Friday, April 27, 2012

Art Print Friday

Video Game Art Print
Breakfast is Power by petekdesign


I would just love to have this hanging in my kitchen, maybe by the stove or over the sink. What a cute little print! I especially appreciate it today, because I made the two most delicious omelets with some BabyBel cheese, garlic salt, thyme and oregano. Yum!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

FINISHED PROJECT: The Pom Pom Scarf

Crocheted Pom Pom Scarf

So. I made this pom pom scarf yesterday for a few reasons. One: I haven't finished a project in a WHILE and I've been getting antsy because of it. I've been working on a granny square blanket and a granny STRIPE blanket. The pattern for this pom pom scarf said that the estimated time was 15 minutes. Two: I'm on a monster pom pom kick right now. I want pom pom covered everything. EVER. Bracelets. Hair clips. I want to make an "M" necklace completely covered in pom poms. I want to add a pom pom trim to everything I own, up to and including everything I seriously have.

ANYWAY. I really don't know what I think of this silly little thing. It really took less than half an hour -- the yarn is a pretty baby blue in the Michael's brand Loops & Threads or whatever. I liked that the yarn is named Bunny Tail. The pattern is HERE, but I'll let you in on a secret: it's ch2, skip three pom poms, and, uhhhh, repeat. For the whole skein.

What do I wear this with? Does it look totally ridiculous? I kind of love it and I kind of am very unsure. BUT, half hour later, it was a finished project! And I am 100% happy for that.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What I Wore: Solids, Spank, and the Farm

Spank! button

After days of dreary rain and drizzle, we finally had a day in the upper-70s. Mark and I spent the day together up in the cities, but before we left, we went on a little walk around the farm we live on. I always forget how pretty and huge it is behind the house; exploring and taking pictures out there are two things I definitely plan on doing more of this summer.

MN Farm Yard

So, pretty, huh? Mark said that when he was little, everything was cleared out and there were paths everywhere. Now it is overgrown, with some downed trees and old farm equipment, but I think it looks awesome.


My outfit for the day. Necklace: Betsey Johnson | Tank: Alternative Apparel | Cardigan: Tea & Rose | Pin: Spank! | Skirt: Forever21 | Leggings: Bozzolo | Shoes: Soda | Strawberry Hair Clips: 6%dokidoki |

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

On Spring, or "Just Go Outside"

I love Spring! I love it because it such a season of change - a lot different than New Years, don't you think? It's a tangible change that I think is great for inspiring people to start new projects, finish old ones, try new things, and pick up different habits or hobbies. Another thing I love about Spring is the rainy days, but maybe not many people will agree to that.

Minnesota Spring

♥ Go outside! ♥ At my new job, I'm in a place where it is a lot easier to just walk to close-by stores or restaurants on my break -- especially after being in Japan, I'd prefer to just walk on over, rather than getting in my car and driving a minute or two to get where I'm going. ♥ I do wish that my town had better sidewalk systems and crosswalks, though.. There are plenty of places close-by that I would love to walk over to, but is in a high traffic area with no stop lights or crosswalks. ♥ I know it is cliche to talk about going outside when Spring arrives, but when you live in a Midwest town like I do, Winter is a cruel chunk of the year where even the 30 second walk from the door to the car can be awfully brutal. Feeling the sunshine and knowing you can step out the front door without a jacket is pretty sweet after negative degrees and wind-chills for months. ♥

Striped Yellow Dress

♥ Wear bright colors. ♥ Orange and coral is EVERYWHERE this season already, thanks to tangerine being Pantone's color of the year. Take advantage of the over-saturation and add some prettiness to your wardrobe. Find the color that is perfect for your skin type -- there are many shades I can't get away with, but I love a bright canary yellow dress. ♥ Pastels are also sweet to add to less-than-colorful outfits. The other day I wore dark blue skinnies, a plain grey top, and a super-cute mint green cardigan to go over it all. ♥ Do you love my new dress? I do! It's so flattering, the yellow belt is adorable with it, and stripes have always been my favorite. ♥

Girl With Black Eyeliner

♥ Don't forget the little things. ♥ You all know how much I love accessories. Floral scarves, pink lips, lacy hair bows. Decorate yourself with what you love to look at. ♥ I'm also trying every day to see how big I can make my eyes look. I line the bottom waterline of my eyes with white mascara from MAC. ♥ Then, I layer on the mascara - two coats of Benefit's BadGal Lash on top and bottom! ♥ I've also been hopelessly addicted to the armful of 100Y fake lashes I brought home from Japan. ♥ This picture makes me want to dye my hair blonder and blonder! My roots are out of control. ♥

Southern MN Bridge

♥ Little road trips. ♥ There are pretty things around you everywhere, and you don't have to take a huge day trip and spend tons of money to find a nice area. This pretty little spot was only about a ten-minute drive from my house. ♥ Mark and I were doing laundry in the closest town and took a little stroll to get here. We stopped for a bit, chatted and people watched, and were on our way. ♥ Cheesy as it is, it's pretty nice to just stop for a second and appreciate little things. I know I'm not the only busy one in life - driving to work, working all day, filling up the car, getting groceries, doing dishes, folding clothes - but it's nice when you DO have a moment, to really enjoy it and don't let it go to waste. You have all the time in the world to hang out on the couch when it's -20 degrees again with 10 inches of snow pounding at your back door. ♥

♥ How have you enjoyed Spring so far? Markie and I are on our way out today - there is a great park up in a suburb of the Twin Cities that we like to visit. I hope we go there today! ♥

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What I Wore: The Little Things!

pink dress

Grey and pink are so lovely together, no? I love my new dress -- the brand is Mustard Seed, and I paired it with a thicker grey cardigan and some cute grey leggings. My hair looks nice because I didn't wash it. I wish I could have day-two hair every day. Slept in hairspray look. That's the American dream!

This outfit is cute, yes - but it's all in the details! Such as:

Sally Hansen Leopard Nails

My rainbow leopard nails! They are the beloved Sally Hansen nail art stickers that I just love. The packages are usually about ten bucks, but it only takes me ten stickers to do both hands, so there is enough for TWO manicures in a box. They go on SO easy and this kind is really staying, through dishes and digging through cash registers. They aren't miracles, but they are probably better than you think. Try them!

Hard Candy Lip Balm

Hard Candy Tinted Lip Balm! HARD CANDY. Do you hear me? Yes, that Hard Candy. Makes me want to buy some Sketchers real bad while I thumb through the newest Delia*s catalog. I love this because it's so obnoxiously pink, but still moisturizes. What else do you need? I love the super tacky packaging, too. I think there are skulls and probably says rock and roll somewhere. Move over lip butters, this is the new best.


And the best little detail: my new Betsey Johnson cat cameo ring. I don't like giving it away, but my in-town hot spot for Betsey finds is TJ Maxx. I got this pretty girl in the clearance jewelry section for $15. How could I not get it? She's the best. Ever. Her cute little gem eyes! Just look at them!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Do You Love Spring?

I love Spring! I love it so much, that I wrote a guest post for the beautiful Erin of My Beautiful Disaster with a list of all the things I love to do during the season. Go check it out?
 
Sakura Macaron
Sakura flavored macarons are a great choice for a Spring treat!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Instagram Roundup

TOP: Cheese with truffles // A personal @reply from Dan Savage himself!
BOTTOM: Connecting the first two rows of my blanket // Earl Grey bags for my royal milk tea

My granny square blanket is such an up and down for me. I put together the first two rows - and I was very excited! - but, it took a looong time to do it. And I really need to make at least 240 more squares, haha! Yikes. I feel like I've been working on it for my entire life, but I've only made a little over 70 squares. Oh well, it'll be done when it is done.

TOP: Me and my new Ice King // Chester, the baby
BOTTOM: Mini corn dogs (I wish they were endless) // One of my Drawsome drawings

As with my granny squares, my relationship with Draw Something is a roller coaster. I was horribly addicted, but then overextended myself, and now I have about 12 games to catch up with whenever I check the app. That takes so long! Also, the app needs a word update; I can guess divorce, Pauly D, firewood, and roadkill the second my partner starts drawing a line. Oh well, doesn't make it less fun!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What I Wore: Sailor Fairy Style

Fairy Sailor Fashion
The little anchors look like dollar signs in this photo!

What I've Been Up To:

♥ A new job! Which means a much happier Maddy, but with a little less regular schedule. (Read: from a 9-5 office job back to retail!) Lovely! I'm so glad to do what I'm doing now.

♥  Reading Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind; I'm a little over halfway through the four books of the magna. It's amazing.

♥ And, thanks to my current obsession with strong Miyazaki ladies, I've been falling asleep watching Mononoke-Hime. Naturally.

♥ Easter leftovers: delicious cheese (with truffles!), homemade rum bread, and a big old discounted bag of Starburst jelly beans.

How are you lovelies? I hope all is well, and that your Spring has started like the cutest little lamb with the biggest lion heart. (That's Spring, RIGHT?) I've gotta go, because Savage U starts in fifteen minutes. Toodles~


Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Bunnies!

Girl With Bunny Ears

I hope you all had a wonderful day yesterday, regardless of what you celebrated or did! I had to work (only until three, though) and then went to Mark's parents for delicious food and cute babies. Working wasn't fun, but my bunny ears helped!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Super Potato, Akihabara: Retro Game Store

If you are into retro games or Japan's video game culture, chances are you've heard of Super Potato. Super Potato is a used video game store with locations in Osaka and Tokyo. When Mark and I visited this spring, going to the shop was definitely on our to-do list. We went to the store last time we were in Japan, so we knew what to expect this time around.

Super Potato Akihabara

The Tokyo branch is located in Akihabara, the district of the city known as "Electric Town" because of all the game shops and electronics stores. Mark and I were just talking about how we wished we could've seen Akihabara 20 or more years ago during the height of the video game craze.

Outside of Super Potato
This way to old video games, please!
Super Potato is easy to find if you take the Electric Town exit out of the station and head past the Club Sega; it's just a few blocks away! You'll know you are there because of the huge silly potato on the sign. Of course.

Super Potato Entrance

Inside, the multi-floor, geeky-tourist destination holds all the old video games, systems, and books an otaku could want, including Famicom, Game & Watch, Super Famicom, Mega Drive, PC Engine, PlayStation, Dreamcast, Saturn, and lots lots more. It's pretty overwhelming, especially if you aren't exactly sure what you're looking for and extra-especially if you aren't familiar with the Japanese name for the game you want to find. Most everything is spined at the shop, so you can only see the games title on the side.

The Super Potato in Akihabara lets customers take pictures in the shop, so I definitely did just that as Mark spent his time looking through the games. There were a lot of foreigners in the store; like I said, this is definitely a tourist destination. The store is awesome to visit, that's for sure - but it isn't the end all, be all of retro gaming shops. (Other shops we liked were Mandarake, Trader, and a few mom & pop shops that Mark researched before we left.)

Rainy Akihabara
Rainy day when we visited Super Potato.

Club Sega in Akihabara
The Club Sega you'll see when you leave the station.

Ready to see what's inside?
Good, because I have a million pictures.

Retro Game Master Tokyo

Arino! The first thing I saw when we went into the first floor was the Game Center CX display! There was a TV playing episodes of the show and featured games that he played in the episodes. Awesome.

Game Center CX Super Potato

Super Potato Smash Bros

I know this is a not so great photo, but I loved it. It's the character selection screen for Super Smash Bros, but with the Super Potato mascot edited in. Being in Super Potato is like being in your friend's basement; completely decked out with video game memorabilia, posters, and art. But, 100x cooler. There are TVs all over playing the start screen eye catchers of video games, retro game music in all corners, and a lot of playable demos. (I was happy to play the first levels of the NES version of Mario in Japan.)

But the best part was all the original art on the displays. The drawings were so cute and so awesome and so unlike anything you'd see in the chain stores of the US. I wish I could draw like that!

Super Potato Akihabara

I think I took this so Mark would remember to go back and find it next time he went.

Japanese Strawberry
Some drool on your strawberries?

Akihabara Super Potato

Super Potato Akihabara

Tokyo Retro Game Store

Video Game Shop Japan

Super Potato Pokemon
Oh, I know you!

Japanese Video Game Strategy Guides
Look at all those strategy guides! There were art books, too.

Super Potato Art
How awesome, right? I think this is showing how they test and clean games before they sell them.

Super Potato Cats
I LOVE THESE CATS. What are they saying? Someone please tell me.

Super Potato Staff Pick
This cat is even better!

DQ Super Potato
These slimes kill me. Look at that big blue one.

Bubble Bobble Japan

An example of the mini posters hanging from the ceiling. Nice and classy, not just leftover promo posters for boring video game releases. Also, I love Bubble Bobble.

Otaku Akihabara

Video games in Tokyo

There is a rating scale for the used games, but Mark wasn't as big of a fan of their system as he was of other stores. Other used game shops had an actual letter grade for the quality of the cart/box/other inserts, but the Super Potato rating scale is only shown through price differences alone. Sometimes there is a sticker saying if there is something wrong or missing, but it isn't as detailed as other stores.


Inside of Super Potato Tokyo

Although it is a magnet for gaijin (myself included), I did see plenty of native shoppers with baskets full of multi-colored carts and video game related trinkets.

Super Potato Game Watch
Remember these?

Game & Watch Retro

Akihabara Super Potato
Sneaky picture pointing to the front counter. You can see a working hunching over!

Retro Wonder Swan
Wonder Swan!

Video Games Akihabara

Akihabara Super Potato

Super Potato Stairs
I love the stairs, but so steep. Yikes!!

Video Game Art in Japan

Can you tell how much I really loved all the drawings? Even that little picture on the Super Famicom tags.. what a cute detail that makes everything fun to look at.

Video games in Japan

Retro Video Games Tokyo

Akihabara Retro Games

Super Potato Retro Dreamcast
Dreamcast is the coolest.

Super Potato Akihabara

Super Potato Dragon Quest
Little slime!!!

Super Potato Tokyo

Retro Video Games Akihabara

After a while, we were were finally done browsing. It was still early in the trip and Mark had gotten some idea of what he wanted to pick up (or do some price-comparing!) before we went back home. We had successfully warmed up from the rainy weather, but we headed back out in the wet gloom to figure out what was for supper!

Akihabara Station
Mark buying a ticket back to Shinjuku at the Akihabara Station.

So what did you think? I definitely recommend going to Super Potato once, twice or more if you are visiting Japan. Akihabara has plenty to look at, and if you walk past this shop, I'd definitely pop in to walk through the three floors.