Liebster Award: Part II.

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LiebsterAwardBack in May, I was nominated for the Liebster Award, an honor passed among bloggers around the globe as recognition for stand-out content and writing, and useful to reach out and connect with other bloggers and readers. I have a lot of fun creating entries for “Legally Redhead,” and I hope that those who follow this blog or have popped in from time to time to check it out enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. I was incredibly flattered the first time I received this award, and was more than happy to forward it to other blogs I thought deserving of the nomination.

Imagine my surprise when I was notified by the beautiful Miss Nadina over at The Wallflower Girl that I’d been nominated for a second time this year!  Nadina’s blog is a wonderful mix of fashion, beauty, and candid, honest writings about her life and her thoughts that show her wisdom far beyond her young years. Thank you so much for this, Nadina! xox

And like the last time, here are the guidelines for the Liebster again:

1. The nominee must link back to the blogger who nominated them.

2. The nominee must state 11 facts about themselves, and then answer the 11 question provided for them by the person who nominated them.

3. They nominee must then nominate bloggers with less than 200 followers, who they think deserve the recognition, and pose 11 new questions for them to answer.

4. They must then tell the bloggers who they have nominated about the award.

Although I say with all sincerity that I hardly consider myself interesting enough to warrant 11 facts, I’m going to attempt it again anyway!

1. While I love nearly all genres of music and have a handful of bands/artists I’m a die-hard and loyal fan of, I have to say that my go-to playlist when I’m feeling creative, or cooking, or cleaning, or even just relaxing while doing absolutely nothing consists mostly of big band/classic jazz/swing music. I listen to a lot of Artie Shaw, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Bing Crosby, and Glenn Miller, among many others. The music can make you happy, it can make you cry, it can make you want to dance, it can make you feel romantic- it can make you feel so many things all at once, and in my opinion, it’s truly the greatest genre of them all.

2. My great-great grandfather on my mother’s side was the mayor of my hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts until his death. He has a field named after him by one of the colleges in the city, and his portrait still hangs in City Hall. Name-dropping him has never gotten me out of a speeding or parking ticket, however- but I do have a Key to the City that’s been passed down from my grandmother to my mom, and then to me- which I think is pretty cool.

3. There’s been an ongoing joke in my family since I was about two or three years old that Slash from the band Guns N’ Roses was my biological father because I was the only one that has insanely curly hair and no one could quite figure out where it came from. This picture of me dressed as Slash in 1988 didn’t really help matters, either:


4. In 2006 I traveled to the UK to attend the Reading Festival and spend a week sightseeing and gallivanting around London with some friends. It was my first real outdoor festival experience, and apart from the occasional torrential downpour (and resulting very muddy conditions,) it still remains one of my favorite concert memories and something I would highly recommend anyone to go to sometime. Just be sure to bring a good pair of Wellingtons and a warm jacket with you.

5. As convenient and quick as e-mails and text messages are, I still love to write and receive letters, either by hand or in the mail. They just feel more personal to me. I’m also a sucker for beautiful stationary and note cards (PAPYRUS will be the death of me.) Around the holidays, I try to make it a point to pen personalized letters to friends and family rather than just quickly signing my name in a card to let them know I’m thinking of them and wishing them all the best.

6. When I was 10/11, my friends and I, heavily influenced by the movie “The Craft,” decided we were going to practice and study witchcraft. We bought a bunch of “Wicca for Teens” books (seriously. I think I still have one of them,) and spent a large portion of our Summer vacation sitting in a circle in my friend’s basement surrounded by candles, making holy water, and putting protective spells on each other. Sadly, we never reached the “change your hair color just by running your hands through it,” stage- but it was silly fun. Embarrassing to look back on, but fun. (side note: I still love “The Craft!”)

7. I’ve only ever had soda once in my life and I thought it tasted absolutely disgusting (Coca-Cola, for the record.) I’m not a big fan of carbonated drinks in general, but I don’t drink soda at all. Friends have tried to get me to try Sprite or orange soda over the years, insisting that it would taste better, but the Coca-Cola was traumatic enough. I’m all set.

8. My favorite video game series are “Resident Evil,” and “Silent Hill.” It doesn’t matter how bad or nonsensical the plots or characters get. I’ll still play each and every single one that’s released. The first “Resident Evil” on the original Playstation was one of the first video games I ever remember buying for myself with my allowance and baby-sitting money I’d saved up (the other being “PaRappa the Rapper.”) My best friend Sean used to come over my parents’ house all the time after school and on the weekends and we’d take turns playing until he got his own Playstation. Seventeen years later and I still have the most impressive head shot skills when it comes to taking out zombies, Pyramid Head, and Umbrella Corporation’s henchmen. Almost all of the movie adaptations for both series are unwatchable, though.

9. I don’t have any tattoos or piercings (except for my earlobes,) but I’d like very much to get a small yet detailed anchor tattoo somewhere on myself. Not only because of my love for all things nautical, but also in honor of my father, who was very much my “spiritual anchor.” He made sure I kept things in perspective and stayed grounded throughout my life and with all the choices I made.

10. I drive a white 2010 Kia Forte which, with the exception of one time where my fuel line froze after a particularly brutal cold night with next to no gas in my tank- has been very good to me. I take a great deal of pride in my car, and consider it my office-on-the-move, so I keep up with maintenance and am diligent about it’s cleanliness to the point where it may be alarming to any passengers riding with me. I have yet to name it the way some others name their vehicles, though.

11. Sometimes when I’m feeling drained or overwhelmed, a good cry almost always helps flush out my mind, heart, and soul- and makes me feel better. When I need a little help getting the waterworks going, I usually put in a touching movie or listen to a moving soundtrack. My go-to is 2003’s ‘Pieces of April,’ which is one of the most beautiful, heart-wrenching, sweet, and genuinely funny movies I’ve ever seen, backed by a phenomenal soundtrack created by the brilliant Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields. I can’t even summarize the plot without getting a little teary-eyed, but please believe me that it’s absolutely worth watching and that you won’t regret it. It’s one of my favorite films of all time.

The questions Nadina asked me are:

1. All time favorite song?

Oh, this is a hard one. There’s so many to pick from. Interpol’s “The Specialist” comes to mind, as does Dropkick Murphys “Boys on the Dock,” but I’d have to say that my all-time favorite song is Gin Blossoms’ “Til I Hear It From You.” I used to sing it all the time when I was a kid (I loved the movie “Empire Records” growing up,) and whenever I hear it, it’s like a shot of nostalgia. It just takes me back to my childhood bedroom in the apartment where I grew up where I watched the music video for the song on MTV back when they still focused on music.

2. What is your holy grail beauty product?

There’s a lot of products I use that I love, but I’d have to say my Holy Grail- crème de la crème- can’t live without it product is organic virgin coconut oil from Trader Joe’s. It’s inexpensive, smells lovely, and has so many beneficial uses for skin, hair, teeth, and overall health. It works as an incredible 5-minute face mask, a deep conditioning hair treatment, a body moisturizer, a deep cleaning mouth wash, a non-abrasive makeup remover, so on and so forth- and, if you want- you can cook with it, too. I always keep a jar handy in the bathroom and I swear by it.

3. What is one thing you would like to do before you die?

There’s so many things I’d love to do or try, but I think the one thing that really sticks out in my mind is that I’d love to go into one of those cages that get lowered into the ocean among the great white sharks. You just float around in scuba gear inside the cage while the most feared animal of the sea swims around you. With my luck, one would probably try to attack the cage or something- but that’s a risk I’d be willing to take.

4. Good childhood memory?

When I was seven, my parents took me, my two older brothers, and my brother’s friend on a road trip from Massachusetts to Disney World for the very first time. Disney itself was a blast, of course- but I can vividly remember having so much fun on the drive there and back. My dad made sure to stop at a bunch of cheesy tourist attractions, including “South of the Border,” which to me at the time was just as much fun as Magic Kingdom. There was some sibling bickering, of course- but overall it was a really, really fun trip.

5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?

When I was younger, I hated my nose. I thought it was too big and didn’t fit my face at all. Now that I’m older, I feel like I’ve grown into it- the same way I did with my curly hair that I would go to war with every morning to try and tame before school with harsh chemicals and even harsher flat-irons. I like myself, and I wouldn’t change much except maybe my tendency to have severe road rage at even the slightest of traffic infractions. There is no way yelling as loud or cursing as much as I do while I’m driving is good for anyone’s psychological health.

6. The best compliment you have ever received?

My friend Troy has a tendency to say things to me that really resonate on a deep, meaningful level. He’ll compliment my personality, or tell me he likes the way I laugh, or that he thinks I’m a caring, kind person. The other night he said that he didn’t think I realized how beautiful I really was- and I swear I blushed for a good twenty minutes. That’s one of the more recent compliments that stand out.

Malcolm McDowell also told me I smelled really good once, so there’s definitely that one, too.

7. Favorite room or place in your house?

I’d love to say it’s the kitchen because that’s where the food is, but I really do just adore my bedroom. It’s kind of a mess right now since I’m moving things around for the impending holidays, but when it’s picked up and organized- it’s a space that is very much “me,” from the bold wallpaper pattern to the pictures and postcards I have tacked up. It’s where I go to rest, where my dog goes to hang out and be lazy, and where I go to blog and get work done.

8. Why did you decide to start a blog?

I had actually answered this question the last time I received this award, and my answer hasn’t really changed much! I’m just going to copy and paste what I had written:

“My blogging days began way back in my sophomore year of high school, where I’d write about the guy I had a crush on, homework assignments I didn’t want to do, PG-13 movies I was excited to go see with my friends (if our parents were willing to lend us money drive us to the theater, of course, since none of us were old enough to work or have our licenses), trips to the mall, and school drama. At first, it was just a way for me to chronicle my life and network with other people my age- like a diary that I shared with others- but after a while it sort of became my creative outlet and evolved over the course of more than a decade into what this blog is today.”

9. What’s your favorite food?

I love trying all different types of food, but my absolute favorite type is Italian food. Carb-counters be damned. I love me some pasta and I especially love me some cheese.

10. Who are your inspirations?

I draw inspiration from so many people, places, and things, but I’d say most of my inspiration comes from Bettie Page. Not only style-wise, because she always looked gorgeous, even in non-pin-up photos, but because she was so influential in terms of re-defining sexuality and what was considered “taboo” in her day. Page was confident, comfortable in her own skin, and didn’t see anything shameful with being sexual. Despite her troubling later years and battle with mental illness, nobody can deny the impact Page had in fashion and for women. I admire courage, confidence, and fearlessness like that- and I model my own life after it.

11. One thing you will never leave your house without, other than your cell phone?

My wallet and keys, of course! I’m also going to go ahead and say mascara and breath mints/gum, because you never know when you’re going to need them.

And here are my questions:

1. What is your absolute favorite movie moment of all time?

2. If you could only choose three (3) beauty items to own for the rest of your life, what would they be- and why?

3. What was the best show/concert you’ve ever been to?

4. What’s your quintessential style/fashion piece?

5. If you were given (or won) one million dollars, what would you do with it?

6. If you could travel through time- where/when would you go, and why?

7. What is the one accomplishment you’ve reached in your life that you’re proudest of?

8. What advice would you give to other aspiring bloggers looking to begin writing their own content?

9. With the holidays coming up, what’s your favorite holiday tradition? If you don’t celebrate the holidays- what’s your favorite seasonal tradition?

10. Have you started writing any New Years Resolutions for 2014? Can you share any?

11. Looking back on 2013 so far, what has been your favorite moment- and why?

For this award, and to pass on these questions, I’ve selected Michelle over at Beautiful Goodies, a beauty/fashion/subscription box review/lifestyle blog I greatly enjoy reading. Keep up the great work, Michelle!

And thank you again to Nadina for the nomination, and to everyone who reads this blog! I truly appreciate it!

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