10 Etsy Stores For The Nerd In Your Life

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fromtheinternetPhoto: https://www.etsy.com/shop/fromtheinternet

1. fromtheinternet

This shop features stamped metal jewelry and key chains inspired by nerd culture, drawn from Harry Potter, Zelda, Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, etc.

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Photo: https://www.etsy.com/listing/198858644/ariel-the-little-mermaid-art-print?ref=shop_home_feat_2

2. Subject Art

This shop sells stunning abstract prints of some of the best characters from Disney, Lord of the Rings, DC, and Marvel including Mary Poppins, all the Disney princesses, Harley Quinn, Super Mario, Link, Luke Skywalker, and more.

greatergeekPhoto: https://www.etsy.com/listing/197920245/iron-man-inspired-black-white-minimalist?ref=shop_home_active_2

3. Greater Geek

A poster shop run by two brothers, Greater Geek provides incredible, minimalist poster prints that feature characters, places, symbols and other visual prints from Marvel, Avatar the Last Airbender, Blade Runner, Star Wars, and Jurassic Park.

storiarts

Photo: https://www.etsy.com/listing/157091272/the-raven-by-poe-book-scarf?ref=shop_home_feat_3

4. Storiarts

This is for those literary lovers who want to wear their favorite quotes without the permanence of a tattoo. Storiarts sells clever infinity scarves detailed with quotes from classics like Jane Eyre, The Raven, Alice in Wonderland, Sherlock Holmes, and Pride and Prejudice.

growingupgeekyPhoto: https://www.etsy.com/listing/224962118/how-bout-it-bub-wolverine-x-men-marvel?ref=shop_home_active_11

5. Growing Up Geeky

For the future nerds of the world. Get a wide variety of baby onesies and costumes inspired by Marvel, The Walking Dead, Star Wars, and more.

spitfirepizzaPhoto: https://www.etsy.com/listing/203109311/doctor-who-quote-print-were-all-stories?ref=shop_home_active_7

6. Spitfire Pizza Palace

If you want a poster print with your favorite quote, Spitfire Pizza Palace is the place to get it. Simple and fun posters feature lines from Doctor Who, Harry Potter, and some truly loveable ones from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. “Pinot noir, caviar . . .”

nexusglassPhoto: https://www.etsy.com/listing/151218418/game-of-thrones-inspired-hand-etched?ref=shop_home_active_2

7. Nexus Glass

If you’re the nerd who prefers glasses to mugs, this is the store for you. A variety of glasses, champagne flutes, and shot glasses all inspired by Battlestar Galactica, World of Warcraft, Game of Thrones, and Star Wars.

thevinyleatersPhoto: https://www.etsy.com/listing/229726263/vinyl-clock-supernaturals-upcycling?ref=shop_home_active_15

8. The Vinyl Eaters Shop

This store is beyond brilliant. Shop owner Grzegorz Durtan from Poland recycles old vinyl records into clocks carved with scenes from Star Wars, Batman, The Hobbit, The Avengers, Doctor Who, and so much more.

andersatticPhoto: https://www.etsy.com/listing/175148927/star-wars-i-love-youi-know-pillow-set?ref=shop_home_active_2

9. Anders Attic

For sweet, nerdy dreams, check out the pillows at Anders Attic—a store that provides fluffy pillows printed with graphics and quotes rom Star Wars, The Office, Harry Potter, Friends, and other personalized images.

marinbeads

10. Marin Beads

OK, so there aren’t many nerdy things here, but it’s my etsy store & I’m a nerd, so by visiting this store, you’re supporting the nerdy community!

What are your favorite online stores?

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The DGAF Generation

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“So all hail the underdogs

All hail the new kids

All hail the outlaws

Spielbergs and Kubricks”

Renegades, X Ambassadors

I get it. Look, I’ve been there. We all just want to belong, we want to be part of a crowd or a crew or a clique or whatever else kids want to be part of these days. It’s human, to want to be surrounded by others. To feel included. I don’t think inclusion is a bad thing. I’m just against the hive-mind mentality.

I know girls who can’t post an Instagram picture without getting approval from ten other people on whether or not her caption is “too basic.” There are kids who won’t go see a movie because none of their friends want to see it. People don’t want to unfollow someone they can’t stand because they’re afraid of what they might think. People won’t wear this or that because they don’t wanted to be branded as liking this kind of style. I’ve got friends who won’t eat a piece of toast at a restaurant because they don’t want to seem like “fatties.” People who self-deprecate because they want you to tell them “oh my god, you’re not fat” or “come on, you’re one of the prettiest people I know.”

Aren’t you exhausted? Aren’t you tired over stressing over decision because you’re afraid so-and-so might think you’re a loser? Isn’t that a lot to worry about?

Look, I’ve been there. I repressed my overwhelming passion of all things nerdy because I wanted to fit in. I pretended to care about stuff like eyelash curlers and certain musical artists because I thought it would make me seem cooler. I cared about what this girl or this guy thought of me. And you know what? I finally decided that it was a waste of time. Because it is.

Who cares about what you wear? Who cares who you like or what kind of Instagram pic you post or where you sit at lunch? No one should care. And the people who really care about you—your real friends—they aren’t going to tease or demean you for flirting with that guy or eating that entire pizza by yourself or being unnecessarily obsessed with Professor Charles Xavier.

I’m just waiting for the DGAF generation: the generation that embraces their own loves and passions without giving a single thought to what anyone else thinks. The generation who lives, breathes, and acts all in relation to what they want. I’m not talking about a generation of self-centered egomaniacs. We should care about other people, but not so much that it prevents us from living our lives.

I’ve got this friend who is such a cool person—I love her to death. But she wears one face when she’s with me and one face when she’s with everyone else. She says she feels relaxed when we hang out because she knows I’ll accept her no matter what crazy thing comes out of her mouth.

And you know what? That’s sad. It’s sad that she feels like the greater majority of people in her life will judge her for being herself. This has got to stop. There are millions of people out their who are repressing their inner brilliance for fear of being excluded.

Look, I don’t have a million friends or Facebook followers or whatever makes you cool these days. And I’m not saying every day of my life is a jolly old time, but at least I’m pursuing what I love. And the people I surround myself with? They’re just as weird, crazy, and full of life as I am. I never have to worry about wearing or saying or watching or listening to the wrong thing.

Let’s be different. Let’s be the DGAF Generation.

The Audrey Appeal

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I thought “je ne sais quoi” was a stupid saying until I watched My Fair Lady. That’s when I experienced a real conversion. And following my initial entry into the cache of Hepburn’s films, I immediately sought after more: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Roman Holiday, War and Peace, How to Steal a Million, Sabrina (my personal favorite), Funny Face, and the rest. I could watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s daily and not get tired or irritated—but why? What is it about Audrey that inspires such a devoted following?

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She’s beautiful. I’m sure you’re thinking, “What movie star isn’t?” But it’s that old Hollywood delicate beauty. A subtle essence of poise and ladylike elegance that made her the perfect choice for a film like Roman Holiday, where she plays a princess desiring to experience a normal life (cue Ariel’s Part of Your World). There’s an innate class to her that can’t be taught. A “je ne sais quoi” that adds a perfect pull of mystery and intrigue. Her characters seem to almost fall into a type cast category, but she plays all of them with varying levels of wit, innocence, and her inescapable charm.

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I guess it’s the inspiration she brings. Watch an Audrey Hepburn movie and you’re simply caught by the hopefulness, strength, and ingenuity of the characters she portrays. Sure, her characters have all that sweetness and darling characteristics of the girl-next-door, but they’re also foreword thinking and multi-faceted. They’re unsatisfied with their lot in life and actively try to change that. They’re self-starters, responsible, and strong-willed, but they’re also romantic, hopeful, and dream big. It’s not just all rainbows and daisies either. Hepburn fills out characters who are hopeless, struggling, heart-broken, and depressed. They’re multi-faceted, full of life, and add that touch of truth and reality to an otherwise Hollywood-manufactured ideal.

Kobal

It’s these kind of characters that instill us with the hope that rolls along during the closing credits. Audrey Hepburn portrays real women, not just women who are beautiful and romantic and get the guy at the end of the flick (though they do all this as well). Her characters are fully fleshed: relatable, inspiring, and a touch unachievable at the same time.

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It also helps that the woman behind these personas was a stellar being. Audrey Hepburn spoke more than three languages, was an incredible humanitarian, and one of the few starlets to win Academy, Grammy, Emmy, and Tony awards. She was also a style goddess. Audrey inspired millions to be better people and continues to do so until this day. I hope desperately that young women of today remember Audrey as a role model—someone who was lovely inside and out (excuse the cliché). Too often, I find girls obsessing over women who present nothing more than vapid self-obsession and a complete lack of ladylike qualities (*cough * Kardashians).

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So here’s to Hepburn. Thank you for showing that women in Hollywood can be more than fetishized objects or inaccurate representations of real women. Thank you for bringing us laughter, hope, reality, and dreams. And thank you for giving us such a glorious ideal to reach for.

White Out

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White has so many gorgeous connotations—innocence, light, hope . . . it’s also a killer color (absence of color . . .?) to wear for summer. But sometimes it’s hard to find out how to wear it without looking washed out or boring.

So here are three easy ways to wear white:

1) When I’m thinking ‘bout my baby, it don’t matter if you’re black or white

Black_and_white_1Photo: http://lookbook.nu/katiquette

A white top pair with a black bottom looks bold, distinct and classic. Blogger Katarina V adds a touch of breezy sex-appeal with the plunging neckline and the slight slash in her black jeans for a fun and really easy look.

Black_and_white_2Photo: http://lookbook.nu/hfs

When in doubt, layer. Proper layering is chic and flawless, making you look like you know exactly what you’re doing (even if you don’t). Pillerin H’s leather jacket and circle sunglasses give the outfit that classic rocker-chic finish, complemented perfectly by her white locks above and white booties below.

Black_and_white_3Photo: http://lookbook.nu/look/7594752-Black-Velvet-Skater-Dress-H&M-Kitty-Purrrse

We all have that crisp collared shirt, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out when and where to wear it. I love what blogger Liza L does here, letting her collared shirt peek through a black velvet dress matched with lacy socks. Take a gothic look and give it a pop of white for a distinct contrast. Also, cat purse = perfection.

2) All white top, all white belt, and all white jeans, body looking like milk . . .

White_on_White_1Photo: http://lookbook.nu/chrissyjoy

This crisp, collared shirt rolled up at the sleeves, the cuffed white pants, and the summery heels is the essential Country Club Ready look, made that much more glamorous by blogger Christian R’s fierce gold accents.

white_on_white_2Photo: http://lookbook.nu/pamhetlinger

Everybody talks about the wonders of the LBD, but don’t underestimate the powerful femininity that comes with a Little White Dress—proven by Pam H’s gorgeous cut-out piece: perfect for a breezy beach cover-up or a quaint summer’s day out on the town.

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Photo: http://lookbook.nu/katepanth

This look isn’t only white on white, but also lace and lace. The body-forming skirt and crop top puts a flirtatious spin on the classical delicate and innocent nature of white lace. The nude heels give this outfit a clean finish.

3) Pair with Denim (I don’t have a catchy song title for this one—sorry)

Denim_white_1Photo: http://lookbook.nu/collections/971344-white-out#&gid=1&pid=4

Last but not least, who could go wrong with white and denim? Here, Ola S’s slouchy white top and denim mini skirt proves one of the rules of fashion (cover up on top, show a little skin on bottom and vice versa), with a staple pair of Converse as a casual finish.

Denim_white_2Photo: http://itscamilleco.com/

A cute button-up denim skirt paired with a plain white tank gives free reign for any number of accessorizing choices—brightly colored heels, a fun straw hat, and color-blocked bag—for a winning number that’s so easy to put together.

Denim_white_3Photo: http://lookbook.nu/huangbb

But white and denim not only looks casual and fun, it can also be so clean as to hinge on high-fashion. BB Huang’s look here is one of my favorite of the entire bunch, so perfectly simple and utterly chic at the same time, made fabulous by her sleek bob and flawless peach lip.

Featured Photo: http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/fashion-blog/2013/feb/27/white-clothes-worth-effort-vintage-years

Le Soleil Levant Part 1

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Part one of a short story I wrote:

You could never find the house unless you were out looking for it. It sits squeezed between a pair of old, decrepit buildings rented out every month or so to hard-luck, tough-times tenants. A scrappy place: paint chipping, used-to-be-white windowsills turned gray with dust and dirt, weeds growing up through slats in the porch. A stench of bourbon clings to the place as if that’s what the owners use to wash down the front porch. An old sign swings over the entrance, creaking on rusted hinges: Soleil Levant.

I stare, wondering how she ever found this house. Whether she wandered in on an idle night with the fat moon glowing behind her head. Whether some dashing Southern gentlemen or grinning group of students from the local university coaxed her inside. Guess it doesn’t matter now how she ended up in the house, only that she did.

I dig her letter out of my pocketbook, smoothing the crumpled paper over. It’s the last I heard from her, three months ago. Just a line of cramped, scrawled script, begging us to send her more money. Got to have more, she says, the last payments weren’t enough. Money for what, she doesn’t say. Only that she needs it and she’s got to have it now. Daddy sent her the money and never heard back from her. This is where the letter instructed us to send the money, this mess of boards and bolts.

I start up the steps, the wood creaking beneath my feet. The doors swing inward, sucking me in like a vacuum. High noon outside, dusk inside. All shades shut, all crumpled curtains drawn. Shadows streak across the stained carpet floors, old Persian rugs now worn through with holes, their tassels torn and knotted. I wander through the foyer, glancing at the shimmering chandeliers above my head with their missing crystals and dim-lit glow.

A girl wanders across my path from one room into another, her skirt a crinkled, holey mess. One sleeve hangs off, exposing her bare, milky shoulder and she runs her fingers through her thick, bleached locks, just as rumpled as the rest of her. Her smoky eye cuts my way and she raises her chin, surveying me in one lingering look. Before she vanishes into the doorway, her red-stained lips quirk into an impish smile and she lets out a sprite-like laugh. Then she’s gone.

I pull off my lace-edged hat, clutching it in my gloved hands. Turning the corner, I look for someone, anyone who can point me in the right direction. The aching toll of piano keys calls me to the left and I peek into the corner room. A young man sits at the piano bench, eyes rimmed-red from nights without sleep, collared shirt unbuttoned, and tie slung over his shoulder. Hasn’t shaved in days from the looks of it. He rocks forward and back with the reverberation of the keys through the piano. A girl sits on either side of him. One with her arm slung around his neck, resting her head on his shoulder, snoring like a trusting newborn. The other spins a bottle of gin in her pale hands. She leans on the edge of the bench, closest to the window. Her hazel eyes focus hard outside, as if she’s imagining herself on the other side of the glass. She winces suddenly, ducks away from the window and takes a long swig of the gin. She swallows it down the wrong pipe, choking and spitting it up as it burns down her throat.

I draw back into the hall. Upon the sofas lining the hallway sleep men and women, older and younger, draped across each other like leaves on the sidewalk in autumn. Some snore soundly, others whimper in their sleep. One girl sits in a fat, velvet armchair, a scraggly man sound asleep on her lap. She runs her fingers through his silver-streaked locks with one hand, holds a cigarette in the other, blowing out puffs that turn the hallway to fog.

And amongst the lazy bodies, I hear a coppery voice, like a bell at morning.

“There is a house in New Orleans.

            They call the Rising Sun.

            And its been the ruin of many a poor girl.

            And God . . . I know . . . I’m one.”

Thank God For Spotify Playlists

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I love making playlists. But I’m also lazy as hell. But, thank the Lord for Spotify, which has dozens of expertly curated playlists for every situation. Here are a couple of my favorite playlists from Spotify that you should definitely check out.

Newmusic fridayPhoto: play.spotify.com

1. New Music Friday

Finding new music has never been made easier. I can’t tell you the number of new artists from each and every genre I’ve discovered by checking into this playlist each week. So, start folding your laundry and get ready to discover some new talent.

the celloPhoto: open.spotify.com

2. Sublime String: The Cello

I love the cello. It’s OK if you don’t love the cello, because Spotify has a specific playlist for any number of classical instruments, but if you love the cello, man you’ll be listening to this playlist till kingdom come.

acoustic coversPhoto: open.spotify.com

3. Acoustic Covers/Afternoon Acoustic

These two playlists feature covers from your favorite songs that are ethereal, lovely, and sometimes better than the original. One of my favorite songs found off this playlist: a mash-up of Home and Dirty Paws by the Gardiner Sisters.

deepdarkindiePhoto: open.spotify.com

4. Deep Dark Indie

Sometimes when I write or read, I want to feel a certain mood. This playlist is perfect for generating an eerie atmosphere. Turn it on during a rainy day, grab some Earl Grey, and sit back with a book of Edgar Allen Poe poetry and you’re set.

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Photo: www.carlsednaoui.com

5. Beastley Finds

OK, so this isn’t a Spotify playlist, but one curated by yours truly. It’s where I place all of my new discoveries and a great place to return to whenever I need some renewed inspiration. While creating playlists is sometimes a stressful endeavor (I mean, picking a name is hard enough), it’s always great to have your Go-To for when you want what you want.

What are your favorite Spotify playlists?

Featured Photo: www.theinquirer.net

I Dream of Jean-ie

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House of Holland: Resort 2016

HOH4Photo: http://www.style.com/slideshows/fashion-shows/resort-2016/house-of-holland/collection/26

There’s something fun and brilliant about taking a staple piece and reinventing it—especially a classic item like denim jeans. This is just what House of Holland brought to the table in their Resort 2016 show, presenting an array of bold, textured, and oftentimes-whimsical pieces. A touch of 90’s inspiration swept over the oversized denim jacket and fringy jean dresses, along with some bold graphic tees.

HOH2Photo: http://www.style.com/slideshows/fashion-shows/resort-2016/house-of-holland/collection/7

HOH_1Photo: http://www.style.com/slideshows/fashion-shows/resort-2016/house-of-holland/collection/5

Reinvention wasn’t the only task present in this show. There was some rule-breaking involved as well with the mixed of similar and varied patterns of distracting blue and pink zigzags in patterned collared shirts, pants, and some dresses.

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Photo: http://www.style.com/slideshows/fashion-shows/resort-2016/house-of-holland/collection/11

The touch of whimsical was everywhere—from bright pink and orange tassels, to lime green fabrics, taffy-hued stripes, and fringed sandals in all sorts of fun and summery colors. All in all, this show expertly juggled both drama and subtlety.

Check out the full show at: http://www.style.com/fashion-shows/resort-2016/house-of-holland

Featured Image Photo: www.premiermodelstyle.com