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Playlist #24: Spanish Rap (Thanks, Breaking Bad)

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April 30, 2014
It's official: Breaking Bad has made me love Spanish rap. How weird is that?! I'm all for finding new genres of music (remember my post about celtic rock, electro-swing and gregorian chants?!) but I never expected to find a new genre in a TV show about meth. I mean, duh, I realize it's not a "new" genre, but I just discovered it, so it's new to me. This music kind of makes me want to cook up some meth. (I kid, I kid.)

Also, when I used Music Map to find some similar music, somehow Trampled By Turtles (one of my favorite bluegrass groups), Bassnectar and Nicki Minaj came up as similar to Spanish rap...

So which is better: Breaking Bad or Spanish rap? Wrong, both. 

Snippets 02.

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April 28, 2014
ONE. I really, really like theory. I've tried my hand at keeping up this little window box with some pansies and some kale and for awhile, it was going really well. My kale was growing tall and blooming with these pretty yellow flowers. My pansies were blooming and making me feel like a successful old lady. But then these big ol' bugs showed up and I have no clue what to do about them. I can't even figure out what they are, for are my googling. Like this is 2014, I should be able to do anything if I google enough. Anyways, my pansies are dying, thanks to these poopers. Sad day. 

TWO. Last weekend, I paid a visit to my future school! I'm not sure if I'm going to share exactly which school it is, but probably at some point. Anyways, it was really nice to scope out the whole living situation and trek through campus. This (very bad iPhone picture) was taken in a walkway through a ravine that cuts through from my future room to the student union (and food court, so you know I'll be walking this stretch often!). I just thought it was such a gorgeous little area tucked away in a busy, urban campus and I'm so excited to have this near me next fall!

THREE. H and I have had a series of lovely dates lately. Last week, as a particularly belated birthday dinner, we made fancy pizza. H picked up some fancy mozzarella and pesto and freshly-kneaded dough. We cooked up some chicken and fried up some quality bacon (YUM). It was just a really good-tasting and good-feeling meal and a genuinely good time with my main man. On another note, I'm a notoriously picky eater and H took me to a local Cajun place today and I tried approximately four new things. Which is about how many new foods I usually try in a year. Please be proud of me. 

What's been going on with y'all lately?

4 Gorgeous Color Palettes Inspired by Plants

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April 25, 2014
Lately, as spring has been exploding all around me, I've been inspired by plants. Even when we think of nature in spring, it's always about the flowers. You know, the tulips and the daffodils and all. But I've just been enjoying the green

Behind my house, there's a little forest separating my street and the next street over. All through the winter, we can see the other houses, but as of the last week or two, the new leaves completely block our view. As I've been noticing and admiring those new leaves and all that lovely chlorophyll, I've been amazed by all the colors within the leaves. At a glance, they look like they're all the same color but there are all sorts of shades of green and even other tones of blues and yellows if you look closely. 

I'm using these color palettes to inspire my design, my attitude and even my writing as I work to breathe life back into this blog and into everything that I do. 

Particularly in that last palette, I just love admiring the colors. For the record, I used a color picker to take all of these colors directly from the picture. That bold purple in palette #2? That's all nature at work. How can you not feel happy looking at that + knowing that you get to live in that world!

Have a lovely day!

All images are from F L O R A

Weekly Goals #32

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April 22, 2014

Hello all! I hope you had a lovely Easter if you celebrate it or just a lovely weekend! I had Friday and Monday off and my weekend was oh-so-relaxing...I'm not looking forward to putting that nose back on the grindstone tomorrow. 

On Friday, H and I went out for lunch at a local Cajun place and tried to go golfing, only to find that the driving range was closed. After a quick google, we found out that the owners of the range just up and left a few weeks ago. So no golfing (I was not-so-secretly relieved)! On Saturday, I did lots of exam review + visited my long-neglected lover (aka, the library). Sunday was for church with my family and lunch with kids. Then yesterday, H and I went out again to get us some Genghis Grill (which is delish, by the way). It was just a very laid-back, happy weekend. Also, it should be noted that I watched approximately six episodes of Breaking Bad this weekend...

But even with all of that awesome quality time with Netflix, I still managed to kick butt on my weekly goal! Which, if we recall from last Monday, was to exercise for at least 45 minutes three times + my two soccer practices. Check, check! Well sort of. My first two workouts were about 35 and 40 minutes each because I procrastinated and had to get home for dinner. But yesterday, I got a solid hour and a half in, so that felt good! So I'm considering this week a success!

I have two goals this week: stay on track with my exam prep + finish my book! I've made a daily schedule of which sections to review for each course and I'm already behind! :/ I just need to focus on putting in the time so I'm not super stressed out the night before! Secondly, I'm reading Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore and unfortunately, I'm not liking it as much as I hoped. But I've heard great things so I just need to keep working through it. As soon as I finish it, I'll post a recap with The Memory Keeper's Daughter and Reconstructing Amelia.

What are your weekly goals?

CMS Rebrand + Moodboard

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April 20, 2014
So apparently, I have an odd fixation with changing my blog design riiiight when it's time to be in bed. Right now, it's 11 p.m., the night before Easter Sunday, which will involve getting up early for breakfast with my family, church, lunch with friends (and their very energetic kids...sigh) and all sorts of busyness. And I'm totally not sleeping to get ready for my day. No, that would be way too logical. Instead, I'm rebranding (sort of).

Over the last few weeks, I've been reevaluating the 'Call Me Sassafras vibe' and it's all sort of come together tonight. Nothing's really changing, but I'm working to be more consistent with the mood that I keep around these parts. The (not really) new CMS will be ruled by the king and queen of my heart: black and white, but just enough to keep things in line. Leafy greens will come into play, as will a solid dose of my favorite dusty pink. We're gonna become besties with triangles and fearlessly clean lines. When you think of my blog, I want you to think of genuine, bold and unique. With that, I'd like to introduce to you the moodboard of the newish Call Me Sassafras!

What do you think of the new moodboard/brand? Does anyone else have this habit of designing late at night?!

Missing Links: a big dose of science

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April 18, 2014
First off, thanks to Amanda for the title inspiration! (She's helped me with two posts in a row, which is quite impressive!) 

So I've been thinking (A dangerous pastime, I know). The truth is, I am just way too nerdy to limit myself to a science bit on the bottom of a post every once in awhile. I just love all things science, and I'm especially passionate about making science available and understandable for everyone. So I'm starting Missing Links, a series of science articles, videos and photos to inspire you and stretch your brain a bit. It may also be an excuse to use a science pun. 

Here we gooooo:

+ A little info on this video. The Pilobolus (pih-LOW-bow-luss) fungi is a super ordinary poop-loving barnyard fungus. Its sporangium (basically, a baby fungus) hangs out in grasses in farmlands. A cow comes along and munches on the grass, eating the sporangium as well. It digests it along with the grass and poops it out, because that's what cows do, and the fungus grows into stalks inside manure (ewww). But the fungus has to somehow get its sporangium to the grass so it will survive + get eaten again, so it moves towards the light + shoots out the sporangium (black cap) super fast towards the grass. Cool, huh? It should also be noted that there is a dance company called Pilobolus. Why? I don't know.

+ Take a 30-second online test to check your reaction time. Mine is .38359 seconds (and I have no idea if that's awesome or terrible). What's yours?!

+ I'm always a big believer in the fact that science can be beautiful. What better than the winners of a microscopy photography contest to prove that?! 

+ Alnwick Gardens in England (created by the Duchess of Northumberland--that's my kinda lady!) are dedicated to exhibiting all sorts of deadly plants, from hemlock to nightshade to strychnine.

+ 10 (Actually) Fascinating Facts about the Human Body. Explains why you only breathe through one nostril at a time and why your nose gets runny when it's cold out.

+ Since we were just on the topic of super deadly things in nature, this list of the 10 Most Deadly Proteins is fascinating! The most poisonous is Botulinum toxin, which can kill you with a dose of just 100 nanograms (which is really, really little!). Oh and surprise! It's also in Botox. Love your faces the way they are, ladies.

That's all my "missing links" for this week! Peace out, nerdballs.

It's Hard to Be a Multipassionate Blogger

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April 16, 2014
the-shark-blog:  Black-Tipped Reef Shark by J D J Ford
Hey lovebugs! So you know how I've been in this weird in-betweeny space with this blog? Kind of like when you like a guy and he likes you but no one wants to admit it first so you just say awkward icky things for like a month. Anyways, y'all have offered me lots of great thoughts + advice about my struggle between writing about my passions + finding an audience and they have helped me so so much. 

A couple readers have left really really thoughtful comments (which I so appreciate) and one of the commenters (holla Amanda) asked me why I feel like people don't want to read about what I want to write about. And I responded that I feel like I can't put myself and my blog into a niche like 'DIY blogger' or 'mommy blogger'--I want to be a music-design-productivity-science-positivity blogger. I confidently consider myself multipassionate, and that's great! But it's not so great for finding people interested in all the same things as you. 

I'm beginning to embrace that. I understand that you might not follow my blog for the science, but stick around if you enjoy the playlists or the positivity or whatever. And in the end, I'm telling myself that the people who stick around are the people who I really want here anyways. Now I don't mean that to sound mean, but I just want to put it out there. I understand that not everyone will like my blog and that is so okay. It's okay if you want to unfollow me, it really really is.. If we've become friends, please still tweet at me once in awhile but don't waste your time trying to be interested in something that bores you!

So this is just a short post to kind of recap all of the jumbles that are bouncing around in my brain. As always, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. I love reading your thoughts.

(P.S. Someone else appreciate the cool shark picture with me...)

Weekly Goals #31

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April 14, 2014
For the record, let it be known that I'm completely aware that these "weekly goals" are more like "every-few-weeks-aka-when-I-feel-like-it goals". But for clarity, let's keep calling them weekly goals. 

This past weekend, I visited my future college for the bajillionth time. I'm getting so excited to move myself into my apartment/suite in August! Yay college! But now it's back to my last few weeks of school before I graduate. And let me tell you guys....senioritis: so real. It's so, so real. 

Let's review last week's (aka the goals I made like a month ago...on my birthday, no less) goals! I made a goal about exercising. Like I've mentioned, H and I have a big event coming up in less than two weeks. Personally, I hate everything about the idea of a "big event" because that means a late night, lots of people, lots of socializing, and lots of anxiety. The last time we went to an event like this one (and it was much, much smaller), I had a panic attack, got sick, and had to leave after only half an hour. Even thinking about that night, I get a little emotional because I've never felt that nervous and out of control. 

I'm not generally an anxious person. I don't get stressed about work or classes, like ever. Something about feeling like I have to live up to some expectation of how to act and not knowing how makes me feel lost. It's a totally confusing feeling for me. And obviously, a really miserable one too. 

But H really, really wants to go to this event and so we're going. I don't want a repeat of last time so I've been trying to take steps to avoid it. I've been practicing doing 4-7-8 breaths (in for 4 counts, hold for 7, out for 8) whenever I start getting anxious, using my anxiety beads and journaling. It's seemed to help, so far, but I'm not convinced that I'll be feeling this confident about it in two weeks. 

Part of my anti-anxiety plan is making sure I don't have any other sources of anxiety. I made sure to get a dress that I really like, I'm going to practice my hair and makeup ahead of time and most of all, I'm exercising to lose a couple pounds before the event. I figure if I can feel great about how I look, I'll be a little less nervous about how to act and all. 

As part of that goal, I joined the #1800minutechallenge, which you might have heard about on Twitter or other blogs. Basically, the goal is to exercise (in any way!) for 1800 minutes during April and May, which comes out to about 30 minutes a day. I play soccer 2-3 times a week with a recreational team, but I'm supplementing that with running intervals on the treadmill and the occasional elliptical workout. 

This week, my goal is to exercise for at least 45 minutes, three times outside of soccer. I'm also tracking my steps and my water intake and working to cut out desserts while eating solid servings of vegetables (my weakness). 

What are your goals for the week? How do you manage your anxiety? What do you like to do for exercise?

DIY Design: Make a Back-to-Top Button for Blogger

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April 11, 2014
Okay, first a disclaimer: I am not an expert coder. If you ask me how to code anything on your website or blog, I will probably send you somewhere else, especially if it involves CSS. But HTML I can handle in small doses. And when I recently figured out how to make a back-to-top button without crazy coding, I just had to show you how I do it!

In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, a back-to-top button is the little button that appears in the corner of my blog and if you press it, you'll be catapulted back to the top of the page. For really long pages like archives, a long homepage or even a post with a lot of comments, this is super nice to have. 

First, make a small button. You can do this in Picmonkey or Photoshop, depending on your skill set (or I can make you one!). I made mine a circle, about 80 pixels in diameter. Upload the photo either in a post or in Flickr/Photobucket and then copy the image URL. If you upload it into a post, flip over to HTML first to find the image URL.

Then, open up your blog dashboard and go to Layout. Make a new gadget in a sidebar (or in a footer if you don't have sidebars) for simple HTML--it's called HTML/Javascript. Simply copy/paste this HTML into the box, add in your image link + admire! Look at you go, you HTML wizard.

<a style="display:scroll;position:fixed;bottom:5px;left:5px;" href="#" title="Back to Top"><img src="YOUR IMAGE LINK" /></a>

If you need to change your margins, just change the number before 'px' and that will change how many pixels of margin you have between your button and the top and left sides of the screen. This code will automatically put the button on the left side, but you can easily switch it to the right side by putting 'right' in instead of 'left'. I chose to do that + I also changed my position to 34 pixels from the right side so that it wasn't half on gray, half on white (at least on my computer). 

Let me know if you have any issues! I probably won't be able to help but I'll try ;) If you enjoyed this tutorial, I'd lurvvv if you would pin the image up top! I'd love you even more if you pin it from the actual post page, not my homepage!

Playlist #22

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April 09, 2014
Hi friends! I hope you've had a lovely week so far and are ready to ace the rest of your week! I just wanted to say a little thank you for everyone who has been so supportive over the last few weeks as I've been dealing with my whole choosing-a-college situation. Though it hasn't been a super fun situation to be in, it really made me happy to see some of y'all really reach out and say nice things to me. Go you!

Today, I've got a little playlist to help you relax through the rest of your week. Also, I'm sort of in one of those icky music ruts, so if you have any recommendations, send 'em my way, please and thank you!

Have a lovely Wednesday, y'all!

March in Favorites

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April 07, 2014
Things have been looking way up in March! I've been healthy, I've been happy, I've been (mostly) non-stressed! I've been treating myself right, exercising, eating healthy and trying to be happy and it's resulted in an inner peace that I've been feeling over the last few days. I'm inspired and excited for April to really begin!

April is an especially exciting time because after this month, I literally have about two weeks before I graduate. I haven't said much online about my graduation because I am so much younger than my niche of bloggers (I just want to fit in!) but it's so exciting that I can't not. I've decided where I'm going to college (something that's private for now) and I feel at rest now that I know what my future looks like. 

In March, my main goal was to organize my mind and my life and focus on my health. I didn't do perfectly the whole month, but I'm proud of my effort the last two weeks or so. I've been exercising, focusing on healthier snacks and meals and though I haven't seen "results", I do feel better, at least mentally.

In April, my goal is to enjoy every moment, stress free. This month and the next will be filled with many things that I'll experience for the last time. It's both exciting me and terrifying me. I want to enjoy these last days and remember them as good memories, not times of anxiety.

But anyways! Let's recap March.

This month, I went sort of all out crazy with music and have started listening to quite a bit of new music, largely consisting of that absurdly happy sort of indie pop. I'm warning you, these may get stuck in your head. #sorrynotsorry

If Ever I Stray // Frank Turner
Your English is Good // Tokyo Police Club
Man on the Street // Imperial Leisure
You Got Lucky // Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

...and yes I realize that Tom Petty is not indie pop.

This month, I read two whole books. (This would be my sister's cue to sarcastically ask me if I want a cookie as a prize. And yes, I would.) I'm not going to elaborate on them too much because I plan on writing a review for them soon, but I read Reconstructing Amelia and The Memory Keeper's Daughter. Currently, I'm also working on The Omnivore's Dilemma. Keep an eye out for a post on them in the next few weeks! And if I don't post one soon, someone please bug me to finish The Omnivore's Dilemma before I turn 80, because I've been on it literally forever.

This month, I took a lot of time to reevaluate my blog and my direction and my intentions in blogging in my posts Honest Thoughts on Balance in Blogging and Getting Involved in the Blog Community. I also really enjoyed sharing this Blog Post Organizer Printable + including a little snippet about the basics of genetics. (Eeeee science!)

Sneak peak of April: tips on finding inspiration for blog posts, reading more + building habits.

If you have a month recap post, please share the link! I love reading a good recap! 

Finding Inspiration for Your Blog Posts

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April 04, 2014
Lately, I've been less than inspired to write posts here. The desire is there--I love having this blog. But I've begun to overthink it. I feel like I constantly have to balance what my readers want to read (that's you!) and what I want to write and how to be genuinely myself in the process.

(Source, as best as I can find)
I was given the opportunity to host the Lifestyle Bloggers (#lbloggers) chat this week, which is every Wednesday from 2-3 pm EST. I choose the topic "finding inspiration for your blog posts". Over the course of the hour, we discussed how to find inspiration, what to do when you're in a rut, getting inspired from blogs and visual sites like Tumblr and Pinterest. All in all, these ladies (and a couple gents) had some wonderful advice that I just have to share with you. 

(I've credited where possible, but do know that I didn't favorite every tweet and don't remember who tweeted everything.)

On being in a rut:

+ "Take a break, forcing a post doesn't work for me. I carry a notebook & jot ideas down." -@daintyandivory

+ "Get out and do something! Leave the computer and choose to do something you love or something new." -@appreciate_day

+ "Sometimes taking a week off blogging doesn't hurt, so you get new energy and ideas." -@VitaPre

+ "Go for a walk. Listen to old music. Make ice cream. Play guitar. Write a story. Call a friend. Sit in silence." -@serpentineshore

+ "My cure for writer's block is no TV, iPad or phone after 9:30 pm, have bath and read a book in bed. You have to switch off." -@thedemongin

+ "I also recommend taking trips to your local library/museum/gallery: get out. get inspired." -@serpentineshore

On finding inspiration:

+ "My inspirations are always visual. I rarely have the patience to go through a lot of text." -@sarmistha_lbf

+  "Don't just follow trends or do what other big bloggers are doing - forge your own path + create your own niche." -@serpentineshore

+ "If I blog about something I'm already passionate about, the inspiration just flows." -@poppybird_

+ "I think people watching is a great place to get inspiration. We're all so different! :)" -@WhimsicalMrsW

+ "Definitely Pinterest! There are lots of great pictures and ideas on there, especially for food!" -@effievanity

+ And my own personal trick: try to come up with 3-4 ideas for each of your topics in under two minutes. It doesn't matter if they're garbage! I feel like this takes the pressure off of coming up with the most perfect blog post idea ever while allowing me to be creative.

It's not to late to pitch in! How do you find inspiration or get yourself out of a blogging rut?

5 Visually Inspiring Pins

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April 02, 2014
I just wanted to pop in today and share with you a few of the things that have been inspiring me lately on Pinterest. I've been using Pinterest more and more lately for various parts of my life: getting in shape, decorating a dorm room, inspiring my designs and satisfying my need for visually beautiful things. I've heard a lot of backlash against Pinterest lately about how it's a waste of time. Personally, I think it's gotten a bit of a bad rap + I'm a tried and true Pinterest fan (even if they are incorporating more ads these days). How do you feel about Pinterest?

Pretty Paper Colorful Geometric Pretty + Paper
(Oh So Beautiful Paper)
(Swan Dive)

(Nature's Doorway)

Holler at me, y'all. What's inspiring you lately? Do you think Pinterest is valuable or a waste of time?

For more lovely things, follow me on Pinterest. And leave your username with a comment so I can check yours out too!

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