Inspired by Style Statement, by Carrie McCarthy & Danielle LaPorte

Monday, August 31, 2009

Soul Pancake

Rainn Wilson, the actor who plays Dwight on The Office, helped create the delightful blog Soul Pancake.

The blog explores life's biggest questions in a way that is somehow both serious and light-hearted. Wilson recently signed a book deal to have 'Soul Pancake' the book out in Fall 2010.

Watch the short video for Wilson's own explanation of Soul Pancake.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Written on the City

written on the city is a website devoted to graffiti that sends a message.

At left--graffiti from Honolulu.

Cities from all over the world are represented on the website.

I only wonder why Springfield, MO isn't represented yet. We have great graffiti.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Baby Carrots + Sabra Hummus

My brother and I are obsessed with this snack. It's one of the healthiest things we could possibly be snacking on--hummus is mostly chickpeas, and baby carrots are a great source of vitamin A.

We especially like baby carrots with the roasted garlic flavor hummus.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bull's Horn Comb

My bull's horn comb was brought to me from China.

Everyone should have one--it detangles without pain, feels cool to the scalp, and combs natural oils from the scalp to the roots.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fine European Market in Springfield, MO

The Fine European Market is located at 3630 S. Campbell Ave. in Springfield, MO. It opened a year ago, and stocks not only European goods but Middle-Eastern goods as well. It is not just expensive finery, but also everyday goodies like British digestive crackers and French limonade.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Charm Bracelet

Springfield, MO artist Denise Kozal makes a delightfully simple charm bracelet.

Charms include Scrabble letters, Mah Jong pieces, inspirational words, and more.

Kozal offers a lifetime guarantee on all her original jewelry.

Denise Kozal is stationed at the Farmers' Market at the Battlefield Mall on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 8:30 am to noonish.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Google Profile

A Google Profile is an online calling card. A Profile links together your online presences of choice (ie. twitter, your blog) into one coherent web-identity. This can help you clean up your web-presence for college and job interviews, and it can help you start to take control of your own Google search results.

Although there are many online calling card services out there (ie. LinkedIn), Google Profile is the simplest and most viewer-friendly. I feel comfortable adding my Google Profile to the signature of my e-mails, even when addressed to friends and acquaintances, not just "networking contacts."

Plus, I prefer a life in which the line between friends and "networking contacts" can be blurry, anyway.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Laptop + Work Tote: Kenneth Cole Reaction

Junior year at my school is filled with interviews from the moment you step foot on campus.

Luckily, my little brother found me the perfect work tote.

Microfiber exterior with a convincing and durable faux-leather trim, the Kenneth Cole Laptop Tote is both practical and classy. It comes with a laptop sleeve that fits screens up to 15.4". The accents on the tote are silver in tone.

Plus, the tote was reasonably priced at my local Sam's Club. Check here for your local availability.

Miller Theatre + Melissa Smey

Miller Theatre of Columbia University just got an awesome new director, Melissa Smey.

Miller Theatre has always been the place to see great performances of classical music, as well as the occasional avant-garde ballet, at a reasonable price (especially with the $7 student ticket price).

Before Smey, the Theatre was never really the place for students to hang out on a Friday night. This year, it will be. The 2008-2009 season starts out with the Wordless Music series, in which musicians collaborate to paint landscapes and memories.

Season standouts for the month of September alone:

Th, Sep 10: Do Make Say Think + Charles Spearin's "The Happiness Project." $20, no student discount, tickets available online.

Wed, Sep 23 and Fri, Sep 25: Kadinsky's "The Blue Rider" In Performance. In collaboration with the Guggenheim, there will be lights, music, and dancing. $7 - $35, student tickets available when purchased in person.

(Photo Credit: Angel Franco for The New York Times)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sticky Note

The internet is my favorite mode of procrastination. The trouble with my work is that it often requires a computer. The trouble with the internet is that it never ends.

Enter Sticky Screen. When you need to get stuff done, you can type a simple note to yourself on the sticky note, set it as your homepage for the time being, and remind yourself to stay on the productive side of the internet, and to stay away from the dangerous abyss of facebook and lolcats.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The New New Economy - Wired Magazine

Now available online for free, Wired Magazine's June cover stories are the best analysis I have read on the economy as of late. Equal parts daredevil, well-researched, and hopeful, the writers at Wired lay out plans to rebuild Detroit, analyse the rise of "Socialism" in online collaborative work, and spill all of Google's secrets.

All the articles are good, and if you're curious about any of them, I can't recommend highly enough.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Avast Anti-Virus

Are you still paying for high-quality virus protection software? If so, why?

Avast is the best virus protection I have ever used, and I used to pay like a sucker, too. Avast is free for personal use--the company makes most of its money by selling contracts to protect business networks.

I recently downloaded Avast when a particularly nasty virus destroyed even my anti-virus software, Symantec. I quickly deleted the destroyed software from my laptop, and then Avast did a full system check, finding viruses and adware in the strangest nooks and crannies. My laptop now runs like it did two years ago.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


If you're a blogger, then Lijit is the diagnostic that you thought you needed an advertising budget to run.

Lijit is a widget that allows readers to search your blog content (mine is towards the bottom of the home page). You can see popular terms, as well as the geographic locations that your readers tune in from. Plus, you can link your Lijit to your other online presences (ie. twitter), synching them into one coherent online calling card.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Free Chocolate Fridays

Every Friday, Real Chocolate gives you an opportunity for free chocolate. Show up on the website on Friday, fill out the form, and you'll get a coupon in the mail for your choice of the following: Peanut M&Ms, Snickers, Twix, Dove, 3 Musketeers, or Milky Way.

This is legit. My coupon arrived quickly, my chocolate was delicious, and I don't receive spam (except for the occasional reminder that it's Friday, but even these can be turned off).

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Want to know where your money goes? wesabe is the best free money flow manager on the net. Upload info on your bank accounts, cards, and cash, and wesabe gives you an ongoing summary of your income and expenditures.

wesabe is a more expansive version of The bank options at mint are limited to large banks, while wesabe carries even my local bank (Bank Midwest).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Harper's Bazaar: Fall Fashion

The September issue of Harper's Bazaar is the best Fall Fashion issue I've seen in my life. I've always admired Bazaar for their clean layouts and, more generally, their ability to clearly communicate the moods behind trends, so that all readers can adapt what they see to their personal budgets and styles.

This issue contains Susan Boyle's first high fashion photo shoot (she looks gorgeous), solid pieces for shopping in a recession, and fashion designers photographed with the cast of Sesame Street.

As always, there's Bazaar's trademark advice: invest in basics. Add a little bling bling, and you're in style.

(On newsstands now)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


imgfave is for images. Bookmark the images you like and come back to them later. It's perfect for saving design and fashion inspiration, funny images, and anything else you enjoy. Like delicious, imgfave gives you your own webpage filled with the things you've saved, so that you can share them with friends.

WARNING: imgfave can sometimes (but not always) become a stockpile of softcore porn, depending on what other users decide to "fave." Don't visit imgfave at work or with your grandparents.

imgfave is a more accessible knockoff of ffffound, the latter of which is an elite image-bookmarking website popular among professional designers. Images on ffffound tend to be a great deal more lovely than those on imgfave, but ffffound is invite-only, while anyone can start an account on imgfave.

Here's a link to my imgfave.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Max Azaria + Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus took over Wal-Mart a long time ago, but now she's bringing upscale designer Max Azaria along for the ride. Max and Miley have created a clothing line for Wal-Mart that is full of creative, inexpensive basics.

I purchased a cozy plaid dress from the collection. It's designed like a dream--100% cotton, warmly yet playfully colored, and it features sleeves that can be rolled for longsleeves or half-sleeves. Worn with leggings, it's also highly practical for fall weather. The only downside is that the dress comes with a sash positioned to tie around the hips, which flatters absolutely nobody, but the sash is easily removed and can be tied around the waist.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Missouri: State Tax-free Weekend

Today is the last day of the annual Back to School MO State Tax-free Weekend.

Pay zero state tax on school supplies, clothes, computers, and computer software and accessories.

There are price limitations, so read the official details here.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Meditations - Marcus Aurelius

"It loved to happen."

Marcus Aurelius was a Roman Emperor and the original master of Flow. His Meditations (thoughts, not monk chants) on living in the moment and accepting what comes while living proactively were written centuries before Oprah was even born.

The Meditations can be read selectively and do not need to be read cover to cover. They make for good bedtime reading.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Internet Time Monitor

Every summer, I develop the habit of spending way too much time online. This makes going back to school rough.

I've decided to internet detox early this year. I'm starting by simply becoming aware of how much time I spend online. Over the next few days, I'll be trying out some internet time monitors:

If you try these or any other timer, let me know how it goes!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


MUJI is short for "Mujirushi Ryohin," which is Japanese for "No Brand Goods." Most everything MUJI makes appeals to my personal style--not because I'm not interested in brands (they fascinate me), but because MUJI products are simple and functional, yet elegant.

The MUJI Business Card Case holds not only my business cards but also my GRE vocab cards. The case is currently on sale at the MoMA store. Not only is this case cheaper than most of the business card holders I've seen, but I just plain like this one the best.

[Yes, I have business cards. The president of the Columbia Women in Business Society somehow convinced me I needed them. So far, I haven't absolutely needed them, but they do make me feel snazzy.]

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Power of Less

Leo Babauta is the author of the popular blog Zen Habits. Leo teaches others how to become more productive and more chill at the same time. Most notably, he has great advice to offer on staying focused in an electronic age, goal-setting, and establishing lifelong habits (like exercising regularly or waking up earlier).

Leo’s new book, The Power of Less, is a compact form of the most practical advice found on Zen Habits. The book is worth borrowing from the library—even though I’ve been reading Zen Habits for months, I still learned tons from The Power of Less.

For me, the most helpful advice Leo had was on establishing habits. Leo says that most people tend to start on new resolutions with great enthusiasm, only to burn out within a month or two. Leo’s advice is to start small—very small. Even smaller than you know you’re capable of.

For example, if your goal is to exercise 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, Leo recommends starting out exercising 10 minutes a day, 3 days a week. That way, you conserve all that gung-ho new-goal energy, rather than spending it all at once. Each week, you can gradually up the ante until you’re at your goal, and it becomes a habit for life, rather than just a habit for the month of January.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Good Sunscreen

Even if you’re not worried about getting a sunburn, sunscreen is the best anti-aging agent money can buy.

UV rays go beyond the surface of your skin and break down the collagen underneath. Over time, collagen breakdown results in wrinkles. To delay the arrival of wrinkles, wear sunscreen daily—yes, even when it’s cloudy, raining, or snowing.

Given how much money people like to spend on covering up their wrinkles once they get them--creams, makeup, surgery--a good sunscreen is a good investment.

A good sunscreen is one that you don't mind wearing every day. It should have an SPF of at least 30. You might also consider a non-comodogenic sunscreen (that is, a sunscreen that doesn't clog your pores) to cover the parts of your body that are acne-prone.

I like Neutrogena's sunscreens, as the finish is dry rather than greasy.

What's your favorite sunscreen? Leave a comment.

NOTE: Sunshine is good for you in small quantities! Fifteen minutes of frolicking in the sun without sunscreen on helps you get your vitamin D. In the summer, most of us get our fifteen minutes without even trying. In the winter, it's important to make an effort to get out more, to ward off symptoms of SADD.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Homeless in The Sims 3

Alice and Kev is the story of a family of two homeless Sims. The blog follows their lives from the day they became homeless, and the story is still going.

What makes Alice and Kev a worthwhile read and not unvarnished digital cruelty is that the author of the blog and player of the game, Robin Burkinshaw, is telling a story, not just performing an experiment. He's created two compelling characters, and he doesn't control every aspect of their lives--in The Sims 3, created characters come with more "free will," so to speak.

Alice and Kev reminds me of one of my favorite plays, Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello. The idea in that play is that once created, characters each posess their own "plot drive," and basically tell the story on their own. Alice and Kev are two characters so interesting that they're just overflowing with plot drive.

Alice, a young girl, is kind-hearted, but clumsy and not very assertive.

Kev, the father of the family, is mean-spirited, inappropriate, and clinically insane. He hates children and has a nasty temper.

Although it may sound over-the-top, it works, and well.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Park Central Branch Library

I'm totally spoiled by the Springfield-Greene County library system. I'm sure the New York City library system is pretty good for a system of its size, but it can't hold a candle to Springfield's in terms of courtesy, community, aesthetics, atmosphere, and convenience. For example, in New York City, there's no way to return a book after the library closes. And the library is only open during hours when you'd either be at work or in class.

So every time I come home, I marvel at the awesomeness of my town's libraries. The Park Central Branch is the newest addition to the system, and it is located on the Square. It's nice--Barnes & Noble nice. You know how sometimes you go to Barnes & Noble not to buy anything, but just to sit in a nice place, read, and drink a cup of coffee? You can do that at the Park Central Branch library, too (The Coffee Ethic is right next door), except at the library, you can take home any of the books, CDs and movies on display for free.

Plus, the Park Central Library has sofa cubes. Yes, the inner walls of this cube are lined with plush, red sofa.

That would be my friend Mark sitting in a sofa cube.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Tribeca Collection

Most of the time, Coach handbags aren't my style. It's not as if I despise seeing a Coach handbag on anyone else--I just wouldn't feel myself carrying one myself. I like a structured handbag with clean lines, a small logo if any, and not a whole lot of frills. That's just how I roll.

I'm pleasantly surprised by the new Coach Tribeca collection. I would actually carry the tote at left. You probably can't tell from the small picture, but this tote is made of soft pebbled leather--my favorite material for a handbag.

For me, part of knowing my own style is knowing what I like and why, regardless of what I can afford at the moment. There are so many choices in buying apparel in any price range, and there's no reason to settle for something that I don't love, just because I'm not made of money.

On the Coach facebook page, you can print out a coupon and bring it in to any Coach store for a free pencil tin with a handful of colorful pencils in it.


My photo
A happy student of Economics at Columbia University in New York City.