Finding Creativity in a Block

So you’re in a block? You’re staring at the screen, your sketchpad, a canvas, the keyboard with disgust. Why can’t your ideas spill out onto the paper as brilliantly as they did yesterday?

In having a creative job I’ve found quite a few ways of my own as well as received some useful advice which has helped me find my creativity when it seems to be lost.

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Take a Nap

Really?? I know this seems a little lazy but taking time out for a 15-30 minute break or nap can sometimes help significantly! If I find I’m stuck and getting no where on a project sometimes I’ll go lay down for a few minutes so I can start a new upon waking.

If you can’t imagine taking a nap, just take a break. Have a cup of tea or coffee and relax. Read a few pages of the current book you’re reading. When you come back you’ll be ready to tackle the project from a new angle.

Brainstorm

An absolute favorite of mine when I’m feeling uninspired. Grab a sketch pad, feel free to include one or more friends, and sit and ramble off new ideas — your great idea might just be waiting to be let out.

Music Session

Listen to music, take a walk, sing your favorite song. Sometimes getting into the rhythm can inspire you to get motivated on your project. Not only that but both music and walks are absolutely inspiring!

Sketch in an Idea Book

Grab a notebook and sketch some ideas out. If you’re a writer just start writing some text and see where it takes you. Often I have absolutely no idea where I’m going but when I start the project just happens. This is especially true when I’m crafting, it works on all levels. Don’t expect this try to be genius, just start.

Sketch any ideas you have and as you have them, paste fabrics and color palettes you find while you’re out. Check this book out later when you need new ideas.

Meditate

Again, sometimes the answer to your question is just waiting inside for you to find it. Clear your mind and think about things from a new perspective. Visualize the project and outcome. If meditation isn’t something you enjoy, try taking a long, hot bath and doing the same thing.

Don’t be too Critical

Many times if we could have worked out each of our ideas we would have learned quite a lot about the process and geared ourselves up for the next project. Don’t be too quick to say no, give it a try and see how it goes.

Just Say No to Negativity

In order to focus on the positive aspects of my life, one of my main goals (and a tough one to tackle most of the time) is to get rid of the negativity in my life. As you know, negative can come in many, many forms and a lot of these forms are out of your control. Negative thoughts are sneaky little devils, creeping into our minds and trying with great persistence to lead us away from the positive. And, unfortunately, once we open the door to one negative thought, a bunch of others seem to sneak in.

So how can you stop the negativity from taking over? Here are some things I try to remember when I’m tempted to embrace negative thoughts:

monsterNegativity is boring. For most people, it is easier to be negative than it is to be positive. Most people give into (and, in fact, often embrace) negativity, and end up giving up negativevibes. Their attitudes and actions become negative. If you are thinking negatively, you are like so many other people — taking the easy path. The easy path is not only uninteresting, but it is also detrimental to your well-being (even though, at the time, it may feel satisfying to giveinto that negative emotion or thought).

Negativity is unattractive. People like happy people; it’s a fact. Would you rather be around someone who is grumpy and moping and complaining or would you rather spend time with someone who is uplifting and always looking for the good in a situation? Exactly. People don’t want to be around negative people so you will be a lot more popular (with others and with yourself) if you keep a positive attitude.

Negativity is pointless. Being negative does not get you anywhere. There is absolutely nothing to be gained from looking at the negative side of things. While the positive may, at times, be idealistic, it forces your brain to think about happiness and increases the positivity in your emotions and actions. Thinking negatively does not. It does absolutely nothing for you, so why do it?

Negativity is tiring. Think about about happy thought. Now think about a sad one. Which thought was more draining? Emotionally and physically, thinking negatively can take it’s toll on our minds and bodies. While it sometimes feels like the easier thought to embrace, the more negative thought will ultimately cause more harm than good because it will allow your mind to be open to other negative thoughts. One negative thought can lead to another and before you know it, you are emotionally drained from thinking thoughts that make you upset, sad, or angry.

Negativity is time-consuming. Even though a lot of the time it is a negative thought jumps to the forefront of our minds, it actually takes a lot more time to think about things from a negative perspective. For example, if you allow yourself to think about what might go wrong in a situation, it’s very likely that your mind will wander to all of the other possible scenarios in which something could go wrong. You will then begin to worry about those scenarios and attempt to think about ways to solve potential problems. You will have spent time stressing about situations that may or may not happen — all because you let in one negative thought. Not only will you be wasting time and emotional energy, but you are also allowing yourself to live too much in the future, a place that is completely unknown and completely unworthy of your worrying thoughts.

Now that we’ve looked at some of the reasons not to be negative, let’s think about some ways to avoid negativity. One way is to concentrate on your thoughts and emotions and take control of them. Focus on remaining positive and living in the present moment. For more on these, see my post on mindfulness. Another way to avoid negativity is to communicate with others. As I have mentioned, clear communication often avoids conflicts and avoiding conflicts can avoid reasons to stray into negative territory. In addition, negativity can be avoided by having something positive to focus on other than your thoughts. If you like to walk, take a walk. If you have a favorite TV show, watch it. If you have a friend who always cheers you up, call him or her. Sometimes the easiest way to avoid the negativity creeping into your life is to distract yourself from it. There is a fine line between distracting yourself and ignoring a problem, but if you are certain the negative thoughts will not lead to a productive understanding of a situation, person, or problem (which is most often the case), it is best to avoid the thoughts altogether.

Negativity can be hard to escape. Not only do we have our own minds to contend with, but we must deal with those around us who can be negative, we must tackle negative environments or situations, and we must deal with negative images in the media. However, there are many ways to avoid negativity. Whether it is removing yourself from a situation or taking the time to think about your own viewpoint, removing (or, at the very least, lessening) negativity is an essential step to embracing a positive life.

Miseducated Ezine: The Valentine Edition

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Valentine’s Day, an excuse for us to spoil the ladies in our lives most often and also the men. If you’re feeling lonely this Valentine’s Day do something fun with someone you love, no matter who it is. Brighten their day and they’ll brighten yours! I almost think Valentine’s Day is just a little reminder for us to be more thoughtful to each other (and to be overwhelmed by hearts and candy).

Lucky for me I have an unhealthy obsession to hearts (it was the first thing I learned to draw as a toddler!) because my birthday happens to be the day before Valentine’s Day — which means eating out at two nice (and Japanese) restaurants and getting way too many (impossible!) hearty gifts.

So no matter what you do this Valentine’s Day enjoy a heart-shaped lollipop in a pink champagne bubble bath just for you.

Valentine Recipes

Valentine Soda a Valentine favorite! (xoxo, Amber Renee & Ashley Galliher)
Carbonated beverage
Strawberry sorbet (or ice cream)
Whipped cream
Strawberry preserves

Dispense ginger ale or any carbonated drink above strawberry ice cream in tall glass and top with whipped cream and strawberry preserves.

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Valentine Omelet (ala Doe Deere)
Tomato & Mozarella Valentine’s Day Omelet (to surprise your sweetie in the morning)
Makes enough for 2.

Mix 3 eggs, a cup of milk and a pinch of salt together
Pour mixture onto the hot, lightly oiled pan
Slice cherry tomatoes in halves and arrange them in a pattern (feel free to make a heart, a smiling face, etc.)
Sprinkle shredded cheese (such as mozzarella) on top. Season with dried or fresh basil & pepper.
Cook under the lid for 4-5 minutes.
Serve on a contrast plate (I got mine at Target).

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Love Online

Heart Pumps & Shoe Lust ala Audrey
Shabby and Sweet by Papercakes
Open Letters to my Heart from Glass of Win
Customize your Accessories with Doe Deere
Pink Box
Cupcake Store Online
Celebrate Valentine’s Day Without Spending Money
Raising Emotionally Healthy Children
Valentine’s Day on the Cheap

Life & love require experience… or just let Miseducated writer Michelle Shea Walker lend you hers.
Experience Preferred

Valentine Entertainment

One of the best things about Valentine’s Day (in my opinion) is the abundance of pink, red and heart themed specials online and offline everywhere.
Find love in Pet Society, Country Story, Restaraunt City and Hello Kitty Online

Valentine Specials

Twinkiechan‘s lovely Valentines
Sugarpill Launch (code: “hello15” for 15% off your order through Valentine’s Day)
Hello Kitty Valentine
Lime Crime (code: “bemyvalentine” for 10% off your entire order)
Valentine’s Day at fredflare

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ala Twinkiechan

Valentinspiration

Life on lovely days.

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Prarie Cake

cupcake cutie

true to you

trois tea

Summer Sundae

Printable Panda!

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Coming Soon Online

Original electronic music to soar to.
Audrey Kitching’s handpicked goodies and one of a kind merchandise in an adorable shop online.

Miseducated News

Support Miseducated
Indie businesses and non-profit organizations can take advantage of targeted advertising for Miseducated viewers.

Tease
Miseducated is going to be offering hand-painted tees for a limited time. Miseducated members will get first pick and the remaining shirts will be sold online.

Single for Valentine’s Day

“Where can you go to meet people if you’re single?” the reporter asked. He was writing a column about Valentine’s Day, and I had agreed to help him out.

“It depends on what you’re looking for,” I replied. “The right place for you to go may not be the right place for anyone else. I mean, I couldn’t recommend a restaurant for you until I know what kind of food you like! There’s no point in telling you to go to my favorite seafood restaurant if you hate fish.” This is the problem with the singles community: many people think that there’s one magic place out there to meet the right people, and that the same solution should work for everyone.

Sure, that approach is fine if you’re not terribly picky about whom you end up with, but most of us probably want something a little more specific. In that case, you have to take the time to identify what that specific thing is, what you want and what would make you happy. Once you are clear about your own feelings and desires, then it’s time to go out and find people who share those same values. Ask yourself, where would those sorts of people hang out? Those are the places that you need to go. If you surround yourself with like-minded people and let your true self shine through, a lot of great things will start happening.

“But how can single people cope with being alone on Valentine’s Day?” he wondered.

“There’s no coping necessary if you think of Valentine’s Day as a celebration,” I said. “Just like any other aspect of life, you can choose to be positive or negative. If there’s no one pampering you, do it yourself! Get out there and have the things you want, buy yourself flowers, get spa treatments, or whatever makes you happy. Life will turn around and treat you exactly how you treat yourself, so this is a perfect chance to give yourself some love and attention. If you are true to this intention and stick with it, you’ll attract the right people sooner than you realize.”

He asked again about the best places to find romance, so I tried repeating my point in a different way. “The place you need to find romance is inside yourself. There is nothing out in other places except a reflection of what’s within you. So the focus needs to be inward, taking care of yourself and what you want, and then focusing on putting that message out into the world. If you go out knowing exactly who you are and what you’re looking for, you will end up at the right places to find those things and people.”

The reason people keep finding the same disappointment again and again is because they keep looking in random places and settling for things they don’t really want. So if you want to do this right, find your real self first, focus on what makes you truly happy, and go out concentrating on doing what you love.

In short: it’s about what’s within you, not about what’s out there. Focus in the right direction and you’ll start having the things you want reflected back to you!

Finding Wisdom in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland is my favorite movie. Yes, I prefer the Disney version, but I do love all things Alice. While many little kids were scared of the film, I sat watching intently, in awe of the oddness of it. I wondered what it would be like to fall down a rabbit hole into a world where everything made no sense. As I got older, I realized that this world had quite a bit of nonsense in it and I wondered if, perhaps, I was already down the rabbit hole. Everything about the world — both Alice’s and my own — fascinated me. As I grew up, I focused less on trying to understand her world and more on trying to understand my own. However, there are a few good lessons in Lewis Carroll’s fictitious work that I think can apply to us, here in the real world.

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For Christmas, my friend Christina gave me a beautiful Alice in Wonderland journal that she picked up, I believe, at Alice’s Tea Cup in New York City. (Thanks, Christina!) It’s filled with wonderful quotes from the book and I absolutely love it. When I cracked it open recently and flipped through it’s pages, I came across five particularly wonderful quotes that I realize had a great deal to do with living our lives in a positive way. Reading them gave me five great ideas about life and I thought to myself, “Hey! I better share these tips!” So here they are…

Decide where you want to be going.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to go,” said the Cat. “I don’t much care where–” said Alice. “Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go,” said the Cat. “–so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation. “Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, ” if you only walk long enough.”

Do you know where you want to go in life? I have an idea, but not a certain, definite path. As the Cat says, if you don’t know exactly where you want to go, you could end up just about anywhere. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you do have some sort of direction you want to be headed in, you should probably start going that way, rather than just trying to get anywhere. No one but you can point you in the direction or path that is right for you. Figure out what your path is and get on it! No one can do it but you.

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Stop doing things that get you nowhere.

“It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.” – The Red Queen

What do you do that keeps you in the same place? Do you want your life to change but you keep doing the same things over and over again? I know that happens to me. I complain about things that I can control. For example, I feel sick when I eat ice cream. I know this, but I eat it anyway and then I complain. It’s a lot of working to feel sick, but I keep it up. Why? I’m not quite sure, but I do know the Queen is right. Sometimes it feels easier to keep doing what you’ve been doing because it’s comfortable, but it’s actually a lot of work. Are you in an unhappy relationship? Think about how much time and effort and mental energy that takes just to stay where you are. It seems like it would be hard to leave, but, really, it’s harder to stay. Don’t settle for less than what you deserve in life.

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Believe in what seems impossible.

“There’s no use in trying,” Alice said, “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always it it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

How many of us are like Alice, so certain that something is impossible that we don’t even give it a try? People who succeed in life do so because they try and because they have a good attitude. They make an effort. They do, rather than just think about doing. This is hard though. Trust me, I know. I want to be a writer. I want to write magazine articles about topics I’m interested in. I want to write novels that people love and relate to. While I’ve drafted some articles and even written a novel, have I really done anything to pursue my dream? I often sit back and say to myself, “Oh, that probably won’t happen so I guess I’ll just stay where I am.” I’m doing some writing so it’s fine. Nope. This is not fine. My dreams — though they may be grand — are not impossible. And neither are yours so do something about it!

Know who you are.

“Dear, dear! How queer everything is today! And yesterday things went on just as usual. I wonder if I’ve changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!” – Alice

Who are you? Ah, the great and mind-boggling question. Do you really know who you are? I’m not sure anyone really 100% knows who they are, though some of us have a better idea than others. If you’re reading this blog (and weren’t already turned off by the crazy Alice in Wonderland nonsense I’m spewing here), you’re most likely a thinker, a soul-searcher. You want to know who you are which puts you a HUGE step ahead of most people, who just move through life not knowing and not caring who they are. Keep exploring yourself and trying to learn more about you. Everything you learn about yourself can help you in life. It helps in your job, your relationships, your health, and your happiness.

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Learn how to communicate with others.

“You should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on. “I do,” Alice hastily replied. “At least I mean what I say. That’s the same thing you know.”

Is saying what you mean and meaning what you say the same thing? I’m pretty sure it’s not. You should think about this: do you really say what you mean? do you really mean what you say? Communication, for me, is tough. I don’t always say what I mean either because I am afraid to or because I’m not sure exactly what I mean. This always leads to confusion and problems. It’s much better to take some time to figure out what you mean than to just say things that may be the opposite of, or not even related to, what you mean to say. On the other hand, it’s important to mean what you say. When you tell someone something, mean it. Don’t just speak to speak.

As you can see, there’s a lot to be learned from Alice and her adventures in Wonderland. If you haven’t already read the book and seen the movie, you should definitely do so. It’s pretty interesting and thought-provoking. I guess this is another example of how we can learn from the world around us. Not only can we learn from the people in our lives and our own experiences, but we can learn a lot from books and music and quotes and films. Pay attention. There’s a lot out there that can teach us if we just take the time to be aware of it.

One suggestion I have for you is to think about your favorite book or film or even quote. Why does that mean so much to you? What about that book/film/etc. do you really like? You would be surprised how much you can learn about yourself when you take the time to think about the things that you like in your life. We are all so different and we all really enjoy different things, and there are reasons for this. There is a reason that you like what you do so think about it and you may be surprised how much you can learn about yourself.

Living Art: How To Make a Terrarium

Terrariums are magical miniature pieces of nature that you can admire anywhere in your home. They are living pieces of art. You don’t even need to be a master gardener (I certainly am not) to put together and care for your own terrarium or dish garden, but you do need to know a few things about what kinds of plants need how much light and watering. Designing your own terrarium allows to you get creative and let your imagination run wild. You can include miniature statues of mythical creatures, little signs and pretty rocks. If you can’t find what you want, you can even make little mushrooms or animals out of oven bake clay.

Terrariums are enclosed, so the plants need to be small enough to grow inside of a glass jar, a small glass box or any clear container. Wide-mouthed glass containers with a removable lid are the easiest to work with because you have easy access to water and prune as you need to. You can even mount your terrarium on the wall in a light box or hang it from the ceiling in a glass globe. It all depends on your imagination and the things you can find. People have even made tiny terrariums inside old light bulbs!

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Tabletop Terrariums at Athopologie

You Need

A container
A group of small plant starters that will grow under the same amount
of light and watering.
Some sand or small pebbles
Activated charcoal
Spaghnum moss
Potting soil

You should plan out how you want it to look before you start collecting your supplies–make a sketch or just have a vivid image in your head. The first thing you will place in your container is a layer of coarse sand or small pebbles that is about one inch thick. This layer is for drainage and will keep your plants’ roots from rotting.

Next you will need to lay on a thin layer of activated charcoal–the same kind they use in aquarium filters to keep the air flow or water flow clean, so you can find this at the pet store. If you are planting in an open-air container you won’t need this.

Lay down your Spaghnum moss in a thin layer so that your soil won’t sink down into the charcoal and pebbles every time you water it.

Now you can add your soil. You can buy pre-mixed terrarium soil blends or you can just mix 2 parts regular potting soil, 1 part coarse builders sand (never use beach sand) and 1 part leaf mold (aka humus). You don’t need to add fertilizer because you don’t want the plants to grow very large and there is already a substantial amount in the potting soil.

Sometimes all your little plants require for watering is a good misting from a spray bottle to emulate rain. You should never place your terrarium in direct sunlight.

If you want to make a desert-themed cactus garden, this would be much easier to do in a dish rather than a terrarium. Since cacti and succulents need drier, sandy soil, you can use special potting soil
made for them or put your potting soil down and then place an equal layer of coarse sand on top after you plant your cacti. You don’t need spaghnum moss, charcoal or pebbles for a desert garden, but if you are using a planter dish with a hole at the bottom, be sure to put a small piece of screen over it so your sand doesn’t fall out. Also, unlike a terrarium, your cacti will need plenty of direct sunlight. Wear thick gardening gloves if you are working with sharp cacti!

Your cacti will only need to be watered about once a month. Always make sure you water your plants with luke warm water instead of cold water so you don’t shock the roots. Image someone throwing ice cold water on you on a hot day!

I hope I’ve sparked your interest for making your own terrarium! They make great little decorations and interesting gifts. Here is a list of a few small plants that would be good for a terrarium or dish garden but this definitely isn’t all of them. Do some research on the care of the plants that you want to use and let your imagination run wild as you plan out the look of your mini garden.

Irish Moss

Great for any tiny landscape and only grows to a max of three inches tall.

Miniature Peperomia

Stays small and and has tiny round leaves. Very easy to maintain.

Wintergreen

Grows to about six inches tall and is very hearty. Blooms tiny white flowers in the summer and smells minty.

Dwarf Japanese Sweet Flag

Tiny ornamental grass that resembles an Iris plant, but only grows to two inches tall.

Leptinellas

Looks exactly like an itty bitty fern and are often refered to as “mini ferns”. These are also easy to take care of.

Butterwort

Cool little carnivorous plant that attracts insects like a living fly paper and dissolves them with digestive juices on its leaves. Only grows to about one inch tall with sticky leaves but will bloom a pretty purple flower.

Mini Bonsai

Would be a cool addition to a dish garden but would be hard to maintain in a closed container because they need to be trimmed and trained into the bonsai shape.

Earth star AKA Starfish Plant

It stays under six inches tall and grows a rosetted star shape of long, spiked leaves. It is easy to care for and is perfectly suited for a terrarium because it loves humity.

Succulents

Cacti and other succulents like Aloe Vera and Jade grow very slowly and will eventually outgrow whatever container you put them in. Plant them when they are small and you’ll be able to enjoy your mini desert garden for quite a while.

Making Mondays More Miseducated

Monday jokes rain out of people’s ears at offices.. I don’t know how it is where you work but I’m sure whatever day the work week begins on someone’s complaining.

Instead of thinking of Mondays as a bummer, think of them as a beginning to your inspiration overload sessions every week — begin to plan fun and personal growth activities *as well as* work, errands, tasks, etc.

.. and if scheduling seems like absolute hell to you and you have no issues with procrastination.. simply pass to Step 2.

Want more mood therapy techniques like this?
Key to Living the Law of Attraction
Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy Revised and Updated
ALL Business is Show Business

Step 1

Schedule your day per hour — Write what you actually do beside it and next to that make 2 columns for you to rate how much pleasure you experienced during the activity and to what percentage you mastered it.

Again, make sure you allow time throughout the day for activities you look forward to.

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Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette

Step 2

Incorporate more Miseducated whimsy and special you time into your Mondays.

Instead of taking a shower before you start your work day, take a bubble bath using sensitive Mr. Bubbles or your favorite bubble bath — play some inspiring music that you can hear while in the tub and brew a cup of earl grey tea.

Create your own (lots of recipes here!) or buy a new scented lipgloss to apply throughout the day, not just when lips are chapped! Think of ways to incorporate other new smells into your day such as an aromatherapy candle, nice-smelling lotion, sweet solid perfume, etc.

Master your skills. As you’re working imagine what you might do to keep on task better while still enjoying your day. For me this means the occasional walk-around break, snacks optional and listening to music or inspiring pod casts while I work.

Keep a little notebook in your purse or briefcase especially for inspiring sketches, notes and pieces of inspiring found-items. These little carry-along scrapbooks can be great sources of inspiration and remind you about experiences when you’re sitting down to work and communicate your ideas.

Decide that you’re going to rearrange a room in your home/apartment and surf online for delicious decor in your free time. Find ways to make your environment a little more you, a little more unique and much more inspiring! Sometimes just changing things up is very revitalizing.

My favorite movie since childhood, the delicious 80s glitter rock fest (The Labyrinth) complete with faeries and the rock king himself, always inspired me as everything, even the dirt, was covered in glitter. Sweeping your floor and feeling a little bummed? Sprinkle glitter in with the dust and even dust bunnies become just a little more magical.

It’s off to your local handmade market for you! Purchase some incense that smells great and a little decadent snack. When home, burn the incense as intended and relax near it reading and enjoying the occasional whiff of fragrant smoke. Don’t like incense? Try scented candles!

Write your best friend a good morning letter when you begin your work day. Chances are you’ll brighten her day as she is also at work and it’ll make you smile knowing she’s smiling. You might even get some sweet messages back throughout the day that make you feel wonderful for opening communication.

Grab a pack of post-its in your favorite color and write inspiring and positive messages to everyone signed, Happy Monday. Stick these on electric posts, subway windows, in your lover’s briefcase, on the milk in the fridge, on your coworker’s computer mouse, etc. <3 Don't overdo it, it's more special for those that find the surprises anyway. Kitty Rave! (both my and my best friend’s favorite way to wind down at night!) At night time when you’re relaxing and feeling a little excited that you’ve gotten through another Monday, turn up the dance music and dance around the house in your pajamas with your cat or dog. (my chihuahua gets really excited about this and bounces around the room) You’re getting exercise, they’re getting exercise and it’s really quite fun.. especially if you’re jamming to Kissy Sell Out. Often my husband even plays his electronic music live on kitty rave nights.

Have a great Monday!

Visiting Florida the Kitschy Kingdom

Oh my Florida, pan handle! Nearly surrounded by beaches and golden balls of sunshine on orange trees. The sunshine state is also the kitsch capitol of the world. “Florida is the land of pink flamingos, bathing beauties, palm trees, coconuts, and beaches.”

Miami

MIA aka Miami is the city of delicious candy-coated, art deco cafes, shops and hotels on the beach. “Miami is an international city. It’s not only the business capital of the Caribbean Islands, but also a playground for wealthy European, Central American, and South American travelers. Miami attracts more foreign visitors than any other U.S. city.”

Beaches upon beaches!

There are so many fabulous beaches in Florida that you can find something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a tropical getaway or a party beach, you can find the perfect spot on the sand (or rocks/tide pools) for you.

Key West, Florida Keys

Cat circus, cute-neighborly bars on the ocean, cotton-candy coated homes and kitty cat mosaics hidden within even the drugstore’s architecture. A favorite paradise.

“The Florida Keys are famous for harboring such historical luminaries as playwright Tennessee Williams, novelist Ernest Hemingway, and bird-chronicler John James Audubon. In truth, aspiring artists continue to be drawn to the Keys. They come not just for the spectacular sunsets and stunning wildlife but for the free-spirited way of life embodied by the Keys. That spirit is evident at the many festivals and events you will find listed on our cultural calendar. Here you can visit a tiny gallery, take in a community play, enjoy an open-air festival or attend a symphony orchestra. You’ll find that the Keys are rich in cultural opportunities. ” – Florida Keys

Orange Groves

Mmmm! Do you dig the cirtrusy candy-sweet smell or would you prefer just the taste of an orange grove cookie?

Disney World

You get free admission on your birthday and a bit of special treatment, a definite time to book a trip to the happiest most magical rainbowland (besides my home) in the USA.

Coconut Palm Trees

In Miami the fallen coconuts are layed aside with straws stick within their broken shell, sipped dry of their delicious cocomilk (there is a nut inside of the fruit, filled with a layer of white coconut and sweet watery cocomilk) they are left for useless but create a cute visual memento for passersby.

“Coconut Palm is one of the finest Florida Palm Trees. It is native to the Malay Archipelago or the South Pacific. Coconut Palm is also the most recognized palm in the world.” – Florida Palm Trees. Coconuts??

Tropical Wineries

Florida has a rainbow of wines from every delicious tropical flavor you can imagine. Just think, orange, pineapple, coconut and key lime wines (similar to a margarita). Yum! Take a look at the assortment of wineries and visit the ones that sound tastiest!

Chinatown

The 1st Oriental Supermarket is the hot spot in Chinatown, 42,000 sq. ft., live seafood, fresh bakery and BBQ products, groceries, herbs & medicines, you imagine it and they probably have it hand somewhere. Other shops through the district include a CD & DVD store, beauty & facial shop, hair salon, travel agency, mobile phone store, karaoke, employment agency, realty company, advertising & marketing company, etc. available to serve you.hungry or in need of a tasty treat, just step into one of the delicious and inexpensive specialty restaurants to enjoy a cup of Boba Tea, some Taiwanese food, Chinese take-out, or even a cat-shaped sweet roll. (also hosts a number of special events to celebrate the Chinese Festivals)

Antique & Thrift Stores

Prime vintage kitschy deliciousness can be spotted everywhere here. One of these reasons is because it’s such a sunny, relaxing place to retire, many retirees get rid of their and their collected goodies here. Which leaves for absolute popculture art archeology, as Lala might proclaim.

Cute Architecture & Deco Decor

Cute art deco, salt-water taffy colored wonderland in the sunshine.

Florida Lifestyle

The Florida lifestyle is generally more relaxed than other rural areas, take it easy. Island living~

More Favorite Florida Fun

Dylan’s Candy Bar
Bear & Bird Gallery and Boutique
Carnival Cruise Lines
Everglades National Park — plan a picnic!
Universal Studios
Sanrio Stores SE
Sanrio Stores SW

Pretty on Penn St Apartment Tour

A gem hidden downtown was this adorable little city building. Upon entry the antique tile floors, mail room, paneled walls and arched ceilings made way for a lovely place to collect your mail from the original mailboxes.

Inside the hardwood gave way to seats and built-in walls waiting side by side for someone to take a rest and gave up the staircase to the chandelier above. Four of the bottom apartments were 2-story with staircases inside, it happened that ours had a spiral staircase just waiting for Hobbes to run up and down every step. The staircase curled into a small, basement living room and kitchen, above, by the entry door, was a bathroom to the left and a bedroom to the right. The bedroom was complete with vintage, original window facing towards the spiral stairs that lead below. A landing facing built-in shelves and windows with plenty of sill for plants and kitties to sunbathe on. This was my favorite apartment because it was absolutely made for us! Without ample storage it was nearly impossible to grow in the teeny, tiny adorable apartment (we are now with Chihuahua!).

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1940s Beauty, Fashion and Action Resurrection

Call me crazy, call me zany or simply call me metaphysically inclined. I have always had a sneaking suspicion that in my past lives — I envision two of them, darling — I was a regal sweetheart with a fabulous sense of style.

Oh, and it shouldn’t surprise you that each of my previous cycles on Earth were in equally wonderful eras: Lifetime #1: the European 1750s (I suspect I was a fling of Herr Mozart’s) and Lifetime #2: the legendary American 1940s.

As the title of this article implies, we’re going to focus on the latter, today. And, because I’m ordaining myself as Miseducated’s 40s guru (hey, I lived the life – wink!), I’m going to share with you little ways to incorporate that style into our fresh and fabulous 21st century.

Before we get started, let me say this: Invest in vintage
Kind of a no-brainer. But really, unless you have an air of authenticity about you then you won’t be taken very seriously! Hit up your local flea market, antique store, E-Bay or even Goodwill and you’re bound to find some goodies for a bargain.

1940s resurection

Style Tip #1: Hats and Hair

After you’ve styled your hair appropriately (check out YouTube for some great hair tutorials, like this easy one), literally top everything off with a 40s inspired hat. All sorts of hats were worn back in the day, so it’ll be easy to find a type that suits your fancy! I prefer small hats with a flock of feathers or a tiny, off-to-the-side veil! You’ll be in heaven with all the colors, shapes and sizes there are to choose from!

Style Tip #2: Hot Bod, Hot Dress!

The classic 40s dress is characterized by a cinched waist and flowy bottom half. Polka-dots are a guaranteed hit! Try shopping for some great dresses at Viva La Vintage, Dorotheas Closet Vintage, or Damn Good Vintage. No need to spend tons of money, I’ve found a whollup of pretty numbers on eBay and at Goodwill.

Style Tip #3: Clutch, please!

It’s important to have a purse to carry around, even when you’re prancing in your 40s gear. I mean, really, where else would we keep our lipgoss, cell-phone and identification? A pocket just won’t do! The perfect accessory to your outfit is a sweet little clutch and lucky for you, those are easy to find! Choose a shade that sets the tone you’re after! Roarin’ red? Fabulous! Sparkly sequins? Oh yeah!

Style Tip #4: Such a pretty face!

When it comes to dolling up your face, keep these in mind: luscious, fake lashes will take you far; outline your lips with a pretty shade of red and color them in (be sure to accentuate the “V” on your top lip); wear a rosey-posey blush that’s only subtle enough. Don’t be afraid to have fun with your makeup.

Style Tip #5: Gloves keep your hands clean!

You know they do! They also keep you looking refined, stylish and oh-so 40-licious! I like to keep things pristine with a stark, crisp white. You may be more inclined to roll up a pair of bright yellow duds. Whatever makes you happy is fine by me.

Style Tip #6: Cat-eye glasses

Whether you sport sunglasses or a pair of faux reading glasses, make them snazzy! Try a rhinestone-enhanced, golden cat-eye. Or maybe a subtle black is more your type. Either way, you’ll make a (smart) statement!

Style Tip #7: For the bold: Cigarette holder

I don’t condone smoking (keep your lungs happy, ladies), but a stationary cigarette in a pretty cigarette holder is really kind of drool-worthy. Purchase one for under $5 here and pretend you’re Audrey at the ball.

Bonus

40s slang to slip into your vocabulary. *
• Flat Tire – A dull witted, insipid, disappointing date.
• Cat’s Meow – Something splendid or stylish
• Heebie-Jeebies – The jitters.
• Ossified – a drunk person.
• Scram – Ask someone to leave immediately.
• Whoopee – To have a good time.

As in: Scram, ossified flat tire! You give me the heebie-jeebies when all I want is a cat’s meow whoopee!

*To be used only when employing 40s-inspired style.