The Favourites - Day 5: Websites

Can you guys believe the internet has only been around for like a decade or so? It's amazing how long it has come- and how accessible/needed it is too.
Remember when you had to wait a minute or so to connect
Before MSN Messenger, before Facebook chat, before Skype or Facetime, there was ICQ and AOL.
Surfing the web used to be so limited and now...
Well, now it's just hard to do anything on the computer without opening new tabs/windows and jumping from page to page.

Before I begin I must note, some websites I do check daily and others just on a whim. Or if I'm looking for something in particular.

1. tumblr

Oh tumblr. How did I even get sucked into you? 
It used to be I had a livejournal account (personal entries are private) and now, it's all just become a collection of pictures on tumblr. Don't get me wrong- tumblr never ceases to amaze and inspire me!
Are you ready to tumbl?

I had a crush on Zooey Deschanel before she was Zooey, just ask any of my friends. So, it'd only make sense that I'd like a website she co-created.
I don't really check it all the time, but most articles are fun, witty, hilarious and just downright entertaining. And it's varied.
Plus, when you place your mouse over the three heads, they giggle!

What I like about this site is discovering how you have so much in common with people, you can't even imagine!
Pinterest is pretty much what it is: a collection of your inspiration boards. You like something you saw onlnine? You just Pin It, and voila! You can go back to it later and finish analysing/admiring it.
You can find my boards here.

I wish I was good with makeup- as with clothes, but I'll get back to that another time...
I've never seen an episode of The Hills or The City in my life, and I didn't know who Lauren Conrad was for the longest time-- but I came across this website.
Their tutorials are Ah-mazing. That's all I need to say. And, in my opinion (which may not be much, actually) they're fashion/trend savvy.

I had to include google. You know you like in the 21st Century when you say, "Google it".
And we all do google it. Google has the answers to everything (granted, it finds you many different answers, some not so reliable). Heck- most of the pictures from my favourites post I googled (or got from tumblr & pinterest). 
Plus, on holidays, they 'decorate' their logo.

I'm new to this whole blogging "thing" myself, but I've been following some blogs for a while. And bloglovin' makes it so easy! 

I recently just "discovered" this website and it's intense. In all senses of the word.
Some art is not my style, but I think it's great to be exposed to things that are a little outside of your comfort zone.
It just also constantly reminds me of the great creative minds out there who DO, who ACT and are themselves. I praise that any chance I can.

Online shopping isn't something I do, though I have tried it.
What I like about amazon is: it gives me prices, it lets your 'look inside' books, it recommends things you might like. 

If you like old fashioned mail, then this is also the place for you!
I grew up having penpals in school, so this whole "send a postcard, get one back" is not a remote idea to me.
Mail needs to make a comeback!

10. Martha Stewart
Ah, the legend. Martha Stewart. What hasn't Martha Stewart done? I mean, she's been in jail. This lady is one tough cookie- and she makes mean cookies. And by mean, I mean delicious.
I love that she shares recipes for free online. And craft ideas.
She gets extra cool points for drinking beer with my favourite man on Earth.

So there you have it.
If you're wondering why I haven't included Facebook, it's simple: I don't have a Facebook account.
It's only been a month or so, but I decided to take a sabbatical from it.
Besides, I'm already on Twitter (and all those other sites)-- and E-MAIL. If you want to stay in touch with someone, if you truly wish to communicate, there's always e-mail.
It's my favourite.
I do, however, appreciate social networking sites in all their forms. I've found that you truly do make friends.

Artists is the category for tomorrow's post!

The Favourites - Day 4: Flowers

I'm not sure why I chose flowers as a favourites category, to be honest. I'm not much of a "flower girl". By that I mean, I like flowers and I appreciate their colours and scents, but I don't like buying flowers. I don't like having them in vases around the house.
I love flowers where they belong: in a garden, outside.

When I read The Secret Garden and Mandy when I was younger, I wanted a garden just like them. That I could look after, have tea parties in...
I now imagine myself in my 80's and tending a garden. That would be a great way to age.

1. Cempazuchitl (or Yellow Marigold)

The Day of the Dead is all about celebrating life, making an altar to your deceased loved ones, eating pan de muerto, and buying cempazuchitl. I think the flower itself celebrates life with its vibrant yellow-ish orange colour! 

2. Morning Glory

I just think any flower that "wakes up" as we do when the sun comes out, is a pretty groovy flower. It's vibrant colour also makes it stand out.
They're also mentioned in one of my favourite Oasis albums. 

3. White Roses

White roses, to me, are like a symbol of romanticism. Of love. They're so pure, fresh, and sweet smelling.
I wouldn't mind a dozen roses in my room...

4. Dahlias
Richard Bradshaw1 from Flickr

Last year I went to Washington and my cousin took me to a garden (Tacoma Garden)- the Dahlias are what struck me the most. The variety, the colours, the shapes- I still can't get over them! 

5. Peonies
I took this picture.
Last year I went to a wedding (not in Washington, though) and fell in love with the bridesmaids bouquets! Their cute pink colour and myriad of petals is what caught my attention.

6. Daisies

Kathleen Kelly: They're so friendly. Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower? 
That's what I always think of when I see daisies. And I find it so true. They're so cute and dainty without being over the top. Just two colours, a few petals and a longish stem. They're what I'd call chic casual.

7. Lavender 

I think this picture speaks louder than words because who wouldn't want to be there? I know I would be running around like a mad woman, twirling and giggling, pulling a Julie-Andrews-at-the-beginning-of-The-Sound-of-Music. 
Everyone's invited!

8. Bird of Paradise
Debg203 of Flickr

You'd think this flower was poisonous with it's vibrant colours and pointy/shooting out petals. There's so much going on, but it works. The name is no surprise either- it looks like a bird.
You've heard of bugs imitating plants, but the other way round? Now that's something special.

9. Bugambilias 

You can find bugambilias anywhere in Mexico, and they truly add a pop of colour!
Apparently the colourful part of the flower are not petals but "modified leaves". They can withstand all seasons and still look fabulous.

10. Weeping Willow 

I know this isn't a flower, but I wanted to give a shout-out to my favourite tree! 
I'm surprised I actually don't dislike this tree because, being a huge Disney fan and growing up watching all the movies, I thought Grandmother Willow was scary and boring (well, her song was a little on the boring side- but catchy)...
I want a Weeping Willow in my garden one day. I'll put a bench underneath, have picnics, tea parties and read in the afternoons. 

Thanks for bearing with me as I figure what this blog is really about and I master HTML. 
Favourite websites tomorrow!


The Favourites - Day 3: Animals

I know not everyone is an animal lover, and that's cool with me. I'm not really much of a dog person (unless you're 'gifting' me a Yorkie or a Pug-- I promise I'll take care of it!). 
Whether you like to accept it or not, animals are fascinating. They communicate, they reproduce, some have rituals and others happen to be much more entertaining than most people in the world.
Try watching Animal Planet or the Discovery Channel, you'll see what I'm talking about.
Or have a laugh with this video.

1. Platypus

They say a platypus is proof that God had a sense of humour.
I just say platypuses are the bees knees. Duck bill, beaver tail, egg laying mammal, venomous ankle spurs- it's a wonder they're not a mess. And thanks to Phineas and Ferb kids today know how cool they really are.
After 'See Northern Lights', 'Pet a platypus' is second on my bucket list. 

2. Cats

Meet Buttercup, my kitty. I adopted her two years ago and she's the sweetest, cutest, cuddliest, lit- *cough* I'll cut the baby talk...
I'll let George Carlin do the talkin' about cats.

3. Ring-Tailed Lemur

Photo by Morten Koldby *
I think I could learn a thing or two about being social from Lemurs. They like to hang out, bathe in the sun and groom each other. Then, they hop off into the sunset, clicking their heels.

4. Fennec Fox

Okay, okay. This one's just a favourite because it's too f*ckin' cute. Look at those ears! And the little beady eyes! And the tiny nose!
Of course, all those things I mentioned that make it adorable are all special characteristics which help it survive in its habitat: The Desert. 

5. Cheetah

I used to be a fast runner as a kid. Not just because I had a lot of energy, but because I wanted to be a cheetah. Running always felt good, and being fast just made it that much better.
If anyone should be king of the 'jungle', it should be a cheetah.

6. Deer

It's not easy being a deer. Bambi. The Yearling. Hunting Season. Even so, to me they represent serenity, calm, peacefulness. There's something about their exuding fragility that makes me admire them.

7. Pigs

"That'll do, pig. That'll do."
Confession: They day Babe was finally available to own on VHS, I became the happiest 8 year old. I still own it, and it's worn out state is proof that I was obsessed with it. They're supposed to be great pets.
And they've made quite a name of themselves : Porky Pig, Miss Piggy, Gordy, Piggly Wiggly...  In Literature too: Charlotte's Web, Animal Farm, Winnie the Pooh, Beatrix Potter's stories, Lord of the Flies... And please, if the Beatles dedicated a whole song to them, you know they're special (even though it isn't necessarily all about them...)
Let's hear it for the pigs!

8. Sea Otter

I remember doing a report in the 3rd grade about Sea Otters. What I don't really remember is what I actually learned/wrote about in the report. All I know is that they float on their backs while they're eating, crackin' away at whatever urchin or hard shelled animal they have picked for the days' meal.

9. Polar Bear

Polar Bears are smart. They know when something is up when it comes to cameras.
Another confession: I cried when I watched an episode of BBC's Planet Earth** and followed a polar bear around, pointing out how global warming is affecting.
I hope these little guys don't die on us in our lifetime, is all I'm saying. 

10. (Three Toed) Sloth

My favourite thing about these animals is their name in portuguese: bicho-preguiça. It literally translates to 'lazy animal', and preguiça is a fun word to say.
They're not your typical cute furry animal, but as the picture above so clearly depicts, they sure are cuddly!
They're like the yogis of the animal kingdom. We could all learn from sloths- to live in the present and take our time. Why are we always rushing? 

Bring on the flowers.

* Best animal portraits I have ever seen. 
** You MUST watch this series/documentary- everything about it is spectacular!


The Favourites - Day 2: Drinks

I've always wanted to say that. I can picture myself at a bar after a brawl or tense situation has just taken place, or maybe everyone's favourite team has just lost, and I liven up the mood with those 3 words.
Of course I'd have to be loaded with cash (depending on the number of people) because it would be a downer having to say, "Oh, except you... and you. And you with the mullet."... 
But I digress--

Let's talk about what everyone likes to drink! And I don't really mean alcoholic beverages - there's a time and place for that- but your everyday hydrating pick-me-ups.
What would your day be like without that morning cup o' joe? Or going to the gym without your water bottle or gatorade?
It's a simple fact: we NEED to drink.

1. Water (duh)

My mother's one of those 'water haters'. "It doesn't taste like anything!" is always her complaint. And I know a lot of people have a hard time drinking it. It's so hard for me to imagine that- I carry water on me at all times. 
Spruce it up with a hint of lime or slices of cucumber!

2. Tea

It's true. It used to be I'd drink a proper cup of tea (by English standards- milk, no sugar) every morning. Hell, on "special" days (i.e. days when papers/essays were due) the whole night was a friggin' never ending tea party...
Now, the first thing I make myself every morning is a cup of Green Tea. 
Cold days aren't bearable without tea, either. Earl Grey, Rooibos, Infusions, Chai. So much to choose from!
(speaking of Chai: This is where you'll find the best damn cup of chai)

3. Lemonade

Ahhhhhh. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I have never heard wiser words- actually, that's not true. But I find drinking lemonade is an instant "feel good doer".  

4. Smoothies

The breakfast of the morning-lazies champions! The recipe is: put anything/everything you want in a blender and take it to go. This can include, but is not limited to: milk, fruit, cereal, yogurt, ice, vanilla, sugar, protein....

5. Horchata (or Rice Water)

Once again, Mexico and its flavours top my personal favourites.
Horchata is mayan for "Water of the Gods" - at least that's the meaning I would give it if it was, indeed, a Mayan word...
You can normally find horchata at a taco chain restaurant. That and....

6. Jamaica 

Boiled hibiscus leaves watered down + sugar is pretty much what Jamaica is.
It's also good for your blood pressure.
So get thee to a taqueria and feast!

7. (Yerba) Mate

I don't think I've looked hard enough, because I still haven't been able to find mate close to where I live.
Some people think it's bitter, but I think it's delicious. And it makes me feel like I'm part of a ritual/ceremony, drinking it properly in a guampa with a bombilla.

8. Thai Iced Tea

After Mexican cuisine comes Thai cuisine, in my books. And that includes Thai Iced Tea.
It's hard to describe the flavour- it's bold, it's a little on the sweet side, it's milky...

Okay, I had to include some alcoholic beverages.

9. Rompope

Another Mexican goodie. I guess its American equivalent would be eggnog.
I don't meant to brag, but my mom makes the best rompope I've ever tried. I guess her adding a little more alcohol might have something to do with it...

10. Vodka Tonic

This doesn't need an explanation.

I drink coffee too and I love the smell of it, but it's not a favourite. 
Juices? Fruits and smoothies do it for me. 
What about you?


The Favourites - Day 1: Vegetables & Fruits

Is it odd to be picking this as a category? Maybe, but in 2010 one of my resolutions was to be healthier and it has truly made me appreciate the variety of fruits and vegetables the Earth has to offer.
*clears throat* Let's begin. 

1. Jícama (pronounced 'He-caw-ma' *)

It is a mexican root that can be eaten raw and it is absolutely delicious! It's great on its own or with a little bit of lime & chili powder (we mexicans love to put lime and chili powder on everything).
The perfect snack on a hot summer day, it'll hydrate you in no time.

2. Oranges/Mandarins

I can never get enough of sour things; be it candy, dishes or fruit! The perfect orange/mandarin for me is borderline sweet - sour. I love the process of peeling it and savouring each slice, with the occasional accidental squirt! Again, another perfect summer snack. 

3. Red Bell Pepper

Like a kid, I used to say I didn't like them without ever having tried one... My college roommate (& fellow blogger, Maria) convinced me to give them a chance- there she was in the kitchen, eating one. RAW. I couldn't believe it. "She's crazy." Up until that point in my life, peppers were meant to be eaten in stir fry, not just straight out of the fridge!
But I guess it's true what they say about the college years: it's all about experimenting.
All it took was just one little bite...

4. Sweet Potato

I am a huge fan of sweet potatoes. Seriously, there are so many ways to cook it that you can't tire of it too easily. With the fear of sounding like Bubba: plain ol' boiled sweet potato, oven baked sweet potato, sweet potato casserole, sweet potato soup, sweet potato fries, sweet potato pie, bourbon sweet potatoes, sweet potato hummer, and I could go on but I think I made my point.

5. Beet

One of the reasons I like beetroot is its colour- sometimes I just want to dab it all over the white walls in my house, leave handmarks around the kitchen... But that's just a vegetable induced fantasy (and I hope my children never do it).
I like to boil it and eat it plain. It's just the right amount of sweet and juicy for me! 
Also, I've heard people have used it as a cheek and lip tint. 

6. Spinach

Remember how Popeye used to eat a can of spinach and instantly become as strong (if not stronger) as The Hulk? I think I've said enough. 

7. Cucumber

Or cuke, as my friend likes to call them.
Cucumber sandwiches at tea time. Cucumber tossed in a salad. Or cucumber in raita. Fresh, fresh, fresh and it's great in water too!
8. Carrots

When I was but a wee child, I was obsessed with eating carrots. I'd even pretend to be Bugs Bunny and walk around the house saying, "Eh, what's up, Doc?". I was a strange kid.
A decade and so years later, I don't have 20/20 vision. A lot of good that carrot eating did me!
Biting that carrot that is sweet, easy on the teeth and a striking orange colour reminds me why they're so good.

9. Raspberries

 I just want to bob for raspberries in that picture!
They're good for you (or so I heard) and they're a great yogurt/ice cream topping! Little kids like to eat them by placing them on their fingertips- so, not only are they yummy and nutritious, they're also fun to eat! 

10. Pomegranate

In spanish it's called a 'granada' which is translated to grenade. Where am I going with that? If you were to throw a pomegranate at a wall (or someone, if you're feeling violent) it would explode, and the tiny little seeds would burst into the air, a delicious red rain!

Tomorrow, it's all about the beverages!

Meet you in the kitchen?

* I obviously don't follow the IPA.