Cat ear headbands. Starlet tested, Cure Touch approved.

My love for animal eared hats is well-documented. I even have some bear ear barrettes that I made.

Cat eared headbands have been in the past couple of years -- you could argue they're a 2013 trend, but I am still seeing a lot of them, and I love them. Taylor Swift wore some in one of her music videos, Lea Michele wore some on the cover of Nylon, and various celebs like Katy Perry have been seen in a pair now and then. There are even some ultra high-fashion versions you can see on Nicole Riche and Beyonce.

However, the queen of adorable cat eared headbands is undeniably Ariana Grande. I've seen more cute and varied pairs on Ariana Grande than anyone else, and I love that she wears them all year round. She definitely doesn't feel like they have to be a Halloween-only thing, or a party-only thing. She performs in them and hangs around in them.

I've got the pair she's wearing in the center picture, there (they're from Urban Outfitters, last year).

My collection has grown this year. Now I have four pairs. And the time of year is ripe to score some more!

I got the black pairs from Urban Outfitters (as stated, last year), Rue 21 (this year; they had at least a couple of different types, but I got the lacy ones rather than the sequined ones), and this ebay seller. The latter were extremely cheap, as you might expect, and both pairs arrived with at least one gem/pearl having popped off the headband. I was able to hot glue the pearls back into place easily, but the gem didn't stay, and now I don't know where it's gotten off to. These also aren't the most comfortable things ever. You get what you pay for! But I really don't mind. I still think they are really cute!

If you see any cute cat eared headbands while you're out shopping, let me know!!

Fall, finally!

Woke up today to these on the table... made by my little sister. So festive!

I'm so happy it's autumn, all officially and everything. Last night my bestie and I watched Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, which is my big autumnal feels-bringing movie (along with The Rocky Horror Picture Show). I watch it every year and I love it so!!

Feeling like continuing with my ripple... I'm actually into a pink swathe now.

Other stuff of note:
  • Still on my cold shower grind! I'm 21 days into the 30 day challenge.
  • I now have over 100 subscribers on YouTube! What??
  • Faking It is back! Shane remains the best.
  • I'm hanging in there. Are you?

Great concert, or greatest concert?

Happy first day of Autumn! It's official today! Thank goodness. My BFF and I are having an autumnal fete tonight. We're going to watch Sleepy Hollow and, seeing as how we're across the country from each other, we'll be eating festive foods of our own respective choosing. My pumpkin spice-scented candles are all ready to go.

Last night I went with my little sister and two friends to see Merriment, The Honey Trees, and Sucre. I knew I had to go to this show not only because I am an actual fan of all three groups (a rarity; I almost always suffer through at least one opener I've never heard of) but because I didn't know if The Honey Trees would ever play my town again! I've been a listener of theirs for a really long time. It was even more once-in-a-lifetime because The Honey Trees were Sucre's band -- I was like, "Are you kidding! Two bands becoming one? The surely angelic harmonies that await me?? This is never going to happen again! I can't believe I'm going to experience this majesty!"

Since it was a Monday night show, it was a really small crowd. Christie from Merriment joked about how it didn't have to be awkward.

She was adorable. I've seen her open for Eisley at least twice, back before she had a full band. But I think this was the most comfortable I've ever seen her; she looked like she was having fun. She also nearly fell over at the beginning of a song once, told us she'd had about 6 shots of espresso, and said with a grin, "I'm such an idiot." It was nice to hear backup harmonies provided by her sister-in-law, Karsyn. Sometimes they sounded really good and sometimes a little off, but I think the sound for their set in general was a little off, because lots of adjustments were made.

Merriment played nearly the entirety of their record, Sway, and I know about half the songs reasonably well, so I was singing along to what I knew. The crowd was really subdued and small, though. Almost no one was standing up by the stage, most sitting in the little tables in the back by the bar, so my group was the first to get up there. Therefore we were "front row center," as it were. Ideal!

My friend J likes to grab set lists when the artists will give them, and Collin sheepishly agreed to give him this one they'd written down on a scrap of cardboard. Only later did I discover that 1) many of the song titles they'd written down had been subject to toilet humor ("Nothing To Lose" was written as "Nothing To Poop," and that is only one example), and 2) there was a drawing on the back of the set list of the band as cats. I'm suspecting this was the work of keyboardist Karsyn...

The Honey Trees followed, and I was not prepared. Oh my goodness. I was not prepared!!!

I was hoping and praying they'd play "Orchard," which is probably my favorite song by them, but I suspected it might be too old, and if they did go back to their Wake the Earth EP, it might be for another track.

After the second song, Becky Filip asked the small crowd if anyone had ever heard of them (a couple of "woo!"s from the crowd, including one from me) and if anyone had their old EP. No one spoke up, so she started to say something in lament, but I blurted, "I do!!" because, well, I do, but I wasn't certain if she was talking about Wake the Earth. And I've been a fan since before that EP even came out. She heard me and said, "You do??" and also something like, "Cool! Thank you!" before introducing the next song, "Orchard." You better believe my little sister grabbed me and said, "They're playing your song!" and that I hopped up and down while shoving my camera up. It was a special moment for me. I do feel like most of the people there were either indifferent altogether (it was a pretty small crowd, difficult to hype) or there for Sucre, so I felt rewarded for being a superfan, at least in comparison to everyone else there.

I share this video not because the quality of sound is good (it's not... we were right in front of the stage, which was basically built on top of several rows of speakers, as far as I could tell, so anytime the drums or bass were enthusiastic, it totally overwhelmed my camera's mic; I recorded several Sucre songs but most of them didn't turn out because Sucre used such forceful drums!) but because I feel, in a way, like the concert gods smiled on me and that The Honey Trees played this just for me. ♥

This band was so, so, so good. They were tight and sounded just as they did on their album, the harmonies were dead-on and beautiful, everything previously only ethereal suddenly exhilarating, the songs made lush by atmosphere -- I know I'll always listen to their albums differently from having seen them live, which is definitely a thing that happens to me with artists I see live. A live rendition of a song can completely turn me around on the studio recording. They impressed me so much. I was definitely expecting to enjoy them, but I was just like, "Wow. They are the real deal. This is so solid."

After their set, J asked Jacob Wick for their set list, but he said that Sucre's set list was on it, too, so they still needed it. Which makes sense!! We decided to ask again after the show was complete.

Several minutes later, Stacy came on stage, quiet and almost shy. But her vocals were also incredible. Insane. The Honey Trees' Becky provided backing harmonies, and this was a complete stroke of genius. Becky blended beautifully and was pitch-perfect, allowing Stacy to vocally dance all over the place, with seemingly no effort. Sucre's songs seem really demanding to me since they're all over the place, but they clearly cater to Stacy's vocal strengths.

I've seen Eisley live several times and Stacy never disappoints. Here's last night's rendition of "Light Up." Gorgeous. It turned out okay, audio-wise, because it had the least amount of drums and therefore didn't kill my camera's mic.

Most of my pictures of Stacy have a sort of American Horror Story: Coven look about them, not only because Stacy was wearing an all-black ensemble that easily would have fit in with the expert styling of that show, but because I do believe there was powerful feminine magic in the air. Stacy for sure is the Supreme. She ended with "Line of Fire" which was freaking incredible. I had heard that after "Line of Fire" she would end with a couple of covers ("Silver Springs" and "You and Me," both of which I like very much) but she didn't do an encore for our crowd. It might have been too small, or she might have just been tired. We waited to see if she'd come back out, but she didn't. I was a little bummed, but just a little.

When J asked for a set list from the violin player, he said he didn't use one, but got us another one from the stage. Also, Jacob from The Honey Trees totally remembered my friend J and came off the stage with a set list to hand to him! They shook hands and I knew J was nervous, but really pleased. It was so kind of Jacob to remember him.

The set lists were all given to me in the end, which I feel is only fair because I do think I was the biggest fan in the house. With my Sucre poster, what wonderful souvenirs of a night I know I will never experience again. Even if I see Sucre or the Honey Trees again, I don't know that it will be together (this seems like a one-time thing), and seeing them play together was very special to me.

After the show and buying our merch, I found Becky and went up to talk to her. I'm so shy that I know I was probably really awkward and I actually don't remember verbatim what I said and she said, but I shook her hand and introduced myself and told her "I'm the one who has your EP..." which I think she remembered from my having spoken up from the crowd. I told her that I'd been a fan for a really long time, like since before their EP came out, when all I had was some MySpace demos and I played the crap out of "Don't Fear." I said something like, "You guys are a band that I never thought I would get to see live, and I know the crowd was really small but I was loving it, so thank you."  And she said, "Oh, that makes it all worth it."  I waved and darted away, and didn't get a picture with her (I didn't even think of it... I don't have a smart phone and I feel like asking people to wrangle my DSLR is too awkward), so I feel like I must've come on very weirdly, but I'm happy I talked to her, when normally, I'm too petrified to do that kind of thing. I'm happy I got to express that to her.

In the end, this experience for me was truly about the Honey Trees. I will almost definitely see Eisley live if they come around my area again (since they're from Texas, they do tend to hit Oklahoma or at least a surrounding state in every tour they do), and likely Merriment, if they continue to open for Eisley. I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to see the Honey Trees live again. I'm so thankful that I got to see them.

Retail therapy.

R-R-R-Rough stuff lately! Yesterday I had a desperately-needed therapy session and was prescribed a new medication, which I hope works, but I've been on the same meds for years, so messing with that is producing some anxiety for me. I'd rather not really get into it here when I'm doing badly, so let's focus on the aftermath... which is that I've indulged in some retail therapy.

Earlier my mom and sister told me they were heading to a department store at the mall to look for clothes and asked if I wanted to go, and just to get out of the house and stop crying at the computer, I went. I wasn't in need of any clothes and really didn't look for or want any. I just followed my mom around, commenting about what I thought was cute. She got a couple of shirts. My younger sister didn't find anything she wanted.

We had some fries at the food court and chatted about various childhood memories of ours, which was lovely, and decided to stop off at a much younger-skewing store I got a cute cream-colored faux-leather jacket a couple of years ago. (The store is rue 21, by the way.)

My younger sister found some stuff she liked there, and I locked eyes with this bag immediately. It's so fricking cute!! And it was $20, so, yay.

I've found I really like small bags. They may not carry as much, but that just means I'm not digging around endlessly in them for stray this or that. I also found this wallet, which is very "me," with its pink and its lace...

They were having a two wallets for $10 deal, so I got this one for myself to go in my slender new bag and one with elephants printed on it for my other sister, who wasn't with us. We also got her a $5 shirt with elephants printed on it. So, we kinda hit the jackpot! I'm glad we decided to swing by that store.

(I also got another item, which hopefully, I'll post about here in the next week or two. It's a post I've been compiling for a few weeks...)

When we got home, my sis and I kicked back and played some retro video games (Tetris, Dr. Mario, Yoshi's Cookie, and the incongruous Killer Instinct) while we listened to Gwen Stefani. I'm not sure I can express how much I needed to get out of the house, to relax and play meaningless games with somebody. I am really pleased with my purchases, especially the purse. It's probably my fave bag I've bought in years.

But more than buying stuff... more than material items or how (in)expensive they were... I appreciate the unexpected nature of stumbling across something that really delighted me, and I appreciate spending time with some of the people who mean the most to me, and I appreciate that my mom and I got excited about snagging my absent sister some stuff, too. It was fun to bring some things to her.

I have other stuff I've bought on the way... Blythe stuff. I technically broke my rule to never spend more than $20 on a single item, but if there was ever a week to do it, it was this week. T.G.I.F., y'all.

Ripple Throw Progress Report: A foot in...

Here's 2014's ripple throw with Klara for size comparison. It's about a foot in height!

This is two and a half week's worth of crocheting... I don't work on it every day. Just when I feel like it. It's that kind of thing that makes afghans the perfect project!!

By the way, I am pretty much winging this one. When I finished with the creamsicle color (it's more vibrant in real life than in the pictures I take, for some reason) I hopped right into the melon shade, Vanna's Choice Goldfish, but about a third in to the row, I ripped it out again, thinking the colors would look more distinct if they had a row of white between them. That's my plan!!

Today it is an astonishing 58° here. Extremely cool! I got cold during the night and piled on a blanket and fuzzy socks. It's so wonderful, I have my wind open. This is exactly what I've been craving. Thank you, weather!

ready for autumn

I know it's still a couple of weeks away, officially, but can it be autumn now?? I'm absolutely pining! It's vaguely cool today and it's really tripping the trigger for me.

You can really see how intense Soleil's hair is next to Aury's! (I love taking "first girl with newest girl" pics. I want to take an all-blondes picture with Lamb and Bonnet in there too!) Ice Rune's blonde has this slight peach tint to it that can be very hard to capture in photographs. I think putting it next to Seriously Saturated Yellow hair makes it easier to see.

These glitter acorns are just one of the many autumnal purchases I've made this past month. All of the purchases are cheap knicky-knacky things, and stuff like pumpkin pie-scented candles, but still, the need for cooler weather and crunchy leaves and October is clearly totally getting to me.

Unexpected Blythe family addition...

Okay, Blythe update, you guys. There's a new kid on the block.

In late August I adopted this cuuute golden-tressed TBL from BirdinaNest via Blythe Kingdom! Her name is Soleil -- that's the name her previous owner gave her, and it is perfect for her, so I have no desire to change it! She's another unique doll in my collection, at least in terms of my typical dolly tastes.

Man, I was not in the market at all for another girl. (Now and again I look on BK for a Bubble Boom... someday, Bubble Boom!!) I'm very content with my family and I actually don't even have room for this girl, where I currently display my collection. But when I saw her, I was like, "She is for me, yes?" I love blonde Blythes. I really like my other factory girl. Best of all, she was a great price -- honestly, if I had seen her on eBay, I wouldn't have paid even the comparatively low price of $90 for Another Blonde Blythe, even if I liked her. But I adopted her for significantly cheaper from a cool person within the U.S., and the transaction was great.

She came with a bit of a surprise.

Yellow chips with skulls in the pupils!! Soleil is a goddess of doom!

I'm considering giving her an edgy haircut to reflect her obvious badassery. As with Clarke, I have to find her a stand. Really, I have to decide if I want to change up my Blythe display, since the desk where I keep my dolls is essentially out of room!

Cold Shower Challenge

And now for something completely different:

I'm on day 12 of a 30-day Cold Shower Challenge! This is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Instead of hot showers, I'm taking cold showers every day.

I came about this challenge because I'm steadily active on HabitRPG -- a site that makes a rewarding game out of completing your to-do lists and taking care of your daily tasks. I absolutely love this site. As well as joining parties, which can keep you accountable because what you do affects the other members of your party, there are many groups you can join there. For instance, I'm in the groups Introverts, Mentally Ill, The Wordsmiths, The Overachievers, Life Hackers, and Knitting and Crocheting... amongst some others. People can create challenges for groups (such as to use up your stash, if you're in the Knitting and Crocheting group). This is a general Tavern challenge, open to anyone. 435 other players on HabitRPG are doing this challenge with me at the moment.

"I don't know how you can stand it! It sounds horrible!" my parents have both told me, which surprises me because I've been finding it so easy, and even pleasurable.

Only the first two showers had me wincing like a wimp and internally shrieking. By day 5 or so, it ceased bothering me beyond the first ten or so seconds in the shower -- especially because it's just a mental game. Honestly. If you think it's going to be horrid, it will probably be horrid. But I immediately envision that I'm a mermaid in a blue lagoon and that the cold water crashing down on me is from a waterfall. It instantly transforms the temperature from unwelcome to refreshing.

Cold water is supposed to be integral to keeping color in your hair, so this is great for me right now, anyway!   I had been trying to use cool water when rinsing my hair before I began this challenge anyway. Because I don't want to wash my hair every single day, I've been using a shower cap for the first time ever and am finding that more bizarre than anything... I guess I'm just used to washing my hair every time I shower. I don't like to wash my hair more than twice a week. However, I really like the feeling of cold water hitting my head, so I look forward to hair washing days. It really does remind me of summertime when I was younger, going to the pool and rinsing off in the showers 'fore and aft. I think dousing your head immediately also goes a long way in getting the rest of your body quickly adjusted to the cold.

There supposedly are lots of benefits to taking cold showers. I'm no scientist, so I can't really make factual statements, but I repeatedly see people state that they're good for your circulation and good for your skin and hair. Also, you shower faster when you are taking a cold shower, and it's good to use less water.

In fact, I've cut my shower time down to under 4 minutes for shower cap days and under 7 minutes for days when I am washing my hair. (I've actually been timing it every day.) When I'm in there for 6 minutes, I actually feel like I've been in there forever already, and am shocked when I get out and my phone timer tells me I took under 7 minutes. I never really timed myself taking a hot shower, but if I had to guess, I would peg it more at 12-15 minutes. Minutes really stack up when you're just standing there.

Anyway, this is an odd post, I know, but I've really been enjoying this challenge. It's easy, it's super-invigorating, really helps me feel energized, and is helping me beat the end-of-the-summer heat.