Tuesday, March 31, 2015

iTunes Shuffle Game: Part Zagillion!

I love those iTunes/iPod/MP3 Player Shuffle challenges, so I decided to make one of my own.

  1. Your Wake Up Song! AKA the one you wake up to in the morning. 
  2. Your Song for Your Dog; AKA the one that describes the relationship between you and your dog. 
  3. Your Fika Song; AKA your coffee break anthem, because everyone needs one
  4. Your Song for the Evening; AKA the song you play while slipping into a little red dress for a night on the town
  5. Your Party Anthem Song!
  6. Your Ooh-la-la Romantic Song; AKA the one you use the impress all the other princes and princesses around town. 
  7. Your Secret Song; AKA the song that harbors all of your secrets. 
  8. The song that's playing when you discover your house is haunted.
  9. Your potty-dance song. Hey, every dance needs a song, right? 
  10. Your theme song; AKA the Story of Your Life
The rules are simple. Put your iPod on Shuffle and tell all. 
  1. Take Me With You; Dima Bilan. Oh yeah, I totally wake up to this every day. 
  2. Miss Atomic Bomb; the Killers. This is so wrong. 
  3. Devenir Cheyenne; Pow Wow. This is more like a song to play while giving a graviloquence. 
  4. My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys: Willie Nelson. Okay, maybe this is a good evening song. 
  5. Make Me Believe; Angel Taylor. Not bad, I suppose. 
  6. Jarama Valley; Woody Guthrie. Oh God.
  7. Notre Dame de Paris Act 2 Song 12. Um... Non. 
  8. Fantasia in A. Yes. This is exactly the kind of music the ghosts in my mansion would play on the Baby Grand in the second floor foyer. It's uncanny!
  9. Tiger Mountain Peasant Song; First Aid Kid. Okay, this is just a silly one. 
  10. And the Story of Kaija can be found in... Unspoken; Hurts. Poor Kaija. 

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 31 - Why I Blog

I blog because the days are long and the nights longer.

I hope you've enjoyed reading all 31 posts. Tune in next month to see what challenges April will bring.

Eurovision Review: Hungary with Wars for Nothing

First Thoughts: I appreciate and respect the message of this song, and I love the singer's voice, but the lyrics need some work. It doesn't sound like a song to me; it sounds like a sung-through poem. The rhythm is all broken up and it just sounds... Well, awkward, really.

Best Lyric: All the souls, all the souls, can you hear them cry? I just like the way she sings this line.

Worst Lyric: Do you know our Earth is a mess? I've been living in an imaginary castle in my mind for the past five years and even I know the planet is a wreck. Anyone who thinks it isn't is in serious denial. Or American. Or both.

Finalist? Probably.

Final Thoughts: I really can't wait to see how many points Russia gives this. On the one hand, giving it no points would make them seem like even more of a tosser than they already are, but on the other hand, giving it any points would make them a huge hypocrite.

Score out of 12: Seven, if only for the message.

Song of the Day: Standing Still

Monday, March 30, 2015

These photos of a lost Mongolia tribe are incredible

These photos of a lost Mongolia tribe are incredible

Is this the most unusual sound in the Swedish language? - YouTube

Is this the most unusual sound in the Swedish language? - YouTube

20 awesomely untranslatable words from around the world - Matador Network

20 awesomely untranslatable words from around the world - Matador Network

My favorites are toska and, of course, hygge.

When Metro Stairs are Turned into a Public Piano - Goodnet

When Metro Stairs are Turned into a Public Piano - Goodnet

What an awesome idea!

Stop Motion Northern Lights Beauty - Goodnet

Stop Motion Northern Lights Beauty - Goodnet

We aren't lucky enough to live this far North, but if you're lucky in the Sapphire Forests, you might meet a unicorn who'll take you up to see the auroras lickety-split.

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 30 - Kaija's Makeup Cabinet

Eurovision Review: Georgia with Warrior

First Thoughts: Why are there two songs called Warrior this year? Has Europe learned nothing in the past two thousand years? In any case, I kind of like the song, even though the lyrics are in need of some major improvements.

Best Lyric: We're going to skip this part this time, and jump straight to the 'Worst Lyric' section.

Worst Lyric: All of it. You can read the lyrics here. Some highlights: Fighter, oximated, world gonna get up and see! Also: Violence; Set them free, wings are gonna spread up, still a fighter isolated. And: I’m warrior still stucked in my mind I’ve been in danger for too long.

Finalist? Maybe. Maybe not. The actual music is great; the lyrics are so epically bad that the only thing saving this song in my mind is the fact that her English is so broken it's like a foreign language to me.

Final Thoughts: Poor Georgia.

Score out of 12: 1 pity point.

Song of the Day: Daydreamer

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Kaija's Favorite Tie Knots

Kaija's favorite tie knots are the Trinity and the Eldredge. 

Eurovision Review: Belgium with Rhythm Inside

First Thoughts: Before we get started here, I'd just like to point out a pattern I've noticed over the years. There seem to be three types of countries in Eurovision - first, and sadly rarest, the countries that legitimately want to win Eurovision and send a decent song in pursuit of that goal; second, the countries that could not give a damn if they tried and send bad songs on purpose; and third, the countries that truly want to win but loose every bit of musical judgement they've ever had when it comes time to pick a song. Yeah, I'm looking at you, UK. In any case, Belgium seems to be some strange combination of the three. Like, I can't tell if they thought this was a really good song that would sweep Europe off its collective feet or if they're just messing with us. The song itself is three different genres rolled into a miserable-sounding whole, like a raw steak soaked in pineapple juice and slathered in peanut butter, and the music video is seven shades of 'what the heck?'

Best Lyric: Listen to the sound of thunder, rolling in the soul down under. Perhaps they're predicting an Australian victory? In any case, it's the best lyric this song has to offer.

Worst Lyric: On a cosmic track, love attack, I’m gonna get that rhythm back. We’re going to ra-pa-pa, ra-pa-pa, we’re gonna ra-pa-pap tonight. Are you going to rap? Read to your papa? Grab your stethoscope and listen to the sound of a heart beating to the rhythm of 'oh God, please make this stop?'

Finalist? God, I hope not.

Final Thoughts: I can see how some people can listen to this and enjoy it, but I think it's one of those things where you either love it or hate it, and I'm definitely not loving it.

Score out of 12: 1 point for effort, Belgium.

Song of the Day: 25 timer

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Eurovision Review: Moldova with I Want Your Love

First Thoughts: I'm pretty torn when it comes to this one. On the one hand, it's a terrible song. On the other hand, I kind of like it. It's freaking catchy, but it's also pretty freaking bad.

Best Lyric: Nothing can steal your thunder, sky high when you pull me under. Honestly, this doesn't even make sense but it's the one reason I like the song.

Worst Lyric: Hey, girl! Remind me why we ain't together. Also: The picture that you're painting got me all anticipating. Really?

Finalist? Probably not. I mean, come on.

Final Thoughts: I still don't know how to feel about this song. I like the rhythm, I love the beat, and it grows on you (like lichen) the more you listen to it. But that still doesn't change the fact that the lyrics are seriously lacking and the song is about as shallow as a puddle after a sunshower.

Score out of 12: Three.

Top 5 Fashion Trends I Love

1. Steampunk

2. Goth

3. Sweet Lolita

4. Apocalyptic Fashion

5. Seapunk

The Top Ten Things I Spend Your Taxes On Are...

  1. I always spend a little gold on exotic candies, coffees, and juices when I'm on shore leave in another kingdom. 
  2. I also like to purchase fabrics for the castle seamstresses to turn into bedding, curtains, and cloths of all kinds. 
  3. No Princess's wish list would be complete without lavish ballgowns for catching the fancy of other Princes and Princesses visiting from neighboring kingdoms, now would it?
  4. You may or may not know this, but I spend a considerable amount of my paycheck on entertainment. Though Mother gives the castle musicians, dancers, and jesters a considerable salary, I always tip handsomely. 
  5. I, like all other royals, spend a little gold on jewels, gems, and precious metals, particularly those found in jewelry and artwork. 
  6. Speaking of artwork, I spend about 1,110 gemions on it every year - a fortune indeed. 
  7. Much to the Queen's dismay and MorMor's delight, I spend hundreds of gemions each month on fancy clothes for the horses, goats, and dogs that live on the palace grounds. Much to my dismay, the cat refuses to get dressed. 
  8. I also spend a considerable amount on various perfumes and potions to chase away the miasmas blowing in from the east. 
  9. I spend a few dozen gemions a week for scented bath products. I refuse to bathe in anything but the most supreme luxury. 
  10. And, as any Princess delights in, I spend my gold on soft and fuzzy cuddly plushie friends. 

Top 5 Reasons Top Gear was the Best Car Show Ever

I have a small confession to make. I don't know the first thing about cars when it comes to the stuff 'under the hood.' When they were teaching Mechanics 101 in Princess School, I was, well... Here. You know. On Earth. Oops. 

So, I don't know a carburetor from a cooling tank, or even whether or not cars have cooling tanks, but guess what I do know? I know cars. I know that I love Jeeps. I know that Hummers are excessive. I know that Bugattis are the TARDISes of personal transport (that is, of course, besides segways.) I know that caravans are rubbish. I know that a V8 is something you want in your Ferrari and that a V2 is something you put in your lawnmower, and not the other way around. I know that certain numbers in the 500's for horsepower, and 2's and 3's for naught to sixty should take your breath away, and I know that certain cars are pure works of art. And it's all thanks to a little show the BBC used to make called Top Gear. 

  1. The Presenters. There's no doubt in my mind that what made Top Gear top was the presenters. Sure, the flashy cars and the cool racetrack and the stunts are a huge part of what made Top Gear so globally successful, but, ultimately, it was the presenter's enthusiasm about the cars and the racetracks and the challenges that made Top Gear so enjoyable to watch. If Richard, Jeremy, and James didn't legitimately love cars, Top Gear would be a bust. And yeah, maybe it'd be a little less fun to watch if they were driving around Wales in a 1998 Honda Accord instead of traipsing about in the most dangerous of the colonies with the cheapest cars money can unreasonably buy or sliding down the best racetracks in the world with Bugattis and Ferraris, but I think I'd still watch it. 
  2. The Cars. This almost goes without saying. 
  3. The Challenges. What fun would it have been without the challenges? 
  4. The Specials. I personally loved each of the specials where the guys went to another country. 
  5. The Stig. Some say that he really is Santa Claus. 

And that's why BBC's Top Gear 2002-2015 is the only Top Gear in my mind. I know they have Top Gear: America and Top Gear: Russia and all that, and that they'll probably continue this Top Gear with new presenters, but really, they're all Second Gear: An Okay Car Show to me.

Saturday Evening Special: Outfit of the Weekend

Well, hello there, Spring!

An Appeal for Lost Words: Kaija's Personal Opinion

As the future ruler of an ancient kingdom, I am often compelled to use words such as 'alas' and 'forsooth.' Indeed, if you were to walk into the throne room on any given afternoon, you might be forgiven for thinking you stepped through a portal into the 1600's rather than a magical portal to my kingdom.

All fallaciloquence aside, are words like fabrefaction and famelicose destined to be forever ficulnean, archived only in moulding books and dusty old Internet pages visited only by the linguistic elite and amateurs like me with nothing better to do with their time? Or should we give flosculation and gelicide another chance to be something more than archaic words underscored by the Red Squiggly Lines of Doom?

I think we should give these words another chance. They have not, in their dormancy, lost any relevance or meaning. People still speak falsely, and make things, and are hungry all the time, and there is still a certain kind of lack of substantialness that makes a thing all but worthless, people still use purple prose, and there are still flower-killing frosts. None of those things have fallen into obscurity in the time that the words originally designated to describe them have been in hibernation.

We are always looking to make ourselves better understood, and in this fast-paced world, we are always looking to do so in the shortest amount of time possible. That's why we exclaim, "OMG! LMAO!" instead of, "My goodness, that was a humorous moving image of a feline performing a trick typically associated with canines. Good man, friend Robert."

Strangely, one of the main arguments against reviving these words also concerns comprehensibility. For some reason, a certain percentage of people seem to think that the average indivudal wouldn't be able to understand a new word in context. If I were to tell you that my cat just jumped over my dog and I thought it was funnier than a votunitul, you wouldn't assume that a votunitul was a hot thing, or a big thing, or a dumb thing, or a thing having to do with airplanes. You'd figure out that it was a funny thing based on my usage of the word. It might trip you up for a moment or two, but it wouldn't throw you so off balance that you thought I was talking about mountains on Jupiter or something like that.

Now, votunitul is a word I just made up a few seconds ago. But graviloquence is a word they were using all the way back in 1656, and if I told you that the priest gave a beautiful graviloquence at my great-aunt's funeral, you wouldn't assume he did a gig or started talking about purple elephants. You'd probably figure out that graviloquence meant something along the lines of 'funeral speech' or 'grave speech,' which is exactly what it means.

I don't expect all of these words to make a sudden come-back tomorrow. Some of them have lost their meaning and their relevance. A homerkin is an archaic measure of beer that is rendered utterly useless by more precise measurements like ounces, liters, and pints. If you walked into the pub stone-cold sober and asked for a homerkin, they'd probably think you already had one homerkin too many.

Some of these words are beautiful, though, and I love them. Sure, they're all but dead, but they're not animals. They're fragile, exotic flowers that need a little bit of a green thumb to bring them back to life. I want to be that hand. I want you to be that hand. I want everyone to be that hand.

You can find an archive of these words right here. 

So go forth, my friends, with all good impigrity and prove to the world that these words are not, in fact, irredivivous.

Song of the Day: My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark

Friday, March 27, 2015

An Interview With Her Majesty the Queen

Kaija: So, mum, how does it feel to be Queen?

Her Majesty the Queen: It feels marvelous, darling. (At this point Her Majesty excuses herself to take council with the head chef. Being Queen is hard work!)

Kaija: What is life in the royal palace like?

Her Majesty the Queen: Busy! Busy, busy, busy. It's hectic. There is always something going on. There's always something to do. Princess Kaija and I are always organizing feasts, balls, dances, and other events for our loyal subjects. It's fun.

Kaija: How would you describe your relationship with our servants and staff?

Her Majesty the Queen: Most of the time, I share a good relationship with our servants, but sometimes it's a little tense. It gets tiresome to always have staff about. The maids in particular are always stirring up trouble.

Kaija: Can you tell me a little about your relationship with your handmaiden?

Her Majesty the Queen: It's wonderful. She's perfect. She's funny. She's intelligent, and she's very kind.

Kaija: Can you tell me about your life before you became Queen? What kind of training did you have to go through when you were Crown Princess? What kind of ruler was MorMor?

Her Majesty the Queen: My training consisted of learning how to wave, practicing which fork and spoon to use at various dinner parties, and studying the cultures of the surrounding kingdoms for diplomacy purposes. Your MorMor was an impatient ruler, but a fair one as well. I hope that you will learn from our mistakes and emulate our virtues when you yourself someday become Queen.

Kaija: Thank you, Your Majesty.

25 Ways to Say I Love You Without Saying "I Love You"

  1. With a song that means something both you and your intended.
  2. In a poem that you wrote yourself.
  3. On a Post-It in the bathroom mirror before work.
  4. In a hand-written love letter.
  5. In a homemade video.
  6. Through a hug.
  7. With a collage of scrapbook of your favorite memories and photographs of you and your intended.
  8. In another language.
  9. In sign language.
  10. With a handmade gift.
  11. Three words: Breakfast in bed.
  12. Through a romantic treasure/scavenger hunt.
  13. Create a website dedicated to your love.
  14. By remembering their favorite things.
  15. Through a homemade card sometime in between Valentine's Day and your anniversary. 
  16. With a surprise cup of coffee/tea/hot chocolate. 
  17. With your bestie Shakespeare. 
  18. With origami love notes. 
  19. With a scented candlelit bath.
  20. With a kiss.
  21. By telling the waiter it's your intended's birthday even when it's not when you're not at one of your usual haunts. 
  22. Surprise ice cream.
  23. Candy on their pillow.
  24. Just-because flowers. 
  25. Every day. 

Eurovision Review: Albania with I'm Alive

First Thoughts: I like the song. It's instantly recognizable, and while I won't be singing it in the shower, it's not a bad song. My only complaint is the complete theme change that happens about fifty seconds in. It's like they set out to write one song and got a third of the way through before deciding to write a completely different song.

Best Lyric: I know you will come at the speed of the light, you're my everything. You're all that I need. You shatter my dreams, but I'm not gonna cry. Hashtag poetry in motion.

Worst Lyric: I was too afraid right from the start to even let you welcome in my heart. You cut it deep and left it bleeding. Will I ever heal this painful scar? I really hate lyrics that sound awkward in English, and I'm also sort of confused by this beginning because the song takes a complete 180 just a few seconds later. This guy hurt her, yet he's her everything? Sounds like an unhealthy relationship in its death throes.

Finalist? Yes. It's a pretty good song.

Final Thoughts: Perhaps someone can explain this song to me, because I'm still confused.

Score out of 12: Seven. Is there a seven? Yeah, seven.

Eurovision Review: Denmark with The Way You Are

First Thoughts: The first time I heard this song, I hated it. I'd just finished watching a grueling semi of Mello, and I was crashing from a sugar high, and I just couldn't stand this song. I gave it a second chance yesterday and I fell in love with it. Denmark really lives up to its reputation as the world's happiest country, and I have a funny feeling that once my MorMor hears this, she's going to throw her dollar into the betting pot for Team Danmark, just like she did last year for Cliche Love Song.

Best Lyric: All of it, really. But a particularly awesome line is: Like an old radio, a song I just can't let go, all I got on my mind is you. 

Worst Lyric: I can't find any. And trust me, I tried. *Wink.*

Finalist? Absolutely.

Final Thoughts: It's the way you are, it's just the way that you aaaare~

Score out of 12: Douze points! I love it! Flowers! Confetti! Cats! Kaija out!

Time for Bed

31 Day Blog Challenge - Days 27, 28, and 29

Day 27: My favorite recipe is the one on the back of the Hershey's Cocoa box.

  • 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1-2/3 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1-1/3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup finely crushed hard peppermint candy (optional)
Day 28: I am looking forward to Eurovision!

Day 29: I have travelled far and wide through strange lands teeming with heretofore undiscovered life and civilizations, across barren lightyears, through hill and through dale, over shires and farms, across rivers and mountains, under pink skies, through space and through time, and atop Hannibal's elephants. Yup, it's been one helluva adventure.

Song of the Day: Swan Song

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Is Top Gear Over? A Tribute to Its Greatness

Is Top Gear over now that Jeremy Clarkson has been let go once and for all by the BBC? Perhaps. Perhaps not. In any case, I'd like to give the Clarkson era a mighty sendoff, and I couldn't think of any better way to do it than with Jeremy's own words:

This is a car program. There will be no cushions. There will be no rag rolling. No one will sing, and at the end of the series, no one will have a recording contract. This is our new base, and this is our purpose-built test track. There are no traffic jams here - well, apart from this one - and no bus lanes either. This is Top Gear. 

Well, Top Gear may have been more than a car program by its end, but there's no doubt about it - no matter what, it was always top. And on that bombshell - goodbye, Jeremy.

The Forest

The forest slithers on 
Deep and dangerous 
Beyond me,
Filled, as always,
With darkened mystery, 
And crawling, as legend has it,
With legions of beasts unknown,
Hungry for a lonely soul. 

Beauty Product of the Week: Would You Like Some Sugar With That?

The news is in, and it's sweet. Sugar isn't just for baking anymore. Try these fabulous recipes to help keep you looking your beautiful best.

Kaija's Awesome Sugar Scrub For Chapped Lips

2 teaspoons sugar
A few drops of honey, syrup, vanilla extract, and/or cream

The best part of this scrub is that it's edible! Stir up the above ingredients and apply by gently scrubbing the mixture onto your skin. Then lick it all up and enjoy the sweet, sweet taste of honey-smooth smackers.

Kaija's Super Duper Awesome Shower Sugar Scrub

1 part Epsom salts
1 part honey
3 parts sugar
A few drops of your favorite essential oils

Fire up your shower and slather this bad boy all over. It'll gently exfoliate your skin and the antioxidants in the honey will leave you with softer, more youthful-looking skin.

Now go out there and rock the world, beautiful!

The BBC Fires Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear

As a long-time Top Gear fan and all-around gearhead, I am going to miss Jeremy Clarkson. While I understand the reasons behind his termination, Top Gear just won't be the same without him. You won't be forgotten, you silly old pickle. ♥︎ 🚘  ♥︎

Ten Fashion Tips to Live By

  1. Ditch the magazines. They'll only make you feel bad you can't afford the 500 quid plus outfits they parade across every page. 
  2. Don't turn your nose up at hand-me-downs. Those clothes your older sib doesn't fit into anymore will save you money and force you to get creative to make them work, and you may not realize it, but your parents are super chill. Just remember one golden rule of hand-me-downs: Just say no to the 80's. Unless that's your thing, which is cool too. 
  3. Once a year, give yourself a budget of 50 dollars and buy yourself a whole new wardrobe. This will take some serious yard-sale, flea market, and church-sale hunting, but it is so worth it. 
  4. We all have those clothes that have been sitting in the back of our closets that we've worn literally once and twice in our entire lives. Chances are we're never going to wear them again, so it's time to stop with the 'maybe someday' and 'but it's such a shame' and put them to a better purpose. Throw all those lightly used, like-new clothes that you are never going to wear or fit into, like, ever again, and donate them to a local charity that provides clothes for those in need. Believe me, giving those clothes a new life will make everybody a little happier. 
  5. Shop at thrift shops. You'll be amazed at the treasures you'll find. 
  6. Neon orange never looked good on anyone. 
  7. Save heels bigger than two inches for date night, boys and girls. Your height is your height and unless you're on the prowl, it just isn't worth the pain, no matter how good they make your legs look. Also, if you can't walk in them, they're too bloody big. 
  8. Forget gender labels. A skirt is a skirt, a dress is a dress, a shirt is a shirt. It's not a men's shirt or a woman's dress, it's just a piece of cloth. If you like it, wear it. I personally love wearing so-called 'men's' shirts, ties, and vests. 
  9. Forget the 'Fashion Police.' There's really only one rule you need to follow when it comes to fashion, and that is: wear something. If you don't, you'll have to worry about the real police and indecent exposure charges. That is, of course, unless you reside in an area where it's legal to walk about starkers, in which case, feel free to bare all. Unless it's winter, in which case... Just don't. 
  10. Be you. A lot of people use fashion as an external representation of their internal selves, so go out there and show everyone who you are. Be fabulous. Be beautiful. Be amazing. Be you, because you're already all three. 

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 26 - An Old Picture of Me

Please enjoy this picture of Kaija in Year 1.

Kaija's Favorite Genre of Music

I'm sure my loyal subjects are all anxiously awaiting to hear what Princess Kaija's favorite genre of music is.

Surely a princess as poised and graceful as Kaija spends her days listening to classical music, oui? Non!

Well, then perhaps Her Majesty enjoys alternative music. Princess Kaija is as unique as a rainflower; it would only be logical. Nope, not alternative either.

Okay, I'll give you a hint: At our last kingdom-wide dinner party, the Their Majesties the Queen and Princess Kaija served a dessert named after this obscure genre of music. What! You missed our dinner party? Well, I can't give you the recipe, because it's a Super-Duper Classified Royal Secret, but I can tell you the name: scandipop.

Yup, that's right. My mum, AKA the Queen, thought my favorite music genre sounded like a dessert (which it totally does), so we consulted with the royal chefs to create our Awesomely Amazingly Yummy Scandipop Dessert!

You can listen to some scandipop here (do it for the princess) and eat some Scandipop at the next kingdom-wide feast, which will take place in the Royal Courtyard on the first day of the Month of Crimson Flowers! Both myself and the Queen look forward to seeing you there!

Eurovision Review: Armenia with Face the Shadow (Formerly Don't Deny)

First Thoughts: First of all, I'm glad they changed the title of the song. It's a small thing, but Face the Shadow is a much better title than Don't Deny. I'm also really digging the variety of voices in the song, from the almost operatic voice of one of the ladies to the sopranos of the gents. I also like the message of the song. It's not very clear from the lyrics, but the music video, the band's name, and various interviews reveal that it's about family histories and being proud of one's genealogy. However, I don't like the song. At all.

Best Lyric: Honestly, there aren't any. Just watch the music video on mute and pretend it's one of those old silent movies. It'll be better that way.

Worst Lyric: Time is ticking and you keep thinking that you are chicken. Really? Really? I know English isn't their native language, but surely they could have found an English-speaking school child online who would have been able to tell them that 'chicken' stops being a thing after primary school.

Finalist?: Probably. It's a unique enough act that I think people will fall for it and forget that as a song, it's bloody terrible.

Final Thoughts: I'm sort of disappointed. Armenia had a great entry last year, and this entry was a great idea, but it fell pretty far short in the musical and lyrical department.

Score out of 12: Two.

Song of the Day: My Skin

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Rain Time Flowers

A world, wet and wild and wondrous,
Blossoms out under a curtain of rain,
Puddles gathering underfoot 
Leaves playing in the wind,
Grass growing green and golden
Children hopping and skipping and laughing, and
Umbrellas - pink and white and stripped and dotted -

Spinning out like rain-time flowers. 

Dawn Ascendant

Another dawn,
Another day painted in glimmering pastels
Low-lying grass bowing under a string of pearly dew-drops, 
And the sun, ripe and heavy as the oranges
In the orchards Bartholomew used to own,
Tangled in the branches in its heaven-bound quest. 

Another sunrise,
Another morning glittering pink and gold with promise,
Leaves sprawled over the far-away horizon in lazy fractals,
And the moon, pale and sparkling,
Bidding the world a quiet farewell

As the sun at last ascends, victorious. 

How to be a Lady/Gentleman/Honourable Member of the Human Race

As a Princess, Kaija believes in such thing as poise, grace, and dignity. Here is how you can elevate yourself to a more regal level, regardless of your royal heritage.

  1. Always feed unicorns.
  2. Never step in a fairy circle uninvited. 
  3. Never crash a tea party or interrupt a fika. 
  4. Tithe, if you are able. 
  5. Be kind to others. 
  6. Never judge a person based on race, gender, sex, color, creed, nationality, religion, ability, appearance, income, or sexuality. Judge others by the quality of their character and the beauty that resides in their heart. 
  7. Watch the sunset. 
  8. Be gracious and grateful. Say 'thank you.'
  9. If you see a fellow human in need, help them to the best of your ability. 
  10. Give your all in everything you do. 
  11. Never use hate speech. 
  12. Give third chances. 
  13. Wake up early to watch the sunrise at least once a month. 
  14. Get out into nature, if you are able to do so. 
  15. Recycle, and do your best to reduce your energy usage and waste production. 
  16. Try not to waste food. 
  17. Volunteer your time to those in need. 
  18. Educate yourself about what is happening in the world. 
  19. Be accepting of other's differences. 
  20. Read widely, deeply, and voraciously. 
  21. Write poetry, no matter how horrible may be. 
  22. Feel pride in your accomplishments, but project humility. 
  23. Be the best you you can be.

Eurovision Review: Estonia with Goodbye to Yesterday

First Thoughts: My first thought upon hearing the first line of this song (woke up at six a.m.) was, "Damn, that's late." I tend to get up at four a.m., and on that particular day I was up at two thirty in the morning, so six seemed like this dude was slacking off big time. Anyway. I really like this song. It's another one of my top-fivers.

Best Lyric: Why didn't you wake me up? This is so catchy I find myself bopping along to it and barely restraining myself from singing it to my mum at random hours of the day. Also: As I got outside, I smiled to the dog. I love dogs, and the fact that he took the time to smile at it is just heart-wrenching.

Worst Lyric: Lying here naked and staring at the phone. TMI, madam.

Finalist? Definitely.

Final Thoughts: Goodbye to Yesterday is a great song. This duo has great chemistry and they can sing well live. I can't wait to see what they have to offer us in terms of performance in Vienna.

Score out of 12: Douze points. I love it.

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 25 - My Five Favorite Blogs

  1. My Romantic Home - This blog is amazing. Between recipes, bath inspiration, show and tell Fridays, and absolutely gorgeous photography, it had to make the top five. 
  2. The Perfect Pear - This blog has delicious recipes, DIY projects, and beauty and fashion inspiration. Plus it's got a cool name.
  3. Between Naps on the Porch - This home inspiration blog is everything you ever wanted and more. Seriously, go check it out. 
  4. Nifty Thrifty Things - This nifty little blog has DIY projects, recipes, floral featurettes, plus it's beautifully designed and wonderfully written. 
  5. And, of course, no list of my favorite blogs would be complete without my favorite Eurovision blog - Wiwibloggs. I read it daily to catch up on the latest Eurovision news, reviews, and betting odds. (#TeamSverige) 

Song of the Day: Heartbreak Hotel

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Five Beauty Tips to Live By

Kaija used to be a beauty blogger at some vague point in the infinite past, so she knows a little about beauty. Here's what she's learned in her #bbadventures:

Tip #1: Always, always, always buy cruelty-free products. Look for 'not tested on animals' somewhere on the packaging. If it's not there, you shouldn't be buying it. Think of all the poor little bunnies and beagles that had to suffer for that product you're about to buy. So not cool.

Tip #2: Wear what feels comfortable. If those fake lashes are going to be poking you all meeting long, skip them.

Tip #3: Wear what makes you feel confident, glamorous, and gorgeous. Whether your beauty routine takes one hour or consists of a little soap and water and a towel, don't let anyone tell you it's wrong if it makes you feel beautiful. Don't feel pressured into wearing makeup unless you're ready, and stick it to anyone who doesn't approve of your makeup. (Please note that this last bit doesn't apply to school and workplace situations with existing dress codes that prohibit certain types/looks of makeup, or to the under-12 population whose mum has just told them for the last time to stop messing with her lipstick.)

Tip #4: Speaking of youngsters and makeup... Buy your own, boys and girls. Wearing your mum's was cute when you were three; now it's just icky. It's fine to borrow from a sib in an emergency (AKA when your date is going to be here in three minutes and you've run out of glitter, OMG!), but other than that, use your own stuff.

Tip #5: Be you, because you're beautiful. The best foundation, the best accessory, the best finishing touches, the piece de resistance - is the beauty that resides within you. Let that shine through, add a sprinkle of kindness and a hint of a smile, and you'll be beautiful no matter what kind of plant potions and powders you've just smeared across your face.

Eurovision Special: An Interview with a Casual Fan

Eurovision has been an integral part of European tradition for nearly 60 years. For the almost two hundred million people who tune in every year, it is more than just a song contest. Eurovision is about peace, unity, and celebrating each other's differences. For some, Eurovision is a way of life. For others, it's just a reason to have a party once a year. Let's talk to one of the latter types of individuals.

Kaija: We're here today with a Casual Eurovision Fan. It's rare to find one in the wild, which is why I'm here, in the throne room, with my mum. Let's begin: So, mum, when did you start watching Eurovision?

Kaija's Mum, AKA The Queen: Two years ago. It was a momentous day I'm sure I'll remember for the rest of my reign.

Kaija: Why did you start watching Eurovision?

Kaija's Mum, AKA The Queen: The Crown Princess forced me, but I'm glad she did.

Kaija: What's your favorite thing about Eurovision?

Kaija's Mum, AKA The Queen: The build-up. It's always fun to hear about the national finals and the #Mello drama every year.

Kaija: What's your favorite act ever and why?

Kaija's Mum, AKA The Queen: Conchita Wurst, because I like what she stood for.

Kaija: I loved Conchita's act too. Now for the important question: What do you think of the inclusion of our beloved colonial friends, Australia?

Kaija's Mum, AKA The Queen: I think that's awesome because they are such big fans. It's great for them to have a chance to participate.

Kaija: If you could change one thing about Eurovision, what would it be?

Kaija's Mum, AKA The Queen: I would have it televised to the colonies, because then we could be able to spread the love further.

Kaija: That's a great answer. We all know the colonies could always use a little bit of European love. So, final question, mum. What does Eurovision mean to you?

Kaija's Mum, AKA The Queen: To me, Eurovision means fun. It means a day spent hanging out with my daughter, the Crown Princess, and my mother, the former Queen. It means family, friends, and good food. I know the Crown Princess enjoys the show quite a bit more than me. I don't doubt that she will make sure that the viewing figures rise into the billions once she is Queen.

Kaija: Thanks, Mum. Say goodbye to your adoring subjects.

Kaija's Mum, AKA The Queen: Bye bye for now, all, and to all a good night!

Kaija: Merry Christmas!!!

Eurovision Review: Belarus with Time

First Thoughts: I really like this song. This is definitely in my top five. Also, the music video is awesome.

Best Lyric: Time is like thunder. This is the catchiest thing I've heard since they came out with that study about the plague-ridden gerbils. I've been singing it under my breath ever since I heard this song. Plus, I love the comparison. I just wish they'd explained it a little more. It's sort of like that riddle with the raven and the writing desk; it doesn't make much sense, but it's cool anyway.

Worst Lyric: Breaking out through the night made me see the bright light. That's called dawn, dude.

Finalist? Definitely.

Final Thoughts: Maybe time is scary? My dog is afraid of thunder. Time isn't loud, so that can't be it. Perhaps a better comparison might be time is like lightening. Maybe this duo doesn't get how storms work, or maybe they set out to confuse us. Who knows? Certainly not me.

Score out of 12: Ten. It's a good song, but it's not the kind of song that's going to get too many straight 12's outside its bloc.

Song of the Day: Sunday

31 Day Challenge: Day 24 - My Favorite Childhood Book

Without a doubt, my favorite childhood books are the Moomins series by Tove Jansson. For me, they aren't just stories. They represent a way of life, a way of treating others, a way of respecting nature, a set of values that I strive to emulate each day. The Moomins live a simple, quiet life that is at the same time filled with adventure and bursting with joy. They are content in the simple act of being, and find happiness in their family, friends, and by being open and receptive to the beauty and splendor that is all around us.

Monday, March 23, 2015

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 23 - My Dream Job

My dream job involves a six-hour workday filled with food tastings and playing with boxes of kittens and puppies. It also involves a lot of traveling, free stays in fancy hotels, and paid vacation days. However, as a Princess I already spend my days playing with the Royal Kittens and eating exotic foods, and money is rendered irrelevant by the fact that I am alone in my mindscape, so I'm not sure what the point of getting a job is.

Eurovision Review: Finland with Aina Mun Pitää

First Thoughts: I'd like to start off this entry by congratulating Finland on a) being progressive enough to send this act, and almost as importantly, b) not sending a boyband. I love these dudes, if only because they were so happy when they won that it was impossible not to partake in their joy. I was rooting for another act, but I shouted and cheered when they won anyway because I love the band. I don't, however, love the song. Scream-o punk just isn't my thing. It's probably a good song for its genre, but when you don't like the genre, it's kind of hard to like the song. I also don't think Aina Mun Pitää is the next Hard Rock Hallelujah, because as much as I love these guys, they aren't Mr. Lordi and his crew and Hard Rock Hallelujah is freaking sacred to me. So, yeah.

Best/Worst Lyric: I'm going to skip this part because I know literally five or six words of Finnish and none of them are in this song.

Finalist? This is really hard to call. This act is one of the darkest horses I've ever heard, like a black hole of odds and betting into which all the statistics fail to work and five plus three ceases to equal eight. I'm going to go out on a willow tree limb and say yeah, it's going to be a finalist.

Final Thoughts: I just hope the rest of Europe is as kind to these gentlemen as Finland was. I'm looking at you, ex-Soviet states.

Score out of 12: God, this is hard to say too. Ten. I'm going to give them a 10, because I love them, and I love Finland, and they have that same kind of sweet appeal that got the babushkas to second place a few years back.

Song of the Day: Error

Sunday, March 22, 2015

31 Day Blog Challenge: Day 22 - Best Thing to Happen This Year

The best thing to happen this year was, without a doubt, Melodifestivalen! #GoSverige!

Sweater Weather

Sweater Weather

Dolce Gabbana wool cardigan

Moschino sweater

Oasis pattern shirt
$30 - oasis-stores.com

Yves Saint Laurent red hat
$700 - montaignemarket.com

Infinity scarf

MANGO wool hat
$45 - mango.com

MANGO wool hat
$45 - mango.com

Ted Baker tech accessory
$43 - vanmildert.com

Leaf home decor

Wood wall art
$30 - etsy.com

Sunday Afternoon Special: Kaija's Hairstyles

That 'just showered' look works best in summer.

You can also tie a small portion of your hair back to change things up a little bit.

I used a bow to keep mine back.

The messy ponytail is always an option.

As are pigtails.

More pigtails.

Silly pigtails!

Pigtails like this go best with stuffed animal friends.

The side ponytail plus a Serious Face is a great look for the gym.

Add a bow for more cute factor.

Or you can go au naturel, like me.

What can I say?

Yup, that's me.

Eurovision Review: F.Y.R. Macedonia with Autumn Leaves

First Thoughts: Okay, first of all, the most important question of all: Why the heck do they still call themselves the 'Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia'? Like, why not just 'Macedonia'? Is it your love letter to the former Yugoslavia, or just a big old middle finger to the slow speakers of the world? Anyway. I really expected to hate this song, because I loved Lisja Esenski and I hate language changes 99% of the time, but I actually like it. My one complaint is that there are times his accent is so thick it sounds like he's still speaking Macedonian. Who knows, maybe he is.

Best Lyric: Hanging from our knees in the willow trees, easy like the month of June. I just really like this line.

Worst Lyric: Our fairytale go right, with no end in sight, have me tangled up in blue. Or at least that's what I heard through his accent. Number one, it's not even proper English, and blue is definitely not a good thing most of the time. Unless you're talking about oceans. Or skies. But as a metaphor, it generally doesn't mean happy-fun-fairytale time.

Finalist? I really, really hope so. I have to listen to the other songs in his semi to be sure, but I really think this is going to make it to the final regardless.

Final Thoughts: I think he should have kept this song in Macedonian. I really do. Lisja Esenski was beautiful. This is just broken English slathered over a song that used to be truly awesome.

Score out of 12: 8. I'd have given Lisja Esenski a perfect 12, but that's what you get for language changes, you confusing, confusing country.

Kaija's Cafe Restaurant