Saturday, September 20, 2014

What I'm Listening To: The Knife- "Heartbeats"

This week I've been jamming out to "Heartbeats" by the Swedish electronic duo, The Knife, on my latest mix tape. 


Any video that decides to "put a bird on it" gets a thumbs up from me (well, almost any video).

Fun fact: The Knife siblings Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer also run their own record company, Rabid Records.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Scotland: To be Independent or Not to be Independent

Yesterday Scot's from Scotland got out to vote for whether or not Scotland should become independent from the United Kingdom. Groundskeeper Willie weighed in:

The world was very interested to hear how the vote would turn out and today the results were revealed. Scotland decided to vote "No" on becoming independent and will remain apart of the United Kingdom. I must say I would have been okay with the vote either way it turned out.

A Jolie-Pitt Family Wedding

I know that by now the Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt wedding is old news, but can we talk about it for a minute!?

I love the fact that Angelina kept her Valentino wedding dress simple but then went for a statement veil with embroideries of her children's drawings. Overall, it sounded like their French wedding was all about their family with a heavy focus on the kids which I thought was really great.

What did you think of Angelina's dress/veil and the wedding itself? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Reader Survey Results

Last month I asked you, my readers, to complete a 10 question End of Summer Survey to help me decide which direction to go with my blog in the future. And now the results are in.


Survey Results: 


1. How did you find Oh Sarah O! ?

Some of my respondents skipped this question, but of those did comment most had learned of my blog from me.

2. How long have you been reading Oh Sarah O! ?

All of my respondents have been reading my blog for a year or more. Thank you!

3. How often do you visit Oh Sarah O! ?

50% of my respondents visit a few times per month and 50% of my readers visit once per month.

4. How do you find out about new posts on Oh Sarah O! ?

All of my respondents learn about new posts from Facebook. If you're not already familiar, Oh Sarah O! has a brand page where I share links to my latest updates.  

5. How do you feel about the frequency of posts on Oh Sarah O! ?

All of my respondents felt that the frequency of posts is just right.

6. What posts do you like the best? (check all that apply)

Previously on Project Runway, Hair/ Beauty, and Shopping Wishlists got no votes. Also, one respondent said they liked posts about my life adventures. 

7. What posts do you like least? (check all that apply)

None of my respondents reported any posts that they liked the least. 

8. What are your favorite DIYs?

Baking, home decor, and accessories received no votes. 

9. Where are your favorite places to shop?

  • Express
  • Target
  • Vintage
  • Ebay
  • Etsy
  • Amazon
10. Is there anything else you would like to see on Oh Sarah O! ?

Just more of Sarah O.



Survey Analysis:

You may have already noticed that my blog has been undergoing some changes recently as I am in the process of teaching myself how to do some HTML coding in anticipation of launching my own domain. I hope to have it ready by October 2014.

I've already started taking the survey results into consideration. Since all of my respondents like my Craftiness posts, I want to make crafting the focus of my blog, but What I'm Listening To, What's Making Me Laugh, What I'm Reading, What I Wore, Wardrobe Editing, Film/TV, and Travel posts will also remain. I hope to implement some drop down menus on my navigation to make these posts easier to find. Since my respondents seemed less interested in Project Runway, Hair/Beauty, and Shopping Wish lists, these posts will be kept to a minimum.

Do you agree with the survey results? Is there a feature you'd like me to keep or add? I'd love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

What's Making Me Laugh: Le Telepathe'- a Cyanide and Happiness Short

Warning: The following video is NSFW. Some people may find this video offensive.


Have you ever wished that you could go to a restaurant where the chefs could just read your mind and serve you whatever your heart desires? The Cyanide and Happiness Short, "Le Telepathe,'" proves why that might not be such a good idea.

Altuzarra for Target

THIS JUST IN...


Altuzarra for Target has was released at midnight in stores and online at Target and Net-A-Porter. I'm not sure what the clothes look and feel like in person, but the pictures online look fabulous and perfect for fall.

Here are some of my favorites from the collection:



Are you shopping the Altuzarra for Target collection? What are your favorite pieces? Let me know in the comments below.

What I'm Listening To: Jack White at Chateau de Fountainebleau

Sorry I'm late on the music update.


Last week, my brother-in-law shared this Jack White video on Google+ and I was like "OMG! It's Jack White"! Not only was I blown away by the music but check out the sites at Saint-Saturnin Chapel at Fontainebleau Castle. Check out Jack White's performance of "The Same Boy You've Always Known" and "Entitlement". The sites will have you thinking "I want to go to there" and the music will take you away.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What I'm Reading: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver




I just finished reading the A Beautiful Mess August book club pick Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. This means I'm all caught up! Prior to picking up this book for the book club, I was unfamiliar with Barbara Kingsolvers work which appears to favor themes of social justice, biodiversity and environmentalism and this book is not exception. Flight Behavior tells the story of a woman from rural, poverty stricken Appalachia who is ready to change her life forever when she discovers that thousands of monarch butterflies have migrated onto her property. As word about the butterflies spreads, visitors flock to her farm to see the butterflies and question whether the butterflies arrival is a miracle or a terrible sign that global warming has disturbed the butterflies migratory patterns. 

I was unsure how I felt about this book when it was finished. I found the story difficult to get into at first, but after the first 50 pages I blazed through the book. I enjoyed most of the characters, but there wasn't any character that I particularly related to. And I enjoyed reading about the debates between miracle vs. science. I guess my takeaway is that I enjoyed the book, but it didn't encourage me to read Barbara Kingsolver's full body of work.

Next I'm going to share my thoughts on some of the discussion points from the discussion guide by Emma at A Beautiful Mess. Warning: Spoilers ahead!

1) An obvious easy place to start: the title. What the heck is flight behavior?

As Emma pointed out, flight behavior is an obvious reference to the butterflies and their strange new migration pattern that lead them to Dellarobia's property in Appalachia instead of their usual roosting place in Mexico. Also, the title could also be a reference to Dellarobia's behavior throughout the book: how we meet Dellarobia as she is climbing up to her small cabin with the intent to commit adultery; how Dellarobia's encounter with the butterflies changes the direction of her life from being Cub's wife and a stay-at-home mother- playing a more supportive role to someone who pursues her own interests and can do things on her own; And how Dellarobia leaves her marriage in order to move in with her high school friend, Dovey, and begin her college career. 

Like the butterflies, Dellarobia appears to have steered her life off coarse due to an unforeseen accident. We learn that Dellarobia originally had intentions to go to college to study English, but her plans were put on hold when she became pregnant with her and Cub's first child that was still-born. That pregnancy lead to her and Cub getting married and the life she had throughout the story. 

The story differs in that Dellarobia was able to steer her flight back onto (or near-to) it's original path, but it is unclear if the butterflies will be able to survive and return to their original flight path. After working with the Dr. Ovid and the scientists, Dr. Ovid helped her to enroll in the local community college and secure a work study program and she separated from Cub. 

2) Character study, anyone?

This story introduces us to many different characters: Dellarobia; her husband, Cub; father-in-law-, Bear; mother-in-law, Hester; the scientist, Dr. Ovid Byron; the minister, Bobby; the children, Preston and Cordelia; best friend, Dovey; and so on. 

Not only does Dellarobia undergo a change throughout the story, but her mother-in-law, Hester, does as well. When we are first introduced to Hester she is the matriarch of the family and appears to be constantly displeased with her son, Cub, and an uncaring grandmother. But as the book progresses, Hester appears to take an interest in the butterflies as she starts taking tourists to see the butterflies and she takes a stand against her husband's desire to cut down and log the trees on their property (which would destroy the area the butterflies were nesting) and sides with Dellarobia to protect the butterflies. Later we learn that Hester also became pregnant at a young age (by someone other than Bear) and she gave up that child for adoption. When Hester married Bear she agreed not to discuss the child she had with the other man, but we soon discover that her first-born is now the town minister, Bobby. So we learn that Hester and Dellarobia actually have something in common as they both felt trapped into their marriages.  

I really liked reading about Dellarobia's inquisitive, 5-year-old son, Preston and the relationship he developed with Dr. Ovid. Their relationship made me hopeful that Dr. Ovid's influence on Preston at an early age would encourage and influence him to become a veterinarian or scientist and break the family cycle of poverty. 

3) Let's discus the environmental themes. What did you think of how Ovid's world (science, upper of middle class, educated) and the world surrounding Dellarobia (religious, poverty, under-educated due to less opportunity) view the events that surround the butterflies? Do you think their viewpoints are fair? Have you seen this kind of issue come up in your community?

In the book, the people of Feathertown (Dellarobia's town) view the appearance of the butterflies as a miracle, Preston's classmate said that in Mexico they believe the butterflies represent the soles of deceased children, and Dr. Ovid views the butterflies appearances and a sign of environmental crisis due to global warming. Many of Dellarobia's family and community members believe that global warming is a myth while Dr. Ovid is alarmed that anyone would ignore all evidence to the contrary. 

I tend to favor the perspective of the scientific community, so I, like Ovid, find it difficult to understand how members of the Feathertown community can ignore scientific evidence or discount them as just 'theories'. 

Being born and raised in Kansas (aka. The Bible Belt), I see issues between the religious vs. scientific and upper class vs. lower class all the time. One example was the debate on whether evolution should be taught in schools which took place when I was in high school. Many religious people argued that it should not be taught in schools because they favored creationism, while others argued that evolution should be taught in school or that evolution and creationism should both be taught in school simultaneously. Lucky for me, my science teacher (who was a Catholic) favored the latter view and mentioned both evolution and creationism in class so that we the students could form our own theories and beliefs- a decision I agree with.

I also enjoyed Ovid's confrontation of the news reporter that shined light on the idea of the news media emphasizing the wrong issues and emphasizing sensationalism over facts.


Now that I've finished this book, I've got butterflies on the brain. Maybe I'll draw some pictures of butterflies.

The book club pick for September is Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides and the discussion will take place on A Beautiful Mess at the end of September. 

Will you be reading the book? Have you already read the book (or Flight Behavior)? Let me know in the comments below. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Fall Wardrobe Planning Part 1


I think it's safe to say that the UK heat wave is over and it's beginning to feel like fall. The cooler temperatures have got me ready to plan my Fall/Winter wardrobe and I thought I'd give you a glimpse into my process.

Lifestyle

According to Unfancy, one of the first things to consider when planning your wardrobe is what is your lifestyle going to be like. From October- December my life is about 70% working with children and running errands, 20% casual-social (like going out to dinner or going on weekend adventures with my husband), and 10% social-formal (there may be some holiday gatherings, our anniversary is in November/December, and I think my husband wants to go to a dance). So most of my wardrobe needs to be work appropriate and washable. 

Weather

Another thing that is important to consider is the weather. In England, Autumn is known for being relatively unsettled and wet with temperatures ranging from the mid-50s (degrees F) to mid-30s. In Winter it is cool, wet and windy and temperatures rarely get into the 60's and get as low as the teens. I've read some early predictions that England may have a colder than usual Winter this year. So it's important for me to stock up on sweaters and clothes I can layer. 

Word Association

In February when I was working on the Wardrobe Architect series, I came up with the following words to represent my style:

  • easy
  • timeless
  • artistic
  • modern
  • quirky
But like everyone else, my style has a tenancy to change and evolve over time. Here are some new words that I'd like to add that describe my style right now:

  • playful
  • masculine/ feminine 
  • edgy
  • vintage inspired
  • slightly sporty


What my style isn't:

  • NOT preppy
  • NOT glamorous
  • NOT retro
  • NOT girly 


Wardrobe Brand List

Next, I've developed a list of brands that I go to brands that I typically shop at. This helps to keep me on track when I do my shopping.


  • ASOS- casual dresses + skirts
  • Clarks- Shoes
  • Ebay- Jeans + vintage finds
  • Etsy- accessories + vintage finds
  • Express- Tops + Accessories
  • GAP- Jeans + pants + jackets
  • H&M- accessories
  • J Crew- tops + pants + shorts + jackets
  • Old Navy- tops + jeans + pants + accessories
  • Schuh- sneakers
  • Target- tops + shoes + cardigans + accessories
  • Topshop- accessories
The French Wardrobe Challenge

Finally, I was recently introduced to the idea of the French Wardrobe Challenge via Chic on the Cheap and wondered if I could incorporate some of these ideas into my Fall Wardrobe. I like the idea of not counting basics into your tally because these are the items that get the most wear so I want to stock up on them when I can.

THE RULES:


  • Just 5 stand out pieces per season.
  • Quality over quantity. 
  • Basics don’t count. 
  • Accessories don’t count, unless you’re spending a lot more than usual. 
  • Socks and underwear don’t count. 
  • Shoes do count. 
* I'd also like to leave my me-made items out of the tally. 


THE BASICS
  • T-shirts in black, grey and white
  • Tank tops in black, grey and white
  • White button down shirt
  • Black dress
  • Black blazer
  • Black cardigan or sweater
  • Black pants
  • Jeans
  • Black skirt
  • Faux leather jacket
  • Trench coat
  • Winter coat 
  • Ankle boots
  • Rain boots
  • Knee boots
  • Ballet flats
  • Sneakers
  • Watch
  • Faux leather bag
How are you preparing your Fall/Winter wardrobe? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

What's Making Me Laugh: Joan Rivers on the "Ed Sullivan Show"


Before Joan Rivers was a fashion critic, a plastic surgery maven, and the queen of revamping her career, Joan Rivers was a stand-up comedian and she was fabulous at it- quickly becoming a favorite on the night time television circuit and appearing on the "Ed Sullivan Show" 21 times from 1966 to 1971 alone.

This week we lost a groundbreaking, fearless, funny woman and she will be missed. Check out the clip from Joan Rivers 1967 appearance on the "Ed Sullivan Show" addressing life as a single girl in her mid-twenties.

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