5 Things I Love – Aug 29

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So, apparently I forgot that Monday was Monday. And Tuesday was, well, Tuesday. So finally today, here’s my 5 Things I Love for this week.

1. The Return of Superheroes

Maybe it’s the whole tomboy growing up with brothers & no sisters thing, but I’m really enjoying the resurgence of the superhero (even if superheroines are more often than not scantily clad with unrealistic dimensions). So to continue in the theme of the shirt from last week, I recently gave in to my nerd tendencies and picked up a new tote bag. Not just any tote bag, but one featuring Thor, the Hulk, Spiderman, Wolverine & Captain America along with the slogan ‘I only date superheroes’. This one is similar (but I like mine better). I figure if I tote my tote around long enough people may stop asking me how it is that I’m single ;)

2. Bear Cub

I was talking music with one of my co-workers a week or so ago and, based upon my enjoyment of Mumford & Sons, she recommended that I try out Bear Cub. She was right. I listened through the link she sent me on Grooveshark (the modern day answer to cd sharing) and now I’m passing along the recommendation to you all. Unless you don’t dig the folk/indie/pop vibe, but you shouldn’t be afraid to expand your musical horizons.

3. Essence C in Raspberry

It’s the TopCare knock-off vitamin C powder, but what I love about it is that it really tastes like raspberries. Also, less expensive than Emergen-C (though I do buy that too at times) and great for the upcoming cold season.

4. Captain America

FINALLY I made it to see Captain America last night and just as I suspected I loved it. Great aesthetic, fun characters, explosions, a love story… now just to wait to see what happens in Avengers ;)

5. Blunder: Why Smart People Make Bad Decisions by Zachary Shore

I got introduced to this book right after I made the switch to UX last year, but it is only just recently that I started reading it myself. Written in more of a story format, Shore uses examples from real life and literature to explore cogition traps or ‘blunder’s like causefusion (confusing the causes of complex events) and static cling (an inability to accept change). A great book to read for anyone who leads or has to work with other people.

5 Things I Love – June 20

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1. Opal Applique Clutch in Multi

As may become apparent at some point, I have a thing for clutches. Never mind that I rarely am anywhere that I would carry such a thing. This particular clutch is another one that caught my eye in Marie Claire, though it’s much more affordable than Stella McCartney’s.

2. V8 V-Fusion Raspberry Green Tea

As a kid who hated tomatoes growing up I never thought I would want to drink V8, but the combo of green tea and raspberries brings together two things I love for a great, healthy beverage choice.

3. Michigan Awesome

Michigan Awesome is this, well, awesome little company who makes t-shirts for Michiganders at heart who are proud to show it. I’ve got a list of their styles I intend to acquire, the most recent of which being ‘4 Out of 5’ and ‘Michigangster’.

4. Neuro Web Design by Susan Weinschenk

I was first introduced to this book last year when my manager came up one morning and asked if I could read and produce notes on the book for presentation at an afternoon meeting. Thankfully, it’s a really great book which meant I didn’t mind immersing myself completely in it for a few hours or reintroducing myself last month for our design workshop. To me it’s a must read for anyone who works with customers and the web.

5. Bear River Valley Cereal

I stumbled across this brand while perusing Big Lots and am wishing I had stocked up more at the time because not only are they a bagged cereal (so 75% less packing is used) but they’re all natural, whole grains and tasty to boot.

5 Things I Love – May 16

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1. Fenton Winery & Brewery

I had never even heard of this place until my friend Natalie suggested that we meet up there to catch up and transact some lia sophia business over wine while enjoying the musical talent of her fiance Mike Vial. It’s not an overly large venue, settled unobtrusively in a strip mall, but it has a great vibe to it. They also won my tastebuds over with their Autumn Breeze Pomegranate Riesling and warm brie with green apple and water crackers. It definitely proved itself worthy of a second trip despite being a bit of a drive away.

2. Jensen’s Orchard Spinach & Artichoke Chips

I have utterly failed to find a link to the site of the actual producers of these very tasty chips. Nevermind, it was on the bag. Sure chips aren’t the healthiest of snacks, but at least these have spinach as the third ingredient on the list (potatoes are first followed by vegetable oil). They’ve also got a lower calorie and carb count per serving than your average bag of chips. I may just have to stop back in at Big Lots and get a second bag this week.

3. Jon Kolko’s Thoughts on Interaction Design

Reading is one of those things that, if you’re like me, you always want to do more of than you have time for, but if you have any interest in Interaction Design this book is well worth carving out the time. There is so much that can be pulled from it that I’m planning to read it twice – the first time to just absorb and then again to actually take notes on it for work.

4. Orange Roses

This past Friday I received a lovely bouquet and thank you note from the Kiams for the lia sophia spot Mom and I did on Fox 2 Detroit week before last and it reminded me how much I love orange roses. Actually, I love any flowers in that particular vibrant orange darkening to almost red at the tips color. Poppies. Tiger Lilies. Orange Roses. Also, a little tidbit for those interested in the meaning imbibed into certain flowers, orange roses stand for enthusiasm, desire and fascination.

5. Photowalks Detroit

This is one of those awesome groups whose events I wish I could make it to more often, like their upcoming DIA photowalk on June 4th. I’m already booked that day or I would definitely put myself on the wait list to take part. It was a blast shooting with them when I went last summer. You can find them online on Facebook and flickr.

5 Things I Love – May 2

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1. Detroit

I know that Detroit gets a bad rap as a city, but I have found the people of Detroit that I’ve met to be a warm and inviting group. The history is interesting, the buildings have great architecture and art is in the city. It has a great beat that gets missed by the all the bad chatter that’s snowballed in the press on the city, but I am glad to see people like those gathered at Future Midwest this past week are looking past that to what Detroit can be with some faith, creativity & perseverance.

2. Maria V. Snyder’s Study Trilogy

I have somewhat varied taste in books, but am a sucker for good character driven fantasy, which Snyder’s books are. I enjoyed them so much that I read through all 3 in two days with work, Easter and other commitments mixed in as well.


It often surprises people that I’ve not done more karaoke in my life, but I do quite enjoy it when I do and the Techkaraoke group is a fun one. I’d love it even if I hadn’t come home with a trophy from last Friday’s edition.

4. Hillsong Chapel’s ‘Hosanna’

We started practicing this for praise team a couple of months ago and it remains one of my favorites from the new batch of songs we’ve been learning. It’s got a light, ethereal feel to it that I just love.

5. Energy by VitaminWater

With VitaminWater as a sponsor to two events this past week (Future Midwest & Technokaraoke) I drank my fair share and one of the new flavors I was introduced to was energy, which is a tropical citrus with caffeine & guarana. Generally I’m a XXX drinker (yay for pomegranate!) but Energy is a great alternative for those times that you want caffeine coffee doesn’t sound good and you don’t want all the additives of pop. For you Zero lovers out there, there is a citrus-mixed berry flavor called Drive which also contains caffeine and I’m told is quite good as well.

5 Things I Love – April 18

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1. Delivering Happiness

If you like a good read – read this book. If you’re involved in business of any sort – read this book. If you want to succeed in your chosen profession – read this book. Really, there’s a reason that it hit #1 on NYT Bestsellers. Tony Hsieh tells a great story about his journey to build Zappos starting all the way back with his childhood worm farm and in the process shares a lot of great lessons and tips not just about business but about life.

2. ‘You Never Let Go’ by Matt Redman

I learned this song awhile back and just recently it was reintroduced to my life. Even us glass half full people have down days and for me this song is a reminder that ‘through the calm and through the storm… in every high and every low, Lord, you never let go of me’, which is easy to lose sight of sometimes.

3. ‘Chicks Dancing’ Video

This past week Zoya Nail Polish put up this great video of their new spokeschick that is quirky, entertaining and cute. Never fear – not only is this video amusing but it is safe for the workplace and small children.

4. Knitted Dove

One of the things I love about Ideeli is that it introduces me to great new brands (or at least new to me), like Knitted Dove. The line is actually one I could envision my old roommate living in. It’s super cute, feminine and has a great aesthetic. The kind of pieces I might mix into my wardrobe for my less tomboy/bohemian/etc more embrace the femininity days. They’ve also got fun music videos for their Spring & Fall 2011 collections on their website.

5. My Mitten In Yours

One of my lovely friends of the blogging persuasion got engaged not all that long ago and has decided to blog her way towards a Michigan made wedding. She’s a great writer and I’m looking forward to reading along on this journey over the next year plus a few months.

5 Things I Love – Mar 21

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1. ‘Nerd’ Smurf Tee

I came across this while searching for some Despicable Me minions for my brother and not only is it reminiscent of my childhood, but it calls to my inner nerd and has a lovely retro appeal.

2. Lazy Saturdays

Sleeping in. Reading. Lazing about on the couch. Sun shining through the skylights. There is something to be said for a day of non-industriousness, especially after a packed month, and its impact on mental health (even if it means I never got that other post I wrote last week published…).

3. Fage Yogurt

Last year when I really started keeping a food diary and really, really reading labels I decided to make the switch from regular yogurt to Greek (have you seen the amount of sugar in a regular yoplait?) and a friend recommended this brand to me. They’re a little more expensive than some of the newer players on the market, but it shows in the taste difference. So catch them on sale and try out a flavor. I’m particularly loving the new Fage 0% Cherry Pomegranate combo. Healthy and tasty is always good.

4. iBooks

During my lazy Saturday, part of my reading was made possible by this lovely app and my ipod. While the majority of books that I know I want to read aren’t in the free section, they do have some great reads for free as well as paid.

5. Summer Partylite Catalog

Due to the loving sharingfulness of my friend and sponsor in Partylite, I got some of the new catalogs for Summer 2011 this weekend and am loving the bright lime, orange and pink dominant in the book. More on that to come ;)

5 Things I Love – Dec 6

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In honor of the retail shopping season (and my brother’s request for a Christmas wish list), I have decided to dedicate this week’s ‘5 Things I Love’ to a Christmas wishlist. Since some of you may have female geeks with my general assortment of interests in your life that you’re looking for gifts for, I’ll include not only the usual links but some related suggestions as well.

1. Her Universe Star Wars Burnout Tee

The “I Know” tee is a close second for me. They also have a swarovski hat, hoodie, jewelry and are offering 20% off + free shipping (US only, $8 off international) when you use the code ‘holiday’ at check out.

2. Star Trek (2009)

I am not sure how it is that I have not yet acquired this dvd, but it’s missing from my collection and this needs to be amended. I greatly enjoyed the movie in the theatre. In fact, I saw it twice, which is rare for me – opening night with my guy friends and then again with one of my girlfriends a few weeks later. Yet… nope, not in my collection.

I also found several piano books to go with for the music/Star Trek fan: Star Trek: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack and Complete Star Trek Theme Music: Piano Solo

3. IngenuiTEA 16 oz Tea Pot

Any tea lover will tell you that loose leaf is the way to go and this is an awesome device to help you with your loose leaf desires. Not sure where to get the tea? ThinkGeek has a sampler or a site like The Tea Table, which has an abundance of varieties.

Another option is a french press which will do either tea of coffee though they are marketed more to the coffee sphere.

4. The Art of Manipulating Fabric

A compendium of three-dimensional fabric effects, I want this book to add to my shelves for reference and inspiration on my sewing journeys. It also gets a lot of love in reviews and is a lot less expensive than many of the sewing/textile books I drool over.

5. Benefit’s ‘so hooked on Carmella’ eau de toilette

Described as a floral vanilla it has both the light and the earthy going for it. It’s my personal favorite of the Crescent Row scents, which not only have fun names and scents but also have fun packaging. Benefit is also offering a limited edition set of four mini bottles featuring ‘so hooked on Carmella’, ‘garden of good & Eva’, ‘lookin to rock Rita’ and ‘laugh with me LeeLee’ for those who can’t make up their mind (or aren’t sure of which one their gift recipient will like best).

Close seconds…

“Inevitable Betrayal” Tee

I can’t see any lover of Firefly not wanting this tee. I know it is one of many favorite scenes for me from the series. Close seconds – Define “Interesting” Tee and ‘The Babe with the Power’ Tee (Yes, I know it’s Labyrinth not Firefly but it too is on ThinkGeek)

Magic to the Bone by Devon Monk

I actually have already read and once owned a copy of this urban fantasy novel. Loved it. Shared it with a friend. Friend moved. Sad day for me. I have as yet to read the rest of the series, but they are on my list now.

MacBook Pro Ironman Decal

Ever since I got my work computer, which happens to be a macbook pro, I have been eyeing these. There’s a Darth Vader and a Scrat several others from this seller that I’ve also contemplating, but I always end up coming back to the Iron Man.

Sonic Screwdriver

As a fan of the 10th Doctor how could I, or any fan, not want one of these?

This is by no means a finite list. There are a ton of other things that I could include like The Guild comic book, Chuck Season 2 (&3), Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog, a ticket to Comic Con (if registration were working), more books, etc. etc.

Anyway, enough of that for today. Last weekend was a killer and my bed is telling me just how warm and comfy it is from across the apartment.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this special edition of ‘5 Things I Love’ ;)

5 Things I Love – Oct 18

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1. Pomegranate

The increasing amount of pomegranate products on the market makes me happy, but my favorite form of pomegranate is the fresh fruit. Sure, it’s a process to actually get to the seeds and if you’re not careful they’ll stain your fingers red, but those are minor once those sweet juicy bits of goodness are freed for consumption.

2. Used Book Stores

I’ve always loved books. It’s a familial addiction. I was introduced to used book stores as a kid and to me it’s like a treasure hunt. You never know what new gem you’re going to discover. I also love that when cleaning out my bookshelf I have a place to send old friends where they might be appreciated by a new reader who has yet to explore their depths. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that it’s less expensive on a book addict’s pocket as well.

Note: I do shop new books as well and am aware of how important it is for authors that new copies of their books be bought.

3. Loose Leaf Tea

In preparation for NaNoWriMo I made a few stops while I was in Lansing this past week including Wanderer’s Teahouse and Cafe, a new teahouse across from Michigan State’s campus. All of their tea is handmixed loose leaf in a variety of types and flavors. I had the mango marigold ceylon when I stopped by and it was warmth to a tea lover’s soul. I can’t wait to be able to make a write-in there and try another of their blends.

4. Dress Forms

As anyone who has been to my apartment can attest I have a bright red adjustable dress form in the middle of my main living area just about halfway between the couch and the kitchen. After years of contemplating one, I gave in last Christmas and I am so glad that I did. Not only does it make it far easier to construct my personal sewing projects, but alterations that I’ve avoided are as simple as they should be. If you sew, especially for yourself, it’s totally worth the investment.

5. Dollar Store Weaponary

Have I mentioned recently that I’m a geek? This is another one of those wipe away any doubts moments. A shenanigan ago, when the zombie invasion took place, an ax and a butcher knife, er, appeared in our work area which quickly became absorbed into our office culture. The ax I had picked up last year for a rainy day (you never know when you might need a plastic ax).

Well, those weapons disappeared recently (rumor says into our VP of Tech’s office) and, geek girl that I am, I couldn’t help but pick up this awesome dollar store sword whilst shopping for our most recent shenanigan.

Weapons of the Trade

It’s really too bad that I left my equally high quality knight’s shield behind when I switched jobs.