Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Today's Soundtrack

Still no snow day, but I'm thankful for the two-hour delay we did get.  I just really hope we'll get to have sledding and a snowman at some point this winter.  It'd be sad to miss out on that...
In other news, it's the last Tuesday of January.  Wow!  Time flies (sort of).  Here's what's on today's soundtrack:

Lucy Rose (pic by www.cargocollective.com)

Lucy Rose: "Shiver"

Angus & Julia Stone: "For You"

Bon Iver & St. Vincent: "Roslyn"

Lykke Li: "Little Bit"

Poi Dog Pondering: "Sound of Water"

<3 Frances 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Dry Skin!

I realized it was officially winter when, halfway through third period, my knuckles started bleeding. Fortunately, my sweater sleeves were long enough that I was able to disguise the desert that is my skin, but the whole cracking/bleeding/burning thing was nevertheless not fun at all.  

My mum actually had to bring emergency moisturizer (*cue superhero theme song*) with her in the car when she picked me up after school, and now I carry a lovely little bottle of Shikai hand cream in my backpack.  #becausebleedingisbad


But the great thing (and I'm not being sarcastic here) about dry skin is that moisturizer isn't the only solution!! As it turns out, it can be combined with a multitude of other things to help make flaky flesh less disturbing and painful.  Without further adieu, here are some tips for saving your skin, one dry-skinned person to another:
  • Use warm water instead of really hot water.  This can be especially difficult during the winter because the idea of hot water is particularly enticing when it's really cold outside, but hot water isn't very good for the natural oils of your skin and therefore will prevent it from staying hydrated later on.  
  • Apply moisturizer immediately after washing your hands.  Even if you're at school, wash your hands and return to class from the bathroom to put on some moisturizer.  This really does do a lot for the skin.  It's saved me from bleeding during many a lecture period.
  • Gloves!  I actually have a pair of cute little arm warmers that I wear sometimes when my skin is particularly bad.  They're fun to look at, soft, and not only protect my hands but also disguise the fact that they look like California during a drought.  
  • Gloves at night!  Take some moisturizer, put it on, and then pull on a pair of gloves.  They'll trap the moisture so you wake up to nice, soft skin in the morning. Spa time, anyone?
  • Drink more water.  This is one of those suggestions that you hear all the time.  (Headache? Drink water.  Bloated?  Drink water.  Irritable?  Drink water.)  But it's also a really good suggestion.  I actually have two reusable water bottles with me at school today so I can be sure that I don't run out.  Having a dry throat and dry hands is just way too much dryness.
  • Be gentle.  Don't dry your hands off roughly.  They're in a very fragile place and need to be treated as such.  Pat them dry.  Don't scrub too hard when washing them.  
Hopefully some of these tips will be able to help you deal with your chronic dermal dryness!  Best of luck to you and your skin!

<3 Frances 

Snowfall...and Lack Thereof

The snow that I was hoping would earn us another day off from school today has apparently been delayed until tomorrow (that means we're doing the snow dance tonight, by the way), and I'm both  excited about the possibility of some local wintry weather and hopeful that those experiencing the Nor'easter are going to be okay.  


Weather is so dynamic...in one part of the country, everything's fine and people are almost wishing there would be some snow, and a few states up people are being blasted with blizzard conditions.  And don't even get me started about all the horrors of global warming...maybe we'll save more of that for another post.....

63 years of climate change, according to NASA.  Image from www.bgr.com.  
On a less traumatizing note, it's the last week of January 2015.  That means we'd better start writing "2015" instead of "2014" on everything because, whether we like it or not, the year is sticking around for the next eleven months.  Has anyone lived up to their resolution yet?  Has anyone forgotten their resolution yet?  Has anyone changed theirs?  I'm not entirely sure what mine was--it keeps changing every time I think about it--so I've decided that I perhaps promised myself to just work hard, do well, etc.  Yes, very vague, very broad, very simple.
I hope you have a happy Monday!  Stay warm!

<3 Frances

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Quote Inspiration

We all need a little inspiration sometimes....


<3 Frances 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Second Semester

Midterms are over!  Thank God.  Now comes the painful "wait" period between turning tests in and getting them back, and as much as I'd like to leave my study-coma, I'm tempted to remain within it because I know that I can't let myself study any less vigorously than I did for the midterms.  #APproblems
Complaints aside, though, I hope that everyone had a nice Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  I did some homework (and a little procrastinating, LOL), attempted to actually draw backgrounds for the characters that I draw (usually I just leave everything behind them on the paper completely blank--not any more!), and helped my mum around the house (folding laundry is surprisingly therapeutic!).  I also got to keep up with my running streak.  I've gone running for about 20 minutes every day for the past few weeks, and it's done a lot as far as anxiety is concerned.  Though I did still get one new acne for each midterm I took last week....

Because it's another back-to-work/school morning, here's some music:

The Postal Service: "Such Great Heights"

The Cure: "Pictures of You"

Jasmine Thompson: "Demons" (Cover of Imagine Dragons)

<3 Frances

Thursday, January 15, 2015

1990s Throwback


We had a snow day off from school yesterday (which has unfortunately resulted in the cancellation of one of our precious previously-scheduled days off), and, between helping in my mum's class and studying for midterms (I have an AP science one today--wish me luck!), I managed to find some time to rediscover some "vintage" music from the 1990s.  As it's a #ThrowbackThursday and I've started wearing butterfly clips in my hair to keep loose strands down, it seems like the perfect day for a 1990s-era soundtrack.

Mazzy Star: "Fade Into You"

The Smashing Pumpkins: "Today"

Sinéad O'Connor: "Nothing Compares 2 U" (Cover of Prince)

Elliott Smith: "Waltz #2 (XO)"

Portishead: "Glory Box"

<3 Frances

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tuesday Soundtrack (and Midterm Exams!)

Today is the first day of midterm exams for me in my university-level classes, and to say that I'm anxious would be a complete understatement.  However, just as it's important to study (so much studying!), it's also crucial to take some moments of break time just to give your brain a chance to recuperate and file everything properly.  Music helps me take these emotional/mental pit stops. Here's what's on Tuesday's soundtrack...

Yeah Yeah Yeahs: "Maps"
(The lead singer was crying real tears in this video...the person she wrote the song for hadn't showed up for video filming to watch her perform, and she thought she'd been stood up and was brokenhearted!)

Cat Power: "Sea of Love"

Lykke Li: "Tonight"

Sigh.  Thank you, music!  Now I get to return to thermodynamics and nation-states....

<3 Frances

Monday, January 12, 2015

Golden Globes 2015 Fashion

The 72nd Golden Globes were held last night, and, for me, Jill, and Iris, watching red carpet coverage is an unparalleled form of escapism from all the heavy stuff in life.  Being filmophiles, we also find ourselves drawn to anything movie-related, and it's always fun to see who/what won and in what categories--even if we haven't seen all the nominated movies yet (#waitingfortherentals).
In case you missed any of the red carpet looks/are at all interested in what people wore, here's a photo run-through of some of the night's most memorable fashion statements, all photos from E!. Read their article here.

Emma Stone in Lanvin

Jennifer Aniston in Saint Laurent

Kerry Washington in Mary Katrantzou 

Amy Adams in Versace

Gina Rodriguez in Badgley Mischka 

Julianne Moore in Givenchy Couture

Rosamund Pike in Vera Wang

Viola Davis in Donna Karan Atelier

Emily Blunt in Michael Kors

Jessica Chastain in Atelier Versace

Lupita Nyong'o, Golden Globes
Lupita Nyong'o in Giambattista Valli Couture

Felicity Jones in Christian Dior

Keira Knightley in Chanel (This dress is so adorable!)

Maggie Gyllenhaal in Miu Miu

Katie Holmes in Marchesa

Salma Hayek in Alexander McQueen

Uzo Aduba in Randi Rahm

Allison Williams in Armani Privé

That was in no way a complete rundown of the red carpet looks, but, as studying for midterms must continue, I'll have to leave it at that for now.  Who did you think was best dressed? 

<3 Frances 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wednesday Soundtrack

It's less than 30°F out and dark, and I wish that I could just crawl back into bed and cover my head with my pillow.  But I can't, so here's some music...

Cults: "Go Outside"


Jewel: "You Were Meant for Me"

Sleater-Kinney: "Modern Girl"

<3 Frances

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Meet the Quokka

You've made it through Monday.  It's uphill from here, right?  In case you're struggling, though, here's a dose of adorableness to make your Tuesday more bearable.  It comes in the form of a quokka.

  1. :  a stocky herbivorous marsupial (Setonix brachyurus of the family Macropodidae) of southwestern Australia that has a short tail

-From Merriam-Webster

According to Buzzfeed, 2015 is the "Year of the Quokka."  They even give 17 reasons why, which I think is pretty awesome.  Seriously, though--seeing this article makes the world seem like a better place.

They&#39;ll only accept a beautiful bunch of flowers as a gift, because they respect nature too much to ever want material items.

They are always happy to run into you on the street and won&#39;t awkwardly dodge away.

<3 Frances 

Monday, January 5, 2015

May the Force Be With You

Yesterday was the last day of Winter Break, and when the clock radio alarm went off at 5:18 this morning, it woke me up with a very loud version of "Eye of the Tiger."  I'm not sure if I was supposed to feel energized or freaked out, but I decided to try and "channel" that song today on my first day at school of 2015.  I've made it a point to be equal parts focused and cosmic this semester, if that makes sense at all, so to live up to that idea I'm dressed in 1940s writer girl pants and second-hand Birkenstocks with knit socks.   I also put a whole lot of concealer on over the painful pimple that decided to appear as soon as I started stressing over school...fun!
She was queen of a freaking planet.  I can handle school, right?
It's sort of an odd feeling to be back at school again, learning about everything from 19th century industrialization (thank goodness for Upton Sinclair) to thermodynamics (I'm still trying to understand this....), but I guess I'll get *somewhat* used to it again.  At least my perspective this semester is different.  As part of the new year, I'm going to try and be more positive, less nerve-wracked, and even more focused (if that's at all possible, LOL).  Does anyone else have any resolutions as to their outlook for work/school?  I also am finding it helpful to sort of "role-play" a bit.  I'm a total writer introvert and live in my mind a lot, so it's sort of fun to go into this semester telling myself that I can do it.  I just have to channel Lois Lane and Quan Yin and my grandmother and Padme and Leia.  Diana Prince and the Charlie's Angels wouldn't hurt, either, LOL.

Survivor: "Eye of the Tiger"
<3 Frances

Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Healthy 2015 Starts with Water

 If you read any celebrity interviews or dietetics forums looking for advice on how to get fit, healthy, and happy, you'll start to notice a trend towards one secret little tool that really isn't so secret.  It's not a pill.  It's not an injection.  It's not even a spell (sorry, Harry).
It's water.

That's right--H2O, that  awesome clear liquid that is so crucial for existence.  That's the thing, though--water isn't just a bare necessity.  It's also the key to achieving many of your personal healthy living goals.  It's a freaking genie in a bottle. 
What may it help you with, you ask? 
  • Acne.  Water is a major detoxifying agent, and a lot of our blemish friends (zits! pimples! blackheads!) are caused by toxins that enter our system both internally and externally every day.  Drinking water will help flush out these toxins.  Adios, pollutants...
  • Migraines.  Dehydration is the culprit behind many headaches, and even if it isn't the primary cause, it can certainly worsen pre-existing cranial pain.  But don't quench your thirst with a soda or a cup of coffee.  These don't help!  Instead, reach for water!
  • Slow metabolism.  Drinking water in the morning will help to boost your metabolism.  All.  Day.  Long.  Drinking it throughout the day will do even more.  Bam.
  • Brain fatigue.  Your brain is about 90% water.  Yeah, enough said.
  • Muscle cramps.  Water makes up about 75% of our muscles, so depriving them of it is just plain cruel.  Plus, more water = stronger muscles = faster results.
WATER IS AWESOME.  Take this knowledge and make magic happen.  But, while you're at it, don't forget about those who don't have access to water.  It's a resource so many of us take for granted, but in some places it's unattainable.  For more information on how you can help to bring water to those who don't have it, please visit charity:water.  Spread the love.  Spread the agua.

<3 Frances

Thursday, January 1, 2015



Another year has officially just begun, friends, and that means a fresh start.  Think about it like this:  2015 has never met you until now.  You have the chance to be who you want to be and lead your life the way you want to lead it.  I know all this sounds a bit cliched, but it's true, and it's important that you go into the new year on the bright side with the very best intentions for yourself. 
Also...here's an adorable cover of "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" by Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  I know NYE is over by now, but still...

<3 Frances