Category Archives: popular posts

Creating Your Destiny

skydiving

This is part of a series called 30 Days of Popular Posts. To check out more of my popular posts, click here.

Today is the last installment of my 30 Days of Popular Posts series. And even though it feels a bit like cheating to include a pretty recent post, it’s been very popular nevertheless, AND I’m really proud of this particular one. My post entitled You Must Create Your Destiny: 10 Steps to Start Achieving Your Dreams received a lot of love, and I’m so SO glad it could serve as an inspiration to some folks! It’s full of plenty of great reminders to myself too, as I enter my 30th year of life.

Part of creating your own destiny? Doing the stuff that makes you a little afraid, but that you really want to do anyway. Like skydiving. That’s me – 5 years ago. Totally worth every second. You only live once, you know!

What crazy things have you done that have shaped you? What’s still left on your to-do list?

Vegan Shoes

This is part of a series called 30 Days of Popular Posts. To check out more of my popular posts, click here.

Shoes have always been a popular subject. Both for me, personally, and around these parts at Miss Malaprop. I’ve already touched on some other popular shoe themes here, including shoes made from recycled materials and Couple Of shoes. But another popular type of shoes I’ve written about more than once here over the years has been vegan shoes!

TOMS Shoes vegan boots

TOMS Shoes is well known for their buy one, give one policy, where they donate a pair of shoes to a needy kid for each pair of shoes purchased. But did you know that in addition to their popular flats, they also offer a cool wrap style vegan boot? I first featured these cool boots back in 2009.

PlanetShoes.com is another great eco-conscious company that I wrote about in 2011 which offers up plenty of vegan shoe styles. I’ve also posted about Feelgoodz, which is a line of biodegradable, all-natural rubber flip-flops.

Neuaura vegan shoes

One of my awesome readers, Genna, sent me a tip in 2009 about Neuaura and their line of vegan shoes. I’m personally loving these two latest styles by Neuaura, the Arisa Vegan Loafers in gold metallic and the Niki Vegan Faux Snakeskin & Cork Wedges.

Cri de Coeur vegan shoes

Cri de Coeur is another great line of vegan friendly footwear that uses sustainable practices throughout their company. I interviewed designer Gina Ferraraccio in 2009 about her cruelty-free shoes. Their company is certified as carbon neutral and they sponsor a tree to be planted for each pair of their shoes purchased. My personal favorites from their current collection are the Dove Vegan Platform Heels, and their made-in-the-USA Twiggy Ankle Boot.

Melissa Vegan Shoes

One of my other favorite vegan shoe brands is Melissa, which makes all of their shoes out of a recyclable plastic. (Even the ones that look like velvet or suede are just a flocked plastic!) Two of my favorite styles are their Incense Wing Court Pumps and the Patchuli IV Wedge.

Do you prefer shoes made with man-made, vegan materials? What are your favorite brands?

Wooly Pockets – Living Wall Planters

Wooly Pockets herb shack Suthi Picotte

Wooly Pockets new zealand

Wooly Pockets Suthi Picotte-SmogShoppe

This is part of a series called 30 Days of Popular Posts. To check out more of my popular posts, click here.

One very popular post I made was on the living wall planters created by Wooly Pockets, back in 2009. My friend Liz first introduced me to them – they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and you can use them inside or outdoors to create amazing living art.

Each Wooly Pocket planter is made from 2 layers, both made in the USA from recycled plastic bottles. One layer is a breathable felt-like material and the other layer is a super durable moisture barrier. You can plant all sorts of different plants in these things, and stack ‘em in a variety of ways to create gorgeous hanging gardens. So cool!

Check out all of the Wooly Pockets varietes at their website or on Amazon.com.

Textile Art by yorktown road

Yorktownroad 8 line accent pillow - linen

Yorktownroad layered pleat tote - parrot blue linen

Yorktownroad zips - wide bold stripes

Yorktownroad bolster pillow - x-pleat

Yorktownroad striped sling

This is part of a series called 30 Days of Popular Posts. To check out more of my popular posts, click here.

One very popular post from the past 7 years was on the gorgeous textile designs of Carol Gilbert of yorktown road. I first featured her designs back in 2010, and I’ve been smitten with her work ever since.

Carol hand-dyes linen fabric into a dazzling array of colors and then twists, folds, pleats and tucks the fabric into beautiful designs for tote bags, purses, pillows and more. You can shop her work via her popular Etsy shop, or follow her on Facebook to stay up to date on her latest creations.

Paper Craft: Quilling

This is part of a series called 30 Days of Popular Posts. To check out more of my popular posts, click here.

One very popular post here at Miss Malaprop was on the paper craft of quilling. Ann Martin of all things paper messaged me back in 2009 to introduce me to this unique craft of taking thin strips of paper and turning them into amazing works of art! I’d never heard of it before then.

Natasha Molatkova PaperGraphic Dinosaur

I’ve never learned how to do it myself, though I’d love to. It seems intricate and time-consuming – the kind of craft project I love! Ann recently featured the work of paper artist Natasha Molatkova of PaperGraphic on her blog. I LOVE Natasha’s work! So colorful, intentional and detailed. This dinosaur is my favorite of her pieces. (Um, of course. It’s a dinosaur.) Natasha’s work has been featured on textbooks, magazines and advertisements for companies around the UK.

Want to learn how to get into quilling? Check out Ann’s site all things paper for a great list of tutorials on the subject. Quilling kits for beginners are usually available at craft stores, or on Amazon, and you can also pick up Ann’s book on paper crafts of all sorts, including quilling, All Things Paper: 20 Unique Projects from Leading Paper Crafters, Artists, and Designers if you’re in search of more hot, hot quilling action!

All Things Paper: 20 Unique Projects from Leading Paper Crafters, Artists, and Designers

image credit: Patricia Zapata of A Little Hut

Have you tried your hand at quilling? Or do you have another favorite paper craft instead?

Green Weddings

This is part of a series called 30 Days of Popular Posts. To check out more of my popular posts, click here.

Weddings these days seem to be growing into ever-grander and more expensive affairs. Unfortunately, a world full of bridezillas hell-bent on elaborate weddings means a whole LOT of unnecessary waste! But luckily there are also more and more companies specializing in green weddings and eco-friendly alternatives to traditional bridal options. I’ve shared a few of them over the years here, and those posts have always been very popular!

wedding handkerchief invitations

My post on Eco Friendly Wedding Options covers a lot of the basis. If you’re trying to plan a more sustainable wedding celebration, you should definitely check out the site & magazine Eco-Beautiful Weddings. (Editor-in-Chief Katie Martin also shares her favorite eco wedding inspiration over at her Pinterest page!)

I love her pick for these wedding invitations printed on reusable handkerchiefs, as created by Etsy seller Artful Beginnings.

 The Green Bride Guide

The book The Green Bride Guide is another awesome resource for planning your big day to be as green as possible. It covers all the essentials to making your wedding an eco-friendly affair. I also love all of the resources at Offbeat Bride, where they’ve got plenty of tips on eco-friendly wedding ideas.

Andrea of Vim & Verve Events

If you’re in the New Orleans area and looking for help making your wedding as eco-minded as possible, touch base with my friend Andrea of Vim & Verve Events. She is a fab wedding planner and loves helping brides with creating unique green weddings. (Speaking of NOLA weddings – my friend Suzy is my go-to florist! Her shop, Flora Savage is the best in town, especially if you want AWESOME & non-boring flower arrangements for your big day!!)

Have you organized or attended a green wedding? What were your favorite details from the big day?

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

This is part of a series called 30 Days of Popular Posts. To check out more of my popular posts, click here.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is always a popular subject around these parts, and a favorite time of year for locals and visitors alike. I refuse to miss going to the French Quarter on Mardi Gras day. I’ve passed up the chance to go to Las Vegas with work to make sure I didn’t miss a Mardi Gras beat. And I’ve stumbled out of the house with the flu, because staying at home all day on Mardi Gras would make me feel even sicker. (Okay, probably not the smartest move, but there it is.)

I LOVE Mardi Gras. The costumes, the revelry, the sense of magic that overtakes an entire city. And believe me – this has NOTHING to do with boobs or beads. It’s not what you see on tv. You have to come to New Orleans to experience it. And Bourbon Street is NOT where it’s at.

Cassowary costume

This is the costume I made for Mardi Gras 2008. It was inspired by the world’s deadliest bird, the cassowary from Australia. I might have to revive this costume sometime soon, as I had a LOT of fun that year.

tribute to the Mardi Gras Indians

For Mardi Gras 2010, I rocked the tribute to the amazing Mardi Gras Indians that I made for the Worn Again recycled fashion show.

stuffed animal dress

For Mardi Gras 2011, I created a stuffed animal dress. Not entirely inspired by anything other than my desire to be ridiculous. Although it did get a lot of Lady Gaga comparisons!

I love that during Mardi Gras, there’s a parade for everything. There’s a teeny-tiny parade. There’s a parade for geeks. There’s even a parade just for dogs! I’ve detailed more of my Mardi Gras madness & costumes in another post here. One of the reasons I love Dragon*Con so much is because it’s like Mardi Gras for geeks!

My bestie has written a couple of fabulous pieces on Mardi Gras from a local’s perspective, great for new to NOLA folks who are looking to experience their first Mardi Gras:
How to Experience Mardi Gras Like a Local
How to Pack for Mardi Gras

Have you had the chance to experience Mardi Gras? Love it or hate it? What’s your favorite part?

Change the World

20 Baby Steps to the Revolution

This is part of a series called 30 Days of Popular Posts. To check out more of my popular posts, click here.

The change the world theme has resonated with a lot of people over the years here at Miss Malaprop, myself included. When I started writing here back in 2006, I was just starting to educate myself about healthier & more sustainable alternatives to a lot of things. I’m still no saint, and by no means perfect, but the more I know, the easier it is for me to make better choices. (And honestly, the harder it gets for me to make the really bad ones too, because I get more easily grossed-out, or feel extra guilty about doing the bad stuff more often.)

One of my very, very early posts, back in January 2007, was on Baby Steps to Changing the World. It covered some stuff that now might seem really basic, but back then was not nearly as widely thought about or mainstream. (And that’s an awesome thing that this stuff IS getting more mainstream these days!!) It was simple things like switching to CFL light-bulbs and trying to eat more locally grown & produced food. The simple stuff that really does add up. You can check out Stay Local’s Top Ten Reasons to Shop Local if you need more reasons.

A couple of years ago, I did a re-post of something one of my friends had written and posted to Facebook. My friend Lou Lou’s 20 Baby Steps to the Revolution had some awesome food for thought. Sometimes it’s just a matter of doing what you can concentrate on for now, until that stuff becomes habit and you can add on things that are harder for you at a later time.

What baby steps have you taken towards changing the world for the better? What’s been easy to adapt to? What’s been a challenge?

Couple Of Shoes

CoupleOf Women's Lily Dance Ankle-Strap Pump

This is part of a series called 30 Days of Popular Posts. To check out more of my popular posts, click here.

I love shoes, and I’ve written about a lot of hard-to-find indie shoe brands over the years. One of the most popular posts I’ve written about shoes was on Couple Of shoes, an Israeli brand of indie designer shoes.

I personally love their fun, flirty, retro styles. The low, vintage-inspired heels with the petal shapes cut out of leather are my favorite, like the CoupleOf Women’s Lily Dance Ankle-Strap Pump seen up top.

The company was founded in 1999 by designers Sheli Satat and Eilon Kombor, who met while studying jewelry design at the Bezalel School of Art. They somehow ended up designing shoes instead! Their shoes are not mass-produced, but made using traditional, old-world techniques instead, ensuring their uniqueness. It can be hard to find shoes by CoupleOf within the USA, but you can find some styles on Amazon.com.

CoupleOf Shoes boutique via Facebook

image via the CoupleOf Facebook page

If you’re lucky enough to be in Tel Aviv, you can check out their shoes in person at their shop at 207 Dizengoff Street. (Address found via this site, which offers more details on where to shop in Tel Aviv!)

Have you laid your hands on a pair of Couple Of Shoes? What do you think?

Best Things To Do In New Orleans

Marigny New Orleans Hitching Post

This is part of a series called 30 Days of Popular Posts. To check out more of my popular posts, click here.

One of my most popular posts over the years has been My New Orleans Travel Guide, which I first wrote in 2008, but which I try to update periodically. It’s got a good run-down of my personal picks for some of the best things to do in New Orleans, from a local’s perspective. I also wrote a piece, originally for the now-defunct Southern Flourish magazine, on how to plan a weekend trip to New Orleans.

My bestie also has written some great New Orleans travel guides of her own at her site: Visiting New Orleans? I also really like this list of the Top 10 Things to Do in New Orleans (Besides Mardi Gras), put together by National Geographic.

My childhood friend Carlie recently moved to town with her husband, and she’s been sharing a NOLA newbie’s perspective, along with tips offered up by other old-school locals at New in NOLA.

New Orleans has changed a WHOLE LOT over the last few years, and it’s an exciting time to be in this city. The best things to do here depend on who you are and what you want to experience out of the Crescent City. The Marigny / Bywater neighborhood has seen a lot of growth over the last few years, although I lovingly refer to it as “Brooklyn” now, since it seems like the new hipster ‘hood where a lot of out-of-towners have been flocking to lately. Apparently Vogue did a piece on Secret New Orleans Spots to Uncover recently, and it included a lot of places in this neighborhood, including BacchanalMarigny Opera House and The Country Club.

If for some reason I were to ever move from New Orleans, and could only come back once or twice a year, I’d try to head back home during Halloween or early spring. (Hello, French Quarter Fest!!) The weather’s the best during the early spring and late fall, and there’s always a TON of stuff going on around town.

NOLA peeps, what are YOUR picks for the best things to do in New Orleans? Everybody’s got a different version, what’s yours??