A Reintroduction

Hello.

It’s been awhile (1 year, 1 months, 4 days). Oops?

I was told once that all artists go through both periods of intake and periods of output. To be able to write, to paint, to create, or even to blog requires experiencing all that you possibly can until your inspiration can be manifested. Or maybe this is just an excuse to make me feel better about this prolonged artist block.

Letty feat. Rad Women

Mok feat. Agnes Ceclie watercolor

So what have I been up to? Let’s do a reintroduction. I’ve been finding beauty in the mundane, taking time for mental health, taking time for physical health, thinking about blogging and not blogging, thinking about god and being okay with their absence. I was hired as a part-time princess for kids birthday parties and I failed my first class. I accidentally broke my camera, and haven’t quite learned how to use my temporary one. I stopped doing yoga regularly. I gained a lot of weight (and ate a lot of amazing food). I struggled with anxiety and depression, and was told that it wasn’t real by professors. But I also adopted two beautiful floofy cats. I’m learning to love my body. I’m learning to love more and harder.

I’m growing modest and I’m growing confident. I’m a senior in college, and I am so, so, so scared. I am so, so ready.

I'm learning how to be a creator again. I'm learning how to let myself. I got paid by Coca-Cola to make a cosplay. I’ve re-made friends in the cosplay community (since the FB deleted my page #throwback). I have so many goals. I am so proud of how far I’ve come. I hit several personal goals in my craft, 12K + followers and friends, no matter how small, and you can follow said cosplay on my IG: @melbowroomcosplay. #Shameless

I've started listening to podcasts and playing more video games. I miss PC gaming, and I still haven't lost at chess. I adopted a marimo and a fridge succulent. I'm living in my first apartment. I'm learning how to be okay with calling myself an artist.

I’m learning to be okay with writing even if nobody reads this.

I still aspire to inspire.

This is still my space. My little place to introvert and write to my future self and whomever else wants to read it. This is still my ‘elbow room’. I can take up space, and I will.

I am growing. I am spreading out. And I will write more this year.

So until next time; Much much love,

Mel
 

MelbowReview: UNIQSO Lashes and Lens

Because I post mostly on Instagram, and a lot of people have been asking for a review... I thought I would share my experience with everyone! Before Otakon 2015, I ordered some new lashes and circle lens from the ever popular Uniqso! It was my first time every ordering from them, so I wanted to let you guys know how they turned out!

If you are planning to order from them...
Please use this LINK

Firstly, there were a TON of promos and discounts going on when I was ordering, so overall... the prices were EXCELLENT. While they are normally very reasonable, their promos were incredibly impressive. From what I understand, they happen pretty often, so be sure to keep an eye out for new offers!

My total order includes:

My HAUL post shortly after it opened the package! <3

My HAUL post shortly after it opened the package! <3

I wanted to use them for my upcoming cosplays: Harley Quinn, Kiki, and Shiro!

Let me just say my favorite order from them were probably the Stella Eyelashes Double Flex 8940!!! They were absolutely PERFECT for everything. I wish I had stocked up on them, because I need more! The last time I checked, they were out of stock, but I'll be sure to keep checking back to see if there were more!! 

As for the contacts, they were all comfortable and big with my eyes. I have naturally dark eyes, so sometimes the Blue wasn't as apparent, but in natural light or sunlight, they really showed up! Out of all three contacts, the Barbie Choco set were probably my favorite! They were big and comfortable, and give me the perfect dolly/doe eyed look.

Shipping was quick and simple. I believe my order had free shipping, but they normally offer some form of free shipping for certain orders!

Soon I will do a MAKEUP TUTORIAL on my YouTube Channel, so keep an eye on this site or my Instagram for more information.

Overall I had an amazing and positive experience with them, and I can not wait to order from them again soon! They are so responsive and sweet, and are now my go-to lashes and lenses shop online!!

Until next time, much love;

Turning over a NEW LEAF

So I got a 3DS finally from my dudeski Ian! I'm so happy to have it, and have since been completely obsessed with Animal Crossing New Leaf.

Friend Code: 4613-9766-3798

WELCOME TO MEW YORK


Past Villagers:

Current Villagers:

Dreamies (I don't have yet):

Add me and come visit my town sometime!!! I don't have anything good yet, but it makes me happy so whatever!!! 

Until next time, much love;

Thai New Year at Wat Mongkoltepmunee +RECIPE

Sunday April 13 marked the Thai New Year 2015! Sawadee bi mai!

Songkran festival (สงกรานต์), literally meaning astrological passage (Thanks, Wikipedia), is celebrated in Thailand around this time in the Buddhist calendar.

Temple door details

new thai skirt (phuen sinh)

Visiting back to Pennsylvania, my mom and I went to Wat Mongkoltepmunee (a Thai Buddist temple) for some culture, celebration, food, food, and good food!! The origin of the water festival is from the sense of cleansing and rebirth. Depending on where you are in Thailand, there can also be herbs mixed in or chalk thrown in a sense of blessing.  For the most part, though, the water fights only happen between children at American Wats.

Kao laam: coconut milk sweetened black sticky rice stuffed into a bamboo rod, and then slow roasted 

How to Make: Thai Laab (ลาบหมู)

Are you inspired by all the culture and food pictures, and are ready to take on a new Thai recipe?! Good! I'm going to give you a quick recipe on making "Laab". This is something that my mom makes all the time for my family growing up. Laab is basically a spicy and sour ground meat kind of "salad". Typically it's eaten with rice and Som Dum (A Spicy Papaya Salad), but recently I've been eating it just in lettuce wraps! No matter how you eat it, it's a really delicious spicy dish. All of the ingredients are approximations. In a lot of Thai cooking, I've found that it's a lot of "a little bit of this" and "a little bit more of that" and experimentation! So take these as suggestions, and make it to your liking!!

Ingredients

  • Ground Beef (or any ground meat, tofu, or meat substitute, really)
  • 1-2 Limes
  • 1-2 tbls Toasted Rice*
  • 1-2 springs of Mint
  • 3 tbls Fish Sauce
  • Chili Peppers (to taste)
  • Ground Dried Chili Pepper
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • Leaves of Lettuce
  • (optional) 1 Green Onion
  • (optional) 1 spring of Cilantro

*To toast rice, just heat up a pan or wok and add 1-2 tablespoons of uncooked rice. Lower the heat and keep stirring to prevent any burning. It should be golden brown when completed. It can then be crushed with a mortar and pestle or just a food processor.

Directions

  1. Squeeze about 1/3 of a lime onto the ground pork to marinate for a bit. 
  2. Heat a pan (or wok) on high, and add two tablespoons of water into it.
  3. Immediately add in beef and stir.
  4. Continue stirring until it is well done, and then remove from heat.
  5. Get a bowl large enough for mixing and add in your beef.
  6. Add fish sauce, green onion, cilantro, the rest of the lime juice, chopped chili peppers and ground dried chili pepper (to taste), and most of the toasted rice.
  7. Mix well.
  8. You can taste and add more flavors to taste.
  9. Sprinkle the rest of the toasted rice on top with some mint as a garnish.
  10. Add your Laab into lettuce wraps and...
  11. ENJOY!

Until next time, much love;

Tapas, Coffee, and Kayla

A few weeks ago (this post is rather overdue), my friend Kayla - who's music playlists you can find in my Winter Mantras and Music post - asked me to do doughnuts and coffee. We started with Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken, and then she brought me to a new coffee show: Chinatown Coffee Co... and then ended up in José Andrés' tapas restaurant: Zaytinya. Needless to say, the entire day turned into an amazing eating adventure. 

We started the morning with some delicious doughnuts from Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken, and with a name like that, you know you're in the right place. We each picked out two of their flavors. Kayla went with 'brooklyn blackout' and 'maple glazed', and I went for 'nutella' and 'Crème Brûlée'. Although it was a little chilly, we enjoyed them right outside, before heading over to run some errands. We stopped at a Forever 21 (for Kayla to grab an accessory) and the DC Public Library! 

After all the hard work we did (or the time that passed surprisingly fast), we decided to grab something to eat while we were out and off-campus. Our original place was a ramen bar in Chinatown, but there was an absurdly large wait there! So, at Kayla's suggestion, we hit up one of her favorite places and recomendations: José Andrés' tapas restaurant: Zaytinya.

IMG_4539.JPG

The food was so so unreasonably good! I recommend it to anyone who is looking to split some small plates with a good friend! :)

Until next time, much love;

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Mel

Mel is a girl. Welcome to her page! This web showcases some pieces of her exploration in "artivism", photography, crafts, clothes, and more! Stick around... take it in... stay a while...

Happy First Day of Spring!

Quote By Hal Borland, Background photo by melbowroom @ the botanical gardens 

Quote By Hal Borland, Background photo by melbowroom @ the botanical gardens 

Happy Friday, wonderful people! And happy first day of spring!! I know that I'm certainly ready for the warm weather and the sunny walks that are about to happen. I've been a little behind in my posting, and I apologize, but I'm excited for the new season to bring some more inspiration into my life that I can turn and share with you guys!! Keep working hard, being yourself, and inspiring others! And "goddamn it, you've got to be kind."

Until next time; much love,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MELBOWROOM

Happy {belated} Birthday to one of the most rewarding projects I've ever had! To all of the other bloggers, artists, and readers that I have met over this past year, I couldn't be more grateful and inspired.

Here's to another year of photos, poetry, cooking, music, sharing, and so much more!!

Until next time; much love,

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Mel

Mel is a girl. Welcome to her page! This web showcases some pieces of her exploration in "artivism", photography, crafts, clothes, and more! Stick around... take it in... stay a while...

Winter Mantras and Music

Made by melbowroom, quote from albert camus

Re-inspired by my post last year, "Spring Mantras and Music", I felt the need to reconnect with myself again. Listening to a 'wintry mix', and planning out my next few posts, I realized that I wanted to include more crafts and recipes than I had been doing. After all, those were two of the main premises for starting Melbow Room in the first place! So what else did I need to add or change in my life? As a girl of lists, daughter of a man of lists, there was only one way to get these thoughts out. I was originally going to do a long list, like last time, but I think I'll do a shorter, but elaborated list. (Maybe I'll do the longer one later!)

So without further ado, here are my new, few, but important mantras.  

1.) Live in the present

"How small a part of the boundless and unfathomable time is assigned to every man? For it is very soon engulfed in the eternal." - Marcus Aurelius

Living in the present, in theory, sounds so simple, but in practice, it's not so easy. It isn't about getting everything perfect. In fact, you won't. That's okay! Don't be consumed by things that may be happen, or may be upsetting in your life, instead, enjoy the good things that are happening. Maybe they're little, and maybe you'll find that they're large. In a less morbid way, though, just focus on putting your best foot forward, sharing your positive energy, and everything else will fall into place. Our time here is so so precious, and all we can look to do is spend it wisely, importantly, or with intention.

2.) Don't compare yourself to others

Another hard one for me. Ben Fold's "There's Always Someone Cooler Than You" seems a little relevant to me here (maybe not!). Everybody in the whole world is working for their own passions in their own way, and no matter what part of their path they're on, it shouldn't affect you in yours. In fact, you should learn to love them in their passions and way of life. You can always learn, and you can always grow in that. I don't have much more to say about this one, other than know that it'll be hard. And know that that's okay.

3.) Be Flexible

And not just physically! That will come with practice, just as this will. Be patient. Be so so patient. Everything you work hard for will respond to you eventually. Keep your mind open. Take your time. Open to yourself and your changes, and to others. Don't rush to conclusions, and be wary of unshakable certainty. Allow for unthought of possibilities. Don't get me wrong though, this does not does not does NOT mean to look at things negatively. Rather, look to broaden your vision, and strengthen your judgement. 

4.) Listen to wonderful music that makes you feel something

I wanted to share my really good friend Kayla's Spotify playlists that I have been listening to nonstop! Her playlists are seriously so well put together, and I wish I had that kinda talent! She has a radio show on called Popcorn Bytes on WRGW every Wednesday from 11am-12pm, and you should all listen to it! (She also just announced that she'll make her playlists public for people to listen to, because she's the BEST.) So here is a playlist from her show last year, "almost popular in hs", and her playlist from her last show on Popcorn Bytes! Enjoy!

I really enjoy doing these little posts, maybe they can be something I do every season to set my intentions and goals. You should do them too! 

So until next time; much love,