adventures in lighting

I moved back in with my parents last year, and since I work from home full time I got to move into a larger room in the house to accommodate my workspace. We're thinking about moving out of state next year but to be honest I'm REALLY going to miss this room if we do. It's been my favorite place I've ever lived, I love it even more than my old apartment!

The only downside has been the light fixture. It came with the house and it's one of the only lamps that my parents never changed. It hangs crooked and every time I had to change the light bulb I was positive it was about to fall on me. It hung high enough that my 5' body had no trouble walking underneath, but anytime I had a taller visitor they'd bump their head.

Here it is! The crooked chandelier. That would be a good name for a mystery novel, wouldn't it? Maybe someone is strangled and left hanging from a chandelier, and it always hangs crooked after that, taunting the guilty party with its crookedness until they finally can't take it anymore and confess their crime.

Actually is this even a chandelier? I think it's just a lamp? Anyway. It was here and I carefully cropped it out of every photo for the last year and a half. Last month I was at IKEA and I saw an awesome 60's mod light fixture that seemed like the perfect replacement. It was one of those "last chance" items so I HAD to get it.

I have no idea why this picture is so grainy but the lamp isn't up anymore so I can't take a new picture :\ Isn't the shape and style awesome, though?! It's basically my dream lamp, if I was the type of person to dream about light fixtures.

So a few weeks ago my dad installed this for me. It took three of us about three hours to get this thing installed. I normally love IKEA but in this case I felt like it was one of those products that everyone complains about... the design is very flawed, the directions were impossible to understand and nothing seemed to actually work. When it was finally up and running we switched the power back on and.... it's essentially a night light. You could barely even tell it was on. Which would be fine if this was hanging over a nightstand I guess (?) but it's supposed to illuminate my work area.

So I started searching for a new lamp. Can I just say, it is REALLY hard to find nice lamps that aren't hundreds of dollars. So many of the ones in my price range looked a lot like the one I had been trying to replace from the beginning. I would have been happy with a simple sphere or something but even the simplest modern fixtures all seemed to be over $300.

Somehow I ended up finding this scalloped lighting fixture from pottery barn kids. It's nice and simple, not super expensive, and the scalloped border adds just a little me-ness ;) And best of all -- it takes two 60 watt bulbs so it should be bright enough. SCORE!

Yesterday we decided to install it, thinking it would be a breeze after that horrible IKEA one. "We'll have this done in 30 minutes, tops!" We were so naive. The wiring went smoothly, but once it was time to actually screw it to the ceiling we ran into multiple setbacks. The screws weren't long enough, so we rested the fixture on a box that was precariously sitting on top of a ladder and ran to Lowe's to get longer screws. Even then we still couldn't figure out how to line up the screws to the holes in the lamp, though. I ended up asking my brother to come over and help, since he's more handy than the rest of us. He managed to get it screwed on (yay!) so I handed him a 60 watt light bulb. And it didn't fit.

It turns out this lamp takes SPECIAL 60 watt bulbs. (Actually they're just the kind that are shaped like candles that go in chandeliers, which aren't too special.. they're just not the kind I keep on hand..) So I still don't have a functioning lamp yet. I'm going to Lowe's later today to see if they sell the right light bulbs. Honestly I think at this point even if it turned out that every store on the planet was sold out of the bulbs I'd just let it go and live without a functioning light fixture. I'd rather my eyesight suffer than have to spend one more minute, nay, second, installing lighting!

Anyway... the new lamp is so pretty though, isn't it? :)


I got this dress last year because I'm a sucker for anything that has an all-over photographic print, and it turned out to be the absolute perfect thing to wear to see Everest yesterday. I mean, it has a mountain on it. How many dresses have mountains on them? Not a ton, I'd guess.

From the previews I was seeing all summer I was expecting Everest to be like an IMAX nature experience with a little story thrown in for good measure. The trailer just seemed to emphasize how amazing the 3D graphics looked, and honestly that's the only reason I wanted to see it. So it kind of threw me for a loop because the story really grips you and it's horribly, horribly sad. I knew it was based on a true story, but I didn't know anything about the 1996 hiking trip they were depicting in the movie. It's REALLY sad. I actually had the whole theater to myself and I was legitimately crying at the end, like wipe-your-nose-not-just-your-eyes crying. It was brutal! The cinematography really was breathtaking, though, and even when the movie was beating my heart up with a hammer I still thought it was beautiful.

Oh, by the way, I never mentioned how I liked The Martian! It was AMAZING. If you've read the book, you should like the movie. If you've never read the book, you should like the movie (and then you should read the book.) Definitely one of my favorite movies I've seen all year and I'm absolutely going to go see it again.

dress - asos | shoes - bait footwear | shirt - modcloth

pastel witch

This is the face of someone who a) is really excited about Halloween, b) just put on false eyelashes for the first time and feels really uncomfortable blinking, and c) is frustrated that the lighting is so bad in the afternoon this time of year

I don't know what it is but I am just SO pumped (do people still stay pumped?) about Halloween this year. I want to wear dark makeup and black clothes and watch horror movies and eat pumpkin everything. Fall is always my favorite season (everyone usually qualifies this by saying they were born in autumn, and.. well.. I was.) but my Halloween fever is burning hotter than usual.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go peel off my eyelashes and watch Dracula.

This was the reason for the falsies in the first place - I want to start wearing them when I'm in my own product shots and I took this as soon as I was done with my outfit pictures. I made a small batch of Halloween brooches and this is my favorite, it's Luna from The Mark of the Vampire. They're all available here.

dress - forever 21 | jacket - vintage | shoes - bait footwear

It's beginning to look a lot like Halloween

I just finished adding some Halloween touches to my room! I go overboard at Christmas, but for Halloween it's just some subtle spooky touches here and there to make my room more festive. To be honest 90% of my decorations involve me taping glittery spiders all over the place and putting tiny witch hats on all of my little figurines. At some point I REALLY want to design Halloween costumes for every single Funko Pop vinyl and bobblehead. I think that would be so fun!

My favorite decorations are my zombie flamingo (pictured near the end of this post) and my French poster of The Bride of Frankenstein. I love the idea of switching out that poster for every holiday but, surprisingly, I'm having a really hard time finding a Christmas one that I like. Ideally I'd love a Christmas in Connecticut poster, since that's my favorite holiday movie, but the only reproductions are posters of the DVD cover (like what the heck? why?) and the original posters are WAYYY too expensive.

Oh also I took a giant heap of pictures of my room before I decorated for Halloween, too, and I'm planning on doing a tour post. I had planned on doing it last year before I stopped blogging and obviously never got around to it. I might even do a video tour *gasp!* If you're interested in viewing my old room and my old apartment I have tons of pictures in my room tour tag here.

fangirl part 2

Last weekend me and Casey went to the Supernatural convention in Secaucus, NJ! It was our second year going and just as fun as the first time!

I got a photo-op with my favorite human being, Misha Collins. I was literally planning my outfit for this since I bought the tickets last year. I'd buy dresses thinking "ooh, this would be great for my photo-op!" and then when the day finally came, I went with a plain black dress that I've had in my closet for years, lol. I always seem to do stuff like that! Oh well! The photos are taken with a really ugly red curtain background. I was going to link to my picture from last year to show you the red curtain and then when I went to grab the link I saw that I made it b/w last year, too! haha! This year I decided to photoshop it out of the picture entirely. I wish I wasn't so picky about color but I can't help it!!

You might be wondering why I'm making a kind of weird face in this picture. Or maybe you're not wondering, but I'm going to explain anyway. When I walked into the photo-op room I noticed that Misha was making this face in every single picture:

And I thought it would be fun if I made the same face, right? So I did. And then I picked up my picture two hours later and saw that mine was basically the only photo where he didn't make the face, haha! So I just look like I'm absolutely crazy and he looks normal. I think it makes for a kind of funny story though.

I was a little disappointed that I didn't end up with a "me and Misha are both making funny faces! hahaha!" kind of photo, so, since I am apparently completely shameless, I bought another photo-op the next day and asked him to make goofy faces with me. I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE I GOT THE NERVE. I am so shy, I literally can't even make eye contact with the cashiers at the grocery store let alone look at/talk to the most awesome human being on this planet. I seriously don't know where this sudden burst of chutzpah came from??? Anyway, we had to leave early the night of my second photo-op so I won't get to see it until they post them online in a couple of weeks. I'll definitely share that picture when I get it! I mean, we did bunny ears, too! WHAT THE HECK!!?

I also got Misha to autograph my photo in the 2013 GISHWHES book! It's so special to me because it's not just on the cover or inside, it's right on my picture! This actually reminds me that I still haven't shared any of my pictures from GISHWHES this year. I'll have to remedy that very soon! Me and Sammi did one of the tasks while she was visiting and it was so weird and fun and the picture is perfect! :D

This was the line for Misha's autograph! @_@ I actually had ticket #6 but they called all of the people who had purchased the big convention packages first (it includes tickets for the whole weekend, the best seats during Q&A panels and autographs with basically every star from the show) so I had to wait a verrrrry long time. WORTH IT THOUGH!

The one annoying thing about the Supernatural convention is that the event planners have basically nothing for you to do 70% of the time. During the day they have a lot of photo-ops scheduled, and nothing else. So if you are finished with your photos or don't have any at all, you basically have to just sit and wait around for hours until the next Q&A panel. Me and Casey knew about this from last year so we decided to bring my Supernatural Clue board game along with us! You can technically get by with 2 players but it's much more fun with four! So we asked two other convention-goers to join us! We had so much fun!! Aside from all-things Misha, this was hands down one of my favorite parts of the convention.

This was me and Casey when I was in line for my (first) photo op. I was so nervous, as evidenced by my terrified grimace/smile. And, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Casey got the most epic photo-op ever -- it's called the Supernatural sandwich photo and if you're a fan of the show your jaw is going to drop when you see this. She posted the photo on instagram, here.

It's so fun getting to hang out with a bunch of people who love the same thing that you do. It makes me want to find a way to SDCC so badly (I keep thinking that next year they'll probably have a panel for The X-Files because it comes back in January, and getting to do the convention thing for TXF? I would die. I'd actually die.)

If you're interested in more Supernatural fangirlness you can read my post from the 2014 convention here.

the martian

I'm going to see The Martian tonight and I am so excited I could burst! I read the book in January and it's one of my favorite books I've read all year. If you're not familiar with the story, it's about an astronaut on a mission to Mars who is abandoned on the planet after his fellow crew members think that he perished in an accident. I read this while I was on vacation in Disney World and I couldn't put it down -- I was actually sitting in the park reading this rather than going on rides. It's that good.

I had already heard that Matt Damon was cast as the titular character before I read the book, so that shaped the image of the character in my mind. I can be very picky about books that I like being made into movies. I still haven't seen any of the Harry Potter films because, with the exception of Ron, none of the actors came close to how I had imagined them while I was reading the story. And I'm putting off watching The Hunger Games as well because Liam Hemsworth looks nothing like the picture of Gale that my brain was conjuring up. But since I was already imagining Matt Damon in this role as I was reading it, I don't have many reservations about seeing this particular favorite book play out on screen.

Oh, and in case it isn't as obvious as I was hoping it would be, I decided to do an outfit interpretation of the book cover today! It's pouring buckets outside so I might have to substitute my heels for rain boots before I leave the house, but I'm pretty happy with my theme dressing on this one. I was originally going to go with a galaxy-print dress but I thought this was a little more specific to The Martian and still kind of subtle :)

dress - asos (I think?) | cardigan and shirt - f21 | shoes - blowfish
belt - h&m | neck tie - asos | book - amazon

my pink hair holy grail

I've been dying my hair pink on and off since 2011 and even though it is, hands down, my favorite hue for my hair I've always found it tricky to get the exact shade I want. Ideally I want a muted pink that isn't super neon. And in a perfect world it would be a light Crayola carnation pink, not orange-y or coral-ish.

This has always been tricky because my hair grows out of my scalp a medium-dark brown color and I need to bleach it yellow before I can even start thinking about pink. No matter how much I bleach it (and trust me, my hair has seen WAY TOO MUCH bleach) even at its lightest it is still a bright buttery yellow. That base has always worked really well for me, but my hair does tend to come out slightly neon (at least before it starts to fade) and often a tad bit orange.

Enter: Toner. Which always reminds me of this:

But in this case I'm talking about hair dye, not printer ink.

I discovered recently that you can tone your hair after you've bleached it to cancel out the brassy tones leaving you with a white-ish platinum blonde. Now this is probably old news to a lot of people but I had never tried it before last week. I needed to touch up my roots and color anyway so I decided to give this a try.

First I did a bleach bath, which is supposed to be a gentler way of bleaching your hair. If you're interested just look on youtube, there are a ton of tutorials for it and that helped me a lot. I bought one of those bleach kits from Sally's and just mixed it 1:1 with Redken All Soft shampoo. It lifted my roots and got rid of any remaining color on my hair but my scalp wasn't burning and my hair didn't seem fried when I was done. Woo hoo!

Next I applied Wella toner mixed with developer and watched the brassiness disappear from my head right before my eyes. It was like magic!! I used pink Overtone conditioner and it left my locks the most pretty pastel pink you've ever seen. I was honestly obsessed with how this looked when I was all done. I decided to add more pink the next day (this dye mixed with a TON of conditioner) and now it's the majestic muted pastel pink I've been dreaming about for years. I'm not sure what the upkeep will look like yet since this was the first time I used toner but honestly I love it so much that even if I had to do weekly maintenance I'd be okay with it.

It goes without saying, but this is just my own experience with hair dye and bleach and stuff and I'm not a professional so don't listen to me unless you're dangerous and like living life on the edge.

passport picture perfect

I just got a fresh new haircut and touched up my roots, and my makeup was looking less horrible than usual today so it seemed like the perfect time to get my new passport photo taken. The one that I've been living with for ten years was literally the most horrible photo of me ever, I'm not even kidding. I had the worst haircut of my life at the time and I somehow managed, at 18, to look like I was at least 45. And not even a young and fresh 45, it was a "life hasn't been kind to her" 45.

I think I'm going to do a post about hair coloring next because I recently discovered the secret to the shade of pink that I've wanted since I first started experimenting with this color in 2011. It's always been more orange or more neon than I originally hoped for but this time I finally nailed it. Yay!

dress (old, worn as a top, and designed by me!) - dahlia | skirt - forever 21
shoes - bait footwear, of course | belt - from another dress