Archive for February, 2011

Life with HD

HD is one of my lovely housemates. My life since she has moved in has been significantly enhanced. My other housemates and I have agreed that she is one of the most quotable people EVER.

Below are the gems she has allowed me to share. Enjoy!

HD: “Knuckles are the knee caps of the finger.”

HD: “Oh it’s a dish cloth? I thought it was a decoration!”

HD: “Amanda, how come boys haven’t realized your awesomeness. You’re just so… awesome!”

HD: “I’m never going to a sushi buffet ever again! Alone… Amanda, can I borrow some peptobismol?”

HD: “Who’s a genius?!? Who’s a genius?!? I’m a genius!”

HD: [referencing Thousand Splendid Suns] “Y’know, people at my work actually read that ‘Thousand Splitted Ends’ book.”

Aside from being extremely entertaining, HD also dabbles in cooking. View her tasty eats here!


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Marie-Annette (Marionette!)

Introducing Marie-Annette! Otherwise known as a marionette/finger puppet.

Marie-Annette the marionette

Now before anyone starts thinking that I am a nerdy knitter that makes finger puppets of cute creatures in her spare time, let me explain. I never intended to make this. I was learning how to knit mittens and to test my skills, instead of knitting a ton of stitches, I just decided to knit a few and later undo them. Well, I got a hang of it, and realized that my little knitted tube was beginning to look like the beginnings of a finger puppet. But what does one do with a finger puppet if one ends up making one? So before I went knitting any further, I had to decide what I was going to do with it. In my mind, adults do not own finger puppets. Even if they did put their heart and soul into making it.

So I thought to myself: I need to give it away! But to whom? I thought of any young children that I knew. Not many. But luckily my grandparents just adopted a little girl! [HA. That sounds so random. But very, very true.] What better way to welcome my new (8 year old) aunt into the Smith family than to give her a little homemade finger puppet?!

So on I went continuing this puppet having no clue how it’d turn out. And voilà, a little mouse was born.

Now, Marie-Annette is chillin’ in our kitchen until she gets to meet the girl she was designed to please. But until then, who wouldn’t go on a little photo shoot with their creation?

The life of a mouse - scurrying on the floor

Bookmice (reference to a 90s kids show, did you catch it?)

She has mad piano skills.

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This week’s Positive Psych Challenge, the class was instructed to follow this link .

Who doesn’t like to take quizzes that reveal aspects about your personality? So if you’re like me and do, click that link and sign up. Once registered (which takes two seconds), click on “I want to take the VIA Survey of Character (VIA-IS)” followed by checking off “I don’t have a code. I’m just here to take the survey“. And voilà. You’re all set to begin answering questions that will ultimately lead to finding out your top 5 character strengths.

Here are mine:

My Top Strength – Spirituality, sense of purpose, and faith

You have strong and coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe. You know where you fit in the larger scheme. Your beliefs shape your actions and are a source of comfort to you.

2nd – Honesty, authenticity, and genuineness

You are an honest person, not only by speaking the truth but by living your life in a genuine and authentic way. You are down to earth and without pretense; you are a “real” person.

3rd – Judgment, critical thinking, and open-mindedness

Thinking things through and examining them from all sides are important aspects of who you are. You do not jump to conclusions, and you rely only on solid evidence to make your decisions. You are able to change your mind.

4th – Caution, prudence, and discretion

You are a careful person, and your choices are consistently prudent ones. You do not say or do things that you might later regret.

5th – Citizenship, teamwork, and loyalty

You excel as a member of a group. You are a loyal and dedicated teammate, you always do your share, and you work hard for the success of your group.

A second part to our assignment was to do a few of the suggested exercises corresponding with our top character strengths. These are outlined in our textbook and are intended to help use our strengths in a positive way. For example, for my top character strength it suggested that, every day, I think about the purpose of my life. For my second it was, when explaining my motives to someone, to do so in a genuine and honest way. For my third, it was to consider some strong-held opinion and think about how I might be wrong.

I tried these suggestions out and found them a great way to use my strengths in a positive way. It was also refreshing to have a new perspective on how my strengths could be used.

I found these character strengths to be true to me. Although, I could be experiencing a Barnum Effect. [HA! I just realized that I’m using my 3rd character strength and examining this from all possible sides.] So, what do you think? Are they true to me? What are your top strengths? Do you think they’re true to who you are?

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Blog Rrrrroll.

Look to the right (and scroll down a little). Now back to here. I added a blog roll!

Ok, so it’s not that exciting, but I wanted to share some links to a few blogs that I stalk. This is a growing list (and I stalk many, many more than I have listed), but if you are a blogger and think that I should stalk yours as well, send me your link. I’m always looking for more good reads.

If you have been interested in what I have been posting in terms of Positive Psychology, my classmate and friend, Julie, has also been writing a little about her experiences. Check her out here!

If you’re weary about visiting a stranger’s blog, allow me to fix that. Julie is cool and random. And although the title of her blog is “julieandlouie”, Louie being her cat, she has yet to mention much about him. Also, here is a brilliant portrait of the two of them.


My doodle of Julie and Louie ... that I did not do during class...

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Letter of Gratitude

Writing a letter of gratitude, as we did for our class’ Positive Psych Challenge last week, is harder than it sounds.

There are some things that I don’t like to force, and writing is one of them. I have a hard time beginning to write knowing that it is required of me, even if I have a lot to say. Right away I had a couple people in mind that I wanted to thank and once I chose someone in particular, I knew exactly what I wanted to tell them. However, I found it hard to string together words. Knowing that it was required of me made me feel more apprehensive to begin writing because I didn’t want my words to show that I was writing merely because my prof told me that I had to for an assignment. Nevertheless, I needed to go beyond the requirement of my course and search for intrinsic motivation.

I have not yet received a reply, but frankly, I don’t need one. I would love one, but that’s not the reason why I wrote it. I wrote it to thank the person and to let them know how much they have influenced me in my life; I shouldn’t need anything in return.

I really think people should write letters (or emails, or even Facebook messages) more often to let others know how much they are appreciated. Not that we should do it out of obligation, but out of a genuine desire to let someone else know how we feel.

Try it out. I guarantee it’ll brighten someone’s day.

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Para Juanita

Last November, a friend had a birthday and asked that I make her a case for her cell phone. I’ve knit a few over the years and was excited to create one especially for her. Thought I’d share some pics of the little guy.


The materials - yarn, a selection of buttons (!), thread

The finished product

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