Archive | News RSS feed for this section

POLITICS! Just don’t bring it up at parties..

13 Sep

Those who know me know that I’m passionate about politics. Be it how it affects your community, your job, or your overall philosophies on life and society.  And although every election year I’m 4 years older and supposedly “wiser”, I feel like I hear more arrogant comments than during the previous election.

Listen, people – don’t be sheep. If you’re family and friends are voting one way, figure out for YOURSELF if you will, too. You might have grown up in your family’s house, but your life experience makes you a completely different person, with your own mind to make your own decisions. Rather than just parroting back your familiar party’s arguments, take a few minutes to find out which issues mean the most to your life and correspond to your ideals.  Just because my grandfather could recite the bible to you and watched Fox news religiously (from Brazil, might I add), it doesn’t mean that I’m going to do the same.

Things to think about first are the big picture issues; Are you like me and have a career vested in the future of The National Endowment for the Arts? Do you work for a corporation whose primary focus is revenue? Do you believe marriage is between a man and a woman, or do you believe in marriage equality? If your teenage cousin became pregnant, would you condemn her for terminating the pregnancy? These are genuine and sincere questions that you need to ask yourself, because the two parties are getting farther away from the middle and embracing the more extreme sides of liberal and conservatism, and you need to figure out which one you’d rather have.

I’m not going to shove my political views down your throat, but I feel obliged to encourage you to discover the facts for yourself and REGISTER!  We need to be a nation of informed voters, not blind sheep who do what they’re told without question. There are two drastically different paths that this country could take in November, and each one of us has a direct responsibility in making it [not] happen.

Uncle Sam wants YOU to vote this November!

 

I will throw in this one bit of my political orientation by asking you to watch Bill Clintons speech at the convention last week; not only is the man amazing, but all fact checkers agree that it was one of, if not the most honest speeches given in a loooong time.

 

 

One more thing: no matter where you are in this big ol’ world of ours, you really have no excuse not to vote if you’re an American citizen. If you’ll be busy all day election day, you can register for early voting, if you’re abroad or away from your home state, you can send an absentee ballot. The extra 3 minutes it takes to fill out and 40cents for the stamp have an enormous impact on your future!

Helpful sites:

http://www.factcheck.org – don’t believe everything you hear, make sure you know the facts!

http://www.fvap.gov I if you’re living outside of the U.S. and want more info on absentee voting.

http://www.isidewith.com An informative quiz that matches you up with candidates that side with issues you care about.

Internet Superlatives

24 Aug

In case your Friday is dragging along and you need a little pick-me-up to get you through to the weekend, here’s a little peek at some of my favorite websites and blogs. This is the stuff I look at almost everyday — the stuff that keeps me going when I’m bored and that provides me with new information, creative ideas, tasty recipes, and more than a few laughs. I’m really into baking, home design, crafts, a little bit of fashion, and some clever humor, so that’s the general theme you’ll find here. I’ve selected my top ten favorites in different categories, so take a look and see if any of them become your daily faves too!

Best Home Design Blog: Young House Love – by John and Sherry Petersik

Young House Love follows the Petersiks, John and Sherry (plus their adorable daughter Clara and their cute pooch Burger) through their adventures as they DIY (do-it-yourself) all sorts of crazy home design projects in Richmond, Virginia. What’s awesome is that they give you a whole bunch of information (with tons of pictures) about how you can do similar projects, and everything is on a budget! Seriously, take a look at their home tours (of their old and new houses) — you won’t believe the transformations they’ve accomplished with their own bare hands! If you fall in love with this family like I have, you can also follow their family blog, Young House Life.

A Before-And-After shot from Young House Love – Image via younghouselove.com

Best Celebrity Site: goop – by Gwyneth Paltrow

Through “goop” Gwyneth Paltrow shares incredible tips for travel, cooking, home design, fashion, hair, make-up, wellbeing, parenting, reading, and just about anything else you can think of. I’ve signed up to receive goop e-mail newsletters, and I’m always excited when I discover a new one in my inbox. It’s fun to hear from her perspective, and all of her suggestions are amazing. This is a bit high-brow, though, but I enjoy it even if I can’t afford to buy all of the stuff she recommends.

Best Laughs: Suri’s Burn Book – by Allie Hagan

This clever blog cracks me up every time. Allie Hagan, fictionally writing as Suri Cruise (daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes), judges other celebrities in their children from a hilarious perspective. It’s all completely false, but Hagan’s adaptation of Suri as a lovable/hate-able combination of “mean girl” and “poor little rich girl” keeps me coming back for more everyday. If you loved the movie “Mean Girls” and your favorite section of People or UsWeekly is “Stars: They’re Just Like Us!” then this blog was made for you.

A new book by Allie Hagan based on her popular blog, “Suri’s Burn Book” – Image via surisburnbook.tumblr.com

Best Time-Waster: Sporcle

This quiz-site has more quizzes than you could ever imagine, in a variety of topics and difficulty levels. Poke around and see what you can find! Most of them are timed (for that competitive edge), and you can search by category for what you feel like doing. It’s a great way to learn some new facts! My personal favorite is the Harry Potter 200, where you have 18 minutes to name the top 200 Harry Potter characters who are mentioned by name the most times throughout the entire series. My top score on this is 161 — what’s yours??

Best Food Blog: Smitten Kitchen – by Deb Perelman

Do you like food? Great. Check out this site. In her teeny-tiny NYC kitchen, Deb Perelman creates the most delicious meals and treats you can imagine, complete with mouthwatering images that will have you drooling all afternoon. Some of her recipes that I’ve tried are Jalapeño Cheddar SconesRed Velvet CakeBoozy Baked French ToastStrawberries and Cream Biscuits, and Raspberry-Topped Lemon Muffins — everything turned out totally incredible!

Raspberry-Topped Lemon Muffins from Smitten Kitchen – Image via smittenkitchen.com

Best Sports Reading for Non-Sports People: Grantland – by Bill Simmons

My boyfriend introduced me to this site in the hopes that I might become an avid sports fan and watch football and basketball with him to his heart’s content. That didn’t happen, but I have to admit that I do enjoy some of the articles. Especially the Hollywood Prospectus section, because I’m a sucker for celebrity gossip and because Grantland writers have invented a Reality TV Fantasy League. This involved each of them “drafting” reality TV stars and getting points every week based on their team’s “performance” in that week’s episodes. “What’s that? Teresa from Real Housewives stole somebody’s husband? 250 points to you!” Oh yeah, and there’s some sports stuff here too, I think.

Best Fashion Blog: What I Wore – by Jessica Quirk

Jessica Quirk takes pictures of her outfits everyday and posts them to her personal style blog, What I Wore. It’s sweet and short, and I love her style! You can also find tips on how to put outfits together, how to DIY new trends, and where to purchase the cute stuff she’s wearing. Thanks to The Daisy Chain writer Flávia for introducing me to this site!

Cute outfit on Jessica Quirk – Image via whatiwore.tumblr.com

Best Shopping Site: ShopBop

I have a shopping problem, and when I’m bored, one of my favorite things to do is browse new trends online. ShopBop carries all my favorite designers in one convenient location, plus they have excellent customer service! Hide your credit cards, ladies… You won’t be able to resist!

Pants I’m loving from ShopBop – Image via shopbop.com

Best News Site: Google News

I love Google News because it pulls together articles from several different news sources and organizes them by categories so it is easy to read. You can also tailor it to your interests. For instance, if you have a serious girl-crush on Kate Middleton and are obsessed with her every move, you can set up Google News with a special Kate Middleton section that is consistently updating itself with the latest news on Kate Middleton. Is that weird? I hope not. I don’t know anybody who does that.

Best All-Around: MarthaStewart.com – by Martha Stewart

I love Martha Stewart. I really really do. I don’t even care that she went to prison for tax fraud… Really, I don’t. Her delicious recipes, beautiful home designs, creative craft projects, and brilliant organizational solutions more than make up for it. I subscribe to three (yes, THREE) daily e-mail newsletters from Martha: “Craft of the Day,” “Organizing Tip of the Day,” and, my personal favorite, “Dessert of the Day.” Seriously, Martha Stewart is my go-to for just about anything food or home related, and I could spend / have spent hours perusing her site. Enjoy!

Beautiful party décor idea by Martha Stewart – Image via marthastewart.com

What are some of your favorite sites and blogs??

Cheers,

Nicole

Olympic Fever

26 Jul
It’s impossible to ignore the Olympic buzz in London at the moment! We are trying to prepare ourselves for the crowded and probably impossible tube journeys to work every morning, not to mention peak times are meant to be from 3pm-7pm. How the hell will I be getting home? I guess the answer is…. RELAX and enjoy the games. Instead of going home I will be heading to the pub around the corner from my office, ordering a few pints to cool down after long hours in a stuffy room and cheering for the Brazilian team of whatever sport is on. I am also desperately trying to get beach volleyball tickets and will definitely find a way (don’t ask me how because I can’t afford expensive tickets at the moment) to be there for our amazing super star Brazilian volleyball teams during the finals. My boyfriend and I are very excited about the tickets he bought for quarter finals men’s basketball! I love watching professional basketball and want to watch as many live games as possible over the next month.
Below are a few pics of what the city looks like at the moment! Regent Street is always the go-to place for celebratory ornaments. They decorated the entire street with flags from different countries.

Regent Street

Olympic Fever also hit High Street shops like H&M and Topshop. Check out their shop windows below…feeling very welcome at Topshop 😉

H&M window

Topshop window

Inside Topshop

Now let’s talk about the double-decker buses, London’s trade mark! These buses are obviously all over the city and it’s impossible not to notice advertisements in other languages… so funny! This morning I also saw a bus with a Smirnoff ad about Brazilian Caipiroskas, a great nod to the huge Brazilian community in London!

Bus

Bus

So if you are around during the games and want to have fun on a budget without missing the best views in London you MUST:
– Explore Hyde Park on a bike! The park is beautiful and huuuuge, so bikes are the best way to get around. Rent a Barclays Bike for 1 pound/ hour and enjoy the beautiful views. Feeling good about cycling for an hour, return the bike (might be challenging, make sure you have a map with you) and head towards the fountains for a picnic. Hyde park is also a great place to people watch; there is so much going on you wouldn’t believe it.

Cycling in Hyde Park

Fountains/ Hyde Park

– Check out Frank’s Cafe in Peckham. A perfect hang out place away from the crowds, Frank’s Cafe is located on top of a car park (level 10) and boasts an incredible view of the city. Have a few drinks, eat their amazing food and chill with your friends for hours until the sun sets at around 9:30pm. You can see the London Eye and the newest coolest building in town: The Shard.

Frank’s Cafe

Frank’s Cafe

Frank’s Cafe

View: London Eye

View: The Shard

Let the games begin!
xo from London

News!

12 Jul

We would like to introduce you to new features in our blog!

Visiting Voices
The Daisy Chain is excited to feature more diverse points of view and share even more experiences and insights with you! With that in mind, we created “Visiting Voices” in order to showcase what our friends, readers, and other acquaintances have to say. If you would like to be a guest author, email us at daisychaininternational@gmail.com!

Reader Pics
We would like you to send in pictures of what’s going on in your cities—it could be street fashion, amazing local dishes, cool sights, art… etc, etc. The Daisy Chain will feature pictures on our blog with a brief caption of where it was taken and who sent it in! For a chance to be part of The Daisy Chain, send us a picture and short caption at daisychaininterantional@gmail.com!

%d bloggers like this: