Tea Time

Knowing how much I love tea, my dear sister purchased a deal from Living Social for tea time for two at Chado Tea Room (the Hollywood & Highland location) as part of my Christmas gift this year. I can’t even express how excited I was about this! Not only did I get the chance to go to a tea room with one of my favorite people in the world, but it also meant that I had another opportunity to get dressed up! I didn’t want to overdo it, but I also didn’t want to ruin this chance by wearing a t-shirt and jeans. So, I dressed my denim look up!

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I really love these new blouses and shirts that are pretty plain in the front, but then have something special on the back. I recently bought many dress shirts like this, and love any chance I get to wear them. I’ll share some more later, even if I don’t wear it for a specific occasion. My favorite part of my outfit, however, were the shoes! My mom had just bought them for me, and I especially love the light pink heel.

Now, let’s talk about the tea room itself. The service there needed some work. I’m not sure if they were understaffed, but the waiting wasn’t really even where my complaint lies. My biggest problem was that we had ordered a scone to go for my mom and when they brought out boxes so we could doggy-bag the remainder of our food, they did not remember to bring my extra scone. We left, got home, and that’s when I realized it. I suppose it’s also partly my fault for not paying attention while we were still there, but I would hope that the waitress/server would have remembered. They did charge us for it, though. Oh well.

Our Living Social deal included a starter soup or salad, specific sandwiches (salmon, cucumber, cranberry chicken and cream cheese), scones (plain), dessert (cookies, strawberries and custard, chocolate cake, lemon cake, a muffin), an ice cream tea float, and two pots of tea (your choice). Here’s a picture of what all of the food looked like, which I admit, is quite impressive.

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The food was definitely not something I’d go back for. While I know that these are tea sandwiches and their flavors should not be overwhelming, they also shouldn’t be quite so bland. However, the scones were good and the custard was marvelous! My favorite part, however, was the tea. My sister ordered some fruity tea (I can’t remember the exact blend right now, but it sounded good until she ruined the flavor with sugar) and I ordered the coconut chai. I have never had coconut chai before as I usually go for either a plain chai or a vanilla flavored one. Those are probably my favorite go-to teas to drink. With that in mind, this coconut chai blew me away! My taste buds were surely in for a treat. First of all, they served the chai with cream already mixed in, which already got bonus points in my book. Beyond that, the chai was seeped perfectly (not too bitter, not too weak) and had so much flavor! I was very excited about my chai and finished every single drop!

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I’m already looking into buying a 4 oz. serving of their coconut chai. Their website has all of their teas, I believe, and also has information on the different locations. All in all, I’d go back to Chado Tea Room, but only for dessert and tea. (Side note: I love my necklace!)

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By the way? I was so excited for my tea float (and it took so long for them to bring it out) that I forgot to take a picture of it until it was gone.

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While it tasted amazing, I would had ideas on how to make it even better. They used a vanilla tea with vanilla ice cream, topped with what looked and tasted exactly like Hershey’s chocolate syrup. Just a few days ago, after being inspired by this tea float idea, I decided to make my own. I used about a teaspoonful double chocolate chip along with a scoop of vanilla and topped it with my vanilla chai.

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Mine was better, but should have been cooled a bit longer!

Exciting news!

Hello people of the blogging world! I have some great news. After going back and forth on making a decision on graduate school, I’ve finally fallen back into the one I’d decided on a while back. I had looked into Academy of Art in San Francisco, CA a while back and had even gone as far as completing my application for admission. I even had part of my transcripts sent over. However, I changed my mind midway, and put a halt to the process of applying. See, I had applied for their Multimedia Communications graduate program. After some thinking and research, I realized that’s not what I wanted to do after all. So, I took a step back and took a look at my experience and asked myself what it is I truly want to do with the rest of my life. Long story short, I decided on Advertisement. I am incredibly excited to complete my portfolio and assignment, so that I can begin school (online for now) soon!

In other news, I am looking for hobbies to keep me busy. While I’m aware that school work and my job will keep me plenty occupied, I still want to try to learn new things. My friend Luci got me knitting needles since I’d told her I wanted to learn how to knit. I’m going to go out and buy some yarn tomorrow and see if I can at least learn a little bit on my own (using youtube as a guide) before I can go visit her and she can show me herself. I’m super excited about starting this new hobby. Beyond that, I’d also decided I wanted to get back into scrapbooking. I may get some new scrapbooking materials to motivate me to go back to the project I’d started years ago!

Other than that, I’m not really sure what more to say here. Hopefully you’re all well! I’ll be trying to take as many outfit pictures as I can soon, just of every day apparel, so that I can do another fashion post. Thank you to everyone following and to anyone who has read and liked my posts thus far. Keep your eyes peeled for the next poem I will be posting on my other blog in the next couple of days!

Peace. Love. Music.

2013…already?!

HAPPY 2013!!! Okay, I know it’s the 8th of January already and I’m beyond late on that, but it still counts long as you’re reading this!

I want to start by apologizing, I guess mostly to myself, for being gone from the beautiful world of blogging for way too long! See, I got pretty horribly ill right around the holidays, and that wasn’t a good mix with the work problems I was already having and the busyness of the holidays themselves. The past few days, I’ve been wanting to return and have had thought after thought on what my next post is going to be about, but then I’d have head and eye aches (dry weather and allergies) so I never really wanted to spend even more time, after work, on a computer, staring at the bright screen. So now that I’ve decided to officially return, I’ve completely forgotten what it was I wanted to write. Typical, I know. So, like most things I do, I’m just going to wing it.

First of all, let’s go back in time a bit to the outfit I’d planned on sharing (from the teething party), followed by my outfit for New Years Eve. Sadly, I don’t have a picture from Christmas, but these will do for now. Okay, teething party. I wanted to be one part comfortable, one part girly with just a dash of rocked out. Here’s what came of it:

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The top I wore was a pretty turquoise and loose on the belly, but it was a bit plain on it’s own, so I decided to wear a black cropped vest over it, just to dress it up a little. My pants were blue skinny jeans, though they look black in the picture, and my shoes were brown booties (my favorite shoes). I did throw a pretty black pearl-like necklace on with it, with bits of silver mixed into some pieces. I’m sure I also had bracelets on, probably studded cuffs. I was pretty happy with my outfit that day, and most importantly, I felt good in it. Side note? I let my hair down, but kept the bump up.

New Years eve-day, I felt like choosing an outfit would be the end of me. Sure, I had a black fitted-ish dress lined up for it, but…I’m still not quite there with my body just yet, so I didn’t feel comfortable wearing it. I also had another loose-fitted top I could’ve worn, but i sort of wanted to be…even more girly! Just girly, no rocker edge at all. Luckily, I had a little bit of last minute shopping to do, and ended up in a little store in Granada Hills (I believe that’s Granada Hills anyway) and found the perfect dress. I didn’t try it on and just bought it, thinking it was just going to end up being returned soon after. However, it ended up being my “it” dress.

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The hat was obviously not part of my outfit (it was someone’s gift I stole momentarily), but I wanted to share with you a view from the front as well as the side. The dress came with the belt, which gave me the perfect excuse to wear my brown booties again. (They’re incredibly cute and comfortable.) The only other thing I added to the outfit at all was the eggplant colored tights. It was easy, comfortable and I felt girlier than have since I was a little girl with puffy dresses and bows in my hair.

So, here’s where I draw a blank. I feel like there should be so much more for me to say, but I don’t really have too much more to add on, fashion-wise. So we’ll move onto other news in my life. For starters, I’ve requested information about the Avon Walk. I’m planning on preparing myself for either the San Francisco or Santa Barbara walks (both in September). I’d really prefer San Fran because it’d also be the perfect excuse to finally visit. I’ve been in California since I was 3 and have yet to travel to SF. I’m really excited about all of it. Not only is it obviously for an amazing cause (one of my favorites), but it would also be a good excuse to get into the best shape of my life! Keep your fingers crossed for me?

Beyond that, there’s really not a lot more happening. I created a Bucket List that was inspired by a canceled MTV show called The Buried Life that I watched parts of on Netflix. I have way too many things on my list, but that’s a good thing. It gives me more reason to get out there and do things. I’ve not yet crossed one single item off my list, but I’m working towards them, no matter how slowly.

I’m also thinking of creating another blog once I’ve gotten myself adjusted to posting on this one regularly. Mostly, I just want another place to go to where I can release frustrations and all negative emotions. I want this to be my happy place, full of love, rainbows, puppies and bunnies and unicorns. I don’t want to bring any negativity into this blog at all. So, I’m not going to. I’ll take it slow for now, though. I don’t want to overwhelm myself by having two blogs I can’t/don’t run.

So, I’ll leave you with my nails. It’s part of fashion, and it makes me happy. I hope everyone’s 2013 has gotten off to an amazing start! Goodnight, world.

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Gunman kills 26 at Conn. school, commits suicideWPVI – Philadelphia  3:08A man opened fire Friday inside a Connecticut elementary school where his mother worked, killing 26 people, …

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — First, he killed his mother.

Nancy Lanza’s body was found later at their home on Yogananda Street in Newtown — after the carnage at Sandy Hook Elementary School; after a quiet New England town was scarred forever by unthinkable tragedy; after a nation seemingly inured to violence found itself stunned by the slaughter of innocents.

Nobody knows why 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot his mother, why he then took her guns to the school and murdered 20 children and six adults.

But on Friday he drove his mother’s car through this 300-year-old town with its fine old churches and towering trees and arrived at a school full of the season’s joy. Somehow, he got past a security door to a place where children should have been safe from harm.

Theodore Varga and other fourth-grade teachers were meeting; the glow remained from the previous night’s fourth-grade concert.

“It was a lovely day,” Varga said. “Everybody was joyful and cheerful. We were ending the week on a high note.”

And then, suddenly and unfathomably, gunshots rang out. “I can’t even remember how many,” he said.

The fourth-graders, the oldest children in the school, were in specialty classes like gym and music. There was no lock on the meeting room door, so the teachers had to think about how to escape, knowing that their students were with other teachers.

Someone turned the loudspeaker on, so everyone could hear what was happening in the office.

“You could hear the hysteria that was going on,” Varga said. “Whoever did that saved a lot of people. Everyone in the school was listening to the terror that was transpiring.”

Gathered in another room for a 9:30 a.m. meeting were principal Dawn Hochsprung and school therapist Diane Day along with a school psychologist, other staff members and a parent. They were meeting to discuss a second-grader.

“We were there for about five minutes chatting, and we heard Pop! Pop!, Pop!” Day told The Wall Street Journal. “I went under the table.”

But Hochsprung and the psychologist leaped out of their seats and ran out of the room, Day recalled. “They didn’t think twice about confronting or seeing what was going on,” she said. Hochsprung was killed, and the psychologist was believed to have been killed as well.

A custodian ran around, warning people there was a gunman, Varga said.

“He said, ‘Guys! Get down! Hide!'” Varga said. “So he was actually a hero.”

Did he survive? The teacher did not know.

___

Police radios crackled with first word of the shooting at 9:36, according to the New York Post.

“Sandy Hook School. Caller is indicating she thinks there’s someone shooting in the building,” a Newtown dispatcher radioed, according to a tape posted on the paper’s website.

___

In a first-grade classroom, teacher Kaitlin Roig heard the shots. She immediately barricaded her 15 students into a tiny bathroom, sitting one of them on top of the toilet. She pulled a bookshelf across the door and locked it. She told the kids to be “absolutely quiet.”

“I said, ‘There are bad guys out there now. We need to wait for the good guys,'” she told ABC News.

“The kids were being so good,” she said. “They asked, ‘Can we go see if anyone is out there?’ ‘I just want Christmas. I don’t want to die, I just want to have Christmas.’ I said, ‘You’re going to have Christmas and Hanukkah.'”

One student claimed to know karate. “It’s OK. I’ll lead the way out,” the student said.

In the gym, crying fourth-graders huddled in a corner. One of them was 10-year-old Philip Makris.

“He said he heard a lot of loud noises and then screaming,” said his mother, Melissa Makris. “Then the gym teachers immediately gathered the children in a corner and kept them safe.”

Another girl who was in the gym recalled hearing “like, seven loud booms.”

“The gym teacher told us to go in a corner, so we all huddled and I kept hearing these booming noises,” the girl, who was not identified by name, told NBC News. “We all started — well, we didn’t scream; we started crying, so all the gym teachers told us to go into the office where no one could find us.”

An 8-year-old boy described how a teacher saved him.

“I saw some of the bullets going past the hall that I was right next to, and then a teacher pulled me into her classroom,” said the boy, who was not identified by CBSNews.com.

Robert Licata said his 6-year-old son was in class when the gunman burst in and shot the teacher. “That’s when my son grabbed a bunch of his friends and ran out the door,” he said. “He was very brave. He waited for his friends.”

He said the shooter didn’t utter a word.

___

“The shooting appears to have stopped,” the dispatcher radioed at 9:38 a.m., according to the Post. “There is silence at this time. The school is in lockdown.”

And at 9:46 a.m., an anguished voice from the school: “I’ve got bodies here. Need ambulances.”

___

Carefully, police searched room to room, removing children and staff from harm’s way. They found Adam Lanza, dead by his own hand after shooting up two classrooms; no officer fired a gun.

Student Brendan Murray told WABC-TV it was chaos in his classroom at first after he heard loud bangs and screaming. A police officer came in and asked, “Is he in here?” and then ran out. “Then our teacher, somebody, yelled, ‘Get to a safe place.’ Then we went to a closet in the gym and we sat there for a little while, and then the police were, like, knocking on the door and they were, like, ‘We’re evacuating people, we’re evacuating people,’ so we ran out.”

Children, warned to close their eyes so they could not see the product of his labors, were led away from their school.

Parents rushed to the scene. Family members walked away from a firehouse that was being used as a staging area, some of them openly weeping. One man, wearing a T-shirt without a jacket, put his arms around a woman as they walked down the middle of the street, oblivious to everything around them.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and other public officials came to the firehouse. So did clergymen like Monsignor Robert Weiss of Newtown’s St. Rose Roman Catholic Church. He watched as parents came to realize that they would never see their children alive again.

“All of them were hoping their child would be found OK. But when they gave out the actual death toll, they realized their child was gone,” Weiss said.

He recalled the reaction of the brother of one of the victims.

“They told a little boy it was his sister who passed on,” Weiss said. “The boy’s response was, ‘I’m not going to have anyone to play with.'”

___

Jocelyn Noveck reported from New York. Jim Fitzgerald and Pat Eaton-Robb in Newtown and Bridget Murphy in Boston contributed to this report

.http://news.yahoo.com/routine-morning-then-shots-unthinkable-terror-034139544.html

“Another head h…

“Another head hangs lowly, child is slowly taken. And the violence caused such silence. Who are we mistaken? But you see, it’s not me, it’s not my family. In your head, in your head they are fighting. With their tanks and their bombs, and their bombs, and their guns. In your head, in your head, they are crying. In your head, in your head, zombie, zombie, zombie, hey, hey, hey. What’s in your head? In your head. Zombie, zombie, zombie, hey, hey, hey. Another mother’s breaking heart is taking over. When the violence causes silence, we must be mistaken. It’s the same thing old theme since 1916. In your head, in your head they’re still fighting. With their tanks and their bombs, and their bombs, and their guns. In your head, in your head, they are dying.”

-The Cranberries

Let’s take a break

I am usually one of the first to respond to a tragic event. I’m usually expressing my anger toward the offender or sending love to those affected by the tragedy. In this case, however, I am at a loss for words. Never could I have imagined this, not in my wildest nightmares.

Maybe part of the reason I am so at a loss is because 20 children, aged 5 to 10, all innocent and unaware of what death even really means were taken from the world. I mean, the kids in hiding, the ones who survived, were talking about how they didn’t want to die and all they wanted was to see Christmas. Show me innocence more pure than that if you can!

The other part is because the man, the 20 year old man, obviously had issues. Now, I’m not making excuses and I’m not taking away from all of the families that lost their children today, but I’m speaking from a place deep inside that I’m not quite sure I even understand very well. Can you really blame the killer? And even if you do, does it change anything? Because my answer to both of those questions is no. He wasn’t just some 20 year old thug that ran around shooting for the hell of it. He was a mentally unstable man who couldn’t control his actions. That scares me much more than some psycho who does it for shits and giggles. I’m not really entirely sure where I’m going with this, but I can’t find it in my heart to blame him.

However, here’s where I do place the blame. Why did the killer’s mother have that many weapons? I mean, an elementary school teacher couldn’t possibly need that much protection, could she? What, or who, was she protecting herself from? We definitely need stricter weapon control in this country, but that goes without saying. Doesn’t it? I’d like to think so, but there are still many out there who do not feel that way.

And now, here’s where I get religious. Kind of. Prayer in school wouldn’t have kept this from happening. Prayer at home wouldn’t have either. If god was going to protect these children, he wouldn’t have changed his mind just because they weren’t praying. And if he wasn’t going to protect these children either way…well, why not? I mean, if the apocalypse isn’t happening in the next week, then i don’t understand why god would have taken these children from their families, not only at such a young age, but, more importantly, so violently?

There’s anger in my heart today. There’s also sorrow. There are many emotions have combined to make me unable to even express even one of them. I feel sick to my stomach and unable to cry. Not one single tear has been shed from my eyes as of yet. That makes me feel worse, but perhaps I am still in a state of shock and it will be a while longer before it hits me. I’m not sure how to handle any of this, and I can’t even begin to imagine how the families, those poor parents, and the other children of the school are possibly going to deal with this. I wish them strength, patience and peace. I wish this never happened. I wish for a way to go back in time and change it all. I wish we lived in a better world. I wish children didn’t have to go to bed afraid of real life dangers and would only fear the monsters in cartoons. I wish life were easier for them. I wish innocence was left pure and beautiful, undamaged. I wish we could all just love and live, let live.

 

Realizations

Hello again world. Hope your day’s been light-years better than mine!

After a difficult and very long day, I’ve realized something important. I am an emotional eater. Now, granted the only things I had until about 2:30 today were a bottle of water, 2 cups of coffee, a piece of gum and a cigarette, the rest of the day was filled with food, food and even more food! Kind of.

See, I always think I eat too much or ate too much. Then, I look back at what I ate all day, and it’s really not a lot at all! I’m trying to describe my lunch to you. Basically, pasta filled with cheese, mushrooms, eggplant and tomato sauce. I had two of those. I also had a stick of those string cheese things? Whatever they’re called. I had this piece of candy (I’m not sure what it is, but it tasted and smelled like marshmallows and had pieces of pistachios all over) followed by half a cup of hot chocolate. (McDonald’s really needs to work on this.) As far as I can remember, that’s all I ate all day at work. When I got home, I had no dinner (which is usual for me, actually) but I had a cup of tea (no sugar) and another piece of candy (same one) and 5 brazil nuts. I didn’t mean to count, it just sort of happened. Anyway, that is all I ate. I feel like I ate a lot more than that, though. Perhaps it’s just because I’m supposed to be starting my period soon. (Is menstrual cycle talk allowed around here? Sorry to the guys reading this, though I doubt there are any!) My point is, I felt really gross when I looked at myself in the mirror. My stomach is sticking out more than usual and I just felt overall…gross. (Yeah, I know. I’m great with words, I’ve got a huge vocabulary, you’re so impressed.) So I did a bit of exercising. I guess that’s good though, right? I mean, working out is good! Even if you’re not trying to lose weight! So, yeah. I’m proud of that.

I think the point of today’s post is really a little scattered because I’m still sort of a mess from this morning. But let’s make it simple. I’m still struggling with this whole weight thing. I’m still not happy with my body. But hey, nobody said this was going to be easy, right? Baby steps. I’ll get there, even if it takes some time.

I know this is supposed to be a blog of happiness and, as the title implies, fashion. And I promise, I will get to that stuff. Especially the fashion. I just haven’t had the chance to take a picture of my current outfits, or find any anywhere, to share. Maybe this weekend will be the first chance I get. First of all, no work to get in the way. Secondly, I have a…teething party? Wow, that sounds really stupid. I’m Armenian. We celebrate when a child gets his or her first tooth/teeth. I’m not sure if others do that or not, but we do. And I’m attending a party for that on Sunday, so I’ll get the opportunity to dress up. The good part about that is that I’ll have something for my blog. The bad part? My family makes me feel just a teensy bit insecure about my body and outfits. Not all of them, and never out loud to my face, but…well, those insecurities really should be saved for a separate blog. Anywho…

I’ll leave you all with a few past pictures of me for fashion’s sake. I’d love to hear (or read, more realistically) opinions, whether about my outfits or my blog. Or both! All conversations are more than welcome. Oh, and thank you so much for anyone who has already followed, commented and/or “liked” my blog. It means more than I can put into words! Okay. I’ll stop here. Goodnight world.

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I loved the back of that top. I still have the back. It’s just a piece of lace now, since the rest of it was ruined by jewelry, but I’m in love with lace so I cut it off and am still trying to figure out what to do with it. Ideas will be appreciated greatly!

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This dress makes my torso look much longer and my stomach look much flatter! I love it so much!

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In my opinion, jewelry counts as fashion…

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…so does hair.

Music. Peace. Love.

~Mariam~

Introductions

Hello world! So, I have to be honest. When this blog was nothing more than a pea-sized thought running around in the busy world of my brain, mixed into and lost within the hundreds of thousands of other thoughts much bigger than it, I was being selfish. I needed to break free, to grow, and to learn to really love and accept myself. I’m 27, dammit. It’s about time!

Okay. Maybe I’ll stop the rant there. Let me take you further back in time. (The thought of this blog happened only a couple of days ago, so that was barely back in time at all, but still!) Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had issues with my body. There’s no one to blame but myself. And maybe the media a little bit. But mostly myself! Growing up in Hollywood isn’t easy. Unless you’re blond and a size zero, of course. No matter how skinny I was, though, it just wasn’t enough…for me. I kept wanting to lose more weight, to be as thin as all the other girls, not just in the magazines and on television, but also the ones all around me. They were everywhere! As I grew older, this insecurity stuck with me. Still though, through all the years, I never really did a whole lot about my weight issues. Except bitch and moan. I’d start to work out here and there, sure, but it was never for long periods of time. And I NEVER gave up my food. I mean, I stopped eating meat early this year for the sake of the animals, not dieting. Let’s just face it. I love food and it means more to me than a skinny waist!

Okay, we’re back in 2012. December 12th to be exact. Maybe that’s too exact. Don’t feel the need to locate a time machine and go back in time. Whatever day and month it is for you (even if it’s next year), works just fine. Nowadays, in the media and the general world, we see a lot of love for those supermodel skinny girls (who I still envy, honestly). However, we’ve got a new soft spot. Women like Adele and Kelly Clarkson have made way for the curvy women of Hollywood. Heck, Christina Aguilera is happier and prettier now with the weight she’s put on than she was back during her “dirrty” days, in my opinion. Point is, we love the supermodels, we love the curvy ladies. But where’s the love for those of us that fall right between the two?

They say to never ask a woman her age or her weight. I disagree with both. I’ve already told you my age, and I’m about to tell you my weight! See, the problem is, I have stopped weighing myself lately. I don’t believe in numbers. (I’ve always been terrible at math!) I do know, though, that throughout my adult life, I’ve fluctuated between 110 to 130 pounds. Nowadays, I’m probably about 115, so let’s go with that. And so you have a better idea in your head, I’m 5’2″ (and a half).

So, let’s just go ahead and cut to the chase, shall we? I’ve created this blog as a way to get over my body issues. I want to accept my body. Curves and tummy pooch, and all. I also want to reach out to all my other average girls, who may or may not have body issues of their own. This will be a blog about fashion, food, drinks, tea, crafts, arts, music, nature, peace, beauty and love. (And my dog! Definitely my dog!) It’ll be a happy place. It’ll be home.

So join me. Kick off your shoes, loosen your tie, untie your hair, and relax. Maybe enjoy a cup of tea, because I almost always am. Maybe light some candles, nicely scented ones. Unwind, relax and let loose.

Please feel free to send me messages (I’m not sure if it notes my email address for you or not since I’m new here, so just in case, it’s mariam.budagyan@yahoo.com) with pictures, stories, website links or whatever else you’d like. I’m also here to just chat, if you want.

So, without further ado…welcome home. Check your judgment and criticism at the door, please.

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Music. Peace. Love.

“For women… b…

“For women… bras, panties, bathing suits, and other stereotypical gear are visual reminders of a commercial, idealized feminine image that our real and diverse female bodies can’t possibly fit. Without these visual references, each individual woman’s body demands to be accepted on its own terms. We stop being comparatives. We begin to be unique.”

-Gloria Steinem