provide you with some inexpensive, kitschy fun for your kitsch-en!

What are five things that you’re thankful for this week?

Wear the World: Miseducatees & Ichigo Pink

Yay! Wear the World! What a great idea for new content, actually forcing me to use new goodies by artists and items I’ve been stashing in my closet for a fun day.

OOPS. One problem. I’m pregnant. My panda pants wont fit.

I guess it gave me an excuse to FINALLY create this elusive shirt we’ve been chatting about for so long? <3 The shirts are custom, one of a kind especially made for you. They come in the sweetest package and smell like a bakery. These are limited edition shirts. They're made to order and uniquely you.

miseducatee
Headband by Locketship

Want your own customized Miseducatee?

Fun on Friday Set

Graphic Makeup

Does makeup matter? It matters as much or as little as you want it to. It can be as lovely, nude and natural as you like.. or it can be as out loud exciting as an lighting bolt. I like love it when people take things to the next level when using graphics and design to decorate their faces and bodies. YES PLEASE. YESYESYES.

Be sure to check out the step-by-step makeup tutorials in the Japanese magazine scans as well as some artist photos and tutorials below~

Makeup is a magic mask of color just waiting for you to get creative and change the rules. Wear it to a rave or, if you like to march to the beat of your own drum like most of us do, wear it to get groceries whenever you feel the need!

Decadent Makeup Here & There

From all around the world, cartoon, model or artist.. we like our makeup loud and clear.

Merci to the wonderful Audrey Kitching for her own love of the Miseducated lifestyle. She makes us so proud we could burst.

80s-inspired Magic Makeup

Courtesy of the amazing Bethany.

Colorful & Creative Makeup

This last colorful and creative makeup tutorial is by the wonderful Rebecca. Living a Miseducated life to her means, “Be yourself, never stop learning & never hold back on your creativity.”

Perfect!

Let’s go to the Nail Salon!

Imagine your fingernails sparkling when they are typing on the keyboard or flipping the pages of a book! Pretty fingernails really make one feel very happy! Think Sanrio, “Small gift, big smile.” In times like these it’s the sweet, inspired things that really go a long way.

So let’s go on a trip to the nail salon I frequent in Hong Kong! I’m planning to get some gel nails with 3D acrylic nail art and Swarovski crystals.

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Amazingly the nail painter accomplished my rough sketches to wonderful gel nails!

I found the patterns in some Japanese nail art magazines which the nail salons provided.

But if those magazines can not satisfy your crazy thought about nail art, it is surely more fun to design your own cute nail tips! Miseducated girls are all about inspired lives and diy — I’m sure you have many ideas to use.

You can change your nails in honor of a holiday or occasion; how about a Christmas version with snowman and Christmas tree?

Just draw whatever you would like on your nails and simply write some descriptions about the colours and what kind of stone you prefer.

Use the ideas in magazines as an inspiration, but most importantly, have fun and create whatever you like!

Create your own Nail Art

Fingernails.. Toenails.. they’re like mini canvases waiting to be painted (or collaged!). I used to have such a love for nail art that I devoted an entire website to it, complete with fanlisting! The fanlist grew large, the discussion about Japanese fashion, makeup and nail art was booming.

Now thanks to the rad Japanese fashion magazines people scan and share and Gwen Stefani, Japan fashion is even more prevalent today. (yay!)

Japan has a hand up in life design.
Design is a process that we can take to every level.
Let’s not ignore our nails! 😉

So how will we get this decadent inspiration without scanning bookstores for Japanese fashion magazines and nail salon listings? Here of course!

Below are some cute nail tips and tutorials from Japan, I’m absolutely digging on the strawberries.

No matter what you decide~ enjoy life to the fullest while you design your world.

Nail art scans are from Japanese fashion magazines such as ecocolo, CUTiE, CUTiE Book, melon, egg, Kera, BLENDA, JILLE, ku:nel, Nail Up, etc and, my favorite nail salon, PinkyNail.

Vinegar Beauty Recipes for Vamps

When it comes to DIY Beauty, recipes using vinegar are all the craze. Why? Because vinegar does an excellent job of cleaning, polishing and wiping away impurities. In addition, vinegar is easy to come by, inexpensive and always practical. Here are a few recipes to give a try the next time you’ve got vinegar to spare and money to save!

diy vinegar beauty

Apple Vinegar Hair Rinse

After using various products and chemicals on your hair, it tends to become dull, lifeless and not too healthy. A major culprit of this is product build up. This recipe does wonders for that dilemma and should be done once a week. Here’s what you need:

1 small-medium lemon
2 tablespoons apple vinegar
2 tablespoons warm water

In a small bowl, combine your water and vinegar. Cut your lemon in half and squeeze out the contents of half of it. Make sure to remove any seeds that escape! Mix thoroughly and let it set for 5-10 minutes while you’re washing your hair. After washing your hair in the shower, apply this mixture thoroughly. Let it set for 2 minutes and then rinse out with tepid water (cold if you can bare it).

Vinegar Astringent for your Face

This is great for oily, acne-prone skin and can be whipped up in a flash. All you need is water and a little vinegar and you’re all set. Here’s the specifics:

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons warm water
Cotton balls

Combine both ingredients and dip your cotton ball into the mixture. After using your regular face wash, apply this evenly by wiping the cotton ball around your face. Let it set for 10 minutes and then rinse thoroughly with cold water to tighten pores. Gently pat dry.

Strawberry Vinegar Face Mask

This sweet treat makes your skin glow and is easy to prepare. Gather these items:

5-6 medium sized strawberries
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 egg white

First, separate your egg yolk from your egg white into a medium sized bowl. In a separate bowl, mash your strawberries until they are relatively smooth/consistent. Add the egg white to your strawberries and mix well. Gradually add the vinegar and stir until you have a nice paste.

After washing your face with your typical face wash, apply the mixture generously onto your face. Let it set for 15 minutes and rinse with warm water. Splash cold water on your face to tighten pores and gently pat dry.

spoon full of vinegar

Inexpensive Do-It-Yourself Gifts

This whole economic downturn has left a lot of the country in a sorry mess, but I’m not here to wallow in financial troubles. No way! I view the scarcity of cash as a wonderful excuse to get crafty! And it’s always more fun to craft for someone else which is what inspired me to create this article.

These gifts are easy to make and inexpensive, to boot! You can make them for a loved one “just because” or give it away for a special holiday. The choice is yours.

diy gifts

Hearty Bread and Jam

For you domestic creatures out there, put your skills to use! Everyone loves an edible gift, especially if it’s made by you! Jam/Jelly is a very easy item to make, it just takes a little bit longer than some foods. Bread and jam come in a variety of forms, so choose the best one for your recipient.

Cozy Blanket

Blankets are also very customizable, making them an ideal gift for any time of the year. Try these different types of blankets:

Crocheted – Choose your recipients favorite colors and have at it! They’ll be thrilled with the amount of time and effort you put into their present.

Tied – Buy two different types of fabric that complement each other. Make sure that you get a big enough size that it serves as a blanket. Both fabrics should be the same size. Next, spread the two fabrics on the floor (one on top of another) and cut around the edge. Each cut should be 2-4 inches deep. Next, tie the two fabrics together (double knot). Do this all around the edge of the blankets. Viola!

Customize – (an already made blanket) One of my favorite gifts from a friend was a blanket that she bought inexpensively and did stitch work on. It was thoughtful and unique!

Quilt – You don’t need to necessarily buy quilt material, but you can if you want. Choose several types of fabric that you like and cut them into squares all the same size. Next, sew them all together. Buy another piece of fabric and sew it onto the quilted part of the blanket.

Lovely Soap

I come from a very large family and some of my fondest memories are from the holidays when we would all work together to make presents for extended family members. One of my favorite things to make and give away was soap and other DIY beauty gifts.

The great thing about soap is that it’s practical and customizable. This is an easy soap recipe. (You can make your own from scratch with this recipe from www.thefarm.org) Here’s what you need — You can find all these items at your local craft store.

– Soap Block (available at your local craftstore)
– Soap Molds
– Scented oils (your choice)
– Other items for your soap (eg. Lavender, oatmeal, almonds, cinnamon, chocolate, etc.)

There are step by step instructions on the soap blocks and it’s very difficult to mess up. Melt your soap blocks, add scents and ingredients of your choice and let it sit in greased soap molds until hardened. Remove and place in pretty packages or gift baskets!

* Also get some wonderful ideas for soap from this Miseducated article.

Scrumptious Chocolate Covered Strawberries

First, buy about 5-15 healthy-looking strawberries. When you get home, make sure there aren’t any bad spots (if there are simply cut them away). Choose the prettiest ones and keep the green leaves on top – they look more beautiful that way.

While you’re at the grocery store, pick up some dip-able white chocolate. You can usually find this in the crafts section or near the produce. Also pick up some red food dye.

Melt your chocolate in the microwave in bursts of 15-20 seconds. It doesn’t take long to melt the chocolate so be sure to keep an eye on it.

Set aside some of the white chocolate and then add 2-3 drops of the red food dye to the remaining white chocolate. Dip your washed strawberries into the pink chocolate and place on wax paper. Next, dip the bottom part of a spoon/fork into the white chocolate and drizzle on top of your pink strawberry to add a decorative effect. Place in the refrigerator until they are cooled.

You can mix up the chocolate colors (ie. White dipped, pink drizzle; dark dipped, white drizzle) and place the strawberries in a sweet box. Add a ribbon and a card!

Tea for Two at the Indianapolis Propylaem

As a former tea room employee (hey, high school counts), I searched high and low for the best tea rooms in Indianapolis shortly after moving there to attend school. While there were very few tea rooms in the area, I found a few that were spectacular. One of those is the Propylaeum located just minutes from downtown Indianapolis on Delaware Street (in Indianapolis’ Old North Side).

the tea room!

tea for two!

yum!

This hidden gem is fit for any royalty, but don’t feel pressured to dress to the max or spend a lot of money. It’s menu, prepared by Chef Mike, is tiny, but that means that what they do serve is extra delicious. The items listed are also inexpensive. One of my favorite things to order is a hot cup of tea and strawberry shortcake paired with delicious and creamy vanilla ice cream.

strawberry delight~

The best part about this establishment is that it is housed in a to-die-for facility. It’s an old and beautifully detailed Victorian mansion that was founded in 1888 by May Wright Sewall. It was originally a social and culture center for Indianapolis women and is currently the oldest private club owned and operated by women. It’s name -Propylaeum – is a greek word that means “a gateway to culture” and that’s the philosophy of this lovely tea room.

adventure for two!

After lunch, take a tour of the large mansion and discover what’s hidden in all its nooks and crannies! You’ll find a number of private bedrooms that are rented out nightly to those visiting Indianapolis. Each room is uniquely decorated and sure to inspire feelings of “old time” and good cheer!

tea for two!

Address 1410 North Delaware Street; Indianapolis, IN 46202
Please Ring 317.638.7881 (call for reservations)
Hours Monday through Friday 11 a.m.-2 p.m.